Combat TV series question

morasp

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I was interested in picking up the Combat TV series and found individual seasons on Amazon from LA Entertainment with a 2018 release date. Does anyone know if they are a legitimate studio and/or if this is a legitimate release? I've never heard of them before.
 
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Hollywoodaholic

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Those are definitely not the original season packaging (which I have the entire series on - and love it, by the way), but it probably just means some other company took over the licensing and now releases them. I'm sure someone who knows will check in and give you a more definitive answer, but my take is that they are legitimate releases if they're on Amazon, but just repackaged by a new distributor.
 

Flashgear

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Steve, I searched for any press release announcements and couldn't find any. I also have never heard of LA Entertainment. There is a website that I found for a label of the same name (LA Entertainment Worldwide Pty. Ltd.) and it is an Australian company, with a street address in New South Wales and phone, Fax and Email contacts that look legit. The website lists and pricing are via download, and I didn't open any.

Website https://www.laew.com.au/
Email contact from that website [email protected]
You could inquire about them via that Email? If you do, let us know what you get back...

I looked at the Amazon listing for season one, with a release date of April 27, 2018. I couldn't find any customer reviews for the new single season LA releases that are after that date. All of the customer reviews pre-date that and appear to be for the Image releases. But I would guess these are legit. And at $26.99 for each 8 DVD (All Regions) set, a real bargain. I think it would be worth trying them for season one, at least. You should check out prices for used sets in the old Image editions as well. Some real bargains in used sets, often nearly new, but caveat emptor...


https://www.amazon.com/Combat-Compl...07CN4MWPZ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Based on what I know about your interests and tastes in vintage TV, I can almost guarantee that you would love Combat! You can view all the episodes in decent quality on Youtube as well. It's a top ten show in my lifetime collection. I absolutely love it and it represents some of the absolute best hard hitting drama of 1960s American TV...
Losers 29.JPG

Losers 31.JPG

Losers 37.JPG
 
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JohnHopper

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Combat! is easily the best WWII series of the Sixties.
Too bad the prints of the Image Entertainment edition were time-compressed hence the blurry quality of the episodes,
except season 5 in color which was restored. There were no English subtitles, by the way.
 

BobO'Link

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These are less expensive from deepdiscount.com (S1 on the link). You can also purchase them from deepdiscount via their Amazon presence for roughly the same price (after shipping's been added). Best bet... deepdiscount and wait for a 15% off sale. They've been fairly regular with these.
 
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morasp

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Steve, I searched for any press release announcements and couldn't find any. I also have never heard of LA Entertainment. There is a website that I found for a label of the same name (LA Entertainment Worldwide Pty. Ltd.) and it is an Australian company, with a street address in New South Wales and phone, Fax and Email contacts that look legit. The website lists and pricing are via download, and I didn't open any.

Website https://www.laew.com.au/
Email contact from that website [email protected]
You could inquire about them via that Email? If you do, let us know what you get back...

I looked at the Amazon listing for season one, with a release date of April 27, 2018. I couldn't find any customer reviews for the new single season LA releases that are after that date. All of the customer reviews pre-date that and appear to be for the Image releases. But I would guess these are legit. And at $26.99 for each 8 DVD (All Regions) set, a real bargain. I think it would be worth trying them for season one, at least. You should check out prices for used sets in the old Image editions as well. Some real bargains in used sets, often nearly new, but caveat emptor...


https://www.amazon.com/Combat-Compl...07CN4MWPZ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Based on what I know about your interests and tastes in vintage TV, I can almost guarantee that you would love Combat! You can view all the episodes in decent quality on Youtube as well. It's a top ten show in my lifetime collection. I absolutely love it and it represents some of the absolute best hard hitting drama of 1960s American TV...
View attachment 50780
View attachment 50781
View attachment 50782
Thanks for looking that up and posting those still pictures. I think your right it is worth a try and if it turns out to be sub par I could always send it back.
 

morasp

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These are less expensive from deepdiscount.com (S1 on the link). You can also purchase them from deepdiscount via their Amazon presence for roughly the same price (after shipping's been added). Best bet... deepdiscount and wait for a 15% off sale. They've been fairly regular with these.
Thanks, how does the 15% discount work, do they send a notice or do you just keep checking for it?
 
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BobO'Link

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Thanks, how does the 15% discount work, do they send a notice or do you just keep checking for it?
If you sign up for email offers, etc. they'll email you when a new one hits. Otherwise just check the site every couple of days. There's also a thread on dvdtalk.com for those codes that gets updates whenever a new one hits - although I don't know why we don't have one here... I think I'll fix that. Most are short-lived, only lasting 24-48 hours but sometimes they'll go for a couple of weeks. It really depends on if it's a generic, almost everything included (usually only a day or three), or genre/studio sales (sometimes go on for weeks). Right now there's a Select Horror 15% off sale going on. They've had a generic, almost everything included, 15% off sale every 2-3 weeks for the past few months. They almost always have a 15% off sale during BF week.

Biggest downside is a $25 minimum order for free shipping and the total is post-coupon/code. Upside is they don't charge sales tax for most states... yet...
 

Brent Reid

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The Oz discs are bootlegs. On their local eBay they're only available from two highly suspect bulk sellers. It wouldn't surprise me if they were linked. Look at the massive inventories for both: all instantly recognisable major studio product, including many rare TV series. All very impressive, but the overwhelming majority of it is region free and in the NTSC format. It took seconds to ID a dozen titles that have only ever been released elsewhere with region coding – including Combat! – after that I stopped counting. What's more, Australia's a PAL country, so what are the chances of most of their domestic DVDs suddenly becoming NTSC overnight? Unless they're counterfeits that sell more by being playable worldwide? And as for LA Entertainment's "website" – laughable.

Or maybe I'm just getting cynical in my old age... <_<
 
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LeoA

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I hope this is legitimate. I sadly missed out on both runs of this, and the bootleg situation has scared me off from buying on Ebay.

If anyone takes a chance, I'd love to see some pictures and your impressions on the quality.
 

BobO'Link

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I purchased one of the Season 1 sets from "LA Entertainment" via deepdiscount. The box is an 8 disc translucent box with 1 disc each on the front/back and 3 2-sided pages with the other 6 discs. The artwork outer wrap has a copyright warning that includes this bit:
It is licensed not for sale outside Australia and New Zealand
I find that just a bit laughable as the distributor's name and/or address is nowhere to be found on the set and it's being imported all over the place.

Image quality of the episodes is generally good, sometimes a bit soft, but quite watchable (I have a 40" set and sit ~8 feet from the screen). They look about like many other TV transfers from the early years of DVD. When you get up close to the screen you can see some compression issues but they're barely noticeable on most scenes from my normal viewing distance (and mainly if you're looking for them). The 2 discs I checked are single layer @4.16GB - not a good sign. I've read complaints about the video quality on the original sets and these look to be 100% dups of those sets, right down to the Image logo and warnings before the episode menu comes up. So... were the Image ones like this or does this scream "bootleg!"? I don't know. Someone with an Image set would need to check theirs for the overall specs. My current player doesn't report bit rates so I don't know what those might be.

Audio is also good but there's a bit of "stutter" (basically a slight "hit" in the audio about twice per second) in *some* music - what I've come to associate with sped up soundtracks - but the video has no such "tells" for having been sped up (usually a "hard" but slight bounce every couple of seconds). That leads me to believe these are not likely sped up as the music issue can also be caused by other transfer issues. Overall, it's not too distracting and isn't there all the time. Voices do not sound sped up.

The printing on the disc labels *is* just a bit soft, but not overly so. It's the same for the case outer wrap. You really have to look close/pay attention to notice this. From what I can tell, they're identical to those used on the "Official" Complete Series box set (keep in mind I'm going strictly by rather small photos of the US sets). The main "tell" here is the added rating rectangle/square is quite sharp/crisp. That rating square is also not on the discs themselves, something that's typical of foreign releases.

The discs are pressed and have proper inner ring "bar code" and set informational/ID numbers (different on each disc as should be). The one *pressed* TVonDVD set I have that I absolutely know is bootleg does not have this on the discs. Again... this may mean nothing.

NTSC is *nowhere* on the label or discs.

So... bootleg? The set seems a bit suspect but, based solely on reports of the Image releases, looks to be identical having possibly the same issues in those sets. I'm happy with the set and general quality considering the $17 I paid. Whether or not I'll purchase more from this "distributor" will depend on if I think 1 season is enough after watching all the episodes.

**EDIT**
I see that I forgot episode lengths. Those are ~46-48 minutes each. A bit shorter than normal for that era but I've also read that in an interview on one of the discs (don't know which season/set) about "Social Security in Action" that the host, when talking to Vic Morrow about his career, mentions that the episodes of Combat! were 60-minutes long. Morrow corrects him saying: "47-minutes of actual show and the rest is commercials." Since Morrow directed some episodes I'd think he would be very familiar with the show length.

I should also better define those compression artifacts I've seen. It's in blacks where they don't flow cleanly from one level to another. Exactly like those you see in Mill Creek PD release sets. It's absolutely noticeable if you're close enough. I just happen to sit far enough away from the set that they blend and aren't reddily apparent.
 
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BobO'Link

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Here's another observation...

The discs are apparently identical to the so called "Campaign 1" and "Campaign 2" sets with new disc labels. I just noticed tonight while ejecting a disc that the main menu had "Campaign 2 Disc 2" as the sub title. Of course these are labeled "Disc 1, disc 2, disc 3, etc." with the C2D3 one actually being labeled as Disc 7 on the disc art. These also have all the commentaries and other bonus features from those previous sets - or at least I think they do. There are quite a few commentaries, a few extra bonus videos here and there, and text "Bloopers/blunders/trivia" pages for every episode.

It's also quite annoying that the episodes are *not* in original air date order but jump all over. I don't know if this is production order and haven't noticed anything truly odd with the episode order. Still, I'd rather they follow the original air dates.

I'd really like to get hold of one of those original sets to see just how different, if at all, the video looks. I'm pleased with the set but still don't know if I want any more. I did watch this one some during the original airings and recall enjoying it then but I also know I didn't watch past season 1. I need to look up the TV schedules for those years to see what pulled me away...
 
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Bob Gu

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The 47 minutes Vic Morrow mentions in that interview refers to actual story length, without opening theme, end credits, and bumpers.

The unsped color Season 5 DVD episodes are around 50 minutes, without bumpers. Bumpers would bring an hour show of that time up to 51-52 minutes.

There are some episodes of THE BIG PICTURE, the U.S. Army documentary series, on YouTube, that feature Vic Morrow, on camera, in his Saunders outfit, pretending to be doing a scene from COMBAT! He also narrates the episodes. Too bad Image could not have found those episodes, for the DVDs, or the Public Service Announcement Morrow did, for the National Guard, during the Season 4 episode, "Breakout"'.
 
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Jari K

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Hi.

I’m getting rid of some of my old DVDs and noticed that several discs from the original ”Combat! - The Complete Series” 40-disc set seems to be unplayable. It looks like a ”disc rot” of some kind, but I can’t be sure. Haven’t tried to clean them yet, though, but I don’t hold my breath (the surface looks pretty bad).

Just FYI that it’s probably best to double check your set if you own the same. It’s this one from Image Entertainment (the discs are double-layer, if I recall):
Amazon product
 

LeoA

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I believe the early Image releases for this were encountering problems with rot as long as a decade ago, if I'm remembering old posts at this forum correctly. I remember holding off because of it, but sadly missed my chance at their second complete series release that seemed to go out of print quickly.

I also remember being concerned it would strike The Dick Van Dyke Show, but those discs in the original complete series set are still going strong for me (Despite owning the Blu-Ray's, I still regularly view the old DVD's in my bedroom).
 

RICK BOND

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I have this set. I happen to have watched an episode from it a few days ago. No problems.

Combat!: The Complete Series
I Wish this was being released on Bluray ! But I guess that will Never Happen. :( Also hoping for Car 54 Where are You ? and The Munsters.
 

BobO'Link

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I believe the early Image releases for this were encountering problems with rot as long as a decade ago, if I'm remembering old posts at this forum correctly. I remember holding off because of it, but sadly missed my chance at their second complete series release that seemed to go out of print quickly.
I read that same thing and waited only for that 2nd release to go OOP quickly. I have the Australian release of Season 1 (purchased from deepdiscount). It looks OK, but could really stand a remaster job, and it works on R1 players with no issues (don't know if they're region free or not - just that they work).
 
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Jari K

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A Blu-ray release would probably mean that they should prepare a brand new masters for the HD/4K age. An expensive endeavour, I would imagine. Then again they have released series like Miami Vice, Magnum P.I. and Knight Rider on Blu-ray, but some decent HD masters probably were (already) available with those. With Combat!, it (probably) means going back to the original negatives (or close) and start from scratch. It also seems that "war" as a genre is a bit out of fashion (at least WW2).

Not sure why the "second" DVD release went also OOP so quickly (if that was the case), maybe there are some copyright/licensing issues also. It's a bummer that I didn't back up my discs a long time ago. Maybe I missed all the disc rot reports.
 

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