First off, I’m a Blu-ray guy. I would love to own most of the classic Disney live action films in the premium format. But since the likelihood of that reality is becoming pretty slim, I have finally caved and purchased my first Disney titles in HD from iTunes. I’m staying away from the more popular titles like The Parent Trap or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because I think there is a pretty good chance for those on Blu-ray. The two titles I selected are pretty safe bets that they will never get a shot on Blu. I purchased Bon Voyage!, and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. Both are presented in 1.66:1 with PCM mono sound. The file sizes are 5.37 Gig and 4.5 Gig respectively. I was expecting a lot of compression artifacting. Watching on my projector, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the 1080p image quality was actually comparable to Blu-ray. The images were sharp, with appropriate grain. Some of the scenes in Bon Voyage! had slightly faded color, but otherwise the source material was in excellent condition. While I would hate to see Blu-ray lose out to digital downloads, this is a great way to get some obscure Disney titles in high definition.
Here are a few screen captures of Family Band.