'BUFFY' dvd's, yet another reason NOT to listen to dvd reviews.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Over the past couple of weeks, i've been reading quite a bit from members here, as well as reviews at The Digital Bits about how "terrible" the video quality is on this set. Now, as I was reading these, I did not yet have the set, but had a sneaky feeling that the ones who were slamming these discs were clearly not aware of how this show has always looked. I was confident that they were making too big of a deal out of it, and that the dvd's were fine.
    Well I finally picked them up on Friday and I was right, these dvd's are just fine! In fact, given that I know very well how these first 12 episodes originally looked, they look much better than I remember.
    I may have went off a little half cocked in my topic header, I love reading Ron's and Obi's reviews, and most of the time they're right on the money, however it's instances like this where dvd reviews can't be considered reliable and accurate until you see for yourself. A few members even stated that they actually boosted the black level on their displays to try to improve the dark quality that is one of the characteristics of the first couple of seasons of 'Buffy'.
    This is not necessary.
    So my question to the ones who did this is, why did you bother to calibrate your display if your just going to change it to accomidate this show? The whole point of calibration is so that everything you watch will be displayed accuratly on your display device, and as far as I know, 'Buffy' follows the NTSC standards, so why make changes to your display?
    Let me assure you that 'Buffy' looks accurate on my calibrated display, it was dark, but it IS dark, and the dvd's are an accurate representation of this first season. In short, anyone who boosts their black level for this show is making a mistake.
    To FOX, you did a great job on these discs, 'Buffy' never looked this good before and I am damn proud to have the entire first season on dvd in my collection![​IMG] [​IMG] June can't get here fast enough for me!
     
  2. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I am never that harsh about video standards and I thought it looked great.
    However, the first disc of Season 2 really did look awful. [​IMG]
     
  3. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I agree. The discs are a good representation of low low budget film that is trying to be moody. Still, I'm not sure it's unfair for reviewers to grade the source material as well as how it's presented.

    My TV is pretty well calibrated with Video Essentials, and I've had no problem with darkness so far. I never adjust brightness becuase it drives me crazy when blacks aren't black, and Buffy S1 is mostly black. I think they intentionally erred on the side of too dark.

    There's a shot later on (in season 2) that is so grainy and colorless I wouldn't have broadcast it, and it will probably cause some to criticize the disc.

    It all looks quite a bit better than what makes it to me on cable!
     
  4. Alan_Horner

    Alan_Horner Stunt Coordinator

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    I was also surprised to see just how good the Buffy Season One discs looked. Pre-release reviews downplaying the video quality very nearly had me canceling my order, and I'm really glad that I didn't. I recently came across the airing of a Season One Buffy episode on the FX cable station and it looked nowhere near as good as the one presented on DVD. As Joss Whedon himself says in one of the commentaries, it's easy to think that these episodes were shot on 35mm and not the 16mm that was actually used. 16mm! My only complaint is that the Dolby Surround mix for the Buffy episodes is weak, but I've felt that way about most mixes for tv shows. I just disable that function, however, and things are fine.

    Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, of course, but it's nice that we have forums like this so that others can balance reactions from both reviewers and consumers.
     
  5. TomF

    TomF Stunt Coordinator

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    My reactions are similar. For some of the more die-hard hobbyists, I think part of the fun is watching DVDs with a real critical eye for even subtle deficiencies and then discussing how they could be better. That's great, but I hope I never develop quite that critical of an eye. Many DVDs that get bashed for one video/audio deficiency or another, I am able to sit back and enjoy and still marvel at their quality. The Godfather was one example, and Buffy season one is another...I love the show and am very happy with the DVD presentation. Can't wait for season two as I did not start watching until season three.
     
  6. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Well, UPN reception usually cuts out at least once during every episode, so anything is an improvement for me [​IMG]
    -Dave
     
  7. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  8. Dave Anderson

    Dave Anderson Second Unit

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    The Digital Bits did rate Buffy S1 with a B+, but you wouldn't have figured such by their comments on the image. I think DVDers are becoming rather spoiled.
     
  9. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    I'm not sure how anyone can judge a TV show transfer to DVD.

    I'm currently watching Buffy for the first time in reruns, and I've watch some of the UPN reruns, some of the FX reruns and some on local stations.

    In every case, the broadcast quality is less than almost any reasonably well made DVD.

    So, I have absolutely no way of knowing what the original looks like, or how good it could look.

    This is an entirely different situation from Phantom Menace or 2001, where I remember quite well what the original looked like on the silver screen.
     
  10. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  11. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

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    The review that has scared me off from buying this set was DVDFile, where they said:

     
  12. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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  13. Doug R

    Doug R Supporting Actor

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    I have to agree.. I saw so many ppl complaining I thought I had made a bad purchase.. but then watched several episodes and they're better than FX reruns on DirecTV. This is the best they've ever looked. Some people expect too much.
     
  14. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    I haven't even seen Buffy the show more than a few times or the DVDs, but to add a general comment that relates to DVD reviews: I'd say that 90% of my DVDs, I would give a video score of 4/5 or better. Does that just mean that I've picked out only the best DVDs? Not necessarily, since many of these DVDs have received less-than-excellent reviews. DVD reviews would be boring, if everyone went something like THIS DVD LOOKS PERFECT.

    For example, DVDFile didn't give The Ultimate Toy Box a perfect score for extras. Review scores just don't make sense most of the time, and too often review sites are too hesitant to give perfect scores for outstanding quality. Nitpicking annoys me when it goes beyond simple video transfer complaints.
     
  15. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    So to sum up, as those before me have said

    1-Season 1 looks this crappy on the original masters

    2-There is nothing wrong with these DVDs

    3-There is no need to adjust your set

    4-Buy these DVDs NOW!
     
  17. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I'm in the same boat with Ken: It is simply wrong to compare transfers for a made-for-tv show with the same criteria as you do for a big-budget movie transfered to DVD. It's not an apples to apples comparision.

    I'm really enjoying the set.
     
  18. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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    I am pleasantly surprised by this set as well. I'm a "Buffy" virgin, having only caught bits & pieces on broadcast TV. My memory of these is that they didn't look too good. The DVD looks great in comparison. Yes, it's dark, but it's very watchable.
    BTW, I'm really enjoying the series. Count me as a "Buffy" convert. [​IMG]
     
  19. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Dumb question:

    This set has 12 episodes. Were there only 12 episodes in Buffy season 1?
     
  20. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Sean: Yup. Buffy was a mid-season replacement.
     

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