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Halloween cover

Blu-ray Reviews: Halloween

Not previously published
Last updated 6 April 2010

1978 - Beyond Home Entertainment
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham and Nancy Stephens

Movie: 4 Picture: 3 Sound: 3 Extras: 4

No review as yet

Note, however, that the video for this movie is encoded at 1080i60 rather than 1080p24. That does not necessarily mean that the picture quality is inferior, but it often does. If you have a high-end video processor capable of converting 1080i60 to 1080p24, then the picture quality should be identical to a 1080p24 movie. If you have a Blu-ray player with good cadence detection for deinterlacing 1080i60, then you should get a fine picture, but with some 3:2 pulldown judder on some camera pans.

Note, also, that you get to experience an interesting range of video standards with this disc. The movie is 1080i60. The menus and copyright warnings are 1080p24. The major extras are 480i60, and three of the trailers are 576i50.

Running time: 91 minutes
Picture: 2.35:1, 1080i60, MPEG4 AVC, 24.72Mbps
Sound: English: LPCM 3/2.1 @ 4,608kbps; English: Dolby Digital 3/2.1 @ 640kbps; English (Original Mono), Commentary: Dolby Digital 2/0.0 @ 192kbps
Subtitles: Nil
Extras: Documentary: 'Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest' (480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 87 mins); Featurette: 'Halloween Unmasked 2000' (480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 27 mins); Theatrical Trailer (576i50, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 224kbps - 3 mins); Rerelease Trailer (480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 3 mins); Two TV Spots (576i50, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 224kbps - 1 min); Three Radio Spots (1080p24, MPEG4 AVC, DD2.0 @ 224kbps); Stills Gallery (40 stills with large black surrounds - 1080i60, MPEG4 AVC, LPCM2.0 @ 1,536kbps)
Restrictions: Rated R (Australian rating); Region Free

The following video bitrate graph was generated by BDInfo 0.5.3:

Halloween video bitrate graph

Comparison: Blu-ray vs PAL DVD

Here are some comparisons between the PAL DVD and the Blu-ray version of this movie. The DVD was not the currently available one from Beyond Home Entertainment (probably marked 'Force Video' on its packaging), but one one distributed by Infogrames Asia Pacific back in 2001/2002. The DVD authoring was done by StreamAV. I have confirmed with Beyond Home Entertainment that the Infogrames DVD uses an identical encode for the main feature as their current version.

At the top of each is the full frame (suitably shrunk down) used in the comparison, with a 250 pixel wide detail from the frame underneath. The left side is from the PAL DVD. The image was captured digitally from the disc, scaled up from its native 720 by 576 resolution to 1,024 by 576 (to present in the correct aspect ratio), and then, in order to be comparable to the Blu-ray version, from that to 1,920 by 1,080. The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray. This has not been scaled at all.

Different applications were used to capture the two frames, so I am not normally comfortable comparing the colour between the two, merely the detail and sharpness. For those visitors from NTSC lands, generally the PAL DVD is just a touch sharper than the NTSC DVD.

Comparison 1

Comparison 2

Note the ring on the woman's finger:

Comparison 3

Comparison 4

Comparison 5

Comparison 6

© 2002-2010, Stephen Dawson