So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

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So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Kokonoe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:42 pm

I was starting to collect the VHS tapes for DBZ over a year ago but ended up having to stop due to a move, although I never got a chance to see the quality. I know VHS's generally have poor video quality and cannot do RGB or Component.

With that said, VHS is, in fact 4:3, so it would actually remove the cropping issue of the Orange Bricks. Are there are any other differences? Thanks.

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by VegettoEX » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:53 pm

Rather than VHS, you'd be better off going/comparing with the corresponding, single-disc DVD volumes. They were from the exact same source, contemporary with the product during its initial release, original 4:3 aspect ratio, etc.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Kokonoe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:00 pm

VegettoEX wrote:Rather than VHS, you'd be better off going/comparing with the corresponding, single-disc DVD volumes. They were from the exact same source, contemporary with the product during its initial release, original 4:3 aspect ratio, etc.
Interesting... Yeah, that sounds like a much better idea. Do you know if they completed the series via that release?

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Danfun64 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:03 pm

Pioneer movies 1-3 aside, none of the official VHS tapes are available in Japanese with sub's. If you could live with that, the main advantage the vhs tapes have against the single DVDs is no macroblocking and available in censored format as well as uncut.

The dub from the Orange Bricks onward received a remastering and partial redub (most noticeable in Season 3). Even before that the DVDs and uncut vhs tapes of the Cell Games have the narrator replaced. You'd have to get the edited tapes (which involves importing from Australia for the ones Funi didn't release in the States. Hope you can play PAL tapes).

One thing I forgot to mention, afaik ep 1-68 have never been released on vhs uncut.

As for quality, the Orange Bricks have the unfair advantage of being on DVD, thus having higher resolution. Probably a fairer comparison would be the Funi singles, the Madman R4 singles, and then the Orange Bricks.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by VegettoEX » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:11 pm

Kokonoe wrote:Interesting... Yeah, that sounds like a much better idea. Do you know if they completed the series via that release?
We have a complete guide to FUNimation's home video releases here on Kanzenshuu. You'll want to look at DBZ's "Individual Disc Releases" section.

Due to the "Ultimate Uncut Edition" being cancelled during the Saiyan arc, the only uncut 4:3 FUNimation release for episodes 28 through roughly 67 are the Dragon Box release (which is from Toei's own video master), and then the "Level 1.1" and "Level 1.2" sets from FUNimation's initial Blu-ray line... which they also cancelled.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Kokonoe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:52 pm

Danfun64 wrote:Pioneer movies 1-3 aside, none of the official VHS tapes are available in Japanese with sub's. If you could live with that, the main advantage the vhs tapes have against the single DVDs is no macroblocking and available in censored format as well as uncut.

The dub from the Orange Bricks onward received a remastering and partial redub (most noticeable in Season 3). Even before that the DVDs and uncut vhs tapes of the Cell Games have the narrator replaced. You'd have to get the edited tapes (which involves importing from Australia for the ones Funi didn't release in the States. Hope you can play PAL tapes).

One thing I forgot to mention, afaik ep 1-68 have never been released on vhs uncut.

As for quality, the Orange Bricks have the unfair advantage of being on DVD, thus having higher resolution. Probably a fairer comparison would be the Funi singles, the Madman R4 singles, and then the Orange Bricks.
So funi single is what they are called? This'll help me out a lot for finding comparison shots. Already found some on google, thanks! I think I might still collect the VHS tapes just for collector's sake in the future, but I'll work towards funi singles for now. I've never even seen that variant uploaded on the net before either.

And yeah, I prefer (with DBZ anyway) the funimation dub over the original Japanese, but to each their own as everyone has their preference on which is the best. :thumbup:
VegettoEX wrote:
Kokonoe wrote:Interesting... Yeah, that sounds like a much better idea. Do you know if they completed the series via that release?
We have a complete guide to FUNimation's home video releases here on Kanzenshuu. You'll want to look at DBZ's "Individual Disc Releases" section.

Due to the "Ultimate Uncut Edition" being cancelled during the Saiyan arc, the only uncut 4:3 FUNimation release for episodes 28 through roughly 67 are the Dragon Box release (which is from Toei's own video master), and then the "Level 1.1" and "Level 1.2" sets from FUNimation's initial Blu-ray line... which they also cancelled.
Appreciate it! :thumbup: Yeah, I think I'll be going after the funi single set as I kinda like how it looks aesthetically. I suppose I'd use the level set or the Dragon Box for those episodes in-between. Although, I might even just watch the original dub in those episodes since I kinda grew up watching that dub in 1996 and onward.

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:07 am

Kokonoe wrote:Appreciate it! :thumbup: Yeah, I think I'll be going after the funi single set as I kinda like how it looks aesthetically. I suppose I'd use the level set or the Dragon Box for those episodes in-between. Although, I might even just watch the original dub in those episodes since I kinda grew up watching that dub in 1996 and onward.
If it's the "original dub" from 1996 you want, you would need to track down the Pioneer singles or the Rock the Dragon boxset (the latter is only available on DVD and is very pricey due to its rarity) because that dub (which uses the Ocean Group voice cast but was still made by Funimation) isn't available on any other release, including the level sets or Dragon Boxes. Although its important to remember that dub is edited only and cuts out large portions of the Saiyan and early Namek arcs.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:18 am

I'm a stickler for macroblocking, so I actually would recommend collecting any VHS tapes you could find affordably. They're easy enough to convert to DVD nowadays, and while they obviously look dated, anything is better than some of the macroblocking on those old single DVD's. Obviously your call, though.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Kokonoe » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:01 am

Dragon Ball Ireland wrote:If it's the "original dub" from 1996 you want, you would need to track down the Pioneer singles or the Rock the Dragon boxset (the latter is only available on DVD and is very pricey due to its rarity) because that dub (which uses the Ocean Group voice cast but was still made by Funimation) isn't available on any other release, including the level sets or Dragon Boxes. Although its important to remember that dub is edited only and cuts out large portions of the Saiyan and early Namek arcs.
Thanks for the information. I think I misunderstood something someone else stated. When they were mentioning uncut is missing a certain amount of episodes, I figured they were just using the older english dub, but I guess it's literally "missing" the episodes I assume. Hmm, I might just stick with Dragon Box for the missing eps.
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I'm a stickler for macroblocking, so I actually would recommend collecting any VHS tapes you could find affordably. They're easy enough to convert to DVD nowadays, and while they obviously look dated, anything is better than some of the macroblocking on those old single DVD's. Obviously your call, though.
What is macro blocking, by the way?

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:08 am

Macroblocking is when the visuals become "blocky" for lack of a better phrase. You start seeing blurry squares, rather than clean, sharp areas in the drawing. This is generally due to low or otherwise poor digital compression. FUNimation's early DVDs weren't the best. Here are a couple examples from an older feature we did:

Image Image Image

That being said, their underlying materials weren't the best, so that was passed further onto the VHS and DVD releases. Their VHS releases ALSO weren't the best, and combined with years upon years of physical degradation on what were shoddy products even back then, I personally would still recommend the DVDs over the VHS releases.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by ABED » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:19 am

The single DVD releases of the Ocean dub looked like they just transfered their VHS masters (?) straight to DVD.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by laserkid » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:44 pm

As someone who owns a near complete (which used to be complete, before I gave away the crappy ginyu dvds after getting dragon box 2), my biggest actual caution is that you are going to need a LOT of shelfspace for them - though compared to the VHS it should actually be less.

It's threads like these that really make me wish the dragon boxes hadn't been so limited. Sure, I got mine, but it's really difficult to suggest any other US home release.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:57 pm

I took some screen captures of episode 22 (episode 15 based on the original Funimation run)

I'm sure that I didn't do it right, but I'm no expert. Basically I used MPC to capture the images and supposedly kept the aspect ratio, though the 4:3s look kind of stretched. I did have to change the aspect ratio for the orange brick capture because it came out looking in 4:3. Anyway, this is just so you could get an idea of the differences between the releases (and compared to the orange bricks). So if it's not 100% perfect, my bad. But you can still get an idea from this.


[spoiler]PIONEER RELEASE

Image


ULTIMATE UNCUT

Image


ORANGE BRICK

Image


U.S. DRAGON BOX

Image


JAPANESE DRAGON BOX

Image


LEVEL SET

Image


BLU-RAY SEASON SET

Image[/spoiler]

Personally, I stand by my opinion that the Level Sets were nothing spectacular, but then again, likes and dislikes are subjective. I just like that they were in 4:3. Personally, I do find the Blu-ray season sets to be pretty darn good, but they are 16:9, unfortunately. Certainly better than the Orange Bricks. I did not touch any colors in the screen captures, but I'm sure that it's not exactly professionally done.

The thing about the Orange Bricks is that not only do they chop off the footage, but they also washed out the colors. There are instances where the black lines around their faces, or whatever, turned white. The singles are good, but they are choppy and blocky. I don't know how they stack up against VHSes, though. I will say that I do think that the Orange Bricks are probably the worst looking release. The best looking release, in my opinion, are the Dragon Boxes, but those can run a pretty penny. I'd definitely recommend either the Blu-ray Season Sets or the singles, if you have the shelf space. My only true gripe with the singles is that you won't find a full Saiyan and Namek arc that's uncut in 4:3.

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:07 pm

Both 4:3 and anamorphic 16:9 video are stored as 720x480 video streams on standard DVDs. Post-ripping, you have to know which aspect ratio you're working with to properly correct the display size (and do so with the appropriate resizing algorithm).

This is why your DVD images look stretched.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:25 pm

Hm okay. Thank you! :D

Well in any event, I look for any excuse to whip out the collection since there isn't much that I can do with it all besides comparison shots lol

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Kokonoe » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:26 pm

VegettoEX wrote:Macroblocking is when the visuals become "blocky" for lack of a better phrase. You start seeing blurry squares, rather than clean, sharp areas in the drawing. This is generally due to low or otherwise poor digital compression. FUNimation's early DVDs weren't the best. Here are a couple examples from an older feature we did:

That being said, their underlying materials weren't the best, so that was passed further onto the VHS and DVD releases. Their VHS releases ALSO weren't the best, and combined with years upon years of physical degradation on what were shoddy products even back then, I personally would still recommend the DVDs over the VHS releases.
Interesting. Yeah, seems like the best option for me is for ultimate original quality to stick with the Dragon Box, and for the release I grew up with, go after the DVDs. I might still snag the VHS's also though just for the nostalgic experience with my Sony PVM.
TheGreatness25 wrote:I took some screen captures of episode 22 (episode 15 based on the original Funimation run)

I'm sure that I didn't do it right, but I'm no expert. Basically I used MPC to capture the images and supposedly kept the aspect ratio, though the 4:3s look kind of stretched. I did have to change the aspect ratio for the orange brick capture because it came out looking in 4:3. Anyway, this is just so you could get an idea of the differences between the releases (and compared to the orange bricks). So if it's not 100% perfect, my bad. But you can still get an idea from this.


[spoiler]PIONEER RELEASE

Image


ULTIMATE UNCUT

Image


ORANGE BRICK

Image


U.S. DRAGON BOX

Image


JAPANESE DRAGON BOX

Image


LEVEL SET

Image


BLU-RAY SEASON SET

Image[/spoiler]

Personally, I stand by my opinion that the Level Sets were nothing spectacular, but then again, likes and dislikes are subjective. I just like that they were in 4:3. Personally, I do find the Blu-ray season sets to be pretty darn good, but they are 16:9, unfortunately. Certainly better than the Orange Bricks. I did not touch any colors in the screen captures, but I'm sure that it's not exactly professionally done.

The thing about the Orange Bricks is that not only do they chop off the footage, but they also washed out the colors. There are instances where the black lines around their faces, or whatever, turned white. The singles are good, but they are choppy and blocky. I don't know how they stack up against VHSes, though. I will say that I do think that the Orange Bricks are probably the worst looking release. The best looking release, in my opinion, are the Dragon Boxes, but those can run a pretty penny. I'd definitely recommend either the Blu-ray Season Sets or the singles, if you have the shelf space. My only true gripe with the singles is that you won't find a full Saiyan and Namek arc that's uncut in 4:3.
Thank you for the comparison I really appreciate it! :thumbup:

Wow! Like, the level set actually is pretty stunning to me. I just saw your opinion after going "wow" at the quality, but it yeah I guess opinions. I really think it's nice. I notice the original dub releases seem to have yellowing of Vegeta's skin color, probably due to VHS quality. The Blu Ray sets are neat to me, but the filtering/softening look on the lines make it lose a lot of detail. I think it's good enough for what it is, but I'm really not a fan of the lost of line detail with it. It's arguably the best dub release with the Faulconer OST going by the pictures you've shown, however.

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:13 am

When I look at the Level release through my phone (smaller), it looks great. But when it's enlarged, it just looks so dark and grainy. I understand that grain is a part of the presentation, but it feels really old and almost as if my TV is dusty. But yeah, theoretically when I look at it on my phone, it's the best-looking in terms of color.

Two things that I noticed, though. One is that I'm shocked that the orange bricks didn't chop off way more than it did in the screencap that I took. I know there are times when the cropping is horrendous, but in this instance, it looks minimal compared to the other Funimation singles. The next thing that I noticed is that I know that the Dragon Boxes are notorious for pink skin, green skies, and having a slight tint for anything that's white. I was actually looking forward to seeing it that way because it would make me feel like I have the real Dragon Boxes. And yet, I feel like whenever I take screencaps of the Dragon Boxes -- U.S. or Japanese -- they look fine.

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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Danfun64 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:45 am

Weird, the Orange Brick picture in some ways look better than the Season Blu-ray picture (the main thing the ladder has over the former being what seems like a lower amount of/no macroblocking (.unless the images are recompressed by the image host...which makes the comparison a little less fair lol). The Orange Brick image doesn't have the smudged look the Season Blu-Ray has, at the very least not to the same extent.

Would be nice if you added the Kai Blu-Rays and DVDs from all regions and the PAL releases (again all regions, not just Madman Funi, but the various AB Groupe and Kaze releases).
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:49 am

TheGreatness25 wrote:When I look at the Level release through my phone (smaller), it looks great. But when it's enlarged, it just looks so dark and grainy. I understand that grain is a part of the presentation, but it feels really old and almost as if my TV is dusty. But yeah, theoretically when I look at it on my phone, it's the best-looking in terms of color.

Two things that I noticed, though. One is that I'm shocked that the orange bricks didn't chop off way more than it did in the screencap that I took. I know there are times when the cropping is horrendous, but in this instance, it looks minimal compared to the other Funimation singles. The next thing that I noticed is that I know that the Dragon Boxes are notorious for pink skin, green skies, and having a slight tint for anything that's white. I was actually looking forward to seeing it that way because it would make me feel like I have the real Dragon Boxes. And yet, I feel like whenever I take screencaps of the Dragon Boxes -- U.S. or Japanese -- they look fine.
The Levels are dark because Funimation's masters for the beginning of the series are really bad, especially the dark detail. The Orange Bricks and Season Blu-rays have the same problem, although they try to mask it by (poorly) brightening the image as a whole. The Levels would have gotten over this issue if they hadn't been cancelled. The grain is exactly what you should expect from a genuine HD release based on (2nd gen?) 16mm film, that seems like more of a you thing. The Dragon Boxes also have a layer of grain that isn't much different, so I don't understand your problem. Like I've said before (I think in response to you, even), the Level's weren't some marvelous take on the series, the likes of which had never been seen before, but they're the only thing that Funimation put besides the Dragon Boxes that was even palatable. In the long run, with screens getting larger and larger, the Levels probably would have aged better than the DBoxes.
TheGreatness25 wrote:Personally, I do find the Blu-ray season sets to be pretty darn good, but they are 16:9, unfortunately. Certainly better than the Orange Bricks...

The thing about the Orange Bricks is that not only do they chop off the footage, but they also washed out the colors. There are instances where the black lines around their faces, or whatever, turned white...
Maybe you haven't taken a good look at the Blu-ray Seasons yet, but it doesn't really make sense to praise the Blu-rays and dislike the Orange Bricks. The Blu-ray Seasons fall into every single pitfall that they Orange Bricks did, but just barely did better. The contrast and color issues are still present, the DNR as a whole is actually worse on the Blu-rays, although they did correct a lot of the line-art. The only things that the Blu-ray seasons undeniably did better were the selective cropping and extra's, anything else is wishful thinking.
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Re: So how do the Funi VHS tapes compare to the Orange Bricks?

Post by Danfun64 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:51 am

Jinzoningen MULE wrote:The only things that the Blu-ray seasons undeniably did better were the selective cropping and extra's, anything else is wishful thinking.
Lossless dub audio (not counting the Level Sets) for those that like that kind of thing.
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