'Deep Space Nine' - Season 7 set question

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MarkBourne, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. MarkBourne

    MarkBourne Stunt Coordinator

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    Because the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 7 boxed set doesn't street until Dec. 2, this question is a bit premature for most HTFers who just clicked the link. However, yesterday I received the review set for DVD Journal (where I've been doing all the TNG and DS9 reviews), and I noticed something that perhaps some other previewers from other DVD sites can either confirm or deny for me.

    The set arrived this week ahead of schedule, so because the Journal aims to get a DVD's review up the week it's released, this is one of the few times when I've received a DS9 set early enough to luxuriate in it, relax, and give it a feet-up-on-the-coffee-table viewing without the looming cloud of deadline pressure. So perhaps I've just missed this little bug before.

    I'm noticing on several episodes a peculiar video noise that faintly covers the screen, something like light "snow" from the pre-cable days. It pulses at a rate of about two "beats" per second, up, down, up, down. It's of course particularly noticeable in dark scenes, a case in point being the ep "Siege of AR-558," a grim battlefield drama composed in dark hues from start to finish. When it's present the noise tracks with any slow-mo or step-framing I do, so it's not an effect of my player.

    The phenomenon isn't on every ep (perhaps three of the eight I've enjoyed so far), nor does it exist throughout any full hour. So the problem is by no means a show-stopper and won't change the fact that I've come to utterly adore the series throughout these seven boxed sets. But it is an oddity and a distraction.

    Now, it's one thing to see it appear in an episode where we might imagine and (in my case, anyway) forgive some sort of unavoidable source master problem, but it's another to see it happen again in one of Disc 7's new "featurettes" about the series' finale. It's there just as plain as in one of the regular episodes.

    I haven't noticed the effect in a previous set, so I'm wondering if any other reviewer or purchaser sees it -- or could it be (against the odds, but hey) a singular weirdness exclusive to my reviewer's copy?

    If others see it, I'll mention it in the capsule review for Dec. 2.

    Anybody?

    Thanks much.

    --mb
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I've only had the chance to screen a couple of episodes so far. Haven't seen anything yet, but I'll keep an eye out. I plan on watching much of it over the next three or four days.

    -Scott
     
  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Haven't made it to disc 7 yet (mid way through disc 6 right now), but I haven't seen any "pulsing" noise. There is moderate grain in many dark scenes, and occasional drifting in dark action scenes, but nothing of a pulsing sort. I've seen nothing out of line from previous seasons.

    Have you tried viewing in more than one player? Perhaps the decoder is having trouble with the grain.

    I hope to have my review up before the holiday.
    Having gone through a marathon of DS9 this weekend, I'm seriously going to miss this show when I'm finished.

    -Scott
     
  4. MarkBourne

    MarkBourne Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Scott. Much appreciated.


    Man, so will I. Throughout my DVD Journal write-ups on these sets, I've been trumpeting that DS9 is the best Trek series, hands down, in all categories -- writing, character development, acting, the Oz-ish virtues of brains/heart/courage, and so on. I didn't think that another series could push Bab 5 off the top of my "fave TV SF" totem pole, but having watched the entire series -- ending with this weekend's marathon of the 10-part story arc that concludes it -- DS9 has pushed into the lead. The Trek fan base has heaped numerous sins upon the heads of Berman, Piller, and Moore, but seven outstanding seasons of DS9 absolves them of every one.

    [/geek mode]

    Thanks for checking and for the report back. I'll look forward to your review.
     
  5. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    No signs of any of these problems so far - made it through discs one and two...
     
  6. Antony James

    Antony James Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe you'll find that it's the dreaded "DS9 grain curse" you're seeing. DS9, being post-produced on video, seems to have a massive amount of problems with dimly-lit scenes. I hate it...but it's there to stay.

    By the way, I just loooove to read that a DVD reviewer got his copy yesterday when I got mine last week. Too bloody funny. [​IMG]
     
  7. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  9. MarkBourne

    MarkBourne Stunt Coordinator

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    Color me dim, but I'm missing the joke entirely. [​IMG] Although -- nodding to Colin -- yes, if I'd paid the $100 for my set I'd be puckering my brow pretty tightly about the noise/grain issue that I'm seeing. Hence my asking here to see if it's really a problem in the Season 7 set or just a gremlin in my machinery. Thorough reporting and all that.
     
  10. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Certainly, the dark scenes have moderate grain... but I'm not sure it's any worse than previous seasons. It's just that this season is literally darker than most, so it appears more often.

    This happens on shoots that try to outperform their budget. It's one thing to build big, grand sets... and another thing entirely to light them enough so that you can get a dark exposure without grain. To compound matters, grain makes compression more difficult and less efficient.

    While the softness in the Trek sets (which has improved, to a degree) is largely due to the transfer (compression, high frequency filtration), I think the grain is inherent in the source material.

    But the WRITING of this show has sucked me in almost completely, so that I can forgive some of these problems.

    Stargate SG-1 has this grain problem as well.

    Look for my full review tomorrow.

    -Scott
     
  11. paul_austin

    paul_austin Second Unit

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  12. MarkBourne

    MarkBourne Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely.
     

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