Discussion in 'Testing' started by Vince Maskeeper, May 14, 2003.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    This thread is a summary of the previous 30+ page discussion on the topic of flawed BTTF DVDs. All further discussion can take place here and the old thread is now closed, but will remain available for ref.

    HTF BACK TO THE FUTURE framing and return policy FAQ and Summary.

    1. What exactly is wrong with BTTF DVD set?

    There are several framing errors in BTTF Parts 2 and 3 in the widescreen version, causing the frame to be too open at the top and cut at the bottom-- in at least once case ruining a sight gag. This framing error has been noticed by numerous members of this forum, and was even noticed by producer BOB GALE who pressured Universal to redo the transfers. Universal's official statement says it only affects a few minutes (2 min and 4 min respectively) of the films, but from other viewers and other sources the error in framing appears any time there is not a Visual Effects Shot. There is a 10 page discussion on the topic complete with screencaps here: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=112569

    The official Universal statement is: "Universal Studios Home Video is aware of a minor technical framing issue on the "Back to the Future Trilogy" widescreen DVDs. The framing appears differently from the laser disc releases for approximately two minutes during "Back to the Future II" and four minutes on "Back to the Future III." The framing difference is unnoticeable to widescreen DVD viewers and does not detract from or interrupt the viewing experience."
    This statement will probably be read to you if you call for replacement discs.

    2. Is BTTF Part 1 affected?

    Though there has been a few debates to the contrary, it seems that the framing on BTTF looks correct and matches the previous laserdisc release.

    3. Are there any other problems with the set?

    Well, some of the standard problems that affect almost every major release: Some brands of players are reporting lockups (JVC, Sony and Newer Toshiba players specifically)- but this seems to be isolated to particular hardware or faulty discs that work fine after being returned.

    In addition, there have been some criticisms of the sound (at least one person has voiced complaints for each of the films)- but it is not what I would call "widespread". BTTF2, specifically during the "ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA DANCE" sequence appears to have a weird phasing sound which causes a warble, and seem more apparent on headphones. The warble was brought to the attention of Bob Gale, and the majority of the problem was fixed in the repressing- although some have still found "errors" in the V2 version when compared to the French track.

    There is also, supposedly an error in the French dub on Part 3 that was corrected.

    4. Isn't the "TO BE CONTINUED" title missing from the set?

    No matter what you think you remember, this title was not added until home video- and the DVD [correctly] reflects the theatrical experience of this film. If you don't believe me, check the commentary track or the Q/A section on the DVDs.

    5. So what is being done about the problem(s)?

    Universal and Producer Bob gale have been very upfront about the framing problem upon discovery and have redone the transfers and have made replacement discs available. All you have to do is send in your errored discs to Universal and they will ship you replacements. The replacements are shipping as of March 2003, and Bob gale commented on them here: http://www.bttf.com/backtalk/20030328.shtml


    Replacements for US people:
    Call (888) 703-0010 and talk to a customer service rep. They will send you a prepaid mailer. NOTE; This call center might not be in the US, so the people you talk to might not speak English all to well. Be patient, and make sure they spell back your info to be sure you get a mailer.
    When you get the mailer, it will be shipped to Back to the Future DVD Returns, PO Box 224468, Dallas, Texas 75260. If you don't want to wait for a mailer, you can just send the discs yourself to the above address, with the following info: Name, Full Mailing Address, Daytime Phone, Reason for Return (hah!). Package Discs up without the case, just discs 2 and 3 and no receipt is needed.
    If you want to check the status of returned discs, call 972-293-5903 or email universalstudios&[email protected]

    I do not think it is possible to get a mailer by emailing universalstudios&[email protected], this address can only let you know if they have received discs (and it takes a few days to get a response).

    For Canadians:
    Call (866) 532-2202 and talk to a customer service rep. They will send you a prepaid mailer. If you don't want to call, you can email your information to [email protected] to get a prepaid mailer.

    For International Customers with R1 release:
    Two options:
    One you can just send your discs to the customer service center: Back to the Future DVD Returns, PO Box 224468, Dallas, Texas 75260. Include the following info: Name, Full Mailing Address, Daytime Phone, Reason for Return (hah!). Package Discs up without the case, just discs 2 and 3 and no receipt is needed.
    Two, you can call or email Melissa McGee for Canadian returns. Some international customers have been able to get replacement discs without even returning their faulty ones through Melissa. Email [email protected] or call (866) 532-2202. Just write her a polite email/call and ask for instructions as an international customer

    There does not appear to be a postage paid mailer program for international customers (like their is for US and Canada)- but many have gotten discs by simply sending their faulty ones back and including their information.

    For international customers with NON-Region 1 versions of BTTF:
    contact Universal Pictures + 49 40 35008 01
    Kaiser Wilhelm Strasse 93 T: +49 40 35008 357
    D-20355 Hamburg F: +49 40 35008 360

    Please send your "Back To the Future" discs 2 & 3 (without the case) to the address below and we will replace the two discs for newly-pressed DVDs with updated framing. Please enclose a letter stating your Name, Full Mailing Address, Daytime Phone Number and your reason for return. Please allow 4 weeks from April 30 for your replacement discs to be dispatched.
    BTTF Exchange / UPA Customer Service
    PO Box 17
    Millers Point NSW 2000

    According to Total DVD Online
    Phone 08705 900909, where a customer service operator will advise you on the replacement procedure.

    6. How long does it take?

    Well- it varies. At first it seemed to take a long time- but there was no official start of shipping, so the turnaround time was months for those who sent back discs in January when replacement was first announced. Recently, it seems that getting a mailer takes less than a week- and getting replacement discs takes a couple weeks at most.

    7. If I'm international, will I get hit with big customs and duty charges?

    The answer seems to be no. The returned shipment has Declared value of $40 and states to "Bill duty, tax and shipping charges to shipper." Replacement products are not liable to duty and VAT (at least for England) so if anybody's packages are charged, you should be entitled to a refund if you write and explain the situation.

    8. How are the replacement discs shipped, and where are they shipped from?

    Most replacements come via the us postal service in a rather large box with two factory wrapped jewel cases inside. Some people have gotten UPS shipments, usually in the case where they contacted customer service about lost replacements.

    It's unclear where they come from, but the address on the box is:
    Universal Studios Home Video
    c/o LEE Marketing Services
    8801 Autobahn Drive, Suite 100
    Dallas,TX 75237-3936

    9. Is there any way to distinguish the original discs from the new ones?

    According to Universal, the new packaging has a "V2" printed near the bottom of the screen format/bar code sticker. This will indicate that the set contains the remastered versions of BTTF II and BTTF III. The same "V2" will also appear on the new discs after the copyright language line.So there is a small "V2" (Version Two) stamped on a barcode sticker placed on the back of the new packages, as well as being stamped on the discs themselves.

    It has been confirmed that on replacement discs the V2 is on the bottom of the disc right after "All Rights Reserved." So far no one has seen V2 in retail boxes, so no one has confirmed the markings on the packages. NO scans of the V2 boxes are available yet as none have appeared in retail stores.

    10. Can I just get the new discs in the stores?

    Not yet, it seems. No one has yet reported a sighting in brick-and-morter stores, and only one online retailer (DVD empire) claimed to have V2 discs. DVD Empire spoke too soon it seems, and shipped V1 discs out instead- claiming Universal promised them V2 discs, but they're still getting shipments of V1.

    So for now, and for the foreseeable future, the only way to get them is to return the discs to Universal via mail.
  2. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

    Sep 14, 1998
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    Steven Simon
    Good Work Vince...

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