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Post Posted: September 3rd 2006 2:55 am
 

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I've got 'em.

I watched part of the original Empire (which I haven't seen in years) and I'm still amazed by what LFL and ILM were technically able to achieve considering what they had to work with.

Anyway, the quality is pretty good considering what I was expecting. The video won't blow anybody's socks off and this is definitely a flawed master by modern standards. Blemishes pop up from time to time and, to me, small object detail is substantially less than new DVD-authoring techniques are capable of. That could be due to a non-anamorphic master being used. I also noticed a few minor instances of color smearing. The black level seemed kind of weak too.

One thing I think fans will universally like is the animated menu. Again, I've only seen the Empire menu but it ROCKED. It was an animated of the speeder/Imperial walker battle on Hoth. It was a brief "animatic" style animation, but I think it actually works better (in some ways) than the ridiculously extensive menus on the other discs.

In short, I think many of Zion's original points are going to be seen here.


Post Posted: September 3rd 2006 3:40 am
 
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Found these @ RebelScum.com:

[spoil]ImageImageImage
Image Image Image
Image Image Image
Image Image Image
[/spoil]


Looks pretty cool. :)


Post Posted: September 3rd 2006 6:21 am
 
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Duke wrote:
Found these.

Looks pretty cool.


I think the covers look pretty bad actually...

Han Solos hair is cut too short, Lukes nose seems very strange on the "new hope" cover... :what:

And the movie isn´t even supposed to be called A New Hope. :o


Post Posted: September 7th 2006 5:20 pm
 
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Maybe I'm just going crazy, but I see no discernible differences between the OUT image here and my LD DVD transfers.


Post Posted: September 7th 2006 9:30 pm
 

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They are better than any version I've seen to date, but still far from perfect. Review is up on DVDActive if anyone's interested.


Post Posted: September 12th 2006 11:45 am
 

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I finally got my copies of the OUT. They could look and sound better, but they're definitely an improvement over my full-screen VHS versions. Maybe next year I can look forward to Lucas stealing more of my money for remastered versions of the films. Until then, these will do.


Post Posted: September 12th 2006 2:39 pm
 

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Where I'm getting confused is,

the last versions out before the SE and the newer DVDs was a remastered widescreen and fullscreen set. So how can these now be worse than the ones that were remastered? Does that mean they didn't do a total cleanup on the remaster?

I think unless I get these as a gift, I'm happy for now with my 12 VHS copies, LD, and boots I got before the new DVDs came out :D


Post Posted: September 12th 2006 2:45 pm
 
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Here's the link to Mentasm's thorough review on dvdactive.com

Below are some more 2004 vs 2006 comparisons from said review:


[align=center]LEFT: OUT 2006 | RIGHT: 2004 editions

ImageImage
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An interesting exceprt from the Mentasm's review:
    Audio

    The original version of Star Wars carries a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround soundtrack.

    It’s interesting to note that there have been a number of different mixes over the years—be it Mono, Stereo or six channel Dolby—each with their own idiosyncrasies, raging from different sound effects, to dialogue, and even voice actors.

    The mix that is included here omits several lines of dialogue found in later incarnations of the film, as well as including a few different sound effects and lines of dialogue delivered by different actors. Disparities such as these raise some interesting questions, such as just who is the ‘real’ Aunt Beru? The woman who voiced her in the Stereo mix, or the Mono mix?


Post Posted: September 12th 2006 4:39 pm
 

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Hey everyone,

I was able to grab these on Friday night in New York and had a look at them this weekend and honestly that I am glad that I finally have one DVD that contains the SE and the OUT editions of the movies. I've been pretty loyal to the merchandising machine and I have currently amassed (like most of you):

3 versions of the OT on VHS
1 laserdisc box of masters
2 sets of OUT DVD bootlegs
1 set of 2004 release
and now this 3 set

I personally think that the OUT DVDs aren't as bad as I thought they were going to look, they are a step up from the bootlegs that I have where there have always been issues on how it's going to play on one DVD player to another, bad chapter setups, etc. Image quality on my TV which is small by todays standards was OK, and there was a nice retro quality to looking at the dirty messed up movies that I remember as a kid, before digital projection, DVD and even VHS players were around.The ultra cleaned up DVD version of that movie looks great, sounds great, but it shows it's age when cleaned up.

Backgrounds that fuzzed out and blended into the movie on TV look like painted cardboard backgrounds on DVD. I noticed that on the SE versions of Return of the Jedi during the Endor scenes. Digital definitely betrays a lot of the tricks that film is a lot more forgiving on.

So my take on the OUT DVDs is while they are definitely flawed by todays standards, I personally would rather pick up the torn, grubby stitched up raggedy baseball glove that I had as a kid rather than a brand new version of the same glove and I'm happy to have Lucasfilm officially acknowledge the public demand to see the original films.

My only regret would be that I bought the 2004 box because I figured these versions were never going to be released, and what is kinda sad to me is that whatever happens from here on you pretty much can't rely on the Fox marketing department or really the Lucasfilm merchandising department to stick to their guns. I'd have been happy with my bootlegs and LDs if I knew that they were never going to come out on DVD, and I can almost even tolerate the non-anamorphic and non-5.1 mix because it adds to the nostalgia of it.

I think the saddest part is on a semantic level, look at the marketing strategy this way:

This will be the ONLY time you can buy the SE and OUT on two DVDs.
The reality of that statement is that this will be the only "limited" time you can buy the SE on one DVD and the OUT on a seperate DVD.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next release has seamless branching similar to the LOTR double-dip DVDs that just came out, and since they'd be on one DVD it wouldn't be a lie.

That's how marketing spins stuff. Either way, if these sets do well then it's a pretty safe bet we haven't seen the last of the OUT or SE.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 12:50 am
 
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Screenshots are now up on my Screenshot Comparison Page.

The GOUT (George's Original Unaltered Trilogy), as we've officially begun calling this release on OT.com, does seem to have a notch more detail than the best fan transfers. Unfortunately, the ghosting as I explained in the other thread seems a lot more obvious on a widescreen HDTV in zoom mode.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 5:18 am
 
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Zion wrote:
Screenshots are now up on my Screenshot Comparison Page


Wow! You did a shitload of work on that.

Thanks.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 11:39 am
 

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They look okay overall, but one thing that stuck out was how beat up the movie prints were. It's one thing to have extra blemishes in effects shots considering the compositing techniques ILM used back in those days, but other print defects pop up as well. It's not a huge problem but it's suprising for what we've come to expect from Star Wars DVD's.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 1:44 pm
 
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The only real problem that stood out to me was the ghosting. Particularly the opening pan-down in Empire. Other than that, I think the noise and dirt gave the pictures a kind of retro-nostalgic feel. The soundtrack was better than I expected too.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 5:15 pm
 
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Is the opening shot of SW with the Star Destroyer flyover from the SE? It doesn't match up with the Defintive Edition. I'm guessing because of the added original crawl, this shot was recomped or something.


Post Posted: September 13th 2006 5:22 pm
 
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It was definitely recomped. The star field on the LDs is not the same as the original theatrical version. Both the 2004 DVD and this new one went back to the original star field.

Bandersnatch wrote:
Wow! You did a shitload of work on that.

Thanks.

Thanks. The site's not finished yet, as I still want to add in more information about each version. But it's become quite a useful tool over the past year or so.


Post Posted: September 14th 2006 7:06 am
 
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Zion wrote:
It was definitely recomped. The star field on the LDs is not the same as the original theatrical version. Both the 2004 DVD and this new one went back to the original star field.

Bandersnatch wrote:
Wow! You did a shitload of work on that.

Thanks.

Thanks. The site's not finished yet, as I still want to add in more information about each version. But it's become quite a useful tool over the past year or so.


Thank you so much for doing that! I was hoping something like this would appear! :) But it seems like I will get myself a new favorite version now, I think they look very clear! I'm luckily one of those that finds a little blurriness charming. These ones seem to have just the right amount! :)


Post Posted: September 14th 2006 7:13 am
 
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I won't be able to get these until November, which is fine with me. I am not in any hurry to get them but I will be glad when I do get them.


Post Posted: September 14th 2006 11:34 am
 
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Hey mentasm, will there be future reviews on OUT versions of ESB and ROTJ on dvdactive?


Post Posted: September 14th 2006 5:32 pm
 

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I'm working on Empire at the moment. It's going to be shorter as I got a lot of stuff off of my chest with the SW review, so this one is mainly gonna be about the technicalities of the release (we all know the films anyway). I'm struggling with it a bit at the moment as I have a lot of other responsibilities on the site (that news doesn't write itself) and of course there's my boring day job... The acronyms for this release are getting a bit silly now though. I mean, GOUT?

Zion, are you watching PAL or NTSC versions of the films?


Post Posted: September 14th 2006 7:00 pm
 
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The screenshots on my site are the PAL versions, but NTSC shots should be up later tonight as well.

The term GOUT comes from the fact that the OUT, which the Lucasfilm marketing machine calls their release, is not in fact the true theatrical version of the film (and I'm talking mostly about ANH here). Differences in the soundtrack as well as changes made to some shots (Tatooine canyon, etc.) make this more of a '93 version release, not a '77 version release. (The '77 crawl is most likely a digital recreation btw.) It doesn't really deserve to be called OUT, so we call it GOUT to mean GL's mock-up of the theatrical release.


Post Posted: September 15th 2006 8:45 am
 

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I was asking mainly to see if the ghosting you're experiencing is down to a standards converted transfer. I have the NTSC discs so I don't know if the PAL is 'real' PAL. I haven't noticed any particularly bad ghosting on the bits I've watched so far (but I've only watched Star Wars all the way through), but then people mean different things when they say 'ghosting'.

I know what the GOUT stands for, I just think all these acronyms are getting a little bit out of hand. To be honest, I don't even know what really constitutes the 'true' versions of the original films, what with all of the different mixes etc. What's changed in the canyon scene? I was only two when the film came out and I grew up watching it on TV, so my memory is a little hazy when it comes to exact details like that.


Post Posted: September 15th 2006 10:25 am
 
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When they created the '93 Definitive Collection LDs, they did more than just clean up the film. They darkened the whole canyon scene to make it look later in the day. There are other minor details like this that were changed, as well as all the minor audio changes and different lines.

If you didn't notice any ghosting in ANH, you might see the trails behind the ships in the Hoth scenes. If you don't notice those, you might not notice any of it. And just to clarify, when I talk about ghosting and trails as a result of the '93 DVNR process, I'm talking about stuff like this:

Image

The trails become very apparent in shots where something of high contrast to the surrounding shot is moving. Another example would be the door closing behind 3PO when he gets into the escape pod.

Based on the way the shots are framed, and the fact that the flaws in the PAL laserdisc transfers don't show up in it, I'd have to say that the PAL version of the GOUT is just an upscale of the NTSC master tape. The other interesting thing to note is that while they were willing to upscale the NTSC version to PAL resolution to create the PAL release, they were not willing to use the exact same process to upscale the image to anamorphic format. Kind of makes you wonder if they did it on purpose.


Post Posted: September 15th 2006 4:43 pm
 

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Sounds like they did it on purpose allright, but why would they not want a Anamorphic transfer? Based on your experience, they could have done it very easily. Why go against the system that is now a standard on dvd?


Post Posted: September 15th 2006 5:31 pm
 

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Aye, I see what you mean by ghosting now. Most people mean combing when they say ghosting, but that's not what's going on. Yeah, looks looks like a result of the noise reduction. I also thought you might be referring to the copious garbage mattes around the spacecraft in Empire, which I saw when I popped it in for my review tonight (which I never really finished as I started on the wine). To be honest, the phenomenon you highlight isn't as obvious on my DVD version as the cap you posted. This biggest things I've noticed so far have been the aliasing and the transparency issues (the ships on Hoth pass through one another), but all of that was to be expected given the source.

Here's that same cap from my NTSC DVD, taken using VDubMod (as I know some people don't like PDVD).

Image

As for the upscaling issue, I have no doubt in my mind that they could have done more with this release, but chose not to. I deal with these big studios on a daily basis and their arrogance knows no bounds. I'm sticking with my 'not as bad as I feared, but not as good as they should have been' stance.


Post Posted: September 15th 2006 7:18 pm
 
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True, the trails in that frame are not as noticable on the new DVDs. And that's mostly due to the fact that the black levels are more accurate, making it a little darker than the LDs. But there's no denying that almost all the detail in the rocks is absent on that whole shot. Compare the same shot on the SE DVD to see what I mean.


Post Posted: September 16th 2006 1:35 am
 
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Just finished watching ANH or rather Star Wars and this is the most I've enjoyed watching it in quite a while. The quality is better than I expected, although I'm watching on a 27" tv, (still saving for a widescreen) so the imperfections probably weren't as apparent as they would be on a ws setup. I have a couple bootleg copies but never watched them much because the quality always hindered my enjoyment. This version is not perfect but it didn't interfere with my enjoyment, I got lost in the story again. Some scenes looked better than others, the outdoor Tatooine scenes seemed to me to be some of the more grainy areas.

I'm not an SE hater but like I mentioned in another thread, the color timing issues on the 04 set are what really prevent me from watching those versions. It was great to see this film again with the right colors, no annoying blue tint to everything or desaturated lasers and other oddities. Some little things I really enjoyed while watching this disc (excluding the obvious OT vs SE stuff) were:

-The 77 crawl. I had never seen it before except for the excerpt on the EoD doc so it was cool to see that and I think I may now prefer it to the EpIV ANH version.

-Starfields! It was great to see some nice bright starfields again even though they do blink in and out occasionally. It's a shame they've been so dimished in all later versions.

-This was a surprise, but Luke's lightsaber on the Falcon was actually fricken blue! Even the couple shot where it was white still had a hint of blue, it was just washed out. Even the sabers during the duel looked good to me, Vader's could just use some extra glow.


Post Posted: September 16th 2006 1:57 pm
 
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Best Buy's exclusive GOUT tin box sure is nice, but it's nearly impossible to keep closed once it's been opened. Considering there are doors on either side of the box, it sucks.


Post Posted: September 16th 2006 3:51 pm
 
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You know it really makes you wonder if George Lucas really does have a pristine souped up / restored anamorphic widescreen version of the Original Unaltered Trilogy sitting in his vault collecting dust...


Post Posted: September 17th 2006 5:45 am
 
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I'm happy! I just compared the new official release to my old bootleg DVD's. HUUUUGE difference. I didn't think it was gonna be so good compared to those. Call me crazy, but I'm actually glad they didn't clean them up more, because there's a certain charm to seeing that they are as old as they are. Old in a good way, I must add. :)


Post Posted: September 17th 2006 11:51 am
 

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"no annoying blue tint to everything or desaturated lasers and other oddities."

Not quite true, I think THX did retime the movie for the LD masters, there's still a little blue thing going on (look at the opening Tatooine matte painting) and I think they definetly look a little desaturated, but it's a hell of a lot closer to the film than the DVDs, and I think it's a global issue across the whole film uniformly, and therfore a pretty easy fix, rather than that fucked-up shot-by-shot random colour pallette crap LFL shoved onto the shelves in '04.

But, yeah, if you look at some of the fine detail like stars, and (what I never noticed before) the detail in the edges of impact flashes, particularly whenever the blockade runner takes a hit, it's stunning to see just how Lowry's algorithms chews up and averages out fine detail - there's stuff in this crappy old master tape that is just an amorphous blob on the 2004 transfers.


Post Posted: September 20th 2006 5:00 pm
 

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Jimmie wrote:
And the movie isn´t even supposed to be called A New Hope. :o

Yes it is, because the non-ANH titled version is considered just a "bonus item". :roll:


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