Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
Michael Slowe
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:13 am

Having just completed a project I have been engaged in outputting the film on to various forms of media for exhibition and distribution. I am amazed at the difference in quality between tape, DVD and Blu-Ray as displayed on a modern 40" high quality TV screen.

Until very recently I found tape to be the best but now there are some very good downscaling / encoding software applications for DVD I found tape to be inferior by some margin. I think that this might be due to the poor downscaling (from HD 1920 X 1080i to DV) within my edit software, but it was surprising. My DVD's are pretty good using BitVice for encoding as it also contains an outstanding downscaler as well. Blu-Ray however is quite a different matter. Retaining the full HD characteristics makes such a difference that I really would prefer the film to only be seen from a BD. There lies the problem.

I'm finding that IAC member clubs all seem to have BD players, as of course does our esteemed Competition Manager, but the wider public seem very apathetic in this regard. Even quite technophobic friends do not appreciate the advantages of BD, and were surprised when I explain that BD players improve the look of DVD's by 'upscaling' for HD TV's (which they all possess). They were unaware that a BD player can even play DVD's. When you consider that a Panasonic Upscaling BD Player costs £99 at John Lewis this is surprising.

In the professional field too the enthusiasm for BD is lacking, they use drives to transport and play media direct from the file. Cinemas are receiving films on a drive containing (an encoded) file. So it may be that BD gets sidetracked with the movement to using drives to carry files of media.

This does mean that we would have to invest in small portable drives on which to place files of our films and that's not too expensive - prices are coming down all the time and, provided these are not used for archiving, can be quite small capacity. My latest film runs for 30 minutes and in the ProRes HQ 422 HD codec occupies under 50 GBs.

So, for all those shooting in HD, many of you out there, do you try and exhibit your films in HD rather than the highly compressed DVD?

User avatar
fraught
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by fraught » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:03 pm

I have a Blu-ray writer in my PC, and i also shoot my films using the Canon 7D at 1080p. But the cost of a blank Blu-Ray disc is off putting at the moment when it comes to choosing one over a DVD when sending a film off to a festival/competition.

When BD-R's come down in price a little more, i'll be more inclined to use them to send my film off. :)
Only Boring People Get Bored
http://www.fraught.net

ned c
Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by ned c » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:23 pm

Fraught; if your program is around 20 minutes or less then you can write an AVCHD file to a regular DVD and enjoy the the quality of HD using a BD player. For upscaling regular DVDs the key is to have a DVD player with an HDMI output to an HD TV, I have a standard DVD player that upscales with HDMI out, it is a Trent and I paid $30 for it. The price of BD writers and discs is slowly coming down here in the USA. I agree with Michael that BD is demonstrably better than other formats but the initial pricing put it out of reach for many.

ned c

User avatar
fraught
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by fraught » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:30 pm

ned c wrote:Fraught; if your program is around 20 minutes or less then you can write an AVCHD file to a regular DVD and enjoy the the quality of HD using a BD player.
Ooooo... i did not know that! I may give it a try! Thanks
Only Boring People Get Bored
http://www.fraught.net

tom hardwick
Posts: 827
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:00 pm

You can have printable 25gb BD-Rs delivered to your door for 80p each. That's less than 4x the cost of a 4.7 gb printable Verbatim DVD-R and yet it holds 4.5x as much info and gives you proper BD menus.

At Finchley last month I showed a chunk from a recent wedding film off DVD. It was upscaled by their BD player and looked fine on a 2½m wide screen. We then stopped the disc, ejected it, inserted the BD version of the same film and using chapter points got to the same bit of the film. It did indeed look better off Blu-ray but did it improve the story any? The time delay between seeing DVD and BD diluted the differences.

Then I ejected that disc and inserted a BD where half the image was HD and the other half was (upscaled) SD. Ah-ha! This A/B test is silently ruthless, delivering such a punch that two club members accused me of cheating - of degrading the DVD side of the image to boost the BD side. And that's with most of the audience sitting far further way than the recommended 3x screen height.

But in a situation like this I'm a nerd preaching to nerds; we all want our pictures sharper, brighter and bigger - always have done. The general public are perfectly happy with DVD image quality and as proof they'd far rather listen to compressed MP3 audio than go buy the hi-fi CD.

tom.

Roy1
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Roy1 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:27 pm

I shoot in HDV and select blu-ray as the export programme to a blu-ray burner, but use a standard DVD disc to burn to. Result HD quality but it has to be played back on a blu-ray player.

tom hardwick
Posts: 827
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by tom hardwick » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:33 pm

But what's the advantage of this Roy - that you can use a 20p disc rather than an 80p one?

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 938
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by TimStannard » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:40 pm

tom hardwick wrote:But what's the advantage of this Roy - that you can use a 20p disc rather than an 80p one?
I'm not sure whether or not this is Roy's reason, Tom, but it's not necessarily the cost of producing the successful disc, there's also the cost of the (often numerous) "trial runs" where one wants to check it in a domestic environment before making final edits and error corrections. An incompetent like me might produce several versions like this before producing a final "good" version. I use budget DVDs for this before creating my final DVD copies on those lovely looking Watershields.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Since I started this thread may I comment that no one has addressed my query, namely that so few 'punters' seem to have obtained BD players to use with their darn great HD screens! Odd when you consider the improvement over DVD's and the fact that BD players upscale (to some extent) DVD's.

Roy1
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Roy1 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:29 pm

Tom. I wish the DVD's I use were only 20p. I use Taiyo Yuden weathershield to send to many friends who have blu-ray players but not Blu-ray burners. I also use DVD-RW in order to test out the final edit. The best Blu-ray discs are still too expensive. I have some that cost me £7.
Michael I think that many people wont use Blu-ray players because the Blu-ray commercial films sold by the music stores cost a lot more that the same film on a DVD, and these can be played back on an upscaling DVD player to a HD TV with very good results.

tom hardwick
Posts: 827
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by tom hardwick » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:53 am

This lack of Blu-ray takeup formed a chapter in my last Saturday afternoon presentation at Woodford. The initial fight between HD-DVD and BD didn't get HD off on the right foot, and as you say Roy, asking more for a slightly different pressing of the same film is seen by many as being somewhat cheeky.

We all love Blu-ray as we're all pixel-peepers to a certain extent, and we've seen with our own eyes the improvement it brings. But my experiment at Woodford showed that the audience were quite happy seeing the same film off DVD or BD. The story delivered from the big screen was exactly the same in both cases.

tom.

Peter Copestake
Posts: 321
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:23 am
Location: Colne, Lancashire

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Peter Copestake » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:29 am

Michael Slowe wrote:Since I started this thread may I comment that no one has addressed my query, namely that so few 'punters' seem to have obtained BD players to use with their darn great HD screens! Odd when you consider the improvement over DVD's and the fact that BD players upscale (to some extent) DVD's.
Living in a depressed northern town I can only marvel at 2.5 metre screens and such but as I mentioned on another post we wanted to go on using our perfectly good SD projector and have had to buy a S/H DVD player to be able to use the projector's S video socket. BD players are capable of playing DVDs but not of outputting to S and modern TVs don't have S in so we all have to throw away* older equipment when we change one item in the chain.
We wonder why we are running out of raw materials.
* Stig of the dump still uses VHS sometimes - watched an old programme about Cadfael on it the other night - enjoyable!

Grumpy Peter (Stig) Copestake.
Peter Copestake

col lamb
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by col lamb » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:40 pm

I have long been a supporter of keeping movies in "solid state", to that end I have a Western Digital WD TV Live Hub, a small very portable device with inbuilt 1TB hard drive hence enough for quite a few "masterpieces".

Took it to a Northern club last week and showed a few of my HD movies as part of a presentation, far easier to take the WD unit than a Blu-ray disc and hope that their player sees my disc OK.

At Preston Movie Makers we can have the odd Blu-ray disc that the Sony player does not see, it is a bit like the old days when DVD was new and not all discs could be seen and played back. Our club kit includes an AV amp that upscales all inputs to HD and it does a very good job at doing so.

If anyone is interested in a small HD media player do be careful, some may appear cheap but their output may match their price.

I was asked to provide the IAC with information on solid state video projection and so I provided exactly what was needed to be able to show competition and other movies without the need for using discs for any other means than for data transfer, indeed if the IAC could handle movies on a memory stick then all that is needed is to transfer said movie onto a hard drive and return the stick to the entrant. The benefits in presenting the movies at shows is immense, no more messing about with tapes, DVD's or Blu-rays, everything could play back via a solid state media player.

Solid state is the way to go, and with large file internet file transfer systems now available it could soon be possible if the IAC got its act together to upload your competition entry direct into a folder that the IAC competition Manager could access. The 21st Century is hear, lets use it!
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Dave Watterson » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:47 pm

Personally I'm with you on this Col ... and those hard-drive units are pretty cheap too.

I would not land the task of uploading to the hard drive on the Competition Manager, but s/he could delegate that task to someone else.

Dave

Chrisbitz
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:31 pm
Location: Orpington, Kent

Re: Blu-Ray Rather Than DVD

Post by Chrisbitz » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:04 am

I feel like I've been left behind by all this techie talk of HD. I consider myself a storyteller-filmmaker, and although I'm a registered geek, HD does nothing whatsoever to aid my storytelling, and as a result, I still use my FX1 in SD mode, as HD to me means 4 time the rendering times and 4 times longer to make my films.

Of course, hd looks prettier, but it's never going to make a dull film more interesting, and a good film isn't going to be less enjoyable just because it's only shown in SD.

I believe OVFM is one of the larger clubs at around 75 members, and although HD has been mentioned, no-one is absolutely desperate for HD, because I think we're fortunate in having a culture of "it's the filmmaker that makes a good film, not the equipment"

Is it possible that people are getting too hung up on equipment and forgetting to actually enjoy making their film?
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

Post Reply