Has Universal Mended Its Ways?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    My experience with season 2 of “Emergency!” has been positive. First, I’ve experienced no digital breakup or image freezing on any of the episodes. Second, the only time that the Universal logo/fanfare is seen/heard is when the DVD loads (they've dropped the fanfare at the beginning of each episode). Finally, there is no reference to the discs being manufactured/assembled in Mexico on the slipcase, which has been alleged by some to be the source of the quality control issues on many of the TV sets released by Universal in 2005. On the downside, I did experience one relatively minor problem with an audio dropout lasting about two to three seconds on one of the episodes, but it did not affect dialog and, yes, the discs are still double sided.

    Of course, my experience with this set may not be, so to speak, “universal,” but it appears that the company may be addressing some of the issues that plagued their 2005 releases. In any event, it will be interesting to see comments on Universal’s TV-on-DVD sets as 2006 progresses.
     
  2. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    So did I! On my Magnum PI set, the audio drops out in one episode, maybe for 1-2 seconds. However, in my case dialogue (or rather: voice-over) is affected.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I had no problems with my copy of Gimme a Break: Season 1. The only reservation I had was that the outer casing was flimsy yet tight and it was difficult to get the individual boxes out of it.
     
  4. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    I have yet to pick up the Emergency sets but I went through five Magynum PI Season 3 sets before I found an error free copy of the set.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I had thought that Universal had corrected their problems (to some degree anyway) until alot of copies of Dune seemed to have problems for people.
     
  6. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    I think what the problem with the Universal discs is the copyright protection software they use may have something wrong with it and then when they compress the shows on the discs it causes freezing and skipping on the double-sided discs. What I think is that the copyright protection software may be outdated or not up to the job. I have three different very decent players and all of them only have a problem with Universal double-sided discs. So it cannot be any of my players. Anyone else notice that on the double-sided discs they usually skip toward the beginning or the end of the disc. On my Rockford Files dvds it says that they were manufactured in Taiwan. The last three dvd sets I bought were fine. But I think sometimes I just lucked out. Anybody else get a feeling of dread when buying Universal boxed sets? And feeling like you have to watch the whole thing to make sure you didn't get a dud?
     
  7. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    Definitely!

    When I finished watching Magnum PI and didn't have any problems, my thoughts were not "Well, of course it worked. Why wouldn't it?" No, I felt like I had won the lottery just because I have a working set.
     
  8. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Never! I have tons of Universal DVD18 sets and never had a problem and have never known anyone; friends, family and co-workers that have ever had a problem with one. The only discs I have ever had a problem with were DVD9's and only with 3 or 4 of them mostly on Paramounts Star Trek sets.
     
  9. Tony S

    Tony S Stunt Coordinator

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    Phyll, I was just wondering about the age of your 3 dvd players. I recently bought a new dvd player. Just out of curiosity I checked my Quantum Leap S3-Disc one that I had had problems playing on the old one. It worked fine on the new one. The old player was a Magnavox manufactured in 2001. The new one was also a Magnavox (different model) manufactured in 2005. The disk also played fine on my computer.

    I haven't had a chance to check my Knight Rider S2 disc that I had problems with yet. I had problems with that one on the old dvd player too, but it worked on the computer.

    The old player also froze up on my Pacifier dvd (not Universal), which I assumed because of scratches (bought used). But it played fine on the new player in that spot.
     
  10. Jonathan-P

    Jonathan-P Auditioning

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    I had problems with Miami Vice Season One. Locks up near the end of the first episode. Happened in my Sony DVD player, my XBOX 360 and in my PC. Only in my PC would it let me jump slightly ahead of the lockup.

    Makes me scared about all my sets because I don't watch them right away. I savour them. [​IMG]
     
  11. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    My dvd players are not the problem because out of hundreds of dvd box sets I have, only the Universal sets freeze up or skip on my players. Sometimes I have opened a Universal box set and before I even touched the disc, it was scratched,had fingerprints on it and had glue oozing out of the center. I think Universal needs some quality control. Just because your discs played fine the first time through doesn't mean they will be problem free on repeated viewing. I really believe my dvd players are fine. I handle my discs with care as well. My discs get the royal treatment because they are so expensive. I really don't want to be down on Universal because right now they are putting out the shows I want, but on the other hand why pay big bucks for a dvd set that you can only watch once? In my area the stores charge more for Universal titles. Well, that's just my opinion. Thank you and to all a good night.
     
  12. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    yes, most definitely.
    Quincy
    Rockford
    Bela Lugosi
    McCloud
    all pixelate and garble and breakdown and then skip as if from poor encoding.

    if i haven't encountered more problems on other sets, it's more likely that i just haven't gotten to a corrupted area yet.
    after sitting on the shelf for over a year, i just got around to watching Buck Rogers and have encountered the same thing on the last episode of the second side of disc 1.
    even if i could get a replacement i would have to watch about 8 hours of content again just to verify it was working properly. give me a break.
    but then i only paid $70 for what should i expect [​IMG]

    what's truly frustrating is that Universal has far and away my favorite tv material- there is still a ton of content they could put out that i would want to own, but i hate to reward substandard and indifferent quality.

    would love to storm the studio gates with a pitchfork though.
     
  13. Wayne Klein

    Wayne Klein Agent

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    The impression I got is that the problem with the discs freezing up, etc. is related more to the manufacturing of the DVD18s--we're talking a lot more layers and, as a result, a lot more potential for faulty product. It appears that the problem was related to these layers and defects in them (which you couldn't always see on the surface).
     
  14. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Columbo season 4 was wonderful. I didn't buy it until i KNEW for a fact it that it was NOT a DVD 18 release. The box even says double sided discs...but they were not. Great set, now give me more like it.
     
  15. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    I'd be happy, too, if they simply followed this example. All they really need to do is start using double slim cases for a six-disc set of DVD-9s, instead of three DVD-18s. Just about every other studio has moved to this format. It gives the consumers a higher quality product, while maintaining a compact package that saves the stores, and collectors, valuable shelf space. Everybody wins.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Supporting Actor

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    This is definitely good news.


    Paul
     
  17. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    well, the DUNE (Lynch) recently released on DVD 18 is mfg in Mexico and has a ton of complaints
     
  18. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    But Mark_TS it was beleived the Dune DVD was made over a year ago and had been sitting on Universals shelf for the "right moment", id guess.
    I did get the 4th season of Northern Exposure, and it is a DVD 18 release, so i hope it works all the way.
     

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