Destiny's Child-Now See Hear (Platinum's on Wall DVD/ Writing's on Wall CD) (2001)

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Released 7-Jul-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Animation
Biographies-Cast
Booklet
CD-The Writing's On The Wall
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 28:33 (Case: 25)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Beyonce Knowles
Kelendria Rowland
Michelle Williams
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music Destiny's Child


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Now this is a good idea by Sony. I know I came down pretty hard on them for the R&B Never Looked So Good DVD, but they deserved it. This Now See Hear idea is entirely another thing. A combination of DVD and CD by the same artist involving generally the same tunes. In this case, Destiny’s Child and their second album The Writing’s On The Wall, released in 1999, with its accompanying DVD The Platinum’s On The Wall.

    Those of you who have heard this album know that it’s definitely one of the most kicking R&B albums out there, based around “The Ten Commandments of Relationships” as dictated by Destiny’s Child, each with its accompanying song. The idea is both creative and thematic, giving the whole album a complete and satisfying feel. Sadly, the DVD does not quite match up to its genesis in the CD – not because it is bad, but because it is way too short.

    The Platinum’s On The Wall has 7 tracks, including the extended version of “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” and a live version of “Independent Woman Part 1”. In all honesty, it’s a bit of a jarring ensemble, and it would have been better to have, say, the entire live set from their concert at The Brits in 2001, or a full collection of music videos from the tracks on the CD. Although I am not sure whether all the tracks actually have accompanying music videos, I would have loved to have heard “Temptation” in Linear PCM. Instead, this is all over the place, and incomplete.

    Still, what is there is pretty good, and I cannot fault the brains of the outfit, Beyonce, for her musical and lyrical talent. And here’s hoping the Now See Hear idea takes root and we start seeing this type of packaging more often.

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Track Listing

1. No, No, No (Part 1)
2. No, No, No (Part 2)
3. Bills, Bills, Bills
4. Bug A Boo
5. Say My Name
6. Jumpin', Jumpin' (So So Def Remix)
7. Independent Women Part 1

Transfer Quality

Video

    Having taken a look at the review already posted by TerryM, I have to agree with everything he says and note that this is just a re-release of the same disc without any fine tuning.

    Most of the tracks are presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, except for “Independent Woman Part 1”, which is presented in 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The quality of the picture is for the most part acceptable. It is not indicative of a high quality telecine transfer, though, but these are music videos, the last of which was recorded live, probably via handheld digital video camera, and all undoubtedly converted from NTSC to PAL. It suffers from persistent low-level noise, about on par with the R&B Never Looked So Good DVD, which didn’t look very good at all. The video for “Say My Name” had a tendency to become blurry, though, which was quite annoying.

    Colours are rich and glossy, as you would expect from a contemporary music video, but sometimes oversaturated to the point of bleeding.

    MPEG artefacts were kept to a minimum, but there was certainly some aliasing in most of the tracks. However, the clip for “Say My Name” had a lot of moire, which was annoying because of the slight alteration in colours this sometimes produces, and also some very distracting macro-blocking. This is a real shame because this is perhaps the glossiest and most clever of all the music videos presented. It is also one of the better songs.

    I didn’t spot any film-to-video artefacts like dirt or hairs, but music videos as a rule are generally pretty clean (unless the effect is to be otherwise) so this was no surprise.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc, so there is no dual layer pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks available – an English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track and a Linear PCM Stereo track. I will say now that the Linear PCM track makes the 5.1 Dolby Digital track sound like a joke, and frankly a waste of space on the disc.

    The Linear PCM track has amazing ambience and range, plus a clarity that is just breathtaking. Having heard “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and just how thin that was, to hear this audio track was like a total ear opener. Detail, detail, detail, plus just a whole surrounding presence from a mere stereo audio mix.

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital track by comparison was thin, stretched and did not have much of a surround presence. Plus, it never really tweaked my subwoofer, even when I started playing with settings. The bass was flat and the feel was as if it were recorded in an echoey room.

    My advice – take the Linear PCM the whole way, and don’t look back.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced.

Biography

    A series of 10 stills presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced with no audio, outlining the various awards earned by the group’s second album.

CD – Destiny’s Child “The Writing’s On The Wall”

    This CD is better than the DVD by a long shot.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I am not yet aware if the Now See Hear format for DVDs has been released in R1 yet, but certainly both these discs have been released in their individual formats, and are largely identical to the R4 release, although the DVD lacks the “Independent Woman Part I” bonus track which is available on DVD single instead.

Summary

    Destiny’s Child: Now See Hear is a clever repackaging of some now classic R&B by the very popular Destiny’s Child, but it would have been good had Sony bothered to remaster the DVD before re-releasing it – perhaps adding a few tracks along the way?

    The video is legible, but far from pristine. Still, given its source and origin, I am hardly surprised.

    The Linear PCM track is wicked.

    The extras on the DVD were rudimentary, but the addition of the CD makes this worthwhile (unless, of course, you already own the CD, in which case I suggest not bothering).

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, August 09, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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