logo Sign In

Jay

User Group
Administrators
Join date
22-Feb-2003
Last activity
19-Jul-2024
Posts
2,411

Post History

Post
#1551951
Topic
Recent OT.com outage
Time

Han

The forum was offline for several days due to an error that crashed the app server. I have a monitoring service in place to notify me about these outages since I don’t participate in the forum discussions on a daily basis, but the monitoring service failed for unknown reasons. I’m evaluating new, redundant monitoring services to prevent this issue from recurring.

There is also a script to restart the site in the event of crashes, which has always worked reliably in the past (it’s been triggered numerous times, and it works so quickly no one even knows there was an outage). I’m investigating that as well.

The moderators also contacted me via e-mail, but my inbox is a nightmare at the moment and I’m days behind on responding to messages, so that’s my fault. I became too comfortable with the systems I have in place to handle these issues. I will monitor my OT inbox more closely in the future.

No data was lost and I see no evidence of a security breach. Just a cascade of dumb failures—both electronic and human (me)—leading to a bad outcome.

I apologize for the inconvenience and any concern this may have caused. We’re not going anywhere 😃

Post
#1516196
Topic
Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition - 4K Dremastered
Time

I know the EE Blu-ray has its issues, but in terms of detail, natural grain, and compression, it’s superior to the theatrical release in my opinion (and if memory serves, the audio on the theatrical Blu-ray was the same overcooked track from the DVD). With your color corrections, which look great, I think I can deal with a bit of black crush to get all the other benefits of the EE upscaled to 4K (assuming you’re not taking a stab at addressing the black crush also).

Really looking forward to this.

Post
#1514064
Topic
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - 4K Dremastered (Released!)
Time

Compelling results across all three films, especially in the scenes that suffer the most from DNR in the 4K release. It’s sad we see superior results from a compressed 1080p source upscaled with AI compared to what the creator and studio produced with access to the best available materials.

I also like the new HDR grades overall (TTT not so much, doesn’t fit the tone), just sad about the scrubbed detail.

Post
#1394510
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

This is my last post on this topic since this has sort of turned into the unofficial LOTR 4K review thread…and apologies to 44rh1n for the tangent 😃

I’m going to post an opinion that runs counter to what most others are sharing elsewhere right now and say that ROTK is the worst-looking of the trilogy. While TTT has some abysmal moments due to excessive DNR and the newly-DNR’d Rohan exteriors are a real shame, it has superior detail to the 1080p EE through the vast majority of the presentation and isn’t distractingly oversharpened most of the time.

Unfortunately, ROTK has a consistently oversharpened look throughout. Immediately after finishing the first disc, I put in the 1080p EE Blu-ray to compare and was shocked at the consistent grain field (this one was actually much grainier than I remembered) and nearly zero difference in fine detail compared to the 4K disc.

There are still benefits to the new HDR grade; ROTK in 1080p SDR looks murky in comparison. Darker scenes definitely benefit from improved shadow detail and depth. However, the blown-out highlights on the 1080p disc are even worse on the 4K disc. Minas Tirith exterior shots look terrible. Gandalf’s face often looks like pixel art.

ROTK 4K is one of the ugliest 4K discs I’ve seen. All the grain has been wiped away and what remains is an image that I would’ve been upset to see on a 1080p disc a decade ago.

Having seen the 4K discs with my own eyes, I would not buy them again if given the choice.

Post
#1394213
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

CMMAP said:

Jay said:

After reading comments from one of the members in the blu-ray.com thread whose opinion I trust and usually agree with, I decided to give these discs a shot after all instead…

And there’s no way these are real 4K back-to-the-negative scans. No way.

Thanks for this review. Set aside the HDR, this is a real bummer for me. It seems I would do better if a upscale my 1080p Blu-ray’s/44rh1n´s TFotR to 4K myself and have more detail this way. Good I don’t have the skill set to implement HDR myself but for a nice sdr experience - there is madVR.

If you set aside the obviously problematic shots that have had copious amounts of new DNR applied, the 4K discs have more real detail than the 1080p discs. They’ve reduced the grain, which you may or may not like, but actual detail is (mostly) superior on the 4K version. And the HDR grade is nice.

That said, I watched the EE Blu-rays earlier this year with my display handling the upscaling, and aside from the issues those versions have—and they do have issues—I quite enjoyed them and thought they looked great overall.

Post
#1393865
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

After reading comments from one of the members in the blu-ray.com thread whose opinion I trust and usually agree with, I decided to give these discs a shot after all instead of selling them. So far, I’ve finished FOTR EE and the first half of TTT EE.

Firstly, these encodes are absolutely a 2K upscale. I’ve seen enough 4K discs from both 2K DIs and proper 4K scans to know what each typically looks like. While watching FOTR, it immediately gave me the same impression as the later Harry Potter films in 4K, which are upscales; there’s a slight uptick in detail when compared to the 1080p discs, but it lacks the finer details a 4K scan provides.

The other bit of evidence that these are the same 2K masters as the 1080p discs is that all the scenes in TTT that are problematic on the 1080p discs, with their smeary DNR artifacts, have the same problems here, just amplified. I tend to think the DNR for the EEs is baked into the master and they may have tried piling on additional noise reduction on the 4K discs to mask these issues.

I’m sure lots of people will like the new color grade for FOTR. My only gripe is that the Shire and Rivendell, both of which had a romantic golden hue on the 1080p discs, are much more neutral now and lack that warm quality. I suppose it’s okay since the infamous green tint is gone from the whole film, but regrading the Shire and Rivendell to get back some of that warmth would’ve been welcome. Detail is good overall, though many long shots have a somewhat digital appearance with occasional slight aliasing, no doubt from sharpening.

TTT is frustrating. Some won’t like the new grade. I think it’s good overall, but I think I prefer the grade on the 1080p version. It suits the tone of the film better. The bulk of the movie actually looks pretty good in terms of detail, but the most frustrating part is Rohan. You’ve probably seen the screenshots, and they’re not lying. Most of the Rohan exterior shots have been absolutely wiped clean of detail with excessive DNR, and these same shots were fine on the 1080p discs with excellent detail overall. Seems to be any shot with visible blue sky in it. It’s annoying because as they switch back and forth between interior and exterior, the interior shots look absolutely fine, suggesting that they didn’t simply turn up the DNR knob and walk away; they selectively applied it to the exteriors only and completely ruined them. Some other shots are similarly bad, like when Gollum is leading Frodo and Sam through the marsh.

That said—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—I think what I’ve seen so far is an overall improvement on the 1080p discs. FOTR is pretty good, but grain-managed for sure (which I don’t hate, but don’t necessarily like either), and while TTT has some really bad moments, the bulk of it is good. Somebody could make a nice fan project of TTT by reincorporating the 1080p Rohan exterior scenes regraded to match the new grade (or regrade the 4K version to match the 1080p grade). Swapping out the flashback revisionism would be welcome also. Haven’t watched ROTK yet, but from what I’ve read, it sits somewhere between FOTR and TTT in terms of quality.

I want to be clear though: any “professional” reviewer who watched these 4K discs on a good display at a reasonable distance (I sit about 7’ from a 65" Sony A9F OLED that I calibrated with CalMAN) and gave these a 5/5 or 10/10 or whatever scale they use simply wasn’t paying attention, or only did casual spot-checks and missed the worst parts.

And there’s no way these are real 4K back-to-the-negative scans. No way.

Post
#1392347
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

Harmy said:

Yeah, the more I look at these, the more disappointed I am. I think I actually will be sticking to Blu-Ray for my viewing, at least for TTT and ROTK and for FOTR, I might actually stick to 44rh1n’s version, because I looked at it again yesterday and even though the detail level is noticeably worse when comparing it to the UHD or even the EE BD, on its own it just looks beautifully film-like with lovely colors. This sort of really shows the rule of diminishing returns with 4K - sure, in direct comparison, there may be a difference in detail but when I’m watching a good 1080p transfer, not comparing it to UHD, never do I think “I wish I was watching 4K” - what I think is “this looks gorgeous” but if I was watching a DVD, I certainly would think “I wish this was HD”.

I’ve quite enjoyed going back through my 1080p Blu-ray collection over the last year-plus after finally upgrading to a 4K TV. 1080p to 2160p is a clean upscale (easy math) and a great 1080p disc actually looks even better on my 4K TV (Sony OLED) than it did on my 1080p TV (Pioneer Kuro) and would probably fool most people into thinking they’re watching genuine 4K. In fact, I prefer the SDR presentation for most film-based material because the torched highlights in many HDR releases just don’t look natural at all.

Post
#1392341
Topic
Is anyone looking forward to Lord of the Rings Deleted scenes next year?
Time

JadedSkywalker said:

I’m almost afraid to ask but how much DVNR was used if at all in the 4K releases, i passed on the blu rays because of the digital video noise reduction.

Some of us have been discussing it here (starting on page 8):

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/44rh1ns-The-Fellowship-of-the-Ring-Extended-Edition-Color-Restoration-Released/id/61952/page/8

It’s…not good. The 1080p Blu-ray EEs have grain that’s been scrubbed from the 4K release in pretty much every effects shot, then there’s sharpening layered on top of it. Some screens look like they’ve been painted over with a brush when compared to the 1080p Blu-ray.

When there are effects-laden 4K releases like The Matrix that look reference quality, there’s no excuse for a high-profile release like this to look so bad.

Post
#1392269
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

44rh1n said:

Ugh, but the more and more that I look at these films and pixel-peep, the more I’m realizing that they really do have far too much DNR… Makes me sad. Colors on Fellowship EE are still far better than the regular Blu-ray though.

Jay said:

Just watched this review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Z58uiwcME

I don’t see how anybody can defend this release…

Wow, that shot of Gandalf’s staff is REALLY bad… UGH!

Most of those other shots aren’t as bad as people are making them out to be though. Most of that “detail” he’s referring to is just grain, whereas the actual detail is still there in the 4K.

But I agree that the grain looks really nice and it should have been left in!! Peter, WHY did you remove the grain?!

Mild DNR is forgivable, and even preferable in some cases, but too many of these effects shots take on a painterly look, and to throw sharpening on top of it is just mind-boggling.

That shot of Helm’s Deep is a great (terrible) example. There’s obvious ringing around the main characters and the wall behind them (in front of the army) looks like watercolors.

This is the type of release that many will justify now as being better than the previous release, but will age poorly and be regarded as substandard in a few years (see the original Gladiator Blu-ray, which many defended at the time because it was a step up from the DVD, and the truly reference remastered Blu-ray released a few years later that showed what a proper 1080p transfer could look like).

Post
#1392234
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

Just watched this review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Z58uiwcME

I don’t see how anybody can defend this release when even older films with a comparable number of effects shots look great on 4K disc, like The Matrix.

I was annoyed that the post office delayed my package for a week, but I’m glad they did, because I would’ve torn into these immediately and been disappointed. Instead, I’m putting them on ebay unopened and making a few dollars (the Best Buy steelbooks are selling above retail).

I’m sticking with the old Blu-ray EE.

Post
#1392232
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

My library is full of 4K discs consisting of 2K upscales that still look very good. While not as good as a proper 4K scan, upscaling is fine when done well (just look at any good 1080p disc on a 4K display with excellent upscaling, they look fantastic).

I think maybe the 2K effect shots just got hit a bit hard with DNR and didn’t get any fake grain added back in to keep them consistent with the 4K portions. This is unacceptable, though:

WXM said:

https://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/8656

It’s like something I’d expect from a 1080p Blu-ray 10 years ago before studios got a handle on good mastering techniques. How a shot like that ends up in a major 4K title in 2020 is beyond me, especially since the older Blu-ray looks vastly superior in comparison.

Post
#1392191
Topic
44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration (Released)
Time

My copy finally showed up today and I plan to watch all 3 films Thursday/Friday/Saturday. I’m not encouraged by many of the screenshots as far as resolution and detail go. Seems like a mixed bag.

I became concerned before I saw any of the screenshots when I watched the promo with Jackson and he said (paraphrasing) that this gave them the opportunity to make all 6 films look consistent; I took this to mean he wanted the LOTR trilogy to look like the Hobbit trilogy, and I’m afraid that’s what we got…lovely film scrubbed in an attempt to make it look digital.

Also, I don’t understand why I’m still seeing these small mastering displays in editing bays that mask the effects of DNR. At the very least, I hope they’re doing QA on larger calibrated consumer displays and projectors. Sony and LG OLEDs are close to reference quality after calibration, and sitting 6’ from a 65" screen makes overzealous DNR obvious.

Post
#1389920
Topic
Is anyone looking forward to Lord of the Rings Deleted scenes next year?
Time

All reports are that LOTR looks about as good as it can without re-rendering the CG at 4K. FOTR’s colors have been fixed and it sounds like the HDR grade isn’t overcooked like a lot of film-based material, which simply looks wrong with eye-searing highlights (in my opinion). Warner’s 4K releases have mostly been spot-on and I expect this one will be no exception.

I watched the extended Blu-rays earlier this year and a viewing once every year or two for epics like this is enough for me, but my 4K copy is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I’ll probably watch it this weekend. I thought about waiting for the deluxe set, but I’m not interested in The Hobbit (sat through the first and only got about 15 minutes into the second before giving up) and I really wanted Best Buy’s steelbook set, which likely won’t be available in the long term.

Post
#1385676
Topic
Flash Gordon Rumor - now a 'general discussion' thread for Flash Gordon
Time

Darth Dougal said:

I imported the 5-disc set from the UK and just finished watching the 4K version. It’s outstanding. Unlike many HDR presentations, I rarely felt like it went overboard in terms of contrast. Still mostly looked filmic.

Hi Jay, did you notice any problems with the soundtrack?

I’ve got the Zavvi 3 disc 4K steelbook, which is the Studio Canal UK edition of the remaster. I can only watch the blu-ray (no 4K gear yet) but the 5.1 DTS MA soundtrack on my disc is a mess. One of the AV forums here in the UK has picked up on this as well.

The Queen soundtrack is phasey and distorted, music was routed through the front right and centre speakers. I’ve asked Zavvi if they have heard about a recall yet (unlikely).

Update: Turns out the dialogue is meant to be routed through the front speakers and everything else through the rear ones. Re-setting the speaker mode on my receiver should fix the problem. The stereo soundtrack is fine. Perhaps the studio created a surround mix from the original stereo magnetic track using something like CEDAR Cambridge software.

Sorry, just saw this. I only have a 2-channel setup and headphones these days, so I listened to the stereo track, which sounded great.

I need to give it another watch. Too good to leave it for only once a year 😃

Post
#1369969
Topic
Flash Gordon Rumor - now a 'general discussion' thread for Flash Gordon
Time

I imported the 5-disc set from the UK and just finished watching the 4K version. It’s outstanding. Unlike many HDR presentations, I rarely felt like it went overboard in terms of contrast. Still mostly looked filmic.

I’d read the director opted to remove the wires from the Hawkmen, but I don’t think I would’ve noticed if I hadn’t read it beforehand. The cleanup work was seamless and I was too busy enjoying the movie. I’m not as much of a hardcore preservationist as some, so it doesn’t bother me, but I’m sure some people would’ve preferred everything been left intact. That said, it’s definitely a more reserved restoration in terms of the effects; I could still see the transparencies resulting from traditional optical effects, so no digital recompositing here. I could be wrong, but I think they might have redone some of the laser fire during the final battle on War Rocket Ajax. It seemed a little too bright and sharp for 70s effects. Maybe I’ll throw in my old Blu-ray to compare. Nothing else stuck out to me as being off though.

I will never tire of this movie.

Post
#1339466
Topic
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020
Time

yotsuya said:

Han Solo IRL said:

MikeMatt101 said:

Broom Kid said:

Looking at the cap from above, thought I’d put together a comparison of “Here to Rescue Yous”

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/7DKY7NNX

I think I got those all labeled correctly.

May I ask, is the last of these screenshots the 2019 Blu Ray or the 2019 4K?

It’s the 4K. It’s got a 3840x1610 pixel count.

yotsuya said:

It sounds like we need to rip the new BR’s and 4k discs and apply a lut to make the 4k version match the colors of the BR. From what I’ve seen the 4k versions have crap colors unless you discover what tinkering you need. Virtually all the 4k screen caps I’ve seen look like crap. Utter crap. So washed out and unlike any film I’ve ever seen in a theater. Natalie Kalmus would be appalled.

The 4K discs are orders of magnitude better than the new 1080p discs for colour and contrast on my GZ1000. Tone mapped screencaps on PC monitors don’t give a good or accurate representation of the 4K versions at all.

From what has been shared, I can’t see it. If you can’t even capture an accurate image of it, what good is it? It has the resolution but if this community is going to make use of that, the colors you claim to be seeing need to transfer over or they are useless. So if we can’t transfer them any other way, we copy the BR colors to the 4k image. Should be easy. I don’t care for 4k because of all the problems the format seems to be having. We can’t burn 4k disc, we can’t transfer HDR colors, can’t even get the right colors in screen caps.

Converting HDR to SDR will always be problematic because you have to compromise somewhere and fidelity will be lost. You can’t squeeze 10 gallons of water into a 5 gallon bucket. Troublesome SDR screenshots don’t imply a problem with the format.

Ignore the SDR screen caps. On a capable 4K HDR display, the overall dynamic range and colors of these transfers (based on the D+ versions, haven’t seen the discs yet) are fantastic. Brightness is just fine and they don’t look washed out at all. Maybe not as punchy as some transfers, but this isn’t Thor: Ragnarok (reference HDR image btw). It’s 70s film and they stayed truer to that aesthetic. Just a shame about the DNR and frozen grain.

The challenge with HDR isn’t that it has no guidelines; it does. Its real challenge is that it’s about 5 to 10 years ahead of current display technology. No consumer display can hit 4000 nits, let alone 10,000, and even then, LCDs don’t have anywhere near the contrast to do the format justice. I’ve had two relatively high-end displays recently: the Samsung Q90R and Sony XBR-65A9F. The Samsung is superior in terms of maximum brightness, but the higher contrast of Sony’s OLED gives it a much punchier image, and therefore the appearance of nearly the same brightness, while having superior black levels (obviously) and color volume. Judging HDR transfers on even the best LCDs isn’t fair to the transfer.

(I kept the OLED. It absolutely destroys the Pioneer Kuro it replaced.)

Post
#1326801
Topic
4K77 reel by reel color grading (a WIP)
Time

DrDre said:

A new release of 4K77 is in the works, that will feature these colors. Our esteemed williarob will provide updates in the future, but an exact release date is not yet available.

After sitting through the Disney+ versions and shaking my head at more dumb alterations, frozen grain in many of the backgrounds, and SE CGI that has aged terribly and sticks out like a sore thumb, I’m excited to have such high-quality 4K versions in the works. I’ll gladly wait a few years to have a complete film-like OT in 4K with excellent color.

Thanks to everyone involved in these preservations.

Post
#1313298
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

ray_afraid said:

Broom Kid said:

I can think he’s wrong, but I don’t have to let it personally affect me to the point where I’m indulging in conspiracy theories and ugly insults.

There’s only a very small fraction of sad weirdos doing that.
I’m not attacking the man or anything, but I don’t like his stance on this.
Suppression of history is wrong. It’s something George himself used to preach about.