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Old 07-10-2019, 06:55 PM   #515
Brian81 Brian81 is online now
Blu-ray Samurai
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Mar 2011

It's solid and an improvement over the Arrow in some regards (fine detail) but a step back in others (compression). When it comes to COLOR, the Arrow has a more colorful and saturated look (ex. skies are deeper blue), whereas the UHD is more muted and natural. I only skimmed through the disc (also skimmed through the Arrow directly before AND after). The Arrow BD is softer, but like said, the compression is better. You get macroblocking in one moment I saw on the UHD (flames shooting out from holes in side of boat, towards end of film) and if you freeze frame, the grain has that 'weave' look at times (forgetting proper term for this!). I usually look for clothing fabrics for fine detail examples and in this case you can use netting to see the increase in detail. The Arrow BD is quite good in holding up versus the UHD. I made a comment a little while back that the Arrow was so good that if a UHD materialized I wouldn't really care. But that does not stop me from trying to upgrade since the option is now here. If you're downscaling because you don't have a 4K projection setup yet, just play the Arrow. If you want 4K, this Universal is worth it as long as you aren't anal retentive about macroblocking to the extent it is a deal breaker. That's one complaint I have about UHD in general. I feel like they shoehorned everything to fit on a 100GB disc. 4K needs more room to breathe. So many releases have grain that just doesn't look natural. Maybe HEVC needs to be refined over time?

I did pop in the standard BD. It looks so flat and devoid of color. It looks terrible! I went as far as to grab my HD DVD (since I know it is from the same master) and look at that again. The color looked so much better. There was actually normal color to it. Was the BD this one ****ed up?...or is it that the Oppo 203 does a crap job with standard BDs with the default settings? Granted with the Arrow BD the color looks quite fine.
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