Some years ago, during the laser disc years, Universal seemed to really care and spend time releasing wonderful transfers of their catalog titles. I still think the laser of DRACULA (1931) is the best all round version we have on video. I also think the laser transfer of the technicolor Karloff film THE CLIMAX was superior on laser than DVD.
Saying that, I was very pleased with their newest Abbott and Costello set, as some of those films seem to have had upgraded transfers from the previous set, although ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, while sounding and looking better than ever, had the Realart replaced credit cards in a couple of places. And I think I read that their first film, ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS is missing the End Cast credit card.
But for some reason, the quality has fallen in recent years. Not only with their Blu Ray releases, but their general catalog titles.
The last Bob Hope set had a subpar transfer for THE GHOST BREAKERS that was far from the previous DVD release. And this last batch from TCM with MURDER, HE SAYS, and FEUDIN’, FUSSIN’, AND A-FIGHTIN’...well MURDER is fine, but the latter film is dupey, not sharp and looks like a 25 year old transfer. No way a 1948 Universal can look this bad with a current transfer. I don't know if the vault fire is at fault, but I think they should refrain from releasing things until they can at least have a good looking transfer. On the plus side, the TCM/Universal Deanna Durbin set and the horror set with MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET, STRANGE CASE OF DR. Rx, etc, looked stunning. But it seems like a crap shoot as far as quality is concerned.
I really love the Universal library for their films as well as the pre 1948 Paramount films. I have hopes that we will see some great stuff on TCM as well as some releases on DVD. BUT, please Universal, take a bit more care with the presentation of some of these things you are releasing.