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Author Topic: Video Forum HD Visit
Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3145
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 08, 2007 10:25 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi folks. I have just returned from Video Forum which takes place in London each year now. The event is staged to show off the latest video kit, train and inform both traders and members of the public.
All the key players were there including Sony, JVC etc but what about HD DVD & Blue Ray I hear you ask? I was keen to find on demo authoring software & HD burners but none to be seen. Even worse was the long chat I had with two retailers of LCD HD tv's who explained the large number of complaints & returns they had been getting from members of the public. All this had to do with poor picture quality once they had left the shops with new HD LCDS. The problem is this. These HD LCD tv's are in store fed from a HD source. Most homes have no means of HD media to replicate whats in store and on demo.

Working here in Creative Media, filming HD etc, its not just the public who are struggling to show HD. Although I shoot HD, edit HD and store back to HD tape, delivery to the public in HD is not yet taking place as the equipment is not available at reasonable cost to them. The work we undertake for Corporate clients can be delivered on HD tape, but this is of no use to joe public with his Asda DVD player and ying yang HD LCD.

HD has a long way to go and as yet the marketing boys have little in place to help you out. If you like football in HD which then switches back to non HD for the adverts go rush & buy a HD LCD, but this is not for me just yet in our living room.

I do feel sorry for those who had been suckered in over Christmas to go and buy into part of the story. Lets hope the delivery system is soon in place and those who have parted with hard earned cash can see the real benefit of watching HD big time.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4811
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 08, 2007 12:22 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Lee,
A friend of mine bought into a $4,300 45 ins Sharp Aquus LCD HDTV for Christmas, and it is a big disappointment precisely for the reasons you have noted. The overwhelming satellite, cable, and broadcast TV here in the USA is still standard definition 4:3. Yes there's some HD programming out there, but you have to pay a premium to get it. So he's watching standard dafinition 4:3 for the most part, on a 16:9 LCD HDTV with black bars on the sides, and which washes out when you get more than 45 degrees off center! The 4:3 picture size on his new TV is no bigger than his old 36 ins Sony Wega CRT TV. And the picture on the Sony puts his new LCD TV to shame! I don't know if he will take it back or not, but he's one disgruntled consumer.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 09, 2007 06:33 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
I have to say that I have had similar thoughts about LCD, Plasma etc in that I have seen a few demos of HD on these types of display but then find something about seeing a really good picture on a TV with CRT.

There still seems to be too many digital artifacts on these digital displays and also on the HD transmissions we are getting here in the UK on both Sat and Freeview. Edge effects are still present to boost the sharpness. When are we going to see a truly smooth looking image, but not digitally smoothed out. If a film has grain why not leave it there. I suspect all this has to do with the mastering etc before transmission or putting out on disc and what they think the public want to see or will indeed tolerate.

I did see a Sony demo about 2 yrs ago of Blu Ray on a gigantic Plasma screen and that really did knock me for 6 where the quality was concerned. First, I don't want a TV that big and second, where is Blu Ray? I haven't seen anything anywhere that good since. It was by the way, running on an NTSC player as there were no Pal players or discs at the time.

And nearly forgot, wheres the sound of the projector [Wink]

I'm sure all this will get sorted eventually but for the moment we don't really have HD and we have a VHS/Beta type format war about to start and do we really want that all over again. And as for all this "HD Ready" crap, well thats another story [Eek!]

Kev.

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GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Graham Sinden
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1111
From: Kent, UK
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted February 12, 2007 07:29 AM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HD players might go the same way as recordable DVD. Most DVD recorders you buy nowadays can record on both formats + and -, and even cheap players play everything apart from DVD RAM. If manufactures can make players that play both BLU-RAY and HD DVD then they are on to winner. Then eventually, like DVD, the prices will fall dramatically and everyone will be happy [Smile] .

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3145
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 12, 2007 07:39 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kevin. My dad now 89 is still recording on Betamax using his Sanyo M40 hi fi machines. Dad has a large screen tv and the higher bandwidth of Beta still looks good. It is a great shame that Sony got its marketing wrong.

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 21, 2007 05:28 PM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have had an HD LCD projector for five years, and an upscaler to project my DVDs in 1880i. The results can be stunning, and the one thing it has bought out to me is just how far DVD authoring has come. The negotiation between decent blacks while still holding detail in the dark areas is my biggest issue.

In terms of new HD formats I've watched “the war” like a hawk. I'm so far a staunch HD DVD supporter, and have a lot of issues with Bluray. I think neither are going anywhere soon, but I too would like to see universal format players rather than toss all this risk at the consumers feet.

A lot of Bluray supporters wish HD DVD would just go away, but a little completion is a good thing, it's made prices drop, and cracked the whip on some of the Bluray quality issues early in the game. This might never have happened otherwise

My lean toward HD DVD for many reasons, but these are the biggies,

It's region-free, any HD-DVD you buy, you can play, and I buy a lot of imports.

It's cheaper to master and produce which is better for low-volume and catalog titles and independent labels. So it will cater more to my taste.

It's upconversion of regular DVDs is better than Bluray's

SONY and Lionsgate (bluray only studios) do a so-so job with DVDs and they predictably have done a so-so job with Bluray titles. Even stuff from a weak ago is getting questionable press in terms of picture quality. They also have no regard for titles over a decade old, and 90% of my films and disks are pre-90's.

Unfortunately, Bluray has more studio support (presently) so we may be force-fed it weather we like it or not. So I'd like to see both formats survive, at least until universal players and more studio neutrality give us a real choice.

Tim steps down from the soap-box. [Big Grin]

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted February 22, 2007 03:46 AM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It's upconversion of regular DVDs is better than Bluray's
Of course this upconversion is done by the player itself and therefore hasn't got anything to do with the format ... .

But to come back to the topic: I was playing around with the thought of getting myself a LCD-tv (either SD or HD) since my crt-tv started to make some problems. So my wife and I went to shop and returned very disappointed: ALL LCD-TVs below 5000 EUR have been "unwatchable": We knew that the image is only visible when looking more or less straight onto the LCD, but so far every laptop we've ever used/owned had a 300% wider view angle than those cheap TVs! Even worse: As soon as the camera made a faster panoramic pan, the whole image started to blur, smear and judder. Since we don't wanted to get "sea sick" while watching TV, we decided to wait for the next generation of LCD-tvs or for cheaper crt-hd-tvs. In the meantime our TV-problem turned out to be only a damaged cable between DVB-T-receiver and TV, so we saved a lot of money ;-)

The increasing film-prices made me also think about switching from Super8/Single8/Doublesuper8 to HDV or similar... but so far all HD-camera tests I've read state that landscapes and immobile objects look great while moving cars, ... always result in blurred, smeared and jerky pictures regardless of using MPEG2 or MPEG4 and of using DV-tapes, HDDs or SD-cards to store the video. (DV-tapes also seem to have a great problem with drop-outs when used for HDV.) Not to mention that my PC isn't fast enough and hasn't got enough storage to edit HD-video, that I would need a newer version of Adobe Premiere, ... . As a result the whole "image chain" would cost much more than my predicted expenses for film for the next 10 years and would only give mediocre images. So I decided to stick with film and get a HD-transfer of my films "later"... ;-)

Jörg

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3145
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 22, 2007 04:02 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But you don’t have the fun of operating a film projector with the digital medium do you.

Part of the fun of it all with cine is that we can entertain. Everyone has DVD these days near enough, and you local computer store will sell you a video projector for £299 in the sales.

I regularly take some super 8 round to local youth groups and give short talks about film. I hand out lengths of 35mm cine film for them to handle and these kids have never seen anything like it. They get to operate the projector so I feel cine is a much more hands on item than any electronic media. Working here in Creative Media as I do I have seen formats come and go. DVD has had a shelf life of just 10 years and HD may even be less.

Cine has been around for years and I feel will always have its place. When the grey day comes that new prints are no longer available most will still have film collections to show thanks to the like of Derann and others.

I spoke to Derann this week to order some films and they had already placed orders with the labs twice this week and I phoned on Tuesday! Its good to know that someone out there is offering a good standard of service, along with second hand films which have a quality rating.

For my money the entertainment factor with a cine projector and a few good cine films is just great. My audiences here like to have a go with the projector also, and I do take them out to friends houses to show friends they have. In a few days we are off for a 50 mile trip to show a Derann feature at someones home. Looks like we are in for a good fun time.

My soap box has now broken and a customer is due any minute so had better go.
Happy days!

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 22, 2007 06:08 PM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Of course this upconversion is done by the player itself and therefore hasn't got anything to do with the format ... .
True, but it would have to be the player that does it, unless the discs were doing something together I don't know about [Big Grin]

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 12:08 AM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
DVD has had a shelf life of just 10 years and HD may even be less.
I love my HD DVDs, but I gotta say I don't think ye-olde DVD is going anywhere too soon. I don't know who's going to win the "format war," but my hope is it ends with universal players becoming the norm, so nobody gets burned (especially me). My guess is HD will remain a niche item for a long time like our old friend the ill-fated laserdisc, and I don't think they could sell a HD player that wasn't backwards compatible if they wanted to. I personally don't know anyone who gives a rip about HD besides myself.

This actually the golden years for DVD, that is your one of those people like myself who's glad to see studio's reaching a little deeper into the vaults for new material. Thankfully most of the obvious titles are on their third incarnation and experiencing some healthy resistance from consumers fed-up with buying the same movies over and over.

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted February 23, 2007 01:10 AM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have been reading about DVD being a format, but i don't think it is. It is DIGITAL its self that i feel is the format and it does not matter in which way it is stored be it a DVD, hard drive or a memory stick. DVD is just a piece of hardware to store it on. VHS and Beta were both analogue along with laserdisc, but they were both the same and not different formats, just different ways of working. Blue Ray and HD is also the same, although they store differently and Blue Ray has the potential to store more, but both are the same thing, it's all digital.

Maybe i'm going nuts, reading this back to myself, 9.5 and 35mm are also the same format.

What does constitute a format? [Confused]

Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3145
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 04:25 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It’s a bit like when the manufacturers say “Digital Camcorder”. There of course is no such thing as the imaging chips used in today’s camcorders are analogue and always have been. The recording medium itself may well be digital, but CDD’s (charged coupled device) are most certainly analogue.

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 09:44 AM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not to state the obvious, but with film its mostly a matter of medium/format that determines results, a better lens and a brighter bulb, can do wonders, but it's the prints themselves that ultimately deliver, and in kind it's where the money goes. Three Derann prints can be equal in cost to your projector.

With digital, the investment can be much higher on the projector end (my LCD was $5500) but then that's recouped my the cheapness of a disk. HD on the other hand should probably be seen as an “upgrade” rather than new format. But it is one heck of an upgrade if you project at almost tripple the resolution of a DVD.

Are the real-world result three times as good to the naked eye? No, but I'd say they are clearly a good 35% better-looking, an that's pretty darn impressive on a 100” screen.

Who knows where the next stop is, “holographic” disk storage is up to 300 GB (HD is 30-50 GB) and is supposed to reach 500GB. Which may mean no compression of an image at all, but it will probably only be used for archiving.

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Graham Sinden
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1111
From: Kent, UK
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted February 23, 2007 11:18 AM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think what people have to realise is that the most important part is the Enjoyment factor. It dosent matter if your watching the films with a cheapo non HD projector, if your enjoying it that is all that matters. Providing the picture is reansonably sharp and stable and it has clear steady sound, you will immerse yourself in the movie and enjoy it. The fact that your mate has a HD system with 3 times more pixels only matters for 5 minutes and the initial 'wow' factor.

I myself have watched movie clips and trailers on my PDA with a 4 inch screen and Ive enjoyed it as much as if it was 10 feet wide! I certaintly cant take my projector to work.

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 01:49 PM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Providing the picture is reansonably sharp and stable and it has clear steady sound, you will immerse yourself in the movie and enjoy it. The fact that your mate has a HD system with 3 times more pixels only matters for 5 minutes and the initial 'wow' factor.
Well, I see your point, many is the time I watched a films emulsion more than it's subject, but I'm a bit of a tech-geek, so I do tend to have an awareness of quality that rides along side content. My projector was HD when I bought it five years ago, and I've only had the chance to see it “do it's stuff” to the maximum recently.

You get what you pay for in projectors tho the optics even on lesser models have come along. A $3000 projector will now produce an image comparable to a $6000 machine of five years ago.

Sony is still the best bang for your buck, and I say that begrudgingly because there is much I loathe about how Sony does business.

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Robert Wales
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 100
From: Toronto
Registered: Nov 2005


 - posted February 23, 2007 03:25 PM      Profile for Robert Wales   Email Robert Wales   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Universal HD players are not the answer as NOBODY wants to continue to support multiple formats when one should suffice. There is terrible resistance from retailers who do not want the headaches of stocking multiple versions of the same title, and the studios face problems every week getting their fair share of shelf space amongst the dozens of new releases that never seem to stop. Some studios are hedging their bets by supporting both, but they want to go with a single format as much as anyone else. Too many potential buyers are waiting to see how this plays out, as witnessed by the forum comments.

I currently have both systems as we are much further ahead in North America, and can assure you that nobody would be able to tell the difference between an HD-DVD version vs. the blu-ray disc of the same title. A friend of mine has compared several Warner titles available in both formats with me and the difference is nil. This is also verified by many on-line reviewers who are able to review both versions of new releases such as World Trade Centre or Mission Impossible 3. A few mediocre transfers got blu-ray off to a shakey start but they will soon be long forgotten based on the quality of recent discs such as Chicago and Ice Age 2. One major retailer in Australia has already declared they will only support one format ( blu-ray ) in order to try and force the issue to a conclusion. And while some current HD-DVD discs will play in multiple regions, the studios have the ability to enforce region codes on their titles if they so choose, so that supposed advantage is uncertain. Given the extremely heavy studio support of blu-ray compared to HD-DVD, I think it looks pretty likely that blu-ray is going to end up the format of choice when the dust settles.
The current High-Definition discs of Robin Hood, Forbidden Planet and The Searchers are like nothing we have seen before. One of the great thrills our our hobby is constantly seeking ( and sometimes getting ) superb new versions of our favorites.

Can you tell I'm already sold on the formats ?

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3145
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 03:47 PM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We had The Wizard of Oz on with this ultra new digital cleanup version and it was superb. BUT, when it had done I thought I had missed something... OK they can now take the dust from the eyes of Dorothy and remove the scratch from the master, but don't you think we are also removing the real feel of film. The new digital rework of Oz is great, but I would still rather see it from a film emulsion as it sort of looks more human & real if that is the right way to describe it?

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Robert Wales
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 100
From: Toronto
Registered: Nov 2005


 - posted February 23, 2007 04:17 PM      Profile for Robert Wales   Email Robert Wales   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are of course differences and for every one thing you gain you may lose another...but a properly transferred movie can look remarkably like film if you have talented people who care enough to do it properly (and know what they're doing ). Unfortunately, there are a lot of DVD reviewers ( with HUGE influence on the studios ) who present themselves as experts but whose knowledge of film started with Star Wars 30 years ago. They often talk about film grain in a transfer as if it's a flaw, not realising that it's the thing that gives those images the texture that makes them FILM. It seems that more and more the studios are using digital technology to clean up but also alter films to "improve' their look when no improvement is needed for those of us who want a picture that re-creates the original.

The clarity that can be achieved today in new transfers can often reveal things that were intended to be hidden by the natural film grains of the day. A good example is wire work in some Chaplin films that has never been noticeable before. My local HD movie channel has been showing an HD version of the 1953 War of The Worlds with wires so obvious one would suspect the film had been directed by Ed Wood.

But when they get it right, the results can be glorious! But I am NOT a fan of those dolts at Disney re-working the colours of their animated classics as if the creators weren't bright enough to get them correct the first time. The original cel colours were chosen based on how they looked when reproduced in technicolor, not because of how they looked on the cels. Any simpleton with a basic knowledge of animation history should know that.

I do tend to go off on tangents, don't I ?

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 08:32 PM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
A few mediocre transfers got blu-ray off to a shakey start but they will soon be long forgotten based on the quality of recent discs such as Chicago and Ice Age 2
I gotta say the last crop of BD titles are getting mixed reviews again (especially American Psycho and Planet of the Apes) so I'm sticking with HD DVD, I don't think it's going anywhere too soon, and it will be the first system to hit tipping-point player prices. I can see going for a combo player down the road, but not Blu-ray alone. I guess I don't see what is confusing about universal players if it means the consumer can play whatever format they buy.

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 23, 2007 11:59 PM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
They often talk about film grain in a transfer as if it's a flaw, not realising that it's the thing that gives those images the texture that makes them FILM. It seems that more and more the studios are using digital technology to clean up but also alter films to "improve' their look when no improvement is needed for those of us who want a picture that re-creates the original.
Yup, this is a major pain, I want film to look like film, and if Snow White had watercolored backgrounds, then I want to see the “organic” appearance that medium generates.

The beautiful quality of Warner's Wizard of OZ DVD is a remarkable achievement in that they were able to re-sync the original Technicolor separations, so though the medium has changed from film to digital, the number of generations has been drastically reduced. They also didn't over-sharpen and let the fine grain of the film remain. I'm really hot to see an HD of it. It's not IBTech, but in truth neither is a low-fade Agfa print either. What would a 16mm Technicolor print of Oz fetch, about $3500-4500?

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted February 25, 2007 03:44 AM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I do understand what you guy's are on about. I have been transferring some vinyl to MP3 and comparing the original album with so called digital re-mastered versions. They do not resemble the original at all.

Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Timothy Ramzyk
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Milwaukee,WI,USA
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 25, 2007 11:16 AM      Profile for Timothy Ramzyk   Author's Homepage   Email Timothy Ramzyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I do understand what you guy's are on about. I have been transferring some vinyl to MP3 and comparing the original album with so called digital re-mastered versions. They do not resemble the original at all.

Chris.


The technisions handling and medium have a great deal of discretion at their hands.

They can,

A) Try to represent what people were accustom to in the previous medium.

B) If the new medium offers any technical advantage, they can try and bring more detail/information/range inherent in the original source material.

C) The can use artistic license to alter the original so that it reflects current tastes and standards.

Approach A is more popular with the "Purist"

Approach B seems more popular with the "perfectionist"

Approach C is purely a marketing strategy.

I'm a "B"

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted February 26, 2007 12:06 PM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I must be an A then. [Wink]

Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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