Dune region B blu-ray release (2012), some comments
31st August 2012 at 8:34 pm #41315
So, as my old VHS copy had gotten pretty worn out, and as now when I have a bluray player I thought it might be uneccessary to get the DVD when there had just been a bluray release – I bought the 2012 region B bluray version of Dune (product code BLU-RAY 828 880 6 – 11, EAN 5 050582 888065).
It is a beautiful movie, but the quality of this bluray print was below expectations, there were some scenes with very noticeable compression issues, and much of the movie looked like it was just the DVD print upscaled to HD resolution. I assume that when they put the DVD versions together many years ago they made a digital transfer at slightly above the standard DVD resolution of the day, but not quite at the resolutions that are considered HD today, but it’s of course also possible that they actually did a full HD transfer from film, but just used some overly intrusive methods for cleaning up the footage that cause noticeable digital artifacts. Some scenes (especially daylight outdoors scenes, like the desert vistas) look pretty crisp and detailed, but most night shots look terrible, with very noticeable pixelation and color depth issues. I have no complaints regarding the sound quality, but I would’ve expected a bit more from a 2012 HD release.
I know there are plenty of other bluray editions of the movie, mostly german prints of the TV extended edit. I haven’t seen those prints, so I can’t compare with that, nor with the old DVD release, I’ve only got my old VHS to compare with, and kinda feel like many close shots look better there than on this bluray version.
Kinda hard to recommend, especially at the current price, but as new releases tend to be rather expensive but drop in price in 6 months or so, it might be worth to pick up then.7th February 2013 at 5:01 pm #78121
Yep. I guess i’ll hold off buying t his on Bluray. Thanks for the review.
i just wonder though, if people are considering upgrading their fave DVD collections of shows and films to Bluray? I’ve decided to start doing that wil fave’s like LotR, Matrix and Harry Potter, but not sure I’d go for upgrading Babylon 5 or LEXX for the same reasons you mention above. I suspect that the tech for production of TV shows doesn’t lend itself to 1080p and above resolution.28th February 2013 at 8:15 pm #78130
If it was shot on film with "practical effects", i.e. miniatures and animatronics, I think I’d opt for the Blu-ray release, but stuff like LEXX was shot for TV, with CGI that was probably not rendered in higher resolution than necessary for SD TV broadcasting back in the late 90’s. I’m not sure, but I think they probably used digital or video cameras rather than film stock for that one. Seems like the new Star Trek: The Next Generation blu-rays are fantastic, due to the fact that it was shot on film and mostly used miniature effects, though there was some use of low res digital editing and compositing that made the TV prints unusable for bluray, but as they had the film stock they could recomposite and re-edit that with HD quality effects again.
I’m not sure about Babylon 5, looks to me like it was shot on film (I could be mistaken though), but since most of the effects were CGI, and they’ve lost the original files, they’d have to recreate and rerender all that from scratch again. Sounds doable to me, but would probably be much more expensive than the process was for TNG.
Even if it was shot on film with a lot of practical effects, like most of Dune was, there’s the risk that they botch up the transfer from film to HD too, like I feel like they did with this Dune release, so I’m not sure there is much general advice I could give.17th March 2013 at 12:54 am #78134
Funny you should say that. I actually did a piece on LEXX Makers:
It was mostly written in the mid to late 90’s after I’d met some of the designers and writers of the show. At the time, I managed a Multimedai Centre in blackburn in the UK and knew a little about what was being done. Yes, there was so much CGI in LEXX and the computer screens of the age weren’t much better in terms of resolution than smart phones today.
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