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Thread: DVD quality comparisons

  1. #1
    Widget Tortoise's Avatar
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    DVD quality comparisons

    Hi all,

    Has anyone ever done a comprehensive comparison of the different DVDs containing classic MOTU episodes? Has the community settled on what the "definitive" editions are? From what I can tell there are quite a few DVDs containing the original run of He-Man. I picked up the 20 episode "best of" from Mill Creek, and, well...

    dvd_snapshot_00.38.50.933.jpg
    dvd_snapshot_00.37.02.433.jpg
    dvd_snapshot_01.40.56.733.jpg

    Excessive macroblocking/compression, and what appears to be a bad deinterlacing job causing frame blending on almost all motion.

    Is this the case on all the available DVDs? If not, can you point me in the right direction of the ones I'd want to buy? I'm not sure if this is a byproduct of trying to cram more episodes onto less discs for the best of, or if the original transfers are this bad, but I'd appreciate the opinions of others who've bought MOTU on DVD.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    BCI had the best releases by far. Less episodes per disc, so less compression. A few episodes had minor glitches that had replacement discs sent out if you needed one, but obviously one couldn't get those now since the sets are out of print and BCI is out of business. I haven't looked lately, but some of BCI's sets now go for a lot on Ebay.

  3. #3
    Widget Tortoise's Avatar
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    Having less compression would be great, it really impacts some of the action scenes - So the BCI discs don't have the awful frame blending displayed in the first and third images I posted? That bothers me a lot more than the compression, and makes the show nigh-unwatchable. My concern is that this flaw is inherent in the master (no pun intended) recording and is something no DVD can overcome.

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    2002/DC He-Man Video guy
    Jukka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tortoise View Post
    My concern is that this flaw is inherent in the master (no pun intended) recording and is something no DVD can overcome.
    It harkens back to the 90s, when Hallmark had the Filmation libary, and they digitized it into PAL format.

    From which the UK DVD releases were made first in 2003.
    Later came US DVD releases in 2005 - though going from PAL to NTSC the american ones were sped up by 4% as I recall. Some fans noticed the pitch immediately.

    But yes. The "source" has been the same basically the same as I know. Hence the quality has remained same or has been treated worse (lets cram over dozen episodes into one DVD).
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    What would be really great is if someone would release these onto Blu Ray specifically to avoid compression issues like this, and also correct the pitch to where it no longer sounds like Eternia has a vast helium leak. I can do so in VLC, but it's not often that I watch movies at my PC.

    IMO we've never received a truly definitive box set of this series. If I want to watch the full version of "Diamond Ray of Disappearance" I have to watch it on my 35 year old Videodisc. If I want it to sound correct I have to slow it down in VLC.

    What I'm hoping for is that someone remasters this from any existing original film elements for an HD release. It was thought for years that Hallmark destroyed the original footage when they digitized it, but I think James posted something recently indicating that at least some of the film still existed.
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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Grimbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    BCI had the best releases by far.
    That isn't true at all.
    Best releases are:
    -UK release by Contender
    -Australian release by Madman (comes with BCI bonus features)

    German (2nd) release is also good, albeit they've replaced the intro and the title cards.

    Unlike BCI, none of those have ghosting and with PAL resolution you get a clearer picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jukka View Post
    It harkens back to the 90s, when Hallmark had the Filmation libary, and they digitized it into PAL format.
    And BCI instead of lowering speed back to NTSC, they opted for frame interpolation... IDIOTS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    It was thought for years that Hallmark destroyed the original footage when they digitized it, but I think James posted something recently indicating that at least some of the film still existed.
    He did. Whole claim that Hallmark destroyed the footage was utter BS.
    Bear in mind that studios would rather burn money on making godawful movies rather than invest in HD transfers of old properties. It's so bad that they can't even be arsed to use proper digital masters so now they use butchered one with additional commercial breaks and resolution cut in half...
    Last edited by Grimbot; March 21, 2020 at 04:33pm.
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  7. #7
    Widget HeKAB's Avatar
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    I think, in North America (Region 1), the BTC/BCI editions have the best-looking episodes with the best bonus features.
    I too am looking forward to at least a Bluray release one day with brand new features (commercial bumpers in tact, anyone?), episodes played at a proper speed, and, hopefully, a fully restored "Diamond Ray..." episode.

  8. #8
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    I desperately await the day someone actually does a release of the proper NTSC Originals so I can hear Adora's proper speaking voice and watch a truly clean version of her transformation..

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Chris85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbot View Post
    And BCI instead of lowering speed back to NTSC, they opted for frame interpolation... IDIOTS.
    Right, I get so frustrated because of the ghosting issues and not smooth camera movement. And of course I simply can't watch sped up episodes, I correct the speed in MPC. I wish I had Australian releases instead of BCI.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior rexerm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    BCI had the best releases by far. Less episodes per disc, so less compression. A few episodes had minor glitches that had replacement discs sent out if you needed one, but obviously one couldn't get those now since the sets are out of print and BCI is out of business.
    Do you happen to remember which episodes had glitches in them? I might need to replace those from one of the newer (more compressed) re-releases....

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