Stargate SG-1 - Volume 3

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Details At A Glance

Category Science Fiction/Television Main Menu Audio and Animation
Year Released 1998
Running Time 169:44 minutes
RSDL/Flipper Dual Layer
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Selection, then Menu
Region 2,4 Director David Warry-Smith
William Gereghty
Fox Home Entertainment
Starring Richard Dean Anderson
Michael Shanks
Amanda Tapping 
Christopher Judge
Don S. Davis
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $34.95 Music Joel Goldsmith
Kevin Kiner
Richard Band

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Macrovision ?Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Presentation Rant

    Refer my review of Stargate SG-1 - Volume 1 for the full rant. Suffice it to say, where exactly are episodes 102 through 118? It might be nice to see them, especially since once again characters in the episodes on Stargate SG-1 - Volume 3 appear during those episodes and their appearance here does not make that much sense without knowing that.

Plot Synopsis

    These are continuing episodes of the television series Stargate SG-1, one of the best science fiction shows on television in the past decade. Volume 3 continues the voyage through Season Two. If you need a slight background to the series, then again refer to Stargate SG-1 - Volume 1.

   The episodes on offer are:

   As we progress through Season Two, the series is highlighted by two things: continuing improvement in chemistry and slightly tighter stories that don't try to be too much. Production values remain high and the effects certainly do not really betray the fact that this is a television series. This continues to remain watchable science fiction.

   For the first time, the arrival of a Stargate SG-1 DVD in Region 4 can be greeted with something better than a lukewarm reception, for of the three DVDs to date, this is by far the least afflicted with grain.

Transfer Quality


    You may well recall that the predominant problems with the preceding volumes of Stargate SG-1 were plenty of grain. Well, we have gone from a bumper crop of grain to a better than average crop of grain to what is now a below average crop. A nice trend indeed, even though there still remain problems.

    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, although I would suggest that this option be avoided. Whilst I only checked out a short sequence from the fourth episode on the DVD in this form, it certainly was a lot grainier and more difficult to watch.

    In general this is only a decent transfer as far as sharpness and definition go, but that is good enough to be the best of the three volumes thus far. Detail is decent enough, but shadow detail could have again been better: in this regard, this is very consistent with the earlier volumes. Obviously with decent amounts of grain thrown throughout the transfer, clarity is not really brilliant at times either, but this is again on a par with the earlier volumes. There are no real indications of problems with low level noise in the transfer, although it is fair to say that solid dark colours don't seem to be too solid.

    In general, the colours have come up reasonably well, although there is some inconsistency here. Some sections of the first episode for instance show a rather bleached look as if the film is slightly overexposed and the general tone of the colours is a tad muted. This is repeated elsewhere, but there are also sections where there are some bright greens that look very nice indeed. There remains a slightly darkish tone to the transfers at times. No problems with oversaturation are obvious, with the tendency towards undersaturation at the fore, and there are no issues with colour bleed here.

    There did not appear to be many significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although again there were again hints of slight blockiness in the background on a number of occasions. There were a couple of instances where I sort of felt that the image was ghosting, but these fell into the "did I really see that?" category, as well as a couple of focus issues that might well be indicative of some poor compression. The benefit of the doubt is given to the transfer on this occasion. Most episodes display some shimmer, but nothing really poor and in general this is the only film-to-video artefact that is really noticed. There are no significant problems with film artefacts here at all.

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack and a German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I once again stuck with the default English soundtrack. PowerDVD had plenty of problems with this DVD and the bit rates for the soundtracks could not be determined. As an aside, it seems odd that PowerDVD has had serious problems playing both Volume 2 and Volume 3 of this series and it does beg the question as to whether there is some inherent problem in the mastering of these DVDs.

    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, with the aid of Richard Band and Kevin Kiner. Once again fairly typical of what we would expect from a television series, there is not much here that is liable to be confused with a masterpiece, but it does its job pretty well and is quite supportive of the show throughout.

    Once again there is nothing much wrong with the soundtrack on offer. There is a fair deal of action through both the front channels, although the rears are obviously not brought into play here. It certainly is not going to be confused with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There did not seem to be any action from the bass channel. Whilst the whole show would certainly benefit from a good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, there really is not not much to complain about here.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Another amazingly poor effort on the extras front. Nothing.


    Some audio and animation enhancement makes these decent efforts - even if they really have nothing much to do.

R4 vs R1

    There is no equivalent release to this in Region 1 at this time. When it does eventually come, I would not mind betting that it will be part of a Season Two box set, since that is the way MGM are going for the balance of Season One in Region 1 it seems.


    Stargate SG-1 - Volume 3 is welcomed with somewhat more open arms than earlier DVDs in the series. The presentation however is barely to an adequate standard, in not being part of the preferred complete season box set and in having a marginally problematic video transfer. If you especially hate grain ... you know the deal. Large screen owners would probably be especially well advised to steer clear of this effort.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
8th April, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL