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  1. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    I don't think the OP is necessarily wrong, the restoration is clean and noise free, but the colors are the choice of the person
    doing the restoration. The original, scanned, film elements are faded with color shift. Can't rely on that, so what do you do?
    To illustrate my point, here is an image from the Sound Of Music, one from the restoration done in 2000, for DVD
    and one from the recent 4K restoration. Both attempts are/were good faith efforts.

    The more faded-looking is from an Xvid avi I made myself (using Auto-GK) more that 10 years ago, from said DVD.
    I still have the DVD, this is how it looks. I don't have the Blu-ray, but the image posted is a screen shot
    from this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drnBMAEA3AM
    I've seen enough images of the recent restoration, this is representative of how that looks.
    Never trust the internet or youtube, Here is the blu-ray screenshot and it supposed to be the same scan for the UHD version because it was done on high resolution scanner something like 6K:

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  2. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    Nope, this looks closer to what I would expect . Just my opinion. I wasn't around in 1963

    But is it not feasible that different DVD's , different BD's, different film projector setups could have different colors ? That's my point
    The OP has no original version to compare to yet he kept arguing that the 1963 copy is the holly grail which he doesn't even have assuming the original copy is 35mm or similar film.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 11th Sep 2019 at 14:11.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post

    Never trust the internet or youtube, Here is the blu-ray screenshot and it supposed to be the same scan for the UHD version because it was done on high resolution scanner something like 6K:

    Never trust the internet or youtube in reference to what ? My point is that there is a massive difference between the two
    restorations I mentioned in terms of the color grading. Do any of them look like it did in the cinema in 1965?
    Or which one is closer? Who knows at this point
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  4. Member DB83's Avatar
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    In my quest to actually get hold of this bloody thing, I found this on fleabay

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cleopatra-Blu-ray-1963-Region-Free-DVD-Region-2/29232280089...eeba%7Ciid%3A1

    If all that glitters is not gold then also never judge a disk only by it's cover
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    The OP may be interested.

    The good news. I have located what appears to be a 178 min VHS in PAL.

    The bad news. The dialog is over-dubbed into German
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  6. Even in the (extremely unlikely) event the Magnetic Video beta cassette in question was in flawless mint playing condition, and (even less likely) the mail-order digital conversion of this tape is done perfectly, with the color balance preferred by OP, it will still fall far short of watchability on modern flat screen displays. The resolution just isn't there, and the hideous pan-scan 4:3 crop robs the film of whatever visual grandeur it originally had. I think everyone, including OP, can agree this ancient beta tape is more of academic interest: to compare the editing choices made for the shorter original-run theatrical cut to the premiere (now standard) cut. One would have to be an obsessive on the order of Rupert Pupkin to insist they prefer watching the beta tape transfer over the bluray: the two presentations don't occupy the same universe. No matter how "off color" anyone might think the bluray grading is, it sure as hell beats gouging your eyes out from the pain of a crappy amateur-hour digital dub of the decades-old cropped beta. The thought of the dropouts alone would deter me.

    Re the color balance and some other aspects of some bluray restorations: yes, not everyone agrees on what looks"natural" or what the original prints looked like. Some questionable choices are sometimes made in the name of digital purity, or stem from the inevitable clash of what film can record vs what digital capture and LCD display of film can preserve. My opinion of the Cleopatra bluray screen caps posted earlier echoed OPs reaction: "OMG, what in the hell did they do?". The color tones are all off, it doesn't look like bright Italian sun (more like Scottish overcast). And the gold indeed seems indistinguishable from silver. At least, on a couple Mac monitors and PC laptops I viewed this site on.

    Then I remembered the common sense espoused by manono: these transfers are meant to be viewed on a standard TV. So I borrowed the actual bluray from a friend, slapped it in my LG BD player, and watched some key scenes on my 32" Sony (CFL backlight) and 40" Samsung (LED backlight). Viewed on these displays, the BD transfer is beautiful: very sharp but not fake sharp, cleaned but not "digital clean", with colors about as close as one might expect to a projected film. The sunlit arrival of Caesar in Egypt looks warm and sunny, various skin tones are perfect, the red banners look red, gold and silver are easily distinguished. Like many modern restorations, the overall color is just very slightly subdued: easily adjusted with a TV setting if desired. As a third option, I moved the player over to a 32" Panasonic IPS stored away in my basement as a backup TV. On this display, the Cleopatra bluray transfer was kick-ass: colors a bit punchier but still realistic, with almost a 3D vividness to the imagery.

    This is a common enough experience for many of us: lots of media looks worse on standard uncalibrated computer monitors vs television displays, and each television model is different. It can come down to a specific combination of movie transfer vs the capabilities of a given display. My Sony isn't as "exciting" to watch as the Samsung or Panasonic, but it has a more consistent lock on color from source to source, so it became my primary display for serious viewing. Unfortunately, the precise configuration of its LCD materials and control electronics occasionally clashes with dvd or bluray releases of some of my favorites. Most memorably with the BD of "Close Encounters", where it has an odd tendency to reveal the borders where the UFOs and mothership were optically matted into the negative (as if the UFO is surrounded by a Rorschach blot). This is (correctly) invisible when the disc is shown on any other display: the Sony has some sort of issue handling the large contrast between bright colorful UFO and black night sky, which contaminates the border areas.

    Win some, lose some: nothing is perfect 100% of the time.
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Sep 2019 at 16:50.
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  7. Now we're talking about color grading (called "timing" when done to film) and how it changes when a film is restored or re-released.

    Theatrical movie films most definitely have their color timing adjusted and changed:
    • When prints are made from the working negative for distribution during the original theatrical run;
    • When the film is scanned for transfer to other media, such as videotape, DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming;
    • When the film is broadcast or streamed (via Vectorscope, in the days of analog);
    • When the film is restored.
    Because of these reasons, the OP is completely correct that this re-timed version does not match the timing in theatrical release, so the colors and, to a lesser extent, the density will be different from what was seen in the theater.

    But here is a key point: while some of this is by design, some of it cannot be helped.

    Why?
    Because projected film is a totally different medium than any form of video, and film color cannot be perfectly mapped to any form of video.
    The color gamuts of film and video are quite different. This is actually true of any medium and is at the heart of the famous Schreiber Patent which provides ways of approximating colors during any transfer between different media. A good example that most of you have probably experienced is that an inkjet printer cannot display all the same colors you see on your computer screen. Another example is NTSC video's inability to deal correctly with the color red.

    So the OP's quest (or anyone elses' quest) to have a DVD or Blu-Ray match colors seen in the theater is a technical impossibility. Any transfer is going to look different. It is both inevitable and unavoidable.

    Finally, many of the images posted here, purporting to show color or gamma mistakes are very misleading. To properly demonstrate what the image actually looks like, you have to have mastered all the colorspace concepts like YUV, RGB, Rec. 709 & 601, and dozens more. As already described by others, when people don't have at least a working understanding of this, they will think the image is washed out or has tints, but what they are really seeing is the result of displaying with the wrong device, or on the wrong display, or on a display that hasn't been calibrated. Or they have unwittingly done a color conversion somewhere along the way.

    As one example, those two images posted of "Sound of Music," with one example looking very washed out with colors that look muted is almost certainly NOT how it was transferred on not representative of what was actually on the disc. No studio would screw up that badly a movie of that stature and commercial appeal. Instead, I'm betting that there were one or more colorspace conversions that happened that were not done correctly.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 11th Sep 2019 at 17:06. Reason: typos
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  8. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    The OP may be interested.

    The good news. I have located what appears to be a 178 min VHS in PAL.

    The bad news. The dialog is over-dubbed into German
    I Googled the UPC code and found lots of listings for this item. Unfortunately for the OP it looks like the eBay seller you linked to listed the wrong running time. Perhaps it was the time for just one of the two discs? Here is one of dozens of sites which carry UPC: 5039036049474:

    https://www.brownsbfs.com/Product/Cleopatra/5039036049474

    As you'll see, it lists running time of 248 minutes, the normal 4+ hour run time for most of these video versions.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 11th Sep 2019 at 17:07.
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Actually John, the ebay seller is AFAIK selling a totally different item - a tv version with different actors - scroll down for the description. Normally I would have jumped at this but something did not appear right which is why I read the complete listing.

    The German dubbed VHS appears to be an early 90's release for Germany. The listing is actually on Amazon.de and only costs a few bucks. Since this is, apparently, not connected with Fox it may not be copy-protected. If the OP wants to send me $10 then I will order it and even attempt to digitize it. I doubt if he understands German but he would see the video.

    Of course he could buy it himself but will still have the PAL issue.

    https://www.amazon.de/Cleopatra-VHS-Dame-Elizabeth-Taylor/dp/B00004RLB4/ref=sr_1_7?key...1&s=dvd&sr=1-7
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Adding to the display 'discussion' maybe I saw those caps correctly since I do have a IPS monitor and also view all my blu rays and dvds through that. Do not own a standalone BD Player.

    Now I did see The Sound of Music in the cinema. I can almost visualise the experience of being in the building but not what was on the screen. Of course one's perception has been influenced by countless tv screenings usually at Xmas over the years. I also own a dvd release which I thought looked much better than the posted caps - the larger one looked much too sharp for my liking.

    But it's horses for courses. We do not know what with or how he views these disks so that is bound to influence his perception.
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    Even as a kid growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 60's and 70's (though too young to have seen Cleopatra in it's theatrical run), my family, friends and I had the privilege of choosing between "true" theaters that were sometimes still used for stage productions and cinemas, which focused on movies only. No one was a film buff, but it was known that if you wanted to get the best picture and sound quality, you had to pay extra for a first run screening at the local Cinerama or Waikiki 3, which while not a Cinerama screen, was very large and wide. For Japanese spectacles, including Godzilla movies, we had Toho, which had a magnificent screen!

    If you didn't want to pay the extra for the premium theater and first fun, movies almost always had a second run (with a slightly worn print), usually with a co-feature at second tier theaters. Dust, scratches and a slightly blurry image were expected. The final stop was the the Drive-In, with non-existent light control and sound through an almost literally tin can speaker.

    The point being that yes, optics, screen material/type, theater lighting, projector type and quality of the film print all played a role in how the movie was seen on screen. Saying a film should look like it did in the theater is meaningless, especially with today's cheapo multiplexes. Unless you can afford a couple of million for a custom built IMAX theater, even the best home theaters pale horribly in comparison to the theaters where Cleopatra and other spectacles were shown at during their first run.
    Last edited by lingyi; 11th Sep 2019 at 22:36.
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  12. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    In my quest to actually get hold of this bloody thing, I found this on fleabay

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cleopatra-Blu-ray-1963-Region-Free-DVD-Region-2/29232280089...eeba%7Ciid%3A1

    If all that glitters is not gold then also never judge a disk only by it's cover
    go ahead. buy it. It's going to be the four hours long.
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  13. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    You can search "cleopatra trailer screenshots 1963" and wikimedia has a bunch linked on google images


    So you think the red carpet should look orange instead of red?


    if you see your bluray captures as red then you have serious issues with your eyes because the 'red' in your images is more PINK thanks to the heavy magenta filter all throughout the image. The images on the top the carpet looks blood red as it should and Cleopatra looks GOLD and the light is noon white as it should as opposed to gray.
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  14. Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post

    So you think the red carpet should look orange instead of red?
    Nope, this looks closer to what I would expect . Just my opinion. I wasn't around in 1963

    But is it not feasible that different DVD's , different BD's, different film projector setups could have different colors ? That's my point
    I've been noticing this for a very long time, not only with Cleopatra but with every single film out there. You can search for it yourself, you can see images online, watch the Cleopatra dvd and old clips on youtube and they are all the same. The film is warm toned and the entrance into Rome scene the light is pure white and it's very, very warm and saturated. Whatever minor differences in calibration cannot account for the 180 degrees turn on the bluray. It looks NOTHING like this film is supposed to look like. Nothing. And we go back to the same point, these people are hardware fanatics, they don't believe in color, they don't believe in saturation, Christopher Nolan is their idol so every single film has to look like that, they feel they have to fix whatever was done in 1963 because lord forbid a red actually looks like a red as opposed to a magenta or blue red like on Nolan's films with its heavy use of blue filter, and last but not least, these people want to own these films. They want the only surviving widely spread version to be THEIR heavily filtered, digitally altered version and not what the directors intended. These people are sick. They destroyed Vertigo in 1996, which became an industry standard, and they've been destroying films ever since.

    It's not just color. For instance, Josef Von Sternberg's films with Marlene Dietrich have been DESTROYED by Criterion. Decimated. Sternberg was an expert at contrast, at toning, his films are so rich, and they've darkened them to almost barely even noticeable images, again, to conform with the Zack Snyders, the Nolans, the Del Toros, they have to make these old films look like that, who knows for what twisted, sick purpose. But like I said, in a few years time all of golden age hollywood is going to be WIPED OUT by revisionist digital restorations.
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  15. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Even in the (extremely unlikely) event the Magnetic Video beta cassette in question was in flawless mint playing condition, and (even less likely) the mail-order digital conversion of this tape is done perfectly, with the color balance preferred by OP, it will still fall far short of watchability on modern flat screen displays. The resolution just isn't there, and the hideous pan-scan 4:3 crop robs the film of whatever visual grandeur it originally had. I think everyone, including OP, can agree this ancient beta tape is more of academic interest: to compare the editing choices made for the shorter original-run theatrical cut to the premiere (now standard) cut. One would have to be an obsessive on the order of Rupert Pupkin to insist they prefer watching the beta tape transfer over the bluray: the two presentations don't occupy the same universe. No matter how "off color" anyone might think the bluray grading is, it sure as hell beats gouging your eyes out from the pain of a crappy amateur-hour digital dub of the decades-old cropped beta. The thought of the dropouts alone would deter me.

    Re the color balance and some other aspects of some bluray restorations: yes, not everyone agrees on what looks"natural" or what the original prints looked like. Some questionable choices are sometimes made in the name of digital purity, or stem from the inevitable clash of what film can record vs what digital capture and LCD display of film can preserve. My opinion of the Cleopatra bluray screen caps posted earlier echoed OPs reaction: "OMG, what in the hell did they do?". The color tones are all off, it doesn't look like bright Italian sun (more like Scottish overcast). And the gold indeed seems indistinguishable from silver. At least, on a couple Mac monitors and PC laptops I viewed this site on.

    Then I remembered the common sense espoused by manono: these transfers are meant to be viewed on a standard TV. So I borrowed the actual bluray from a friend, slapped it in my LG BD player, and watched some key scenes on my 32" Sony (CFL backlight) and 40" Samsung (LED backlight). Viewed on these displays, the BD transfer is beautiful: very sharp but not fake sharp, cleaned but not "digital clean", with colors about as close as one might expect to a projected film. The sunlit arrival of Caesar in Egypt looks warm and sunny, various skin tones are perfect, the red banners look red, gold and silver are easily distinguished. Like many modern restorations, the overall color is just very slightly subdued: easily adjusted with a TV setting if desired. As a third option, I moved the player over to a 32" Panasonic IPS stored away in my basement as a backup TV. On this display, the Cleopatra bluray transfer was kick-ass: colors a bit punchier but still realistic, with almost a 3D vividness to the imagery.

    This is a common enough experience for many of us: lots of media looks worse on standard uncalibrated computer monitors vs television displays, and each television model is different. It can come down to a specific combination of movie transfer vs the capabilities of a given display. My Sony isn't as "exciting" to watch as the Samsung or Panasonic, but it has a more consistent lock on color from source to source, so it became my primary display for serious viewing. Unfortunately, the precise configuration of its LCD materials and control electronics occasionally clashes with dvd or bluray releases of some of my favorites. Most memorably with the BD of "Close Encounters", where it has an odd tendency to reveal the borders where the UFOs and mothership were optically matted into the negative (as if the UFO is surrounded by a Rorschach blot). This is (correctly) invisible when the disc is shown on any other display: the Sony has some sort of issue handling the large contrast between bright colorful UFO and black night sky, which contaminates the border areas.

    Win some, lose some: nothing is perfect 100% of the time.
    why must I watch it on a flat screen tv?? Why and how did we come to this point where it's just one option or else?? And how many times do I have to say, I do not care about the quality of that tape. It¿'s not about that. It's about a cut of the film that hasn't been seen since 1963. I couldn't care less if it's not compatible with the latest UBH4K technology. And newsflash: golgen age Hollywood films were not made to be seen in your uber flat uber high dynamic range tv. They were not. These films need to be left alone, preserved yes but that's it. We can't keep on going like this transforming and altering these films so that they fit this new technological standard. And it's not even the classic films, the latest bluray of Batman 1989 was completely digitally re recorded and altered. The original mono soundtrack is gone. Like forever. If you want to see your latest Jason Statham film in state of the art technology that is the be all and end all, that's fine, but leave old films alone.
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  16. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Never trust the internet or youtube in reference to what ? My point is that there is a massive difference between the two
    restorations I mentioned in terms of the color grading. Do any of them look like it did in the cinema in 1965?
    Or which one is closer? Who knows at this point
    I already said it, Unless you have the UHD and the Blu-ray discs and make snapshots yourself from the discs don't just assume anything posted in the internet is not altered.
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    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    if you see your bluray captures as red then you have serious issues with your eyes because the 'red' in your images is more PINK thanks to the heavy magenta filter all throughout the image. The images on the top the carpet looks blood red as it should and Cleopatra looks GOLD and the light is noon white as it should as opposed to gray.
    It's not that easy. Both appear wrong to me, on calibrated equipment. The bottom was worse, pulled out blues where blues should not have been pulled out. But the top has problems as well. It's still off, just maybe a bit more pleasing to the eye.

    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    , it looks like an overcast day when in fact it's meant to be really sunny,
    and the gold is near silver all throughout the film thanks to irresponsible digital color correction.
    Yes, the grading does make it look overcast. That's badly done. But the gold is gold. Gold is not supposed to be yellow, and that Betamax tape is a banana.

    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Now we're talking about color grading (called "timing" when done to film) and how it changes when a film is restored or re-released.
    ... Finally, many of the images posted here, purporting to show color or gamma mistakes are very misleading. To properly demonstrate what the image actually looks like, you have to have mastered all the colorspace concepts like YUV, RGB, Rec. 709 & 601, and dozens more. As already described by others, when people don't have at least a working understanding of this, they will think the image is washed out or has tints, but what they are really seeing is the result of displaying with the wrong device, or on the wrong display, or on a display that hasn't been calibrated. Or they have unwittingly done a color conversion somewhere along the way.
    Yep, this. I see shifts on several images, not liking it.

    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    No studio would screw up that badly a movie of that stature and commercial appeal. Instead, I'm betting that there were one or more colorspace conversions that happened that were not done correctly.
    Never give too much credit to a studio. I should know, I worked at/with some. As in any other field, quacks can get jobs there as well, usually from the "who you know" angle. So they don't just screw up, they don't know they're screwing up. Been there, done that. Your guess is a good one, but sometimes it really is as simple as the person doesn't know how to grade. Grading is not a main skill of mine, so when I know more than the color grader, there's a problem. There were quite a few times where I had to clean up awful color work.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    The job of the restorers is to make the movie look close to reality when it was first shot
    Ehhh.... maybe, maybe not. You can't make that blanket statement.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Glad to see lordsmurf back in the fold
    Thanks.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  18. I have here more pictures from the internet, they were sourced from different pages and I would say different tv sets and dvd editions and as you can see the results are consistent. They are also consistent with what my dvd looked like, and what existing files on the internet look like. The colors in these images are also consistent with on set stills. Most notably is the colors in the images taken place in Cleopatra's boudouir. In the original film, Elizabeth's skin is normal and the drapes are clearly red. In the bluray her skin is a nasty magenta and so are the drapes.

    This film has been DESTROYED on blu-ray. DESTROYED. It was first destroyed in the editing room so many decades ago, and it has been destroyed once more. But guess what?? So has every single classic film on bluray. As I said, it's FORBIDDEN to discuss this. I've been banned from blu-ray.com, from hometheaterforum, so many other places, it's just forbidden to talk about this but the images speak for themselves.

    Anyone denying there is a problem with restorations is just talking like a hometheater salesman at this piont.
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  19. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    if you see your bluray captures as red then you have serious issues with your eyes because the 'red' in your images is more PINK thanks to the heavy magenta filter all throughout the image. The images on the top the carpet looks blood red as it should and Cleopatra looks GOLD and the light is noon white as it should as opposed to gray.
    It's not my eyes, It has something to do with my professionally calibrated OLED TV and your computer monitor.
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  20. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    if you see your bluray captures as red then you have serious issues with your eyes because the 'red' in your images is more PINK thanks to the heavy magenta filter all throughout the image. The images on the top the carpet looks blood red as it should and Cleopatra looks GOLD and the light is noon white as it should as opposed to gray.
    It's not my eyes, It has something to do with my professionally calibrated OLED TV and your computer monitor.
    lol please. Again, I know it's tough to acknowledge that these people don't know what they are doing, but they don't. I've supplied proof, you believe what you wish.
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  21. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    lol please. Again, I know it's tough to acknowledge that these people don't know what they are doing, but they don't. I've supplied proof, you believe what you wish.
    You supplied no proof, only a bunch of screen shots from the internet, If you have a calibrated screen we can talk and share captures from the same source, Otherwise what you see on your computer monitor is not what I see on my monitor therefore there is nothing to proof here.
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  22. Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    lol please. Again, I know it's tough to acknowledge that these people don't know what they are doing, but they don't. I've supplied proof, you believe what you wish.
    Sounds like you've identified an excellent job opportunity for yourself in a high-paying industry. Looking forward to seeing your work in the near future.
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  23. Member DB83's Avatar
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    The point is we still do not ANY caps from the OP from his own screen. Given that a screen-cap is only as good as the screen that the cap is taken from should rather close down this fruitless argument.

    And it is little surprise that the OP has been banned from various sites. His opinion is contrary to those who actually watch these on proper equipment etc. He actually now admits his viewing platform is less than prime. While one can watch a VHS on an old-school tv it looks less than prime on a HD screen. And the inverse will be true - one can hardly appreciate HD on SD equipment. And if I have this wrong I still request the OP to actually state how he watches these - even an old-school monitor will have some derogatory effect.

    No restoration can be perfect since there is an element of 'personalisation'. But to claim that EVERY restoration has been ruined hardly warrants continued discussion.

    Still want that German VHS ?
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  24. Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    why must I watch it on a flat screen tv?? Why and how did we come to this point where it's just one option or else??
    Because... that is what happened to TV technology, and we have no choice but to adapt to LCD and try to make the best of it? Unless you have a limitless stash of mint Sony Trinitron studio CRT monitors you can use for the rest of your life. If you would stop reflexively trying to contradict me at every turn, you might notice I agree with you in many respects. The majority of my video enthusiast life (26 years from 1985 thru 2011) was viewed primarily on a gorgeous, calibrated, 27" Proton CRT monitor. I loved that TV more than most humans: it made everything from old beta/vhs to bluray look wonderful. Then it died, and there was no option to repair or directly replace it: I was dragged kicking and screaming to flat panel LCD.

    It took a couple months and multiple exchanges at Best Buy (from where I'm now banned) before finally finding a 32" flat panel I could at least tolerate. One of the most devastating drawbacks I was forced to accept is that these panels suck beyond words at displaying standard def analog input like VHS (and worse, Beta): the image is poor at best and abysmal at worst, usually the latter. Overnight, my 3200 VHS and Beta tapes became near useless to me, and I all but ceased bothering to digitize them. Its depressing as all hell, but its where our technology went and theres no turning back.

    The advantage of flat panels is size and far better compatibility with widescreen film formats. While "Cleopatra" looked marvelous when I watched the TCM airing letterboxed on my 27" Proton, the BluRay filled my 32" flat screen yesterday with 4x larger actual viewing area and bags more resolution, esp in the red colors. The odd colors and tones shown in screen caps vanished when the actual disc was played on my TV: I saw nothing amiss, and believe me when I tell you I'm more picky and critical than you could ever dream of being.

    And how many times do I have to say, I do not care about the quality of that tape. It¿'s not about that. It's about a cut of the film that hasn't been seen since 1963. I couldn't care less if it's not compatible with the latest UBH4K technology.
    Again, read what I wrote before flying off the handle: I specifically said this tape quest of yours was more likely to be rewarding as an artifact and guide to matching the editing cuts, rather than a primary viewing source. But hey, if you prefer a rolling tearing picture with 100 white Beta dropout dashes per second, have at it. Your eyes would obviously be much more forgiving than mine, and if you're still using a CRT television that would certainly make it more palatable.

    And newsflash: golden age Hollywood films were not made to be seen in your uber flat uber high dynamic range tv. They were not.
    Return newsflash: you're right, but it doesn't matter in the least. Not at all. Not enough people care about "original intent" (whatever that may be), and it costs serious money to preserve/restore these films. The money will only be spent if the studio thinks there will be enough sales, so they optimize these restorations for home theater LCD display and digital projection revival theaters. Actual theatrical film projectors are rapidly going the way of home Super 8 movie projectors: the graveyard of history. A few specialty film-projection theaters will remain, scattered throughout the world, but that is a drop in the bucket.

    As more years glide by, fewer and fewer physical discs are sold, at declining prices. Less and less people are interested in classic films at all: newer generations have ever more constricted worldviews, which choke off any chance of appreciating older works for their own merit in their own cultural context. Even if they wanted to, the storytelling and editing techniques bore them to death: a seismic, worldwide attitude shift is in progress that will leave "Golden Age" films and TV in the dust. It is tragic, but there's nothing we can do to stem the tide. We're quickly approaching the tipping point where the majority no longer devotes dedicated attention to watching movies or shows on normal large home televisions: they "consume content" on a 6" phone screen or 10" tablet. That will impact the market for "golden-era" product in good and bad ways: perhaps mostly bad. A few years from now, you may find yourself looking back fondly on "those terrible blurays".

    So you'd better pace yourself to weather the coming onslaught: if you're this outraged now, you're gonna have a coronary by 2025. Color grading is likely to get sloppier as restoration budgets decline, black and white restorations will get sloppier too (with more of the blocked-up contrast you protested). Even more insidious, we're seeing the beginnings of the end of 4:3 preservation: more and more "nostalgia" outlets are cropping 4:3 source material to 3:5, to reduce the black bars at the sides of now-standard 16:9 displays. Why? For the same reason widescreen films were nearly always cropped and butchered to fill the old 4:3 screens: the overwhelming majority of viewers HATE seeing any sort of black bordering on their screen. They feel it "cheats" them of image size, they care nothing for "original intent" and will happily watch any mess as long as every inch of screen is occupied by movement. Ironic, but predictable: the widescreen TV was designed to free us from letterboxing, but is leading inexorably to the elimination of 4:3 preservation in the broadcast arena.

    Adding insult to injury, there's an increasing trend of some stations processing vintage television series and movies to eliminate their natural film-based framerate, resulting in the grotesque "soap opera" distortion. This motion processing feature used to be localized to your HDTV: you could turn it on or off according to your preference. Slowly, some mfrs began eliminating the setting, so some newer TVs motion-flo everything all the time. Recently, little by little, various vintage tv series and movies are becoming motion processed by the broadcast station or studio source: no matter how you set your TV, the video is jarringly artificially smooth when it shouldn't be.

    This is most apparent on the bizarrely-processed reruns of "Charlie's Angels" syndicated in USA, and several other vintage series in current rotation. I've also seen it done to a few old movies, and its awful. No idea what could be prompting this, unless its some kind of preparation to accommodate UHD-TV (another "who asked for it?" development). More likely its simple pandering to mass market viewers: ugh. Who could have imagined the rise of HDTV would result in more destructive tampering, not less? But thats "Average Joes" for ya: always count on them to piss in the punchbowl.

    And it's not even the classic films, the latest bluray of Batman 1989 was completely digitally re recorded and altered. The original mono soundtrack is gone.
    Unlikely the 1989 Batman had "an original mono soundtrack" - not at that budget, not with Danny Elfman and Prince doing the score (with CD sales in mind during pre-production) and blockbuster theater surround sound already being the norm. Agree what we often lose in DVD and Bluray releases is a good plain stereo mix with decipherable dialog: the 3:1, 5:1 mixes standard on disc do not always decode so well for those not connected to a home theater surround system.
    Last edited by orsetto; 12th Sep 2019 at 11:39.
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  25. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Recently, little by little, various vintage tv series and movies are becoming motion processed by the broadcast station or studio source: no matter how you set your TV, the video is jarringly artificially smooth when it shouldn't be.

    This is most apparent on the bizarrely-processed reruns of "Charlie's Angels" syndicated in USA, and several other vintage series in current rotation. I've also seen it done to a few old movies, and its awful. No idea what could be prompting this...
    Frames are removed to shorten the film or series (series mostly) so more ads can be fitted into the given time slot.

    Charlie's Angels episodes, for example, were typically 45 minutes long while today's 'hour' shows clock in at just over 42 minutes.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fast-forward-tv-networks-speed-up-shows-to-play-more-ads/

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/how-networks-speed-up-tv-shows-to-fit-more-...ddit-seinfeld/

    It's sometimes called time compression. One of the articles above calls it time warping. That may be what you're noticing. It used to be fields were removed. Now, with it being possible to up the framerate, frames can be removed. One of the wonderful side benefits is the 'soap opera effect'.

    http://www.telestream.net/tempo/overview.htm
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  26. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    The majority of my video enthusiast life (26 years from 1985 thru 2011) was viewed primarily on a gorgeous, calibrated, 27" Proton CRT monitor ... It was dragged kicking and screaming to flat panel LCD.
    I still have my 31" Sony Wega in my bedroom and watch it almost every day. However, like the "Borg," perhaps I've been assimilated because, after several years of adjusting to the 55" Samsung LCD in my family room, I prefer it for everything except the old SD sources (more on that below).

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    ... I was forced to accept is that these panels suck beyond words at displaying standard def analog input like VHS (and worse, Beta): the image is poor at best and abysmal at worst, usually the latter.
    What analog connections does your LCD have? I bought my Samsung LCD ten years ago, and back then Samsungs still had a fairly wide range of analog inputs. While it does not have S-Video, it does have both RGB and composite input. I was able to find a connection and some settings that make the SD video look reasonably decent. (Side note: I still don't understand why it is not possible to engineer an LCD where odd and even pixel rows can be addressed separately so interlaced video could be displayed natively, something that would remove at least one artifact from the "SD on LCD" equation).

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    As more years glide by, fewer and fewer physical discs are sold, at declining prices. Less and less people are interested in classic films at all: newer generations have ever more constricted worldviews, which choke off any chance of appreciating older works for their own merit in their own cultural context. Even if they wanted to, the storytelling and editing techniques bore them to death: a seismic, worldwide attitude shift is in progress that will leave "Golden Age" films and TV in the dust.
    I think you are being overly pessimistic. As proof, look at all the money that has been spent on restorations over the years, and how much is still being spent. The film at the center of this increasingly ridiculous thread is a prime example because "Cleopatra" is a stinker of a movie if ever there was one and yet, according to the article I quoted in an earlier post, Fox spent over a million bucks on the restoration. I'm sure that some of the people who have posted about the "horrible quality" of these restorations, without having done any of it and without having the training to have the faintest clue as to what they're talking about, will say that really isn't much money and that the people doing it don't know what they are doing, and the restoration looks horrible.

    Yeah, right.

    Having looked at hundreds of "before/after" featurettes on countless films (I still have over 50 Criterion laserdiscs which I purchased just so I could see these restorations), it is self-evident and obvious that these people are dead wrong. (P.S. I do film transfers and restorations and have posted links in other threads to my own "before/after", so I know more than a little about this subject.)

    The industry is definitely reaching a tipping point, but it is for a completely different reason, and one that is at odds with what the OP keeps nattering about. The fact is, inflation adjusted ticket sales have been flat for a quarter century:

    https://www.the-numbers.com/market/

    Actual attendance is at its lowest level in twenty-seven years:

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/3/16844662/movie-theater-attendance-2017-low-netflix-streaming

    The industry tried to stem this tide by making more and more "video game" superhero movies, and even turned to the thrice-failed 3D technology to bail them out. As I predicted a dozen years ago in another forum, that failed (and also failed in the home market).

    So I would argue that there is actually a pretty strong incentive for the studios to continue to upgrade and maintain their classic movies because, while not a gigantic market, there is a tried-and-true market for these films. What's more, it isn't just us old Medicare idiots who watch these: I just found out that my 30-something daughter and her husband have taken to watching classic movies. I suspect that they are not completely atypical.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Adding insult to injury, there's an increasing trend of some stations processing vintage television series and movies to eliminate their natural film-based framerate, resulting in the grotesque "soap opera" distortion.
    I'm not sure that is going to be widespread. Even my 10-year old TV has the ability to interpolate frames, so the technology has been available for a long time. But despite having been around for at least a decade, it's still only been used on a few films and transfers. I think the mostly negative reaction to the 48 fps "Hobbit" movie has cooled most movie maker's ardor for this latest gimmick. And, unlike another technology gimmick, colorization, which supporters claimed increased the market for B&W movies, I don't think making old movies look like they were taken on video brings in an audience. Also, I'm pretty sure that most producers and directors understand that, while 24 fps was arrived at through compromise and accident, it just so happens that it imparts a wonderful "once removed" feeling to the production, and this is great for storytelling.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Unlikely the 1989 Batman had "an original mono soundtrack" - not at that budget, not with Danny Elfman and Prince doing the score (with CD sales in mind during pre-production) and blockbuster theater surround sound already being the norm. Agree what we often lose in DVD and Bluray releases is a good plain stereo mix with decipherable dialog: the 3:1, 5:1 mixes standard on disc do not always decode so well for those not connected to a home theater surround system.
    Even with all the dumb things said by the OP, this one jumps to the top of the list. One click on the IMDB site reveals that it is 100% completely untrue:

    Batman Technical Specs

    He pretended to be upset when I mentioned that he might be trolling, but this proves it.

    Perhaps the moderators will do us all a favor and shut this thread down because of trolling. However, I'd love to continue to discuss movies with YOU, anytime, any place.
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    Regarding the two images I posted of Sound Of Music, I can only vouch for the more faded-looking,
    it came from a DVD > XVID conversion done by myself more that 10 years ago. It is a faithful copy,
    this is how the DVD actually looks.
    I did mention that the other image was from Youtube; I'm well aware it can not necessarily be trusted
    but I have seen a bunch of stills and caps on the net that look very similar, taken from that recent Blu-Ray restoration -
    and that video is representative of the other samples I saw. I did qualify it that way in my original post.

    The conclusion I draw is that who ever did the color grading for these two versions came up with two
    very different "visions" of how the movie should look - ie. , it was the graders personal choice

    Here's a piece of my Xvid AVI, it's been on my hard drive all these years (and if I can find the actual DVD, I'll
    take a clip of that too):
    Image Attached Files
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  28. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    It's sometimes called time compression. One of the articles above calls it time warping. That may be what you're noticing. It used to be fields were removed. Now, with it being possible to up the framerate, frames can be removed. One of the wonderful side benefits is the 'soap opera effect'.

    http://www.telestream.net/tempo/overview.htm
    Thanks for that info!

    I was beginning to think I was hallucinating, since I could find no other reference to this enforced "soap opera effect" with cursory Google searches. Not that I was particularly interested in "Charlies Angels", but it stood out glaringly as the most obnoxiously motion-modified example. It looks utterly bizarre now: it would be better if they simply cut a few mins of content out to fit more commercials, like they used to do. This effect began with "Angels" then spread to M*A*S*H and some other vintage series. I really hope the experiment fails, because its headache inducing and messes with my synapses.
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  29. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Orsetto, You should give OLED technology a try, Since I dived in I would never go back even if I'm offered the best Trinitron in the world. I could never imagine after seeing the effects of the LCD/LED backlight on the overall contrast of the picture that one day I will be able to have a panel that can turn on and off individual pixels just like the CRT and Plasma did but with higher resolution (4K) and higher (way higher) dynamic range (HDR). Even DVD/VHS/Betamax/Hi8/DV looked slightly better than it did with LCD screen (don't ask me why but I did a side by side comparison with a video splitter and reversed the inputs).

    The first movie I watched in HDR was on Netflix, A night scene with two people gathering around a fire smoking cigarettes, The contrast is so deep that I sworn to god if I didn't know I'm watching the TV I would have believed that I'm looking through the window to my backyard, It was so real, The fire is so bright yet the background is clean dark with higher details of the objects in it with no grayish tone like LCD's. You can only believe it by seeing it on an HDR panel, it cannot be duplicated on non HDR screen.
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  30. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    What analog connections does your LCD have?
    All three of mine (32" Sony Bravia, 32" Panasonic IPS and 40" Samsung) have the full complement of analog inputs. The Sony gives a dull flat performance with SD, the Panasonic is nicer but it can't nail down colors from one scene to the next, the Samsung splits the difference. The muddiness or lack of "CRT clarity" doesn't bother me nearly as much as LCD lag or "ghosting", which seems to be much worse on these displays when they're interpreting SD instead of their native HD. Finding an LCD TV with minimal SD lag took me a couple months of buying and returning back in late 2011. The only two that weren't virtually unwatchable were the Sony and Panasonic, which I kept for long term evaluation. Of these, I preferred the more "CRT-like" color and detail of the Panasonic IPS panel. But unfortunately these Panasonics require color setting tweaks almost from show to show, sometimes channel to channel or scene to scene. I was spending more time tweaking it than watching it, so finally settled on the Sony as primary display. The Sony is slightly flat and drab by comparison, but dead consistent in color response with different inputs and program changes.

    The Samsung 40" is an early top-line LED backlit model I inherited from my parents when they went larger. It dates from 2009 but is still remarkably good: so good, virtually everyone who sees it comments on how startlingly lifelike the picture is with ordinary 720p cable box feed. It isn't as good as the other two with SD, and it has black level issues due to the light bleed common with early LED designs, but it makes a breathtaking DVD or BluRay monitor. All three of these displays benefit noticeably if I patch all SD feeds thru HDMI instead of their own analog inputs. The Sony in particular is vastly better if I patch a VCR thru one of my Pioneer dvd/hdd recorder analog inputs, then out to the Sony via the Pioneer's HDMI. The only SD source that looked the same either way was my commercial Sony LDP-2000 laserdisc player, a 40lb behemoth I got rid of after replacing my small LD collection with digital alternatives (some rarities I dubbed to a DVD recorder).

    I think you are being overly pessimistic. As proof, look at all the money that has been spent on restorations over the years, and how much is still being spent.
    Its a gray area. In an overall sense, yes, they're spending money on preservation and restoration. But in the context of OP's complaints, some of these restorations have been questionably implemented, in part possibly to make them more compatible with digital presentation. OP's indignation is a little extreme but he isn't completely wrong: there is a distinct tendency toward drabbing the colors a bit, cooling the colors, excessive cleaning, and ill-advised contrast changes. Much of this can be mitigated with player and TV controls, but it gets annoying if you have a distinct memory of how the affected subgroup of movies/shows looked in theaters or original TV airings.

    The experience of projected film is becoming rare: here in NYC, where we have a few thriving revival theaters, projection has almost entirely migrated to digital (to the point where they make a big PR stink the few times a year they show a "real" vintage or restored film print). One popular mass-market multiplex has been caught several times using ordinary consumer bluray discs to feed their projector for late night or weekend cult films and revivals. So some of the very people involved in restoration projects have minimal point of reference: as lordsmurf noted, the studios are still run by knuckleheads who revel in bad decisions or hires nearly as much as government agencies.

    So I would argue that there is actually a pretty strong incentive for the studios to continue to upgrade and maintain their classic movies because, while not a gigantic market, there is a tried-and-true market for these films. What's more, it isn't just us old Medicare idiots who watch these: I just found out that my 30-something daughter and her husband have taken to watching classic movies. I suspect that they are not completely atypical.
    The incentive is there, but at this point the long-term implications are maddeningly unclear for the studios, and its driving them absolutely crazy as the entire industry coalesces around the streaming paradigm and theatrical declines further and further. While there is a solid core of younger aesthetes and ordinary folk who embrace classic film and TV series, the vintage material the studios are scrambling to secure and restore for their multifarious streaming platforms may not be the big attraction they think it is. Whoever owns the huge ongoing franchise properties will have a streaming draw with those for as long as each trend lasts, but the jury is still out on just how much of a draw any particular trove of older films will prove to be.

    The college kids and under-40 set have become increasingly, outspokenly hostile to what they perceive as rampant misogyny, racism and homophobia in films made as recently as the '90s, never mind the '50s or '70s. Their inability to view anything without the oft-distorted "prism of today" has become a contagion: it can poison the interpretation of vintage classics even for oldsters who were around when the films were current (because you can't help thinking, "Oh, my son-daughter-niece-neighbor would be so offended by this, because they can't see the larger context" - and it kills your immersion). Just imagine the reaction to a classic like "All About Eve" today- then again, don't: you'll get depressed.

    Perhaps the moderators will do us all a favor and shut this thread down because of trolling. However, I'd love to continue to discuss movies with YOU, anytime, any place.
    Eh, I say leave it alone: it will fade soon enough of its own accord. Some useful material was posted by others, and locking a thread tends to mark it as offensive or a scam (not the case here). Plus, I really do want to hear back from OP once he gets that Magnetic Video transfer from U.K.: I'm sincerely interested in whether the shorter edit meets his long-held expectations.

    And of course, I've enjoyed discussing movies with you, too!

    Hopefully we didn't bore anyone else too much...
    Last edited by orsetto; 12th Sep 2019 at 16:03.
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