Can anyone comment on the quality of the print and compression on the bluray disc. The DVD's were notoriously poor quality on all Kubricks films. He was a visual director so I have not bought any of his titles on DVD. I hope that MGM has done a better job on the High def version.
***** I agree with Addison; if you want to put Blu-Ray through its paces, then this is the disc. I'm really looking forward to more films that bring this viewing experience. If they can do this with a 40 year-old flick, things are bound to become pretty great!
I cant imagine a bigger fan of this movie than me! I have owned all versions of the film, the earliest of which appeared to be a bootleg VHS made while in a movie theater (this was around 1979). I still own the first VHS released version (and remember paying $65 for it!), then eventually laserdisc, then the anamorphic widescreen DVD version, then eventually the blue-ray version. Each version gets substantially better, and I am very pleased with the BD quality! I currently am viewing on a 100 inch projector at 1080i, and BD is about equal to any theater experience. I suppose I will eventually upgrade to 1080p and wonder if that will be any better.
This sounds a lot like those audiophiles who insist that there is something inherently wrong with the digitally stored audio of compact discs. Total nonsense! If that is true, why do so many fine older analog recordings sound so much better when they were issued on CD than they ever could when listened to on vinyl, even with state of the art playback equipment for LP's? As to movies, if you believe that a VHS recording of a movie is visually superior to even a casually processed standard DVD, I'm at a loss other than to say that my experience is exactly opposite.
I agree completely with respect to the video quality of the BD - simply stunning, even with the occasional dust speck or smudges on the painted backdrops. As to the sound, in those days we would have been listening to Altec Voice of the Threatre speakers behind the Cinerama screen -- a fine speaker even by today's standards. But given the blurring effects and coloration of the theater's acoustics, I'm sure you are now hearing the soundtrack reproduced with greater objective accuracy, which would only serve to emphasize the shortcomings of an earlier produced soundtrack.
All that is true, but please bear in mind that all of the musical selections used in 2001 were taken from pre-existing recordings from various sources as listed in the end credits. None of the musical selections used was newly recorded for 2001. The piece composed in 1961 by Georgy Ligeti called "Atmospheres" which was used for the "light-show" sequence near the end did have additional sound effects mixed with it, to which the composer publicly and strenuously objected. I had all of these selections in my collection for some time before 2001 was released in 1968 and most have superior sound quality to the performances Kubrick chose for his movie. Considering the various performances of these pieces commercially available at the time, there was nothing magical or "state of the art" in the recordings that Kubrick used.
To my ears, the sound of the Blu-ray disk is just plain poor. I was an audiophile 40 years ago, and the sound in the theater wasn't anything like what I hear from the BD. Although my Apogee Divas are of much higher quality than the "Voice of the Theater", there's no way the original soundtrack could possibly have sounded that bad -- my home system /is not/ revealing problems that the VTs did not or could not reveal. There is some other reason for the poor sound.
KnightSS7's comments reflect a perspective that rejects the principle of fidelity (faithfulness to the original), and embraces the belief that, since a work of art is intended to convey emotions or feelings, the only legitimate way to evaluate recordings is by how we feel about them. If this had been the point of view of American and British engineers, high-fidelity sound reproduction would likely never have been developed -- we would still be listening to acoustic phonographs. (Even Thomas Edison believed in "fidelity" -- he gave live-versus-recorded demonstrations in concert halls to show that his recordings could not be distinguised from live sound. The unstated implication was that fidelity to the original was necessary to convey the emotions of the original performance. That should go without saying.)
Phonograph records and analog tape -- if not using some noise-reduction system -- have a relatively poor dynamic range. If you listen carefully to recordings made before noise reduction, you sometimes hear subtle adjustments in the recording level to keep the sound above the noise. In a properly dithered digital system, sounds are audible even below the noise level, which can be 100dB or more under the peak level. Tape and disk cannot do that.
There is no "Heisenberg uncertainty principle" for recording. Improving resolution does not degrade dynamic range, or vice-versa. Knightss7 has decided, a priori, that he doesn't like any form of digital recording, so he sees or hears problems which might or might not actually be present.
Although some audiophiles have not abandoned vinyl (and though I am no vinyl fanatic, I have an excellent turntable, pickup, and preamp so I can play recordings that were never reissued on CD or SACD), the numerical majority of vinyl lovers are people who listen primarily to pop and rock recordings -- recordings that have little or no relationship to live sound. In other words, vinyl lovers are mostly people whio enjoy LP colorations, and are not interested in accuracy of reproduction.
I used to make live recordings of orchestras and chamber music groups. With the equipment I owned (note the qualification), the digital recording sounded more like what I heard standing next to the microphone than did the analog. That doesn't mean I'm automatically right about everything, but I have recording experience. Does KnightSS7?
Just to set things straight: Dynamic range in audio recording refers to the ability of the system to reproduce the loudest sounds without audible distortion and the softest sounds without their being lost in the noise-floor inherent in the system. I can assure you that no commercial LP (vinyl or otherwise) ever existed that could match the dynamic range of even the earliest CD's. The dynamic range capability of a typical CD is about 0 to 95 db (decibels). A typical LP cut from a magnetic master tape was around 50 db. And this does not mention the clicks and pops that the LP groove was plagued with. When Dolby noise reduction was introduced for master taping, this was increased to about 60 db. You might be interested in knowing that in the days of LP production, particularly for classical music, mastering engineers became very skilled in the art of transferring master tapes to LP. Dynamic compression was invariably used to avoid the loss of the lowest level sounds on the one hand and overload distortion occurring in the groove-cutting lathe from the loudest level sounds on the other. This was because the better master tapes of the time normally had a wider dynamic range than the LP cutting equipment could tolerate and dynamic compression had to be used to produce an acceptable sounding recording. I'm convinced that the reason some people prefer the sound of "vinyl" to CD is that the dynamic compression skillfully used in mastering LP's seems to be "easier" to listen to than the uncompressed audio of CD's. I'm also aware that many early CD's had unnaturally crisp or "hard" sound which was due largely to the close microphoning and excessive multi-miking practices that had developed during the LP era. Again, I'm referring to the business of recording of classical music which inherently has a wide dynamic range. Pop music on the other hand has a rather narrow dynamic range (referring to the difference between the highest and lowest level sounds that are being recorded). Just watch it on a VU meter and you'll see what I mean or ask any audio engineer.
As to the statement that the level of quality of LP playback equipment is not important, that is totally absurd. My interest in high-fidelity began around 1956 and I was witness to the gradual but dramatic increase in quality of record production and home equipment and I can tell you firsthand that the improvements, especially in turntables, tone-arms and pickup cartridges were very audible, not to mention amplifiers (receivers) and loudspeakers.
In the second to your last statement, I assume by "resolution" you mean lack of distortion. If so you can rest assured that over the history of sound recording, from Edison's first cylinder to the latest CD, the dynamic range has steadily been increased and the distortion steadily decreased. Happily, we really don't have to forego one for the other.
I'm not certain of the meaning of your last statement. In the case of movies made between 1929 and around 1975 having optical soundtracks, the sound levels had to be severely compressed due to the limitations of the optical recording systems and the poor sound quality of theater systems of the time. In 1947, Altec Lansing introduced the "Voice of the Theater" loudspeaker and that in combination with improved amplification improved movie sound considerably. The first wide-screen movies of the early 50's often had stereo magnetic soundtracks which improved things again. It was in the middle 70's that the brilliant Ray Dolby did for optical movie soundtracks what he had done for the home audio cassette -- turned a barely acceptable system into a truly high fidelity medium.