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The latest HD image quality rankings

HD DVD/Blu-ray/DVD

I have a new favourite HD demo disc: it’s Sony’s Blu-ray release of Open Season. Sony gave Lyris a stack of free Blu-ray discs when he went to make his reportings on their format in Berlin last week, and this was one of them (one of the others, unfortunately, was Black Hawk Down, which looks horrendous). While the film itself is doing my tits in, it’s hard to deny that the visual presentation is absolutely stellar - the sort of quality you can get when you feed a pristine source into an advanced codec like AVC.

I’ve taken the opportunity to update my HD image quality rankings chart, and have also included the codecs used for each release.


  • Open Season (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Corpse Bride (Warner, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • King Kong (Universal, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Casino Royale (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • The Descent (Lions Gate, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Serenity (Universal, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Serenity (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Black Snake Moan (Paramount, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC


  • Babel (Paramount, USA, HD DVD) - AVC
  • Looney Tunes: Rabbit Hood (Warner, USA, HD DVD)* - VC1
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Mr. Bean’s Holiday (Universal, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Children of Men (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Bourne Supremacy (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner, USA) - VC1
  • Miami Vice (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Layer Cake (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Dawn of the Dead (remake) (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Blood Diamond (Warner, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • Reign Over Me (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Casablanca (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner, UK, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • A Scanner Darkly (Universal, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1


  • Silent Hill (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Kingdom of Heaven (20th Century Fox, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • The Bourne Identity (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Ghost Rider (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Mulholland Drive (Studio Canal, France, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Constantine (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Matrix (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Paramount, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Matrix Revolutions (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Matrix Reloaded (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Devil’s Rejects (Lions Gate, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Unleashed (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Red Dragon (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Looney Tunes: Robin Hood Daffy (Warner, USA, HD DVD)* - VC1
  • The Skeleton Key (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Land of the Dead (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Syriana (Warner, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • V for Vendetta (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Machinist (Toshiba, Japan, HD DVD) - AVC
  • Sleepy Hollow (Paramount, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Million Dollar Baby (Warner, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • Flightplan (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - VC1
  • Batman Begins (Warner, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Van Helsing (Universal, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Wolf Creek (The Weinstein Company, USA, HD DVD) - AVC


  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Warner, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Arlington Road (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Tears of the Sun (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Mummy Returns (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • King Arthur (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Paprika (Sony Pictures, France, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Constantin Film, Germany, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Fifth Element (remastered) (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC


  • Chicago (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - AVC
  • Enemy of the State (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Lost in Translation (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Paramount, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Hostel (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • The Fountain (Warner, USA, HD DVD/Blu-ray) - VC1
  • An American Werewolf in London (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Troy (Warner, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Being John Malkovich (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Brokeback Mountain (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • The Game (Universal, USA, HD DVD) - VC1
  • Basic Instinct (Studio Canal, France, HD DVD) - VC1


  • District B13 (Magnolia, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Crank (Lions Gate, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2
  • Black Hawk Down (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray) - MPEG2


  • Brotherhood of the Wolf (Studio Canal, France, HD DVD) - VC1
  • La Haine (Studio Canal, UK, HD DVD) - VC1
  • American Psycho (Lions Gate, USA, Blu-ray) - MPEG2

* Found on the The Adventures of Robin Hood HD DVD.

Posted: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 at 10:54 PM | Comments: 3
Categories: Animation | Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology



OPEN SEASON was terrible!

So you buy movies on HD/Blu-Ray just because of the transfer or because you actually like them??

Posted by: ARCVILE, September 7, 2007 2:51 AM


Open Season was given to my brother free as a sampler. I wouldn’t have bought it in a million years.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 7, 2007 9:27 AM


I love the musical Chicago.....Can you give more information on why it scores just 6 please ?

Posted by: FoxyMulder, November 12, 2008 6:51 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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