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Test: DVDs and Blu-Ray Remakes Nearly Same

UK-based consumer testing website Which? (sort of a Consumer Reports from the other side of the pond) recently found that some Blu-Ray movies are “no better than DVDs”. According to the organization’s tests, the Blu-Ray editions of classics like Ghostbusters and The Graduate suffer from the same—or even worse—bad quality than their previous-generation optical disc counterparts.

Which emphasizes that many Blu-Ray renditions do justice to the source material. Zulu on the Blu-Ray, a 1964 war film that recreates a famous British victory, treats viewers to “magnificent... color and detail.” The main point of contention for the testing organization is that Blu-Ray discs that don’t provide the same quality as Zulu sell at the same price as titles that deliver.

Ultimately, Which would like studios to adapt a “mastered from the original source” logo of sorts. This would help customers choose BDs that make full use of the platform, while setting the foundation for a two-tiered pricing scheme.


  • evilshuriken
    I approve of this. Carry on.
  • silverblue
    When talking about something British? Where's our missing "u"? :P
  • ricdiculus
    This make me wonder if when mastering to a dvd format, maybe they don't do quite as good of a job as they could, in effect making bluray look better. Case in point; John Carpenters The Thing. The dvd version is letterbox but placed in a standard definition screen size (2x3 aspect ratio? ) that when scaled up looks like crap. Same movie finaly released on bluray not only fills the screen properly it also looks frigging amazing for a movie shoot in 1982. That beign said, the StarWars dvds look so good (even scaled to fit the screen) that I may not replace them with bluray ( if they ever release them ) all these observations are based on viewing a 46" screen.
  • tolham
    the studios also need to forgo the bonus features and encode the video to the highest bitrate that will fit on the disc. i ripped the matrix blu ray some months ago. after i stripped the movie down to just the video file and one audio stream, it was only 14 gigs. that's less than 1/3 the size of the BD and this is a graphics heavy movie!
  • tuc0
    its called rip off britain, they charge us more for stuff thats worse.
  • BWMerlin
    If the source data is poor then there is only so much turd pollishing you can do. You will not get Avatar from something that was not shot with the same high detail equipment. There must be a lot of money to milk out of consumers that justifies re-releaseing old and crappy films that were once on VHS onto DVD and now onto Blu-Ray
  • matt87_50
    so true. on the other hand, you'd be surprised how much better they CAN be, especially for old stuff. 2001, blade runner were amazing! just to name two! generally it pays to consider the pedigree of those who made the movie to begin with, and whether any special mention of a new transfer ect has been done.

    there is also this opinion that "wow, this DVD looks amazing! can't look much better on Bluray!" where, in fact, if its a good quality DVD, generally, it will mean an outstanding quality bluray. where if it's a crap quality dvd, and has just quietly been released on bluray, there is no reason to think the BD won't be crap too.

  • maloney
    BWMerlinIf the source data is poor then there is only so much turd pollishing you can do. Agreed.

    I was just looking at titles last night, and one of the contention points between remakes was the audio encoding used. So they brought back a classic movie for blu-ray, but it's still mastered in Dolby 5.1 or worse? There's an indication that this was just slapped onto a blu-ray disc for resale, not re-mastered.

    And I'm choking on the thought of upgrading my extended LOTRs to just the Blu-Ray theatrical release to gain the re-mastered audio and 1080p quality.
  • cletus_slackjawd
    This is a great article. As an early adopter to Blu-Ray, I can say it's all true what has been said here. Some movies that are remade for Blu-Ray have certain scenes that are updated where you can tell the difference, while other parts of the movie look like standard DVD. Not a scientific observation more of an opinion really but after the buzz of buying the Blu-ray and watching the movies like Matrix, Pirates of the Carribean and such, you'll likely find yourself feeding your player regular DVDs.
  • Usersname
    An old computing say… Rubbish In Rubbish Out.

    Wake up consumers, you're always being sold pigs in pokes. Not once, not twice, but thrice and more besides.