Alien and more released, without region codes

Over at the AVS Forum the specifications for the Blu-ray release of the Alien/Aliens etc boxed set have been posted. Looks like they’ve got a healthy ~26Mbps MPEG4 AVC transfer.

Two points of interest: although a Fox title, they are region free. Looks like all the major studios are abandoning that silliness, although region coding will no doubt live on through the smaller distributors, who are typically required by contract to apply them.

Second, in addition to 5.1 lossless, the first two movies have a 4.1 track Dolby Digital track (at 640kbps) for their theatrical versions (both director’s cut and theatrical versions are provided by means of seamless branching). This is apparently the original sound, although that would have been presented in cinemas as ‘Dolby Stereo’ (as the cinematic version of Dolby Pro Logic was called). My guess is that that the 4.1 is actually 3/1.1. Rather than encoding the four streams down to two using a matrix process, apparently they’ve simply allowed them to have their own discrete channels.

Except that back in 1979, there wasn’t a 0.1.

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3 Responses to Alien and more released, without region codes

  1. Anthony says:

    This may be a stupid comment, but itbegs the question as to whether the b ray producers would have to synthesise the low range frequencies to create a .1 channel that did not exist on the studio master. Or could it be anticipated that bass frequencies have always been inherent within the master tracks and are now simply ‘low passed’ now to a sub- woofer via a new discrete .1 channel created as a result? The latter hypothesis seems to be reliant upon the principle that all ( most) theatres would have full range speakers capable of handling the 20 hz to 20 khz bandwidth. Makes me suspicious that this was not the case in most theatres at the time, and therefore there would likely have been some compression applied to the cinematic release audio . This makes me wonder whether the movie creators were perhaps aware of this and therefore the original masters were perhaps crreated with minimal low- end activity. It will be interesting to gauge how this pans out in the b-ray release as i would have reservations whether this gave much in the way of sub – woofer performance. On the other hand i can recall seeing the sequel in the pictures and that was involving from what i recall from a low- end frequency perspective….

  2. Anthony says:

    Yep it was a stupid comment to a degree . ( The perils of posting at 3pm in the morning?) I just re- read my earlier post and the original thread post and note that the sequel did contain a .1 channel. Still will be a consideration though with the 1st title of the series however..

  3. Stephen Dawson says:

    I’d say they probably took the opportunity to low pass some of the effects bass into the 0.1 channel, but not necessarily. Just because the codec has .1 on the end doesn’t guarantee that there is anything in it.

    There is the possibility that effects were added, although if they are making a point of the original sound in the 4.1, they would most likely have been added to the 5.1 lossless mix. That’s what was done on Snow White.

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