|Category||Music Video||Theatrical Trailer(s)||None|
|Year Released||1992||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||47:03 Minutes
|Warner Reprise Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||None|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The transfer is presented Full Frame and is not 16x9 enhanced.
It would not surprise me to learn that the video portion of this transfer is taken from various archival analogue tapes, as the sharpness of this transfer is distinctly average most of the time. Chapter 1, This Charming Man, is very hazy indeed, with the vocalist often being barely distinguishable from the background due to the presence of what appears to be lens flares from the sun. In Chapter 1, it looked as if the brightness level of the transfer had been set too high for the most part, as white clothing became indistinguishable from the white background. Shadow detail is very ordinary, but infrequently noticeable since most of the footage was shot under controlled lighting conditions. The most puzzling thing is the absence of low-level noise, given the lack of resolution in what is otherwise a very average-looking video presentation.
The colour saturation was highly variable from song to song, with all sorts of artistic effects complicating the issue further. On average, however, the colour saturation was reasonable without being remarkable.
MPEG artefacts were not seen at any point in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some very mild aliasing in musical instruments and other such objects with steel and fine lines in them, but this was hardly noticeable for the most part. Film artefacts consisted of some minor black and white marks on the picture, but these were barely noticeable in combination with the artistic style used in many of the videos.
This is a minor quibble, but there are no subtitles at all to be found on this disc, not even English lyrics. While the vocals are very easy to understand, this would have been a nice touch.
There is only one soundtrack on this DVD: the original English version of the music in Linear PCM 2.0 Stereo, with no alternate DTS or Dolby Digital soundtracks on offer.
The vocals and instruments in all of the songs were as clear and distinct as the original recordings allowed, which is certainly nothing to complain about. The vocals were somewhat nasal and thickly-accented in their delivery, but it was quite easy to make out exactly what the vocalist was saying. Similarly, the guitars, bass, and drums on How Soon Is Now?, my reference track because of my vague familiarity with the musical contents, were perfectly mixed together. Audio sync did not appear to be a problem except for the usual problems associated with music videos being mimed.
The music by The Smiths can be classed as being English middle-of-the-road pop, albeit delivered in a perfectly competent and listenable manner. Most of the music failed to strike a chord with me, with songs like Girlfriend In A Coma making me wonder if the theme of the song was supposed to make me feel some kind of sympathy for the vocalist. It didn't really work, which is hardly surprising considering that most of my record collection consists of music that, when you respond "that's horrible" to the idea of having a girlfriend in a coma, comes back with "I haven't even told you the horrible part yet".
Being that this is a straight stereo mix, there was no action to speak of from the surround channels, although I did engage the Pro-Logic mode during my second listen to How Soon Is Now? for some fun. The subwoofer was frequently utilized to support the bass and drums, but was not specifically called upon to do so by the programme contents.
The video quality is very ordinary, although it is reasonable to assume that no better source material exists.
The audio quality is very good, with excellent clarity.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835; Sony STR-DE535 with Pro-Logic enabled|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|