I recently got the blu-ray set of "Downton Abbey" and noticed that the picture quality is very noisy and grainy in many scenes. Has anyone else noticed this or did I maybe get faulty set? This seems to affect mostly scenes set in the dark (inside/outside) or scenes where people are wearing dark clothes. It doesn't seem to be so much of a problem with the scenes that are set outside during daylight.
I've compared these particular scenes to the dvd set (which I bought some time ago before I got a blu-ray player) and the dvds have much better picture quality in them (at least there's no grain/noise in the dark areas on the dvds). Now, since the blu-ray quality is 1080p it should be *much* better than the dvds, which is why I don't understand why the picture quality is actually worse at times.
I do not think that this is a problem with my blu-ray player or HD tv since I've played several different blu-rays (both movies and documentaries) on them and haven't had any similar problems with any of them (picture quality was superb on all of those blu-rays).
I have exactly the same problem on the 2 Panasonic Blu ray players that I have. I contacted Panasonic who just told me to have the latest software on my players, which I have. All other Blu rays and DVD's play perfectly
I have the same issue with terrible picture quality on a few scenes. It seems to be only on the first disk and looks like a problem with the encoding of those scenes. I didn't see the series on TV so cannot comment on the quality vs original
My blu-ray player is a Panasonic, too. I doubt it has anything to do with the player, though, as I haven't encountered the same problem with any other Blu-Ray (or with the DVDs of "Downton Abbey" for that matter).
I have also noticed this issue with dark/indoor scenes on my copy! At first I thought it was my player, but I have tried it on several different ones with the same result, which means it must be a fault with either the encoding on the disc or the way these particular scenes were filmed in the first place. Having watched it on TV, I certainly don't remember these scenes being grainy in normal quality. I am taking my copy back to exchange it and see if that makes a difference...
Yes, I have a Sony BDP-S350 with the latest firmware which was Feb 2011. The scenes are very grainy in places and there seems to be flashing on the darks in places. Lets hope they sort the act out for the second series and Christmas episode releases.
As per Mark's post above - I have exactly the same problem (although I have a Panasonic BR player with the original/non-updated firmware) - grainy in places and the same 'flashing' effect. I have only watched the 1st disc so far (episodes 1-4). From memory, episode 2 was the worst. Will keep an eye on the 2nd disc and see if it continues. It would appear to be a disc problem rather than a BR player problem. If one watches the opening credits of each episode - they appear perfect. The problem only rears its head after the opening credits end. It's a pity, because I find myself looking at the quality of the image, rather than enjoying the story!
I have noticed the same poor quality, exactly as you have described when watching it on Tv in HD and SD, I therefore don't think this is in any way a fault of your player, or the discs. Remember that Blu ray is so good at High definition it actually magnifies any imperfections /artifacts that are in the original recording. Therefore I am certain that this is as a result of the fact that Downton is primarily filmed for the U.S. Market - Money talks !!(AMERICAN NTSC quality, and not our European PAL system). This "made for America" complaint also answers the many complaints that the individual story lines are too short and "punchy",which is what the American broadcasters wanted as Quote " Americans' attention span is shorter than ours !!"So your complaint, I believe should be directed to ITV for poor production quality Regards Deehcee
Just to let you know --- I got the blu-ray box set of season 1 & 2 combined last week (when I ordered it the price was the same as just the season 2 set) and am re-watching season 1 right now. The picture quality is much better than on the set I originally bought!!! No more grain or fuzz in dark areas, so I guess they've fixed the issue on the newer batch of blu-rays.
Thought this might be interesting for some of you!
I too have brought the blu ray box set of seasons 1 & 2 a few weeks ago and have noticed all of the issues that people have mentioned with the picture quality, so I don't believe this has been improved at all.
thank god you guys have the same problem. i watched episodes 1&2 yesterday on a PS3 slim / Samsung FullHD Plasma and initially i thought my setup (eiter player or tv) was dying! real pity that they botched the mastering because i find the series rather brilliant.
very glad to have read all these posts as I've just spent the better part of an hour tweaking my PS3 settings and trying to work out why the downton image is so poor. I'm getting really grainy images and terrible flashing in dark scenes (episode 2 very bad) so now hoping that it is just the discs. Real shame as very hard to concentrate on the actual story!
Came here as a result of a google search for 'Downton Abbey grainy blu ray' having also spent ages fiddling with the blu ray player. I have the series 1 & 2 box set and a Sony blu ray player (brand new). Episode 1 seemed not too bad, but noticeably poorer picture than a regular blu ray movie. Watched episode 3 and 4 last night and couldn't believe how grainy it was. Husband is cross having spent more on the blu ray (my Christmas present) expecting great HD quality. I only hope it improves from here. Loving the series though.