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


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#1 of 73 Marc Carra

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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:28 PM

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!

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#2 of 73 RyanChristoffel

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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:38 PM

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 Posted Image.

#3 of 73 Dane Marvin

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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:40 PM

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 of 73 Marc Carra

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Posted September 22 2003 - 04:58 PM

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 of 73 David Burns

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Posted September 22 2003 - 06:11 PM

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 of 73 Dan Rudolph

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Posted September 22 2003 - 06:15 PM

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?
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#7 of 73 Adam_ME

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Posted September 22 2003 - 07:33 PM

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.
I should really learn to knock....in case there's a threesome going on in my bedroom. - Sandy Cohen, The O.C., The Countdown

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#8 of 73 Sven Lorenz

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Posted September 22 2003 - 08:24 PM

Quote:
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.


I've just watched that exact scene again and it looks absoluteley great.
I've watched the first four episodes and apart from a little grain (a lot like the Alias Season One set) the picture is great.
So your copy must be faulty in some way.

#9 of 73 Paul-Gunther

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Posted September 22 2003 - 08:32 PM

This is from a DVDFile thread on the issue:

Quote:
I haven't got time watching it, so I can't comment on the video quality. But the comments about each episodes encoded twice is not true.

This is dir list of disc 1

Directory of D:VIDEO_TS

07/18/2003 11:09 AM

.
07/18/2003 11:09 AM

..
07/18/2003 11:09 AM 10,240 VIDEO_TS.BUP
07/18/2003 11:09 AM 10,240 VIDEO_TS.IFO
07/18/2003 11:09 AM 147,456 VTS_01_0.BUP
07/18/2003 11:09 AM 147,456 VTS_01_0.IFO
07/17/2003 03:37 PM 87,863,296 VTS_01_0.VOB
07/17/2003 10:18 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_1.VOB
07/17/2003 10:19 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_2.VOB
07/17/2003 10:20 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_3.VOB
07/17/2003 10:21 AM 903,088,128 VTS_01_4.VOB
07/17/2003 10:22 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_5.VOB
07/17/2003 10:24 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_6.VOB
07/17/2003 10:25 AM 1,073,739,776 VTS_01_7.VOB
07/17/2003 10:25 AM 784,902,144 VTS_01_8.VOB
13 File(s) 8,218,607,616 bytes
2 Dir(s) 0 bytes free

I tried to open VTS_01_2.VOB 3,5,6,7.VOB, they are not duplicate.

VTS_01_2.VOB is not same as VTS_01_6.VOB and so on.


#10 of 73 Dan Rudolph

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Posted September 22 2003 - 09:24 PM

On the word of other psoters, I may buy this anyway. Anyknow why there have't been any reviews of this title?
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#11 of 73 Greg_S_H

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Posted September 22 2003 - 09:34 PM

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

Quote:
The DVD is well presented for the most part. The anamorphic 1.77:1 video is clean and clean, providing a nice contrast and color balance.

http://www.hometheat.../smallville.htm

Hopefully, Marc got a bad copy and will have better luck with a replacement set. I wasn't planning to buy this immediately anyway, but I do hope this thread will get a few HTF member quick reviews after people pick theirs up today.

#12 of 73 Sam Davatchi

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Posted September 22 2003 - 09:53 PM

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! Posted Image Posted Image

#13 of 73 Sam Davatchi

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Posted September 22 2003 - 09:59 PM

and
Quote:
The anamorphic 1.77:1 video is

Isn't the video Standard 1.33? It's widescreen?

#14 of 73 Greg_S_H

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Posted September 22 2003 - 10:12 PM

According to Amazon, it's widescreen anamorphic.

#15 of 73 Sven Lorenz

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Posted September 22 2003 - 10:13 PM

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 of 73 Sam Davatchi

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Posted September 22 2003 - 10:28 PM

OK!
DVDEmpire says 1.33
http://www.dvdempire....850535&redir=1

#17 of 73 Marc Carra

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Posted September 23 2003 - 12:45 AM

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

Posted Image


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?
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#18 of 73 Marc Carra

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Posted September 23 2003 - 02:44 AM

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

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#19 of 73 Sam Davatchi

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Posted September 23 2003 - 03:03 AM

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 of 73 Randy A Salas

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Posted September 23 2003 - 03:09 AM

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

Review copies went out. I got mine Friday, although I have not watched it.
Randy A. Salas
DVD Columnist & Feature Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper


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