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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JeffT., Jul 8, 2004.
Combat! season 1 DVD Review
Since I have been watching Combat on GoodLife and Action, I'm one who doesn't notice the time compression. Bring on the rest of the seasons!! (and Rat Patrol too!)
I checked out the first disk from Netflix the Video portion is pretty decent there's some flaws but I suspect the source. Since I never really watched Combat before the compression to me is not that noticible. THere's a slight higher pitch but nothing that is drastic. I guess if your a fan these are not a bad option, still I don't like toy suggest you support the practice of using time compressed episodes.
Just to show you how much misinformation is out there and how little even the people who work in the industry know, here is a post on the Combat yahoo group from someone at the Action Channel:
I want to clear up a common misconception of Combat
episode runtimes on the Action Channel as mentioned
below. The episodes we show on Action are not edited
nor time compressed. the reason they run 47 or 48
minutes is because they originally ran on COMMERCIAL
television. The 12 minutes remaining are for the
commercial breaks. Every time there is a dissolve to
black in the episode that dissolves back up to the
action is where the commercial break originally was.
The only time edited out of the episode is the
original commercial breaks - not content. This is why
the runtimes on the Combat DVD are not a full hour as
Now, it is true that in recent years older syndicated
television programs have been further trimmed to fit
in more commercials, please remember that Action is
not a commercial network! We do not use commercial
sponsors as we are supported by our subscribers
(that's you, folks!). Thanks for watching, and I hope
this clears this subject up.
The Action Channel
Of course this is patently false. I just timed out an episode last night, Rear Echelon Commandos, from the first season. Minus commercials and coming attractions, the show runs a shade under 50 minutes. Surprisingly, I did find that other than the bumper music and show logo used going into breaks, the sped up shows are complete. But its funny that this guy works at a network that picks up these shows and even he doesn't know that the tapes they sent him are not in their original form.
Mark, how can you make fun of someone for spreading misinformation when you were doing the same thing just a few weeks ago by insisting that it was "impossible" that the shows could be time-compressed, that something had to be edited? Now you've verified that it's true, which is good.
I do have to admit, though, that it is funny that the gentleman at the network turns his ignorance into a plug for the network.
I've held back until I took a look at the "Combat" DVDs myself. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Mark that they look terrible (I would say unwatchable, or close to it), and that DVD consumers would have been better off if Image had taken a stand and simply declined to proceed with the release of the series unless Buena Vista supplied then with acceptable elements.
The time compression is bad, but the worst problem is the soft, washed-out quality of the original video transfers. It may be the same masters that are being shown on cable, but it’s even more garish when you see the cruddy video element represented in a digital format. The only DVD release of a television show I can think of that looked any more hideous is A&E’s attempt at “Peter Gunn.” All I can say that’s positive is that I wish the studios would follow the lead of the “Combat” DVDs in drawing upon the producers and directors of TV series to provide episode-specific commentaries and interviews -- although in this case, the old silk purse/sow’s ear cliché applies.
To the folks who have said that they’re fine with the quality of these DVDs and would buy future volumes (already promised on the insert for “Combat” Season One, incidentally), I would like to suggest as politely as possible that your standards are too low. Wouldn’t a DVD release of a feature film from the same era be excoriated more or less unanimously in a forum like this if it looked as bad? And for anyone who truly can’t detect the effects of time compression, keep an eye peeled for the upcoming Universal “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” DVD. The syndicated edition of that show (still running on cable somewhere?) is one of the worst time-compression jobs ever, so if Uni does remaster it, a comparison between a TV broadcast and the DVDs will instantly demonstrate the difference.
Just to clarify, the point of Mark To's that I intended to second with regard to "Combat" was his comment that "people should stop being such wimps and taking whatever scraps the studios dish out .... The more people are willing to accept substandard releases, the more the companies will cheap out and give them substandard releases."
Apologies if I appeared to misrepresent Mark's opinion.
Thank you for clarifying. Randy's attitude seems to be, never knock the studios, regardless of what they put out, what condition its in, how little care or quality control goes into the product. Whether this is a biproduct of his position as a reviewer, receiving free copies of DVDs we have to pay for, or not, I don't know. I do know that after being on this board and reading a great many of the posts, he is the first one to post in defense of any criticisms. But I'm just curious to know, since many of the excuses are either the company is small, something is a niche product, a studio didn't know how well something would sell, etc., where do we set our standards? Or should we not set any standards and just be happy that we are getting anything at all on a show we want? Because some shows might only be expected to sell a few thousand pieces, is it okay for them to be taken off of whatever tape transfers are available, whether or not they are time compressed (like Combat) or have cuts in them (like I Spy)or have an episode with a line down the side of the screen (like episode 2 of Lost in Space)? Is it okay for a show like Sanford and Son to have cuts in it because Columbia charges a reasonable price? Does that mean that the same cuts would be unacceptable in a Universal or Warner Brothers release because they charge so much more for their sets? I'm just curious as to where we are setting the bar and how high or low it should be. I can't speak for everyone but for myself all I ask is for something to be complete, uncut and run the same speed as it did when originally aired on the network and if it doesn't have interference like LIS, well that's a nice thing too. What I don't appreciate is shoddy, sloppy work done by people who have no idea about the show they are working on. I've been in this hobby for 25 years and spent tens of thousands of dollars on tapes, films, transfers, trading, etc. I don't need the DVD industry to give me something I already have with the same quality I have it in. These things can easily be done properly with a little work and a little ingenuity. Companies that don't bother to use either should not be defended.
Mark, thanks for being such a great spokesperson for the classic shows. It,s nice to know that there are more than a few of us out there that appreciate these shows.
I bought Campaign 1 for my father, and while I haven't actually watched it myself and can't say anything about the episodes and their timing, I will say one thing: the packaging is terrible. Sure, it's secure, but my dad said he had trouble taking out discs 2 and 3 because they were on such a flat surface and couldn't push against anything to get out of the case. I've never seen any other four-disc set packaged like this.
Be very careful before posting similar remarks again towards another HTF member.
This seems to be the main discussion thread for Image Entertainment's two volume (or two campaign, two battle, two invasion or two whatever) DVD releases of the COMBAT! (ABC 1962-67) tv series!
The final COMBAT! - SEASON 5, INVASION ONE and TWO 4-disc DVD sets due out on August 30th, 2005 are reputed to be taken from newly restored and digitally remastered video transfers and not the inferior time-compressed tv syndication broadcast copies.
Is this true or not?
Can anyone here positively confirm this and what is your source of information?
Somebody here must know for certain! Right?
Before I place an online preorder I want to be absolutely certain that these two volumes will indeed be vastly improved editions from the previous series DVD releases (HA! HA!).
Has any forum member here purchased the recently released COMBAT! - SEASON 5, INVASION 1 and INVASION 2 sets yet?
I'd really like to hear whether superior source elements (as rumoured) were in fact used this time around.
This discussion forum has been strangely silent on the topic. Surely there are members of the COMBAT! fan organization (or whatever) that can enlighten the rest of us about the quality of these final two DVD sets.
I'm not a member of any fan clubs, but from the tapes I've viewed (and also what I've read) of Combat! over the years one thing I've noticed is that in both Combat's and also 12 O' Clock High's final seasons (1966 to 1967 for both) -- their only seasons in color, it was difficult to find color stock footage. In this case, WWII aerial film for 12 O'Clock High and tank footage for Combat!.
Remember that this was made at a time when networks were not comfortable airing a color show without inserting black & white footage. To do that with a dramatic war drama at that time just wouldn't have worked with the ratings, and I believe that was ABC's line of thinking for both series.
Colorization wasn't done back then, except perhaps with the manual hand tinting done to The Fugitive's familiar opening theme (the show itself shot on color film).
I didn't purchase any of the 10 sets (for 5 years) of Combat! and I don't plan to, but I've seen about 1/3 of the 152 episodes. It was a well-done series, and maybe somebody I will buy them. I wonder why Selig J. Seligman (if that was even his real name) didn't produce more shows in the years following Combat!
I have all 5 seasons of Combat! but I haven't viewed any from S5 yet; just got them this week.
I might be wrong on this one, but I'm a member of the Combat! forum and there are very knowledgeable members at that site, one member which worked with Image on getting the DVD's released (his name appears on one of the S1 DVD's ("TommyGun" is his 'net handle. He and I have traded some e-mails in the past). Anyway, I might be risking some "rath" of fellow HTF'ers here but it's my understanding that the previous season's releases S1 thru 4) are "time-compressed" (at least some of them are) but they are not the syndicated versions (in this case, syndicated means edited/incomplete footage as compared to the originally-aired episodes). I grew up watching this series and from what I've seen so far (I'm currently watching S2), it appears to me that this is true (no cut eps). Now, I'm the first to admit that I'm not the Combat! series expert that some of the Combat! forum members are, in particular, "T-Gun" (real name Steve Dawes from Omaha, NE), but it appears to me that this is the case with the S1-4 releases. As for the "time-compressed" issue, that's another story. That issue was debated in the Combat! forum a few months ago with great interest to me, that is. I learned some things about "Lexiconing" (the industry term for time-compression), and from what I read on the forum (some of the members work in the video/DVD production industry), Lexiconing does not remove any of the footage but speeds it up to allow the entities that broadcast the series in syndication to add commercial time. I'm not advocating Lexiconing, but (to me) it's a different issue than the "Darth Vader" of TV/DVD's...the "cut ep" issue.
A request before anyone posts replies: "Please don't shoot the messenger" I am relaying information that was told to me by the Combat! forum members, as well as checking (as I view them) to see if I can detect any cut-eps. So far I haven't seen this. Most of the Combat! forum members, needless to say, have aleady viewed the entire series up to S5. I haven't heard of any cut-eps detected. I haven't posted on the Combat! forum in a while and I'm behind in visiting the forum so I'll check on the cut-ep issue and post here when I get a chance (Murphy's Law #10373: The Yahoo server's acting up at the moment so I/m delayed in accessing the site at present )