The quality of DS9 DVD:s again and how angry I am now!

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Lynx, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    DVDs can be odd sometimes. I had a movie stop playing and, as I take good care of my discs, the surface was pristine. Didn't work in multiple devices. Bought a cheap secondhand replacement disc on eBay, the identical release. The disc hadn't been as well taken care of but it plays perfectly.
     
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Sounds like you had some DVD rot (remember Laserdisc rot, same thing). It could even have been a pin prick in size and that would’ve been enough.

    Of course that’s why studio’s have moved away from the old dual side DVD’s as those discs were prone to DVD rot. The major big studio was Universal and they are still reissuing releases on single-sided DVD. WB used dual discs for a while but I think they stopped around 2004 while Universal was still issuing TV on them upto like 2009.

    But with DS9 and Voyager, the D2 masters have bitrates in excess of 100 Mbps (around 150-173, D1 Component is 173 Mbps). So compared to DVD’s bitrate which maxes out at 9.4 Mbps, DS9 & Voyager are extremely compressed, and when you go to files for iTunes or Netflix, you are getting down to bitrates around 2 Mbps.
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm using AI upscaling software to convert DVD episodes of various shows to HD. With the DS9 DVDs, I'm getting good to excellent results. (The best results I get are with Stargate SG-1, possibly because it started its run several years later. Upscaling of the earlier Voyager seasons is a reasonable improvement and gets a lot better in the later seasons. I put this down to the variable quality of the conversion to PAL 576i.) My final encoding is as 4Mbps H.265 1080p, and the results look much better to me than what I've seen offered via streaming. I hope CBS at least make some minimal effort to evaluate this technology for upscaling their back catalogue if they're never going to do a complete TNG-style remastering effort. They'd be able to use better video sources while I've had to use the crappy DVD transfers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Even your software is garbage. 4Mbps, I don’t know what you see but that has got to look extremely poor—-why bother upscaling to 1080p if you are just going to throw all that out? Best option is to just buy one of those cheap upscaling DVD players and play the DVD’s on that, as hardware upscaling and de-interlacing will give you a lot better picture than any software.
     
  5. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, you're writing complete rubbish as evidenced by examples of the same AI upscaling software demonstrated on YouTube by CaptRobau. I know that what I can see on my TV screen is better than the hardware upscaler in my 4K UHD Blu-ray player and that's all I care about. I couldn't care less if you don't believe me. You seem inordinately upset for some unknown reason over such a trivial thing but, hey ho, it's the Internet so I should expect to trigger someone over nothing every now and again.

    ETA: The following is an example of CaptRobau's work on YouTube. The image quality on the NTSC DVDs seems a little better quality than on the PAL DVDs, but my results are on a par with what's shown here. I never bother going further than 1080p as the law of diminishing returns kicks in - much more processing time is required for little additional benefit. I convert from approx. 8Mbps H.264 to 4Mbps H.265 to save disk space. The results do not look appreciably less sharp and I did several comparisons by eye.



    As I mentioned, I wish Paramount would consider using such a relatively cheap method of upscaling rather than leaving us with the shoddy SD transfer on the current DVDs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, but you are talking to someone who works in video professionally, and I’ve seen CaptRobaus’s work. It’s rubbish, not to mention but YouTube and other sites further compress the video. Software may be cheap, but it also contains mathematical rounding errors, hardware doesn’t have those.

    Actually, right now the best quality out there on the home market for Voyager & DS9 are the Japanese NTSC laserdisc box sets, as those are straight composite transfers from the D2 NTSC composite tapes, just in analog (and missing the last 2 seasons of both shows).

    But I guess I should expect amateurs on the internet to think that they know what they are doing and talking about.
     
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hardware doesn't have rounding errors? Lol. Baloney.
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Hardware doesn’t work on the same principles as software. And hardware isn’t doing the upconverting while trying to run your computer’s operating system in the background. Your full of baloney.
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Unlike shows that are in HD you aren't going to lose any video quality in compression if you switch to watching them on Netflix or streaming.

    Your post does bring up a question though, I haven't watched my DVD sets of DS9 in ages, so I wonder if they still work...

    RAMA
     
  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently, some people are happy with their Japanese laserdiscs, to which very few people have access. I'd just like to be able to see an improvement over my crappy DVDs but it seems that displeases the self-appointed professional guardian of the knowledge of all things video.
     
  11. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    The big problem is, Reyman, most people won't pay attention to what you've advised, even though (and I've also advised people to do the same thing) these players (and the discs) are now cheap to buy (that is, the prices for them have dropped.) I hope Lynx pays heed to what you've advised.
     
  12. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    At this point, I'd just as soon they didn't touch the DS9 discs. The chances of getting it wrong are greater than those of making an improvement. It would be like colorizing black white movies.
     
  13. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The original DVDs, shitty as they are, especially the PAL conversions, will still exist. The original analogue recordings will degrade. If CBS decides that it's not worth investing any money in this old cash cow, so be it. In the end, I'll go with whatever looks pleasing to me and not give a fig what anyone else thinks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  14. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I’m currently rewatching the DVDs on an upscaling DVD player. With just enough tweaking to the picture settings, a little more contrast especially, it looks to me as good as DS9 will ever likely get. The upscaled dvds are definitely a step above Netflix streaming quality.
     
  15. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I assume those must be the NTSC DVDs, which I've heard are superior. The colour balance on the PAL DVDs appears to be set to fifty shades of mud.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    You do loose quality when you switch to streaming, since CBS/Paramount had to convert the video from 480i (which contains 2 fields of information for every frame of video) to 480p, and the way they did that was with software, where it threw out 1 field from every frame and then duplicated the remaining field. So instead of having a 480p image (which they could’ve had had they run the original tapes through a hardware deinterlacer that would’ve used the info from both fields to create 1 progressive frame) they now have a 240p image.
     
  17. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Feels like bald men arguing over a comb. The bottom line is DS9 is only available in standard definition with various levels of compression. It's never going to look great and any domestic upscaling is one form of snake oil or another.

    If CBS aren't going to do a proper remaster, they could do worse than give us a new presentation of the original master tapes on Blu-ray.
     
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  18. Reyman

    Reyman Commander Red Shirt

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    DS9 does benefit from a tweak to picture settings. I stream it through Netflix on a 4K amazon firestick and found that pushing settings to "Always HDR" on the firestick, gives me a much better picture (Most other shows look worse under this setting). The "fifty shades of mud" mentioned by Asbo is definitely an accurate description. The "Alwaya HDR" adds some much needed vibrancy to the picture.

    The things we do just for Trek :rommie:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  19. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, since the Japanese LDs have been brought into the discussion, they are simply not a realistic home media option for most viewers. If you can even find them, you're looking at dropping $300 to $400 per season, and then there's the hassle of obtaining a working laserdisc player and MacGyvering a connection to a contemporary TV. Not to mention all the space that will be taken up.

    Kor
     
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  20. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    It’s the PAL DVDs I have and yes, “fifty shades of mud” is a perfect description of the picture quality. But I do find that a DVD upscale sharpens things a bit, and I increase the contrast and colour and reduce the brightness a bit and it looks much better to my eyes. I’ll take it.
     
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