Voyager on Netflix vs DVD quality?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Lt. Munro, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Lt. Munro

    Lt. Munro Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Hi all,

    Many years ago, I had VOY on DVD, but those discs seem to have fallen through a wormhole. A few years ago I watched the entire series on Netflix and I'm getting the urge to watch it again. My question is: Do the VOY DVDs offer higher image quality than the version on Netflix, or are they the same?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Amos

    Amos Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The best you'll get from DVD is 480p. Voyager and DS9 have not been remastered, and likely never will be, so true HD (1080p) or UHD/4K is out. My guess would be that Netflix would look a bit better than DVD, but I might be wrong. Regarding streaming, I've been rewatching VOY on CBS All Access and the quality isn't that bad. I'm not sure if CBSAA is doing some kind of upconvert to 1080p which is maybe helping the image.
     
  3. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Commodore Commodore

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    I just ran the beginning of Voy Conspiracy and tried to compare the two. The overall picture quality seems comparable to me; the main difference I noticed is that the color saturation on the DVD is superior, though not extremely so. The sharpness of the image is similar, but maybe just a bit better in the Netflix stream. The sound was the same (or nearly) between the two when set to 2.1 on the DVD.
    Disclaimer is that my TV is a 12 year-old Sony Bravi TV and bluray player, with an inexpensive sound bar, and I don't normally scrutinize picture quality all that much, so maybe not the best person to ask. :)
     
  4. Lt. Munro

    Lt. Munro Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Thank you, everyone! I'll probably buy the DVDs at a later date to support the show, but won't be in any rush given that the DVDs aren't any better than the Netflix version.
     
  5. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks pretty good to me.
     
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  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    From DVD the best image quality you’ll get for Voyager is 480i, which is the same quality as the D2 Composite Video tapes on CBS’s vaults. Netflix and other streaming sites are using 480p files that were poorly made (and were recompressed from the DVD files), and for de-interlacing, basically threw away 240-lines of your horizontal resolution, and just doubled the remaining to make the video progressive.
    In this case the DVD’s are far superior and any cheap upconverting DVD player will give you better results than Netflix, as the DVD player will be upconverting the whole image, not just half.
     
  7. Amos

    Amos Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    thanks for the info @tomswift2002
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    Really right now, for Netflix or other streaming services to have a better quality than the DVD’s, (without rescanning and re-editing the film and CGI) would be for CBS to go back to the D2 composite tapes, run them through a Terranex or another dedicated de-interlacer and upscaled and run the composite video through a more modern 3-comb filter (remember, the current Voyager transfers that are out there for DVD and streaming were done back in 2003/2004.). Comb filters are designed to seperate the chroma and luma from the composite video—-it’ll never be a perfect seperation, but compared to 20 years ago, comb filters are way better (just look at Laserdisc collectors, even for players made between 2000 & 2009, they tell you to just connect your Laserdisc’s composite out to your modern TV’s composite in and let your TV’s comb filter do the work, rather than having the player’s internal comb filter do it and send it over S-Video) and would give a better picture.
    Actually, with the DVD’s, you should just hook up a DVD player to your TV by composite and just see which you prefer.
     
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  9. Lt. Munro

    Lt. Munro Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Wow, thank you so much for this!
     
  10. Amos

    Amos Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    No doubt. We’ve learned today who the AV expert on this forum is. :bolian:
     
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  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    I don’t like to “toot my own horn”, but I do transfer videos for people (as you can see in my signature or by looking on my info page for my website).
     
  12. Lt. Munro

    Lt. Munro Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Thanks to tomswift2002, we're going to buy VOY and DS9 on DVD. Definitely want these in the best quality possible when it comes time for a re-watch!
     
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  13. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting, thanks. I watched "Death Wish" via Netflix projected on a wall the other day, and it indeed looked like total ass...
     
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  14. Kahlesh

    Kahlesh Captain Captain

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    You can apparently use machine learning to upscale ala TNG, so we might get something like that.
     
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  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    That will not produce anything close to TNG-R (TNG was remastered from film, except for about 5 minutes across the series that was upconverted from the original analog & D2 composite tapes and color matched by humans to the HD film). At best you would get a similar quality to what you get from a 4K Blu-Ray player upconverting a DVD to 4K.

    The thing is, you are dealing with a 720 by 480 interlace image. There’s no more information than that—-all AI upscaling or anything upscaling is doing is mathematically enlarging the pixels to the larger image.

    Think of a 480i/p image like a postage stamp. If you only create the image at the size of the stamp, then you’ve got no more detail than that. But if you want to use the image on a magazine cover (1080p) or billboard (4K), but at a larger size in order to fit the magazine or billboard, then you can scan it in at a resolution that will fit, but the computer will be mathematically figuring out how many pixels it will need, but when you look at it it may appear pixelated or very soft.

    Just look at the opening to “The First Duty” on Blu-Ray. (It’s also from NTSC D2 Composite Videotape, the same used for DS9 & Voyager.). That gives you a really good idea what DS9 and Voyager would look like in upscaled 1080p or even 4K.
     
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  16. GulBahana

    GulBahana Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always been impressed with my Voyager DVDs when watching them on my LED tv. For Netflix it depends on your streaming speed at the moment. Since I have Cable internet that can vary.
     
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  17. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The image quality is better on a DVD, but the story quality is the same.
     
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  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    As I said previously, Netflix is also using files that are missing half their resolution, whereas the DVD’s have their full resolution. It would be, as an analogy, like watching Voyager in the 90’s on a VHS recorded at SLP (Netflix) vs watching a Laserdisc (DVD).
     
  19. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting. I just watched "One" on Netflix, and wow, it looks heinously bad.

    Grabbed these from Netflix - even in that scene, it's only some shots, such as the one of Worf, that aren't on par with the rest of the remastering:

    [​IMG]

    A simple kicking up the contrast a few points provides a noticeable improvement. And this is without any AI to provide smart upscaling:

    [​IMG]

    In other words: don't throw your DS9/VOY DVD sets out! :p

    As for some random fan's homemade AI upscaling, as seen on YouTube...

    Not compared to the Netflix stream, it doesn't! NF on the left, upscaled AI (re-compressed to YT) on the right:

    [​IMG]

    DVD cap from TrekCore on the left, AI upscale via YT on the right:

    [​IMG]

    If a home computer working with brand-new software can cook up this kind of improvement now, just imagine what professional equipment might manage in a few years with selective true HD scans of film shots here and there to learn from!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  20. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll take camera snaps and upload later if it's really such a hot topic, or animated gifs in a feeble attempt to show the differences in fluid animation, but in streaming, the streamed version of VOY has so many jagged edges on top of fuzziness that it's barely watchable at times. The f/x shots look far worse. To compare, the DVDs are not upscaled in the same way and only look fuzzy, but not jagged.

    The streamed version also has a choppy feel - while the episodes were filmed and edited on videotape, the videotape is still 29.97FPS and film is 24fps. Since streaming will remove frames from videotape sources to reduce bandwidth hogging, and the frames removed are not synchronous, this leads to a slightly jerkier look.

    Also consider that DVD has a higher bitrate than streaming. Or if it doesn't, it's still doing a far better job with its minuscule 11.08MBit/s...

    I've used PowerDVD to upscale and AI and other neato groovy buzzwords to improve PQ from DVD and streaming. Guess what? The better the source materials == the better it will look when upscaled or altrered or buzzwordied. It's still that simple, and always will be. It does a great job with the DVDs of DS9 and VOY, but the limitations inherent to those still scream out despite the improvements, which are not bad (especially as I'd rather watch with it than without) but that's not the point. Native > anything artificially reconstructed after being artificially stripped. Bandwidth transfer is not a matter transporter from that sci-fi show where the military peeps in 1960s go-go boots and shirts of technicolor hues show aliens every week what luuuuurve is... :guffaw:Never mind the mid-90s... :biggrin:

    Also, this article hasn't dated badly in regards to overall PQ:

    https://www.vox.com/culture/2016/12...-media-essential-streaming-dvd-bluray-netflix

    While streaming DOES have advantages, PQ clearly isn't one of them. And can't be. And shouldn't be because streaming is still perceived as being predominantly for casual viewing. Heck, while I've seen film scanned in at 1080P, I still turn to DVDs instead of the streamed version. Not because there is a quality hit ((low res or upscaled) < native PQ) but for other reasons. Such as, when the program vanishes from availability, which has happened a few times for a few shows already.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020