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Customer Review

349 of 381 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, TERRIBLE transfer / picture quality!!!, April 29, 2011
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This review is from: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (DVD)
Great road trip movie. A bit slow at times, but excellent character building, and even some decent acting by the main three. They really have come a long ways. Especially Harry / Daniel who over the past few films has grown immensely as an actor.

However, I am SO, SO sick of the studios PURPOSEFULLY doing a bad job on their DVD transfers only to promote Blu-Rays. The explosion of combo packs has driven this further, because many folks with a 32" or smaller 720p set can't see the difference between a Blu-Ray and upcoverted DVD...UNLESS the DVD is a *terrible* quality source. The studios are now MALICIOUSLY doing horrible transfer jobs in order to make the Blu-Ray look better. This is not conspiracy theory. Watch for yourself by comparing HP7 with HP4 or 5 on DVD!

There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that the HP7 DVD should look this bad. First off, it is only using a fraction of the available DVD dual-layer space available, and as such is *riddled* with compression artifacts. You need no more proof than that, but the real proof is in the pudding! Compare the HP4 and HP5 dark scenes with those in HP7 pt 1 and you will see NIGHT AND DAY difference in quality. Things should be better today, not worse. You can't tell me it was on accident. This was almost certainly found and raised during quality control, and quietly snuffed by the marketing folks. It was engineered this way on purpose.

While we are a Blu-Ray household with 4 total BD players (living room, MBR, newest desktop, newest laptop), we have nearly a dozen DVD Players counting older laptops, desktops, portable DVD players, and cars. Overall, this movie undoubtedly will be watched more on DVD than on BD. We shouldn't be subjecdted to inferior quality just because some bozo in Marketing things it will impact BD sales 1% to 2%. I don't care if he's right. It's not fair. We pay a good price for the DVD, and we should get a product that is the best possible for the money. Not one that is artifcially neutered for marketing reasons!!!

I blame Warner Brothers. There is no excuse for this. I do not feel this was an accident, and this needs to stop!

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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2011 8:39:51 PM PDT
qtvxzplr says:
I agree. I knew they were cutting corners on the DVD release as soon as the menu appeared and it was just a still like some $5 bargain bin release. The darkest scenes on the DVD look especially bad and poorly defined. People who buy DVDs deserve quality for what they buy, instead of studios purposefully making DVDs look like VHS because they want to push everyone into buying Blu-Ray.

Posted on Apr 30, 2011 12:31:18 AM PDT
Niemann says:
I've just finished watching the DVD and have to agree:

It is a TERRIBLE transfer, especially during the darker scenes, and I feel cheated and disrespected by the studio. I too have to conclude it was intentional. The quality is so bad I was actually wondering if I might have accidently received a bootleg DVD -- until I remembered that I had ordered straight from Amazon. Even the legalistic warnings at the beginning and end are fuzzy and grainy.

This is a shame, as the movie itself is very, very good.

Posted on May 10, 2011 11:49:51 AM PDT
M. Young says:
Thanks to the reviewer and commenters. I have no doubt that the lousy DVD transfer was intentional for the reasons given.

I did not see the movie in the theater, but my family members did. They do not remember the dark scenes being so hard to see. The overall and ongoing darkness of the DVD hurt my eyes.

Posted on May 13, 2011 11:02:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2011 11:04:18 AM PDT
Blazer says:
Complain to the FTC. WB's market manipulation is an unfair business practise.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
"Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions."

Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
(202) 326-2222

toll-free helpline:
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
TTY: 1-866-653-4261

Posted on May 16, 2011 11:38:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2011 3:10:53 PM PDT
DC says:
I agree with everyone here, the DVD is a piece of inferior garbage. I am sure you all remember the days of VHS when you could and may get a copy that was taken over by another studio who produced the same movie but in EP mode and it looked like crap.

Now this DVD looks like it was recorded at what the DVD equivalent to EP mode would be, so yes it looks over compressed much like a low quality EP VHS looked.

And yes I would say this is on purpose, you hit the nail on the head. I also feel this is done to make the blu-ray look 90% better instead of 45% better.

Proof is I have older DVD's and they look fantastic in comparison, look at Underworld Evolution, even on DVD the black levels are solid and deep, this is the way a correctly transfered DVD can and should look I use this as an example because its loaded with dark scenes and they all look amazingly good, now on WB's HP they are washed out and muddy its not just dark it is MUD with little contrast or solid black levels, this is due to the poor transfer and over compression.

This DVD should be maybe $3.99 as I said its like EP quality back in the VHS days.

Sad as hell the studios doing this Mmm WB comes to mind as I feel they make a lot of junk. This should not be allowed maybe they thought we would not notice? WELL we do. This must be brought to their attention.

While some ... as you said with smaller sets or 720p sets may not notice or care I am sure many do as I am seeing more and more complaints about this as time goes on so I think we need to push the studio into replacing every bad copy sold with a brand new pristine HQ version of the movie on DVD. Provided that you have sent back the original version as proof you bought it.

There is no excuse for putting out garbage except for greed, and trying to get everyone to buy the blu edition ... that is out right deceptive, now lets prove this theory I think we have and force them to make a new version and give it for FREE to every person who bought this junk they call a DVD again look at most older DVD's they will look quite good as the studios cared a lot more about producing great quality video and sound on DVD format back then.

Just look at how they are using the cheaper cases made of thin plastic with cutouts, do not even get me started on how they are cutting corners these days it is sickening.

We as the consumer have to let the studios know that they can't put out junk ... we will not accept it I think that anyone who bought this DVD should return it for full refund. If enough people did this, the stores would report this back to the studio as not worth selling and I think they would then get the hint.

So lets all see what we can do to turn this trend around amazon is a great place to start as they have a huge power in the industry and if hundreds a day come back you know WB will be notified.

Other ideas should be discussed here or maybe we set up a site that logs how many of you are upset and why then we present this data to the CEO of WB.

Better ideas let us know.

Posted on May 20, 2011 11:11:32 AM PDT
Bonnie says:
I completely agree- I was wondering if it was a problem with my monitor, once I ruled that out I started Googling to see if the whole movie was like that (I missed seeing it in the theater). A lot of people seem to be mentioning this problem. Yes, a lot of the HP films are done in a dark and gloomy style, but this is ridiculous- I can barely make out background characters at all. >:(

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 9:56:47 AM PDT
dnoyeB says:
Where's the motive? You think they make more profit on the BD than the DVD? The only motive would be for the BD player sellers.

Its much more likely they put all their engineers on the BD and "produced" that product. Then they either hired a second company, or used some automatic software to convert the BD to DVD. I think that is much more likely to be the cause than intentionally reducing DVD quality. They just reduced the resources that went into making DVDs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2011 10:47:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2011 10:48:23 AM PDT
DC says:
@dnoyeB Sorry man plenty of motive, You kind of miss the point its simple to make a great quality DVD they do not need extra resources, common if Troma can put out good quality then WB sure as heck can, They obviously do not want to make HQ DVD's ... Case in point the older HP DVD's look a lot better.

If one buys the DVD it should be the best quality available not some sub standard garbage, if its junk it should be $3.99. Same for the BD it should be the best transfer possible for the money. Some are some are not.

Also they do not make DVD's from BD's the master used to transfer the film is what will determine the end result along with the proper codecs and compression, that must be done correctly and believe me they know how, they just choose not to ...

I would like to see someone from WB prove us wrong. I challenge that I don't see anyone writing back from the WB company. If they were smart they would watch this stuff like a hawk, the net can now make or break a release. I guess they just do not get that part, or care.

Posted on Jul 14, 2011 8:27:57 AM PDT
Searchin' says:
Most people are complaining about the quality of the picture, lightness versus too dark. Our problem is the actions scenes are freezing and unfreezing. The chase through the woods was almost too much to watch! We had rented the movie through Netflicks and thought we had just gotten a well used copy. Just bought a copy (DVD) from Best Buy yesterday and the freezing problems are even worse! Anyone else with this problem; any possible solution? On the verge of not buying Part II when it comes out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2011 8:54:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2011 10:12:08 AM PDT
DC says:
@Searchin I have to say I have never seen the DVD freeze and unfreeze. but if you read my post on it you would see that I felt it was garbage and a very bad transfer similar to an old EP based VHS tape.

So it wouldn't surprise me, but it never happen in my tests. What type of machine are you playing it on? can you try it on another machine? I tested this on my Oppo and it does not freeze, but it does look like garbage that should cost no more then $3.99.

If you do not have access to another machine I would bring it back to Best Buy and tell them you want to play it on a few of their machines and see what happens.

Maybe there are a defective lot of these out there, or your machine is too finicky to play this garbage they call a DVD, good luck let us know.
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