Is it just me or do blu rays look better now than ever? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:42 AM
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Default Is it just me or do blu rays look better now than ever?

When blu ray first came on to the market I was pretty unimpressed with what I thought was only a marginal upgrade from DVD but ones from the last year or two have pretty much blown me away with the likes of Titanic, the James Bond movies and others containing blatant differences from DVD's.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:05 PM
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The first wave of Blu-rays from 2006 were basically a fiasco. A bunch of crappy old transfers that were poorly compressed onto single-layer discs. Many of them were barely discernible from DVD, and some (like The Fifth Element) actually looked worse than DVD. Blu-ray finally started to turn itself around about a year later, in mid-2007.
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:00 PM
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I think I know what it is. The 4k remastering process. As I said before, the most recent blu rays I have bought have been many of the earlier Bond movies and Titanic all of which were mastered in 4k. If it is that then I can really tell the difference. Blu Ray that hasn't been mastered in 4k I don't really have a high opinion of. But I could be wrong about the 4k thing and have just got lucky lately.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:16 PM
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Not all of the Bond movies were remastered in 4k - just the Connery pictures, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. The others are sourced from older 2k transfers. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are locked to 2k at their Digital Intermediates, and Skyfall was photographed digitally at 2k.

4k remastering is helpful, but it's not the end-all/be-all of picture quality. I think just in general, the video transfer process has gotten better as technology improves and the studios figure out what works and what doesn't work.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Not all of the Bond movies were remastered in 4k - just the Connery pictures, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. The others are sourced from older 2k transfers. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are locked to 2k at their Digital Intermediates, and Skyfall was photographed digitally at 2k.
Skyfall was digitally captured @ 2.8K ARRIRAW. The DI was 4K.

Roger Deakins prefers the texture of his images at higher resolution. Thus, Skyfall had a 4K workflow, where the Arri Alexa footage and 2K visual effects were uprezzed. This is something Deakins does regularly. He claims to have done all but two* of his projects since the advent of DI @ 4K.

*O, Brother Where Art Thou was finished sub 2k because of technology at the time, and In the Valley of Elah was mastered 2K because of cost.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:41 PM
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I read elsewhere that all the Bond movies up to Moonraker were mastered in 4k with the exception of The Spy Who Loved Me as they had to use an entirely new source which did not go through the 4K process. That makes sense to me as the picture quality was not personally as impressive to me as the others.

I am going to buy a few more 4k mastered blu rays and see if I will be as equally impressed as I have been with the likes of Titanic and Jaws and if I am then it's the 4K that is working for me.

Remember, all this is subjective so what works for some may not work for others.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super-VHS View Post
Skyfall was digitally captured @ 2.8K ARRIRAW. The DI was 4K. Roger Deakins prefers the texture of his images at higher resolution. Thus, Skyfall had a 4K workflow, where the Arri Alexa footage and 2K visual effects were uprezzed. This is something Deakins does regularly. He claims to have done all but two* of his projects since the advent of DI @ 4K. *O, Brother Where Art Thou was finished sub 2k because of technology at the time, and In the Valley of Elah was mastered 2K because of cost.
Is that up to him or would he have to defer to the director?
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:02 PM
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That is to be expected. Compare a DVD released in 1999 to a DVD released in 2009, the differences are astronomical.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:45 PM
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I rented an old late 90s-early 00s DVD, I was staggered how horrendous it looked even on my poorly-calibrated low-end HDTV.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by speedy2056 View Post
I read elsewhere that all the Bond movies up to Moonraker were mastered in 4k with the exception of The Spy Who Loved Me as they had to use an entirely new source which did not go through the 4K process. That makes sense to me as the picture quality was not personally as impressive to me as the others.
This is not exactly correct.

Back in 2006, MGM contracted Lowry Digital to remaster all of the Bond films for the "Ultimate Edition" DVDs. Due to budgetary constraints, only some of the films were scanned at 4k at that time, while the others had some digital clean-up work performed on older existing video masters.

The titles that received 4k scans in 2006 were:

Dr. No
From Russia with Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Moonraker

The later Blu-rays recycle the Lowry transfers with two exceptions:

- The Spy Who Loved Me received a brand new 4k scan in 2012 for Blu-ray, performed by MGM without any involvement from Lowry.
- The 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD of GoldenEye was widely criticized for being excessively cropped on all four sides of the picture. Rather than rescan or remaster the movie, MGM decided to go back to an even older (pre-Lowry) DVD master that had the correct framing, but looks like total garbage in all other respects.
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