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ITV Austen Blurays are not high definition

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Initial post: 4 Jan 2011 08:48:11 GMT
Stevie says:
I have copies of Emma,Northhanger Abbey and Mansfield Park and Wuthering Hieghts in The Bluray format from ITV.They are all substandard in respect to being hi definition,has anybody else had the chance to view these films in the Bluray format,if you have what is your opinion.

Posted on 5 Jan 2011 00:36:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jan 2011 00:37:58 GMT
Wouldn't surprise me if they have been shot on Super 16mm as opposed to 35mm film, as I know a lot of older ITV series used Super 16mm film. BBC HD has banned HD content sourced from Super 16mm film, but ITV HD have not. This has led to ITV making HD transfers of classics such as Sharpe, and soon Poirot will be receiving the same treatment - both of which were shot on Super 16mm and, in Sharpe's case, has recently been released on Blu-ray.

Super 16mm, technically speaking, has enough resolution for Blu-ray, but it is usually MUCH grainier, the resulting HD transfer often appears softer and, if it is fairly old stock, far less detailed than what we're used to on Blu-ray. However, it is still far better than upscaled SD content, which some Blu-rays are known to be (Highlander for example). I already owned Sharpe on DVD and have recently upgraded to ITV's new Blu-ray set. I, too, was a little miffed that it is not the quality I have come to expect from the Blu-ray format, but having the DVD set I was able to make side-by-side comparisons, and the detail was still a big was the remastered colour and contrast. I was far more concerned that they had bastardised a 16:9 widescreen ratio from the original 14:9 broadcast format, but that is another discussion altogether.

I suspect your recent ITV Blu-ray purchases have followed a similar path to Blu-ray as Sharpe. So yes, they're not like a recent Hollywood film shot on 35mm or on digital HD, but should still be a big improvement over SD DVD. I'm sure you would realise as much were you able to make side-by-side comparisons with the old DVD's. Also, don't be too miffed...think about the future, when you may have a bigger TV set or a screen using 2k or 4k resolutions...if you return these Blu-rays and buy the DVD's, just think how bad they will look upscaled to fit the TV you may own a few years down the road. At least these Blu-rays you have recently bought will fair MUCH better.

Posted on 5 Jan 2011 06:38:49 GMT
Stevie says:
Thanks for your reply B.Prithchard,I have the dvd sets of the above films and I have done a side by side comparison and there is no difference ,even the start up menu screen is the same as the dvd.But what surprised me was with Emma around 80% of the film is crystal clear and well defined.My conclusion as a novice is there is some issues at ITV if they can make Emma for the most part look stunning on Bluray and is the oldest film of the lot,but films like Northhangar abbey ,Mansfield park and Persuasion look like straight dvd transfers.Miffed is not the word I would use but if the made the transfers half decsent I would be pleased with the bluray purchase.As It stands they are a waste of money stick with the dvds.

Posted on 5 Jan 2011 18:33:13 GMT
Yes, but my point is that if they were filmed using Super 16mm as was popular both for the period and ITV in particular, the transfers are as good as they will get. I can assure you they have not used the same standard definition prints as they used for the dvds, there are cinematography forums were this would have been leaked. To the untrained eye, Sharpe Blu-rays (also Super 16mm source) look the same as the DVD's, but to enthusiasts the benefits are clear. And ANY DVD played on the kind of TV you will be very likely to own in the not too distant future (2k or 4k technology), the DVD's will look a pixelated dog's dinner and the Blu-rays will look far better. At the end of the day, though, it's your money...your choice. :)

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Discussion in:  itv discussion forum
Participants:  2
Total posts:  4
Initial post:  4 Jan 2011
Latest post:  5 Jan 2011

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