Superbit DVD Lovin'

Since Tom Chick brought up the “where are my DVD extras on this SuperBit edition of Adaptation?!” topic, I thought it would be relevant to post this comparison:

Superbit Fifth Element DVD vs. standard Fifth Element DVD:

Unless you have an ultra-crappy DVD transfer, probably not worth the extra money to get the superbit edition. I doubt many people here*, myself included, could spot the difference on their home theater systems.

A superbit edition of Adaptation does seem absurd-- why give the high-def treatment to anything but special effects extravaganzas?

  • Except for Lloyd Case’s friend at ExtremeTech who returned 6 HDTVs to electronics superstores all over the state. I bet he could see the difference. Also, he may or may not be completely covered in snakes. GET 'EM OFF! GET 'EM OFF!! AHHHHHH!

Browsing around this guy’s site highlights one of the great things about the intarweb for me. No matter how anal you are, there’s always some guy out there who is a thousand times more freakishly anal than you.

One of my co-workers foolishly entered one of those nutty “touch your hand to this (insert expensive car, motorcycle, ski-doo, etc here) for longer than anyone else and you win it” contests.

Of course he lost. He said he had fun, which is what matters, but you gotta be realistic. There’s always some nutty guy willing to go balls out as far as it takes. In this case there were two navy seals there, I think one was still active-- on leave or something.

Corollary to the above rule: there are no winners in the Kenny Rogers Dairy Challenge.

I’d win. I was raised on the dairy, bitch.

I have a funny story about the Superbit edition of Fifth Element. I have one that I use, primarily to excercise PC DVD players. It’s amazing how some soft players can’t handle the bit rate, even on fast PCs, though the latest versions seem to have cured this.

Ahem. At any rate, I took that DVD to the house of a Silicon Valley personage who will remain nameless. (VP of marketing for a large hardware company… that’s the only clue I’ll give). He had spent in excess of two hundred thousand dollars on his home theater.

It was one of those setups that had three rows of theater seating and all that, plus one of those three-chip DLP HD projectors. He was, justifiably, pretty proud. Still, two hundred thousand freaking dollars. But I digress.

So he was showing the setup to us, and everything was good. So we put in the Superbit Fifth Element. As you know, there’s a lot of bass rumble in some of the early scenes. He cranks up the audio and we begin to hear really bad clipping from the subwoofers (yes, there was more than one).

Suddenly, the entire hardware rack goes dark.

End of demo.

Later, his installer discovers that he had set the crossover to the subwoofer wrong (it was set to something pretty high, like 200Hz), so we’d cooked the twin subs with the bass from Fifth Element.

Now, it’s true that even the standard version of Fifth Element would have generated the same result. But I’m now very fond of my Superbit DVD.

I love that article. Does he watch every movie one frame at a time?

Look at the little dark windows at the top of the ship (upper right). Was a blurry mess!

Indeed. I can’t believe how awful that tiny inconsequential image from the movie is.

But I’m surprised he didn’t note that you can probably see Milla Jovovich’s nipples that much more clearly on the Superbit edition.

I’m sold. ;)

I like this line:

How do i rate the improvement? On my setup, with my eyes, the improvement isn’t subtle.

Man, I wish I had his eyes.

Well, looks like Superbit won’t catch on, at least not with this generation of DVDs. I’d rather have the space spent on DTS (which really makes a huge difference) and there doesn’t seem to be a way to squeeze both on the same disk, or am I wrong here?

I was under the impression that Superbits were the best of everything A/V-wise, and so they also utilize DTS tracks.

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All Superbit DVDs utilize DTS.

Thanks, I didn’t see DTS mentioned with Superbit DVDs so I thought it wasn’t there, not realising that it was implied. In that case it boils down to Superbit vs extras which would depend on the individual editions.