Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

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domino harvey
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Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#1 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:26 pm

There are reports from both members here and elsewhere on the Internet of certain Criterion titles exhibiting pulsating white noise during the feature. This noise is not present for the majority of viewers and that's all we know for the present. This could be a shared equipment issue, a question of calibration, a limited-span defect, or something else entirely. We just don't know yet. But our advice is, as always, to panic now to save yourself time.

Known problem titles:
A Room With a View
Barcelona
Certain Women
the Graduate
the In-Laws


Unconfirmed problem titles:
the Emigrants / the New Land
the Player

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#2 Post by Drucker » Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:21 pm

jonahlee wrote:I got the Barcelona blu-ray and contrary to the dvd beaver review it looks awful for me. Perhaps it is an issue with xbox one, as I have seen this issue before especially on Criterion discs. The film is exceptionaly grainy and has lightness flashes, making it look like the film had light leaks on shots throughout the film. It is very distracting throughout and actually makes the old non-criterion dvd preferable.
How high is the sharpness setting on your television?

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#3 Post by Ribs » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:21 pm

It's not an issue with the Xbox, I watched it on mine and it does, in fact, look wonderful, one of the best-looking Criterion discs of the year so far. As said above, you should make sure your TV is calibrated correctly because no one else has reported any trouble.

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#4 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:27 pm

jonahlee wrote:I got the Barcelona blu-ray and contrary to the dvd beaver review it looks awful for me. Perhaps it is an issue with xbox one, as I have seen this issue before especially on Criterion discs. The film is exceptionaly grainy and has lightness flashes, making it look like the film had light leaks on shots throughout the film. It is very distracting throughout and actually makes the old non-criterion dvd preferable.
I am experiencing this same issue while trying to watch the In-Laws. It's virtually unwatchable the strobing is so distracting, and yet I've seen no reviews mentioning it?

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Re: 823 The In-Laws

#5 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:37 pm

I'm trying to watch the In-Laws and I've never experienced an issue like this before but the grain on this transfer is pulsating every second, with the screen becoming lighter and grainier then normalizing again, over and over. No reviews mention this. There's nothing wrong with my equipment, no other movies are doing this during playback-- is this an issue only with my copy? How would that even happen? I have a hard time believing anyone could miss this when watching/reviewing

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Re: 823 The In-Laws

#6 Post by Ribs » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:08 pm

Do you have another player to try it on? Does the same problem appear on supplements (or clips of movie in supplements?)

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Re: 823 The In-Laws

#7 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:29 pm

Just checked the Arkin supplement and no, it's not present in the clips there at all. Bizarre. For those with the disc, watch the scenes in the dentist office early on, that's when it is most prevalent on my disc-- it is just pulsing white noise bands super-noticeable in those light tan wall scenes

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#8 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:31 pm

I checked both again on two set-ups and I didn't notice this issue for either title, which sounds obvious and very distracting. I don't even notice any sort of pulse or flicker, so this is odd. I doubt it would be disc specific, especially on two films (it would be more likely, I think, for the disc just not to play).

I remember seeing something like this come up on Blu-ray.com, for I think A Room with a View, where someone complained about the same exact things. I think it was determined to be a calibration issue, though it's odd that a television that's not properly calibrated would cause such an odd issue. I didn't notice it for that title either.

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#9 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:30 pm

I just played around with all my TV's settings (contrast/brightness/&c) and it's still present. And my backlight is set to energy saver mode, so that's not it either. But I'm experiencing exactly what those Blu-Ray.com members are, only on the In-Laws.

EDIT: I unsealed my copy of Barcelona and, yep, I'm seeing the identical strobing too as the poster above. But there's not a goddamn thing I can do more to my TV to "calibrate" it and I haven't seen this problem on anything else I've watched lately outside of these two titles. I also changed my region B player back to A to test it there, got identical results on the In-Laws, so it plays the same on two different players (but same TV)

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#10 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:32 pm

Not that this helps but do you have A Room with a View? I'm going to take the wild guess "no" but was curious if you had the same problem with that one.

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#11 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:33 pm

I don't, unfortunately (or is it, if it's just gonna look like this?)

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:35 pm

Also note that the determiner of it being a "calibration issue" in the BR thread was Pro-B, so, you know...

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#13 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:38 pm

Yeah, I just found the thread and see it wasn't actually resolved, so my mistake, apologies.

It's odd that this issue seems to happen to only certain people on certain titles. I checked my shit, uncalibrated television (default settings all the way) and still don't see the issue so it's probably not that. All I can think is maybe frame rate...? Is your television able to do 24hz (120, 240?) or is it 60hz?

(EDIT: and never mind, someone with a plasma in that thread noted they didn't see the issue, so it's probably not that, either.)

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#14 Post by swo17 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:48 pm

I noticed something perhaps similar once with a very specific shade of gray being output as bright blue on the screen--very distracting for certain B&W movies. It turned out to be an issue with my projector. Have you tried playing the discs on a different TV?

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#15 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:51 pm

I don't enough about the technical end of things, but would it be possible for some copies to have an issue and some not, similar to how different mastering plants produced safe or browning copies of discs themselves? I can just imagine how hard this issue would be to prove to someone else if they can just wave it away as a player/TV issue and the recipient can't really disprove that without using someone else's equipment. But I don't know, it's a strange thing and I'm trying to make sense of it!

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#16 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:02 pm

From a bits and bytes look at it I'm not sure it entirely is because that digital information should always be the same from disc to disc and it's ultimately up to the player and all equipment down the line to interpret it correctly. If it's not pressed right I could see it not working outright, but messing with a signal seems unlikely. But I'm looking at it from a software/code level (which is what I do for a living), not what happens when it gets physically pressed to something. I'm not sure if something physical could impede the data/signal between the disc and the player to cause it to fluctuate like that, but it would mean it's something that's altering those 1s and 0s to change the look of the image, which again seems unlikely.

But it's obviously a problem since so many people are experiencing it over multiple titles. It would be nice if everyone could get together and find a common cause.

And it's a shame because I think both of these titles look really, really good.

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Re: 326, 485, 807 A Whit Stillman Trilogy

#17 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm

Just to scratch some possibilities off the list, I looked at some other recent Criterion Blus I'd bought but not watched since I've seen them already, and didn't see anything of this sort for Wrong Move or Manchurian Candidate on my player (not that there should be, but good to confirm it's not afflicting every recent Criterion for some of us!). Then I realized both problem titles are Warners licenses, so I thought maybe there's a problem there somehow. I actually don't have many of the Warner titles, so I could only check Day For Night, where it was not present, but now I'm very anxious to see if it crops up in the New World. Again, all speculation, but something hinky is afoot here

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#18 Post by Noiradelic » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:11 pm

When I saw this thread, the first thing I thought was that Criterion was releasing a limited-edition of White Line Fever.

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#19 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:38 pm

I named it after the Fall song, but that makes it even better

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#20 Post by tenia » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:29 am

I'd suggest if possible to try it on a computer to see if you get the same on your monitor.

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#21 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:38 am

I don't really have any theories but I'd be interested in seeing all of your TV settings Dom, and where they are set to. Perhaps you could post an image of each page?

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#22 Post by Jonathan S » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:05 am

The apparent randomness - though not the problem itself - reminds me of the pronounced jerkiness several of us found (on multiple systems) on the DVD of Senso, which Criterion said they could not explain or replicate. Another similarity is that only the main feature was affected, not clips in supplements.

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#23 Post by PfR73 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:29 am

I don't think it was a problem with Room WIth A View, but someone was definitely complaining about it on several boards many years ago with Howard's End. I remember that I saw the issue when I watched my copy of Howard's End with my parents' Insignia player & [Mitsubishi?] TV, but not when I watched the exact same disc with my Playstation 3 & my Mitsubishi TV. So it's something in some people's chain that causes this to be visible, but what, I don't know.

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#24 Post by Cinephrenic » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:40 am

Noiradelic wrote:When I saw this thread, the first thing I thought was that Criterion was releasing a limited-edition of White Line Fever.
Haha, I also thought the same. A limited issue and thinking, WTF??

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Re: Limited Criterion Issue: White Line Fever

#25 Post by Jakamarak » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:01 am

I'm see a white pulsating that looks generally like this during certain shots on my copy of The Emigrants. It seems to be mostly limited to some bright exterior wide shots involving a lot small detail (tree leaves, etc.)

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