iTunes file or Blu-Ray?
February 4, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in picking up The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration, but which version?

It's down to either the Blu-Ray set, or downloading the content off of iTunes to my Apple TV.

Here's the thing - I don't care about having GF III, and I don't care about the special bonus features. This means I could theoretically just buy I and II for $10 each on iTunes. I also don't think I care whether I have a hard copy backup to a digital file.

The iTunes version isn't advertised as HD, which is to be expected as the film is too old to have been shot in that format. The question is, would paying $45+ for the Blu-Ray set versus $20 for the iTunes files give me an appreciable difference in picture quality in favor of Blu-Ray?

I have a 1080p 42" set, and both Apple TV and Blu-Ray players HDMI'd into the TV. Audio setups are equal as well.

Which to buy?
posted by GamblingBlues to Shopping (7 answers total)
The Godfather would have been shot on film. Film! Which is arguably better than 1080.

Having watched the first two on Blu-Ray, I don't think it's the best transfer I've seen, certainly not as good as Blade Runner for example.

The question is, do you want the films in sumptuous HD, in hard copy, or a standard def digital copy that probably won't look too hot on your 42" TV?
posted by iamcrispy at 10:25 AM on February 4, 2009

A couple of things to note:

1. Film actually has a higher "resolution" than HD video, since it's chemical, not digital. (The number lying around in my head is that film has 4x the resolution of 1080p.) So the fact that "the film is too old to have been shot in that format" shouldn't influence your purchase.

2. I've got the Godfather Blu-ray set, and those are among the best-looking BD discs I own (keeping in mind that the purpose of the restoration was to approximate what newly-struck prints for the films would have looked like in a theater in the '70s--that is, they're reference-quality transfers, but there's still film grain, and other artifacts that aren't present in more modern films).

Aren't Apple TV's offerings no more than 720p on the high end? With a TV of your size, I'd expect to be able to see a difference between iTunes and Blu-ray transfers.
posted by Prospero at 10:34 AM on February 4, 2009

Best answer: You have a fancy ass TV. Buy the Blu-Ray.
posted by chunking express at 11:06 AM on February 4, 2009

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli Blu-Ray.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:10 AM on February 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'd buy the Blu-Ray ... later on if you decided you no longer need to "own" this movie, you can resell the physical media (Blu-Ray) but not the itunes file.
posted by olddogeyes at 11:26 AM on February 4, 2009

"Just as Bruce Springsteen's Live: 1975-85 box set drove lots of rock fans to buy a compact-disc player back in the mid-'80s, so I suspect the "Coppola Restoration" of the Godfather trilogy will compel lots of film lovers to buy a Blu-ray disc player today.

It should. Francis Coppola's masterpieces, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (really, who cares about Part III?), haven't looked so good since they first came out three decades ago. Simply put, the new four-disc set amounts to one of the most spectacular achievements in the brief history of home theater."
posted by The Michael The at 11:28 AM on February 4, 2009

I don't think iTunes is selling HD movies just yet, only renting them, so whatever you buy from the iTunes store is going to be standard definition, maybe just below the quality of a regular DVD. Get the Blu-Ray.
posted by kid_dynamite at 11:30 AM on February 4, 2009

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