Any Xena Season One reviews yet ?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Sven Lorenz, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    The original boxset that was sold via the official site was really overpriced and supposedly very bad - that's why I never bought it.
    Does anybody here already have the new Anchor Bay boxset or know of any reviews of that boxset ?
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    11,380
    Likes Received:
    38
    I found it early. I'm skimmed through it briefly to make sure each disc worked. I took enough time to note the video quality.

    The video quality reminds me of Mad About You Season 1. [​IMG]

    I haven't popped it into my PC yet to check the bitrate or do anything else. It's just that on my 34" HDTV it just looks rather low-res overall, especially in the many outdoorsy scenes. I would hate to think of what it looks like on your larger RP screens!


    As to the 5.1 sound mix, I didn't hear anything yet that knocked my socks off.


    Gord Lacey, owner of TVShowsOnDVD.com, got the offical review copy for our site and will get to the review just as soon as he can. I can't say for sure whether it will be posted in time for the street date next Tuesday, though.
     
  3. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe the discs are identical to the previous release. Anchor Bay just repacjaked them. The first season was on a pretty low budget, which may contribute to the poor video.
     
  4. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's the first review that I've found:

    http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/revie...&reviewid=1540

    Sadly the video quality really seems to be pretty bad.

    But it's still not clear to me if it's only the film stock that's so bad or if there are actual compression flaws.
    Xena always looked very grainy on TV - if that's the only fault then I'll get the boxset.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, according to that review it's the source. If that's the case, it will look much better for season 2. We'll have to wait and see.
     
  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 1999
    Messages:
    11,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sven, it's the same discs that were in the website box, Anchor Bay is just distributing
     
  7. Jerome

    Jerome Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anybody has seen the Bonus Disc that Best Buy offered, with the 60 minutes Documentary ?
     
  8. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    0
    The R2 Universal Playback discs for season 1 aren't a disaster picture wise - I would say that they were on par, if not slightly better than Buffy season 1 and 2 which were also filmed 16mm.
     
  9. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know. They're not perfect I'll admit. From my recollection season 1 wasn't that bad - season 2 suffers from a number of faults including an annoying "action blur" on rapid movement. (As do other later seasons)

    But perhaps I'm remembering wrong. I'll check tonight if I have time.
     
  11. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    DVDFile have their review up and they basically say the same - terrible grain, washed-out colours but no compression faults.
    And since Xena has always looked extremely grainy and washed-out on TV, I guess that the boxset is as good as it gets.
    The R2/R4 releases suffer from terrible compression faults (blocking, smearing, crawling, aliasing) so the R1 set seems to be the way to go.
    And on amazon.ca I can get it for about 54 Euros (60 US$) including DHL Express shipping.
     
  12. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really can't remember much being wrong with the UK Season 1 set that wasn't due to the source material. But it looks like I'm wrong. :b

    Either way, the US is the way to go as at least they'll have the episodes in the right order! [​IMG]
     
  13. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    I seem to recall Xena season 2 looking a bit better on tv and everything after that looking much better. Am I remembering correctly?
     
  14. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I remember that too.
    And I've read that sometime during season three or four (can't remember which) they started shooting the show in widescreen.
     
  15. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    They started shooting w/s in season 3. However season 4 was when they did the sfx for the full widescreen frame. Therefore, my semi-educated guess is:

    OAR for season 3: 4:3
    OAR for season 4+: 16:9

    By OAR I mean "intended" [​IMG]

    If Anchor Bay was doing the mastering, then I'd be reasonably confident of discs with the above ARs. However, since they're not, I'm more than a little worried (particularly since the finale was previously released on DVD in 4:3).
     
  16. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    On the DVDFile.com forum someone contacted Anchor Bay about the widescreen issue and they replied that they will release the later seasons in widescreen if possible.
     
  17. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great news, thanks Sven! [​IMG]
     
  18. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the set now - the video is very grainy but it still looks better than I've ever seen the show.
    I'd say the quality is about the same as the first season of Buffy concerning the grain but it doesn't have the smearing during fast movements that the Buffy boxset had.
    And the grain is getting less towards the end of the season so we can assume that the quality will get better with each season.
    It doesn't have any subtitles - which is annoying since some of the Australian guest stars have a unique way of dealing with the English language.
    I haven't checked all episodes, but the few episodes that I have checked have five chapter stops and the second chapter begins right after the opening credits.

    By the way, while looking for the best price for the Xena boxset I found out that the three-part-episode of Hercules that introduced the Xena character has been released on DVD as 'Hercules - The Legendary Journeys: The Xena Trilogy'.
    I've ordered it (although it's more than a little bit expensive for only three episodes) but haven't received it yet - so I can't say anything about the quality.

    All in all I'm really [​IMG] about the boxset.
     
  19. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,731
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  20. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page