DVD image comparison: The Devil’s Rejects (SD vs. HD)
For my first ever DVD to Blu-ray comparison, I’ve decided to go with a tricky title - The Devil’s Rejects. This is an interesting comparison for many reasons, not least because, despite being a recent film, it’s not a slick, clean-looking affair from which perfection can reasonably be expected from an HD release. Shot on 16mm film with a lot of hand-held photography, it was always going to be tough to compress, and to be fair the DVD doesn’t look too bad, although it certainly plays havoc with the grain. For the Blu-ray release, meanwhile, Lions Gate used the aged MPEG2 codec (the same codec used for standard definition DVD) combined with a single layer BD25 disc, and this, unfortunately, results in some pretty severe compression artefacts. Generally, it’s watchable when in motion, but on a few occasions it slips up rather badly, as can be seen in Example 2, which is the final frame of the shot in question. As you can see, the entire frame looks like a ridiculously over-compressed JPEG, and although this is very much a worst case scenario, it does demonstrate the dangers of combining an aged codec, a lack of disc space and and problematic material.
I’m sure a handful of people will take one look at these screen captures and decide that the DVD version actually looks better due to the decreased grain, but make no mistake, the Blu-ray version shows considerably more detail and is a far more faithful to its source materials, regardless of the problems with compression.
Check out the comparison here!