|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||110:12 minutes||Other Extras||Biography - Cast
Music Videos - Copperline and Enough To Be On Your Way
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Linear PCM 48/24 2.0, 2304Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||Full Frame||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in credits|
Whilst James Taylor is not my usually taste in music, there is no doubt that he is one of the pre-eminent singer/songwriters of the past fifty years and therefore you are guaranteed of quality when he gets up on stage. That is indeed what we get here: some very serious quality. This very diverse collection of original and cover tunes comprises the following tracks:
The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Whilst there are a few lapses along the lines that we would normally be expecting from a concert video, this is a brilliantly sharp and extraordinarily well-detailed transfer that exudes quality. Wonderfully clear throughout, the whole show was clearly designed with its live transmission on television in mind, which means that there are far less problems with extreme stage lighting. Indeed, this is a very nicely lit concert that allows plenty of detail of the audience and the venue to shine through. There did not appear to be any problem with low level noise in the transfer.
This is a wonderfully vibrant transfer with a very nice naturalness to it, a very colourful experience without any of the extremes of colour that are so often prevalent in concert videos. The only hint at oversaturation is in the few odd shots taken from behind the drummer under blue lighting, when his blue shirt flares just a little.
There did not appear to be any MPEG artefact problems in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film-to-video artefact problems in the transfer: what aliasing was present was so minor as to be virtually non-existent. There did not appear to be any film artefact problems in the transfer.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change coming at 64:30. It is just a little noticeable, but is not too serious a disruption to the enjoyment of the show as it is during the applause after a song.
Overall, this is one of the very best-looking concert videos that you will ever likely see. This is immediately noted by one fact: guitar strings are usually an enormously problematic source of aliasing in music videos, but here they present virtually no problem at all.
As suggested, there are two audio tracks on the DVD, the English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened briefly to the Dolby Digital 5.1 effort, before indulging in the Linear PCM soundtrack. You should note that the reference to Dolby Stereo on the DVD cover is incorrect - there is no Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack here.
The vocals were as easy to understand as is possible in this genre.
There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync in the transfer.
The main problem with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is that the bass channel is a little too forward and resonant in the overall mix. This is quite a common problem with DVDs from this source in my experience, although this is less of a problematic effort in this regard than most. However, with this sort of music, it is an extremely distracting problem - it simply overpowers the vocal and guitar tracks in the mix at times, which are of course the important tracks here. The surround channels are pretty well handled with the audience noise well placed in the rear channels. Overall though, I found it too tiresome to continue listening to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in the end and was forced to switch to the Linear PCM soundtrack. And I am very glad that I was forced to, as it is a superb effort indeed. Whilst it misses out on the bass channel support, and obviously has no surround channel use, it is a superbly clear soundtrack with a real presence that evokes memories of some of the very best CD 96kHz/24 bit recordings I have heard. It is a very naturally balanced soundtrack and the whole stage perspective is very convincing indeed. I doubt that you will hear a better Linear PCM 48/24 soundtrack - ever.
A superb video transfer.
A very good audio transfer.
A reasonable extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
16th July 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. 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 EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|