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Old 03-29-17, 05:14 PM   #1
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Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

I have two DVDs that I would like to get technical details about, but I'm not sure how to do that exactly. They're both from a TV show from the '80s. However, the newer DVD is part of the box set that was released in late 2014 or early 2015. The other is from the single season release from 2010.

The one from the box set seems to be more grainy. Interestingly, the DVDs from the box set have the entire season on just three DVDs, while the single season release is on four DVDs. A reviewer on Amazon also noticed the same thing I did, but no one else has mentioned this. I'm not sure if I got bad discs or if the company (Shout Factory) just used crappier compression on the box set, but I don't know why no one else has mentioned it.

Even more interesting is that the episodes airing on cable (SD channel) are much better quality than the DVDs. The opening theme on the DVD box set is horribly grainy as if it came from an analog OTA transmission from 30+ years ago. I'd have to check the single season release to see if it's grainy too.

I'm using the same TV to view the DVDs and cable channel. My TV is a 19" LCD and I'm using a fairly basic Philips DVD player I bought between 2004-2007 connected to the TV using a composite connection. The TV is connected to the cable box using a coax cable.

What do I need to do to find out if the box set DVDs are bad? I'd also like to determine if they are inferior to the single season releases.

Back in 2007, I downloaded one of the episodes from Joost and the quality of that 80 MB MP4 converted to AVI (or maybe it was MPEG) is so much better than some of the episodes from the box set DVDs!
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Old 03-29-17, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

It's doubtful that the discs are "bad" (as in defective). Though if they've put a lot of episodes onto the individual discs, the compression will suffer.

It's also possible that you have a bootleg, especially if you bought it from an eBay seller or Amazon marketplace seller.

It would help if you said what the title of the tv series was so that someone else who owns it could compare their DVDs with yours.
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Old 03-29-17, 11:27 PM   #3
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

I bought it directly from Amazon. It was listed as "Ships from and sold by".

It's the Facts of Life.

I don't think the discs are bad because the problem is with more than one disc. I doubt there would be that many bad ones in there. I was hoping someone could tell me what type of program I could use to check out the compression (?) and all that stuff so I could compare the two discs.

I doubt that many people here have the Facts of Life on DVD. But the problem disc is Season 5, disc 1. I've only watched the first three episodes, but the worst was Gamma Gamma or Bust (from the complete box set). If the picture is that bad on a 19" TV, I'd hate to watch it on something bigger.

I saw more reviews (comments actually) where people complain about the picture quality. But it doesn't sound like theirs is as bad as what I'm seeing. I'll try watching the disc on another TV (26", I think) and DVD player and report back. I'll also try watching the disc from the single season release. So I may not get to post back here until Monday.
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Old 03-30-17, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

I've had that happen on some discs as well. Not the Facts of Life, but the series set of Deep Space Nine. I bought the set from an Amazon Marketplace seller at an insanely low price. I am pretty sure that it was a bootleg, but I wasn't going to take the good discs with the bad. Unfortunately the affected discs were in a later season, so I was out of the return window. Did a chat and was able to convince the guy to sell me replacements for the affected seasons for a song.
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Old 03-30-17, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

Facts of Life is from Mill Creek, which crams too many episodes onto each disc. They've put out sets with fewer discs than previously from Sony, which used less compression and fewer episodes per disc.
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Old 04-07-17, 01:13 PM   #6
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

Mill Creek is pretty infamous for compression issues and cramming a lot of episodes per disk to sell them cheaply.
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Old 04-08-17, 04:20 PM   #7
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Re: Did I Get Bad Discs or is the Compression Just Horrible?

I have the individual seasons (checked the back of the case, and it's from Shout Factory!). I didn't watch the full episode but spot checked the first episode on disc 1. It's not the greatest quality but I'm not seeing artifacts or anything. It's not super HD crisp by any means. And I do expect better from Shout Factory!, but perhaps they had a bad master for these? I don't see them putting tons of money into them to make them HD.

For a while, I thought they'd stop releasing them after season 3, so I'm just glad that they picked up the rights and released the full series.

Are you having the same problem with the other discs in the season? If it's just the one disc, you may have just gotten a bad one and depending on when you bought it, you should be able to get a replacement.
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