|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||66:31 minutes||Other Extras||Featurette (24:35)|
Warner Vision Australia
a.k.a. Pet Shop Boys
|RRP||$39.95||Music||Pet Shop Boys|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Most of the highlights of their recording career are covered during the concert, which is most unusually presented and most unusually recorded.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
Bearing in mind that the concert has been presented and recorded in a specific way that does create some problems for the transfer, this is a generally quite sharp transfer with some rather nice definition. There are however some minor problems with grain during the transfer, although overall it is a clear transfer. The only real problem was the intense stage lighting that a couple of times washed out the colours and created a small loss of detail, but this seems to be an inherent problem with concert videos and I am not finding it too much of a distraction. There did not seem to be any problems with low level noise. However, there is one very noticeable video glitch during the transfer: at 50:10 the bottom half of the picture briefly breaks out into severe pixelization, very similar to the original issue of The Fugitive. This really is not acceptable if this is an inherent fault with all discs, and it occurred on the two discs that I tried out. [Ed. I tried this DVD on a series of DVD players; both a Toshiba SD-2109 and a Palsonic DVD-2000 played this section without fault, a Start SD-2001 briefly paused and skipped a few seconds before continuing, and a Pioneer DV-505 exhibited the same severe pixelization as described above.]
The colours come up very nicely indeed, with a nice vibrancy to them, apart from the inevitable washing out of the colour under the intense stage lighting. There is no hint of oversaturation in the transfer at all.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, and film-to-video artefacts were also noticeably absent. There were a few film artefacts in the transfer - and these do not include the deliberate ones - that were a little distracting, especially early on in the concert.
There is only the one English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track on the DVD.
Where do you begin with the problems with this soundtrack? How about the appallingly bad balance which has the entire vocal track so recessed in the overall mix, that it virtually cannot be heard early on in the transfer beneath a very aggressive bass channel? How about the shockingly bad separation that has the crowd noise very forward in the front channels, although slightly more naturally balanced in the rear channels. How about excruciatingly bad mixing such that parts of the keyboard channel are heard out of the rear channel with the crowd noise. How about frequent audio drop outs, especially between 25:10 and 25:25 when the bass channel drops out completely, although it does return... at least until the 31:00 mark when the bass channel drops out for good, never to return. The soundtrack starts off with a very aggressive bass channel that overwhelms everything else a little, although judicious boosting of the front and centre speakers can result in a more naturally balanced effort. Which is a pity for a couple of reasons: firstly, the bass channel drops out completely as I said, which means all the work you do to get a better balance goes right out of the window for the second half of the concert basically and you have to reset everything; and secondly, the bass channel really gets the old body moving along with the music - which also disappears when the bass channel drops out. This really makes you want to sit down and cry, it is so bad. An excellent concert ruined by some of the sloppiest sound engineering that I have ever heard.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfers.
And that is about all that needs to be said about this appalling effort.
A very good video transfer, hampered by the brief pixelization problem.
A absolutely shocking attempt at an audio transfer.
A decent extras package.
© Ian Morris
21st February 2000
|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 EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|