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 Post subject: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 05 May 2020, 21:30 
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So I now own 4 different versions of Lee Majors hyperblockbuster Starflight One.

This is weird. I have questions. Help!

The runtimes for each edition are all different. I know PAL and NTSC come.in.to play here, but the differences are quite substantial.

The JP Laserdisc runtime is 120 mins.
The UK Laserdisc runtime is 114 mins.
The German cinema release widescreen DVD is 103 mins.
The USA TV version, disc 2 of the German DVD set, is 109 mins.

My brain is fried. Help!

Also I noticed that the USA TV extended version DVD is presented in 4:3 from what appears to be the exact same source as the PAL Laserdisc. The German cinema release looks similar to the Japanese Laserdisc except the German release was distributed by Orion in the cinemas and at home. The Japanese release was handled by Vestron.

None of the runtimes seem to match up, especially with the PAL and US TV DVD differences.

Anyone know any more?

By the way, the DVD set looks absolutely stunning. I have the Panasonic UB820 UHD player which handles everything perfectly. The cinema version tops out at around 9.2Mbps while the 4:3 extended TV version flops it's tubby gut out on the table at a paltry 8.2Mbps. Superbit editions would have been nice but anyway the colours look fairly good. Less so in the TV version that looks like it has a Days Of Our Lives soap opera effect on it.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is very good. Better on the German cinema release though than the USA TV edition.

There is also a German cinema trailer on it, clearly sourced from VHS as whoever captured it left the display watermarks on! Also a nicely scanned in photo and poster gallery.

This 2 disc set is only available in Germany. This is the ultimate version until a 4K original camera negative scan emerges. If we are ever that lucky that it happens!

This is it. The ultimate Lee Majors ultradisaster hyperblockbuster summersupermovie. Get on it!!

Edit: by the way, Chuck Fleming from Brewster's Millions is in this!

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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 00:55 
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Well PAL is %4 speed up so 114mins on the UK disc matches the 120 min Japanese disc in terms of run time. If the average bitrates are in 8-9 mbps then these are technically superbit discs. 10mbps is the legally allowed max bitrate for video. You lose some of this to audio if you add soundtracks.
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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 08:10 
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That is interesting because the PAL LD looks like the extended US TV version and the NTSC LD looks like the shorter cinema release.

Does a disc only qualify as Superbit if the bitrate is a constant 8/9Mbps?

I guess the only thing to do is watch them all! :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 08:49 
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teddanson wrote:
I guess the only thing to do is watch them all! :lol:

...at the same time! :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 18:14 
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Superbit is a marketing term. It is not a standard. Sony released some titles under Superbit. These titles have no special content on the first disc but the entire disc is used for the film. This allowed much higher bitrates. It is not a constant bitrate but highest possible depending on the length of the film. They also advertised full bitrate DTS audio but this is not true. Full bitrate DTS is 1.5mbps on DVD (1.4 mbps on LD) but only used on 25 or so titles ever. All other DTS discs including all Superbit discs are at half bitrate of 768kbps. It is nevertheless higher than DD at 384kbps (320kbps on LD).

Sony did the same thing for Blu-rays and called those Super Bit Mapping (SBM) or Mastered in 4K titles. Some of these titles have huge “Mastered in 4K” on the front or some of them have a small SBM logo in the back. Same was done for Superbit, earlier titles have Superbit all over them but later ones had a small logo in the back (Ex.Panic Room). On the Blu-ray iteration Sony claims higher bitrates are used. If you use a later generation Sony blu-ray player with SBM, you get better picture when upscaled to 4K. Sony claims their SBM blu-ray players use the inverse formula of the downscaling algorithm used on their Blu-ray mastering (4K master downscaled to 1080p for Blu-ray). Does it work? I don’t think so. I believe all Sony video equipment applies artificial sharpening to achieve faux 4K from lesser resolutions. It is simply not possible to reconstruct bits that aren’t there in the first place.
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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 20:43 
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When you’re exactly doubling the resolution and you know exactly what the compression does it seems like one could attain passable results. You have to have a Sony TV to use it though and I don’t think very many discs used Mastered in 4K. The only one I have tried this with is Jumanii and...all I see is more film grain. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Starflight One. Strange differences.
PostPosted: 06 May 2020, 21:26 
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signofzeta wrote:
When you’re exactly doubling the resolution and you know exactly what the compression does it seems like one could attain passable results. You have to have a Sony TV to use it though and I don’t think very many discs used Mastered in 4K. The only one I have tried this with is Jumanii and...all I see is more film grain. :)



I believe super bit mapping is the upscaling engine itself and it is on if you are upscaling to any higher resolution. Sony also has triluminus color feature which creates faux 12 bit colors from the 8 bit Blu-ray. This feature works only if you have a Sony Blu-ray player and a Sony TV with this feature. Sony is the only TV and Blu-ray manufacturer which also happen to own a film studio. So of course they are going to cash in on this :) It is actually shocking that Sony doesn’t advertise these advantages over other manufacturers more heavily.
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