Overseas Blu-ray purchases

Today I received a copy of the Japanese Anime movie Akira, which I ordered on Blu-ray from Amazon. Reason: the Japanese 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD sound track is encoded at 192kHz and 24 bits: the maximum supported by the format. Already, the first Blu-ray player I’ve tested this with — and it works fine at decoding Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel 96kHz 24 bit material — collapses to two channels if called on to decode this. Of course, what you do is simply pipe this out to your receiver as a bitstream. My Yamaha RX-V3900 seems to work fine with it.

Anyway, if you are considering purchasing Blu-ray from overseas, may I suggest that you check out the ‘Blu-Ray Region Code Info‘ site. It has region code info on hundreds of discs. Remember, you cannot trust the region coding shown on the back of the box.

As a rule, anything released by Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal is safe to buy from overseas. Sony seems to be abandoning region coding. Twentieth Century Fox seems to be sticking with it, while Disney is a bit all over the place.

UPDATE (Thursday, 12 March 2009, 11:23 am): Just having a look at Akira now. The disc is 38.6GB in size. More than half is sound. The video bitrate seems to be averaging about 8-9Mbps (can get away on this because of the inherently simple nature of the animation, and due to many frames being repeated intact, or almost entirely intact). With the high resolution track engaged audio is ranging from 11-17Mbps.


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