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Le DVNR et la compression


My copy of Studio Canal’s recently released HD DVD of Basic Instinct arrived from this morning.

Unfortunately, the transfer, while clearly in a different league compared to standard definition, is artefact-ridden in a way that I’ve never seen on an HD DVD until now. Daylight scenes generally look fine, but those taking place at night or in subdued interior lighting conditions (which accounts for a considerable portion of the film’s duration) look smeared and defocused. Grain patterns stick to the walls and actors’ faces during panning shots, making it pretty clear that some intensive DVNR has been applied. And why? The film isn’t even 15 years old, and the compressionists have 30 GB of data to play with (and no extras, barring a trailer for other Studio Canal titles and some test patterns). I don’t think I’d go so far as to say that this is the least impressive HD DVD I’ve seen so far (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and An American Werewolf in London are contending for that crown), but it’s definitely underwhelming and not the sort of thing I’d show to someone to sell them on the delights of high definition.

I just hope this isn’t indicative of what we can expect from Studio Canal as a whole. Certainly their trailer reel, which showcases everything from The Elephant Man to Rambo to Ran, looks rather mixed in terms of quality, with some material looking absolutely excellent (the grain in Rambo looks phenomenal, and their version of Million Dollar Baby looks more impressive than Warner’s), but some not so impressive (Ran is marred by giant edge enhancement halos).

Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 1:12 PM | Comments: 4
Categories: Cinema | DVD | HD DVD | Technology



1) was this encoded in VC-1 or AVC?

2) can you elaborate a bit on how Million Dollar Baby appeared better in SC's demo?

I thought the R1 SD looked decent - I'm still waiting on more reviews for SC's titles before deciding to import them. OT: i picked up Dune yesterday and it looks very nice for a 22yr old film


Posted by: aw, December 20, 2006 1:46 PM


1) It’s VC-1.

2) It looks more detailed, and has less visible edge enhancement. Of course, it’s difficult to tell from the few clips that were displayed, but I’d say that, if what’s in the trailer is representative of the final disc, it’s a definite improvement.

Posted by: Whiggles, December 20, 2006 1:52 PM


Shit. Not good at all. Going to ask some questions about this...

Posted by: Lyris, December 20, 2006 2:36 PM


Also it's diasapointing it has no extras as the R1 and R2 SD discs of Basic Instinct both had two commentaries and some other features.

Posted by: , December 20, 2006 3:42 PM

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