Hey just doing my part on keeping everyone on the board informed ;-)
jouster wrote:Here's a question that seems appropriate for this thread: is it true that season one was remastered for the full series box set? My DVD copy of season 1 definitely does not look as great as the later seasons. I know some of that can be chalked up to what I'm sure was a lower budget than season 2 and beyond, and the show still working out it's style, but I do think it could benefit from the remaster. Anybody who has the box able to answer?
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Good to know, Garth. I'm probably about to breakdown and buy an HDTV within the next month, and Blu Ray won't be far behind.
Of course what would REALLY make the most sense for me purchase-wise is to get the entire boxed set (which I never bought) on Blu Ray so that I can finally see the extras on it.
Garth wrote:Oh, and at roughly $37.99...that is half what most of us paid for the dvd versions when they were released.
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Gosh, I didn't realize they were that cheap. Certainly makes the decision to upgrade now more attractive. Still think I'll wait for the box set, though.
The Sopranos: The Complete First Season features a notably inconsistent 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer; one that looks substantially better than its DVD counterpart, but falls far short of expectation (as well as the quality previously established by HBO's two-stage Blu-ray release of The Sopranos: Season Six). I suspect little was done to accommodate the first season's move to high definition other than to trust in the inherent upgrade the format would offer. Sadly, the only consistent thing about each episode's presentation is the obvious edge enhancement visible in nearly every frame. Colors are more vibrant and stable, but fleshtones sometimes suffer from unnatural hues. Black levels are deeper than ever, but noise sometimes invades the image, delineation is hit or miss, and crush is an issue (albeit a minor one). Detail, though greatly improved, can be just as unreliable and unwieldy. The pilot offers crisper textures than later episodes, but fails in most other regards. The next six episodes look a tad softer -- mushy faces and smeared skin litter establishing shots and close-ups -- but boast a slightly more satisfying appearance. The last five episodes are more akin to other recent high definition television presentations, but falter due to a variety of prevailing anomalies (shimmering, aliasing, and intermittent artifacting, among others) that give the image a digitized, over-processed appearance. Although these problems gradually surge and relent over the course of the season (it's not exactly as cut and dry as my episode breakdown might imply), distractions abound at every turn. There isn't a single episode that warrants a high video score.
Is the entire presentation a disappointment? Not quite. As I mentioned before, the transfer is noticeably stronger than the DVD's dated image, and still looks fairly good considering the age of its episodes and the production limitations of the series' first season. As it stands, those who own the DVD set will net a solid upgrade, but videophiles will be underwhelmed with the results.
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