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128 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2003
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was greatly dissapointed in this 4 disc set from the History Channel. I have VHS versions of some episodes, and they are much superior in both picture and sound quality. What happened? The editing/compilation of the DVD's is VERY poorly done, the intro to each segment (by Peter Graves) is much louder than the following program, so you constantly have to run the volume up and down ( and not just a little +/- 100% ). The resulting sound is muddy, with severe flutter and poor dynamic range ( film not kept tight on the sound drum during transfer ). The narration of the episodes is hard to hear, while the sound effects and music come blaring out at you - drowning out everything. The overall effect is about what you might expect of a high school kid's first attempt at making a home movie - and only a C- at that. There is no capability to play the entire disc, you must select each episode from the main menu, and then select "play this episode" again from the sub-menu, repeated seven times for each disc. I was supremely dissapointed - I have many History channel DVD's, and this is far and away the worst - a prime example of "let's make a quick buck - people are too stupid to care" thinking...The History Channel ought to be ashamed of themselves !!! if I had paid the $ 60.00 list price I would have really been outraged - as it was for $ 40.00 I still felt cheated and ripped off. It is hard to imagine what the producers of the original series would think - this was one of the finest original programs ever shown on TV - and to have the DVD's be so crudely done - no attempt to clean up the picture, no effort put into making the sound anywhere close to even, some episodes are very loud ( even distorted ) and some you can hardly hear, the inconvienient playback features, and cheesy packaging all contribute to the worst transfer, poorest DVD watching experience I have ever come accross. A Golden Rasberry candidate if ever there was one.
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166 of 169 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2005
Format: DVD
I have been watching Victory at Sea since I was a kid. I seldom missed an episode when it was shown. Over the years I have taped the series two or three times but never got it complete. I have bought crummy VCR tapes. Worst of all I bought the A&E piece of junk. What an expensive rip off that is. Finally we have this one (Studio: Digital 1 Stop DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005 Run Time: 780 ASIN: B000A2XC7Q) BUY IT if you like Victory at Sea. The picture is very good and the music and narration are like you remember it. I don't think it has been remastered but that is a plus after being suckered into buying that A&E piece of crap.

As far as I can see it is complete and each episode is 26 minutes long.
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393 of 409 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The History Channel and NBC NEWS should be ashamed of themselves for putting out this long awaited DVD version of Victory at Sea. I watched these shows as a kid back in the 50s and waited for the DVD version. I was warned by someone that the sound wasn't great, but I bought the set anyway. Big mistake. You have to watch some of them with a remote in your hand to constantly raise and lower the sound. The narration is too low and the music is too loud. A review on another website defending the DVD set said that there is a warning on the box that says "audio levels may vary". Yeah, right, but the sites that sell the DVDs don't point that out. This was very disappointing. I can't, and won't, recommend this set to anyone.
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245 of 262 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2003
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Ever since I had my first DVD player I wanted to get Victory At Sea. It turned out to be quite a disapointment. The sound track leaves much to be desired. When the DVD starts the music is wonderfull, as soon as the first part goes on you know the sound and effects will be and are awfull.The sound is low and lifeless.The sound is most of what makes the stories come alive. I own the CDs of this music and they are great. These DVDs seem as though they were copied from an old tape and never enhanced. I know the stories, I have the tapes, these DVDs are a rip off.
Joel Powell
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is the DVD release of this outstanding series that I have been waiting for. The History Channel version is a total flop, don't waste your money on it. When I bought this on Amazon, I was thinking that this was going to be another "flop", but that didn't happen. The narration by Leonard Graves and the music by Richard Rodgers are at the absolutey correct levels that they should be, just as in the original VHS series. The sound quality is excellent as is the video imagery. You get the lead-in theme song and the big "V" at the end of each episode, no overlapping segue as in the VHS tapes which eliminated the leadin/endings for all episodes on a given tape in the series. There is also some added bonus materials on each DVD disc which adds to the appeal of this series. All I can say is WELL DONE, FINALLY! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this version of Victory at Sea if you want the original un-edited un-corrupted TV series on DVD.
Mel Phillips
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2006
Format: DVD
I can remember watching "Victory at Sea" on Sunday afternoons on PBS, and I still enjoy seeing the rolling waves and hearing the distinctive music which made this series so popular. All 26 episodes of the original series are included on 3 DVDs. I don't think that the individual episodes have been re-mastered. Regardless, each episode appears just as it was when it appeared on television. From the U-Boat battles of the North Atlantic to the final capitulation of Japan, the viewer is treated to a very well-done and entertaining look at the naval battles of the second world war.

Although there are other versions of the "Victory at Sea" series available on DVD, I like this one the best because of the very reasonable price. Some of the other versions cost upwards of $50. The only drawback to this set is that the picture quality isn't as good as it possibly could have been. However, this is a minor point. Each episode runs approximately 26 minutes, and each is loaded with actual footage derived from over 13,000 hours of actual film shooting.

I give this fine version my highest recommendation. You'll get to re-live the series just as it was when it was on television. The rolling waves are still there, and the large "V" still appears at the end of each episode. Watch this legendary series and experience how the second world war was fought on the high seas.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a vintage series created when TV was in its infancy and sound recording much simpler than today. However, a great deal of the battle photography is unsurpassed.

No series brings together so much authentic warefare footage from the naval dimension of WWII. Editor Isaac Kleinerman worked with what would be considered a shoestring budget and primitive equipment by today's standards. But he did a spectacular job of retrieving and assembling archival footage. Some of the camera operators were right in the line of fire or on the burning decks. Some scenes show vast panoramas of ships the world will never see again. V at S also does justice to the supply and logistics side of the conflict, which too many fictional and documentary accounts ignore.

Some portions are dramatizations or staged, but these are less obtrusive or contrived than half of what the History Channel or our Pentagon puts out these days.

The only thing really missing from V at S is interview or narative support from sailors, merchantmen, and commanders who were still alive and whose memories were fresh. However, this documentary technique did not really become standard until the 1970s. The Salomon / Hanser script, read by Leonard Graves, fits the style of the period, and can be appreciated accordingly. It would not (and could not) be done the same today. But this is no more a detraction than to say that Hollywood can do no real remake of any classic.

People who ask for a digital "restoration" of the sound are mistaken to think there is a Richard Rodgers score for each episode and sequence. There never was. Rodgers wrote some excellent pieces of music, some of which were released in mono and stereo albums over the years. However, the series soundtrack required substantial arrangment and improvisation. Robert Russell Bennett, the NBC Orchestra conductor, with some studio experts, had to make lots of adaptation and write in things Rodgers did not.

Don't anyone forget that, even today, the sound of most feature and documentary films is 80% or more a product of studio mixing, imagination, and ad ons. Some of it is "faithful," but little comes staight from on scene mics in sync with a camera. When V at S came out, audiences were less spoiled by the sorts of audio enhancements now standard, and film people knew that none of the original field footage had on-location sound anyway.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you are familiar with this classic World War II series, you know that it deserves the praise it has accumulated over the years. Do not, however, buy the DVD version. The sound is absolutely terrible! I bought the DVD set only to return it. I bought it again from a second source only to run into the same poor quality sound problem. There is no excuse for this wonderful documentary to be released on DVD in such inferior quality.
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215 of 245 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2005
Format: DVD
The version for around $14 that Amazon is selling is not the full version - it has been abridged and this has not been made clear in the description of the item. I would rate it ZERO stars if I could.

I own the full set of this series on LD but wanted a set which could be taken on travel.

If you are on a budget then this version is OK, but for those of us who have watched it for years it is unsatisfactory UNLESS Amazon lists it as being abridged from the original. CAVAET EMPTOR.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this great documentary and was appalled by what I saw AND TRIED TO LISTEN TO. The makers of this DVD should immediately issue a refund to all who have purchased this disgraceful production. It is simply inconceivable in this day and age that a product so sloppy and horribly mixed could be issued to the public. Even a child could do a better job of equalizing the sound levels between the almost-inaudible narration and the overpowering music. SHAME ON ALL CONNECTED WITH THIS ABORTION. How ironic that I myself waited so long for the DVDs to come out (rather than buy the videos) so that I would be able to maximize the pleasures I remembered from the series in the 50's, and my reward was probably the most absymal DVDs ever issued by so-called "professionals". It would be fitting if they were never ever allowed to practice their non-existant skills again and were condemned to listen to this audio atrocity for eternity.
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