Stargate SG1-Volume 5 (Season 2) (1998)

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Released 8-Aug-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 169:44
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Brad Turner
Martin Wood
David Warry-Smith
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Richard Dean Anderson
Michael Shanks
Amanda Tapping
Christopher Judge
Don S. Davis
Case DV-4
RPI $36.95 Music Joel Goldsmith
Kevin Kiner
Richard Band


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Moving right along with the next volume from the much delayed issuance programme for Stargate SG-1, we find ourselves with Volume 5 in the DVD player. If you want the presentation rant, kindly check out the reviews for Volumes 1 through 4, to save me repeating myself yet again....

    Me? I am just sitting down and almost enjoying the viewing experience.

    The episodes on offer on Volume 5, the fourth volume of episodes from Season Two, are:

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Okay, we have been b****ing about it from the very first episode on the very first DVD, so when is the problem going to get any better? One thing that really puzzles me is that if we have to suffer the bounteous grain harvest, why the flipping heck isn't it more consistent, rather than this wildly extreme display that ranges from very mild to downright terrible?

    The transfers are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. The DVD is also Auto Pan and Scan encoded, for those of you wishing to see the series in that b******ised form.

    I might as well just repeat my comments from Volume 4. This is only a decent transfer as far as sharpness and definition go, but still on the acceptable side of things in the overall context of the series. The generally soft definition just robs the transfer of a chunk of detail, and especially makes shadow detail quite ropey here. Clarity takes a nose-dive here and at times it is pretty lousy. Imagine if you will huge chunks of grain, lousy shadow detail and soft definition. Does this sound like a transfer heading for reference standards? Not in the slightest. Given the copious quantities of what appears to be grain-like definition in darker sections of the transfer, I am willing to suggest that we do have low level noise in the transfer. Really, this is not a good looking transfer at all, considering the age of the material.

    In general, the colours come up well, and there are quite consistent. It would have been nice to have a bit more contrast in the transfer so that anything approaching black did not get treated as just black. The depth of the tone is not good, but it ranges across a bunch of colours that really should not be black per se so that at times you really do wish for a much lighter tone to the transfers just for some relief. As you can perhaps guess, oversaturation is not a problem and neither is colour bleed.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, but the transfer of Touchstone is seriously affected by a severe interlacing problem at 34:38. This shows up in normal playback as a severe loss of resolution in Daniel's head across a couple of frames. When you go to the old slow-motion, frame by frame deal, you can see quite clearly how the image is ghosted then doubled during playback. It looks pretty bad and is about the worst such example I have seen on a DVD. Once again, there were no significant instances of film-to-video artefacts at all, with just the odd aliasing showing up here and there (28:07 in A Matter Of Time is about the most obvious example, in the diagram). There were no problems with film artefacts either.

    This is a Dual Layer formatted DVD, as I cannot detect any layer change during the episodes. It is therefore presumed that the first two episodes are mastered on one layer with the other two mastered on the other.

    There are three subtitle options on the DVD, although I restricted myself to only the English for the Hearing Impaired effort. These are good, although missing a bit more of the dialogue at times than I would normally be expecting or wanting.

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

Audio

    At least we have consistency with Volume 4 of the series, meaning that we have three soundtracks on this DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack and a German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack (which is sort of standard), to which has been added a Spanish surround encoded soundtrack.

    The dialogue comes up well and is quite clear and generally easy to understand throughout the episodes. There did not seem to be any issue with audio sync here at all.

    The original music comes from Joel Goldsmith in general, with the aid of Kevin Kiner and Richard Band in the episode A Matter Of Time, although Richard Band solos on Touchstone. Once again fairly typical of what we would expect from a television series, and it does its job pretty well and is quite supportive of the show throughout.

    Very much in the same sort of mold as Volume 4, there is remarkably little difference to that effort. It does its job well enough, albeit with less body than would be preferred for this sort of action science-fiction at times.

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

Extras

    Yeah, right!

Menu

    Some audio and animation enhancement makes these okay efforts, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Sorry, but you would have thought that something with a little more pizzazz could have been thought up.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as we are aware, this has not been slated for release in Region 1 yet. However, it should be pointed out that Season One in its entirety was released in a box set and it is to be presumed that Season Two will be so released also. Personally, I would probably wait for that eventuality....

Summary

    You can guess what the summary is here! My note book is riddled (pun intended) with references to grain and it dominates everything about this DVD. Frankly, it is making it difficult at times to enjoy the quality of the show, which really is of some concern. Note that some early DVDs were coded Region 2 only, and are therefore only playable on multi-zone players. Large screen owners would again be well advised to audition this DVD before purchase, just in case they suffer from some form of grain-induced motion sickness. Once again, whoever wrote the cover blurbs was obviously watching a different DVD to the one I was.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Sunday, April 14, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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