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86 posts

Master Geek

#40220 26-Aug-2009 21:45
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Do not buy Gladiator on Blu-Ray until you have read some reviews.  Apparently the Blu-Ray of Gladiator is a complete disaster in HD terms. Terrible EE and DNR. Also it looks like legitimate parts of the image like flying arrows and fireballs have been scrubbed out by the automated enhancement software.

Check out this thread.

I can't belive that a studio can put this out as HD and as a saphhire release no less. Not going to buy unless it is re-mastered.

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86 posts

Master Geek

  #250857 26-Aug-2009 21:59
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From a HighDefDigest forums post:

I've spent some more time comparing the TV broadcast vs Blu-Ray screen caps and its not just the DNR and Edge Enhancement that's causing problems, Paramount cranked up the software "Scratch Removal" filter to 11. This filter has mistakingly removed several details from the film. Most notably when the Romans attack in the beginning, the flying arrows have been *erased*. At first I thought maybe this was some overzealous DNR, but the arrows were way too large to be filtered out as high frequency detail. The arrows are clearly present in the HDTV broadcast *and* the DVD. Unfortunately they move so quickly through the shot that they appear to the filtering software as scratches or tears on the film and they've been erased.

There are other examples where the scratch removal filter has altered the image substantially. Check out this shot:

The filter has detected parts of the flames as film damage and tried to erase them.

Check out #3, left side of the screen part of the spear has been "painted" out. That shot also shows *horrendous* edge enhancement on the white text.

#7 shows all the missing arrows. Additionally check out the flame near the right side of the frame, its been inadvertently recognized as film damage and partially painted over as well.

#12 has some aweful EE. Check out the white force field seperating Crowe from the sky. The mountain range gets a nice halo too.

#16 shows the scratch filter actually working correctly. The broadcast shot has a huge scratch over the left actor's shoulder, which is gone in the BD. Again, the problem is that the software can't distinguish between a scratch like this and tiny arrows shooting across the screen.

#17 is an outstanding example of Edge Enhancement. Look at the red trims against the white robes, on the BD they all get thick white outlines.

Overall a really, really crappy effort on Paramount's part. This is what happens when a studio gets cheap on us. First they skip on rescanning the film and recycle an older HD master. Then to cut on labor costs they run the master through an automated software system that's been cranked up to "Noise Reduce", "Sharpen" and "Remove Scratches/Dust" rather than having video technicians oversee the process. They literally skipped paying to have someone spend an additional 1-2 days overseeing the prep on this master.

Checkout the screenshot comparision to see exactly what he is saying and how bad it is.


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  #251280 28-Aug-2009 12:48
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Wow, as much excessive edge enhancement as the studio cameras for 3 news...



86 posts

Master Geek

  #251884 31-Aug-2009 09:37
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Bill Hunt's review is up at

Let me first comment on the whole issue of screenshots. Judging a disc based on a few screenshots is, I think, silly. A screenshot represents 1/24 of a second of film. For a 2-hour film, that just 1/172,800th of the total visual information. You just can't properly judge a transfer based upon that little information. Screenshots CAN be illustrative of various kinds of image-related problems. But you really have to see the image in full motion to judge the complete context and impact of anything you see in a single frame grab. There's also the problem of potential alterations or artifacts that result from the frame-grabbing process itself, not to mention any changes resulting from image compression/editing software used by the poster - no matter how well intentioned - to present the frame-grab online. Finally, I've seen enough deliberately Photoshop doctored frame-grabs posted in discussion forums in my day that I just don't trust them. Ultimately, the only real way to judge these things properly is with your own eyes, first-hand, in context, in full motion, presented on proper equipment. Period.

Upon first glance, and as expected, the HD presentation quality of Gladiator isn't as bad as some online would have you believe. Color and contrast is fine at all times. The problem is with the level of detail. The vast majority of the film has a slightly digital-looking quality to it, and there's clear edge-enhancement "haloing" visible. The extended edition scenes, however, look fine - no halos, no digital patina - they're very natural looking.

Video: 15.5 (theatrical footage)/17 (extended scenes)
Audio: 18

Let me be clear: Gladiator on Blu-ray is quite watchable - especially if you have a smaller screen. On the comparative grading scale we use for Blu-ray, the very best DVD video and audio quality would be graded a 10. So it's definitely an improvement over the previous DVD releases. The problem is, the best Blu-rays - most high-quality titles on the format these days - score in the 18-19 range. So while this disc is watchable, that's just not good enough, either for the format as a whole or for most fans and enthusiasts.

Jeff Kliest posted in some forums about their rating scale. For PQ a 10 is the best possible DVD. A 20 is the best possible Blu-Ray. 15 is the lowest score they have given out to a Blu-Ray for PQ so Gladiator is on a par with the worst Blu-Rays out there, but an improvement on the DVD quality, excepting the missing SFX.

BDFL - Memuneh
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  #251886 31-Aug-2009 09:51
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A warning to everyone. I have edited the previous reply and removed about 50% or more of it. We should respect copyright. There's no license in that allows anyone to reproduce 100% of their content.

We are serious about copyright here. DON'T PASTE COMPLETE ARTICLES. Use a bit to make your point and link to the article.

Back to the topic.

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Master Geek

  #251968 31-Aug-2009 15:22
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freitasm: A warning to everyone. I have edited the previous reply and removed about 50% or more of it. We should respect copyright. There's no license in that allows anyone to reproduce 100% of their content.

We are serious about copyright here. DON'T PASTE COMPLETE ARTICLES. Use a bit to make your point and link to the article.

Back to the topic.

Oops, sorry I apologise for that.  Won't happen again.

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Uber Geek


  #253728 7-Sep-2009 12:49
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Here's an new review from AVS.



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Ultimate Geek

  #253732 7-Sep-2009 13:01
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Another review :

HTPC: Antec Fusion 430, Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H F7, AMD X2 4850e, Sapphire 4670 1GB, Corsair 4x1Gb,  Adata 128Gb SSD, WD10EARS Green, LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray, Hauppauge NOVA TD-500, Logitech z-5500, Logitech Harmony 525, Samsung LA40B530 1080p, Vista Premium-32 SP2, Catalyst 10.12(Facelift preview), Mediaportal 1.2.3+OneButtonMusic, AC3Filter, Cyberlink Powercinema 6 codec, BLU-RAY: Samsung BD-F7500

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Master Geek

  #253747 7-Sep-2009 13:50
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It is good to see some reviews from people who have actually seen the movie on blu ray, rather than opinions based on a few screenshots. Most of the professional reviews score the picture quality between 3 and 3.5 out of 5 and say that the blu ray is a marked improvement over the DVD, although not up to the quality of many recent movies released on blu ray. Users on blu ray. com are fairly positive on picture quality also with many scores of 3.5 or 4 out of 5.

Sound quality is generally considered to be excellent.

I will definitely be buying this movie when region B version becomes available. Admittedly picture quality should be better than it is, but is still a lot better than the DVD version. Sound quality is excellent. This movie is awesome. There is little chance of a reissue of the blu ray in the near future, so a no brainer purchase for me. If a newer version comes out in the next year or two with better picture quality then I will almost certainly purchase that version also.


86 posts

Master Geek

  #253784 7-Sep-2009 15:58
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I haven't seen it yet but hopefully will get to rent it first if my video store gets it. I think the PQ will be too inconsistent for me to enjoy it. Going from mediocre to really good to mediocre again as the scenes change will be too of putting to me. Will rent first then decide whether I want to buy.

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