Dumb DVD authoring

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I know one thing that I hate with the DVD authoring is, and this is mostly with 3rd party releases, where a show is owned by one company, like Universal, but is then licensed by another company like Shout, and the first company will only license the syndication masters. I have “The Hardy Boys” Season 3 that Shout released a few years ago after Universal only released Seasons 1 & 2 and stopped. Now then Universal’s own sets contained 2 different transfers from the 35mm masters, one that was made in 1985 when some episodes were released on VHS/Betamax (and one episode that wasn’t released then seems to have had a transfer in 85), while the other episodes received new transfers for the DVD’s in 2005/07. But Season 3, Universal has never released by themselves and the only transfers they give to other companies are off-screen 16mm syndication prints made in 1979 (by off-screen, I mean the episodes were projected on a wall and recorded by a video camera) and have terrible colours and in some cases poor audio. Sure Shout put a warning title screen up claiming these were the “best” masters, however these are the same masters that Universal was using in the 80’s when Goodtimes liceNsed one episode in the late-80’s for VHS release. Now then before the DVD was released, someone had shown me digitized versions of off-sir recordings that they had made on VHS in the late-90’s/early-2000’s when a Disney channel was rerunning the series, and Disney had been using the original network masters!

And even with other Universal show that Shout has licensed, Shout seems to get lower quality masters, so I think Universal asks a certain amount of money for certain quality masters. Or any studio.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
And even with other Universal show that Shout has licensed, Shout seems to get lower quality masters, so I think Universal asks a certain amount of money for certain quality masters. Or any studio.
Another issue I've seen with audio releases, often the record labels don't want to give up their original and/or best masters outside their studios, even if a large fee is offered for payment. And smaller reissue labels are often passed over for larger ones. It's a lot of studio politics involved, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same were applied to video.
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
Another issue I've seen with audio releases, often the record labels don't want to give up their original and/or best masters outside their studios, even if a large fee is offered for payment. And smaller reissue labels are often passed over for larger ones. It's a lot of studio politics involved, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same were applied to video.

Can you blame them. That master is tools to make tools. Some of them require it to be mastered in their facilities. A one generation down, well made flat analog safety copy is often just fine to work with. Why not make that available so it can be mastered all analog. And the original stay safe.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Not being Netflix subscribers, we were interested in seeing THE CROWN, the series about the life ant times of Queen Elizabeth II. It had gotten rave reviews and we like those sort of shows. So I ordered the Blu-ray set that contains both Season 1 and Season 2. It arrives, it plays fine here in Region A.

But the dumb authoring part is: there are four discs. Three episodes on disc 1, three on disc 2, two each on discs 3 and 4. So you're watching disc one and the menu has the titles of the episodes on the left side. They nicely scroll to the next one as you finish and episode. You finish episode three and the title for episode four is now highlighted. You select it - and get a message to insert disc 2! The same procedure goes on for each "next disc".

Wouldn't it be better is the episode titles for each disc were on their own disc? Anyone who's watching THE CROWN, I think, might have the intelligence to figure out the alignment of titles to disc.

The only good part of this, is that when you DO put in disc 2, it goes right to the start of the next episode without slogging you through another menu.
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
Not being Netflix subscribers, we were interested in seeing THE CROWN, the series about the life ant times of Queen Elizabeth II. It had gotten rave reviews and we like those sort of shows. So I ordered the Blu-ray set that contains both Season 1 and Season 2. It arrives, it plays fine here in Region A.

But the dumb authoring part is: there are four discs. Three episodes on disc 1, three on disc 2, two each on discs 3 and 4. So you're watching disc one and the menu has the titles of the episodes on the left side. They nicely scroll to the next one as you finish and episode. You finish episode three and the title for episode four is now highlighted. You select it - and get a message to insert disc 2! The same procedure goes on for each "next disc".

Wouldn't it be better is the episode titles for each disc were on their own disc? Anyone who's watching THE CROWN, I think, might have the intelligence to figure out the alignment of titles to disc.

The only good part of this, is that when you DO put in disc 2, it goes right to the start of the next episode without slogging you through another menu.

Not good authoring. Keep the menu confined to the content actually present on that DVD. This is a poster child of poor menu and opening authoring design. Major annoyance for users.
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
I know one thing that I hate with the DVD authoring is, and this is mostly with 3rd party releases, where a show is owned by one company, like Universal, but is then licensed by another company like Shout, and the first company will only license the syndication masters. I have “The Hardy Boys” Season 3 that Shout released a few years ago after Universal only released Seasons 1 & 2 and stopped. Now then Universal’s own sets contained 2 different transfers from the 35mm masters, one that was made in 1985 when some episodes were released on VHS/Betamax (and one episode that wasn’t released then seems to have had a transfer in 85), while the other episodes received new transfers for the DVD’s in 2005/07. But Season 3, Universal has never released by themselves and the only transfers they give to other companies are off-screen 16mm syndication prints made in 1979 (by off-screen, I mean the episodes were projected on a wall and recorded by a video camera) and have terrible colours and in some cases poor audio. Sure Shout put a warning title screen up claiming these were the “best” masters, however these are the same masters that Universal was using in the 80’s when Goodtimes liceNsed one episode in the late-80’s for VHS release. Now then before the DVD was released, someone had shown me digitized versions of off-sir recordings that they had made on VHS in the late-90’s/early-2000’s when a Disney channel was rerunning the series, and Disney had been using the original network masters!

And even with other Universal show that Shout has licensed, Shout seems to get lower quality masters, so I think Universal asks a certain amount of money for certain quality masters. Or any studio.

Unless there's no better elements, those 16 mm syndication prints should never have been used for home video even on VHS. No excuse for this on DVD or on BluRay. A major let down. Should have used better transfers from original 35 mm source material or from 2" videotape if that's the original source masters.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
That's a good example of why I rip everything off of the discs and put them on a server now. Discs are useless to me. I select the title I want to watch from a list and it starts instantly--no ads, no menus, no bullpoop.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Unless there's no better elements, those 16 mm syndication prints should never have been used for home video even on VHS. No excuse for this on DVD or on BluRay. A major let down. Should have used better transfers from original 35 mm source material or from 2" videotape if that's the original source masters.
Unfortunately you are talking about Universal who are notorious for quality issues or other problems.

Look at the 1950’s Dragnet that Universal owns. There are numerous Public Domain DVD’s out there and episodes online (with about 62 out of 276 episodes and are either 16mm direct transfers, or 16mm-to-tape-derived transfers like VHS SLP ), but Universal can’t be bothered with doing official Season sets for the first 100 that are in the Public Domain (I’dlike to see those transferred to Blu-Ray from the 35mm that Universal has kept locked in their vaults since the series was removed from syndication in 1967, which is why there’s no tape copies made from the 35mm floating around—-or there might be one tape master, since on another forum someone was mentioning that TVLand managed to get Universal to get the 35mm for one episode out of the vault sometime in the late-90’s or 2000’s and transferred to tape for airing—-whether it was transferred in HD or SD, I don’t know, but at the very least Universal probably has at least a 480i Digital Betacam copy of that episode, might even be 480p as DB could support 480p) or trying to clear the rights for the next 100 and then figuring out which 7 of the remaining 60-some episodes are not PD and releasing those. I know that they might want to release things out of order once they got the first 100 out, to give them time to work out the clearances, but even when Shout released “The Big Smoke” on the 1960’s Dragnet DVD’s, they had to a source a couple 16mm prints from collector’s, since Universal didn’t want to go looking for the 35mm master or even a better 16mm.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thought that "Dragnet" was owned by Warner Bros. (black & white).
The 1954 Dragnet full color movie I’m not to sure if it’s still owned by Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers handled the theatrical release in 1954, and their logo is still at the beginning of the film (after a teaser). However, since the VHS era, Universal has released the movie on VHS, MOD DVD and digital download and it seems that it’s owned by Universal. Or it could be like the 1960’s Batman where Fox (now Disney) owns the 1960’s TV series and movie, and still handles the broadcast and streaming rights for both the TV series & film, and the film’s physical rights while Warner Brothers controls the TV series physical rights.

Warner Brothers may still own the film, but Universal controls the various rights since Universal owns the Dragnet franchise.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Is "Batman" (TV series 1966 - 1968) has the "20th Century Fox" logo at the end or replaced by "Warner Bros." logo or both??
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Is "Batman" (TV series 1966 - 1968) has the "20th Century Fox" logo at the end or replaced by "Warner Bros." logo or both??
It’s got the 20th Century Fox logo. Warner’s logo only appears on the packaging and when you start a disc. The series and all the film elements are still owned by Fox/Disney; Warner only has the DVD/Blu-Ray rights. The one major issue I have with Warner’s Blu-Ray is that the audio is encoded in Dolby Digital 1.0 192kbps. Warner presented the video in 1080p 24fps, but then they gave us terrible audio selection. It would’ve been nice if Warner had gone the route that Image/CBS did with “The Twilight Zone” and gave us a Uncompressed 2.0 mono track.
 
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