I just finished “Star Wars” (I can’t bring myself to call it VI or “The New Hope) on BD. And it was spectacular.
The video quality is vastly superior to the DVD version at least on the big screen, I didn’t check it out on my LCD. In all scenes the picture is noticeably sharper showing more detail. The black levels are much better and going along with that so is the colour saturation. Shadow detail is better as is contrast. There is simply no comparison between the two versions on the big screen. For reference if you have them the BD version of this is a bigger picture improvement than between the DVD and BD versions of the Lord of the Rings movies.
The only issue I have with the video quality is that it is noticeably inconsistent. Outdoor scenes like on Tatooine feel like you are standing there, whereas the indoor scenes tend to have noticeably softer look though not always. Most CG and special effects scenes are also outstanding.
Just for reference I did pop in the opening battle scene from “Star Wars III” BD, since I practically have the DVD version memorized since I use it for demo material. If you are going to try to compare the video quality of the BD version of the original “Star Wars” movie to this one then you will certainly be disappointed. The picture is so perfect it felt like being there. The sharpness of the picture gives it a 3d quality. It looks so real there were a couple of times I felt slight vertigo or like I was actually moving.
The audio does seem better but since audio memory is so short it’s harder to compare. In general the BD audio seems cleaner and more defined. Although there is limited discrete surround action when it is there it’s very precise. Ships flying past really sound like it. When Han shoots the blaster in the garbage room the shot bounces all around the room. Mostly there’s lots of music always coming from the surround speakers. So much so that it shut my 3007 down 3 times before I finally had to put a fan on top of it to keep it cool, and that was at -5 off reference.
There are some changes I picked up on in the audio. They got rid of most of the fake “radio” distortion when the rebels attack the deathstar, and I think some of the sound effects like explosions were changed some even deleted.
I can without any doubt say that if you are a “Star Wars” fan and have a big screen/surround system this is a must have.
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