Since someone asked about the Columbia House "All in the Family" DVDs in an I Love Lucy thread, I wanted to start a new thread to make sure they see it. I finally got the first DVD in the mail today. After throwing a fit, thinking the pilot episode wasn't included (I'd been sure the series opened with the episode where Mike comes to dinner and meets Archie for the first time, but after searching on the Internet for info I believe this was a later flashback), I was able to evaluate the disc. The good news: The DVD series is in chronological order, starting with the pilot episode, "Meet the Bunkers," and continuing with episodes 1-3 ("Writing the President," "Oh, My Aching Back" and "Archie Gives Blood"). Now the not-so-good news: Extras are at a bare minimum, and several of the extras are screwed up. For example in the cast bio section, ONLY Caroll O'Connor's bio is included! It just goes straight to his -- doesn't even list the other actors. (Unless this is a glitch with my player.) The other error is that if you try to access "Scene Selections" from the Bonus Materials menu, it only gives you episodes 2-4 to choose from! Fortunately, all episodes are accessible from the main menu. There's a chapter stop at the beginning of each section coming in from a blackout. Also in the Bonus Material are the complete lyrics to "Those Were The Days" (including verses never sung by Archie and Edith), a relatively brief synopsis called "Origin" of how the series came into being, plus the botched Scene Selections and Cast Info. Now, on to the picture quality... First, comparing this with I Love Lucy is comparing apples and oranges, because Lucy was shot on film while All in the Family was shot on videotape that was probably of comparable quality to VHS tape today. The pilot appears to be taken from more than one videotape source. The opening song looks quite good, but part one of the show does not hold this promise -- it's somewhat grainy and faded looking. I hate to say it, but it looks about like good VHS. Then, after the first commercial break, the picture quality improves dramatically. It's suddenly sharp, with brighter color and hardly a hint of grain. Was the first reel of the original tape master damaged, I wonder? Unfortunately, the next episode goes back to looking about like the first half of the pilot, maybe a little better. The third episode on the disc, "Oh, My Aching Back," seems slightly better still, and the last episode, "Archie Gives Blood," shows still more improvement in color and sharpness, though it's not quite as free of grain as the last half of the pilot. I really don't know how to judge the picture. This is videotape, it's not film, so I don't have anything else from the period on DVD to compare it to. The latter half of the pilot makes me think that CH may be using the best available source material -- it sure looks great -- but I don't know. Was I disappointed? Yes, a bit. Like I was disappointed in my first I Love Lucy volume. But those improved, so I'm hoping All in the Family will, too. And it was sure interesting to see the earliest episodes, mainly in how much Edith's character changed (she actually gets sarcastic with Archie in the pilot -- she got dumber and sweeter as the series progressed) and in how much more antagonistic Michael and Archie's relationship became over time. Michael corrected Archie as much as ever from the start, but he didn't seem to get as angry, and their relationsihp in general didn't seem to be quite as antagonistic as it soon became.