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The Alamo: Director's Cut [Ld Sourced + Extras]
#1
Currently up on MySpleen and Karagarga. Will put it up on Cinematik when uploads are open again. I would have put it on Pass the Popcorn last night, but I would have had to do all of the screenshots over again (they want PNG only) and then use one of their approved image hosts. It would have taken at least 90 more minutes since I find myself having to edit the images to get to 853x480, even though that's already their native resolution. If anyone feels like uploading any of my projects to PTP, that's fine (What Happened Was... is already there) and if you have other ideas of where they be uploaded, let me know, or do it yourself.



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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053580/reference


Here is the Roadshow director's cut of John Wayne's The Alamo (1960), the first of two films that Wayne was ever officially credited with directing. Now this Roadshow cut runs more than 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut that you can find on DVD. It was released on laserdisc several times, my source was the 1992 version (the 1997 version had Dolby Digital 5.1, which I cannot output), and MGM has apparently let the restoration deteriorate to the point where it cannot be transferred to a new format, so this may be the best that it will look. Also on the DVD was a making-of of the film, but for some reason, they cut more than 25 minutes out of that too, and so the version included here runs the full, intended length.

The movie is split in two, with 2 hours 14 minutes of the movie on disc 1, and the final 68 minutes on disc 2, with the 68 minute making of also on disc 2. There's also the theatrical trailer on disc 1.

I've also included the many iterations of Dimitri Tiomkin's score, from the official release (along with a few extra tracks), to the 3 CD release of the full score released in 2010, as performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. You can find them on the second stream of both the film and the making-of. There's more info on the layout in the notes section of the DVD menus, but I will copy and paste that information below. Not mentioned is that I've also included a slideshow from the many liner notes on the 3 CD version of the score, if you want extensive information on the tracks. The slideshow is on disc 1 and runs 11 minutes, and also has scans of the various discs of the score that have been released. Not explained, but hinted at it in the notes*, is that disc 2 will allow you to skip right to the tracks from The Essential Tiomkin that can be found on the second half of the making-of documentary. That link can be found on the score notes section of disc 2.

As for the video transfer, I went from my laserdisc to a Panasonic DVD recorder (which outputs in 704x480, so I left it at that resolution when encoding), to Tmpeg Mastering Works 5, converting the image to anamorphic widescreen. The inherent softness and haziness of laserdisc is apparent, as using excessive DNR (there was a very small amount applied) would have washed it out. The DVD itself was made with DVD Styler.


* Dimitri Tiomkin's Oscar nominated score for The Alamo (1960) has been released in quite a few different forms over the years. To this date, you could get the officially released score, which runs 44 minutes, the extended score with some never-before-heard tracks, which runs 66 minutes, and the complete film score, performed by the Prague Philharmonic in 2010, which runs 164 minutes over 3 CDs. There are even some stray tracks on The Essential Dimitri Tiomkin (disc 3, if you're a completist). Because I've broken up the film in two parts on two discs (disc 1 has 134 minutes of the movie, disc 2 has 68 minutes of the movie and the extended making-of, also 68 minutes), the score also had to be judiciously broken up. So, on disc 1 is the 66 minute extended score followed by CD of the complete score and 3 tracks from CD 2.

Disc 2 of this set has the remaining tracks from CD 2 of the full score, and 4 tracks of CD 3 of the score on the feature, while the remainder of CD3 is on the making-of documentary (as well as some tracks from Essential Tiomkin). This Laserdisc-sourced extended cut of the film is 40 minutes longer than the theatrical, and the making of is 25 minutes longer than the DVD version. The extra length provided the opportunity to showcase the whole score and the official score, without having to break it up into more audio streams which would have made this explanation that much longer.



General
Complete name : Y:\alamo\The Alamo Director's Cut\The Alamo Director's Cut Disc 1\VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB
Format : MPEG-PS
File size : 1 024 MiB
Duration : 19mn 7s
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 7 488 Kbps
Writing library : encoded by TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 Version. 5.0.5.32

Video
ID : 224 (0xE0)
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : Variable
Duration : 19mn 7s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 6 923 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 8 000 Kbps
Width : 704 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.684
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Stream size : 947 MiB (92%)
Writing library : TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 Version. 5.0.5.32
Color primaries : BT.601 NTSC
Transfer characteristics : BT.601
Matrix coefficients : BT.601

Audio #1
ID : 189 (0xBD)-128 (0x80)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness : Big
Muxing mode : DVD-Video
Duration : 19mn 6s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 224 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 30.6 MiB (3%)

Audio #2
ID : 189 (0xBD)-129 (0x81)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness : Big
Muxing mode : DVD-Video
Duration : 19mn 6s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 192 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 26.3 MiB (3%)

Audio............: Dolby Digital 2.0/2.0
Subtitles........: English
Video Format.....: NTSC
Aspect Ratio.....: 2.20
DVD Format.......: Anamorphic
DVD Source.......: Laserdisc
DVD Distributor..: Custom
Program..........: DVD Styler/TMPEG Authoring Works 5
Average Bit Rate.: 7.5 Mb/sec
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Thanks given by: Jeanjacques
#2
Fantastic!

I was going to try to cap my LD sometime but looks like you did better work then I could. Thanks Elmo Oxygen, going to download tonight.
For new members: Please do not ask where to get something. Participate in the forum, talk to people, make friends. Then someone will help you find what you want.
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#3
(2016-03-31, 09:35 PM)PDB Wrote: Fantastic!

I was going to try to cap my LD sometime but looks like you did better work then I could. Thanks Elmo Oxygen, going to download tonight.

I can't think of anything left to preserve from LD (apart from some audio tracks), as I've already done the Roadshow versions of The Alamo and Hawaii, and a slew of other things you can find on MySpleen, and there's just the one audio commentary (The Aftermath). Is there something else never coming to DVD/Blu-ray that you know about?
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Thanks given by: alexp120
#4
Nothing I can think of, off the top of my head but I'll look around. There are probably some open mattes on LD that it would be great to preserve.

Its sad that this LD transfer of the Alamo is likely the last time the Roadshow version will ever be seen. I can't believe the short-slightness of MGM.
For new members: Please do not ask where to get something. Participate in the forum, talk to people, make friends. Then someone will help you find what you want.
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#5
(2016-03-31, 09:28 PM)Elmo Oxygen Wrote: As for the video transfer, I went from my laserdisc to a Panasonic DVD recorder (which outputs in 704x480, so I left it at that resolution when encoding), to Tmpeg Mastering Works 5,

Just to get it right: You’ve recorded it on a DVD recorder and then you’ve re-encoded the video with TMPEG?

That’s big loss in terms of quality. Also losing out on the PCM audio for a full preservation is bummer.

Also doing a DVD a 2016? I would've done a nice mkv file with h264 video, pcm audio transcoded to flac.
Quality would have been preserved and file size would be a hell lot smaller then 15GB

Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome that this movie even gets available outside of LD is very good. But I say it can be done better,
if the right tools are at hand Wink
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#6
I don't mind that you went to DVD, that makes the most sense.
My concerns are:
*Double Encoded
*TMPEG - Is that even still a thing? I don't recall it every being considered a good quality mpeg encoder. If you needed free HCEnc is as good as CCE if not as fast.
*The black levels are grey. Even the letterboxings. Not sure about the white levels without checking directly.
*Color saturation could have used a bump.
*I don't mind burning a DVD9 for the film, but TWO DVD9? From a laserdisc this has to be soft enough to get the feature on a single DVD9 with next to no loss of quality and the bonus features on a DVD5.
*Info says it's 29.97fps. I'm hoping that's because of pulldown flags but I'm pretty sure MediaInfo reads that. This needs to be inverse telecined.

I'm completely unable to decide if I must have this or will pass because of the above reasons.
Please tell me you are considering a version 2.
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#7
(2016-04-01, 04:04 AM)bendermac Wrote:
(2016-03-31, 09:28 PM)Elmo Oxygen Wrote: As for the video transfer, I went from my laserdisc to a Panasonic DVD recorder (which outputs in 704x480, so I left it at that resolution when encoding), to Tmpeg Mastering Works 5,

Just to get it right: You’ve recorded it on a DVD recorder and then you’ve re-encoded the video with TMPEG?

That’s big loss in terms of quality. Also losing out on the PCM audio for a full preservation is bummer.

It had to be encoded to go from windowboxed 2.20 to anamorphic 2.20. Plus there's the smallest amount of DNR applied to it, to get rid of the standard laserdisc analog haziness.


Quote:Also doing a DVD a 2016? I would've done a nice mkv file with h264 video, pcm audio transcoded to flac.
Quality would have been preserved and file size would be a hell lot smaller then 15GB

Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome that this movie even gets available outside of LD is very good. But I say it can be done better,
if the right tools are at hand Wink

The key to me is adding the extras which is easier when you have a DVD menu and tying them into the experience. That way they can burn it to a disc and bring it with them somewhere. The movie itself is about 11 GB here and the extras are the remainder. Breaking it up into several files was logical for a lot of reasons, as there's even an intermission built into the laserdisc. Also, not everyone has blu-ray players, and that's unlikely to change. Keep in mind the audience for a 3 hour 22 minute version of a John Wayne western from 1960 [Plus the included making-of is 68 minutes]. Besides, it's one of the most expensive movies of its era, a war film with a huge cast and constant battles and movement on the screen, not a stage play with two characters, so you have to have a very high bitrate to overcompensate. The interlacing is horrendous on the original source and even with an improved codec, we're not looking at a significantly smaller file size.

Besides, the video is only going to look so good. It's a 25 year old transfer, and using a better codec is going to be slightly better, but hardly noticeable to 99% of the people downloading it. It's still outputting from the laserdisc via composite cables.

However, I fully appreciate your condescension, and look forward to you spending $100-200 on the Dolby Digital set, and then getting a $200 laserdisc player with AC3 and s-video, outputting the AC3 to your capture card uncompressed (I haven't checked, but that's another $100 the last time I researched it), using your analog video capture card (a bargain at $15-40!), running it through your h264 converter, but leaving it non-anamorphic, so as to retain the video quality and seeing the confusion and annoyance at your windowboxed release which looks 10% better than my set. Better, sure, but not worth the effort or money.
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#8
(2016-04-01, 06:41 AM)Doctor M Wrote: I don't mind that you went to DVD, that makes the most sense.
My concerns are:
*Double Encoded

The DVD Recorder encodes, but only in the way that anything you record to is technically encoding. It went straight from the LD player to DVD-Ram discs, using the DVD Recorder as a middle man. There was no converting done at that point, and it's pretty much a 1:1 copy. It takes as long to record it onto the DVD-Ram discs as it does to play it back on the laserdisc. Once I was done playing the discs, the "encoding" is over.

Quote:*TMPEG - Is that even still a thing?  I don't recall it every being considered a good quality mpeg encoder.  If you needed free HCEnc is as good as CCE if not as fast.
*The black levels are grey.  Even the letterboxings.  Not sure about the white levels without checking directly.
*Color saturation could have used a bump.

Yeah, it's a 25 year old transfer, coming out of a laserdisc player with composite cables. The smidge of letterboxing that is grey is only evident on the overture and intermission images, because they were in a slightly different ratio. I have no idea why. The original laserdisc image was soft, hazy, and with quite a bit of color bleeding. But for 1992, it looked pretty good. If you want more accurate colors and contrast, go with the theatrical cut, which is on DVD and looks much better. I could have integrated the 40 minutes of deleted scenes into the DVD, but once I saw the difference in quality, I realized how very, very jarring to a viewer that would have been. I've done that a few times with laserdisc sourced material, like with She's Gotta Have It, but that was only one scene and 40 seconds, so the massive difference between the early 1990s Criterion laserdisc and the Anamorphic DVD was only evident during that 40 seconds.


Quote:*I don't mind burning a DVD9 for the film, but TWO DVD9?  From a laserdisc this has to be soft enough to get the feature on a single DVD9 with next to no loss of quality and the bonus features on a DVD5.
*Info says it's 29.97fps.  I'm hoping that's because of pulldown flags but I'm pretty sure MediaInfo reads that.  This needs to be inverse telecined.

I'm completely unable to decide if I must have this or will pass because of the above reasons.
Please tell me you are considering a version 2.

I'm not doing a version 2. As I said above, it's a 3 hour 22 minute movie, and the extended making of documentary is another 1 hour and 8 minutes (the DVD version runs 42 minutes for some reason). Getting 4 hours and 30 minutes, plus some other video and audio extras down to a single DVD9 would be madness. You're not hurting my feelings if you pass on it. If you want to purchase all the appropriate equipment yourself (if you haven't already) and then buy that Dolby Digital release, encode it, working in the other extras, feel free. I didn't do the work because I thought it would be perfect, I did it because literally no one else is doing them, and I felt it was worth being preserved, as even the studio gave up on preservation years ago.
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#9
This is definitely worth being preserved, and I understand you've put a lot into this already.
The fact remains you seem to be a novice at this sort of thing and should probably have asked for advice along the way.

I was almost willing to accept some of what you did, even the use of double lossy compression (you MUST do a lossless capture first), but converting 29.97i to 29.97p and resizing can cause eye cancer.

Thanks for the hard work. I hope it was a learning experience for you.
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#10
(2016-04-01, 08:26 AM)Doctor M Wrote: This is definitely worth being preserved, and I understand you've put a lot into this already.
The fact remains you seem to be a novice at this sort of thing and should probably have asked for advice along the way.

I'm not a novice at this at all (been uploading and encoding since 2003, just with rare material), it's just that I use software that I feel comfortable with after experimenting quite a bit. I'm sure I could learn more recent and complex software but since I have been working with low resolution sources most of the time in the last 5 years, it's only going to be noticeable to the connoisseur who expects/demands the transfer to look pristine.


Quote:I was almost willing to accept some of what you did, even the use of double lossy compression (you MUST do a lossless capture first), but converting 29.97i to 29.97p and resizing can cause eye cancer.

Thanks for the hard work.  I hope it was a learning experience for you.

As video quality has gotten better, our eyes assume it should always look as good as the newest thing (I was blown away by up-converting SDTVs back in 2000). The first time I had 5.1 surround sound, back in 1998, I thought it was the best sound mix I'd ever heard. The same mini-speakers and Kenwood receiver output would seem tinny and compressed now. The reality is that laserdisc was never going to be able to compete with a 4K Blu-ray, and your version of eye cancer would be inevitable. Take a look at the reviews of the recent Blu-ray of Hawaii, which use a non-anamorphic widescreen sourced version of the roadshow cut. I uploaded a laserdisc sourced version of the roadshow cut of Hawaii 2 years ago, and I made it anamorphic (using the exact same process you have decried here), and it looks better than what a professional company did, which is charitably described in this review as "an incredibly shabby-looking standard-def bonus feature." Here's the weird irony, looking at the layout of the Blu-ray, their version of the roadshow cut is 11.59 GB, identical to the size of my DVD9 and DVD5 combo you can get on a variety of different torrent sites.

And here's the definitive quote about that roadshow cut on the new Blu-ray, from archivist expert Glenn Erickson (known as DVD Savant):

"The special extra the 189-minute Road Show version is literally an encoding of the old laserdisc master, formatted flat letterbox. It has the full overture missing from the HD version, playing in front of the same rough freeze frames for background images. It of course looks pretty terrible, which makes me smile — when I rented the laser in 1994 I remember thinking, ‘what a great transfer.’"
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