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Total Recall (1990) LD PCM

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Thanks for the continued research! It's sad that it's the same old story with this transfer - two steps forward, one step back. I'll give the VC-1 a look the next time I burn a disc... perhaps someone with some colour skills will one day combine the best of both worlds.
I hope nobody minds me reviving an old thread. Total Recall is now on 4K UHD. The US Lionsgate and UK Studio Canal discs are identical. It comes with a new Dolby Atmos remix which is a big failure, lacking bass and missing at least one sound effect.

Various posts on Blu-ray.com confirm the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track from the Mind-Bending Edition BD syncs well to the UHD, after adjusting the delay for opening logo differences. The UHD is 24fps like the BD.

Alternatively, there is a new Italian UHD released by Eagle Pictures with their own different encoding/authoring. It does not have the Atmos remix, retaining the Mind-Bending's 5.1. (This release also has better video compression.) I have this on order.

Since all these BD releases seem to be in sync with each other, I assume the resynced LD audio will pair nicely with the 4K UHDs as well. I'm looking forward to trying it. The 4K transfer is excellent, and deserves good audio to go with it.
The SC UHD video needs to be slowed down to 23.976fps as per the LD PCM. There is also a minus delay to be added to the PCM (same as delay that was needed for the accompanying remastered bd).

The SC UHD compression is a total failure, even jumping down to zero at some points. The Eagle is much better in this regard based on screenshots.

While the remaster is good overall, the color timing is questionable.
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-06, 05:39 PM by X5gb.)
(2021-03-06, 05:25 PM)X5gb Wrote: While the remaster is good overall, the color timing is questionable.

Yeah I didn't like the colours, has anyone any knowledge of which is the most faithful version (Blu-ray, DVD, LD?)
My money's still on the UK BD with the VC- 1 encode (from Optimum) for color fidelity.
The 4K transfer admittedly has some strong teal that I don't like, especially in the reactor at the end. The Martian red seems more consistent, though. Also has lovely unfiltered detail and grain.

I never went for the UK Optimum because caps seemed to show it had slightly too much DNR here and there for my liking.
I'm happy with my dual sided DVD which has open matte on the other side.
To summarize my scant knowledge of the pre-Mind-bending/Ultimate Rekall releases...

Most of the early HD releases share a VC-1 encoding of the same master.  This encoding is found on the the first UK BD (from Optimum), the first DE BD (from Kinowelt), and the HD DVDs.  The first US BD (from Lionsgate) was MPEG-2, but I don't think that it was a different master. EDIT: I was wrong about the Lionsgate. See resolution's post below.

Optimum (UK) and Kinowelt (DE) later used this master again, giving it a new AVC encoding but applying extra DNR, EE, and automated dirt-removal that erased details.  This is not to say that the VC-1 is perfect or free of DNR (like much early HD, it has some), but to me it's preferable to the AVC.

This master looks fundamentally similar to the PAL DVDs and R1 SE and might well be from a common source.  It has a slight golden cast that some think makes Mars look too orange.  Mars doesn't look obviously wrong to me, but it's something to bear in mind.  Apart from that, color fidelity has always seemed good to me.

The first US DVD from Artisan was somewhat different from subsequent DVDs.  Blues were less prominent, and it looked a bit warm.  My suspicion is that it reused an NTSC LD master: it was "non-anamorphic" and came with a 4:3 version.

Maybe someone will regrade the Eagle UHD and make a best-of-both-worlds version.  Maybe there's a magic LD out there with better colors.
(This post was last modified: 2021-03-07, 05:08 PM by Chewtobacca.)
The Caps-a-Holic comparisons are enlightening:


The US SE DVD and MPEG-2 BD share a transfer distinct from the other releases. I liked this BD for its natural look. It had more muted color but I preferred the less processed appearance. The use of MPEG-2 was unfortunate though. (Side note: my original disc has rotted and no longer plays all the way through, which apparently is common with early Lionsgate releases.)

I know the Optimum had its proponents at the time, but comparisons like this made me decide to stick with the US BD back then:


Yes, it would be interesting if someone tried regrading the 4K to perhaps improve the color.

Anyway, jonno has kindly shared the synced LD audio with me. As soon as I receive the Eagle, I will try to remux them together and report on the results. Can't wait!
(2021-03-07, 03:51 PM)resolution Wrote: I know the Optimum had its proponents at the time, but comparisons like this made me decide to stick with the US BD back then:


Woah, am I crazy or is that a ridiculous amount of banding in that first screenshot on the UK one? The sky looks like it's been run through a centrifuge. Wonder if it's like that on the disc or just the compression on the screenshot, assuming the former though.

It's a shame the MPEG-2 one is rotting, I'd very much like to see that preserved.

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