Roy Orbison

In Dreams - The Story of Roy Orbison

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) No
Rating Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1999 Commentary Tracks No
Running Time 93:13 minutes Other Extras No
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Mark Hall
Warner Vision
Starring The Big O
Case Brackley
RPI $39.95 Music Roy Orbison

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No Dolby Digital 2.0
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio Full Frame
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, in credits

Plot Synopsis

    As you may have gathered from my earlier review of Roy Orbison-The Anthology, I am something of a fan of The Big O and less than impressed by the lack of consideration shown the legend by that earlier effort. Nonetheless, I again jumped at the prospect of yet another Roy Orbison DVD from the same source. This one is somewhat more biographical in detail, even including interview material from the great man himself. We also get to listen to that great voice and the tracks on offer are:     A significant portion of the program is duplicating the earlier DVD and like that effort the music is interspersed with even more interview snippets from the likes of The Bee Gees, Robert Plant, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Jeff Lynne, K.D. Lang, Bernie Taupin, Don Was and Dwight Yoakam, amongst others. Some of the interview material is also duplicated from the earlier DVD.

    That said, this is by far the better of the two DVDs. Not only is the length somewhat more respectable, and thus there is more magic to listen to, but the quality seems to be a little better. It is coming up for twelve years since The Big O died and the magic of his work has not diminished. I hope that we will shortly see a definitive homage to the man.

Transfer Quality


    Whilst this is distinctly better than the earlier DVD, the proud banner across the front slip cover that proudly proclaims: "Superb Digital Picture and Sound Quality - Dolby AC-3 Stereo" is still overstating the truth somewhat.

    The transfer is presented Full Frame and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The varied sources of the material are more obvious here, reflecting that this is an inherently better transfer. The newer stuff is actually quite decent, but there are still problems with the sharpness and the definition. Occasionally it descends into quite diffuse images (one colour source is especially bad in this regard) but thankfully there is not much of this quality. Detail was fairly lacking in general, although this is a reflection of the source material rather than anything inherently wrong with the DVD. Clarity leaves a little to be desired in general, and some portions of the transfer are well blessed with grain and low level noise. Overall, I found this a more palatable transfer than that afforded Roy Orbison-The Anthology.

    The black and white videos in general are quite weak in the depth of the tones and really are just a collection of reasonably wishy washy greys. The colour videos are almost as bad, as the colours lack any sort of real tone and solidity to them. The more recent interview material fares far better and in general these are fairly well presented in a nicely saturated tone, albeit just a little lacking in solidity of tonal depth. The overall effect is actually something approaching naturalness. Colour bleed is not a problem at all in the transfer.

    There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were no real problems with film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, although there were a couple of instances where aliasing was a problem and some moiré artefacting is present. Film artefacts were rife in a couple of videos, but the more recent material is not so badly affected.


    As for the "superb sound quality"? Forget it.

    There is only the one audio track on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    Dialogue and vocals were generally clear and easy to understand.

    There did not appear to be any real problems with audio sync in the transfer.

    Obviously lacking any sort of surround channel or bass channel usage, this is not an especially inspiring soundtrack. It is however quite free from distortion and even the audio dropouts from the earlier DVD are missing from this effort. Serviceable but not much more really.


    Definitely not worth the effort.


R4 vs R1

    This appears to be identical around the world, so there is no essential difference to favour this version over any other.


    Roy Orbison-In Dreams is a decent enough DVD that in some respects overcomes some of the faults of Roy Orbison-The Anthology. It is a quite informative and quite interesting look at the great man. Fans need not hesitate to indulge in this effort, and anyone with a passing interest in great rock and roll music could do worse than to indulge in this DVD - just don't expect miracles from the audio and video.

    A good video transfer, all things considered.

    A decent audio transfer.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
20th August 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL