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Anyone have experience buying TV DVDs/Blu rays from German sites? (looking for Hunter) (1 Viewer)

Desslar

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I was recently reminded by several of the retro cable channels showing Hunter episodes late at night that I still don't have the complete Hunter collection on DVD. I want to get the German set ("Komplettbox"), as I understand it retains the original pop music songs on its soundtrack, unlike the U.S. version which replaces the original songs with very out of place generic catalog music.

Until last year, these German sets showed up quite regularly on eBay from UK sellers for around $80 used, but they seem to have vanished now. The only place I can find it now for under $100 is a German site called booklooker.de, which has a couple offers in that range from German private sellers. The website seems legitimate, and these sellers seem to have a lot of positive feedback, but so far I have only bought from private sellers on eBay, so using an overseas platform for this makes me a little nervous.

Has any had good luck using Booklooker or another German site to buy from private sellers in Germany? Or conversely, any problems?

Thanks!
 

potnoodle

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It was several years ago, but I ordered Season 3 of Parker Lewis Can't Lose from the German site of Amazon (only the first two seasons were released by Shout Factory) and don't recall having any issues with my order. I think I had to go to the post office to sign for it, but other than that, it was pretty easy.
 

David Norman

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In years gone by, Amazon.de was an excellent place to buy. In the set is OOS or OOP and only 3rd parties have it that make it difficult since many/most marketplace dealers don't ship internationally. Even if amazon.de is shipping, the shipping costs is 4-5 times higher than it was 2 years ago. Just checking Amazon.de for pricing, it appears to be very expensive so selling like an OOP item (appears to be OOP for 5-6+ years).

I've never heard of Booklooker, but it looks like an ebay type site. The Hunter Item I found on search or used/like new and said Germany Only. Also the pics I saw of the LIKE NEW item would scare me away from buying anyway. My experience on Ebay with like new items that look pretty scuffed up like this isn't very good (I'd like it to be new, but I got this abused ex-rental scuff boxset instead).

Rarewaves is an excellent UK based dealer but does sell some other EU items from various countries. They have their own website, sell on Amazon.com, and Ebay.

Bol.com, cede.com (swiss/german), dvdout.nl (netherlands) -- I have ordered from each with good luck, but I'm not seeing this item

jpc.de is common German retailer with an OK international shipping deal, but the item is Unavailable.

A couple other dealers I've heard of but not used don't have it either.

I will point out the obvious -- the discs are R2 locked and PAL format so even with the original soundtrack, the PAL issue may make the audio intolerable for some
 
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Desslar

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In years gone by, Amazon.de was an excellent place to buy. In the set is OOS or OOP and only 3rd parties have it that make it difficult since many/most marketplace dealers don't ship internationally. Even if amazon.de is shipping, the shipping costs is 4-5 times higher than it was 2 years ago. Just checking Amazon.de for pricing, it appears to be very expensive so selling like an OOP item (appears to be OOP for 5-6+ years).

I've never heard of Booklooker, but it looks like an ebay type site. The Hunter Item I found on search or used/like new and said Germany Only. Also the pics I saw of the LIKE NEW item would scare me away from buying anyway. My experience on Ebay with like new items that look pretty scuffed up like this isn't very good (I'd like it to be new, but I got this abused ex-rental scuff boxset instead).

Rarewaves is an excellent UK based dealer but does sell some other EU items from various countries. They have their own website, sell on Amazon.com, and Ebay.

Bol.com, cede.com (swiss/german), dvdout.nl (netherlands) -- I have ordered from each with good luck, but I'm not seeing this item

jpc.de is common German retailer with an OK international shipping deal, but the item is Unavailable.

A couple other dealers I've heard of but not used don't have it either.

I will point out the obvious -- the discs are R2 locked and PAL format so even with the original soundtrack, the PAL issue may make the audio intolerable for some
Thanks for the very thorough response David. As you said, used products make me a little nervous unless there are several clear product photos and/or the seller's rating is nearly flawless. I don't care about packaging all that much, but I would like the discs to be close to pristine. I know the U.S. eBay generally tries to make things right for the buyer if there is a problem, but not so sure about other overseas ecommerce sites.

I will check out those websites you mentioned. I just looked at the German eBay and found a couple people selling that Hunter set that appear willing to ship to the U.S.. I do wonder what the shipping cost would be though.

Concerning this particular Hunter set, I am aware that it is R2, but not ever having bought discs from Europe before, I am curious about your PAL comment. How would PAL affect the audio?

I watched several episodes from the German set that an HTF member kindly uploaded to Youtube a couple years back, and the audio seemed fine to me. But then I am no audiophile.

Another factor here is that, not only is the replacement music in the U.S. set terrible, but also the U.S complete set is fetching crazy prices right now, so even with shipping the German set would probably come out cheaper.
 

WendyCR

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I may have been that user that once posted the Hunter material on YT. For the record, I have a region-free DVD/Blu-Ray player, so in my case, playback is not an issue. But, yes, the discs are Region 2 which means you do need a multi-region/region-free DVD player to play them.

For the record, I found two options for the set on Amazon.de that do seem to ship to the US. Trouble is, the price for one of them - as an example - in USD is $139 or so.

Seems the DVDs, like its American counterpart, have gone out of print. Good luck in your search!
 

Desslar

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I may have been that user that once posted the Hunter material on YT. For the record, I have a region-free DVD/Blu-Ray player, so in my case, playback is not an issue. But, yes, the discs are Region 2 which means you do need a multi-region/region-free DVD player to play them.

For the record, I found two options for the set on Amazon.de that do seem to ship to the US. Trouble is, the price for one of them - as an example - in USD is $139 or so.

Seems the DVDs, like its American counterpart, have gone out of print. Good luck in your search!
Yes, your username does seem familiar. Thanks for those uploads!

The poster above seemed to suggest that even with a region free player, the PAL format could cause poor audio quality. Unless I misunderstood. As I recall your uploads sounded fine.

Also, on the off chance that you are aware of any other German releases of 50s - 90s U.S. TV shows that retain more of the original soundtrack than the U.S. releases, I would be very interested to hear about them.
 

Ernest

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I was recently reminded by several of the retro cable channels showing Hunter episodes late at night that I still don't have the complete Hunter collection on DVD. I want to get the German set ("Komplettbox"), as I understand it retains the original pop music songs on its soundtrack, unlike the U.S. version which replaces the original songs with very out of place generic catalog music.

Until last year, these German sets showed up quite regularly on eBay from UK sellers for around $80 used, but they seem to have vanished now. The only place I can find it now for under $100 is a German site called booklooker.de, which has a couple offers in that range from German private sellers. The website seems legitimate, and these sellers seem to have a lot of positive feedback, but so far I have only bought from private sellers on eBay, so using an overseas platform for this makes me a little nervous.

Has any had good luck using Booklooker or another German site to buy from private sellers in Germany? Or conversely, any problems?

Thanks!
Before Covid I purchased several Blu-ray movies from Amazon.de (Germany) and was very happy with their prices, product availability and shipping. Then with Covid they stopped shipping to USA. Since they began shipping to USA again I did check their site for Compartment No. 6. Unfortunately, so far Amazon.de does not have that movie for sale.
 

HubbaBubbaKid

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Riptide from Pidax out of germany has the original music intact. i got this set last year from amazon.de specifically for that reason. Vei’s set has some substitute generic music but in some instances theres no music at all, they just left it out. i read some of the songs are crucial to the context of some of the episodes . ironically, its bc the VEI complete series set is out of print that i ended up finding the Pidax set and learning about the music subs. Had it been in print , i would’ve just got it right off the bat and not realized bc i only have a vague memory of the show . whats funny is that what i do remember is that the songs were not even the originals , they were covers. so VEI substituted some replacement songs of covers 😄 . Many Beach Boys songs were used and being a big fan as a kid , i knew right away they were not the originals on the original broadcasts
 

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HubbaBubbaKid

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another cool thing is that i’m slowly learning some german . i know what menu, play all and other words to be able to figure what episode and disc to play 😄
 

Desslar

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Riptide from Pidax out of germany has the original music intact. i got this set last year from amazon.de specifically for that reason. Vei’s set has some substitute generic music but in some instances theres no music at all, they just left it out. i read some of the songs are crucial to the context of some of the episodes . ironically, its bc the VEI complete series set is out of print that i ended up finding the Pidax set and learning about the music subs. Had it been in print , i would’ve just got it right off the bat and not realized bc i only have a vague memory of the show . whats funny is that what i do remember is that the songs were not even the originals , they were covers. so VEI substituted some replacement songs of covers 😄 . Many Beach Boys songs were used and being a big fan as a kid , i knew right away they were not the originals on the original broadcasts
Thanks! I had a feeling there would be a few other cases like this. Riptide is not one of my top favorites (well, I've only seen a few episodes), but if I get it I will definitely go for this German version.

I wonder if there is a German counterpart of HTF that discusses such things.:emoji_smile:

Speaking of covers of famous songs, I recall that happened on The Greatest American Hero too. I guess Cannell really wanted those oldies in his shows but didn't want to pay for them.
 

David Norman

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Yes, your username does seem familiar. Thanks for those uploads!

The poster above seemed to suggest that even with a region free player, the PAL format could cause poor audio quality. Unless I misunderstood. As I recall your uploads sounded fine.

Also, on the off chance that you are aware of any other German releases of 50s - 90s U.S. TV shows that retain more of the original soundtrack than the U.S. releases, I would be very interested to hear about them.

I may be confusing things in regard to the PAL 4% movie speedup on the audio.
The PAL movie speedup may not be an issue with TV sets which weren't 24fps to start with

If someone with the actual discs says the audio plays at the appropriate speed then it's hard to argue.
 

Desslar

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I may be confusing things in regard to the PAL 4% movie speedup on the audio.
The PAL movie speedup may not be an issue with TV sets which weren't 24fps to start with

If someone with the actual discs says the audio plays at the appropriate speed then it's hard to argue.
Got it, thanks!
 

AndyMcKinney

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I may be confusing things in regard to the PAL 4% movie speedup on the audio.
The PAL movie speedup may not be an issue with TV sets which weren't 24fps to start with

If someone with the actual discs says the audio plays at the appropriate speed then it's hard to argue.

PAL speedup is only an issue if film prints were used to make the DVD masters. If they simply did a standards conversion of NTSC tape masters, then there would be no sound issues. However, the video would not look as good (coming from lower-resolution NTSC rather than higher-resolution film). So, either way, it's a trade-off.

These shows are right around the time that the major networks started editing/assembling their shows on NTSC tape (rather than 35mm film). I think around 1986 is the time the tide gradually shifted towards editing on tape. If the show was edited on tape, then it'll definitely be a standards conversion, because nobody's going to do an expensive Star Trek: The Next Generation-style remaster/re-assembly for this one.
 

Desslar

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PAL speedup is only an issue if film prints were used to make the DVD masters. If they simply did a standards conversion of NTSC tape masters, then there would be no sound issues. However, the video would not look as good (coming from lower-resolution NTSC rather than higher-resolution film). So, either way, it's a trade-off.

These shows are right around the time that the major networks started editing/assembling their shows on NTSC tape (rather than 35mm film). I think around 1986 is the time the tide gradually shifted towards editing on tape. If the show was edited on tape, then it'll definitely be a standards conversion, because nobody's going to do an expensive Star Trek: The Next Generation-style remaster/re-assembly for this one.
Thanks for the background! This is going to be a dumb question, but when you say "edited on tape" do you mean shot on tape? I didn't think that happened in the 80s.
 

TravisR

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Thanks for the background! This is going to be a dumb question, but when you say "edited on tape" do you mean shot on tape? I didn't think that happened in the 80s.
"Edited on tape" usually refers to a TV show that was shot on film but they transferred it to tape and edited on tape as a cost cutting measure. It's a problem today because it means that the shows only exist in standard definition and they have to go back to the original film to have a high definition release and if it has special effects, the effects are usually redone in high def which is costly in the case of, say, a Star Trek series.

I'm sure someone else can provide a better and more coherent explanation. :laugh:
 

Desslar

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"Edited on tape" usually refers to a TV show that was shot on film but they transferred it to tape and edited on tape as a cost cutting measure. It's a problem today because it means that the shows only exist in standard definition and they have to go back to the original film to have a high definition release and if it has special effects, the effects are usually redone in high def which is costly in the case of, say, a Star Trek series.

I'm sure someone else can provide a better and more coherent explanation. :laugh:
Interesting. I hope the studios keep the original film.

I notice that some 90s dramas have a much cheaper look to them than 80s shows, for example Walker Texas Ranger and all the low-rent syndicated action dramas like Renegade. Did some shows start shooting on tape in the 90s?
 

AndyMcKinney

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Interesting. I hope the studios keep the original film.

I notice that some 90s dramas have a much cheaper look to them than 80s shows, for example Walker Texas Ranger and all the low-rent syndicated action dramas like Renegade. Did some shows start shooting on tape in the 90s?

Walker was shot on film, but edited (assembled) on tape, so that's why it has a "softer" lower-resolution look.

In addition to what Travis said about SFX, etc., it's even more complicated than that. Since tape was used to edit all those little pieces of film together (and to generate the on-screen titles, credits, etc), for an "edited-on-tape" to be made high def, not only would they have to go back and find all those A/B rolls of film, somebody would have to edit them all together all over again (such as in Final Cut), re-create the credits, etc. It's a very time-involved process, even if there are no 'SFX'. Even a show like Walker: Texas Ranger would be a costly proposition to go back and re-scan/re-assemble all the episodes, and that's assuming all the original film elements still exist!
 

John*Wells

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Am I correct that if I owned a region free player I could play media other than region 1?
 

jcroy

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Am I correct that if I owned a region free player I could play media other than region 1?

In principle, yes.

In practice, it depends on whether the player + tv can also handle PAL video properly.
 

ScottRE

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Walker was shot on film, but edited (assembled) on tape, so that's why it has a "softer" lower-resolution look.

In addition to what Travis said about SFX, etc., it's even more complicated than that. Since tape was used to edit all those little pieces of film together (and to generate the on-screen titles, credits, etc), for an "edited-on-tape" to be made high def, not only would they have to go back and find all those A/B rolls of film, somebody would have to edit them all together all over again (such as in Final Cut), re-create the credits, etc. It's a very time-involved process, even if there are no 'SFX'. Even a show like Walker: Texas Ranger would be a costly proposition to go back and re-scan/re-assemble all the episodes, and that's assuming all the original film elements still exist!
If a show has a cult following and a life on a streaming platform, then I can see them going through the effort. The length of the series could work against it, though. I use this example often, but SeaQuest was restored on streaming and they redid the episodic credits for each segment. The CGI shots are, I assume, uprezzed, but the live action shots all look amazing. The opening and closing credits also have that softer "uprezzed" look.
 

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