Billy Joel-Greatest Hits-Volume III: The Video (1997) (NTSC)

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Released 6-Jul-1998

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Biographies-Cast
Discography
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 80:22
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ernie Fritz
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Billy Joel
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $24.95 Music Billy Joel


Video (NTSC) 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 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Billy Joel-Greatest Hits Volume III, The Video is a video compilation of the greatest hits of Billy Joel. Before each song Billy Joel talks about how the song came about, what he was feeling whilst writing the song or what he was trying to convey to the audience with the song.

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Track Listing

1. Keeping The Faith
2. A Matter Of Trust
3. Baby Grand
4. Leningrad
5. We Didn't Start The Fire
6. I Go To Extremes
7. And So It Goes
8. The Downeaster 'Alexa'
9. Shameless
10. All About Soul
11. Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
12. The River Of Dreams
13. Goodbye

Transfer Quality

Video

    Please take note of the sticker that adorns the front cover. It says 'This DVD is recorded in the NTSC format. Your television must be compatible with PAL and NTSC to view this disc'.

    Now that's out of the way, on with the review.

    Overall, I must say that I did not enjoy watching this NTSC disc. Yes folks, it really is a region free NTSC disc. This was the first non 16x9 NTSC transfer I have seen on this projector, and it reinforced my own opinion that the NTSC format does not contain sufficient horizontal lines to be viewed on such a large screen without a line doubler. I also had the pleasure of seeing what I believe to be the effects of the 3:2 pull-down process in action. Someone please pass me a bucket - it was truly awful. How does everyone in America put up with this?

    The quality of the video clips are variable, but it must be remembered that these were essentially shot for promotional use on television, and some of them are over ten years old.

    The video clips are mostly presented in an aspect ration of 1.33:1 (4:3), with the odd one or two being 1.85:1. The Billy Joel interview sequences are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 aspect, and are non-16x9 enhanced.

    Colour, sharpness and shadow detail are pretty good throughout the disc. However there is a serious pixel crawl problem that continually plagues Billy Joel's left ear during the interview sequences which is very annoying and distracting.

    Surprisingly, no low-level-noise was noticed, but there was plenty of grain present in some of the video clips. The worst occurrences of this can be found in; 'Baby Grand', 'I Go To Extremes' and 'And So It Goes'.

    There were no MPEG artefacts and just a handful of film-like artefacts.

    Edge alignment is where this disc came unstuck in a big way - it almost brought me to tears. It is the main reason why this disc got such a terrible video rating. The worst occurrences of this occur during 'All About Soul' and 'Shameless'. During these clips any object that moves is adversely affected by an interlacing problem, which causes the edge or edges of that object not to line up.

    There did not appear to be much aliasing, but it is hard to judge when there are such huge gaps between each horizontal line!

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

Audio

    No audio difficulties were noticed with this disc, and it is of very good quality for a music disc.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0. I listened to the former. In hindsight I should have listened to the Linear PCM soundtrack instead, as this disc does not have much surround content. Afterwards, I did go back and listen to a couple of video clips again using the PCM track, which is of an equally high quality.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    Audio sync was not a problem with this transfer.

    There is only limited surround channel use during the video clips, which is to be expected, since most, if not all of the video clips would not have been encoded with surround information.

    To the best of my knowledge the .1 channel was silent, as my subwoofer automatically turned off after the first 20 minutes.

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

Extras

    The extras consist of a Biography and Discography for Billy Joel.

Menu

    The menu consists of a non-16x9 enhanced still picture of Billy Joel with the following selections; Audio Mix, Lyrics (on/off), Chapter Selections, Biography/Discography and Play.

R4 vs R1

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

    It appears that the Region 1 only version of this DVD just has a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack. If this is correct, then there is no question in my mind that this version is the superior one, as it has both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and an LPCM 48/16 soundtrack. There does not appear to be any other differences between these two discs.

Summary

    Stop the torture, I'll watch anything you want... just don't give me any more NTSC discs.

    Video quality, hmm, not real flash in a lot of areas, but is very good in a few others. Overall, it is pretty poor.

    No audio difficulties were noticed with this disc, and it is of very good quality for a music disc.

    Extras are limited to a Biography and Discography.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, March 25, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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