Below are some film frame comparisons between different home video versions of "Ghostbusters II" from digital formats. Before each image is a brief introduction on what to look for between the images and which version I think is the best as represented by that particular film frame. I made a very concerted effort to get the exact frame from all versions. Currently there are comparisons between the U.S. Region 1 DVD released in 1999, the U.S. Region 1 DVD released in 2005, and the U.S. Region A Blu-ray released in 2014. I split my choice between the 2014 Blu-ray, with its WAY-too-dark pink slime effects shots, and the 2005 DVD, with it's cropped-on-the-side picture. The 2005 has better color in the effects shots, but crops some of the image on the sides. The 1999 DVD has the full image, but has drab and dull colors.
All images here were losslessly digitally extracted from the video files on the discs at the original resolution of 720x480 for DVD and 1920x1080 for Blu-ray. DVD images were then resampled into the correct 16:9 aspect ratio of 852x480 (no filters were applied to the images), while the Blu-ray images were resampled down to 852x480 to match the resolution of the DVDs. As the movie is in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, Sony had to add some blackness above and below the film image in order to letterbox it into a 16:9 aspect ratio. All of this blackness has, obviously, been cropped out in the images below. Finally, the images were saved into Jpeg format using as little compression as possible so as to retain as much quality as possible and minimize adding new compression artifacts.
The 2017 DVD is the re-authored single-disc release containing both films with no bonus features. It was originally released in the U.S. under the title "Ghostbusters 2-Movie Collection", and was included in the 2-disc "Ghostbusters Collection - Includes All 3 Films!" budget re-release in 2018 with the Ghostbusters 2016 disc. For Ghostbusters 1, it uses the 2005 DVD master; but for Ghostbusters II it uses a 2010 HDTV master and not the master used in the 2014 Blu-ray. It is suspected that this master will be used for any future Blu-ray releases of Ghostbusters II. A review of the 3-Film Collection can be found on Spook Central here. Screens and information for this release has been provided by Matthew Jordan.
Each frame has a few rollover images. The image displayed by default is from the 1999 DVD. Mouse over the captions to swap the images back and forth. Keep in mind that these are large screenshots, so viewers with slow Internet connections should expect to wait a while for images to load.
Further comparison images have been made by Spook Central staffer Matthew Jordan, who uploaded them to the Spook Central Facebook page.
THE 2019 BLU-RAY FROM THE 5-DISC SET USES THE SAME TRANSFER AS THE 2014 BLU-RAY, WHICH IS ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE COMPARISONS BELOW.
#1: Museum By Day (0:11:44) - The colors are richer on the 2005 DVD, especially the red and blue banners hanging from the building, and the red tail lights on the brown van near the lower right. However, the sky in the upper right side is a little bluer on the 1999 DVD. Also note that the 1999 DVD has some extra blackness on the right side. The 2014 Blu-ray looks a bit better, though all of the detail in the sky in the upper right corner is completely gone!
#2: Night At The Museum (0:22:18) - Again, the colors are richer on the 2005 DVD, especially the yellow and blue banners hanging from the building. However, there is some detail lost in the dark area high above the museum entrance. That detail is somewhat restored in the 2014 Blu-ray.
#3: The Scourge Of Carpathia (0:22:46) - On the 2005 DVD you can clearly see Vigo's left eye, as well as some more details in the background behind him. For some reason, the image is blue on the 2014 Blu-ray.
#4: Eye Contact (0:23:20) - The colors in the stream of electricity are richer on the 2005 DVD, and the floor, too, for that matter. Also notice the one small stream on the left that branches off below the main stream is wispy and faded on the 1999 DVD, but strong and solid on the 2005 DVD. The color is a little colder on the 2014 Blu-ray. I think the warm colors of the 2005 DVD look the best here.
#5: It's A River Of Slime (0:24:28) - The 2005 DVD has sharper details and richer colors, but as a result, it's much easier to see what part of the image is a live set and what's a matte painting or optical effect. HOLY CRAP IS THE 2014 BLU-RAY DARK! Sure they may have wanted to hide the effects seams, but that's taking it WAY too far. Sadly, this is a common occurrence with the effects shots on the 2014 Blu-ray. I have to give the nod to the 2005 DVD here.
#6: Wax On, Wax Off (0:36:57) - A nice example of the brighter richer colors of the 2005 DVD (the red circle in the logo), as well as the cropping on the sides (the writing on the crane). The 2014 Blu-ray has nice rich colors, and retains the picture on the sides.
#7: Lunchtime (0:38:29) - I found this shot very interesting because, unlike the previous shots, the 1999 DVD has richer colors and more detail on the lunchbox's faux wood grain than the 2005 DVD. The 2014 Blu-ray is an improvement over the 2005 DVD, but the 1999 DVD still has a bit more color and detail.
#8: It Smells Like Someone Took a Huge... (0:38:32) - Slimer is a brighter shade of green on the 2005 DVD, and even brighter on the 2014 Blu-ray. I think that the 2014 Blu-ray looks the best here.
#9: Unstable Short-Chained Molecule (0:39:48) - For some reason, on the 2005 DVD the shadow on Winston's chest is much darker than on the 1999 DVD. Overall, the colors look better on the 2014 Blu-ray, though I think the skin tones look better on the 1999 DVD.
#10: Midnight Movie Madness (1:19:28) - Another instance where the colors pop better on the 1999 DVD than the 2005 DVD. The colors are a little richer on the 2014 Blu-ray, but the image is slighly blurry. I definitely think the 1999 DVD looks the best.
#11: Theater Ghost (1:19:38) - Although there's an unnatural blueness behind him, the ghost's purpleness pops better on the 2005 DVD. The 2014 Blu-ray removed the ghost's purpleness, and shifts the image over a bit to the left.
#12: We Believe You (1:23:21) - As expected, the red in the logo and on the car's trim is brighter in the 2005 DVD. Besides that, the windows are considerably less dark, thus revealing more details (such as the profile of Ray in the driver's seat). The 2014 Blu-ray is about on par with the 2005 DVD.
#13: A Giant Jell-O Mold (1:23:33) - The 2005 DVD is, of course, brighter; but also the pinkness of the slime looks more natural, too. On the 2014 Blu-ray, the slime is a very dark pink/purple; very similar to the 1999 DVD. I think the 2005 DVD looks better here.
#14: Can't Crack The Shell (1:25:02) - Two vastly different proton stream colors. The 1999 DVD has orange on the outside with yellow inside; the 2005 DVD is pretty much completely orange. I'm not sure what to make of the differences in the blue electricity that sparks off from the streams. However, the 2005 DVD is clearly better at the spot near to where the streams emerge from the guns, which is rendered as a total white blob on the 1999 DVD. The fakeness of the city skyline in the background on the right is more noticable on the 2005 DVD due to it being a bit brighter. The 2014 Blu-ray is pretty much the same as the 2005 DVD, but a LOT darker. Remember what I said earlier about the effects shots being darker?
#15: Group Portrait (1:39:34) - Another great example of the side cropping on the 2005 DVD, which loses the back of Oscar's head and part of Winston. Also, some minor color differences. The 2014 Blu-ray, of course, restores the image on the sides. The color is maybe a tad bit better on the 1999 DVD.