• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Is retail english DVDs are same quality as counterpart in USA?

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

sadha

New Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
19
Points
3
Location
Chennai
Hi Guys,
This is my first post and I don't know whether this question is answered before ? (I done a search but I couldn't able to find the answer)

I just have a couple of doubts regarding the DVD movies sold here. Are they come in dual layer if counterpart is dual layer and with DTS track if one is available?

Thanks.
 

KonfuSed

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
693
Points
0
Location
1253'13"N 7735'23"E
Yes, there is a difference in many of the DVD's being released in India. Many times the difference is huge but also not that everything is lost as there are good quality releases also. LOTR/Matrix/Bourne/POTC are of high quality just to give an example. But at the same time I felt being cheated/robbed of my money when I got the DVD's of Black Hawk Down/Public Enemies etc. I think as a whole Sony did some really poor releases in India in terms of DVD. Just had to through them into dustbin. Most of the Moser Baer and many Eros releases (hindi movies)are of very bad quality if you happen to have TV's bigger than 21 inch probably. And strangely enough those only 99/199/- Rs releases by Eagle had some good quality DVD's.
 

sadha

New Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
19
Points
3
Location
Chennai
Thanks KonfuSed.

I'll buy Alice in Wonderland DVD from Landmark Chennai this weekend.

Hoping quality will be good.
 

surendar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
539
Points
63
Location
Chennai
The differences I noticed in DVDs available in India:
1. The DVD cases are of inferior quality and mostly come in transparent clear case. While Region 1 or 2 DVDs comes in good quality black cases.
2. The price will be always printed in INR in the back cover.
3. Some movies heavily censored while unrated/uncut versions available in Region 1.
4. Data errors in DVDs are common issue after they started replicating them in India.
5. Like mentioned in previous post, the cover inlay print quality is mostly inferior.
6. Not all special editions/ultimate editions are released in India i.e no special features in most of the indian releases.
 

surendar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
539
Points
63
Location
Chennai
Yes, there is a difference in many of the DVD's being released in India. Many times the difference is huge but also not that everything is lost as there are good quality releases also. LOTR/Matrix/Bourne/POTC are of high quality just to give an example. But at the same time I felt being cheated/robbed of my money when I got the DVD's of Black Hawk Down/Public Enemies etc. I think as a whole Sony did some really poor releases in India in terms of DVD. Just had to through them into dustbin. Most of the Moser Baer and many Eros releases (hindi movies)are of very bad quality if you happen to have TV's bigger than 21 inch probably. And strangely enough those only 99/199/- Rs releases by Eagle had some good quality DVD's.
I agree the point about Sony releases in India. Most of the DVDs are poor quality fullsecreen versions which more look like VCD quality.
 

chirag007

Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
218
Points
28
Location
Near Marthahalli, Bangalore
my observations:

1. DVDs are re-mastered and scaled down to fit into one single layer DVD
2. If original released DVD has DTS - which contains 700 MB + data, it is removed. Only Dolby is allowed
3. To support Hindi/Tamil/Telugu vocal with 5.1, all kind of re-mastering applied so that everythings fits into single layer DVD.

I like dubbed movies with hindi tracks, but because it is re-mastered, I avoid while renting them.

On other side, for example I just rented Twilight Saga : New moon. It has two duel layer DVDs totaling around 14+ GB of data. One complete DVD is dedicated for bonus features.

Do not opt original, opt real original.
 

sadha

New Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
19
Points
3
Location
Chennai
Seems that spending the same amount in rupees as real original and getting an inferior quality DVD is not fair.

I don't know why we always pay more compared to developed countries and getting inferior quality products?
 

metalbandit

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
332
Points
28
Location
_
In addition to what has been said, I am adding certain points here against retail DVD's sold here.

1. No Steelbook or Collector's edition. Even the collectors' editions sold here are in normal plastic cases.
2. DVD's are mostly dual layer ones, but if you see the size of the actual movie, it is somewhere between 4 and 5 GB. The remaining space is occupied by extras. I would say, have a second DVD for extras if they are so important and utilize the space on the main DVD for a higher video bitrate.
3. Very few DVD's have DTS. Just happened to see a "Kingdom of Heaven" with DTS. But the catch here is that movie studios need to pay royalty to DTS for using their technology, and even Hollywood studios seem to think that its not worth paying those extra bucks to DTS for Indian movie buffs, but charge them a hefty price anyways !! :indifferent14:

Better go for Amazon US or UK..sometimes prices are lower than the retail prices here; lots of collector's editions and box sets.
 
Last edited:

Pratters

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
359
Points
0
Location
Calcutta
You have to really look at sites like Amazon while you are in Music World to find out whether the DVDs are Indian authored versions or originals from US. Originals are also available as in the case of movies like Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Mutiny on the Bounty (Brando), Alien etc. The key is to compare stuff like special features, extras, the DVD cover art etc to find out if it is the same DVD being sold. I do it usually searching via my blackberry when at music world, planet m but it not be possible for all.

There is a very good chance you will get ripped off as I think I was in the case of American Beauty a few months ago when I blind bought without researching. The picture quality is poor and I don't know whether the breast scene is there.

However, there is also a very good chance you can find deals often cheaper than on Amazon if you are knowledgeable enough. Sound of Music is available cheaper in India than in US for example.

Then there are DVDs buy a company called Enlighten which is giving great films including stuff like the Original Scarface (I bought it and the length is same as written in IMDB), a film of Cagney I don't remember and even The General among other great films. They also contain a very thin booklet often but are lacking in extras. If you want to watch great movies of all time blind buying this is the company to go for.

Any ways, mostly I am over DVDs except Criterions, Kino etc. I regret buying the Two disk DVD set of Casino Royale for instance as I should have bought the blu-ray version. Hindsight.
 

surendar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
539
Points
63
Location
Chennai
Having said all negative points about DVDs in India:

Indian DVDs from Excel Home videos (which distribute home videos from 20th Century Fox, MGM and Disney) are normally of good quality. Only that the old movies are trimmed down to single disc 'movie only' version with no additional disc 2 special features from the original US or UK version. Other wise the picture quality, sound etc are the same. For new movies they even release 2 disc special editions here in which the DVD content is same as its UK counterpart.

BIG Home video (which distributes Warner and Universal titles) is also releasing some good quality DVDs now.

When you buy in major retail stores like Landmark etc. you can very well exchange the DVDs for any data error/defects with in 15 days of purchase.

About buying DVDs from Amazon:

Like mentioned in a previous post DVDs are priced cheaper in amazon.co.uk. But you have to pay the international shipping charge and sometimes custom duties which makes the cost almost same or more than that of buying in India. Above all you have to wait for 3-4 weeks for the package to reach you, that too if everything goes fine with the customs. If you choose any other expensive shipping option (DHL, UPS etc) the package may reach you within 3-4 days but there will be custom duty for sure.
 

sadha

New Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
19
Points
3
Location
Chennai
Thanks guys for your suggestions and information.

What I'll take from these is buying real original from Amazon and buying from local retail shops have it's own pros and cons. Let me think about which one is better.

I think it's more depends on what titles you going to buy rather than price if I require good quality. Am I right?
 

KonfuSed

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
693
Points
0
Location
1253'13"N 7735'23"E
About buying DVDs from Amazon:

Like mentioned in a previous post DVDs are priced cheaper in amazon.co.uk. But you have to pay the international shipping charge and sometimes custom duties which makes the cost almost same or more than that of buying in India. Above all you have to wait for 3-4 weeks for the package to reach you, that too if everything goes fine with the customs. If you choose any other expensive shipping option (DHL, UPS etc) the package may reach you within 3-4 days but there will be custom duty for sure.
I've been buying from Amazon UK from quite a long time and again I've to repeat the same thing here. The amazon UK price includes VAT and when you buy a item which needs to be shipped to India they deduct the VAT amount and then add the shipping charges(2.6GBP per item). So depends one what you buy(say 3 DVD box set or 5 DVD set or Single DVD) your shipping cost will actually be pretty cheap. Normally as a rule of thumb the price you need to pay will be almost what it shows on the Basket. e.g. say for a item with price 10GBP which need to be shipped to India they'll deduct the VAT amount first, say 2GBP. And then add the shipping charges of say 2.6GBP.. So you end up paying only 10.5GBP which is as good as UK price. Also if you order more than 1 item then your shipping cost also comes down. For 2 items the shipping will be approx2.4/2.3 GBP per item. And most of time(not always) the price will be way cheaper than indian price.
If you ask me I would any day prefer to buy from Amazon UK and wait for 2-3 weeks to get my movies. Customs is again depends on luck. Only 20-30% of the time only they'll levy some customs duty. But even after paying customs the price will be cheaper and you almost for sure to have a good quality disc.
 

metalbandit

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
332
Points
28
Location
_
I've been buying from Amazon UK from quite a long time and again I've to repeat the same thing here. The amazon UK price includes VAT and when you buy a item which needs to be shipped to India they deduct the VAT amount and then add the shipping charges(2.6GBP per item). So depends one what you buy(say 3 DVD box set or 5 DVD set or Single DVD) your shipping cost will actually be pretty cheap. Normally as a rule of thumb the price you need to pay will be almost what it shows on the Basket. e.g. say for a item with price 10GBP which need to be shipped to India they'll deduct the VAT amount first, say 2GBP. And then add the shipping charges of say 2.6GBP.. So you end up paying only 10.5GBP which is as good as UK price. Also if you order more than 1 item then your shipping cost also comes down. For 2 items the shipping will be approx2.4/2.3 GBP per item. And most of time(not always) the price will be way cheaper than indian price.
If you ask me I would any day prefer to buy from Amazon UK and wait for 2-3 weeks to get my movies. Customs is again depends on luck. Only 20-30% of the time only they'll levy some customs duty. But even after paying customs the price will be cheaper and you almost for sure to have a good quality disc.
+1 to that. I would say even if the Amazon prices are on par with retail, though they are always less, still I too would prefer to wait than buy some crap locally. Just check out any Sony DVD. More often than not, it will be a single layer disk, and will still have some extras on it. So what do you the expect the quality to be on them? I don't think internationally, Sony would be doing this.
 

surendar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
539
Points
63
Location
Chennai
I've been buying from Amazon UK from quite a long time and again I've to repeat the same thing here. The amazon UK price includes VAT and when you buy a item which needs to be shipped to India they deduct the VAT amount and then add the shipping charges(2.6GBP per item). So depends one what you buy(say 3 DVD box set or 5 DVD set or Single DVD) your shipping cost will actually be pretty cheap. Normally as a rule of thumb the price you need to pay will be almost what it shows on the Basket. e.g. say for a item with price 10GBP which need to be shipped to India they'll deduct the VAT amount first, say 2GBP. And then add the shipping charges of say 2.6GBP.. So you end up paying only 10.5GBP which is as good as UK price. Also if you order more than 1 item then your shipping cost also comes down. For 2 items the shipping will be approx2.4/2.3 GBP per item. And most of time(not always) the price will be way cheaper than indian price.
If you ask me I would any day prefer to buy from Amazon UK and wait for 2-3 weeks to get my movies. Customs is again depends on luck. Only 20-30% of the time only they'll levy some customs duty. But even after paying customs the price will be cheaper and you almost for sure to have a good quality disc.
I agree with your points.

Even I have been buying DVDs and Audio CDs from Amazon UK for past few years now. I have experiences like the package was with customs more than a month and they failed to inform properly and also some packages got lost. But any way Amazon will do a refund in such scenarios. All this happens only when we opt for lowest shipping option. Else it will be smooth purchase.

The intention was to discuss both pros and cons. If a voting is called, definitely I too will be voting for Region 1 or 2 DVDs :)
 

KonfuSed

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
693
Points
0
Location
1253'13"N 7735'23"E
Yeah,even I had issues of packages taking as long as month but anyway I'm not too worried as Amazon has a great policy of refunding or re-shipping. I love amazon.

Ok, a different kind of experience recently,
Recently bought a concert DVD (Eagles) from Calyps, Jayanagar. Which seemed to be a imported DVD set. Has amazing audio quality(DTS 5.1 track). I wanted to buy from Amazon first but amazon was bit on costlier side(almost 50% more) for a change and I was in a hurry to get that DVD. It was a nice surprise and turned out to be a great buy. Have seen quite a few concert DVD's there, gonna drop by again soon to get some more. I'm liking that place as they are having different things nowadays then the normal run of the mil CD's/DVD's.
 

Pratters

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
359
Points
0
Location
Calcutta
What is the thing with import duty for buying from Amazon US or UK? How much does it amount to and when is it applicable? How many DVDs-Blu-rays should one buy from them at one go?
 

KonfuSed

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
693
Points
0
Location
1253'13"N 7735'23"E
You can buy any numbers I guess. I got around 10-15 BD/DVD's at a time. About the customs duty I've not much idea what is the exact percentage they put. I think I paid around 500/550 Rs for items worth 4k approx. All these from Amazon UK. US amazon shipping is bit costly compared to UK.
 

santanusinha

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
51
Points
0
Location
Kolkata
Recently, I noticed Reliance BIG/ is buying off old movies from excel and eagle and turning them to crap. I found this on many DVD's. Off the top of my head there are at-least 4 DVDs:
1) Ultimate Bourne Collection (DTS track removed)
2) Saving Private Ryan (Reference quality DTS track removed)
3) The Game (Stereo sound .. can you imagine)
4) Hannibal (Stereo)
5) U571

Sony also does the same. Take for instance Casino Royale. The Special edition was supposed to have a DTS track, what i got instead was tamil, telegu, hindi etc. The so called "Half Price" DVDs , specially the ones having thin jackets have quality worse than 700MB DivX rips. Checkout the "HellBoy" DVD PQ.

And the less we mention about censorship the better. The sensors are done in such a way, so that even the story does not make sense and/or the impact of the movie is gone. Checkout the original vs released versions of the following movies:
1) 300
2) Casino Royale
3) V for Vendetta
4) Bram Stoker's Dracula (The one featuring Keanu Reeves .. almost the whole movie is cut off .. we only get to see some bits and pieces)

On the other hand, I have noticed that Excel, Eagle and Discovery make great releases. For example check-out the following:
1) Se7en (Awesome atmoshpheric DTS track)
2) LOTR ES Special edition (Reference quality picture, DTS sound track)
3) Underworld (From discovery in a cheap looking plastic case.. The DD soundtrack rocks)
4) Pirates of the Caribbean (All parts.. specially the first part)
5) Pixar Movies
6) X Men (all parts)
There are others .. don't want to lengthen an already lengthy post.

Mostly, I find that Fox releases though Excel, Eagle ... WB releases thro Reliance, Sony does Columbia and MGM (I think).

I skipped the Avatar DVD release. How was the PQ/AQ?

At this moment of time, I am scoping around the music stores to find older movies that have good AQ/PQ and buying them before Big gets them.

I hate the way companies such as reliance does business. They take advantage of the ignorance of the users and shove crap down their throats.:mad:
 

navinmra

New Member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
72
Points
0
Location
Bangalore
A quick technical difference between DVDs that sell on either side of the pond is this:
The American DVDs are NTSC - 480p at 29.97fps while the UK ones are PAL - 576p at 25fps. In my opinion PAL standard looks slightly better for film content which is 24 fps. Some of the concert DVDs I have bought on the PAL standard have looked great as well...
if you're keen to understand interlaced Vs Progressive and field Vs Frame go to What is deinterlacing? The best method to deinterlace movies. Its archaic stuff but gets your fundamentals right and I've learnt a lot from it in the early days of encoding DVDs etc.
Sorry for the digression but I thought it might be worthwhile for you guys.
 

santanusinha

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
51
Points
0
Location
Kolkata
A quick technical difference between DVDs that sell on either side of the pond is this:
The American DVDs are NTSC - 480p at 29.97fps while the UK ones are PAL - 576p at 25fps. In my opinion PAL standard looks slightly better for film content which is 24 fps. Some of the concert DVDs I have bought on the PAL standard have looked great as well...
if you're keen to understand interlaced Vs Progressive and field Vs Frame go to What is deinterlacing? The best method to deinterlace movies. Its archaic stuff but gets your fundamentals right and I've learnt a lot from it in the early days of encoding DVDs etc.
Sorry for the digression but I thought it might be worthwhile for you guys.
I agree. Also, Check out the Pink Floyd Pulse Concert DVD with the 640Kbps DD (Normal Dolby Digital has 384Kbps) audio. The version available in india is same as the UK version. Awesome sound on all tracks. Even on my setup, "Run Like Hell" rocks like hell!!
 
Top