Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread - GameAxis Forums
Go Back   GameAxis Forums > PlayStation Connections > PlayStation Console Arena
FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #1
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Starting new thread on anything relating to Blu-ray and movies in general. This is to have a place where common information can be retained, and just to have fun. Also takes some OT off from monthly hoot threads.

Where to buy online?
See post #4: http://forums.gameaxis.com/showpost....71&postcount=4

Region Codes

This is a frequently asked question, so let's cover it first (more in subsequent posts).

Blu-ray discs are region coded. The BD region coding scheme divides the world into 3 regions, labeled alphabetically:

Region A: Americas (USA, Canada, South America), Asia (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan), South East Asia (Singapore, etc.)
Region B: Europe (UK, etc.), Africa, Russia, Australia, New Zealand
Region C: Central Asia, China, Eastern Europe



While BD discs are region coded, many are not locked. That means your Singapore PS3 or BD player (region A) can still play many BDs from UK (region B). Typically Warner, Universal and Paramount BDs are not region locked. Many China made BDs are also region free. Obviously, if a UK region B BD is region free, it does not mean an Australia region B BD of the same movie is also region free.


This indicates the BD is region free (playable on A, B and C). Other discs may show one or two regions.

Until region-free players are common, you are advised to check the region lock status before making a purchase from different region.

Region lock status
http://uk.blu-ray.com/movies/
http://bluray.liesinc.net/index.php?region=b
(Links above are for region B. Select the corresponding region at the site for A and C.)

.

Last edited by PierceLee : 31-08-2011 at 06:48 PM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #2
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

General Information

Blu-ray

As the name suggests, Blu-ray uses a laser with wavelength (405nm) in the blue-violet spectrum (as opposed to red laser used with DVD).

The shorter wavelength makes it possible to store more information on the disc. A single-layer Blu-ray disc can store 25GB of data (compared to 4.7GB on a DVD) while a double-layer disc can store 50GB (compare to 8.5GB on DVD). This higher capacity is needed for high-definition video and audio.

Physically a Blu-ray disc has similar size as a DVD or CD. As the data layer is closer to the surface of the disc, the discs are hard-coated with a scratch-protection coating.

The short form of Blu-ray Disc is BD. Never call it Blue-ray.

Video Formats

The general term Full HD is used to describe a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, while HD Ready refers to 1280x720. Both are considered hi-def (HD), as opposed to standard definition (SD) of 720x480 (NTSC) and 720x576 (PAL).

You will also see a suffix of "p" referring to "progress" (meaning every line is shown on the TV in each frame) or "i" referring to "interlaced" (meaning every alternate line is shown on the TV in each frame), like "1080p". p is better than i.

Aspect ratio is another common term referring to the width:height ratio. A widescreen TV will have a 16:9 ratio (some monitors may have 16:10 ratio) and a standard TV has 4:3 ratio. However movies and TV shows come in a large variety of aspect ratios. When the aspect ratio of the source material is not equal to that of the TV, you will get black bars at the top/bottom or left/right or both. Having black bars is NOT a problem. It is generally preferred to maintain the original aspect ratio of the movie rather than stretching the picture to fill the TV screen.

So when you play a BD movie, it will be in 1080p, right? No. There are some BDs with video coded in 1080i or even lower resolution. Furthermore, if there are extra materials on the BD (director interview, making of, etc.), those could be in SD. Remember, being on a blu-ray disc physically does not guarantee that the movie is in the best picture quality. Some SD material may not play if your player does not support NTSC or PAL as encoded.

Picture quality also depends on the age of the movie, the film stock used to film the movie, the art style of the movie and many factors. Good picture quality faithfully duplicates the original movie as it was. Over softening, sharpening, edge enhancing and processing the picture in any way is generally considered bad picture quality, while grainy picture is NOT necessarily a bad thing - often that's the way it should be, as seen in the original movie.

Audio Formats

A BD movie may contain multiple audio tracks. You may find the standard Dolby Digital and/or DTS surround audio, in 5.1 or 7.1 channels that you get on DVDs. Often better audio tracks in lossless formats like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Linear PCM (LPCM) 5.1 or 7.1 are also available. Usually a stereo (basically LPCM 2.0) is also included. Commentary tracks are also in stereo.

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA require sound systems (receiver/amplifier/etc) that can decode them to get the full potential. If a sound system cannot specifically support them, only the core part will be played as normal Dolby Digital or DTS. LPCM 5.1/7.1 also requires sound systems that can support them, otherwise no sound will be heard.

When you set up your PS3 or BD player, you will tell the player what audio formats your sound system can support. Unsupported formats will usually be downmixed (by the player) into stereo.

BD Menu

On a movie BD, you will see a disc menu that includes Settings (for selecting language or audio track, selecting subtitle), Play Movie, Chapter Select, Extras. While playing a movie, you may also press a Pop-up Menu button to bring up a superimposed menu, without interrupting the movie in progress.

However, depending on the movie studio, when you insert a BD, you may not see the main menu immediately. Often you will see some copyright or anti-piracy message, followed by a series of trailers. Pressing "Menu" button during the trailers will not work, you will have to press the next track >| button multiple times (skipping over one trailer each time) before you get to the main menu. On BDs like this, you will not be able to resume a movie from where it was stopped previously.

BD supports a version of Java called BD-J. Many blu-ray discs uses BD-J in the menu and may even include some extra features like mini-games (or even a quiz game that pops up questions as you watch the movie).

Some BD also includes picture-in-picture video commentary, which is played in a smaller window (showing how they filmed the scene you are watching etc.) along with the main movie. Early BD players, so called profile 1.0, does not support this feature as they cannot play multiple video streams concurrently. PiP is only supported on profile 1.1 or higher.

BD-Live

BD-Live further enhances the movie viewing experience with more interactivity. The features available depend on the studio. In order to utilise BD-Live, the player must have an internet connection and must be profile 2.0.

Digital Copy

Some BDs come with a digital copy of the movie to be played on your portable multimedia player. The digital copy content is delivered on a separate DVD disc that needs to be run on a computer in order to transfer the contents to your portable player. Only certain players supporting video formats with DRM (digital rights management) can be used. The digital copy of the movie is in SD resolution or lower, not HD.

In the BD casing, you will find a piece of paper with a code that needs to be entered to initiate the transfer. Often digital copies have further restrictions and could expire after a certain date.

3D

Some BDs include a 3D version of the movie. These are using the old anaglyph 3D technology which requires a pair of glasses in various combinations (red+cyan, red+green, meganta+cyan etc.). These BDs usually come with 4 pairs of disposable paper glasses within the box. Some BDs in 3D are: Coraline, Journey to the Center of the Earth, My Bloody Valentine, Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds.

The newer stereoscopic 3D technology used in 3D TVs (requiring a pair of glasses for shutter sync) is up and coming, but not many titles are available yet.



More Information

Wikipedia: Blu-ray Disc
Amazon: What is Blu-ray
Amazon: High-Def FAQs


© PierceLee

Last edited by PierceLee : 20-12-2010 at 10:04 AM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Buyer's Guide

Are BDs region locked?

Blu-ray discs are region coded. The BD region coding scheme divides the world into 3 regions, labeled alphabetically:

Region A
: Americas (USA, Canada, South America), Asia (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan), South East Asia (Singapore, etc.)
Region B: Europe (UK, etc.), Africa, Russia, Australia, New Zealand
Region C: Central Asia, China, Eastern Europe

While BD discs are region coded, many are not locked. That means your Singapore PS3 or BD player (region A) can still play many BDs from UK (region B). Typically Warner, Universal and Paramount BDs are not region locked. Many China made BDs are also region free. Obviously, if a UK region B BD is region free, it does not mean an Australia region B BD of the same movie is also region free.

Common sites for checking region lock status:
http://uk.blu-ray.com/movies/
http://bluray.liesinc.net/index.php?region=b
(Links above are for region B. Select the corresponding region at the site for A and C.)

What's the difference between BDs from different countries?

For movies released globally by major studios, the contents of the BDs from different countries might not be too different, except perhaps the language (menu, audio tracks, subtitles). Some BDs are even identical (for example, you will even find Chinese subtitles in US version of the BD).

However if a BD of an older movie is released in a country (like UK), ahead of the rest (like US), it is likely that the early release is barebone, without significant extras. A later release in another country (or re-release in the same country) could be using the same master but include more extras.

Even if the BDs are release about the same time, certain versions may include more features than another. For example, the UK version of Planet Earth comes with an additional disc. Certain countries may have special editions, like steelbook (popular in UK and Europe).

The audio language tracks included may also be an important factor. For example, if US BD of a Japanese movie only includes an English dub and not the original language, or if a China BD of a Hong Kong comedy does not include Cantonese track, you may not want to buy the BD.

To some people, even the cover art is a deciding factor. Some may not want to buy a BD if it has French or Chinese wordings squeezed into the front and back covers. Many local Singapore version BDs have blurry covers which turn people off, not to mention that they may offer less contents (like no lossless HD audio track).

Generally you should compare the features before deciding which version to buy.

Common sites comparing BD versions:
DVD Beaver comparison

Where should I buy from?

You can buy BDs from local (Singapore) video shops like Laser Flair, Blue Max, Poh Kim and even Giant (mostly China BDs). You can find US, Hong Kong, UK, Singapore (might want to avoid these), China and Taiwan versions locally.

Generally the price in local shops are higher than importing them yourself from overseas sites. The price difference can be very significant, easily tens of dollars per title, even after factoring in the shipping charges. (The next post will provide a list of the sites you can buy from.)

Note that you should actually send your BDs to MDA for certification, but nobody does that for BDs meant for private viewing. Your postal packages might still get diverted to MDA for random check though (rarely happens). Also remember that if your package is over S$400, you will have to pay GST.


Blu-ray Review Sites

High-Def Digest
DVD Talk
DVD File
Blu-ray.com
DVD Beaver


© PierceLee

Last edited by PierceLee : 28-05-2010 at 09:11 AM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Where to buy BD online?

Below is a list of popular sites selling blu-ray discs that ships directly to Singapore.

You can still buy from other merchants in US and Europe and ship them back using vPOST, comGateway, BorderLinx and similar services. Those sites are not listed here.

You might also want to use vPOST (or similar services) when buying from sites listed here, even when they can ship direct. Using vPOST may sometimes be a cheaper shipping option, but the shipping charges could potentially be surprisingly and significantly higher. Turnaround time and services are often less than desired, so this is not recommended. Here we will only cover the shipping charges of the direct shipping option.

Payment is by credit card. Check the sites to see if debit card and Paypal are accepted.

1) US (Region A)
Currency converter (US$ to S$)

Amazon (www.amazon.com)
- Shipping is US$4.99 per shipment (in reality it is per order, so if they split your order in multiple shipments, you still pay US$4.99) + US$3.99 per item.
- There is additional shipping and handling charges of US$8 (for standard shipping) on items of unusual size or weight. Amazon did not define what counts as "unusual size or weight" nor is there any indication on the product pages. You are advised to check the delivery charge during checkout.
- Currently Amazon uses a local Singapore company Royale Logistics to handle the shipping, Royale often use Singapore Post for the delivery. Officially 17 to 31 business days, but usually within 2 weeks. Other shipping options available.
- When checking out, select "Group my items into as few shipments as possible". In theory they will wait for all items, including pre-orders, to be available before shipping, but in practice they will ship the items to you immediately as they are available.
- Amazon offers price protection on pre-order items. Once you place an order, if the price of a PO item changes (up or down), Amazon will charge you the lowest price before it ships.
- Amazon prices fluctuates a lot. Check here for price history.

Deep Discount (www.deepdiscount.com)
- Shipping is US$3.99 per order plus US$1.99 per unit. Ships via US Post Office, typically over 2 weeks.
- Note: DeepDiscount has stopped shipping to SG. However they still ship to existing customers with SG addresses.

2) UK (Region B)
Currency converter (£ to S$)
Currency converter (€ to S$)
Remember to check region lock status (here or here)

Shipment from UK is typically 2 weeks. However at times (seemingly random) packages from UK (any merchant) get sent via a Singapore company called WMG, who then post them locally via SingPost. Packages going via WMG generally takes a very long time (3 weeks or more).

Amazon UK (www.amazon.co.uk)
- The price you see on the product page is not what you pay. During checkout, VAT will be removed for overseas orders, so what you pay is actually LESS! (Previously Amazon UK displays price less VAT at individual item level during checkout. Now the price displayed at individual item level still includes VAT. However on the last checkout page, before placing order, you can see that the total amount shown on the right has VAT removed.)
- Shipping is £2.09 per delivery + £1.59 per item. Typically 2 weeks. Other shipping options available.

TheHut (www.thehut.com)
Zavvi (www.zavvi.com)
SendIt (www.sendit.com)
- Shipping: (thehut £0.99 per order / zavvi £0.99 per order / sendit £4.48 per item. Ships via Royal Mail, not registered, no tracking, typically 2 weeks.
- Each item in an order is shipped individually.

ShopTo (www.shopto.net)
- Shipping is £2.50 per item, or £4.80 per item if registered (but may vary if the item is bigger in size/weight). There is no per order or per shipment charge. Ships as registered mail (signed for) via Royal Mail, with tracking number, typically 2 weeks.

Game (www.game.co.uk)
Gamestation (www.gamestaion.co.uk)
- Shipping (game/gamestation) is £4.95 per order, regardless the number of items in the order, up to 1kg. Ships via Royal Mail, not registered, no tracking, typically 2 weeks.

CD WOW (www.cdwow.com)
- Free shipping.

HMV (hmv.com)
- Shipping is £4.50 per item, standard air mail, 7 to 10 days. Fedex also available.

3) Hong Kong (Region A)
Currency converter (US$ to S$)
Currency converter (HK$ to S$)

Play-Asia (www.play-asia.com)
- Sells US, Hong Kong and Japan BDs (all region A).
- With each shipment, Play-Asia usually includes a US$5 coupon that can be used on future order of over US$50.
- Shipping is free if order is above US$25, up to 2kg. Ships via Hong Kong Post, 'insured', no tracking, 5 to 14 days. Other shipping options are available.

YesAsia (www.yesasia.com)
- Sells US, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan BDs (all region A). Also sells some UK BDs (region B) that may be region locked.
- Shipping is free if the order is above US$39, otherwise it depends on weight/dimension. Ships via air mail, unregistered, no tracking, 6 to 14 days. Other shipping options are available.

DDDHouse (www.dddhouse.com)
- Shipping is based on number of items, HK$25 for 1 item, HK$40 for 2 items, HK$55 for 3 items, etc. Ships via Hong Kong Post Office as registered air mail, 6 to 14 days.

(cont on the next post)

Last edited by PierceLee : 16-05-2012 at 07:44 PM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

4) Taiwan (Region A)
Currency converter (NT$ to S$)

Books 博客來 (www.books.com.tw)
- Site is in Traditional Chinese only.
- Sells Taiwan BDs (of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand and English movies).
- Does not ship M18 titles overseas
- Shipping is NT$150 per order + 8% of the price of the order + 17% fuel surcharge. Ships via DHL, 1 to 3 days. Shipping charges will be shown during checkout, before placing order.

JSDVD (dvd.jsdvd.com)
- Site is in Traditional Chinese and English (click on the flag at top right)
- Sells Taiwan BDs (of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand and English movies).
- Shipping is based on weight. Via air mail, NT$290 for 0.5kg, NT$350 for 1kg, etc. Via EMS, NT$500 for 0.5kg, NT$580 for 1kg, etc.
- Shipping charges is NOT shown during checkout. When you place the order, you will be charged for the items, without shipping charges. When the items are packaged, you will see a link in your order status for the shipping charge. You will then have to add that to basket, checkout (placing an order for the shipping service only) and pay for it before the items are sent.


5) Japan (Region A)
Currency converter (¥ to S$)

Amazon Japan (www.amazon.co.jp)
- Site is in Japanese and English. Product pages are not in English.
- Shipping is ¥1400 per shipment + ¥300 per item via International Express Shipping, 2 to 5 business days. No other shipping option available.

CDJapan (www.cdjapan.co.jp)
- Shipping is based on weight. Via EMS, ¥1200 for 0.3kg, ¥1500 for 0.5kg, etc. Via registered air mail, ¥1060 for 0.3kg, ¥1360 for 0.5kg etc. Other shipping options available.

6) China (Region C)
Currency converter (RMB to S$)
Many (most?) China BDs are not region locked. Not aware of sites for checking.

Joyo Amazon 卓越亚马逊 (www.amazon.cn)
- Site is in Simplified Chinese only.
- Shipping is RMB 30 per per item (there is no per-order/per-shipment charge) for standard shipping, 13 days. Remember to select "标准服务", default is the faster but more expensive "航空快递".
- Singapore credit cards are accepted.

7) Canada (Region A)
Currency converter (CDN$ to S$)

Amazon Canada (www.amazon.ca)
- Shipping is CDN$9.99 per shipment + CDN$4.99 per item for Expedited international shipping, 2 to 4 weeks. Standard shipping is available at lower rate but it takes 10 to 12 weeks!

8) Australia (Region B)
Currency converter (AU$ to S$)
Remember to check region lock status (here or here)

JB hifi (www.jbhifionline.com.au)
- Shipping is based on weight, estimated A$5.60 for single BD, A$6.50 for 2 single BDs. Shipping charges will be shown at checkout before placing order. Ships via Air Post, not registered, no tracking, 2 to 4 weeks.

.
© PierceLee

Last edited by PierceLee : 07-09-2011 at 03:47 PM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #6
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Reserved for further info, BD recommendations, players, etc.

Last edited by PierceLee : 20-05-2010 at 11:08 AM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

OK, open shop now

First order of business: let's compile some BD recommendations.

We are looking for BDs that are demo quality, to show of HD blu-ray quality. This need not be related to quality of the movie itself. When posting a recommendation, try to specify whether it is recommended for video quality or audio (remember, loud doesn't mean good )

I'll start with:
Planet Earth (breath-taking video, beautiful images of our planet)

Last edited by PierceLee : 06-05-2010 at 09:37 PM.
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #8
kimotherapy
Master Member
 
kimotherapy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,014
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Dark Knight is a must have to demo audio, with TrueHD audio.
Star trek also receive rave reviews for it's high quality audio n video.
__________________
I sell games, I play games, I eat, i sleep, I pee and sh1t just like u do
Thanks Brudders!
kimotherapy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #9
2wiremodem
Senior Member
 
2wiremodem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 808
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by PierceLee View Post
OK, open shop now

First order of business: let's compile some BD recommendations.

We are looking for BDs that are demo quality, to show of HD blu-ray quality. This need not be related to quality of the movie itself. When posting a recommendation, try to specify whether it is recommended for video quality or audio (remember, loud doesn't mean good )

I'll start with:
Planet Earth (breath-taking video, beautiful images of our planet)
second that with planet earth. The images is just breath taking!

For demo purpose, what about Final Fantasy advent children??
__________________
Sleeping...... is a Waste of Time!
2wiremodem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:05 PM   #10
blymberry
Senior Member
 
blymberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 963
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

highly recommended: metal gear solid: guns of the patriots
__________________
blymberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #11
darklighter
Supremacy Member
 
darklighter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,297
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

blym: Add Heavy Rain also lor
darklighter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:25 PM   #12
_dXter
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
_dXter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,158
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

So many to recommend based video quality:

Star Trek (2009)
Apocalypto
Corpse Bride
Kung Fu Panda
Monsters and Alien
Up
Cars
Monster Inc
Wall-E
Happy Feet
Pirates of Caribbean Trilogy
Sin City
Watchmen Ultimate Cut

and many more actually but Pixar's works are gold in this area.

I only have 2 channel audio but audio wise, some recommendations:
Monster Inc (deep deep bass)
Metallica Francais Pour Une Nuit
Cai Qin. lol
Green Day
Legends of Jazz
Chris Botti live in boston
Michael Jackson This is it
Fight Club
Black Hawk Down
Band of Brothers

Let me dig into my collections and see if I missed out a few.
__________________
(\__/)
( x.X ) ... ( › ‹ ) This was bunny. I kill bunnies.
Gaming gear: PS3 + SONY Bravia KLV32V300A + Audiolab 8200CDQ + Plinius Hiato + Dynaudio Contour S1.4
_dXter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:29 PM   #13
zippy
Master Member
 
zippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,071
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

iron man and transformer
__________________
zippy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 11:06 PM   #14
ShuToshio
Supremacy Member
 
ShuToshio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,972
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Since someone mentioned TDK oredi, I have one more...


Blackhawk Down

you can't go wrong with that. pure entertainment. and ewan mcgregor kena 3 rpgs
__________________
caveat emptor!
ShuToshio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 11:52 PM   #15
PierceLee
Supremacy Member
 
PierceLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19,410
Re: Official Blu-ray & movies chit-chat thread

Anyone getting this? Is this good?


http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%86%E3...3160918&sr=8-2
PierceLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump