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Writings > DVD Image Comparisons > Underworld (SD vs. HD)


Underworld

DVD: Region 1 Unrated Extended Cut (USA) - Columbia Tristar
vs. HD DVD: Region 0 Extended Cut (Germany) - Concorde Home Entertainment

 

Details

 

 

DVD

R1 USA
DVD

 

 

HD DVD

R0 Germany
HD DVD

 

Disc(s)

 

2x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (HD30)

Running Time

 

Approx. 133 mins (NTSC) (packaging: 134 mins)

 

Approx. 133 mins (24p)

Video

 

2.39:1 anamorphic (MPEG2)
Average bit rate: 5.25 Mbps
NTSC 720x480 at 24 fps

 

2.39:1 (VC-1)
Average bit rate: unknown
HD 1920x1080 at 24 fps

Audio

 

English, French:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

 

German:
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English:
DTS-HD Hi-Resolution Audio 5.1

Subtitles

 

English, French

 

German

Extras

 

Disc 1:
- Director and cast commentary
- Outtakes
- Featurette - Fang vs. Fiction
- Underworld trailer
- Hellboy trailer
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse trailer
- Spider-man 2 trailer
- "Teaser cutdown" TV spot
- "War" TV spot

Disc 2:
- The making of Underworld
- The visual effects of Underworld
- Creature effects
- Stunts
- Designing Underworld
- The look of Underworld
- Sights and sounds
- Storyboard comparison
- Finch music video "Worms of the Earth"

- 48-page Underworld comic book
- 16-page production sketch booklet

 

- None

 

Bit Rate

R1 USA

DVD Image Comparison

 

Screen Captures

Example 1

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 2

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 3

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

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DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 4

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 5

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 6

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Example 7

Full frame:
DVD Image Comparison

Mouse over to switch between versions:
DVD | HD DVD

DVD Image Comparison
(720x720 crop - HD DVD actual size/DVD upscaled to 1920x1080)

 

Comments

The DVD release of Underworld's extended cut received one of the better standard definition transfer - a bit edge enhanced, true, but generally very watchable. For Concorde's German HD DVD release the same master appears to have been used, resulting in largely the same framing and a similar colour balance (the slight differences being down to the slightly different colour gamut of the two formats). The biggest improvement, beyond the obvious massive increase in detail, is how much more natural the HD DVD looks: check out the clouds in Example 1, and also notice how much less "clumpy" the streetlights look in the same shot. The grain reproduction is also, obviously, much improved, with what was once harsh and digital-like now appearing smooth and natural.

Note that a US Blu-ray release by Sony Pictures, featuring an AVC encode, a PCM 5.1 audio track and most (but not all) of the extras from the 2-disc DVD release, is also available. I haven't seen it so I have no idea how it compares to Concorde's version.