Excellent, from top to bottom. I learned from this set that there are 40,000 films of various lengths still awaiting preservation. In this set we get the earliest sound & film combination (1894), and earliest color process (1916). Amazing stuff, all presented with a battalion of informed commentators. Anyone with a deep interest in film origins and history will find this set essential reference.
I don't recall noticing any overlap in these sets, although my memory could be failing me. You needn't fear buying both. (Well, your wallet might...) The Kino set seems to be better authored. Less EE, artifacting, better transfers, etc.. It's actually quite startling how sharp some of Edison's early kinetoscope films look on the Kino set. The menu's on the Kino set are flashier, but I'd give the TFAFA set the edge for ease of navigation. However, Kino's discs are much more tightly focused thematically, while the films in the TFAFA set are almost randomly distributed across the discs.
As others have stated, the focus of these sets is a bit different. The Kino set focuses pretty much exclusively on the early silent film era. The TFAFA set features much broader selection of films that range from early silent shorts to amateur travelogues from the forties to experimental avant-garde films of the 60's. (and often all on the same disc!) While the Kino set is limited mostly to short films simply due to the era it covers, the TFAFA set does include some feature-length films. I have to agree that the TFAFA set does focus on more obscure titles than the Kino set. (This is not always a good thing. Some of the selections on the TFAFA set are just plain baffling. I strongly suspect some films were chosen with a pair of dice.)
The Kino set has a strong focus and is a high quality product all around. I strongly recommend it if you have any interest in early silent films. The TFAFA set is also a wonderful set simply because of how it makes a broad collection of obscure titles available for the first time. It's more of a dim-sum of american film though. It's a great set if you want to be surprised every time you pop in a disc.
Exactly, The Movies Begin and the two TFAFA sets have different focus to them. I have all three myself, and I think all three are worth owning, even though I still haven't gotten through them all. The first TFAFA set is worth owning for the very first 2-strip Technicolor film, for example.
There is zero overlap between The Movies Begin and the Treasures sets--one of the interesting points of the new set is that none of these films have ever appeared on high quality video before. If you're new to film history, I'd start with The Movies Begin, which is set up more to present the development, and then fill in with the Treasures. But all three sets are highly recommended by me at digitallyObsessed.
It should also be noted that the two Treasures sets, especially the new release, have annotation that is unequaled for collections of this magnitude. It can all be read in a handy illustrated book, or on the DVDs themselves via easy-to-use menus. Many of the shorts might be obscure, but you'll know everything about them after watching them and digesting all of the accompanying information.