Help on THE PRISIONER R1 vs. R2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roy Batty, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Second Unit

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    Jose M Mendez
    I am trying to find out the exact differences between the USA and the UK editions of the THE PRISIONER TV series boxsets, but I am at a loss here.
    Maybe it's just me, but, despite the reviews I have read, I don't know still if I should go for one or the other.
    I would be interested in knowing of differences in contents (bonus materials) as well as in the audio/video quality department.
    Other than the fact that the UK edition comes in a 5-disc set, while the USA edition is a 10-disc set, I have no real, hard facts on them. And does this mean that episodes in the UK edition are more crammed up, that is, higher compression/lower quality?
    Oh! And does this boxset image really correspond to any of both releases? Because from the images featured on online retailers, none of them look as a fold-out set to me, but a slipcase.
    [​IMG]
    Please, I would greatly appreciate any solid info on the matter.
    Thanks!
     
  2. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    According to DVDCompare.org.uk there is no difference between the sets.
    They would probably mention if there was a doubling of compression going on. How many episodes were there? Buffy fits on 6 discs with 22 and featurettes. I don't remember The Prisoner being as long as that, even...
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    The US release is on single-layer DVD-5, the UK version double-layered DVD-9.

    Hence the US version takes up twice as many discs.

    I'd recommend the US version if you have an NTSC TV.

    It is interesting to compare that most discs of 'The Avengers' have 3 episodes on a DVD-9. However, if you look at the discs on a PC, you'll note that they didn't use 25% of the space. Hence, you do not get the extra picture quality that one would get if they had used the extra space to crank up the average bitrate.

    It is also worth noting that these old shows take up close to an hour, where a contemporary show like 'Buffy' only takes up 44 minutes. Hence, 4 episode of 'Buffy' on a DVD-9 disc actually gets to use a good deal more bits than 4 epiodes of a classic drama.
     
  4. Sarah S

    Sarah S Second Unit

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    Sadly, the stations favor the advertisers rather than the shows that people actually try to watch.....thus the steady decline of the show to ads ratio. (Of course, you know this already. [​IMG])I predict that in a few years, (or at least my lifetime) what was once originally an hour show will run exactly 30 minutes & a 1/2 hour show will run 15 min.
    Too bad they havn't yet figured out how put a totally show-free commercial-only channel on the air. But then, I would know which channel to stay away from. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sam Owens

    Sam Owens Stunt Coordinator

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    There's also an R4 on the way. I'd imagine it would use the R2 transfer, although it will be much cheaper than even the R2.
    As an ex-owner of the R2, either that or the R4 will be pretty good (just don't get it confused with Prisoner, a 1970s Aussie show set in a women's prison with characters such as The Freak and Vinegar Tits [​IMG] ). A number of members of The DVD Forums have whinged err... complained about compression artifacts, but I didn't notice them often (the images had been restored and looked pretty good IMO), and I'd rather have the extra $ to put towards more DVDs.
    www.fbo.com.au has the R4 for a good price.
     
  6. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

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    The Carlton (Region 2) Prisoner are crawling with compression artefacts, including blocking and pixellation. There's also a lot of excessive Digital Video Noise Reduction, which often results in (what should be static) objects moving out of sync with their backgrounds.
    These were early efforts from Carlton, whose recent discs (like the fabulous UFO set) have generally been excellent. The Prisoner badly needs remastering.
     
  7. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I know that the A&E discs look pretty good, but they're REALLY expensive-I seem to remember the R2 set being much cheaper.
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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  9. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    It's also worth pointing out that The Prisoner (like all of ITC's output of the 60's and 70's, such as Thunderbirds, Space:1999 and so forth) was shot on film, and therefore plays at the correct speed on A&E's R1 discs.
    Having grown up with speeded-up PAL versions of films and film-originated TV, I'm forever grateful to the DVD format in allowing me to watch stuff at the speed at which it was made! [​IMG]
     
  10. Sam Owens

    Sam Owens Stunt Coordinator

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    www.mvc.co.uk (a crap UK etailer) has each of the Prisoner R2 discs for 7 quid each. This means it should cost about 35-40 quid, or about $US60.
     
  11. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    MVC is a retail chain of shops in the UK, where you have to be a member to get the best price. The e-tailing has come along more recently.
    I quite like my local MVC, if only for the members-only evenings they occasionally have (usually pre-sale or at Christmas), complete with extra discounts (and free nibbles & drink! [​IMG] )
     
  12. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

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    There's a box set coming out in Australia, which might be a big improvement on the UK version. It's listed at various retailers, like www.ezydvd.com.au.
    Here's a better pic of the box:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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    I think the fold out case is the ?French? R2 version.
    The Carlton UK R2 version is five discs in seperate
    black plastic Amaray cases. The 5 cases are also sold
    in a cardboard slipcase for the UK 5 disc set.

    A&E has been very good about sending out a FREE cardboard
    slipcase for the US people who over time picked up
    all of the 10 US cases.
     

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