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Ringo Starr was in The Simpsons once…


Now that I have a Blu-ray drive in my main computer, I’ve been taking the opportunity to look through some of the discs I haven’t provided screen captures for yet. The Simpsons Movie is a title that immediately leapt out at me as a prime candidate for the PrintScreen button, mainly because it’s one of those discs that many reviewers have praised to the heavens, describing it as “perfect” and “flawless”, and other such hyperbolic nonsense. In actual fact, Fox’s encode of The Simpsons Movie features quite a lot of unsightly ringing, as a result of having been filtered.

(Lyris and myself, by the way, have all sorts of wacky names for the various artefacts that plague digital video. Ringo Starr, as you can probably imagine, refers to ringing. Stick around and you may get to meet Dusty Springfield, Billy Brickwall, Waxy O’Connor, and our old favourite, Mega Bloks.)

Why would anyone filter high definition content in the first place, especially material as basic-looking as Homer Simpson and his bland family? Well, I can’t say for sure, but it looks suspiciously like a technician left his or her software at the default settings and popped out for a leak, leaving the encoding software (or hardware) to wreak havoc. It’s not just that there’s ringing: for some reason, several shots show a bunch of errant hues showing up in the ringing, especially visible when you zoom in (Shot 3 is particularly affected by this).

The Simpsons Movie
(20th Century Fox, USA, AVC)

The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie The Simpsons Movie

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Comments: 3
Categories: Animation | BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology



The thing that made me laugh at The Simpsons Movie on Blu-Ray was the Futurama direct-to-video trailer that preceeded it. Two things jumped out at me:

1. This is the only place you can see a full 1080p version of Bender's Big Score (albeit reduced to a mere few clips). That in itself makes me wonder why they haven't milked the pub-- I mean graced us with a Blu-Ray of this title yet.

2. The picture quality of the animation is nigh-on absolutely perfect (bar the interlace combing in the little bit where they do a hoaky fullscreen-to-widescreen expansion of the title logo).

Now that being the case, why on earth would they show such a pristine trailer, then proceed to balls up the main feature so noticeably by comparison? Idiots!


Posted by: DJ Mike, May 30, 2008 3:25 PM


So true, so true. The Futurama promo really got my hopes up for the quality of The Simpsons Movie, so what came afterwards was like a kick to the stomach. It’s not an awful transfer, but it should (and could) have been close to perfect.

Posted by: Whiggles, May 30, 2008 5:04 PM


DJ Mike: I bought "Bender's Big Score" on NTSC DVD and a few weeks later, saw that trailer. I was PISSED! They can forget trying to sell me SD versions (and not even very good SD!) of later releases.

I'm told that The Simpsons Movie on BD was done with the Cinema Craft HD encoder. I've not used the HD version, but can tell you that the SD version (CCE SP2) comes set up with a pretty obvious low-pass filter turned on by default. If the HD version is the same, it's entirely possible that the people doing it forgot to turn it off.

Posted by: David Mackenzie, May 30, 2008 9:01 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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