MikeTV

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WOW! This review is a far cry from the review on Blu-ray.com, which gave the video rating 2.5/5 stars and had this to say:

It's problematic in places and particularly early on. Fortunately, various issues lessen along the way to the end. The series' opening episodes represent a low point. Print wear is increased, contrast fluctuations aren't uncommon, edge halos are occasionally distinct, harsh and jagged lines are regular, and occasional blocking clutters up backgrounds. Grain is uneven, a bit spiky in spots -- extremely snowy in places -- but the image is more often rather flat and pasty, leaving details basically agreeable but lacking any sort of tangible distinction. Period attire, as complex as it should be, fails to excite. Faces are far too often smooth. Colors are decent, a bit faded and dull, suitable for the most part but not particularly deeply saturated or realistically nuanced. At its best, the image can be said to benefit from the resolution Blu-ray offers it but not taking advantage of the format or the film medium's inherent qualities. Things do tighten up a bit as the series progresses. The presentation is never exceptional, but details firm a bit even as the image maintains that flatness and pastiness that steals away finer-point textures. Colors serve a little more depth, but not significantly more. Contrast holds a little more stable. Black levels never push too far towards crush or paleness. Flesh tones are a bit pasty. Given the budget nature of the release, it's difficult to be too disappointed. It's very watchable, fairly in-line with Mill Creek's other TV offerings. That the show is even on Blu-ray at an affordable price is reason to celebrate. Just don't expect perfection.
 

MikeTV

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Since I have a copy on order for me and another one for my dad, I sure hope yours is the more correct review.
 
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Adam Gregorich

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WOW! This review is a far cry from the review on Blu-ray.com, which gave the video rating 2.5/5 stars and had this to say:

It's problematic in places and particularly early on. Fortunately, various issues lessen along the way to the end. The series' opening episodes represent a low point. Print wear is increased, contrast fluctuations aren't uncommon, edge halos are occasionally distinct, harsh and jagged lines are regular, and occasional blocking clutters up backgrounds. Grain is uneven, a bit spiky in spots -- extremely snowy in places -- but the image is more often rather flat and pasty, leaving details basically agreeable but lacking any sort of tangible distinction. Period attire, as complex as it should be, fails to excite. Faces are far too often smooth. Colors are decent, a bit faded and dull, suitable for the most part but not particularly deeply saturated or realistically nuanced. At its best, the image can be said to benefit from the resolution Blu-ray offers it but not taking advantage of the format or the film medium's inherent qualities. Things do tighten up a bit as the series progresses. The presentation is never exceptional, but details firm a bit even as the image maintains that flatness and pastiness that steals away finer-point textures. Colors serve a little more depth, but not significantly more. Contrast holds a little more stable. Black levels never push too far towards crush or paleness. Flesh tones are a bit pasty. Given the budget nature of the release, it's difficult to be too disappointed. It's very watchable, fairly in-line with Mill Creek's other TV offerings. That the show is even on Blu-ray at an affordable price is reason to celebrate. Just don't expect perfection.
I don't pay as much attention to the star ratings as two different reviewers on two different sites can have two completely different scales. What did it for me was when Rich said the BD had: "substantial improvement over the DVD releases by Universal. " I have the DVDs. Since I haven't watched them in several years (and am getting ready to watch them again) I think I will upgrade to the BDs. Better quality and they take up less space on the shelf. A win-win for me!
 

Richard Gallagher

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Since I have a copy on order for me and another one for my dad, I sure hope yours is the more correct review.
As I mentioned, what is the other reviewer comparing it to? We have the DVDs and our memories. To my eyes this set is easily superior to the DVDs, and it certainly looks better than it did on TV 40 years ago. In the other thread we have two HTF members look at the same screen caps and coming away with polar opposite opinions.

Does it look like Lawrence of Arabia? No, but it isn't supposed to. I'd like to hear what you think about it after you get a chance to look at it.
 
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classictvfan40

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Thank you for the review! I am glad I ordered it. I have the original DVD versions that I bought at Target a while back for some under 10 dollars but wanted to upgrade to blu ray. I can't wait to get my copy this week!
 
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Scott Merryfield

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I am looking forward to my copy arriving today. Your review has me stoked to watch some episodes, Richard! After selling my SD-DVD copies and applying some Amazon credits to my order, upgrading to these BD's is costing me almost nothing, so any improvement over the DVD's will make me happy.
 

commander richardson

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Richard Gallagher

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A few clarifications:

My video rating is based upon a comparison with the DVD set and what I have seen on television. Complaining that it doesn't look as good as a feature film makes no sense, because a television show is a different animal. Typically a one-hour show was shot in six days. The production had to go on, even if there wasn't enough light for optimal filming. So it is unfair to hold a television show to the standards of a feature film.

Second, there have been claims that the Blu-ray set contains syndicated versions of the show. This is true of the pilot, which originally aired as "The Rockford Files," a 90-minute NBC Sunday Night Movie. When the show went into syndication the pilot was given the title "Backlash of the Hunter" and it was edited into two parts, with some 16 minutes of footage added to the episode. It is the two-part version which appears on the Blu-ray set. If you feel that more is less, that is a legitimate complaint, but no footage is missing.

There are two episodes which were originally aired in two-hour slots but which appear on the Blu-ray set as two-part episodes. They are "Black Mirror" and "Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job." However, checking the running times confirms that no footage is missing from either episode.

This post in another thread goes into more detail:

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co...lable-for-preorder.352223/page-4#post-4501680
 
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bigshot

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The DVD had the syndication versions of those too if I remember correctly. There were two different releases on DVD too I think.
 

Richard Gallagher

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The DVD had the syndication versions of those too if I remember correctly. There were two different releases on DVD too I think.
To confuse matters further, the DVD has the extended, syndicated version of the originally 90-minute episode "This Case is Closed." Some people who remember only the syndicated version are likely to think that the Blu-ray version (which correctly has a running time of 75 minutes) is missing footage.

I only have the original single-season sets, so I don't know what, if any, changes Universal made later on.
 

bigshot

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I've seen two versions of the DVDs... I Netflixed the double sided single season sets, and I later bought the single sided complete box. I haven't directly compared the two. They may be different.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Complaining that it doesn't look as good as a feature film makes no sense, because a television show is a different animal. Typically a one-hour show was shot in six days. The production had to go on, even if there wasn't enough light for optimal filming. So it is unfair to hold a television show to the standards of a feature film.
This is especially true for older shows shot on film like this one. At the time they were making it, there was never any expectation that the footage would ever be seen at anything greater than NTSC resolution. So they probably weren't as strict with the focus-pulling as they'd be shooting a TV show on film for 1080p broadcast today.
 
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Richard Gallagher

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This is especially true for older shows shot on film like this one. At the time they were making it, there was never any expectation that the footage would ever be seen at anything greater than NTSC resolution. So they probably weren't as strict with the focus-pulling as they'd be shooting a TV show on film for 1080p broadcast today.
Agreed. It's very different now, plus we have shows such as The Americans, Better Call Saul, Fargo, etc. that only have ten episodes per season, which gives them more time to get it right.
 

bigshot

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I watched an episode last night and it looked fantastic. The people making this show never expected it to be seen in this kind of quality. In closeups, you can see the make up on Garner's face, and you can see how they used fill lighting in outdoor scenes to light the characters' faces. None of that would have been visible on TV at the time.

By the way, the episode I watched (first episode of season 2) had some night scenes. They were shot at night, not day for night, but it looked as if the scenes should have had some sort of blue filter over them. It may be that the night scene filtering isn't done in this set. It didn't bother me though because it worked the way they did it.
 
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