Pirates and Pirates 2: The best HD yet..

Discussion in 'Movie Lounge' started by Shane, May 21, 2007.

  1. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    This weekend started off on a bad wheel with me being down after having my wisdom teeth yanked. A little surprise arrived Saturday but I was too dead to really mess with it.

    After a short day at the zoo on Sunday, I was feeling better so I decided to crack the package and find my Matrix discs, Pirates and Pirates 2 on BR. Ohh boy!!

    I am also picking up Apocalypto, Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima but those will come when I make my rounds this week. My friend is buying the HD versions of Flags and Letters so we'll be comparing those later in the week. Flags will be interesting because Paramount is using an AVC encode on BR as opposed to a VC1 encode on the HD version.

    So after I learned that my HT was taken captive by the girls of Wysteria Lane, I decided to bail and visit my friend.

    His system is pretty nice. 65" 1080P DLP(ISF calibrated) along with a Sony Pearl Upstairs. He's using a Panasonic BR player along with a Toshiba XA2 with a Pioneer Elite 84 receiver serving the audio up. Certainly not a shabby system :)

    Matrix was up first and I posted my results on the Matrix thread. The audio is first rate, the video is top notch but it lacked the extra oomph that Pirates 2 had(more on that).

    Both Pirates discs are presented with a 50 gig disc for the movie and a 25 gig for the extras. I presume to keep the bitrate at the staggering 45MBps and higher rates. After viewing them, I'm not one to complain :D

    Pirates is very comparable to Matrix except the difference between the SD and the HD version is much much much bigger. This is even using the wonderful xa2 upscaler which many consider the best yet. The main reason is the ugly edge enhancement that makes the original Pirates disc look like a dirty diaper was smeared on your windshield. The audio is 24 bit PCM and frankly quite stellar. Think Master and Commander(DTS) with more impact. Scary stuff. :shock: This EE is very noticable even on my 50".

    Pirates 2 was up next. Frankly considering how good the Pirates 2 DVD looked(most considered it reference quality), it wasn't sure I was expecting a big difference. I honestly expected "Matrix-like" which is to say a big difference but nothing like I saw. This is the crown jewel of HD. I don't mean in terms of how pretty it looks in terms of how it was filmed but rather the resolution that is on screen, the detail, you name it. Where the original disc would be a 7 on a 10 scale(considering the best HD is a 10), I'd give this an easy 10 if not an 11. The audio is first rate to boot. It's again 24 bit PCM. It frankly reminds me of some of the top shelf PCM tracks I remember on LD except way better since the surrounds are now discrete.

    The bass was powerful and subsonic but never overwhelming. Bass freaks will appreciate this film especially if you have an IB. Don't get me wrong, we used a dual SVS setup so we were grinning from ear to ear :D

    There are some special extras on the BR versions so be sure to watch those. You don't need a special PIP enabled player or anything of the sorts.

    This week will suck up most of my extra play money but it's worth it :)
  2. Dan S.

    Dan S. New Member

    Shane- I just picked up Letters From Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, Pirates 1 & 2, and Apocalypto this morning. Both Pirates movies are up for tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. Everything I've read mirrors your experience, so it should be impressive. It's going to be a busy week.
  3. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek

    Heads up for those with the Philips BDP9000 BD player.

    There are reports that these discs do not work with this player.

    Right now the workaround appears to be to apply the Samsung firmware to the Philips player.


    PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS APPROACH!! Having different manufacturers firmware on a device is questionable at best, but it sounds like these are the best looking titles on BD to date so you may want to be aware of the workaround.
  4. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Do you know why?
  5. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek

    Speculation is something to do with a BD-J app on the disc.

    Even with the Samsung firmware update, the reports are that it takes a couple of minutes for the Philips to load the disc. There is a spinning gold coin while the loading is taking place.
  6. Michael

    Michael Junior Geek


    It looks like a firmware update is now availalbe for those with the Philips player! For those with an ethernet connection, they just need to go through the auto-update process.
  7. Dan S.

    Dan S. New Member

    Shane- I could not agree more with your impressions of POTC2. I put the disc in to check it out last night and after waiting through the excrutiatingly long load time and the dozen of so ads, I was able to see what has to be the best hd I've ever seen. I can't wait to watch both POTC's tonight, and I didn't really like the second. More comments tomorrow!!
  8. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    Load times were SWIFT on the PS3. I know others are experiencing longer.

    I will say the sheer # of ads that are before the film are annoying.

    The Menu system is pretty neat. Very creative.
  9. Yarvis Torres

    Yarvis Torres New Member

    Load times were definitely a bothersome aspect of owning POTC 1. But it looks absolutely AWESOME when it does finally play! My wife could not get over the stunning look of the disc, neither could I frankly. Looks like I am going to be needing a firmware upgrade soon as my Sony BDP-S1 is not Java friendly and everything I have read says it is going to need a couple of updates. I have version 1.55 in my machine now and the newest is 1.60 with 1.65 to follow.

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