Stargate SG1-Volume 8 (Season 3) (1999)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Gateway To The Edge Of The Universe (7:01)
Trailer-Season 3 Trailer (3:16)
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||169:40 (Case: 168)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Twentieth Century Fox
Richard Dean Anderson
Don S. Davis
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Stargate SG-1 Volume 8 sees us commencing the voyage through Season Three of this great show. As an enticement, let us just say that the new season brings forth gifts that we should all be grateful for!
So without further ado, let's check out the offerings on Volume 8:
Well colour me pink and call me cotton candy - Season Three sees a huge improvement in the quality of the transfers! Always knew that lurking in there somewhere was something that was half way decent to watch. There is a substantial improvement in definition here, and a substantial decline in the grain problem that has plagued the series DVDs thus far. Okay, there is still some grain, but it is almost ignorable in comparison to earlier DVDs in the series.
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 cropped form.
In just about every respect there is noticeable improvement in the transfers here. Sharpness is much improved, with resulting improvements in definition, to the extent that at times there is a distinct background and foreground feeling to the picture. The big improvement is of course in the clarity of the transfer, as the grain is very much reduced here. Indeed, the only time that the grain approaches the almost diabolical levels of the earlier DVDs is during Legacy, especially between 17:50 and 22:00 during scenes in the padded room. Indeed, at times it looks more like low level noise than grain it is that poor. The fact that the transfer is otherwise so improved in this regard probably serves to highlight this bad sequence. Still, at the end of the day this is a far easier DVD to watch than any of the previous seven volumes.
As is typical of the series in general on DVD, the colours are just a little underdone in my view and whilst they come up okay, you do wish for a bit more in the way of depth and vibrancy. The transfer remains a little lacking in contrast which serves to emphasise the lack of serious quality in the shadow detail. For once, there is just a hint of oversaturation on the DVD, at around 41:02 in Legacy. It is nothing major and probably only gets noticed because the transfer actually lets you see more. There are no problems with colour bleed.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There is just the one instance of noticeable aliasing, at 34:42 in Into The Fire on the gate ramp. Otherwise, there is not much in the way of significant film-to-video artefacts. There are no problems with film artefacts.
This is a Dual Layer formatted DVD, with no 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 seven subtitle options on the DVD, significantly up on previous efforts. Nonetheless, I still restricted myself to only the English for the Hearing Impaired effort. Very much in the same mold as the earlier DVDs in the series, they are missing just a little here and there as far as dialogue is concerned.
If you thought the video transfer was an improvement, wait until you hear the audio transfer! There are the usual three soundtracks available, in the generally consistent English, German and Spanish choices. The difference is that whilst the German and Spanish are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtracks, the English effort is a full-blown, full bit rate Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack! Woohoo!! The difference in body is quite amazing, with loads more presence than hitherto experienced on Stargate SG-1 DVDs.
The dialogue comes up well and is 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 Kevin Kiner handling the job on Legacy. Like the usual stuff for the series, the soundtracks lack a lot in the way of distinctiveness but are what we would expect from a television series. They do the job well enough and certainly don't detract from the shows at all.
The big improvement in the sound is the added presence from the surround channels. This especially is noticeable from the rear channels, which add a fair degree of ambient sound at times. It is by no means a terrific example of six channel sound but within the context of being a television series, it works pretty well. The bass contribution could perhaps have been a little better but overall this is a terrific improvement in the sound and bodes well for the remaining DVDs in Season Three. A welcome improvement.
|Surround Channel Use|
The improvements continue! We actually get some extras - not much but certainly a lot better than nothing.
The menu style has been improved and is a much cleaner, better looking effort. The audio and animation enhancement extends a little more than usual, too, and overall this is a nice change.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The featurette is along the lines of an electronic press kit style presentation with excerpts from the series interspersed with interview material from the cast and some of the crew. Tacked onto the end of the 5 minute EPK-style presentation is 2 minutes of what amounts to a trailer. Not especially wonderful but a welcome enough addition.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Plenty of excerpts from many episodes of the season as well as from Season Two, typical of the sort of promotional stuff US networks put together for the return of big name series. Welcome too, even though it is a little grainy at times.
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 too. That would probably suggest that Season Three will be so released too. Season by season box sets are the go but this is decent enough in quality and available now....
Well, this was an unexpected improvement in quality across the board. A much improved video transfer and a distinctly better audio transfer highlight a vastly more watchable DVD. About the only way that this could get any better is if it were actually in a season box set. Nonetheless, there is just enough grain present to suggest that large screen owners check the transfer out first, especially the episode Legacy.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|