Found Dawson's Creek Review....

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Dec 10, 2002
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tvshowsondvd.com has their review up for the first season of Dawson's Creek. I'm really glad to hear that all the songs are still in the episodes. I was worried they wouldn't have them.
 

Gord Lacey

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Well, as far as I can tell all the music is in there. There's Chumbawumba (haha...what happened to them?!?) a ton of "chick music", and some other stuff. I'm not a huge music buff, but they made a few comments about the music in the two commentary tracks.

I was very disappointed with the quality of the video. I checked IMDB and they list the show as being shot on 35mm, does anyone know if this is correct?

Gord
 

David Lambert

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Gord, is it the typical Columbia compression/low-bit-rate issue, or something else? I haven't read the review yet, but here you make it sound like something else.
 

Michael Pakula

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I was just on DVD File and they added their
review of Dawson's Creek. It seems Columbia
didn't do a very good job on the picture quality.


-Mike
 

Jerome

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It is Strange because here in France, a Best of DVD was released three years ago, with an isolated music track, a Trailer for the Show, and all the episodes with anamorphic video Masters. The show was Broadcasted on the French Channel in Full frame.

http://www.dvd-fr.com/dvd/dvd.php?id=1933

I don't understand, why it is not on the Region 1 DVD ?

 

Christian Preischl

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I don't understand, why it is not on the Region 1 DVD ?
Because the original aspect ratio of this show is 4:3. True, it has been shot wide to comply with HDTV standards, but the show was still composed for 4:3. In Germany, they started airing Dawson's Creek in WS from Season 4 onwards. There's a huge amount of revealing goofs (e.g. visible lighting rigs, lipsync and continuity issues) that all occur outside of the 4:3 frame and wouldn't be visible if the show were broadcast that way.

The first Season will be released in Germany in June, I'm really curious what aspect ratio it will have.

Also, I'm really disappointed at how little care Columbia puts into their TV product with regards to image quality. Mad about you sucked big time (overcompression only played a small part in it). And now Dawson's Creek sucks, too. What a shame.

BTW, the image quality on the R2 best of disc isn't that hot either.

Chris
 

Lewis_W

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The Region 2 best-of DVD of Dawson's Creek Seasons 1 & 2 has been out for quite a while. The episodes are presented in 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen.

I hope that Columbia Tristar release the season 1 boxed set over here soon, hopefully our boxed set will be in the same aspect ratio of the best-of DVD, not 4:3.

Cheers,
Lewis.
 

Florian B

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@Lewis_W: But 4:3 is the OAR, so it should be 4:3 in Europe as well! Otherwise I will be trapped: Bad video on R1 and wrong AR on R2. :-/

Surprisingly the German release (and I think R2 in general) will be a 4-Disc-Set. So I hope picture quality will be better. But there are no final details yet on the R2 (except for the 4 discs).

Gord, you mention in your review that "Detention" is the worst looking Ep. So is DVD-2 the one with 5 eps on it?
 

Gord Lacey

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No, this isn't the usual compressed video we see on Columbia TriStar sets. This has to do with the film, or the transfer, but not the compression.

Yes, the second DVD contains the 5 episodes and NO layer change. Yes, there are 3 episodes on one layer.

Here's the breakdown:
EP 1 - 44:15
EP 2 - 44:04
EP 3 - 43:59
EP 4 - 43:39
Disc 1 - 2:55:57

EP 5 - 43:50
EP 6 - 42:20
EP 7 - 44:20 (2:10:30 Layer 1)
EP 8 - 43:17
EP 9 - 43:20
Disc 2 - 3:37:07

EP 10 - 42:31
EP 11 - 43:53
EP 12 - 43:48
EP 13 - 44:00
Disc 3 - 2:54:12

I just did more checking into the "Detention" episode and it is a lower bitrate than the other episodes. I compared the opening of the first two episodes on the disc, and then "Detention" and it's dramatically different. I should have done this before writing the review, but I'll update it with this new information.

Idiots, all they had to do was put a layer change in there and it'd be fine. There aren't any extras on that disc either. There is some grain throughout all the episodes, but I guess the lower bitrate made the grain appear worse on "Detention" so the poor picture is the combination of both issues.

GRRRR!
Gord
P.S. maybe I'll post some screenshots from the episode showing how blown out the picture can get.
 

Sam Davatchi

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There's a huge amount of revealing goofs (e.g. visible lighting rigs, lipsync and continuity issues)
I’m not still convinced. It’s not like Buffy. The few episodes I have seen in WS, a dozen, they were all perfectly framed for widescreen and looked awfully chopped in 4:3.
 

Christian Preischl

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Well, when I clearly see a lighting rig in the 16:9 version that is outside the 4:3 frame, then 4:3 is OAR.
When I see a prop guy standing around outside the 4:3 frame only to be gone again in the next shot, then 4:3 is OAR.
When a guy is supposed to be lying naked in bed, yet in the 16:9 version you can clearly see he's wearing boxer shorts, the same boxer shorts he's only putting on 20s later, then 4:3 is OAR.

I don't know how much further proof you need. I'm not saying these kind of glaring mistakes happen in all episodes (I've seen all of Season 4 and the first half of Season 5 in WS), but they happen on a regular basis. True, there are shots that may look better in WS than in 4:3 (hell, that's even the case in some of the Buffy Season 4 shots), but that's nothing more than a (happy) accident. That doesn't change the fact that it's been composed for 4:3. And there's definitely a lot of dead space on the sides in Dawson's Creek. Over the shoulder shots look all right, but it becomes quite obvious in group scenes (especially around-the-dinner-table scenes).

I guess what it ultimately comes down to is that none of the shots won't work in 4:3, but numerous shots definitely don't work in 16:9. When the 16:9 version exhibits many revealing mistakes that are hidden in the 4:3 version, then how can 16:9 be the intended AR?

Chris
 

Lewis_W

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Do you really think that Columbia Tristar would release the episodes in Widescreen if it showed lighting rigs, props etc that you're NOT supposed to see? That would be a big mistake on their part, and considering that they are the professionals and the people who filmed it in the first place, I'd be suprised if they would make giant mistakes like this.

The four episodes I have in Widescreen, and seasons 4 and 5 that I've watched in Widescreen on TV have all seemed fine to me, I havn't spotted any mistakes.

Oh well. For me, I hope that the Region 2 boxed set(s) are in Widescreen.

Cheers,
Lewis.
 

Christian Preischl

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I havn't spotted any mistakes.
Well, with all due respect, but just because you haven't spotted them doesn't mean they're not there. Just 2 weeks ago I watched a Season 5 episode with some friends. When there was another typical lipsynch issue outside the 4:3 frame, nobody except me spotted it until I rewound the tape and pointed it out to them. Maybe I just pay more attention to the area outside the 4:3 frame because of the whole issue.

Chris
 

Christian Preischl

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Update: Details on the German release have finally emerged today, and it will be 4:3 as well.
Since the R2 will be presented on 4 discs instead of 3 (probably because of the additional language tracks and the higher resolution of PAL), it may be the way to go. I doubt the picture quality will be dramatically better, but at least the compression issues should be gone.

Chris
 

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