Pink Floyd-Pulse (1994)

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Released 10-Jul-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio-with page transitions
Calibration Signals-Speaker Setup (pink noise)
Bonus Track-What Do You Want From Me? (bootleg)
Bonus Track-On The Turning Away (bootleg)
Bonus Track-Poles Apart (bootleg)
Bonus Track-Marooned (bootleg)
Additional Footage-Screen Films (x15)
Music Video-Learning To Fly; Take It Back
Gallery-Tour Stuff- Maps, Itinery and Stage Plans
TV Spots-PULSE TV ad.
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Say Goodbye To Life As We Know It
Gallery-Photo-(6:30)
Featurette-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction w/ Billy Corgan (10:29)
Gallery-Album Cover Art (7)
Credits
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 144:09
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Mallet
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring David Gilmour
Nick Mason
Richard Wright
Sam Brown
Jon Carin
Claudia Fontaine
Durga McBroom
Dick Parry
Guy Pratt
Tim Renwick
Gary Wallis
Case Gatefold
RPI $34.95 Music Pink Floyd
David Gilmour
Roger Waters


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (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

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

Plot Synopsis

    Recorded at Earl's Court in London in 1994 and widely regarded as one of the finest live concert recordings around, PULSE shows Pink Floyd in their 90s incarnation without bassist Roger Waters. This live performance was initially aired on broadcast television in the UK, then later released on VHS, Laserdisc and CD to wide acclaim.

    The musicians performing here include:

    The concert is split over two discs. Disc 1 runs for 72:42, while Disc 2 is a little shorter at 71:27. A lot of the band's classic material is covered, but the highlight is undoubtedly disc two, which features a performance of the entire Dark Side of the Moon album.

    PULSE captures everything that is fantastic about Pink Floyd. Their amazing song writing, solid musicianship and visually astounding stage shows are second to none. This is a fantastic live performance that deserves to be included in any self respecting music fan's DVD collection.

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Track Listing

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
2. Learning To Fly
3. High Hopes
4. Take It Back
5. Coming Back To Life
6. Sorrow
7. Keep Talking
8. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
9. One Of These Days
10. Speak To Me
11. Breathe In The Air
12. On The Run
13. Time
14. The Great Gig In The Sky
15. Money
16. Us and Them
17. Any Colour You Like
18. Brain Damage
19. Eclipse
20. Wish You Were Here
21. Comfortably Numb
22. Run Like Hell

Transfer Quality

Video

    PULSE was captured on analogue video, which was the standard in 1994. It is stated on the packaging that this feature is actually re-edited from the source tapes. The main difference I can see is the absence of the split screen footage. The transfer is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, which is the original aspect.

    The analogue video is limited in its resolution, as is to be expected, but appears to be in fair condition for its age. The image is smooth and there are no dire analogue hiccoughs to be concerned about. Horizontal banding (microphony) and tape errors are nowhere to be found, however there are quite a few jagged edges visible in fine objects such as guitar strings and the like.

    The main drawback of the analogue format is the poor rendering of blacks and persistent noise in shaded or coloured areas of the image. Some shots are quite grainy, but I'm certain little could be done to clean this source up further.

    Most colours are adequately rendered, but again, the analogue limitations are apparent. The bright, colourful stage lighting is represented to the best of the format's capabilities.

    MPEG artefacts are common, ranging from mild grain to blocking in some scenes with plenty of motion. Analogue sources like this are notoriously difficult to render with a limited bitrate, and it is unlikely a higher video bitrate would make a lot of difference. The presentation here is about as good as we could hope for, in my opinion.

    There are no subtitle streams provided.

    Both discs are dual layered, however neither has a layer transition interrupting the concert. It would appear both discs have been compiled with the feature on one layer and extras on the other.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtracks available. The default audio stream is Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). Alternate options in Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s) may be selected from the setup menu or on the fly. I listened to the default audio and it's 640Kb/s equivalent in their entirety and sampled the stereo audio for comparison during a few songs.

    The 640Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 audio stream comes with a disclaimer in the accompanying booklet, warning of possible compatibility issues. It is a strange choice, and while the option of a higher bitrate is welcome, one must wonder why they didn't simply offer a dts option to avoid the compatibility risks. Perhaps it was to avoid licensing fees? Still, I had no problems playing back the 640k audio on my equipment, however I should note that my PC crashed repeatedly when I tried to play the stream through Power DVD.

    The 5.1 remix is excellent, and having been somewhat familiar with the VHS version I can say that this is a considerable improvement in terms of depth, clarity and separation of instruments. The lead vocal is always succinct and easy to discern above the rest of the band. The backing vocalists (all three of them) are spread nicely in the mix and are very well represented throughout the concert. I didn't notice any sync issues in the slightest.

    The surround channels are occupied by some slight spill from the front soundstage, echoes and crowd noise. The bulk of the mix is carried by the front left, front right and center speakers, with a nice, even spread of rhythm instruments and crystal clear guitars and keyboards over the top. Having seen this DVD several times now, I can't think of any situations during the show in which I felt an instrument was not fully audible in the mix.

    In comparing the three audio options, the 640Kb/s 5.1 mix is easily my preferred. The 5.1 default is perfectly serviceable, but switching to the higher bitrate yields a noticeable increase in depth and brightness, particularly from the drums and cymbals. The higher bitrate option is also louder, about 3Db by my estimate. The stereo audio sounds pretty flat in comparison to the surround options, particularly in the guitars, which I noticed lack a lot of depth in the stereo option.

    The LFE channel adds some nice bottom end to the kick drum and bass guitar, without being overpowering at all.

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

Extras

    This is an excellent array of extra features from this period of the band, all of which appear to be spread evenly over the two discs. All are presented in full frame video, like the feature.

Menu

    The menu pages are very stylishly animated, with unique design by Storm Thorgerson, who was in fact the designer behind the entire package. The menu pages have animated transitions and subtle noises that suit the Pink Floyd aesthetic perfectly.

Calibration Signals-Speaker Setup

    A series of menu screens (with pink noise) that assist in calibrating your speaker setup. Similar to the THX paraphernalia one would find on the Star Wars DVDs.

Bonus Tracks- Bootleg Footage (4)

    There are four additional songs from this tour, all sourced from home video bootleg recordings. The songs include What Do You Want From Me?, On The Turning Away, Poles Apart and Marooned. All are presented with stereo audio of varying quality.

Additional Footage-Screen Films (15)

    These are the arty films the band plays while they are performing on stage. There are a total of fifteen short films available here, dating from various periods in the band's history. There are alternate cuts of some of these, but all are played with the new, 5.1 remixed audio taken from the concert feature.

Music Videos-Learning To Fly & Take It Back

    These are your typical promo videos from the day. Learning To Fly (4:43) is the better of the two, with a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Take It Back (5:00) is stereo audio only.

Gallery-Tour Stuff

    An extensive gallery of tour-related info, including itineries, maps and complicated stage schematics.

TV Spot-PULSE TV ad.

    A short advertisement promoting the PULSE VHS and CD packages.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Say Goodbye To Life As We Know It (15:37)

    Some interesting glimpses of the band on tour; as their roadies trash hotel rooms, play practical jokes and have a laugh at sound checks throughout various countries, accompanied by their families. These are essentially amateur home video recordings, but it is worthwhile nonetheless.

Gallery-Photo (6:30)

    An assortment of stills, taken while the band are performing. Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1.

Featurette-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction w/ Billy Corgan (10:29)

    Corgan gushes on about his love for the band, before awarding them with their induction into the hall of fame. Billy then joins them for an acoustic rendition of Wish You Were Here. This was recorded in 1996.

Gallery-Album Cover Art

    Separated into seven sections, covering different albums and their alternate versions, beginning with Meddle.

DVD Credits

Booklet

    A glossy colour booklet with 8 pages of credits, photos, artwork and a flow chart of the DVD menu system.

R4 vs R1

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

    Aside from PAL/NTSC formatting, this Region Free release is identical in content across the globe. Despite the high RPI quoted above, I have seen this title retailing for under twenty bucks, so be sure to shop around.

Summary

    PULSE is a superb concert DVD.

    The video transfer is limited by the analogue source.

    The audio transfer features an excellent 5.1 remix.

    The extras are extensive and worthwhile viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (via Denon Link 3)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Great Review - R4 Preferred. - Michael Q (read my bio)