J

JAB

Audioholic Intern
<font color='#000000'>I have heard about this before, so I did a little sound &nbsp;comparison between the DVD and LD of the 1925/29 Phantom of the Opera released by Image Entertainment. This movie is a real classic, and it has been released on a restored print. Generally, the picture is very good, but in some areas the print shows it's age.

An excellent score for the movie was composed by Gabriel Thibaudoux and recorded in 1990 by the wonderful chamber orchestra, I Musici De Montreal along with soprano Claudine Cote.

It is a fact that compared to the LD, the DVD has a clearer image which mostly shows its superiority on the subtitles. Because of the condition of the print (apparently, the best available) the LD is also very good.

But the sound!! The DVD sound is flat with very poor imaging and front orchestral spread. Even the DVD bass has no power.
This clearly demonstrates the poor transfer rate and quality of Dolby Digital sound.

The LD sound, which is close to the CD transfer rate blows the DVD away. Incredible orchestral imaging, depth, and width. The LD release has a lot sweeter sound (the DVD string sound is hard and steely) with stronger better bass. I watched the releases back to back, and the LD version was totally more involving.

The same thing has happened to the packaging as what happened to CD's vs Records - there is not enough room in those tiny jewel-case formats to include interesting printed detail.

In the Phantom LD, you receive a very detailed history of the making of the movie, as well as a beautiful reprint of the original booklet sold to theatre patrons during the original release. This booklet alone is worth the price of the LD. The DVD release has a truncated version of these interesting facts with NO release booklet.

I have heard of other big differences in sound between DVD's and LD's, which the LD usually wins hands down (another example of poor sound on DVD vs LD is the musical, Hello Dolly).

So, if you have a collection of LD's, don't be to hasty dump-em, just as CD buyers did with their LP collections.

In my case, if I have the latest LD version of a release with lots of music, until things improve with DVD sound, I won't be buying the DVD version.

Al

Try the LD vs DVD release of The Commitments for another example.</font>
 
Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>If you wanna watch your LDs in five years, better buy an extra player now. &nbsp;Worldwide production of LD players was about 3,300 machines last year (according to a buddy of mine that's big into LD) and substantially fewer machines will be built this year. &nbsp;The format has been dead long enough (as far as new software) that the hardware will be getting a lot harder to find in the coming months &amp; years.

I've been told there's some decent deals on some nice combination players that will play both formats. &nbsp;Might not be a bad investment.

BTW, anyone who wants to see the *REAL* original Star Wars flicks better hang onto their LDs, 'cos Lucas claims he'll only release the butchered, er I mean &quot;ehanced&quot;, editions of the films.
</font>
 
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J

JAB

Audioholic Intern
<font color='#000000'>Yes, the phasing out of LD software and players is a concern. As a matter of fact, I am surprised that someone is still manufacturing LD players at this time. Is Pioneer one of them?

I bought one of the last and best LD players made by Pioneer, the Elite CLD 99. I also have an Elite CLD 92 as backup. A few years back, I thought I should consider buying an extra laser assembly to extend the viewing years with my large LD collection. I can't remember the cost quoted, but I sure can recall nearly having the big one when I saw the price!! I guess I will have to bite the bullet and order this part along with a new drive motor to cover future breakdowns. I just hope Pioneer has a good inventory of replacement parts, or perhaps a business-minded LD lover will start an enterprise to refurbish LD players.

I have Star Wars covered - I have the box set and copies of the last LD's issued in DD 5.1 before the &quot;improved&quot; re-issues.
Incidently, I see a new issue of The Commitments has been released with extras and interviews in DD 5.1 (hopefully, in DTS also). Maybe they got the sound right this time (the first DVD release was a disaster).

By the end of the LD format age, the picture on properly mastered LD's was excellent. It took a few years to obtain decent picture quality on LD's because the software boys (read MGM, Warner, Paramount, Universal, etc.) would use the VHS master tape (with it's poor resolution) to make the LD transfer to save costs. After a lot of complaints from the LD videophiles about quality, they decided to produce proper LD transfers using it's much superior bandwidth. As a result, VHS picture quality also improved. The software suppliers also realized that the introduction of DVD must show vast improvement over VHS, or they would have a big problem selling the format to the average consumer. The LD market consisted of movie fanatics looking for the best picture and sound, but the software was very expensive with small runs compared to VHS (a really big run in LD was around 10,000 copies), so the majors never treated it with respect until a small specialized company called Criterion started to embarass them with far superior picture quality. They took notice, and as a result, their product improved considerably.

LD was a great training ground for the majors for proper intro of DVD.

Al</font>
 
Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>I'll have to check with my LD-expert source to see who's still making 'em. &nbsp;I think it probably is Pioneer.

I'm really anxious to get the new Committments DVD. &nbsp;The old one doesn't sound great, but the movie is so great that I still really enjoy the disc. &nbsp;Hopefully the new version will kick it up a notch.</font>
 
A. Vivaldi

A. Vivaldi

Audioholic
<font color='#000000'>I've never seen or heard an LD, but I've read that their sound was superior to that of DVD. Isn't LD sound analogue? It would make for a good argument for analogue vs. digital. I wonder why LD never made it big. It had been around for a long time. Speaking of obsolete formats, Beta was known to have a slightly better picture quality than VHS, and they were smaller too. I used to have one years ago. The small formats usually win out, so I wonder why Beta never caught on in the U.S.? I think Sony still makes a Beta, cause they're still used overseas.</font>
 
J

JAB

Audioholic Intern
<font color='#000000'>Yes, there is no doubt that properly mastered LD sound is much superior to DVD sound - especially current Dolby Digital 5.1. I find in nearly all instances that DTS sounds far better than D.D. because DTS has a higher bit rate (read resolution). Dolby Digital has lots of slam, but no finesse when it comes to music, especially soaring symphonic soundtracks.

Most LD's were recorded in analogue with CX noise suppression and the A/D conversion was very close to redbook CD specs. As I replace some of my LD's with the &quot;superior&quot; DVD format (granted, the DVD picture is usually, but not always, better), I have found the sound on DVD's lacking. It is just a matter of craming to much info on a 7&quot; format ( LD's were 12&quot;) and Dolby Digital is so far from redbook CD it isn't funny.

As I have a very large collection of LD's, I have the fortunate option of comparing the LD release to the DVD release.

A few observations:

Early DVD release of Appocalyse Now! versus the LD release:
No comparision - the DVD sound is flat and uninteresting - the LD even has better bass and a humongous soundstage. (Note: I did not try the lastest DVD release, Appocalyse Now! Redux - to scared to waste more money!!).

The DVD release of the 1925/29 Phantom of the Opera. Again, flat, uninteresting sound, poor bass, no soundstage - the LD version blows it away.

The first DVD release of The Committments - worse botch job yet - a fabulous vibrant soundtrack on the LD &nbsp;disappeared into thin air on the DVD issue. Hopefully, the new DVD release will rectify this and give as a choice of a DTS soundtrack. I am a little worried about a botch job in 5.1 - keep the band up front where it belongs!!

The DVD release of Hello, Dolly! - no depth - no soundstage- dead highs - how could they do that to poor Ole Satchmo singing one his best ever songs!! Shame on the sound?? engineer.

The DVD release of the Imax The Dream is Alive. This was a landmark LD demo disc - with incredible bass and treble (especially the hot gases colliding with the atmosphere - the crackling noise of the tremendous heat demands unbelievable power from an amp and the tweeters will quickly fry if the amp can't deliver). Again, the DVD sounds flat, although the bass isn't bad. I read of a retail outlet being a little to exuburant with the volume control when playing one of the LD rocket launches, and all the stock on the wall shelves of the adjoining drugstore began to rain to the floor - a man made earthquake!!

I will probably spring for the new Committment DVD. I will be doing a close comparison of the sound and will report. What does make the DVD sound interesting is that they do current &nbsp;interviews with the cast, but apparently there is not an interview with the lead female singer , a real shame.

AL</font>
 
Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>I'm bummed at the number of bad looking DVDs lately. &nbsp;It's almost like they deliberately make them look crummy so they can put out a remaster/spec edition and sell it a second time. &nbsp;One problem is the sheer amount of stuff they often insist on cramming onto the disc; you often get subtitles in 5 langs, 3 or four soundtracks, hours of commentary or deleted scenes, elaborate menus, etc. &nbsp;A lot of people like that stuff, but there's only so much you can cram onto a disc without compressing it all to hell. &nbsp;Anyway, am I the only guy that never watches all that crap? &nbsp;It's a rarity for me to ever listen to the directors comments or watch any of the (usually lame) 'making of' or behind-the-scenes stuff. &nbsp;Mostly it's a lot of back slapping and butt kissing (oh, he was such a genius, the best director I've ever worked with, blah blah blah).

At a minimum, they can at least put the fluff on a 2nd disc. &nbsp;That way anyone who wants to watch the extras can but you don't compromise the tech standards of the movie itself. &nbsp;The SuperBit Deluxe movies use this approach. &nbsp;And the SB discs show just what DVD is capable of when done correctly.</font>
 
A. Vivaldi

A. Vivaldi

Audioholic
<font color='#000000'><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"> Anyway, am I the only guy that never watches all that crap? &nbsp;It's a rarity for me to ever listen to the directors comments or watch any of the (usually lame) 'making of' or behind-the-scenes stuff. </td></tr></table> &nbsp; No your not. With the exception of movies with extra scenes created specificly for the DVD release, like The Lord Of The Rings, I've never seen one single movie with bonus footage that I liked. That stuff was edited out for a reason, because it was stupid. If I was an editor, I'd be on strike with a picket sign. What really pisses me off is when they release a movie &quot;special edition&quot; and they don't include the original cut of the film! I don't mind the bonus stuff like you said, but put them on other discs for the fanatics. One bad example of this is the movie Highlander, one of my favorites. All the DVD's currently avalible only have the European version of the film. Some of the added footage is cool, but there's always one or two scenes that totally don't fit in with the film and ruin the whole thing, like the dumb Nazi scene. Even the colors and textures of the film were totally different, and the directors laughed in the commentary about how that scene was an after thought and that it only cost $1000 to shoot. Yeh...that's so funny. I was also surprised and pissed that some of the sound effects in the regular scenes were different, and inferior. Why? I'll bet even the producers didn't even notice, or care. Amadeus is another great movie that's been recently released as an (un) special edition. If you want the original film, better grab it quick. I think historians will someday look back at this in a negative way as a time when great original artwork was manipulated by it's creators in the name of profit.</font>
 
Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>That's great!
&nbsp; I'm surprised to find someone else admit that's their favorite. &nbsp;I'd seen &quot;Highlander&quot; over 50 times before it ever even came out on DVD, and it was the first DVD I ever bought (I actually bought it 3 months before I had a player). &nbsp;While I agree with you about &quot;unspecial editions&quot;, I gotta disagree with you on Highlander. &nbsp;The European edition really is the &quot;real&quot; edition, and that footage was mosted edited out to dumb it down for America. &nbsp;(That and to remove the scenes with Kurgan licking the priests hand- the feeling was that that scene would upset our delicate American sensibilities).

I wholeheartedly agree though that it's criminal when the only available edition is the &quot;special one.&quot; &nbsp;Although I hope to see LotR start a trend- I'd like to see what a the way a director really envisions his film once the more crass commercial elements are stripped away. &nbsp;Sometimes that backfires (a la &nbsp;the Star Wars flicks) but sometimes the result is astonishing (ie LotR). &nbsp;Often it's the original theatrical release that's trashed by the Suits at the studios for profit reasons. &nbsp;Sure, history will likely take a dim view of Lucas-style revisionism, but I think that DVD will allow the films creator another avenue to see his vision realized.</font>
 
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A. Vivaldi

A. Vivaldi

Audioholic
<font color='#000000'><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">That's great!    I'm surprised to find someone else admit that's their favorite.  I'd seen &quot;Highlander&quot; over 50 times before it ever even came out on DVD, and it was the first DVD I ever bought (I actually bought it 3 months before I had a player).  While I agree with you about &quot;unspecial editions&quot;, I gotta disagree with you on Highlander.  The European edition really is the &quot;real&quot; edition, and that footage was mosted edited out to dumb it down for America.  (That and to remove the scenes with Kurgan licking the priests hand- the feeling was that that scene would upset our delicate American sensibilities).
</td></tr></table>  An example of two pointless and stupid scenes that were rightfully cut from the American version: During the first swordfight in the parking garage, Mcleod is hiding under a car while the other guy is looking for him, then for no reason, the guy starts doing a bunch of back flips. Why? The other scene was when Mcleod was dueling with the guy in old Boston while drunk. After Mcleod walks away, the other guy shoots his swordhandler in the back while he's running away. Why? Because he was a little annoyed by him? I find it hard to believe that a gentleman of his nature would do something like that. Not to mention the awful Nazi scene. SS troops generally did not go into battle in immaculate dress uniforms, and the fake makeup on Mcleod and the fake sounding gunfire was pretty cheesey, and that corny comment, &quot;whatever you say Jack your the master race&quot;, and why does the little girl he saved turn out to have a British accent? Germany never invaded Britain. It was obvious it only cost $1000 to shoot that scene. Of course it's all my opinion, but after watching the American version for so long I found this one hard to swallow, and I still watch it once in a while on the original crappy looking VHS tape.
</font>
 
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Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>She has a British accent because she's Racheal, the woman who works as his assistant/secretary in present day NY City. &nbsp;Sure, the nazi scene was cheesy (like the entire film!
), but it introduces here and explains why she knows his secrets.

I'm sure the scene where he shoots the guy is one of those butt-cringingly ill advised attempt at getting a laugh. &nbsp;Pretty much every action movie has certain by-the-numbers points where the here makes a horridly cheesy quip designed by The Suits to get a crowded theater to crack up. &nbsp;(Eg. the T-100 declaring &quot;I need a vacation&quot; at the end of T2. &nbsp;A Terminator would want a vacation?).

I might possibly still have the old version on DVD, if you don't still have it and really think it's better...can't remember if I kept it or sold it when I bought the new edition.</font>
 
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Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>BTW, don't get me started on the accents!
&nbsp;Connery's   Ramirez is a Scottish actor playing an Egyptian-by-way-of-Spain while you have a French actor playing a Scottish Highlander!?

And in the series, Adrian Paul sounds like he learned his accent from listening to Scotty (from Star Trek) and Scrough McDuck!</font>
 
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A. Vivaldi

A. Vivaldi

Audioholic
<font color='#000000'><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td>
Rob Babcock : She has a British accent because she's Racheal, the woman who works as his assistant/secretary in present day NY City.  Sure, the nazi scene was cheesy (like the entire film!
), but it introduces here and explains why she knows his secrets.

I'm sure the scene where he shoots the guy is one of those butt-cringingly ill advised attempt at getting a laugh.  Pretty much every action movie has certain by-the-numbers points where the here makes a horridly cheesy quip designed by The Suits to get a crowded theater to crack up.  (Eg. the T-100 declaring &quot;I need a vacation&quot; at the end of T2.  A Terminator would want a vacation?).

I might possibly still have the old version on DVD, if you don't still have it and really think it's better...can't remember if I kept it or sold it when I bought the new edition.
She has a British accent because she's Rachel??? I guess I have an Italian accent because I'm A. Vivaldi! My point was she was saved from a country being overrun with Germans, and Germany never set foot in England! You're right about the other accents though. LOL! But hey, those were the immortal guys! There from &quot;lots of different places&quot; remember? LOL! You're also right about the feeble attempts at comedy that writers toss in, and they usually end up with a Duh! from me instead of a laugh, and you're right about the movie being cheesy, but it had some nice scenery, and the Nazi scene didn't have the same &quot;look&quot; as the rest of the movie, an it's introduction with the breaking glass and stuff didn't flow well and was pretty crass. I take the movie  kinda seriously I guess because it effects me psychologically in some way, probably because of Queen's great music and because I was young when I used to watch it a lot. As far as the other Highlander movies and the series, I think they all sucked. Think of all the great prequels they could of made! All the adventures of McCleod before the first movie took place. But no, they had to do the stupid future stuff. The only way you can accept the other films is if you pretended the first one never existed, as that was the end to everything. I saw the original Highlander 2 and it was baaaaad! That movie used to be on the top ten list of the worst movies of all time, I think. The new version is supposed to be better, as in just plain awful instead of repulsive. I didn't know an original version of the first movie existed on DVD. Are you sure about that? The first version that came out didn't say &quot;directors cut&quot; on the front cover but it was, because I had it. The later version just had a fancier cover and more about Queen's music, I think.</font>
 
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Rob Babcock

Rob Babcock

Moderator
<font color='#8D38C9'>Don't you remember, Racheal is the name of the little girl he saved from the Nazi's, and she's the same woman who as an adult was his &quot;secretary.&quot; &nbsp;Since she's English as an adult, she couldn't have hardly been French as a girl! &nbsp;And there's really no reason an English girl couldn't have been living in France- that wouldn't be a stretch at all.

I agree that Highlander transcends its flaws, mostly because I too grew up watching it literally once per week!

The retarded thing about the sequels is that of course they throw the original out the window. &nbsp;The 2nd one is among the worst movies ever made, and the &quot;Renegade&quot; version was far worse yet. &nbsp;Taken on its own merits, the 3rd one was a pretty good movie (and Debra Unger was mighty easy on the eyes!
). &nbsp;The worst steaming pile of them all was the 4th one- just a complete abomination.

As for the first DVD edition, it appears I either sold it or gave it away- if the latter, I'd have given it to my parents, so they probably still have it. &nbsp;I'll have to have them look at it for me.

If I had Bill Gate's money, I'd do a remake of the first movie, pretty much a shot by shot remake but with a couple extra flashback scenes and removing the Nazi part. &nbsp;I'd probably add one more immortal fight in the present day, too- a &quot;gathering&quot; should be more than just four immortals.

My choices of cast? &nbsp;Ewen McGregor as MacCloud, Patrick Stewart as Ramirez, &amp; Vin Diesel as Kurgan. &nbsp; I'd pick Jerry Orbach as the Cop and some hot dishy chick as Brenda (Brenda is sorta window dressing- the casting of her part wouldn't make or break a movie. &nbsp;Certainly Charlize Theron would work. &nbsp;And Rhona Mitra as Heather).

The print used to make the DVD is basically crap, it just looks like butt. &nbsp;That's why I'd love to see it remade with the aforementioned actors and some better special effects.

The Queen music stays!
</font>
 
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U

Unregistered

Guest
I agree LD does sound better, not as "compressed" as DVD. I have the Star Wars Phantom Menace on LD, and it sounds amazing (hey I don't "listen" to a story line ;) ). Its pretty much my reference. Anyways it sounds awsome, but then I went to a theater store that was playing Phantom Menace on DVD when it first came out on a Monitor Audio/Krell system, and it just sounded flat. It was loud, but it didn't have any life. Course that maybe comparing Red Book and Magnepans, to compressed format and cone speakers :D .

Some of my favorite LD's are True Lies (harrier scenes), Days Of Thunder, Heat, T2 (of course), Contact, Top Gun.


Sometimes the Movie Trading Outlet and Half Priced Books around here sell LD's for $5-$15, but as the years go by, less and less have them. The internet seems to be the last place.

Although sometimes poeple will sell players and their collection on Ebay for a pretty decent bundle price.

The hard part now is finding RF demodulators!
 

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