Joined: 11 Dec 2012 Posts: 341 Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA
TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500
Link Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:59 am Post subject:
What's the big deal?
I have always felt that most LDs are PROBABLY CLOSER to the original theatrical releases of the films. What I mean is the the soundtracks are less likely to have been tampered with (original Dolby Surround tracks that have not been umphed up), the film stock is fresher, and imperfections are left in place. The best example of this for me was witnessing a comparison on a regular CRT television between a T2 DVD release versus the original LD release.
The result was striking. The DVD was sharper. Its colors were more saturated. Things seemed brighter and clearer. The LD won the battle though. While not nearly as sharp, the image was far closer to how I remember true film prints. The colors seemed more natural, warm, and the sound was on point.
Often times, I will prefer an original print source over a remastered one unless there is an uber compelling reason. Scratches, spots, errors, and cigarette burns are reminders of film's origins and imperfections.
Okay, so yeah there are definite limits to the originality argument. For example, a 2001: A Space Odyssey LD print CANNOT easily reproduce a 6-track 70MM soundtrack. Neither can it provide the kind of visual clarity as a BluRay or even a DVD source in most cases. LD carries all the flaws of the NTSC signal developed back in the 1950s. Then there is the whole frame rate issue (30fps versus a true 24fps). BUT, the format provides a cumulative experience that rests somewhere between the authentic and the physically tangible.
There is something strong to be said for the packaging and tangible quality of an LD. Way too often do I find new BluRay and DVD releases with absolute garbage cases. They feel flimsy, cheap, and rushed. Compare this to even an average LD which while huge has far more space for decoration, pictures, and even essays. After reading these snippets often on the back cover, my mind is even more drawn to the film at hand. Gatefold covers often reveal fantastic photos.
Box sets in particular tend to be incredible. I recently received the ALIEN box set as a gift. Thousands of photos, pieces of the script, clips - way too much stuff for the average fan! Criterion CAV editions are even better. They usually provide beyond what most modern releases offer (outside maybe new Criterion releasez)
Joined: 10 Oct 2014 Posts: 5 Location: United States
Link Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:55 am Post subject:
Pros: Oftentimes the only source for a given title, like a Criterion release of some obscure film. (We all know the 'Star Wars' situation; for a while, LD caps were the best way to watch the originals. See You_Too and dark_jedi's project at the originaltrilogy.com forums.) Has uncompressed PCM audio much of the time. Weighty, hefty, feels like it'll last.
Cons: The video smears a whole bunch much of the time thanks to liberally applied noise reduction during the infancy of that technology.
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