Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
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Title Best
African Queen, The: Special Restoration Edition (Blu-ray)=

     The Paramount Region All Blu-ray was released in February, 2009. It includes a sharper video transfer which takes up 30.65 gb of space and has an average bitrate of 38.80 m/b per sec. The audio transfer uses a compressed Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track encoded at 224 kbps. There are separate language options for English, French, Portuguese and Spanish which all use the same bitrate audio transfer. The lone extra is the documentary, Embracing Chaos: Making the African Queen. The commemorative box set includes an additional audio CD of the Lux Radio Theatre program which lasts 56:41.

     The ITV Region B United Kingdom Blu-ray release is identical to the Region B Australian release by Beyond Home Entertainment. The video transfer here is slightly weaker than the US version, with the main presentation taking 21.01 gb of space with an average bitrate of 23.22 m/b per sec. The audio transfer is much more dynamic than the US release with an uncompressed linear PCM 2.0 mono track used encoded at 2304 kbps. Extras are also more extensive on the ITV and Beyond Home Entertainment release.

     Ultimately, which version is better depends on your taste. The best visual transfer belongs to the US Paramount Blu-ray release whereas the best audio transfer and extras package belongs to the Region B UK and Australian Blu-ray editions.