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Fifth Element Blu-ray exchange program details announced

Erik Hanson

Considering what a mythical reference title The Fifth Element was when released on DVD (and Superbit, and Laserdisc!), it was surprising to see it reviewed as just another softly-focused, dirty, and scratchy launch title for Blu-ray. Many reviewers and fans complained about the lackluster MPEG-2 encoding, and the general poor quality of the transfer. Sony has announced details and contact information about a plan to exchange the first -- now discontinued -- batch of Blu-ray Discs for the remastered edition, due to be released in July. The new version is a new 1080p transfer from a different master, and includes Dolby TrueHD as well as uncompressed PCM audio. It will also be encoded in MPEG-4 AVC, which will hopefully show off the improved compression of the newer codec. Quite an olive branch from Sony for those who have already picked it up, and a show of good steps toward making Blu-ray titles the best they can be. Now the question remains, how many of the other initial MPEG-2 Blu-ray titles will be remastered like this?

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