Batman Begins BD full of compression artifacts? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:35 PM
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Default Batman Begins BD full of compression artifacts?

i've been strugging with this the last couple of days...

I just got batman begins on blu-ray and i find that it is full of compression artifacts. at first i thought maybe i was wrong, but when i tested it by pausing the film periodically, i can almost always spot some trace of compression (i have a 46 inch hdtv). i just can't understand it. Why is this not mentioned anywhere? hddigest gave the disk a 4 1/2 for PQ?

not only that, i find the black levels completely inadequate. why are unlit cave walls not as black as the black bars (widescreen)? and the image is consistently soft looking (albeit very slightly).

I even thought there might have been something wrong with my disc, but then i tried watching the TDK prologue and that was so much better...

if this is what hddvd users were touting as their demo material, i'm doubly glad blu-ray won...

anybody having the same issues?
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:38 PM
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it's prolly ur tv I've had none of those problems
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by metsfan1545d View Post
it's prolly ur tv I've had none of those problems
but i've watched plenty of BDs and know for a fact that titles like potc and spider-man don't display these types of artifacts on my TV...

could it be the disc?
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:58 PM
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I'm with you, man. This was one of Warner's first VC-1 encodes and appears to have a lot of the same artifacts that other early Warner titles suffered from, i.e. softness and color banding. This was also notable in Superman Returns and The Lake House when viewed on a properly calibrated monitor.

These films seem to have been super-smoothed to reduce film grain because it's hard to spot on Batman Begins. And where you would expect it to be present, all you see is what looks like digital noise. Definitely not demo material, but not excatly crap either.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:05 PM
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Yeah I was disappointed when Warner decided to not redo the encode for Blu-ray. Not that I am necessarily saying HD DVD is at fault. Just that this was the perfect time for Warner to create a better transfer.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinynewtie View Post
i've been strugging with this the last couple of days...

I just got batman begins on blu-ray and i find that it is full of compression artifacts. at first i thought maybe i was wrong, but when i tested it by pausing the film periodically, i can almost always spot some trace of compression (i have a 46 inch hdtv). i just can't understand it. Why is this not mentioned anywhere? hddigest gave the disk a 4 1/2 for PQ?

not only that, i find the black levels completely inadequate. why are unlit cave walls not as black as the black bars (widescreen)? and the image is consistently soft looking (albeit very slightly).

I even thought there might have been something wrong with my disc, but then i tried watching the TDK prologue and that was so much better...

if this is what hddvd users were touting as their demo material, i'm doubly glad blu-ray won...

anybody having the same issues?
All I know is that I don't notice many artifacts (there are some) on my HD DVD version. Also, keep in mind that this encode was done a little over two years ago - just like DVD, as time passes the technology and people using said technology get better. It's unfortunate that Warner didn't re-encode but there isn't a whole lot that we can do about it..... the product is already out and it's already sold well.

As to the softness issue - that would be the photography and no amount of optimization would completely eliminate the 'soft' look. It's intentional not a fault of the encode. Also, don't compare the Prologue with Begins.... different stocks (in fact completely different cameras and size of film not to mention techniques) were used for these two films. Just because BB and DK come from the same director and has the same character in the plot doesn't mean that the films have to look anything alike....

you can see more of my comments on Batman Begins here
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Super-VHS View Post
All I know is that I don't notice many artifacts (there are some) on my HD DVD version. Also, keep in mind that this encode was done a little over two years ago - just like DVD, as time passes the technology and people using said technology get better. It's unfortunate that Warner didn't re-encode but there isn't a whole lot that we can do about it..... the product is already out and it's already sold well.

As to the softness issue - that would be the photography and no amount of optimization would completely eliminate the 'soft' look. It's intentional not a fault of the encode. Also, don't compare the Prologue with Begins.... different stocks (in fact completely different cameras and size of film not to mention techniques) were used for these two films. Just because BB and DK come from the same director and has the same character in the plot doesn't mean that the films have to look anything alike....

you can see more of my comments on Batman Begins here
i'm not sure i agree that BB is supposed to look more soft because it was a cinematic choice. i saw BB in imax when it came out and was pretty impressed with the film stock rendition back then.

i also understand that BB and DK are 2 separate films that may have different aesthetics but that is besides the point. i was talking about technical deficiencies like compression, weak black levels, and softness. whether compared to DK or any other high-profile BD titles, this BB disc doesn't cut it.
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:01 AM
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^^^^ I agree that the BB disc doesn't cut it (see my link).... Warner was cheap like usual and we got a less than stellar release.... comparatively of course....

And yes, some of the softness could be remedied with a new encode.... VC-1 does tend to smooth things over a bit - especially at lower bit-rates (at least compared to AVC or MPEG-2) So, yes, coupled with the already soft photography it is anything other than 'sharp.'

But, like I said it is a soft film - most Nolan films are as a matter of fact. Even if this release had all the bit-rate that the spec allows it wouldn't completely rid Begins of its softness.

And, while it's 'beside the point' (to you) that TDK and BB have different aesthetics I only made that statement because you said:
Quote:
I even thought there might have been something wrong with my disc, but then i tried watching the TDK prologue and that was so much better...
That statement seemed (to me) like you were saying, "Why doesn't Batman Begins look like Dark Knight?" I was only trying to explain that not all films are going to look them same....

As you state:
Quote:
i was talking about technical deficiencies like compression, weak black levels, and softness.
All I was trying to do is say that different stocks produce different looks - hence the different aesthetics of both films. For instance, the IMAX footage of the prologue has different contrast, grain structure and is less soft because the 70mm stock of IMAX has those different properties.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:00 AM
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While it is not the best looking transfer I've seen on either format it isn't garbage either. When I first watched this on HD DVD & wasn't too impressed I hid behind all the Batman fanboys cause honestly thats where most of the hype of this transfer originally came from.

I still think its above average even with its compression issues. A new encode would be nice but lets face it... How much space (OTHER THAN VIDEO) has been wasted?
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinynewtie View Post
i've been strugging with this the last couple of days...

I just got batman begins on blu-ray and i find that it is full of compression artifacts. at first i thought maybe i was wrong, but when i tested it by pausing the film periodically, i can almost always spot some trace of compression (i have a 46 inch hdtv). i just can't understand it. Why is this not mentioned anywhere? hddigest gave the disk a 4 1/2 for PQ?

not only that, i find the black levels completely inadequate. why are unlit cave walls not as black as the black bars (widescreen)? and the image is consistently soft looking (albeit very slightly).

I even thought there might have been something wrong with my disc, but then i tried watching the TDK prologue and that was so much better...

if this is what hddvd users were touting as their demo material, i'm doubly glad blu-ray won...

anybody having the same issues?

Compression artifacts? Where? Issues with black levels?

I need timestamps to know where to look.



By the way what tool did you use to calibrate your viewing set? Is it a 65K?
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