Ultra HD Blu-Ray is a format for enthusiasts who want the best viewing and listening quality available today. Too often, however, especially on the audio front, Italy is pushed aside and forced to use formats that are out of date and that do not exploit the capabilities of modern televisions or multi-channel audio systems. Fortunately, Warner has long understood that relegating the Italian editions of Ultra HD Blu-Ray to the background is counterproductive and with IT – Chapter 2 has decided to reiterate the concept.
Already with Aquaman nothing was missing on the technical front, now with the film by Andy Muschietti we have seen the same quality, also thanks to the support for all the best audio-video standards available today.
Almost nothing is missing
To enjoy the best of 4K resolution but above all a quality HDR you need a TV that can best support both standards. For the test we used a Panasonic GZ1500 OLED, calibrated and set to the Dolby Vision Dark display mode, together with a Dolby Atmos compatible audio system.
IT – Chapter 2 (here our review of the film) manages to take full advantage of the quality of modern audio-video systems, albeit with a small limit. In fact, the film was shot with Arri Alexa cameras 3.4K resolution while the master is in 2K. From here we started to create this 4K version, through upscaling. A common process, because making a film with a fully 4K workflow greatly increases the costs.
To praise the attention paid in the implementation of HDR, present in three formats: starting from the classic HDR10 to switch to Dolby Vision and HDR10+. In this way Warner has created a disc with no compatibility limits, which can take advantage of dynamic metadata on both Samsung (HDR10 +) and Sony, Panasonic and LG (Dolby Vision) televisions, just to mention the most famous brands. A choice that we hope to see more and more often, fragmentation causes discontent and makes it more difficult to understand a fundamental technology such as HDR.
If on the video front we are on excellent levels, also on the audio front, the work done is commendable. The standards in this edition represent the best available today, starting with track Dolby Atmos in English, which makes the sound positional from a heart attack, also thanks to the excellent work done in the post production phase. There is no Italian Dolby Atmos trace, this must be said, but this standard is very rare in our country.
However, we hope that in the future, given the overwhelming technology offer to which Warner has accustomed us, this last barrier will also be broken. Either way, the Italian track in DTS-HD Master format it is not a simple sop, but a sign of important attention to our country, often forced to use the now obsolete Dolby Digital even in media designed for high quality such as Ultra HD Blu-Ray.
A high level edition
EN – Chapter 2 seems designed specifically to make the best match with HDR. The technologies used in this Ultra HD Blu-Ray could do little if it weren't for a photograph, for color management and for settings that go wonderfully well with this format. From the first minutes of the film, it is immediately clear that Derry and the distorted fantasy of the evil clown generate images with a strong impact, best rendered by the combination of 4K / High Dynamic Range. A prime example comes in the opening scene of the funfair, where the lights of the attractions, lit and with vibrant colors, go in stark contrast to the dark of the town of Maine. The Panasonic GZ1500 manages to perfectly create a very impactful light-shadow contrast, without exaggerating with the brightness.
HDR, or better yet Dolby Vision and HDR10 +, is the real added value of this edition, for a leap in quality compared to the Net Full HD version, which is best expressed thanks to the use of the extended color space , precluded to normal Blu-Ray.
The sick IT fantasies, thanks to the particular photograph by Francesco Varese, come to life with bright and vibrant colors, which come out almost from the screen.
You need to pay a little attention to the preset used, in our test we tested Dolby Vision Vivid, Light and Dark: the first makes the colors too saturated and distorted the work done by Muschietti and Varese, the second is fine for a lighted room, but IT must be looked at in the dark, and in this case the "Dark" preset is perfect and manages to balance the perfection bright peaks and darker areas. The result is exceptional and in some scenes, for example where IT is only illuminated in the face in a totally dark, absolutely creepy setting.
If the work done on HDR is excellent, on the front of the definition of the images there was less room for maneuver, the master in 2K does not allow a jump in quality compared to the Blu Ray version. We are still on very high levels but the difference is not so marked, however difficult to do better starting from a master not in 4K.
The audio sector was definitely successful, the English track Dolby Atmos is impressive in positioning the sounds in the environment and for overall power, in some moments the reproduced frequencies arrive so low that the walls vibrate.
Stay anyway excellent track DTS-HD Master in Italian, which although losing slightly on the front of the position of the sounds maintains a very high quality, even at a high volume, making an important contribution in causing jolts to the viewer.
Also worth highlighting are the extras, present on a separate disc, for a total of 100 minutes of video. In addition to the making of the first and second chapters we also find an interview with Stephen King, a special on the creation of the character of IT and one on the actors who play Losers as children and adults.