TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

The Blu Ray Ideal: Too Real?

by scatteredshadows / August 10, 2009 2:11 PM PDT

Over the last year, I've gone back and forth over whether to update my rig to Blue Ray. As someone who's traditionally been something of an early adopter, it hasn't been the cost of Blu Ray players that has kept me away.

No the problem is that I'm not sold on the benefits. To be more accurate, I don't know if I LIKE the "benefits". Everytime I've gone into an electronics dealer, I immediately pick out the displays that are running films off of Blu Ray discs because they are the LEAST ATTRACTIVE. The resolution seems so extreme, everything on the screen looks so sharply dilineated, that the cinematic quality is lost. Everything seems like high res security camera footage.

Which is fine if the film is intended to be verite. But was that really how the creators behind "Batman Begins" (particularly awful looking), "Iron Man" or "Slumdog Millionaire" (all playing at the store) wanted their films to be perceived? I doubt it, and it's not what I want from them either. That said, Peter Jackson's "King Kong" was playing on another screen that claimed to be ISF calibrated. And it looked excellent! The image was beautiful, crisp while retaining the cinematic look I thought was lost with Blu Ray. When I asked, the salesperson swore the display's source was a Blu Ray disc, not a DVD.

So, is it possible? If so, can ANY Blu Ray disc look like that if the display is calibrated right? Or did the salesperson not know what he was talking about?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: The Blu Ray Ideal: Too Real?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: The Blu Ray Ideal: Too Real?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by givemeaname / August 10, 2009 3:31 PM PDT

All most all new bluray release in the past 2 years the director has been involved in the look of the BD. Ironman is one of the best looking blurays out there, so I have no idea what your talking about on that.

Bad calibration can make a $5k tv look like junk. You don't need a ISF calibration, most tv's have the settings needed to look great as long as one knows what their doing.

B&M stores suck and it not a place to judge a tv or bluray. Most of the tv's are set to 'Vivid mode' and it will make anything cr@py. Nothing in say BB will look anything close to what you get in a theater.. It can not, the lighting is crazy, today has a article about the lighting in B&M stores and judging tv's PQ, sum it up you can not.

What sized tv do you have, model number and how far do you sit???????

Collapse -
Calibration comments
by Pepe7 / August 11, 2009 1:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Well

You bring up some great points to the OP, with the exception of calibration ;).

It's probably more accurate to state that a large number of the recent crop of HDTVs still do *not* have user accessible controls for making all the appropriate picture adjustments associated with a professional calibration. I'll use the highly touted Panasonic G10/V10 as examples. Yes, the over-the-counter 'calibration' DVDs can often do a wonderful job, but the user still won't be able to tweak all of the necessary settings to maximize PQ. This is the sort of thing I think the OP would notice with such a strong allusion to recreating a cinematic experience. Considering the prices have come way down on the newest Pannys, IMHO there's no longer many reasons to limit yourself to only user accessible settings if it will make your black bars appear black instead of only grey.


Collapse -
by givemeaname / August 11, 2009 4:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Calibration comments

I think ISF calibration is a must on PJ' and most 58"+ sized TV's should be ISF calibrated. Yes more options is always better but when on most brand models you can get 90%+ to what a ISF calibration can get, one has to ask it the $400 worth the extra 10% or so. Remember most people site too far for there sized tv and with that you loss some aspects of PQ of a TV.

Collapse -
it depends
by jostenmeat / August 11, 2009 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: ....

In a nutshell, I side with Pepe. Even if he was the only one here giving advice on displays, I'd say this forum would be in good hands.

90% is baloney. I don't know how people come up with these numbers. It's not just you.

First of all, 90%, or any %, will change in accordance with the display. Some displays can't be saved no matter what. Others offer a world of difference in calibration flexibility.

I mean, couldn't I say that the 80u is 90% of the V series?

Just playing with the three gamma curve presets in my PJ offers a significant difference in PQ. Some people will lean towards buying the Anthem D2 pre/pro just for more gamma flexibility!

10% of display cost to achieve the best performance for every single source, for both day and night viewing, is well worth it IMO. The cost of ISF equipment is an enormous sum to begin with.

but back to the original topic:
scatteredshadows, when you say too real, do you by any chance imply "too fake"? If so, I'm suspecting Frame Interpolation. You will only find that on LCDs in the flat panel world. For instance, I think Samsung calls their own algorithm as AMP or auto motion plus for example.

basically, let's say the display is natively at 120 fps. A film at 24 fps means that 96 frames are simply used to duplicate one of the originals. What FI does is try to fake these in between frames.

Some people like it, particularly for sports, or video games, but I abhor the idea.

If you enjoy consistent film grain, I'd check out some classics from the Criterion collection. An older example would be The 400 Blows, and a more recent selection could be Bottle Rocket.

Collapse -
by givemeaname / August 11, 2009 8:05 AM PDT
In reply to: it depends

Few people spend $4k on a tv.
I did NOT say ALL.. I said MOST BRAND NAMES will look [v]very nice with 'some' tweeking with the menu settings and if one knows what there doing they can get 'close' to ISF but not a true ISF calibration. Some brands and models you can get closer then others, there are some settings that can be 'fixed' via the service menu. I am not talking last year models or the years before that... I am talking this years models. And I am talking tv's not PJ's here.

The 80u can not be compaired to the V10. The V10 replaces the 850u/800u of last year.

Collapse -
And the Godfather I and II restorations
by minimalist / August 11, 2009 1:56 PM PDT
In reply to: it depends

The grain is very apparent and its stunningly beautiful. It definitely does not have that overly crisp look of modern movies (which I like too, in their own way). Yet even with the grain, the Blu-ray does offer amazing contrast and color saturation I have never seen on a a DVD of the Godfather... ever. The blacks are inky and yet there is still tons of detail in all that shadow (wood grain, fabric textures, etc).

Collapse -
by bearvp / August 11, 2009 2:06 AM PDT

I believe that most major blockbuster action movies these days are edited/mixed/shot to be viewed in high resolution because most of them have IMAX theatre releases as well as regular theatre releases. Personally, I don't really care about the upgrade in resolution over DVD as much as I care about the upgrade in audio. The audio from Blu-ray vs. DVD is night and day with me. And it is really really hard for me to watch an action movie on DVD now because every explosion, gun shot, etc. just seems so shallow compared to how action movies sound on Blu-ray (TrueHD/DTS-MA tracks)

Collapse -
by Pepe7 / August 11, 2009 6:35 AM PDT
In reply to: IMAX

Coincidentially, I just saw Harry Potter Half Blood Prince in IMAX last week. While I really liked the 3D part at the beginning, I still feel that the jury's still out whether or not it's *that* much more impressive than the regular release. Can anyone comment on the specifics of IMAX vs standard movie release? What did I miss per se(?)


Collapse -
IMAX & Blu-Ray
by Dan Filice / August 11, 2009 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: OT re: IMAX

The opening of Harry Potter was digitally remastered to IMAX using proprietary IMAX technology to achieve the 3D (MAX DMR). Apollo 13 was the fist movie to use this technology. Movies that originate in IMAX are shot using a special IMAX 70mm camera. Watching an IMAX-shot movie on a huge IMAX screen makes one want to fall out of their chairs, like almost being in the film.

Regarding the over detailed image of Blu-Ray, first you must realize that 99% of the displays setup in stores have no tweaking. They are pre-set to Vivid mode, Contrast and Brightness are set at 100, and other settings are just out of whack. I can see how a BR movie on a store display would look horrible. In Costco last week, they have Samsung and Panasonic sets running BR discs, and god they looked horrible. Color was way over-saturated and they were so brigt, my fillings almost popped out of my mouth. I agree that using a setup disc won't replace an ISF calibration, but it sure makes a TV look better. I have both a 55" and a 46" 1080p/24 TV, both connected to BR players, and to me the image is stunning. Yes, very detailed, but I feel like I'm right in the movie. I've been to movies where the image is very blurry when there is sideways movement. I am very happy with Blu-Ray. It's what TV should have been, could have been, and today, it is.

Collapse -
by Pepe7 / August 11, 2009 2:21 PM PDT
In reply to: IMAX & Blu-Ray

"they were so brigt, my fillings almost popped out of my mouth"

LOL Ouch! We will have to keep you out of Costco from now on ;).

(Thanks for the IMAX info. The wife dragged me to see Harry Potter. I should have looked into what I was getting myself into beforehand.)


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.