Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Watership Down (1978)
#1
I've been comparing the three BD releases of Watership Down.

Criterion (Region A)
Video: AVC
Audio: PCM (24 bit)

DE (Unten am Fluss)
Video: VC-1
Audio: DTS-HD MA 2.0 (24 bit)

UK
Video: AVC
Audio: AC-3 2.0@224kbps

Video
caps-a-holic

The German disc is known to have had DNR applied, so the Criterion wins there.  At present, I'm not sure how the UK fares in comparison, but perhaps it's somewhere in the middle.  The UK and DE have more picture information on the top and the bottom (1.78:1 vs 1.85:1).

Audio

This quotation comes from the leaflet in the Criterion booklet. It's quoted in the Blu-ray.com review.

Quote:The original stereo soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from a 35mm magnetic track. Clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD, AudioCube's integrated workstation, and iZotope RX 4.

Regular readers of Moshrom's blog will probably have received the impression that Criterion can be overly zealous when it comes to processing audio tracks, so I compared the audio to the other two discs, hoping that one would come out better.

[Image: WATERSHIP_DOWN_BD_Criterion.wav.png]

[Image: WATERSHIP_DOWN_BD_DE.wav.png]

[Image: WATERSHIP_DOWN_BD_UK.wav.png]

First UK DVD (from Universal)

[Image: WDPAL.wav.png]

The audio looks fundamentally similar on all three BDs.  The UK disc seems to be more active over 16kHz but is (annoyingly) cut off over 20kHz, owing to the Dolby Digital encoding.  I don't know what's happened to the DTS-HD MA 2.0 on the DE disc...

Overall, I suppose, the Criterion is the winner, but I'd love to look at the PCM from the LD. 34003 looks most promising.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#2
Dunno if it's of any interest to you, but I have this DVD: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Watership...SwIjJZQ7Rr

Has English and German audio, both 2.0 AC-3 192kbps and Dolby Surround, from what the packaging says. If you want to take a look, I can upload them for ya.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#3
Thank you, Tom, but I'm fairly sure that I have a copy of that already.  It's the Australian 25th Anniversary Edition (from Big Sky Video) that is worth finding – that and the LD PCM.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#4
I'll keep my eyes peeled for a copy of the LD. I do like this film
Reply
Thanks given by:
#5
I once took a look at the Universal UK BD in hopes that one used a different master containing a CIC or old Universal logo, but alas it was the same transfer as the DE and US BDs but in 1.78 like the German one. IIRC, the Universal BD was a 25gb disc with the main feature taking up around 22 (Criterion was around 27ish IIRR), and the PQ was on par with Criterion but a bit blockier in fast moving shots. I found it strange that Universal only used lossy DD on their disc and the disc was locked to B, but yet most of their releases (many of them being titles they don't own US rights to) are all region free, maybe it had to do with a lawsuit between Universal and Warner in the UK since the latter released the last DVD release there.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#6
^ Yeah, I have all three discs and suspect that you are right about the PQ.  The Criterion probably has slightly better compression throughout, but given that the difference is small and that I'd rather the film were presented at 1.66:1 anyway, I prefer the UK disc for personal viewing because I'd rather have that extra bit of picture information.

(2017-12-20, 09:38 AM)SpaceBlackKnight Wrote: I found it strange that Universal only used lossy DD on their disc and the disc was locked to B, but yet most of their releases (many of them being titles they don't own US rights to) are all region free, maybe it had to do with a lawsuit between Universal and Warner in the UK since the latter released the last DVD release there.

That's certainly plausible.  The lossy DD is definitely frustrating, but I'd guess that someone has simply followed some sort of standard encoding practice. Let's hope we can procure the LD audio at some point and that it turns out to be better.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#7
Does anyone know about the 1st region 2 UK DVD put out by Universal? Its said to be in 1.33:1 (possibly unmatted or slightly cropped?) but suppisidly has a mono track which may be fun to preserve and is sourced from a UK theatrical print opening with the CIC chains.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#8
Interesting! I'd seen the early disc mentioned on dvdcompare.net but didn't think anything of it, because it's PAL and OOP and the PQ isn't supposed to be great. I'll see if I can track it down.

EDIT: I think I've found one. I'll report any findings ASAP. It migght not be for a week or two now though, owing to Christmas busyness.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#9
Well, here's what the first UK DVD looks like.  It won't win any prizes, but it's not terrible.

[Image: jCoG7ys.jpg]

The audio surprised me a bit.

[Image: WDPAL.wav.png]

It's said to be stereo on the box, and the L and R certainly seem to be different.  I added it to the first post so that you compare all four spectrograms.
Reply
Thanks given by:
#10
Intresting! Does that dvd have ether a CIC or universal logo, or just nothing at the start like all other releases.
Reply
Thanks given by:


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)