What the heck is up with Smallville Season 1? Major mastering error

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Marc Carra, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Marc Carra

    Marc Carra Supporting Actor

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    Looks like Warner Brothers botched up "Smallville: Season 1" big time. I was looking forward to this set so much that I asked several people to get it as a birthday gift for me this past Friday. Bad idea as I ended up with two copies. That's not the worst part, though:


    Upon my first viewing I noticed compression artifacts galore. Even the WB clouds intro logo is horribly compressed. So I popped it into my DVD-ROM drive to analyse the amount of data that was being used for each episode. To my surprise, I found that each of the 4 episodes are actually recorded TWICE on each disc. That's right, there are 8 episodes (over six hours, combined) in total on the dual layered disc! It's no wonder there are compression artifacts out the ying yang. Both copies of each episode seem identical. Title 1 on each DVD consists of all four episodes stuck together, whereas title 3,4,5,6 consist of each episode separatley. So why would Warner waste half the space on the DVD by having two of each episode??? This has to be one of the greatest mastering blunders ever. Each of the 6 discs suffer from the same duplicate episode problem. Hopefully they will issue some sort of recall. I cannnot believe this!

    Update: The mastering error can be confirmed by viewing each 'title' number that is displayed on the DVD player while the disc is playing. If you select 'play' in the main menu, Title 1 starts, and all episodes will play in order (since they are recorded as one big chunk), but if you select "Episodes" in the main menu, instead of viewing Title 1, you jump to Title 3,4,5, or 6 depending on which episode you select. So they are definitly all on the disc twice!

    Marc.
     
  2. RyanChristoffel

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    Hopefully this isn't the case with all discs. Maybe there's just a "bad batch" like there was of the LOTR: TTT discs. If this is a problem with all the discs then [​IMG].
     
  3. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Total. Suck. Fest.

    I'll need some second opinions here. Anyone else got it yet? There's a midnight sale a couple blocks from here in about 20 minutes and I thought I might go and pick it up.

    I'm having second thoughts.
     
  4. Marc Carra

    Marc Carra Supporting Actor

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    For a quick check of how bad the picture really is, on Disc 1 jump to Episode 3 (either of the two copies on the disc,you choose!) It starts with a football game in the rain. The rain looks like a pixelized mess of pulsating squares. It is equally as bad on my 47" ISF calibrated set or my 17" PC monitor. Looks just like an old PC Quicktime video. It is so completly bad that it's almost laughable.

    Marc.
     
  5. David Burns

    David Burns Auditioning

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    Are you sure each episode is on the disc twice? It is possible to set up the DVD so that Titles 3-6 are the individual episodes, and that title 1 is a "play all" which uses the same VTS_0x.vob's as the individual episodes.

    The best way to check if there are dual episodes is to check the raw vts_0x_1.vob vts_0x_2.vob files, etc.

    Play the vob files in WinDVD (or other program). Do 2 different VOBs play the same episode?

    Not that I doubt you that the compression is bad, but I wonder if they really doubled up the content or not.

    -db
     
  6. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    I sounds like someone didn't know how to program a "play all" feature. I was going to get this, but this problem combined with the paucity of extras mean I won't until we hear from Warner.

    Could this why there's haven't been any reviews? No review copies were sent out because of problems?
     
  7. Adam_ME

    Adam_ME Supporting Actor

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    Damn. I went ahead and preordered this and it's already shipped. I figured I was safe given WB's track record. Maybe I should replace it with the R2 set, PAL speedup be damned. It's supposed to have 5.1 audio.
     
  8. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

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  9. Paul-Gunther

    Paul-Gunther Stunt Coordinator

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    This is from a DVDFile thread on the issue:

     
  10. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    On the word of other psoters, I may buy this anyway. Anyknow why there have't been any reviews of this title?
     
  11. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Here's the only PQ portion of one review I've seen:

     
  12. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    As someone said it here, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are encoded twice. If you had worked with Scenarist, you would see that it’s possible to have several video streams and make different scenarios and title sets with them without duplicate videos. So the most probable explanation is that they have encoded the episodes only once and used a titleset for play all and four title sets for individual episodes. This knowledge is all thanks to Lucas forcing me making DVD-Rs from my Star Wars LDs! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    and
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    According to Amazon, it's widescreen anamorphic.
     
  15. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

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    Yes it's widescreen - even the deleted scenes are in anamorphic widescreen.
    But the reviewer on hometheaterinfo.com is wrong about one thing: the commentaries only feature two producers and one director - there's nobody from the cast involved.
     
  16. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  17. Marc Carra

    Marc Carra Supporting Actor

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    Ok, my copy definitely has each episode encoded twice. I made a temporary 'backup' of Title 1 only , onto my harddrive, and all four episodes are there. The entire thing takes less than 4 gig of space. Then I did the same with Titles 3,4,5, and 6. Once again, all four episodes are present , in less than four gigs of space. My copy is definitely mastered incorrectly.

    Check out this screenshot I took of the disc configuration, and you can plainly see there is over 6 hours of content on the disc, with all four episodes being duplicated:



    Image #1

    [​IMG]


    Look at title 1. This title consists of all four episodes as one big piece. Then titles 3,4,5,6 are the episodes repeated over again!

    Even stranger is the fact that Episodes 1 and 2 (titles 3 and 4) have the directors commentary tracks , but they are not present in Title 1 , which contains all 3 epsiodes. I confirmed this by using the Play all option. You can only listen to the commentary if you select the individual episodes.




    Maybe only the Canadian batch got messed up?
    Marc.
     
  18. Marc Carra

    Marc Carra Supporting Actor

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    I managed to take a screenshot and display it in my last posting above.

    Marc.
     
  19. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Sorry but that Clone DVD screenshot doesn’t prove anything. I repeat what I said above. It could be perfectly normal to have several title sets from the same sources. The only way you can prove that they are encoded twice is to use the very small free program DVD2AVI and watch all the vob files in it, in that case you have proof.
     
  20. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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