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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #1
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Blue Ray DVDs

Hi
I am curious to know when they release now films on Blue Ray discs, does this mean that the original feature film was filmed in HDV? I know that some films are filmed with digital cameras but, I think, the majority are filmed with cellulite film, Panavision cameras or something, but what is then the resolution of these films? If the film wasn't filmed in HDV, how can they release it now on Blue Ray disks? I have just ordered the "Harry Potter" set on Blue Ray for my son and it happens that I have the set in ordinary DVD. Was the original film that produced both DVDs and Blue Ray the same?

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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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HDV is but one flavor of HD. Very few features are shot in HDV, but there are some that use other HD formats for acquisition. Small indie features might use HDV, but big studio releases, if they use video at all, probably use systems like HDCAM SR, XDCAM HD, and the like that output data up to 800Mbps (as opposed to HDV's 25Mbps).

But mostly, they're shot on 35mm film. 35mm is inherently higher resolution than standard DVD, so all are "HD." How "HD" they are, depends on what film stock they use and how it's processed and handled.

In many cases, the BD version of a film isn't much better than a really well-mastered standard DVD. The difference is most apparent -- at least to me -- on movies that weren't ever produced on film in the first place but rather were created digitally, i.e. Pixar movies. These are absolutely stunning on BD.

But even the best regular movies can look almost as good on regular DVD as on Blu-Ray, especially on a good HDTV with a good upscaling player (like a PS3). In some cases, the BD version reveals the original film grain (as in The Godfather) but isn't really any "sharper."
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam for all the info. Actually when I said HDV I meant HD. You said that films shot in 35mm film are higher standard than DVD. Is Blue Ray higher than 35mm film? What I am trying to say is that, if say "Superman" (1978 version) came out on Blue Ray, it want be any different than the DVD version. Am I right?

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Last edited by Stelios Christofides; July 10th, 2009 at 02:17 AM.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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As Adam mentioned, there are variations in film stock and processing techniques, but generally speaking, any cinematic release that was filmed on 35mm film stock will have more "definition" than Blu-Ray can display, although I suspect there are more exceptions the older the film in question is. This is also how some older television shows are able to come out with releases in Hi-Definition now (I.E. The Star Trek original series). These shows were shot on film and the original prints are therefore inherently "high" in definition.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
Is Blue Ray higher than 35mm film?
As I mentioned and Alex reiterated, it depends. Theoretically, 35mm should be higher res than even BD, but in the case of "Godfather" -- highly touted and restored to its original splendor under Coppola's supervision, clearly the BD exceeded the original resolution of the film.

But if "Superman," say, had been shot in 70mm with a super-fine-grain film stock, the BD could be vastly superior to the DVD release, if they went back to a perfectly preserved negative.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #6
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Now I get it guys. Thanks for all the explanations. By the way I checked and IMDb technical information states that "Superman" 78 was shot on a 35mm film. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078346/technical

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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:24 AM   #7
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I think these guys covered it.. I was going to add that I bought a cheap up-scaling dvd player.. $40 or so, with HDMI out, and my DVDs look very good being upscaled to 1080p. Some look better than others and I agree.. digitally animated films look really good.

I also think it depends on the compression of the bluray movie. I may be incorrect, but I think they use mpeg2 for some movies and h.264 for others. mpeg2 is less compression.. same one used for dvds, so while it means less room on the disc, it gives better quality I believe. Less artifacts in fast scenes. I believe they use a higher rate when using mpeg2 for bluray discs given the much more room on it, so the video itself is much less compressed than it is when put on dvd.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
I think these guys covered it.. I was going to add that I bought a cheap up-scaling dvd player.. $40 or so, with HDMI out, and my DVDs look very good being upscaled to 1080p. Some look better than others and I agree.. digitally animated films look really good.

I also think it depends on the compression of the bluray movie. I may be incorrect, but I think they use mpeg2 for some movies and h.264 for others. mpeg2 is less compression.. same one used for dvds, so while it means less room on the disc, it gives better quality I believe. Less artifacts in fast scenes. I believe they use a higher rate when using mpeg2 for bluray discs given the much more room on it, so the video itself is much less compressed than it is when put on dvd.
Digitally animated films upscale best because of their color structure. It makes it VERY easy for the upscale algorithm to "guess" what colors should be where. This is a lot harder with live action material.

There are three compressions standards for BluRay. Mpeg2 (hardly used these days), VC-1 which is essentially Windows Media Encoder, and Mpeg4/AVC. The last two are used for nearly all releases now because they offer higher quality in less space. Their artifacting is also less bothersome than Mpeg2.

Many people have not seen a reference quality BluRay, but I can assure you, NOTHING on upscaled DVD even comes close.

As for those who say that older film doesn't have as much "resolution" as bluray, that is totally incorrect. Analog film has no resolution at all, but even VERY old 35mm film could be scanned at 8k (8192x4096) while BluRay can only display 1920x1080. In many cases, it is not the intent of the studio to make the bluray movie look "perfect", but often to look faithful to the original presentation. Grain and noise was a big part of the look for older films, and in many cases that is preserved.

If you want to see what can be achieved with older film, pick up the BluRay of "Casablanca". I hear (and have seen screen shots) it's a knock out. Not bad for a WW2 era film.
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