MTV 20-Pop (2001)

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Released 28-Nov-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Biographies-Cast
Informational Subtitles-On-Screen Trivia
Easter Egg-MTV promotional clips
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 71:32
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (49:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Various
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Information Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    On August 1 1981, a new dedicated music channel was launched in the US - MTV. Twenty years on, it has grown beyond all expectations.

    MTV20: Pop is a disc containing fifteen different pop video clips that have aired on MTV over the last twenty years. These clips are separated by short interview segments with some of the featured bands and various other groups. In addition to the interview segments, a small number of MTV promotional clips are also placed between tracks.

    The bands featured on this disc are as follows: Gary Numan, A Flock of Seagulls, Naked Eyes, The Fixx, Big Country, Elvis Costello, Lionel Ritchie, The Thompson Twins, Tears For Fears, Lisa Stansfield, Aqua, Smash Mouth, Chumbawamba, K-ci & JoJo, and Semisonic. If I was selecting a collection of fifteen different pop clips from the past twenty years, I would have a drastically different list as I expect most other people would. The selection of these clips is quite unusual as a number of these clips did not even make the top 10 in the charts and would not be classified as pop classics by most people.

    One annoying issue with the disc is that viewers are unable to just watch the video clips. Each clip is authored as a single chapter but this chapter also contains interview segments or MTV promos. An option to play just the music videos would have been appreciated.

    If you really enjoy the songs included on the disc then I would suggest that you take a look at this disc, but I feel that most viewers would expect more from a collection of the best pop songs from the last two decades.

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Track Listing

1. Cars
2. I Ran
3. Promises, Promises
4. One Thing Leads to Another
5. In A Big Country
6. Everyday I Write The Book
7. All Night Long
8. Hold Me Now
9. Shout
10. All Around the World
11. Barbie Girl
12. Walkin’ On The Sun
13. Tubthumping
14. All My Life
15. Closing Time

Transfer Quality

Video

    Due to the range in quality of the source materials utilized, the quality of the transfer varies considerably throughout.

    Each of the videos appear to be presented in their original aspect ratio with the majority of the transfer presented at a ratio of 1.33:1. The videos for Promises, Promises, Hold Me Now, and Barbie Girl are all presented at an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1. The video for Shout is presented at approximately 1.78:1 and the video for Closing Time is presented at approximately 2.35:1. None of these videos are 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness varies throughout this transfer and may be directly linked to the age of the clips. Some of the oldest clips are quite soft but by the end of the feature the modern clips are significantly sharper. Some low level noise may be seen constantly during the first ten clips and also during some segments during Walkin' On The Sun. For the first series of clips, this low level noise is inherent in the source material and is not a fault of the transfer, but its occurrence during Walkin' On The Sun is unexpected. This low level noise is slightly distracting to the viewer.

    The colour presented varies throughout the transfer and ranges from slightly muted, during early clips such as I Ran, to extremely vibrant and highly saturated in Barbie Girl. The colours for all clips appear to be accurately reproduced.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer.

    Some minor instances of aliasing were visible at 67:13 during Closing Time. Two instances of moiré artefact were also visible during this clip at 66:55 and 68:33. These artefacts were slightly distracting to the viewer.

    Some minor film artefacts may be seen during most of the early clips with obvious examples visible at 6:50, 19:16 and 23:10.

    A number of NTSC to PAL conversion artefacts may be seen during the Barbie Girl clip and at 0:40 and 56:33. These artefacts are quite minor and are not distracting to the viewer. Three analogue tape errors may be seen at 3:29, 17:06 and 44:47, but as these only last for a single frame they are not distracting.

    During a number of clips, some obvious edge enhancement is visible. Some examples of this may be seen at 1:49, 3:02, 3:11, 33:15, and 62:08. The result is moderately distracting to the viewer.

    Excessive contrast may be seen during the Walkin' On The Sun clip. This may have been intentional but this does seem unusual for a clip of this age. An instance of posterization may be seen at 51:24 but due to its short duration it is not disturbing.

    Two subtitle streams are included on this disc. The first is a series of comments about the tracks and is presented like the comments seen in MTV's pop-up videos. The second subtitle stream contains no information.

The layer change occurs at 49:52 during a natural fade to black part way through Chapter 10 and is unlikely to be detected by most viewers.

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

Audio

    Two audio tracks are provided on this disc. The default track is a Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 mix, while a Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 surround mix is also provided. I listened to both versions in full and found the 5.1 mix to be of significantly higher quality. A PCM mix preserving the original audio would have been appreciated and could have been included in place of the uninspiring 2.0 mix.

    The lyrics are always clear and easy to understand.

    As with many music video clips, there are often very slight problems with audio sync but this is expected by the viewer and easily overlooked. No dropouts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The surround and subwoofer channels are used extensively throughout the transfer. Some viewers may find this new remix of the audio distracting and the inclusion of the original 2.0 PCM mix would have been appreciated.

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

Extras

Menu

    The minimally animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1

Biographies

    This is a collection of biographical information, given in point form, and selected discographies for each of the featured artists.

On-Screen Trivia

    Selecting this option will allow the viewer to activate the first subtitle stream containing short trivia items, such as a song's time in the charts or specific details about an artist. This set of subtitles may also be selected by the viewer via the remote.

Easter Eggs

    By pressing the up arrow on the remote when the Extra Features item is highlighted on the main menu the viewer is presented with one of four different clips. These clips are short MTV promotional items and they include one of the segments seen during the main feature. These clips appear to be chosen at random and may also be viewed as Titles 3 to 6.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    MTV20: Pops is a collection of music videos that will surprise many viewers by their selection. If you enjoy these clips then this disc may be worth checking out but I feel that many viewers will be disappointed.

    The video transfer is acceptable but it does emphasize the original low production values of the early clips.

    The surround mixes will be enjoyed by some viewers but I feel that many people will be disappointed with the exclusion of a PCM 2.0 mix.

    The biographies and trivia are quite interesting for viewers but it would have been nice to seen some background information on MTV itself provided.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, November 30, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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