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Could this be the worst BD ever released?

DVD/Blu-ray/HD DVD

It’s not often that screen captures of a Blu-ray Disc make me exclaim out loud, but Koch Vision managed to elicit just such a response from me when I saw shots of their release of Dave Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels over at DVD Beaver. I already knew, from discussions on various message boards prior to its release, that the HD presentation of this 1939 public domain title was severely compromised, having been unceremoniously cropped to 1.78:1 from its intended 1.33:1 ratio. Nothing, however, prepared me for the hideous sight that met my eyes when I checked out the DVD Beaver review. Not only does it appear to have been culled from a standard definition master (and one which appears to be afflicted by dot crawl at that), it has also been subjected to a level of digital noise reduction (DNR) that makes the BDs of Patton and Scary Movie look positively unmangled in comparison.

Go ahead, click the link and be prepared to lose your lunch. Someone well and truly koched this disc up.

I’ll conclude with a comment by my brother, who seems to me to have done an excellent job of summing up this shoddy situation:

Quite frankly, the BDA should clamp down on garbage like this being put out. At best, it’s a shit disc sullying the ultimate AV format, and at worst, it’s confusing consumers who actually expect High Definition when they buy Blu. My other fear is that unknowledgeable reviewers and buyers think the film looks like shit because it’s old (if I had a penny for every time I’d heard that one). Cut it out, guys.

Quite.

 
Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Comments: 11
Categories: Animation | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology | Web

 
Comments

1.

Well it's not like the people putting this out didn't get countless emails saying the ratio was a disgrace but they ignored them all and i even sent the company one.

Adding DNR and using an SD quality print is an even bigger disgrace on top of the aspect issues.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, March 8, 2009 4:11 PM

2.

Sigh.... I remember seeing many times this movie in TV editions with *horrible* audio; now the BD has horrible video....

There is really no luck for Fleishers' attempt at greatness: not only it failed putting them on Disney ground, and ruined what was probably the most advanced studio in those times; but 70 years later is still can't be properly watched.

Posted by: MCP, March 8, 2009 5:23 PM

3.

Thanks Whiggles. Prior to the BD release, folks at AVS were expressing concerns only about the aspect ratio but it looks we have more serious problems to deal with.

Posted by: LGans316, March 10, 2009 2:07 PM

4.

Thought you might like this, from the DVDtalk newsletter...

"New from E1 Entertainment... Digitally restored and re-mastered using state-of-the-art technology, Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels (view exclusive preview) comes to life for the first time ever in awe-inspiring high definition. It truly is a "Hap-Hap-Happy Day" as the animated masterpiece is reborn on Blu-ray and DVD with breathtaking, newly-enhanced picture and sound..."

Posted by: Bleddyn Williams, March 10, 2009 6:33 PM

5.

Bleddyn, is that a review or just a press release snipping?

Posted by: David Mackenzie, March 10, 2009 9:02 PM

6.

Apparently Koch just released it and it's the people who distribute movies like Disaster Movie and the German editions of Kill Bill and Sin City who worked on the transfer. ( at least i read it that way ? )

https://www.rcv.nl/koop.html?end=1

https://www.entertainmentonegroup.com/#

Click film if looking at the above link.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, March 10, 2009 10:43 PM

7.

How likely is it that there will be any clamping down so long as companies pay for the licensing. I'm sure it won't be long before those 50 movie PD sets end up on 1 or 2 BD disc sets.

re: GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, the "detail" reminds me of that automatic "watercolor" (or is it "oil painting" ) effect that comes in some of those free photo/image-editing software that you get when you have your 35mm photo negative scanned to disc.

Weren't the first John Carpenter BluRay (or was it HD-DVD) discs actually upscaled from SD?

Posted by: , March 11, 2009 12:43 AM

8.

>> How likely is it that there will be any clamping down so long as companies pay for the licensing.

Not likely at all unless it was proven to be doing significant damage to the format. Which it won't be, thankfully.

Posted by: David Mackenzie, March 11, 2009 1:02 AM

9.

>> Not likely at all unless it was proven to be doing significant damage to the format. Which it won't be, thankfully.

I remember when DVD first came out, before I knew that Dolby Digital was part of the format standard, that I was actually impressed to see Dolby's logo on the cases of cheap DVDs (before actually seeing the discs themselves) and the Dolby Digital intro video on horrible looking and sounding Chinese import DVDs.

Are BluRay recording decks in the works? If so, how long will it be until the upscaling of VHS tapes and SD-DVD's (including DVD rips of videotape sources) makes it onto PD-BluRay?

Posted by: , March 11, 2009 2:20 PM

10.

Bleddyn, is that a review or just a press release snipping?

Actually, it comes from the DVDtalk email newsletter, and is also on their homepage (dvdtalk.com), under the following heading. I would imagine that it was derived from a press release.

DVDTalk Clips of the Week: Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels on Blu-ray and more from E1 Entertainment!

Posted by: Bleddyn Williams, March 11, 2009 3:32 PM

11.

>> Are BluRay recording decks in the works? If so, how long will it be until the upscaling of VHS tapes and SD-DVD's (including DVD rips of videotape sources) makes it onto PD-BluRay?

Blu-ray was actually designed as a recording format. The BD-RE (rewritable disc) specification was designed BEFORE the "pre recorded" ROM version (this is why it's basically impossible to find a BD drive that can't read RE discs). Accordingly, BD recorders have existed in Japan since 2003 (this was back when the discs were sealed into cartridges).

Panasonic have already intro'd a BD recorder to France and are doing so in the UK later this year. I imagine they'll be rare items, because cable/sat companies leasing PVRs to subscribers kinda makes them redundant. I'd imagine the PD crowd will stick to releasing on DVD.

Posted by: David Mackenzie, March 12, 2009 12:12 AM

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:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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