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 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:09 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Always way behind on most things tech. My dvd player is quickly dying. Went to Amazon and found a replacement; but then thought to look at blu ray players and the differences in price were not that much so I decided to get one, a Samsung. I will order it this week along with an 'HDM Cable' which is not included, for high-def picture. The fact that it will play all my old dvd's as well is what prompted me to get this, plus I already have Blu Ray discs that were purchased when I purchased many Criterion titles that were 'dvd / blu ray combos'; the blu ray's came along for the ride, as it were. Here's my questions"
1. 'How the West Was Won'. Amazon's descriptions on the many versions of the film are probably not accurate. And the reviews by customers who purchased this title don't specify which is which. I'm seeking the 'Smilebox' version which is the Cinerama curved screen. The blu ray does not say this on the back photo of the item. Is the blu-ray the Smilebox? I already have the big box, Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is excellent as well, but not Cinerama.
2. 'Empire of the Sun' and 'Out of Africa' are the only two films (besides H.T.W.W.W.) that I wish to purchase along with this new player. Those of you who have titles in blu ray as well as regular dvd's, would you recommend titles that are VASTLY superior in blu than it's regular dvd release? Also, are there titles that you'd say 'just stick with the dvd' and don't bother upgrading?
THANKS for your input!

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

dp

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

1. 'How the West Was Won'. Amazon's descriptions on the many versions of the film are probably not accurate. And the reviews by customers who purchased this title don't specify which is which. I'm seeking the 'Smilebox' version which is the Cinerama curved screen. The blu ray does not say this on the back photo of the item. Is the blu-ray the Smilebox? I already have the big box, Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is excellent as well, but not Cinerama.

The BD contains both the 2.89:1 and the smilebox versions.

'Empire of the Sun' and 'Out of Africa'

Empire of the Sun is beautiful. Out of Africa is, to put it delicately, not a demo disc.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

1. 'How the West Was Won'. Amazon's descriptions on the many versions of the film are probably not accurate. And the reviews by customers who purchased this title don't specify which is which. I'm seeking the 'Smilebox' version which is the Cinerama curved screen. The blu ray does not say this on the back photo of the item. Is the blu-ray the Smilebox? I already have the big box, Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is excellent as well, but not Cinerama.

The BD contains both the 2.89:1 and the smilebox versions.

'Empire of the Sun' and 'Out of Africa'

Empire of the Sun is beautiful. Out of Africa is, to put it delicately, not a demo disc.


Thanks Mastadge! I don't have 'Out of Africa' even on dvd, so why not get the blu ray, (I thought). Is the regular dvd BETTER than the blu for this title? What's wrong with it?

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:30 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Thanks Mastadge! I don't have 'Out of Africa' even on dvd, so why not get the blu ray, (I thought). Is the regular dvd BETTER than the blu for this title? What's wrong with it?

I'm sure the BD is an improvement on the DVD, which I never owned. It's just not great looking. I guess I should amend my statement though: I have the original BD, and according to all review sites the Universal 100th Anniversary edition released a couple years later is a much better looking presentation.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Thanks Mastadge! I don't have 'Out of Africa' even on dvd, so why not get the blu ray, (I thought). Is the regular dvd BETTER than the blu for this title? What's wrong with it?

I'm sure the BD is an improvement on the DVD, which I never owned. It's just not great looking. I guess I should amend my statement though: I have the original BD, and according to all review sites the Universal 100th Anniversary edition released a couple years later is a much better looking presentation.


Thanks for clarifying. Whew - The Universal 100th Anniversary edition just happens to be the one in my Amazon Cart! It was the same price as 'the original', but was released later, so my guess was that it was probably upgraded some. Thanks! Do you have 'Lawrence of Arabia' on BD?

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:38 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Do you have 'Lawrence of Arabia' on BD?

I do. One of my favorite movies, and just about a perfect transfer! On my 15-inch monitor, the tiny dots of people in the vast desert are much more detailed than they were on the DVD -- seriously, this is one of those movies that really makes me wish I had the time and space for a proper home theater set-up. But yeah, this definitely is a demo disc. They did a beautiful job on it.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Do you have 'Lawrence of Arabia' on BD?

I do. One of my favorite movies, and just about a perfect transfer! On my 15-inch monitor, the tiny dots of people in the vast desert are much more detailed than they were on the DVD -- seriously, this is one of those movies that really makes me wish I had the time and space for a proper home theater set-up. But yeah, this definitely is a demo disc. They did a beautiful job on it.


Agreed. The Lawrence disc is a jump out of your seat gorgeous. That and the new Ben-Hur are my prized possessions.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 6:14 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Do you have 'Lawrence of Arabia' on BD?

I do. One of my favorite movies, and just about a perfect transfer! On my 15-inch monitor, the tiny dots of people in the vast desert are much more detailed than they were on the DVD -- seriously, this is one of those movies that really makes me wish I had the time and space for a proper home theater set-up. But yeah, this definitely is a demo disc. They did a beautiful job on it.


Agreed. The Lawrence disc is a jump out of your seat gorgeous. That and the new Ben-Hur are my prized possessions.


These are titles I've considered, 'Ben-Hur' is something I fast-forward through a lot (it's too 'clunky', save for the set-pieces), in the big multi-disc set I own, so for me, it can wait. 'Lawrence of Arabia' I own in one of those 'SUPER BIT' releases (remember those, put out by Columbia?) It looks better than a regular dvd, but I'm sure no where near as good as a blu ray. Any Black & White films either old or new that look significantly improved in blu ray? I'm guessing maybe 'In Cold Blood', or 'The Haunting' or 'The Innocents'? But yes, 'Lawrence of Arabia' is on my list now. Does the SOUND improve somehow on these titles?
Let me say that Roman Polanskie's 'TESS' on Criterion is one I got already because back in February it was released and I wanted to see the improvement over it's original release. It was one of those 'blu ray/dvd' combos they put out, but I think they may have stopped this. They have 'RED RIVER' coming out separately, one on blu ray and one as dvd.

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Many black and white films look much better in BD. And the sound is often, but not always better -- DVDs very often have compressed audio whereas the BD often has the uncompressed original mono or stereo from early films. Of course how much you'll notice the difference depends on the quality of your speakers and/or surround setup if you have one.

I recommend a couple sites: Blu-ray.com always posts a number of screencaps in their reviews of Blu-rays, so you can get a start on assessing that quality for yourself. DVDbeaver.com doesn't review as many movies as Blu-ray.com, but when they do they do very detailed comparisons of all existing DVD and BD editions in terms of both picture and sound, making it much easier to figure out which is the best available.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Dave

2001 BD is reference quality, it comes across like it was made yesterday.
I love the much maligned Speed Racer, on BluRay it is awesome. The Star Trek Reboots are really good on BluRay, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, the first 3 Bourne pictures. A lot of animated stuff is reference quality, Tangled, Cars, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Many black and white films look much better in BD. And the sound is often, but not always better -- DVDs very often have compressed audio whereas the BD often has the uncompressed original mono or stereo from early films. Of course how much you'll notice the difference depends on the quality of your speakers and/or surround setup if you have one.

I recommend a couple sites: Blu-ray.com always posts a number of screencaps in their reviews of Blu-rays, so you can get a start on assessing that quality for yourself. DVDbeaver.com doesn't review as many movies as Blu-ray.com, but when they do they do very detailed comparisons of all existing DVD and BD editions in terms of both picture and sound, making it much easier to figure out which is the best available.


Thank you!

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Dave

2001 BD is reference quality, it comes across like it was made yesterday.
I love the much maligned Speed Racer, on BluRay it is awesome. The Star Trek Reboots are really good on BluRay, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, the first 3 Bourne pictures. A lot of animated stuff is reference quality, Tangled, Cars, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2



Of the titles you suggested, '2001' is of serious interest! What I found at Amazon is you can look at Blu Ray titles by decade, and I liked the 1960's, so that's where I found '2001'. But two other titles I wanted were REALLY pricey, 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Oliver!', both from 1968. Most titles are very reasonable, but some I find are for some unknown reason, quite high.

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, BEN HUR AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS as well as NORTH BY NORTHWEST are definitely worth the upgrade to HD. The results here are stunning. Also recommend THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST which for me is a stunning demo quality transfer.

Go to blu-ray.com for samples and reviews as well www.dvdbeaver.com websites- the latter has some interesting screenshot comparisons between blu ray and dvd editions. But I must warn you- once you upgrade- there is no turning back. You will ensnared in a trap to go back and upgrade everything you had on DVD to blu ray.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 10:19 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Dave

2001 BD is reference quality, it comes across like it was made yesterday.
I love the much maligned Speed Racer, on BluRay it is awesome. The Star Trek Reboots are really good on BluRay, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, the first 3 Bourne pictures. A lot of animated stuff is reference quality, Tangled, Cars, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2



Of the titles you suggested, '2001' is of serious interest! What I found at Amazon is you can look at Blu Ray titles by decade, and I liked the 1960's, so that's where I found '2001'. But two other titles I wanted were REALLY pricey, 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Oliver!', both from 1968. Most titles are very reasonable, but some I find are for some unknown reason, quite high.


ROMEO + JULIET (1968) hasnt been released in the US as of yet - the UK version is reasonable at amazon.co.uk - $20 - and that is where to buy OLIVER - no isolated music but transfer appears to be the same as the Twilight Time release - and is region free. I have it and it looks and sounds terrific.

 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 11:18 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Just a word about HDMI Cables. Apologies if I am "preaching to the converted", but there's some real con merchants out there.

HDMI cables are not like the old "SCART" cables for DVD players, which carried analogue signals. HDMI Cables carry a purely digital signal. For this reason, they either work or they don't - there is not good quality vs bad quality with HDMI. So - go for the cheapest you can find (there are ones that work just fine on Amazon.co.uk for about £0.75p)...don't be tempted to go for the posh gold-plated one which promises the world for £35 - it just doesn't work like that. They work no better (and, indeed, no worse) than the £0.75p ones - and, of course, they can't. They either work or they don't, it really is as simple as that.

Now....Blu Rays...not sure of your tastes, but I have a couple of suggestions - such as:

"Predator"....don't...there is no Blu-Ray release of this movie yet that surpasses the more recent DVD releases (unless you're going to go 3D). Barmy I know, but it's one film that has been messed up over and again on Blu.

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind", aside from a few shots here and there, the upgrade is tremendous.

Superman - box set...the Reeve Movies are a revelation on Blu-Ray...well worth the investment.

Alien Anthology - the first two films have never looked as good...the first in particular leaps to life on Blu Ray...if you like the third one, and have the DVD of the "Workprint" version, the audio has been completed for the Blu-Ray release.

 
 
 Posted:   May 5, 2014 - 11:37 PM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

Always way behind on most things tech. My dvd player is quickly dying. Went to Amazon and found a replacement; but then thought to look at blu ray players and the differences in price were not that much so I decided to get one, a Samsung. I will order it this week along with an 'HDM Cable' which is not included, for high-def picture. The fact that it will play all my old dvd's as well is what prompted me to get this, plus I already have Blu Ray discs that were purchased when I purchased many Criterion titles that were 'dvd / blu ray combos'; the blu ray's came along for the ride, as it were. Here's my questions"
1. 'How the West Was Won'. Amazon's descriptions on the many versions of the film are probably not accurate. And the reviews by customers who purchased this title don't specify which is which. I'm seeking the 'Smilebox' version which is the Cinerama curved screen. The blu ray does not say this on the back photo of the item. Is the blu-ray the Smilebox? I already have the big box, Ultimate Collector's Edition, which is excellent as well, but not Cinerama.
2. 'Empire of the Sun' and 'Out of Africa' are the only two films (besides H.T.W.W.W.) that I wish to purchase along with this new player. Those of you who have titles in blu ray as well as regular dvd's, would you recommend titles that are VASTLY superior in blu than it's regular dvd release? Also, are there titles that you'd say 'just stick with the dvd' and don't bother upgrading?
THANKS for your input!


Have you purchased the Samsung yet? If not you might want to check if it can be coded to play all regions of Blu-ray and DVDs. It sounds to me like you might really get into this and if you do there's nothing more frustrating than having a favourite Blu-ray or DVD that won't play because of region coding. When you start up with sites like DVD Beaver and find out that a movie favourite or one you've always wanted to see is coming out and it says that it's region locked it's a great feeling knowing that it really doesn't matter to you because you'll be able to play it anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2014 - 6:34 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Dave

2001 BD is reference quality, it comes across like it was made yesterday.
I love the much maligned Speed Racer, on BluRay it is awesome. The Star Trek Reboots are really good on BluRay, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, the first 3 Bourne pictures. A lot of animated stuff is reference quality, Tangled, Cars, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2



Of the titles you suggested, '2001' is of serious interest! What I found at Amazon is you can look at Blu Ray titles by decade, and I liked the 1960's, so that's where I found '2001'. But two other titles I wanted were REALLY pricey, 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Oliver!', both from 1968. Most titles are very reasonable, but some I find are for some unknown reason, quite high.


Dave
Yeah, price wise - you just have to shop around, and sometime wait a while. But yes, 2001 on that BD is really remarkable, I would say unless you had seen it originally in the theater you have never seen it this good. The clarity and the contrast between black and light is amazing in this print, and it is amazing that that film and the effects still look so good so many years later. I think I got 2001 for about $11 on Amazon at the time.


 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2014 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Dave

2001 BD is reference quality, it comes across like it was made yesterday.
I love the much maligned Speed Racer, on BluRay it is awesome. The Star Trek Reboots are really good on BluRay, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, the first 3 Bourne pictures. A lot of animated stuff is reference quality, Tangled, Cars, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2



Of the titles you suggested, '2001' is of serious interest! What I found at Amazon is you can look at Blu Ray titles by decade, and I liked the 1960's, so that's where I found '2001'. But two other titles I wanted were REALLY pricey, 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Oliver!', both from 1968. Most titles are very reasonable, but some I find are for some unknown reason, quite high.


ROMEO + JULIET (1968) hasnt been released in the US as of yet - the UK version is reasonable at amazon.co.uk - $20 - and that is where to buy OLIVER - no isolated music but transfer appears to be the same as the Twilight Time release - and is region free. I have it and it looks and sounds terrific.


I must have been looking at a foreign import then. It did say it was the Zefferelli version and it did have Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting on the cover. 'Oliver' I want because I don't have it on dvd. At the moment, I'm only seeking out titles I don't have, becasue I don't want to start tossing out my old dvd's for the new blu rays. Except for 'How the West Was Won' and 'Empire of the Sun', which I REALLY want to see in blu and to toss their old version out.

 
 
 Posted:   May 6, 2014 - 6:52 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Just a word about HDMI Cables. Apologies if I am "preaching to the converted", but there's some real con merchants out there.

HDMI cables are not like the old "SCART" cables for DVD players, which carried analogue signals. HDMI Cables carry a purely digital signal. For this reason, they either work or they don't - there is not good quality vs bad quality with HDMI. So - go for the cheapest you can find (there are ones that work just fine on Amazon.co.uk for about £0.75p)...don't be tempted to go for the posh gold-plated one which promises the world for £35 - it just doesn't work like that. They work no better (and, indeed, no worse) than the £0.75p ones - and, of course, they can't. They either work or they don't, it really is as simple as that.

Now....Blu Rays...not sure of your tastes, but I have a couple of suggestions - such as:

"Predator"....don't...there is no Blu-Ray release of this movie yet that surpasses the more recent DVD releases (unless you're going to go 3D). Barmy I know, but it's one film that has been messed up over and again on Blu.

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind", aside from a few shots here and there, the upgrade is tremendous.

Superman - box set...the Reeve Movies are a revelation on Blu-Ray...well worth the investment.

Alien Anthology - the first two films have never looked as good...the first in particular leaps to life on Blu Ray...if you like the third one, and have the DVD of the "Workprint" version, the audio has been completed for the Blu-Ray release.



I sort of stumbled upon the fact that for the best image/sound, I need to buy that HDMI Cable which of course, is NOT included with the blu ray player, you have to purchase it separate. It is coming separate, when the player arrives, as it was 'suggested' very close by the image of the player by Amazon - what a racket! Apparently the blu ray players come with the old RCA jacks and they'll work, but if you really want optimal image/sound, you must get that other cord, which I discovered by reading readers reviews of the player. 'ALIEN' sounds like a title I'd definately want to seek out, as well as 'Close Encounters'...but, in time.

 
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