Sony’s Blu-ray release of Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series, is one of the consummate bargains, at a street price of under $50.
A Henson property, owned by Sony, it’s been slightly spruced up (tech term), and presented in Blu-ray.
2,373 minutes – 96 episodes.
All originally in standard def – 1.33:1.
This is one of the few words columns that you’ll read that sets quality aside, for content.
And it’s the content, which back in the ’80s, beginning in 1983, became safe, educational, kid-friendly programming, that was also able to entertain adults, along with their progeny.
I know, because it was one of my son’s favorite shows, even though it hit the airwaves before he was born.
Somewhere I still have a laserdisc, as viewing was a necessity.
There aren’t enough superlatives that can be used to recommend this programming, so I won’t try.
For those with young children, just grab a copy, and make believe you’re viewing on your 35″ Mitsubishi tube set.
Image – NA
Audio – 5 (DTS-HA MA)
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely
Very Highly Recommended
- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
This set might just be a DVD-killer. No longer will "but it was shot on tape in the 1980s" be an acceptable excuse to settle for less than the best potential picture and sound quality given the source materials. It won't solve the ongoing music rights bugaboo, but it will open new doors for shows long thought only suitable for DVD and standard definition rebroadcasts.
My only regret, though, is that the 13-episode NBC animated series from 1987-1988 (produced through the same production deal with Marvel that resulted in Muppet Babies) wasn't subjected to the same process so it, too, could be brought up to HD quality.
- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
Simple. Audio was fine. But the image would have been generally seen at 27” or smaller.Robert: Why is the Image Quality an "NA?"
I saw your comment about setting aside quality for content in this review, but yet you graded the audio a "5." So why no grade for the video?
Any modern viewing platform will be unkind.
Again, content supersedes image quality.
You like the show so much that it's worth owning, no matter what.
But the image is pretty much a 1 or 2...for all practical purposes. Or, if you'd like, a 5...but as nicely as the source material has been replicated, don't expect miracles that the 480 lines of resolution is going to look very good on modern sets.
The true test is whether the discs hold up to a 4k upconvert through either the player or receiver. Unfortunately, I have yet to go 4k simply because there aren't enough movies and shows I actually want in the format yet.
I hope Disney considers this process for The Muppet Show; that originated in PAL 576i50, so an upconvert should be able to capture the full resolution and make it playable on an American HDTV.
See Season One of the Twilight Zone bluray for example ...I find that DVD’s MPEG2 encoding can be just murder on stuff shot on SD tape. The small number of BDs that I have which feature SD tape sourced material look so much better just due to the better codecs and compression used. I’m in favor of releasing SD material on BD just for that reason alone.
That, to me, is the benefit. Especially on larger displays, the compression artifacts from older DVDs of video material become readily apparent, whereas on a BD, it just looks like video without the extra “noise”.The only benefit I've been able to discern is that the compression method used on today's Blu-rays does a much better job of handling color than MPEG2 does. It still ends up looking like cleaner SD video.
For concert/music material, the BD usually has the added bonus of lossless audio which can be a nice perk.
But I agree that there’s no mistaking it for true HD.
I don't believe that's the case as I have a couple of Anime series as well as an ELO disc where all of the material is SD video formatted for Blu-ray. It allows them to pack a lot of material onto a single disc.I also think it is because the Blu-ray Disc Association requires the main feature to be in HD.