Charlie's Angels (TV series) video quality

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jack_F, May 22, 2003.

  1. Jack_F

    Jack_F Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 27, 2002
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    Is it possible that the Charlie's Angels Season 1 set that is coming out Tuesday will be as good as the Cheers Season 1 set in terms of video quality? Was Charlie's Angels shot on film?

  2. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2002
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    Yes, it was film. I don't think there has ever been an hour long action series shot on videotape in the US.
  3. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

    Mar 9, 2001
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    I just spot-checked the "Charlie's Angels" Season 1 box set.
    First of all, the packaging is really lame. The five discs are each held in a new "ThinPak" case; one is clear and the other four are different shades of blue. They have no clear outer sleeves for cover art, such as "Family Guy" and "Futurama". (Maybe somebody will create some sleeve art for the five discs.) It really looks cheap and incomplete as is. There was absolutely no consideration given to the design of this set. At least all the cases could have been clear so the disc art would show through. The darker blue cases are very difficult to see through.

    Columbia has clearly put no money into the restoration of the episodes. I can only assume they used the best available elements. I'm afraid that I might discover an episode or two that was mastered from an edited-for-syndication print. (We know it's happened before.)

    Viewed on 32" display, they generally look ok; but not much better than a good cable broadcast. On a 61" RPTV, some compression flaws become noticeable. There's visible edge enhancement and some "blocking" in darker scenes and scene disolves.

    The transfer quality varies from episode to episode, and even within each episode. The pilot is in the worst shape. There is much film noise and faded color. The episode "The Mexican Connection" (disc 1) starts out beautifully. There's a scene near the start set outdoors by a pool. Nice natural lighting, warm colors, detailed close-ups...then the scene takes a drastic turn for the worse. It's like the film suddenly goes out of focus and the color pales. It appears as though this episode was "pieced" together from different elements.

    The menus are static, of course. There are no chapters within each episode. (How hard would it be to place chapter markers at the commercial breaks?) There is a "play all episodes" option from the menu, however.

    I do commend Columbia/Tri-Star for their commitment to TV-on-DVD lately. I am, however, disturbed by their consistent inconsistenty. (Did that make sense?) There's clearly a trend towards "how much can we cram onto the disc and how low can we price it?" It's a trend that could curb my enthusiasm for TV-on-DVD...if it continues.
  4. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Apr 1, 2000
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    Do the episodes feature the dreaded "Columbia/Tri Star Boxes" logo with that scary, loud music? God, I hate that logo.
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    Columbia has been going downhill ever since they started their Superbit marketing.
    this is kind of what some of us were figuring would happen- with a separate 'label' to denote 'quality', every other release becomes a crapshoot.

    i'm really very happy threat The Swimmer looks as nice as it does, but as you pointed out they are consistently inconsistent.

    sad news about the CA set.
    i wish i could cancel mine, but it just shipped today.
    if the quality is that dodgy i really don't need it.

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