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Problem with the new "Jack Benny Program" DVD set...

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Kevin Segura, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    I would really love to think that's true, but I can almost assure you with absolute certitude that they will a) do nothing to correct these matters and b) will insist that the problems are insignificant or (more likely) non-existent.

    The part that really boggles my mind is that according to the writeup in the set, they had the actual kinescope film prints to use as sources, and therefore the DVD production crew actually chose to obtain this kind of amateurish, outdated video transfer.

    I'm trying to imagine the dialogue in the transfer room:

    "So you're telling me that I can have a clean, professional transfer like the studios do for movies or any other film-based DVD projects OR I can have the one that blends and double-exposes every frame and then inserts 5 or 6 duplicate frames every second, just to bust up whatever remaining smooth motion there might be in the event that someone moves onscreen?"

    "Yep, that's the choice. We can use the nice new telecine machine, or Ol' Blendy."

    "Well, call me crazy, but this is unique material that the target audience has been patiently waiting to see for almost 60 years... since we'll probably only ever get one shot at assembling and using these original elements, I'm going with my gut on this one. Ol' Blendy it is."


    - Kevin
     
  2. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Joe!
     
  3. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    Fat Chance.
     
  4. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    I forgot which one it is but there's actually one episode on the set that they didn't screw with and it looks like the original color videotape. The rest of the episodes look like color kinescopes.

    This isn't the only show it has happened with. Apparently there's a Danny Kaye release that came out a while ago with the same destructive process used, turning beautiful tape into a kinescope look.
     
  5. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    I didn't find any Amazon reviews mentioning this problem. That's why I brought it up.

    Kevin Segura, have you brought up LiveFeed to Shout Factory! I'm sure they'll take it into account the next time they deal with something like The Jack Benny Program.
     
  6. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The Danny Kaye Christmas episode release? If they did that, then I won't be getting that ever. Anyone who purposefully turns a tape show into a "film" look ought to have his license permanently revoked to do any work in the business on the grounds of out and out stupidity.
     
  7. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Exactly right. Go all Joe McCarthy on him.

    I may be young, but I do know the differences between videotape and film.
     
  8. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    I'll get this set, but it is disappointing.
     
  9. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    Ditto.
     
  10. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    If he tries and contacts them, one never knows...don't knock it unless it can be tried. I know the odds are slim, but it's better than nothing.
     
  11. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like denial will be the official response-- this was posted earlier today in the Shout! Factory website, by one of their representatives:

    "According to the folks involved, this same poster has gotten in touch with them on a handful of other sites, as well, and appears to be advertising his services, rather than pointing out any legitimate mistakes or problems. We've had multiple reviewers give the set a thumbs up for picture quality and I threw in a copy myself. The DVD plays just fine and any problems with the picture are clearly inherent to the source (e.g. dirt, scratches, etc.)."

    Since I'm not allowed a direct rebuttal on Shout! Factory's site (I seem to be unable to secure an account there), for the record, I would point out that I've not directly contacted anyone other than Laura Leff, of the International Jack Benny Fan Club regarding this DVD release-- and it was in fact to point out the shortcomings that this set contains, and to suggest that she advise the Benny estate to obtain a proper archival transfer of these films at some point in the future-- otherwise, this botched version will become the default source. I did also indicate that there are other restoration alternatives available after that is achieved, but a clean, professional transfer is the paramount concern at this point.

    And sadly, whether or not Shout! Factory is willing to admit it, a simple frame by frame examination of the material on the disc will display everything I've reported (as well as a few additional things that were done wrong during the alleged "restoration"). Obviously, they're hoping that no one with a properly functioning set of eyes will take the necessary few mintues to check.

    So if you order the set, please enjoy the shows-- just don't expect to be refunded for the quality of the video!

    - Kevin
     
  12. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    That denial reminds me of how Shout refused to acknowledge for a long-time the botched encoding job they did on "All In The Family" S7 and how they hid behind what other critics who were fundamental ignoramuses on the matter said when they praised the look of the set. I only noticed the problem in about 1 episode or so but it is still appalling they didn't take time out to get the best job done on material they were given control over (in contrast to just dealing with source copies furnished by others).

    I've enjoyed the set but it's a shame these people can't do the best job possible.
     
  13. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    SHOUT! is a perfect name - people SHOUT! About the poor quality of many of the releases! *LOL* :rolling-smiley:
     
  14. John Karras

    John Karras Stunt Coordinator

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    Not only did they destroy the 2" color tape look with a color-kine film look, they also botched the file navigation structure. For whatever reason, they broke the second show into multiple files and got themselves all confused. Therefore, when the disc is played, it jumps from the middle of a sketch to the closing segment of the show. Initially, people thought the episode was cut, but an analysis of the disc shows that the missing material is actually on the disc, but is skipped over during playback.
     
  15. JoeDoakes

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    Is there any way to watch it then? Can you only view it on a computer?
     
  16. John Karras

    John Karras Stunt Coordinator

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    Apparently, Inception Media has since produced a second pressing to correct the navigation problem ...too bad they didn't encode it properly while they were at it.
     
  17. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    I would hope that Shout does the right thing here and offers a replacement disc for those that are not happy with the original release of this set...it's the least they could do if the problems continue to persist in this fashion. Ward stated in the Shout forums this wasn't his project but hoping with him knowing about these problems, he can go back to the source and report to him/her working on said project to clan/fix these issues up with the release of a replacement disc.
     
  18. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    For what it's worth, the DVDTalk reviewer loved this set: http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/60859/jack-benny-program-the-lost-episodes-the/. Unless you know that the visual effect of this kinoscope issue will drive you batty, if one has an interest in Jack Benny, it makes sense to me to get this set. If it sells well enough, my understanding is that more sets are possible. By all means, one can send a note to Shout to tell them not to try to alter the kinoscopes. It might work or it might not, but if this set sells poorly, it won't matter anyway.
     
  19. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    DVDTalk praised the season 7 AITF set, ignoring the fact that the video quality had been raped.
     
  20. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess that means the reviewer enjoyed the set despite the less-than-perfect quality.
     

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