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Thread: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

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  1. #1
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    As it appears many 'zoners have taken the high-def plunge, I've created this thread to talk about the high-definition media available. First, I've found the following thread at AVS Forum to be invaluable in identifying the best Blu Ray video available:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=858316

    They do a pretty good job of ranking the films, even if I do disagree with some of the placements. For example, there's no way on Earth that Apocalypto should be ranked higher than Crank in the "Gold" tier. A Scanner Darkly under The Host? No.

    But those complaints are minimal considering that I'm just thankful to have a useful tool to preview something resembling a consensus on PQ prior to purchasing a Blu Ray flick. Just note that the folks on the thread don't give a hoot if intentional film grain obscures detail (300) or the use of non-HD cameras in some shots (Apocalypto). But hey, PQ is subjective so like what you like. Overall, the list there is still a very good guide regardless of personal preference.

    For live action movies, I can personally verify that the following represent live action "demo" material:

    Crank
    Kingdom of Heaven
    Apocalypto (excepting the non-HD camera scenes)
    Black Hawk Down
    The Host
    Curse of the Golden Flower

    300 (which suffers from intentional film grain), Casino Royale, The Prestige, and Blood and Chocolate are close.

    For animated movies (digital by nature):

    A Scanner Darkly
    The Wild
    Happy Feet
    Ice Age: The Meltdown

    I'll be interested to hear more from folks about their Blu Ray experiences and I'd really like to hear more from those who've gone the HD-DVD route about the best flicks in that format.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    HD-DVD for me...

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is STUNNING in high-def.

    Training Day is really good.

    Ray looks spectacular.

    Others that are particularly good (that I've seen):
    - The Fugitive
    - Serenity
    - The Matrix Trilogy (really good)
    - I bought the first part of the last season of the Sopranos on HD-DVD --> Awesome.

    Out of all the movies I've seen so far on HD-DVD, Terminator 3 is the most impressive (esp. w/ 5.1 surround DTS). Oh yeah: Children of Men is INCREDIBLE in HD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


  3. #3
    Member Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    I have Black Hawk Down on Blu Ray and it is amazing, I'd never considered the different degrees of HD. I have noticed that it is better than the other Blu Ray movies I have. The two movies I was most excited to get on Blu Ray were Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers, and I can see the difference between the two, but We Were Soldiers is still great.

    Fly Boys, Casino Royale, Tears of the Sun and Men of Honor are all pretty cool. I was planning on buying 300 on blu ray, but I might not now. Does the intentional film grain detract that much from the high def experience?

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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS View Post
    HD-DVD for me...

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is STUNNING in high-def.

    Training Day is really good.

    Ray looks spectacular.

    Others that are particularly good (that I've seen):
    - The Fugitive
    - Serenity
    - The Matrix Trilogy (really good)
    - I bought the first part of the last season of the Sopranos on HD-DVD --> Awesome.

    Out of all the movies I've seen so far on HD-DVD, Terminator 3 is the most impressive (esp. w/ 5.1 surround DTS). Oh yeah: Children of Men is INCREDIBLE in HD.
    Children of Men, Serenity, The Hulk, and Heroes Season 1 has me teetering on the edge of trying to find a value 1080p HD-DVD player. Knowing that Transformers may not be released in Blu Ray is another serious concern for me. The Matrix trilogy would have been a draw if the final film would have produced answers rather than questions.

    I appreciate the info on the other flicks. My wife is completely opposed to a purchase of an HD-DVD player, but I'm expecting the prices on the 1080p-capable models to come down over the next six months, so I might end up buying one on the sly without her knowing. Shhhhh...

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Shines View Post
    I have Black Hawk Down on Blu Ray and it is amazing, I'd never considered the different degrees of HD. I have noticed that it is better than the other Blu Ray movies I have. The two movies I was most excited to get on Blu Ray were Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers, and I can see the difference between the two, but We Were Soldiers is still great.

    Fly Boys, Casino Royale, Tears of the Sun and Men of Honor are all pretty cool. I was planning on buying 300 on blu ray, but I might not now. Does the intentional film grain detract that much from the high def experience?
    I have Fly Boys, which is a decent movie with excellent PQ. Not "reference" IMHO, but it's still excellent. Black Hawk Down just pops off the screen and at 24 frames per second, it pops even more. Casino Royale at 1080p isn't as nutty good as Crank, but it's super-clear and the black levels on my HDTV are exceptional. I have to thank avsforum.com for that because I piggybacked my settings based on recommendations from a guy who has a professional calibration setup.

    I'd suggest a purchase of 300 even considering the injected film grain. The grain is more noticable over the first third of the movie. After that, it's considerably lightened and that's where a ton of the action is. It's a solid "buy" IMHO and if you liked it in the theater you'll still like it from a true-to-the-master source on Blu Ray.

    At this point, I do have to comment on how important it is to have a properly calibrated HDTV. We can do a decent job via "eyballing", but the info I was able to gain from a pro really makes the PQ "pop" in a way I couldn't possibly get by trying to do it myself. Seriously, it was like night and day.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Please elaborate on calibrating your settings... are you talking about the picture contrast etc. etc. settings?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
    "Cheering for Kentucky is like watching Star Wars and hoping Darth Vader chokes an ewok"


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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS View Post
    Please elaborate on calibrating your settings... are you talking about the picture contrast etc. etc. settings?
    Yes, I'd like really like to know as well.

  7. #7
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS View Post
    Please elaborate on calibrating your settings... are you talking about the picture contrast etc. etc. settings?
    Yep. Brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc., etc. Optimal calibration is different for each TV and should be tweaked to adjust for the amount of ambient light in your viewing area. I'm again going to reference avsforum.com:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166

    Many of the threads there have posters who give feedback on "optimal" calibration settings for their units, including some folks who use professional calibration equipment. I'm fairly tech-savvy, but still consider myself a neophyte for things like calibration. I can "eyeball" it pretty well but after finding optimal calibration settings for my Samsung LN-T4066F I consider my viewing experience to be forever changed. A picture that used to look great now looks absolutely fantastic, with some of the deepest blacks I've ever seen on an LCD TV.

    For reference, I'll post the settings I'm using and should note that different settings are necessary depending on the TV's firmware version.

    Picture: Movie Mode

    Contrast: 93
    Brightness: 46
    Sharpness: 25
    Color: 55
    Tint: 50
    Backlight: 7
    Color Tone: Warm1
    Size: Just Scan
    Digital NR: Auto

    Detailed Settings:

    Black Adjust: Low
    Dynamic Contrast: High
    Gamma: -1
    Color Space: Auto

    White Balance:

    R-Offset: 21
    G-Offset: 20
    B-Offset: 21
    R-Gain: 0
    G-Gain: 21
    B-Gain: 26

    Setup:

    HDMI Black Level: Low

    My Color Control:

    Pink: 20
    Green: 15
    Blue: 15
    White: 15

    Edge Enhancement: On
    xvYCC: Off

    Now, those settings are only viable for my make and model of LCD TV, but it's a good example of how complicated calibration can get. Do a search of the threads at avsforum.com and you might run across the right settings for your TV. It's well worth taking the time.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Yep. Brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc., etc. Optimal calibration is different for each TV and should be tweaked to adjust for the amount of ambient light in your viewing area. I'm again going to reference avsforum.com:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166

    Many of the threads there have posters who give feedback on "optimal" calibration settings for their units, including some folks who use professional calibration equipment. I'm fairly tech-savvy, but still consider myself a neophyte for things like calibration. I can "eyeball" it pretty well but after finding optimal calibration settings for my Samsung LN-T4066F I consider my viewing experience to be forever changed. A picture that used to look great now looks absolutely fantastic, with some of the deepest blacks I've ever seen on an LCD TV.

    For reference, I'll post the settings I'm using and should note that different settings are necessary depending on the TV's firmware version.

    Picture: Movie Mode

    Contrast: 93
    Brightness: 46
    Sharpness: 25
    Color: 55
    Tint: 50
    Backlight: 7
    Color Tone: Warm1
    Size: Just Scan
    Digital NR: Auto

    Detailed Settings:

    Black Adjust: Low
    Dynamic Contrast: High
    Gamma: -1
    Color Space: Auto

    White Balance:

    R-Offset: 21
    G-Offset: 20
    B-Offset: 21
    R-Gain: 0
    G-Gain: 21
    B-Gain: 26

    Setup:

    HDMI Black Level: Low

    My Color Control:

    Pink: 20
    Green: 15
    Blue: 15
    White: 15

    Edge Enhancement: On
    xvYCC: Off

    Now, those settings are only viable for my make and model of LCD TV, but it's a good example of how complicated calibration can get. Do a search of the threads at avsforum.com and you might run across the right settings for your TV. It's well worth taking the time.
    Steel, I don't mean to be a pain in the ***, but I can't find the calibration settings for my TV anywhere on that site. I know it's there, but I am having a heck of a time finding it.

    I have two samsung HDTV's. I have the Samsung HL-S5087W and the Samsung LN-T3242H.

    Could you point me to the proper place to find the exact settings for these sets? I would really appreciate it.
    DLC11@Insightbb.com

  9. #9
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Playadlc View Post
    Steel, I don't mean to be a pain in the ***, but I can't find the calibration settings for my TV anywhere on that site. I know it's there, but I am having a heck of a time finding it.

    I have two samsung HDTV's. I have the Samsung HL-S5087W and the Samsung LN-T3242H.

    Could you point me to the proper place to find the exact settings for these sets? I would really appreciate it.
    I can do more checking when I get off work, but here might be a good place for you to start for the LN-T3242H:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=ln-t3242h
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  10. #10
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Just purchased and watched "Troy- Director's Cut" on Blu Ray tonight. My review:

    Troy- Director's Cut

    Length: 196 minutes (yes, over 3 hours)
    Rating: Unrated

    Story: Well, we all know the story. Or do we? Yeah, we do. Unlike some "Director's Cut" releases, this isn't a re-working of the movie we saw in 2004. It's just some added scenes here or there. The most memorable is our introduction to Sean Bean's King Odysseus that takes place prior to his initial meeting with Achilles. Otherwise, the bulk of the added material is either battle, battle prep, or watching the citizens of Troy preparing for the imminent siege. None of the added material actually detracts from the plot or storyline and it could be argued that some of the additional "prep" setup does more to humanize the Trojan population and produce a heightened level of anxiety. That being said, I can see why the added film was originally cut given the 162 minute length of the cinema version.

    As an aside, I knew I recognized the actor who played the character Murtagh in "Eragon". That was Garrett Hedlund, who played Achilles' cousin Patroclus in "Troy".

    Video: Not "reference", but excellent picture quality (PQ). However, this film did have opportunites to really pop (i.e. 3D effects) but didn't do so enough. There was some issue with unintentional background grain during night shots, which hurt this transfer. Also, while I've heard that the color had been enhanced versus the DVD release, many backgrounds appeared muted. The close-ups were very solid and one could see every bit of detail in soldier's armor, which is always a welcome treat.

    Audio: The audio is uncompressed PCM. Sweet! The sound is spot-on. It's never overwhelming and it's clear as heck. There is a lot of dialogue in this film and it all sounds as if you're sitting in the room with the characters. The music is crisp and always engaging.

    Special Features: Unlike many Blu Ray releases, this disc is loaded with special features. Some are repeats of the original 2-disc DVD set, but we've got 34 total special features here. While that's much appreciated, many are very short and only a handful are 1080p.

    Overall: The story is longer, and is slightly enhanced by the additional footage added if you have the patience to sit through a 3+ hour movie. The video transfer is excellent, but doesn't have the "pop" we see in high-end . The audio is fantastic and the Special Features are really above and beyond what we're used to seeing on Blu Ray discs, even if some are familiar. It's worth a purchase, but only if you already liked the original.

    Ratings (Out of 5):

    Story: 4
    Video: 4
    Audio: 5
    Extras: 4

    TOTAL: 4.25
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    For you High-Def guys, what TVs are you watching on? I am in the market for a HDTV but I still can't figure out which model I want. I have been looking at 40"-47" 1080p LCDs. Any suggestions?

    By the way, I was at Circuit City looking at TVs and they had Next playing on one of the displays. The few minutes I watched of it looked incredible.

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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
    For you High-Def guys, what TVs are you watching on? I am in the market for a HDTV but I still can't figure out which model I want. I have been looking at 40"-47" 1080p LCDs. Any suggestions?

    By the way, I was at Circuit City looking at TVs and they had Next playing on one of the displays. The few minutes I watched of it looked incredible.
    Panasonic TH-50PX75U Plasma

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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
    For you High-Def guys, what TVs are you watching on? I am in the market for a HDTV but I still can't figure out which model I want. I have been looking at 40"-47" 1080p LCDs. Any suggestions?

    By the way, I was at Circuit City looking at TVs and they had Next playing on one of the displays. The few minutes I watched of it looked incredible.
    Samsung LN-T4066F (40" 1080p LCD)



    It's a Best Buy exclusive, although it can be found elsewhere online. Fantastic picture and the deepest blacks of any LCD TV I've come across. I was REALLY lucky and found a pristine "open box" model for $1340 at my local Best Buy. Initially, I figured I'd be spending around $2500 on a 1080p LCD unit so I was completely giddy. After calibrating it and watching a bunch of Blu Ray flicks, I'd recommend it to anyone even at full retail (@$1800-1900). However, it's probably not for those who have a lot of ambient light in the room due to the reflective screen.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  14. #14
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Samsung LN-T4066F (40" 1080p LCD)



    It's a Best Buy exclusive, although it can be found elsewhere online. Fantastic picture and the deepest blacks of any LCD TV I've come across. I was REALLY lucky and found a pristine "open box" model for $1340 at my local Best Buy. Initially, I figured I'd be spending around $2500 on a 1080p LCD unit so I was completely giddy. After calibrating it and watching a bunch of Blu Ray flicks, I'd recommend it to anyone even at full retail (@$1800-1900). However, it's probably not for those who have a lot of ambient light in the room due to the reflective screen.
    That's a beauty. I am going to start researching it. They have them at the Tri County Best Buy so I might go check it out this weekend.

  15. #15
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    Re: The Unofficial High-Def Movie Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
    That's a beauty. I am going to start researching it. They have them at the Tri County Best Buy so I might go check it out this weekend.
    If you're going to research that model, you should be aware that it's basically the final iteration of Samsung's LN-T406xF line. The "x" is basically the iteration (for lack of a better word). Previous models like the LN-T4061F and LN-T4065F have different shaping (they lack the bottom "curve") and don't have the distinctive blue light at the bottom. My wife thinks the light is silly, but she has little appreciation for the coolness factor of matching the TV with my PS3 and lighted PS3 stand. Chicks!

    Other differences:

    The LN-T4066F has a newer main board (1009) and more recent firmware. This helps avoid some intermittent green and pink color "flashing" I've heard of from 4061 and 4065 owners. The 66 is also rumored to have deeper blacks than the other "406X" models, although I haven't seen all of them lined up and properly calibrated for optimal black levels so I can't personally verify that. I can verify that the dynamic contrast ratio on the 4066 is 15,000:1 versus 10,000:1 for the 4061. The 4061 and 4065 models are still strong sets and should be less expensive than the 4066 at full retail, but there are additional considerations with those.

    After I have the TV a while longer, I'll probably write up an Epinions.com review on the set as most of the user reviews available online for the 4066 aren't very detailed. Some things I like other than the PQ:

    1. All the buttons are heat sensitive (like the PS3).
    2. The remote is intuitive, even if the buttons are a little small.
    3. Swivel base!
    4. 3x HDMI inputs.
    5. Dual-source Picture-in-Picture. Yes, you can watch a Blu Ray movie on your PS3 while checking ESPN on the smaller PIP display at the same time. And yes, you can swap audio between the primary and secondary displays.
    6. It has a setup feature that will automatically identify A/V sources attached.
    7. Single-touch input source swapping.
    8. Will display digital pictures and play MP3 music via "Wiselink" USB input from thumb or flash drive. Biggest MP3 player I've ever seen!
    9. Appears to support 24 frames-per-second video signals for better HD resolution.

    Some "cons":

    1. The TV supports audio output via "RCA" cables, but not video output. Won't make a difference to most, but does to me as I have an Archos 504 portable DVR that can't input upstairs from my dish receiver (it's downstairs).
    2. Bright backlight helps, but reflective screen can be an issue for rooms with high amounts of ambient light.
    3. My universal remote appears unable to learn "Info" button functions from included remote. Might be a "me" issue of course.

    The Sony Bravia XBR LCD series, as RFS noted, is another great line with excellent picture quality and detail. If I didn't get such a great deal on the Samsung set I purchased, I'd still be on the fence between that and a 40" XBR LCD. I have to admit that the Sony XBR series is nice looking, but as my setup (PS3, Sony surround sound, TV stand) is all black, the Samsung is damn sexy.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams


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