|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||62:29 minutes||Other Extras||None|
|Starring||Stevie Ray Vaughan
|RRP||$34.95||Music||Stevie Ray Vaughan|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||English||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, music "Tick Tock"|
This DVD is the combination of the two appearances made by Stevie Ray Vaughan on Austin City Limits, a television show obviously made in Austin, Texas. The first was in 1983 as a slightly unsure, raw talent and the second in 1989 as an assured performer, comfortable with his talent. The track listings are:
The two live segments make an interesting, if somewhat brief, comparison. However, considering that the man died almost ten years ago, we should be grateful that we have as much of his talent on offer as we have, and this DVD presents an enjoyable enough concert experience of a master guitarist in every sense of the word.
The concert is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and of course it is not 16x9 enhanced.
Given that the source material is eleven years and seventeen years old, we have to accept that sharpness and detail is not going to match more recent efforts. This is not helped by the fact that is suffers the inferior resolution of NTSC as well as (presumably) being shot on videotape. That said however, this is generally of good quality throughout, although obviously the more recent concert footage shows a noticeably higher degree of sharpness and definition. This is due in part to the more subdued stage lighting used compared to the earlier concert. The transfer is very clear throughout whilst shadow detail is respectable enough although again obviously not in the same league as more recent efforts. There did not appear to be any low level noise in the transfer.
The colours have come up very well in the transfer, although the earlier concert does exhibit some washout and flare problems as a result of the more intense (blue) stage lighting. However, in comparison to other transfers I have seen, this is overall a much more acceptable looking transfer. The later concert footage is better than good and displays a very nice rich tone to the colours that totally belies the source of the concert footage. The saturation was reasonably well handled throughout, although there were a couple of instances where the intense stage lighting really worked against the transfer and the blue colours in particular started to flare a little.
There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There was a very minor and barely noticeable problem with aliasing during the transfer, which in all honesty is probably more due to the inherent lack of solid resolution of an NTSC transfer rather than actual aliasing as a result of the transfer process. There was no problem with film artefacts in the transfer.
You should note that subtitles (or more correctly the song lyrics) are not available for all songs, Voodoo Chile missing out on the treatment: since this is a predominantly instrumental track, this is not of real concern though.
There are two English audio tracks on the DVD, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 track. I attempted to listen to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, but gave up after five minutes as I found it completely unlistenable and therefore stuck to the default Linear PCM track.
The music and vocals came up pretty well in the Linear PCM soundtrack, but the Dolby Digital soundtrack is an entirely different matter. The problem with the Dolby Digital soundtrack is that the sound mixer obviously thought that this was not a DVD featuring a master guitar player and decided to mix the bass so strongly in the mix that it persistently drowned out not just the vocal track but also the instrumental tracks. If you like to crank up bass purely to annoy the neighbours, then this DVD is for you. However, if you actually want to watch and listen to music from a master guitarist, you have no option but to listen to the Linear PCM track. Despite my best efforts I was simply unable to screw the bass contribution down enough to get anything even closely approximating a decently balanced Dolby Digital soundtrack. Anything more than two minutes listening I was completely unable to manage, and extended listening at normal listening levels would certainly result in equipment damage and/or structural damage in my view - not to mention potentially long-term hearing damage. Quite why Sony engineers seem to be incapable of consistently producing a decently balanced Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack I have no idea, but the only thing that saves this DVD from the scrap heap (of the Hall of Shame) is the fact that the Linear PCM soundtrack is an entirely different matter all together is actually a damn good soundtrack.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with either of the soundtracks.
Since the bass channel so utterly drowns out everything else on the Dolby Digital soundtrack, it is very hard to say anything about the surround channel contributions on the Dolby Digital soundtrack! And, since the Linear PCM soundtrack is pure stereo, there is nothing to say about either surround channel or bass channel contributions in that soundtrack. I would certainly recommend avoiding the Dolby Digital soundtrack (which thankfully is quite easy since the Linear PCM is the default). The Linear PCM soundtrack is nice and bright, a little too recessed in the vocal track perhaps, but infinitely more listenable and pleasurable overall.
A good video transfer for both its age and the source.
A shocking Dolby Digital audio transfer offset by a very good Linear PCM audio transfer.
Nothing in the extras package at all.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
12th June 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|