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The Bionic Woman: Season 2 audio defect


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#1 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 17 2011 - 07:12 AM

A quick check of The Bionic Woman: Season 2 reveals a major audio flaw on the episode "Deadly Ringer—Part I". For the first 9:33, the soundtrack is extremely "muffled", causing dialogue to be inaudible and the music subdued. At the 9:33 point, the soundtrack "pops" into normal, with the time-elapsed code displaying a slight stall. I found a similar notation of the problem on another site, so I thought I'd address it here to see if others are having the same problem. There is a similar audio problem (albeit to a much lesser degree) that plagues the entire "Return of Bigfoot—Part II" episode on Time Life's Six Million Dollar Man Complete Series set—an episode which is also included in Universal's BW:S2 set. Some people (I'm not one of them) have found the audio flaw on "RoB2" to be tolerable, but no one will be accepting of the problem on "DR1". Universal needs to prepare a recall and/or exchange program ASAP. And while they're at it, they might as well fix the problem on "RoB2". It never ceases to amaze me that problems like this make it to the final product without being discovered.








#2 of 242 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted May 17 2011 - 08:00 AM

Matt,


Thanks for the heads up on this issue.  My BWS2 set was shipped today.


I noticed the same issue with the T/L 6M$M Bigfoot Pt 2 episode as well.   Regrettable for this to have been issued with the defect.



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#3 of 242 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted May 17 2011 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for the warning.


Is the audio problem on the "RoB2" on the BW set too, so only on the 6MDM Time-Life set?



#4 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 17 2011 - 04:59 PM



Originally Posted by JohnMor 

Thanks for the warning.


Is the audio problem on the "RoB2" on the BW set too, so only on the 6MDM Time-Life set?



Both sets utilized the same master, so the flaw is present in both (despite the fact that I notified Uni several times about the problem over six months ago when the SMDM set was released, with the hope they'd fix it in time for the BW:S2 release (and eventual SMDM:S4 set).







#5 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 17 2011 - 05:05 PM

I should have mentioned that the majority of the audio during that 9:33 segment is severely flawed, but a few sound effects (foley) are audible, such as footsteps and background sounds during the prison sequence. It's primarily the dialog and music tracks that are affected. So it's safe to assume masters for the the three primary audio stems (dialogue, music & FX) exist and were utilized (albeit screwed up) for this release (and most likely for the previously-mastered-and-yet-still flawed "Return of Bigfoot-Part I").







#6 of 242 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 18 2011 - 06:14 AM

Matt, there's actually a worse example of this during "Kill Oscar, pt 1" in the teaser, which I mentioned at length in my review of the 6MDM set.  Since the same transfer has been used for both sets, it's clear that this isn't a new problem.


I seriously doubt that Universal will be doing a recall of the title, but it's worth letting people know about the issue.  I'll flag it in my review.


BTW I also noticed that "Kill Oscar pt 2" is apparently the only time that Joe Harnell's music is used on the Main Titles.  Am I missing something there?



#7 of 242 OFFLINE   cajunhillbilly

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Posted May 18 2011 - 07:19 AM

Is this only on the region 1 set?  I have the region 2 set already and if ti has no defect I will watch the episodes on that set.



#8 of 242 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 18 2011 - 07:58 AM

I believe all the sets are the same.  Or are we talking about the earlier Universal Playback R2 sets?  I've seen those in stores but never actually watched them.



#9 of 242 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted May 18 2011 - 08:16 AM

      Quote:

Originally Posted by cajunhillbilly 
Is this only on the region 1 set?  I have the region 2 set already and if ti has no defect I will watch the episodes on that set.


I have the R2 (Uni Playback) version and I checked it in my PC DVD Drive a moment ago.  I listened to Don Porter's voice beginning at 09:00 elapsed time and thru the 10:00 point and I noticed a very slight change (improvement) at 09:33 as Matt described but I haven't received the R1 BWS2 set so I can't do an A/B comparison.


From Matt's description, I'm guessing that the R1 version is considerably more pronounced (audio defect) vs the R2 version.

Note that my point in the episode 09:33 is probably different than the R1 set due to the PAL time difference.   However, I listened to a few minutes of the episode at the beginning and compared it to later in the ep, and I wasn't able to detect a clear defect issue in the R2 version.



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#10 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 18 2011 - 08:49 AM

Jeff,


There is no problem with the audio on the R2 sets (I have them all). It's just the new R1 set that is flawed. The best way I could describe how it sounds is the way your own voice sounds when you cup both hands over your ears, or what it sounds like when you're under water. It's really that bad—except for the occasional foley FX (footsteps, door slams, etc.) that would have come from an isolated FX track.





#11 of 242 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted May 18 2011 - 09:06 AM

     Quote:

Originally Posted by MattHR 
Jeff,


There is no problem with the audio on the R2 sets (I have them all). It's just the new R1 set that is flawed. The best way I could describe how it sounds is the way your own voice sounds when you cup both hands over your ears, or what it sounds like when you're under water. It's really that bad—except for the occasional foley FX (footsteps, door slams, etc.) that would have come from an isolated FX track.




Matt,


Thanks, makes sense I couldn't hear the defect in the R2 disc.   I'm glad I held onto the R2 sets.


Ironic, that we wait years for an R1 and we get flaws.  Thanks for trying :),  It is appreciated even though Uni didn't heed the input.


Any guess on a release timetable for BW S3?





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#12 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 18 2011 - 09:14 AM



Originally Posted by Jeff Willis 

     Quote:


Matt,


Thanks, makes sense I couldn't hear the defect in the R2 disc.   I'm glad I held onto the R2 sets.


Ironic, that we wait years for an R1 and we get flaws.  Thanks for trying :),  It is appreciated even though Uni didn't heed the input.


Any guess on a release timetable for BW S3?




Haven't heard a date for S3. But after what Uni has done with S1 & S2, I almost don't care at this point. I may just be content with my German S3 set.







#13 of 242 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted May 18 2011 - 09:21 AM

There's flaws on "Road to Nashville" as well.  The opening credits sequence is muffled, as is Hoyt Axton's first song.  Sadly, Linday's song is NOT. LOL.  Also found the trouble on "Kill Oscar I" as noted above.  It goes in and out on that ep.  During the sequence with Jaime and Rudy it actually sounds like there is some slight high end distortion, although that is much better than the mufled sound at the beginning.  Only watched through "KO3", so I'll spin "Black Magic" and the next few tonight and see if there are any others (aside from the afore-mentioned "Deadly Ringer I."  I'm not sorry I bought the set, but I do hope they fix the major flaws.  It is very noticeable and distracting when it happens. 


#14 of 242 OFFLINE   Joseph Burns

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Posted May 18 2011 - 09:30 AM

As somebody who does audio/video work professionally, I'll be fixing this for my own purposes if Universal does not. This will cost me quite a bit of time, which brings to mind the old freelance adage: "I can't afford me" (no it will not be for sale, sorry, so no recouping).


I just want to ask Universal for some mercy here, because this will cost me a lot more than $50, in opportunity costs at the very least.


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#15 of 242 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted May 18 2011 - 09:50 AM

     Quote:

Originally Posted by MattHR 
Haven't heard a date for S3. But after what Uni has done with S1 & S2, I almost don't care at this point. I may just be content with my German S3 set.



I might wind up getting that German set as well.  It's a little pricey due to exchange rates but I'm glad it's out there as an alternative.




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#16 of 242 OFFLINE   MBrousseau

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Posted May 18 2011 - 01:37 PM




Originally Posted by Jeff Willis 

     Quote:


I might wind up getting that German set as well.  It's a little pricey due to exchange rates but I'm glad it's out there as an alternative.



That's a very good advice. I do own the european sets of The Bionic Woman and they are exceptionnal.  The quality is perfect... compared to the US set.  I must say that I was shocked this evening when a surfed on a few episodes from the season 2, region 1 set. The bad sound quality isn't just for Deadly Ringer I episode but for The Night Demon, Once a Thief, Doomsday is Tomorrow I, Kill Oscar I .. to name a few.  All these episodes have severe sound problems for variable duration of the episode.  The region 2 sets were not exposed to this problem.
Universal has made a terrible mistake to sell such a bad product. It's a shame.  Now what? We'll be offered to send the entire box set back to them?  Geesh...



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#17 of 242 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted May 18 2011 - 01:42 PM



Originally Posted by MBrousseau 





. The bad sound quality isn't just for Deadly Ringer I episode but for The Night Demon, Once a Thief, Doomsday is Tomorrow I, Kill Oscar I .. to name a few.  All these episodes have severe sound problems for variable duration of the episode.  The region 2 sets were not exposed to this problem.



Good grief!!  They SERIOUSLY need to re-do this release then and offer replacement discs.  If it was just a couple eps, or if it was the shape of the existing materials, it would be one thing.  But to have it be nearly half the eps, and to have unaffected discs issued in other regions is inexcusable.




#18 of 242 OFFLINE   Brett*H

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Posted May 18 2011 - 03:58 PM

This was indeed a disappointing release. We received ours today and we checked at least 2 of the episodes in question after reading the comments here.

The sound quality on "The Return of Bigfoot, Part 2" was enough to warrant returning this set for a refund. The dialogue was clear but the music sounded as though it was recorded under Bigfoot's fur.


I always enjoyed this episode because OF the music. Loved how they combined Steve's theme with Jaime's and then Bigfoot's.

Same problems with the audio as already mentioned regarding the "Deadly Ringer, Part 1" episode.


This set is going right back to Amazon for a refund. We have the region 2 discs, sans the Bigfoot episodes, but double dipped just to get the Bigfoot episodes on this region 1 set.


If anyone else sends their sets back to their origin of purchase, be sure to be specific as to why you are returning it. "Defective audio" probably isn't going to suffice. I would suggest pinpointing the exact episodes and the audio issues that you have with them.


Universal needs to know that consumers who have waited YEARS for these releases aren't going to say "Well, at least we finally have them on DVD so we'll take what we can get."


Universal's quality control should have picked up on these defects before these DVDs were even pressed.

I am grateful to have these eps on Region 1 discs, but money is scarce right now and we are picking and choosing which DVD releases to buy and we are not willing to pay for junk releases. We can wait a bit longer for the mistakes to be corrected. If they're not, then that is Universal's loss $ wise.


I guess I'm really in an annoyed mood as we just received a rather large order of DVDs from Amazon's sale and finally got "Roots (Four-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition) and we could not get the annoying/distracting subtitles to shut off on the first installment.

That set is going back for a refund as well. (Which is a shame as WB used a beautiful print of the mini-series.)


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#19 of 242 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 18 2011 - 04:29 PM



Originally Posted by MBrousseau 

That's a very good advice. I do own the european sets of The Bionic Woman and they are exceptionnal.  The quality is perfect... compared to the US set.  I must say that I was shocked this evening when a surfed on a few episodes from the season 2, region 1 set. The bad sound quality isn't just for Deadly Ringer I episode but for The Night Demon, Once a Thief, Doomsday is Tomorrow I, Kill Oscar I .. to name a few.  All these episodes have severe sound problems for variable duration of the episode.  The region 2 sets were not exposed to this problem.  Universal has made a terrible mistake to sell such a bad product. It's a shame.  Now what? We'll be offered to send the entire box set back to them?  Geesh...



The music track of "Jaime's Shield—Part II" also suffers from the same "muffled" effect, while the dialogue and sound FX are OK. It's looking more and more like the whole set needs to be recalled.








#20 of 242 OFFLINE   Moore Maxx

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Posted May 18 2011 - 05:53 PM

Here's the link to complain at the Universal website.  Maybe if enough of us let them know, they might do something.


http://www.universal.../contact-us.php


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