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Universal DVD-18s: Caveat Emptor

Old 02-16-06, 08:17 AM
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DVD-18s: Caveat Emptor

In previous threads, I've mentioned the need for a sticky thread that lists all the DVD-18 releases out there, so people can be forewarned about potential problems with them.

I would like to solicit the help of this forum in creating such a list. I don't claim to know them all, far from it, but I will start with what I do know and we'll go from there.

Bolded entries indicate those titles which members of the Internet community have had playback problems (pixelization, freezing) with. If you have had trouble with a title not bolded, please make it known here in this thread.

Universal DVD-18 Releases

A-Team, The: Season One
A-Team, The: Season Two
A-Team, The: Season Three
Adventures Of Francis The Talking Mule, The: Volume One
Adventures Of Ma And Pa Kettle, The: Volume 1
Adventures Of Ma And Pa Kettle, The: Volume 2
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season One
American Gothic: The Complete Series
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series
Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries
Bela Lugosi Collection, The
Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello: Volume 1
Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello: Volume 2
Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello: Volume 3
Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello: Volume 4
Blues Brothers, The: 25th Anniversary Edition
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Epic Series
Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection
Casino: 10th Anniversary Edition
Carlito's Way: The Ultimate Edition
Cinderella Man (DVD-14)
Cinderella Man (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD-14)
Columbo: The Complete Third Season
Creature From The Black Lagoon, The: The Legacy Collection
Dracula: The Legacy Collection
Don Knotts Reluctant Hero Pack: The Franchise Collection
Dune: Extended Edition
- Layer Change: Side 1 - 1:25:47, Side 2 - 1:22:08
Earth 2: The Complete Series
Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection
Frighteners, The: Director's Cut
Hammer Horror Series, The
Invisible Man, The: The Legacy Collection
Knight Rider: Season One
Knight Rider: Season Two
Knight Rider: Season Three
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Law & Order: The Third Year 1992-1993 Season
Leave It To Beaver: The Complete First Season
Magnum P.I.: The Complete First Season
Magnum P.I.: The Complete Second Season
Magnum P.I.: The Complete Third Season
Magnum P.I.: The Complete Fourth Season
Mallrats 10th Anniversary Extended Edition
Miami Vice: Season One
Miami Vice: Season Two
Mummy, The: The Legacy Collection
Munsters, The: The Complete First Season
Munsters, The: The Complete Second Season
Murder, She Wrote: The Complete First Season
Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Second Season
Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Third Season
Northern Exposure: The Complete First Season
Northern Exposure: The Complete Second Season
Northern Exposure: The Complete Thrid Season
Orgazmo: Special Edition
Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season
Quantum Leap: The Complete Second Season
Quantum Leap: The Complete Third Season
Ray
Rockford Files, The: Season One
SeaQuest DSV: Season One
Schindler's List
Tremors Attack Pack
Wolf Man, The: The Legacy Collection

Other Studios' DVD-18 Releases

The Bob Newhart Show (DVD-10) (Fox)
Dallas: The Complete First Season
Dallas: The Complete Second Season
Dallas: The Complete Third Season
Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season
Dances With Wolves: Special Edition (MGM)
Dukes Of Hazzard, The: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros.)
Dukes Of Hazzard, The: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros.)
Dukes Of Hazzard, The: The Complete Third Season (Warner Bros.)
Dynasty: Complete First Season (DVD-10) (Fox)
ER: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros.)
ER: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros.)
Fargo: Special Edition (MGM)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 1, Collection 1 (ADV)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 1, Collection 2 (ADV)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 1, Collection 3 (ADV)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 2, Collection 1 (ADV)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 2, Collection 2 (ADV)
Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 2, Collection 3 (ADV)
Hill Street Blues: The Complete First Season (Fox)
Howling, The: Special Edition (DVD-14) (MGM)
NYPD Blue: Season 3 (DVD-14) (Fox)
Outer Limits, The: The Original Series - Season 1 (MGM)
Outer Limits, The: The Original Series - Season 2 (MGM)
Remington Steele: Season One (Fox)
Remington Steele: Season Two (Fox)
Space: Above And Beyond - The Complete Series
Superman: The Movie (Warner Bros.)
Terminator, The (DVD-14) (MGM)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Ultimate Edition (Artisian)
Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 1 - Volume 1 (DVD-14)
Waltons, The: The Complete First Season
West Wing, The: Season 1 (Warner Bros.)
West Wing, The: Season 2 (Warner Bros.)
West Wing, The: Season 3 (Warner Bros.)
Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros.)
Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros.)
Wonder Woman: The Complete Third Season (Warner Bros.)
V: The Series (Warner Bros.)

Last edited by Paul Arnette; 06-07-06 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:27 AM
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Cinderella Man
Tremors Franchise Collection (I think this is 2-sided)

I've never had a problem with these, but I know alot have. As mentioned before, it's cheaper to make 2 separate discs, yet they choose the 2-sided method. Makes no sense.

Last edited by Mr. Cinema; 02-16-06 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:30 AM
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Mr. Cinema,

Thanks. I have added both version of Cinderella Man to the list. I have also added Tremors with a (?) beside it until we get further confirmation.

Last edited by Paul Arnette; 02-16-06 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:34 AM
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Good idea Paul!
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Old 02-16-06, 09:33 AM
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Orgazmo and Ray are both Dvd-18s, however Ray is also available as a two disc "luck of the draw" style.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:45 AM
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Willh51,

Thanks for the contribution. I completely forgot about Orgasmo, and I wasn't 100% sure about Ray. I have added both.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:51 AM
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Mallrats 10th Anniv. Edition
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Old 02-16-06, 10:01 AM
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Added Mallrats.

I don't know as much about the DVD-18 discs as they relate to Universal TV as opposed to movies, but I seem to remember hearing troubles with Columbo. Are the A-Team, Columbo, and Magnum P.I. all DVD-18 releases?
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Old 02-16-06, 10:13 AM
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Season 1 and 2 sets of the original Outer Limits DVDs are DVD-18
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Old 02-16-06, 10:14 AM
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Universal is certainly the worst offender but any DVD-18 from any studio can be a problem. I had issues with the first two seasons of ER and the first season ofThe Waltons.
Unlike Universal, WB seems to have recognized the issues and switched to single sided discs. Still, the first season or two of certain sets can be a concern.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:17 AM
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I believe they are, yes; in fact I have a feeling that most relatively new Universal TV boxsets are DVD-18. There are certainly enough complaints about them on their Amazon listings from unhappy customers. As I recall, Columbo S3 was a particularly big offender.

In addition to those TV shows listed in the post above as I recall the two Munsters boxsets are DVD-18's.

Which is why I'm buying our home-grown UK sets - they are DVD-9. Mercifully, DVD-18's are almost unknown here, I guess there's no UK factory capable of making them. Even in the much larger US market, there are few factories able to make DVD-18 discs, so they are overloaded. I think that most of them are made by Deluxe, in Mexico.

I just wish Universal would stop using them. Their Netflix-only editions are DVD-9's. An admission that 18's are much more liable to damage and wouldn't last in the rental market.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:23 AM
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All four seasons of Quantum Leap are DVD-18s and notorious for problems.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Damed
Season 1 and 2 sets of the original Outer Limits DVDs are DVD-18
...luckily, the r2 editions aren't, though! Two sets of eight and five DVD-9's respectively.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:32 AM
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I've been pretty slow with my Hitchcock Presents discs and have four episodes to go. Hopefully, my luck continues and I don't get a single freeze.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:39 AM
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Wow. And the floodgates open. Seriously, that's cool. I want as comprehensive a list as possible.

I'd like to keep the focus on Universal, so I leave the title as is for now since they are clearly the worst offender. I'll take any submissions of DVD-18s that have had known problems from any studio however, and I will put them in a separate section for now.

Keep 'em coming, though it is a bit depresssing.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:44 AM
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Wasn't the ABBOT AND COSTELLO sets DVD-18?
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Old 02-16-06, 10:47 AM
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The Rockford Files season 1 is double sided and I believe DVD-18. I haven't had any problems with mine, luckily.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:22 AM
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Don't know if these Universal sets are 18s or not. Ma and Pa Kettle andFrancis the Talking Mule .
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Old 02-16-06, 11:29 AM
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Under other studios, you can add Dances with wolves extended edition.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:29 AM
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I see four volumes of The Best Of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, two volumes of The Adventures Of Ma And Pa Kettle, and one of The Adventures Of Francis The Talking Mule.

Can anyone confirm that these are DVD-18s, if so I'll put them on the list.

Added: Dances With Wolves: Special Edition
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Old 02-16-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
two volumes of The Adventures Of Ma And Pa Kettle

Can anyone confirm that these are DVD-18s, if so I'll put them on the list.
Yes.both volumes are dvd-18.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:39 AM
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This may be a nitpick, but you have titles listed there - Quantum Leap S4 and Knight Rider S4 - that are not even out yet.

Just kind of reminds me of the person who posted a "review" of the Magnum PI S4 set - which also isn't out yet - which rubs me as a bit dishonest because the set has not been released, the reviewer admitted he didn't have it, and the "review" was more of the physical disc than the actual release.

For the record, I have also never had a problem with these discs. I don't prefer them, but they work.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
I see four volumes of The Best Of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, two volumes of The Adventures Of Ma And Pa Kettle, and one of The Adventures Of Francis The Talking Mule.

Can anyone confirm that these are DVD-18s, if so I'll put them on the list.
Yes, all of them.
Hill Street Blues from FOX is also DVD-18. I can't imagine what the hell they were thinking going with DVD-18 after all the issues are common knowledge.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:46 AM
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Altimus,

I think you must mean Magnum P.I. Season Four, as I hadn't listed Knight Rider at all. Thanks for reminding me of Knight Rider though.

I will take unreleased DVDs off this list, however I think we would all be pretty surprised if these don't show up as DVD-18s also.

Regarding whether they work or not, I'm happy that you haven't had any bad experiences with them, but it is simply not possible to issue a blanket statement that they work. Now also keep in mind that I am not issuing a similarly blanket statement that they don't work. However, I have had success with The Bela Lugosi Collection and The Hammer Horror Series, and an utter nightmare with Dune: Extended Edition and Orgasmo: Special Edition. So, believe me, I'm not here doing this because I'm bored, there is a serious problem here.

Last edited by Paul Arnette; 02-17-06 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:48 AM
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It may be much, but it would be nice if people could list the title/chapter/time that the errors occur. I'm under the impression they mostly occur somewhat before or after the layer change, but (at least for Kolchak), I've seen people list the errors occurring at different parts on the same disc and side.
I think this is important because my Kolchak did not have the 'Made in Mexico' sticker on it, but when I used the CD-DVD Speed disc quality scan, both sides of both DVD-18's locked up the program with a massive amount of errors/failures just before the layer change and refused to read the second layer multiple times. If I had it start around or after the layer change data, it would finish, but would still have a massive amount of failures/ errors. Yet, when I played the discs in my old Sony DVP-S300 near the layer change, it played right through them with no problems (all were listed as being near the beginning of Title 3 Chapter 2 according to CD-DVD Speed). I still haven't had the time to watch the discs yet, but it might be nice to know if others are experiencing errors at parts of these Universal discs other than near the layer change. That way new owners can check theirs before the return period ends. Sorry for that long winded explanation.
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