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 Post subject: Re: 221 Ikiru
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:12 am 
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aox wrote:

Aaaaaaand the screenshots show compression issues. ](*,)
It's quite obvious on Cap 1, but also on the bottom left part of Cap 4. Caps 11 and 15 aren't much better either.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:50 am 
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Criterion really needs to get this sorted out. Especially if they're releasing things like The Graduate for the umpteenth time--what's the point if it won't even be a definitive presentation of the film itself?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:36 pm 
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At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.
In both cases, it'd be a letdown.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:47 pm 
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It may be a better idea to contact the authoring house they use with some comparison caps (they did Shoah, so that'd be a great start), perhaps with an explanation as to why their encodes are falling short (by cribbing from the technospeak David sometimes offers up...).

Although poor compression is a bugbear of mine, I've always been willing to acknowledge that in motion it's going to be hard to appreciate the difference outside of extreme cases like Shoah. Then I watched Mulholland Drive at 108 inches; what a heap of shit that disc is when it comes to dark scenes, particularly the opening.


Last edited by EddieLarkin on Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:49 pm 
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tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:13 pm 
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Cash Flagg wrote:
tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.

I don't know why he doesn't want to aknowledge he seems to be missing the obvious on a title like My Own Private Idaho, but yes, it certainly won't help feedbacking the issue to Criterion...
But Svet's been challenged on this and he rebukes anybody who challenges this omission, so...

EddieLarkin wrote:
It may be a better idea to contact the authoring house they use with some comparison caps (they did Shoah, so that'd be a great start), perhaps with an explanation as to why their encodes are falling short (by cribbing from the technospeak David sometimes offers up...).

Could be an idea, yes. I've emailed Criterion and they never answered me about it. Maybe I should directly talk to the guys who are hands-on on the matter.
I have Full res comparative screencaps for both Shoah and Thief, I'll have a look.
However, it's interesting to see they most likely also did very good encodes (Sony and Fox for instance have a good record) so it's very likely they actually are able to output good stuff.

EddieLarkin wrote:
Although poor compression is a bugbear of mine, I've always been willing to acknowledge that in motion it's going to be hard to appreciate the difference outside of extreme cases like Shoah. Then I watched Mulholland Drive at 108 inches; what a heap of shit that disc is when it comes to dark scenes, particularly the opening.

To be fair, many issues visible on caps-a-holic simply aren't significant during a regular viewing, even on very large diagonals, which is why it has been deemed by some as simply being too much (and it's true in many cases).

But there are cases like Thief, Shoah, Mulholland Dr. and obviously My Own Private Idaho or Fanny & Alexander TV cut where the macroblocks are simply blatantly obvious, even on relatively small screens or screens that usually lower down the visibility of macroblocks.

But it's sometimes complicated for some to realise this when they don't have a better encode to compare it with. As Daniel Kahneman writes, "What You See Is All There Is", but the human mind is prompt to put the data he records into a pattern, even if there is no pattern or if the pattern is irrelevant or wrong.

Before MoC released it in the UK, I was told there was no compression issues on Shoah, but the presentation was very clearly optimized as best as possible, there was no compression issues and the Criterion BD's visual aspect was coming from how 16mm film grain resolves when scanned at 4K (and that hand-held camera footage also makes things more complicated), all this explaining the 5/5 final note.

We now have the MoC release that clearly shows this isn't the case at all : it's not optimized, there are compression issues, 16mm film grain does not resolve like this when scanned at 4K and it has nothing to do with hand-held footage.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:21 pm 
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I don't understand how they used to do it right and then all of the sudden stopped. I used to watch nearly every Criterion when it came out but haven't had time to the last couple of years. Otherwise I might have noticed this earlier, because there is clearly something holding back, say, Breaker Morant or Mulholland Dr. from looking as good as they could (especially given their 4K provenance). With what releases did these issues first arise? I'm regularly wowed by how good the picture looks on new Arrow or MoC titles, but I guess it's been a while since I've felt that way about a Criterion.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:31 pm 
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I'm not sure they're necessarily doing anything different, but rather that as time has gone on most labels including Criterion are using far higher quality masters than was available to them 4 or 5 years ago. And with those come much finer grain fields, which seemingly require a more sensitive method of compression to ensure they don't turn into blocky artifacts. Criterion do not seem to have realised this, and it will likely only become more frequent as they use more higher quality scans, and become even worse as those scans continue to improve.

Vinegar Syndrome had a very similar problem when they first started releasing Blu-rays, which all were coming from brand new high quality scans, but ended up looking like soup by the time they reached Blu-ray:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/117366

All it took was for it to be pointed out and explained to them and their very next Blu-ray was fine and all have been since:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/131904


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:00 pm 
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I'd have to check to be sure, but it seems also to me it has to do with better masters with finer grain reproduction, coming either from switching from Spirit Datacine scans to Arri or Scanity ones or from using more and more fine-grain 4K scans.
These better sources shows more issues when the encode isn't optimized, and what was fine yesterday isn't sufficient anymore.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:29 am
Cash Flagg wrote:
tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.


Yet he always find them (and "revisionist colour timing") on Arrow releases.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:19 pm
What needs to happen for a change is a massive email campaign, series of Facebook posts, forum posts, etc. If it was possible with the Brown Blu-Rays, it can be possible with this. I'll be typing up an email for Mulvaney imminently.

And speaking of Mulvaney, I suggest everyone to also email about the Code Unknown error. I already did -- no response yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:24 pm 
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I'm just waiting for my Shoah BD Info disc scan to finish and I will send everything I gathered to Radius60 straight afterwards.

Sadly, what was before Criterion's own technical care and excellency is progressively eroding to a simple accessibility edge : they are able to output superior releases simply because they have exclusive access to better materials than other labels. But when they don't ? Well, it shows it's not as good as it can.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:25 pm
Discussion on Criterion's compression for their release of My Darling Clementine can be read in the following thread over in the International forum:http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=261340&page=10

A member who does encodes for Arrow (among other studios) weighs in on the subject:

"I'll leave it up to individuals to decide if either version has an "issue" or not (I imagine people would be very happy to own either of these packages), but the difference in texture is not down to "the high-frequencies being clipped a bit" and is due to compression. Neither of these appear to have been lowpass filtered. The difference in texture here:http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&d1=6402&d2=4876&s1=60471&s2=45448&a=2&x=227&y=56&l=&i=3#vergleich is 100% down to compression and the use of the h.264 deblocking filter on the US disc. The loss of detail is down to quantization.

Here's how you can tell: the high frequencies being rolled off would affect the entire image linearly. As you can see from the Caps-a-holic pictures, the loss (or not) in detail takes place on a per-block basis. Some high frequency grain/noise pixels can be seen in amongst the flatter areas. The texture wouldn't vary to that extent with a linear prefilter.

Interestingly though, the newly restored main feature actually IS lowpass filtered as you describe on the US disc.

BTW, I find the difference in geometry on the prerelease version very interesting. They were taken from different masters. I'm not sure what caused that or which one is more correct."


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:09 pm
Cash Flagg wrote:
tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.


And God help you if you so much as mention his name or question why blu-ray.com doesn't offer counter reviews of Criterion product by other reviewers... there seems to be no room for dissent.

I agree that this may be the result of whatever process happens to the source material after it leaves Criterion's hands. That might also explain the glitch, for example, on the Code Unknown disc. But you'd think they (the second party, and then especially Criterion) would, you know, check the results.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:09 am 
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George Drooly wrote:
Cash Flagg wrote:
tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.


And God help you if you so much as mention his name or question why blu-ray.com doesn't offer counter reviews of Criterion product by other reviewers... there seems to be no room for dissent.


Following a discussion about the first minute of the French BD Lizard in a Woman's Skin, we discussed other discs like My Own Private Idaho as having much more worrying compression issues. Well, my last post there just got deleted, after the one Torrente posted there was (he even got suspended until the 23rd for this).

I've never seen such a denial of debate around there. There always is a good reason to elude the discussion.

Of course, Svet's previous belittling posts haven't been removed, so he again probably is happy to have had the last word.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:57 am 
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tenia wrote:
Of course, Svet's previous belittling posts haven't been removed, so he again probably is happy to have had the last word.

I now refuse to debate with him on Blu-ray.com because I simply don't trust him not to tamper with the discussion if it's not going the way he wants.

A few months ago Svet unnecessarily picked a fight with me ("unnecessarily" because I was making an entirely fair comment about Blu-ray reviewers in general, not anyone in particular and certainly not him personally), and lost badly, not least because everyone else rallied to my defence. His first response was to delete everything that followed his initial post, to make it look as though he'd stunned everyone into silence by the brilliance of his observation - but when that was greeted with entirely justifiable mockery, he deleted the original post as well. And since then I've made a habit of screencapping posts that are directly critical of him - in particular, anything that suggests that he might be biased in any way - and predicting their imminent removal, which usually happens quietly a few days later, presumably when he thinks that nobody's watching him.

For someone with a PhD, this persistent intellectual dishonesty is both shocking and shameful.

By contrast, I have moderator powers in certain subforums here, but I have never used them for censorship or to stifle debate, and nor would I. Indeed, when a certain person asked me to do this on his behalf in the Pit Stop thread (no prizes for guessing who), I turned him down flat.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:58 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
tenia wrote:
Of course, Svet's previous belittling posts haven't been removed, so he again probably is happy to have had the last word.

I now refuse to debate with him on Blu-ray.com because I simply don't trust him not to tamper with the discussion if it's not going the way he wants.

For someone with a PhD, this persistent intellectual dishonesty is both shocking and shameful.


I'll do the same from now on. It's pointless since Svet persists in these cases to discuss the matter on the table and prefer to derail the specificity by making it broader than it is, allowing him to make irrelevant ad hominem attacks ("this guy says there are compression issues on Moonrise Kingdom but he missed black crush on Blind Chance so what does he know about anything ?").

MichaelB wrote:
By contrast, I have moderator powers in certain subforums here, but I have never used them for censorship or to stifle debate, and nor would I. Indeed, when a certain person asked me to do this on his behalf in the Pit Stop thread (no prizes for guessing who), I turned him down flat.

Ah Pit Stop... Another reason to thrash Arrow, of course... \:D/



Anyway, back on track : I've sent yesterday a long email full of exemples to Radius60 (it's actually pretty much the same email I sent to Criterion some days ago), I'll see if anybody picks up on it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:21 am 
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tenia wrote:
("this guy says there are compression issues on Moonrise Kingdom but he missed black crush on Blind Chance so what does he know about anything ?").

And even then I went back and double checked the disc and I still don't know what he's talking about so someone will have to pinpoint the moment for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:15 pm 
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George Drooly wrote:
But you'd think they (the second party, and then especially Criterion) would, you know, check the results.

Having worked in 3rd party QC for over a decade, I can tell you that this level of detail QC that could properly identify the compression detail smearing/blocking described in these threads is in no way performed once a disc is in the final stages. The budget is simply not there. IF a company even bothers to do 3rd party QC at all on the replication phase (and less and less this is the case), they likely have a single pass of the video content on the disc, with subtitles, looking for major issues only (e.g., the disc crashes, major video dropouts/hits, audio drop-outs, etc.)


Last edited by captveg on Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:39 pm 
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I'm not sure the issue is with QC, but simply that the authoring house shouldn't be happy with what they're outputting on disc.
It's not a question on quality control, but simply of quality.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:23 pm 
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tenia wrote:
I'm not sure the issue is with QC, but simply that the authoring house shouldn't be happy with what they're outputting on disc.
It's not a question on quality control, but simply of quality.


Exactly. 3rd Party QC is simply not set up / budgeted for this particular level of scrutiny. Criterion themselves or the authoring house would need to determine this type of issue with review of their encoding & compression process.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:46 pm 
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On the other end, you give to your subcontractor specifications, so you should be able somehow to check if the work they're doing is in line with what you asked.
It shouldn't be up to you to do that, but if you don't, why bothering with specs if you can't even check if it's within ?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:23 pm 
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I don't know what spec the authoring facilities are getting, but what is given to 3rd party is often very basic. For example, often the bonus content says merely "English" for audio; is it supposed to be 5.1 or 2.0 Mono? Spec doesn't say!

(For the record I have no idea what spec Criterion gives their 3rd party QC, as the company I work for hasn't tested for them).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:37 pm 
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It's silly. You should on the contrary also subcontract tight specs through giving something strict to achieve. Otherwise, you can never send a complaint if you're given something bad.
(That's what we do at work anyway but in our case, the subcontracter is doing its own controls and then we double check that at delivery)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:50 am 
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George Drooly wrote:
Cash Flagg wrote:
tenia wrote:
At this point, I think it's safe to say they either don't care or haven't been able to improve their encodes.

The fact that Pro-B's Criterion reviews never mention compression issues (and/or he repeatedly insists in forum posts that there aren't any) surely doesn't help either.


And God help you if you so much as mention his name or question why blu-ray.com doesn't offer counter reviews of Criterion product by other reviewers... there seems to be no room for dissent.

I can't think of a site that has more than 2 reviewers on a given film outside of HTF's primary reviewer and RAH's take (Although he doesn't opine on all Criterion releases). The best way to get counter reviews is to seek out reviews from multiple sites.

Truthfully, I don't read Pro-B's entire reviews. I think there was a time I used to but recall spoilers being included in the overview of the film (Although I spotted these on films I had already seen I got wary about reading reviews on films I had yet to see). I mostly glance at the PQ/AV scores and move on.


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