VC1 Encodings getting better - Serenity Double Dip - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:01 AM
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Default VC1 Encodings getting better - Serenity Double Dip

I found this article interesting. What I found interesting is that with the improvements on the VC1 codec, the encode is more space efficient and yet with even better image quality:

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=63484

A relevent snippet:

Quote:
When I reviewed the US HD DVD release of Serenity back in July, I proclaimed it the greatest-looking non-theatrical presentation of a film I had ever seen. That particular disc retained that title for an impressive period of five months, before being dethroned... by its UK counterpart. As it happens, the US release was actually mastered using an early version of Microsoft's VC1 codec - a codec that they have continually worked to refine, bringing down the bit rate requirements. For the UK release, Universal decided to have another crack at Serenity, partially in order to free up some space for additional audio tracks (given that VC1 is now capable of producing excellent results with a mere 10-15 Mbps bit rate).

The US release, to me, looked absolutely perfect. Sharp as a tack, beautifully grainy, rich colours and contrast, and not a smidgen of edge enhancement on display. The UK release is... more perfect, if that's possible. No, the differences aren't massive, and I don't expect the majority of people to even notice them, but the new encode takes an already spectacular-looking disc and makes it look just a hair better. The most significant difference, if we can actually call it significant, is that the grain is very slightly more pronounced, further amplifying the film-like nature of the HD presentation. It also seems to be microscopically more detailed. This tends to be most noticeable in the form of improved definition of the skin texture during facial close-ups, although some of the wider shots also look a little crisper. I rated the US version a 10/10 for image quality, and I don't think I'd drop it to a 9 even having seen the UK version - perhaps more of a 9.8 (although I prefer not to get that specific when it comes to overall ratings).
The main purpose of this posting is to point out how raw storage space is becoming less and less relevant.

Last edited by Blurry; 12-10-2006 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:30 AM
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although I agree raw storage space might not be as important for films, for the average consumer, in a while, it can be a nice thing. As more people get media center machines and want to burn their family vacations and as camera push the sizes with Megapixels higher, it will be much nicer to have a standard that has much more space in it in the long term and thus why I love what blu-ray offers. Being in the editing field, it makes it so much nicer to offer vids to clients with more space and or just backups sake.
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:19 AM
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Agreed, there is a lot more to these discs than simply a medium for the distribution of Hollywood movies.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:44 AM
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The US/Region 1 transfer was beautiful, first HD-DVD I ever bought/watched and totally sold me on the format.

Plus, I love the film.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headhunter View Post
The US/Region 1 transfer was beautiful, first HD-DVD I ever bought/watched and totally sold me on the format.

Plus, I love the film.
Same, Serenity was the first HD-DVD I purchased as well and I have never lloked back and I have never even been tempted to go the BD route yet. HD-DVD is simply doning it better than BD and has been since day 1. What more can you expect from a format.

OC..
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for posting this - I'll make sure I pick up the Uk version of Serenity!
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:08 PM
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Wow, great find, and great news for the VC1 codec, unfortunately I can't buy this movie again, the whole cheesy sci-fi thing didn't do it for me.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:57 PM
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I just watched Serenity with my girl last Saturday. She hates sci-fi but I knew she'd love this movie (she did). She constantly commented on how great it looks.

She loves watching movies on my "new doohicky"
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarkyLuv View Post
She loves watching movies on my "new doohicky"
We won't even go there......
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:06 PM
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The new codecs like AVC and VC-1 render the storage delta between HD DVD and Blu-ray moot for movie distribution. I expect that the movies delivered next year will usurp the best of 2006 at lower avg bitrates. VC-1 will roar it's in 720p downloads for movies as the improvements continue to squeeze more quality from less storage.

I frankly don't have much of a need for large optical discs. I'm probably going to have a 100-200GB portable hard drive that will interface to more computers. I frankly don't see either format taking off as a recording medium. You have to ensure both ends have the drives and frankly a SATA/USB based portable drive will hook up to millions of computers.
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