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Barnaby Jones - The Complete Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by younger1968, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. mattfire64

    mattfire64 Stunt Coordinator

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    My copy of the new condensed Barnaby Jones set finally came in the mail yesterday, here's some of my initial thoughts on the set after cherry-picking through the quality on a couple of the discs:

    • Wow, out of the 35+ complete series DVD sets that I own, this set takes the cake at being the hardest to open. I was expecting VEI to utilize the same type of packaging that they used for both the condensed Cannon set and Poltergeist: The Legacy set from earlier this year, but they have opted for new packaging. The discs are housed in a large black plastic clamshell case that is sealed tighter than a bank vault. There is a large indent that you are supposed to use to get the case open, but you really need to put some muscle into it. I would suggest when one opens the set for the first time to do it over a table or other surface, so the discs don't go crashing onto the floor once you finally get it open.
    • Once you finally get this Fort Knox of a case opened up, you'll see that VEI has packaged all the discs in quite a peculiar (and cheap) way. On the right side of the case is a large well which contains two DVD wallets (!) which house all the DVDs. These slide in and out of the plastic pouches, so scratching is inevitable if you wish to utilize these discs on multiple occasions. The case also features VEI's logo stamped right into the plastic, so it sadly looks like this is going to be the kind of packaging they are going to be utilizing for all future releases...
    • Each disc contains either 6 or 7 episodes each, which is pretty standard for VEI's current efforts.
    • VEI has obviously inherited the remastered prints for season 1 which CBS made for their own DVD release a few years back, but the remainder of the seasons still utilize the same cut syndication prints from the set released two years ago.
    • If you are worried about the higher number of episodes per disc in terms of picture quality, then don't. The picture quality of these unremastered seasons wildly varies from episode to episode, indicating that these tape transfers vary quite a bit in age. Some episodes are about on par with Cannon, whereas others are about as good as the unremastered seasons of The Mod Squad.
    • Here's something I found to be fascinating. Despite being sourced from ancient videotape transfers, CBS somehow felt the need to paste their most recent closing logo (CBS Television Distribution) onto the end of almost every episode from Season 2-8. This ultimately means that CBS has looked at these transfers within the past few years and figured they were "good enough" to keep and not worry about remastering them.
    • I did however manage to find at least one episode while skimming ("Honeymoon With Death", from Season 4) which doesn't have the CBS logo at the end, but instead features the early 90s Worldvision Enterprises logo. Chances are they forgot to paste over it, but it does put a rather solid date on how old some of these transfers might be.
     
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  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Horrible-- just plain horrible! VEI ought to be ashamed of themselves for packaging that new Barnaby Jones release so incompetently!
     
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  3. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    Look on the bright side, at least VEI offered 2 versions of the Barnaby Jones set, so if you really want plastic cases and don't mind paying more then you can choose the more expensive set. That's more than some other studios. I personally think that Fox's Lost in Space Blu-Ray packaging is horrible with the tight cardboard sleeves.
     
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  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Agree, that LIS set was so horrible I put everything in eight disc packs and scanned art work to let them fit in the shelves.
     
  5. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    This is the reason I never go for the "budget sets". I learned my lesson the hard way.
     
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  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Excluding season 1, are there any picture quality patterns? (ie. Such as one particular season having 90s era Worldvision Mod Squad comparable picture quality, while another season having Cannon style picture quality).

    Or is the picture quality of episodes completely semi-random after season 1 ?
     
  7. A Pop Fan's Dream

    A Pop Fan's Dream Auditioning

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    I am halfway through season 2 [I bought the 45 disc set for $89 in August having purchased the original standalone season 1 ] and the majority of episodes so far are uncut. You can tell the cut ones because they don't say Act I, Act II etc - and obviously the running time is shorter.

    I presume the number of uncut episodes decreases as I go through each season?

    At the same time I also bought the Cannon set. Again, I went for the original set rather than the one with fewer discs. That's a blast, really enjoyable. Prints aren't too bad - was expecting a lot worse.
     
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  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Uncut episodes are almost non-existent in the later seasons. I have to admit I'm glad I wasn't overly familiar with the episodes before the release because that way I couldn't get self-conscious about what was missing but sometimes it does seem evident when the tag scene wrapping things up is a casualty of the editing.
     
  9. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    IIRC, season two episodes are about half-and-half/uncut-vs.-cut. From season three on, about 95 percent of the episodes are cut.
     
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  10. Message #310 of 368 Nov 27, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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  11. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    I bet you're right. I noticed on VEI's ebay seller page, that they are now selling empty plastic cases for DVDs... excess inventory. LOL
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-100-pieces-of-8-DVD-22mm-clear-cases-clear-BLOWOUT-FREE-SHIPPING-USA/263285647273?hash=item3d4d0c27a9:g:dRIAAOSwzXxZ9U99
     
  12. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    I'm 3/4 of the way through Season 4 myself. The two-part shows are uncut. And I found one PAL sourced episode that was uncut , but sped up. But uncut episodes are mostly found in Seasons 1 and 2.
     
  13. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Which is why that first-season Fall Guy release (the only one) was really not that much of a bother to me, despite the unmentioned edits and musical replacement: because I had never seen the show before, and as such, knew nothing of what it was about prior to the time I got that release.
     
  14. mattfire64

    mattfire64 Stunt Coordinator

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    There appears to be no rhyme or reason in terms of picture quality after Season 1. One episode will be from a rather "decent" tape, whereas the next episode will be sourced from an extremely poor quality tape that is almost VHS-like. The poor quality episodes are riddled with numerous analog video defects, things such as excessive dot crawl, ghosting, and odd crooked borders effecting one side of the screen. It is really amazing that CBS okayed prints of this quality for this day-in-age of HDTVs.

    I finally managed to analyze the rest of the discs in the set, and here are a few other random observations about the episodes:

    • I managed to find one more episode with the early 90s Worldvision logo ("Trap Play", from season 3). This episode is cut, but is one of the episodes that has better picture quality. I'm going to assume that most of the "better looking" unremastered episodes probably come from this print-run, whereas the poorer quality episodes come from print-runs done further back in the 80s. Why all the episodes weren't taken from the same print-run is a mystery, but it's actually a common problem with many CBS-owned series. Just watch several weeks worth of some of the unremastered shows (ie. Combat!, later seasons of Gunsmoke, Rawhide and The Beverly Hillbillies) in the CBS library on the current retro TV channels and count how many different closing logos are featured, all indicating different print-runs.
    • As stated above, all two-part episodes are uncut but several were originally aired in a two-hour timeslot. The CBS Syndication Bible states that two of the two-parters ("Echo of a Distant Battle" and "Nightmare in Hawaii") also exist in their original two-hour versions, but are still included in their syndication two-part form for this DVD set regardless.
    • The Syndication Bible states that 11 episodes are not available for syndication. However, almost all of these episodes are still sourced from old cut videotape copies that run at 46 mins. Only one episode (Part Two of "The Deadly Conspiracy") appears to have had a new uncut HD print created. This ultimately shows that CBS does have access to the original prints (How else could they have created a new master?) but still insist on using these old videotape transfers.
     
  15. classictvfan40

    classictvfan40 Second Unit

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    VEI now has the original complete set for $59 on its website.
     
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  16. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    I got my condensed Barnaby Jones set today! I have to agree with everything Matthew said in his review above. Sure, the case is tough to open, but the plastic case seems to be durable and may not crack as easy if you drop it, and it snaps shut tight. I think it's sturdier than the the clear plastic cases that CBS/Paramount is using for their complete series sets. Definitely better than the flimsy cardboard they used on Fox's Lost in Space blu-ray box. My set came with 2 notes urging me to call or email them first if I have any issues. They really don't want you to return the product--they will resolve any issues, so that's comforting.
     
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  17. rmw650

    rmw650 Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Hasslein

    Hasslein Second Unit

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    Does the condensed Cannon include the television movies that were in the big set?
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    How were you able to determine something was pal ?

    Generally the easiest way I've been able to figure out if something is pal, is if the pitch of voices and/or music is slightly higher than similar voices/music from an equivalent ntsc source.

    Another case is if I'm able to go frame-to-frame, a pal source might have a different cadence in the telecine. (ie. Squeezing 25 progressive frames into 60 interlaced frames).
     
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  20. mattfire64

    mattfire64 Stunt Coordinator

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    It includes the Pilot movie, but not "The Return of Frank Cannon".
     
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