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Old 01-20-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
Pralix
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BBC Blu-Rays

I have purchased a number of Blu-Ray sets for TV series. I noticed that they have all been 1080i. This is very frustrating as some of my playback devices do not like interlaced video. I will lose video resolution if I fix this problem. For all of my other Blu-Ray TV series, I have just ripped the proper m2ts files and called it good.

Is there a good reason other than being cheap for a release to be 1080i?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Pralix View Post
Is there a good reason other than being cheap for a release to be 1080i?
That's what TV is (when it's not 720p). Maybe they're too lazy/cheap to convert it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
Mars Rocket
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That's what TV is (when it's not 720p). Maybe they're too lazy/cheap to convert it?
If that's the source format, why should they convert it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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If that's the source format, why should they convert it?
Because 1080p has twice the information-per-screen as 1080i. It's a better picture, especially when there's a lot going on on-screen. That's why some people prefer 720p to 1080i (and some networks broadcast in it).

Just taking a quick look at my shelves, both Justified and Fringe are in 1080p on Blu-ray. I'm not sure what the source material is, but I suspect it's at least 1080p, down-scaled to 1080i for broadcast. Maybe somebody who knows more about TV production and broadcast standards can chime in...

My guess is it's not a lot of work (or expense) to go back to the masters and knock out a 1080p version for the Blu-ray, but that even that is too much work (or expense) for the BBC.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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Fringe, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad are all 1080P on Blu-Ray.

The Blu-Rays in question are Doctor Who and Torchwood. Both are popular series and I would have thought would be given extra special treatment.

Another thing is these Blu-Ray sets are premium priced compared to a US TV series.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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Just curious. What devices do you have that don't like 1080i?
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #7
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Just curious. What devices do you have that don't like 1080i?
My Boxee Box stutters on 1080i decoding. I also have issues with VLC on my linux computer.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:03 AM   #8
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Because 1080p has twice the information-per-screen as 1080i. It's a better picture, especially when there's a lot going on on-screen. That's why some people prefer 720p to 1080i (and some networks broadcast in it).
Except if all you're doing is duplicating the lines from 1080i to 1080p (i.e., 1080i is really 1080p30, so you can frame double it to get 1080p60), then you're not getting much.

And it's possible it was filmed in 1080i originally with 1080i (or 1080p30) equipment, so converting it to 1080p would introduce conversion artifacts.

720p/1080i are used because both have very similar bandwidth requirements so networks can choose between high res but interlaced or low res but smoother video depending on the content.

As for you devices not handling 1080i - shouldn't really matter unless your video drivers are crappy - they should be able to handle interlaced content natively (SD is, after all, 480i and you do get some 480i DVDs).
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:38 AM   #9
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you do get some 480i DVDs.
All NTSC DVDs are 480i.

Doctor Who and Torchwood were shot in 1080p/25. The closest format that is compatible with Blu-Ray is 1080i/50. They shoot for compatibility with the PAL standard in use in the UK.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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My Boxee Box stutters on 1080i decoding. I also have issues with VLC on my linux computer.
Obvious suggestion: You're buying BluRays, use a BluRay player.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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It turns out that it is not the 1080i that is giving me grief. It is that the video stream is VC-1 ecoded. Trying to get anything other than a BD player to play it is a pain.

I still maintain that 1080i on any modern BD is "cheap". VC-1 encoding is also "cheap" because it allows the content producer to use 1080i.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:48 AM   #12
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Don't a lot of Blu-rays use VC-1? I know when using the PS3 as a Blu-ray, it tells you if the disc is VC-1 or whatever. I seem to remember a lot of movies where VC-1.

I have never had an issue with a Blu-ray. You just need to get better devices that can handle any standard Blu-ray disc. VC-1 is one of the standards. Anything claiming to be Blu-ray compatible should be able to handle it just fine.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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I haven't noticed any issues with my Torchwood Blu-Ray discs, but I play them on a real Blu-Ray player, or on my PC which has a Blu-Ray drive.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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Don't a lot of Blu-rays use VC-1? I know when using the PS3 as a Blu-ray, it tells you if the disc is VC-1 or whatever. I seem to remember a lot of movies where VC-1.

I have never had an issue with a Blu-ray. You just need to get better devices that can handle any standard Blu-ray disc. VC-1 is one of the standards. Anything claiming to be Blu-ray compatible should be able to handle it just fine.
No, very few use VC-1 actually. Particularly because it's a Microsoft codec (it's derived from WMV9-HD) and Blu-Ray is a "Sony" format. Most content these days are h.264 purely because the tools are mature and well understood, plus most content is already compressed in h.264 to begin with (finding anything that captures to VC-1 is actually quite rare).

For Blu-Ray, h.264, VC-1 and MPEG2 are valid codecs. Oh, and h.264 supports 1080i as well, so VC-1 isn't necessarily a determining factor. Early Blu-Rays were MPEG2 (due to the immaturity of the developer kit for Blu-Ray - should be noted that HD-DVDs of that era used VC-1 or h.264 exclusively and almost never MPEG2).
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:39 AM   #15
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No, very few use VC-1 actually. Particularly because it's a Microsoft codec (it's derived from WMV9-HD) and Blu-Ray is a "Sony" format. Most content these days are h.264 purely because the tools are mature and well understood, plus most content is already compressed in h.264 to begin with (finding anything that captures to VC-1 is actually quite rare).

For Blu-Ray, h.264, VC-1 and MPEG2 are valid codecs. Oh, and h.264 supports 1080i as well, so VC-1 isn't necessarily a determining factor. Early Blu-Rays were MPEG2 (due to the immaturity of the developer kit for Blu-Ray - should be noted that HD-DVDs of that era used VC-1 or h.264 exclusively and almost never MPEG2).
I think early Blu-rays used VC-1 a lot. I haven't used my PS3 as a Blu-ray player for a while. I'm sure back when I did, I saw VC-1 a lot. Back then, I'd also see MPEG-2 used for HD.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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I bought "Red Dwarf X" (the BBC logo is stamped on the box, so I guess they're involved with the "Dave" channel somehow - not that I'm really interested in that side of things) - with which I did notice some odd motion artifacts on Blu Ray.

I wasn't overly concerned about it - as "Red Dwarf X" on Blu Ray will be the best picture quality available to me - as this probably won't be available on Netflix or Amazon for quite some time.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:56 AM   #17
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I think early Blu-rays used VC-1 a lot. I haven't used my PS3 as a Blu-ray player for a while. I'm sure back when I did, I saw VC-1 a lot. Back then, I'd also see MPEG-2 used for HD.
Perhaps. I didn't buy very many Blu-Rays back in the MPEG2 era because well, ugh, they were far worse than the HD-DVD (which used VC-1 or h.264). Most lacked extras that were on the HD-DVD or DVD versions so I bought the latter. Plus, I rarely bought high def because HD-DVD/Blu-Rays were commanding a 50% premium over the DVD.

But I can see a brief period of VC-1 usage before the Blu-Ray mastering suite went h.264 fully (I think the HD-DVDs were about a 50-50 split on VC-1 vs. h.264).

These days, I don't think anyone uses VC-1 anymore purely because the entire workflow is h.264 and it's pretty universal across the board.

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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I believe that the content on these Blu-Rays was produced after the great HD format war had ended. No idea on what incentive the BBC had to use VC-1 on Doctor Who Season 5.
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