i just got it now!! i haven't put it in yet but the box says disc 1(which is the concert) is in 4:3(fullscreen) ratio and disc 2(the documentary and extras) is 16:9(widescreen). hope this helps. gonna go watch it now.
I just bought the DVD yesterday. Unfortunately, the main concert is in 4:3. Personally, I think they could have done a better job cleaning up the picture. It's not bad, it's just "ok". The DVD menus are look great. 3-D animations of the cover with a graveyard theme. Very well done. I haven't checked out the "bonus" features yet.
I had a feeling the DVD would be like this; you're right, it is "just ok" - I cannot believe Iron Maiden would release such a classic in this state, they could easily afford a complete digital clean up. This just looks like a good quality video, it really is a major disappointment.
All concert material is in the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. I don't know what the deal was with all the cropped letterbox previews floating around the net, but at least they didn't chop up the vintage live material on the DVD. The documentary is in 16:9 format.
However, I am also disappointed in the picture quality of the main Live After Death feature. Much was made of the "shot on 35mm film", making it seem like the source material was in good shape, or had been cleaned up. That is not the case. The picture quality is crap, total utter crap. The sound quality is awesome though, I was pleasantly surprised there.
Sound quality of the disc 2 extras (like Rock in Rio 85) is terrible, I can't imagine anyone watching/listening to that and actually enjoying it. Must have been included only for historical/archival reasons.
Today I got mine in the mail and the security bar device that they put in the DVD case is actually affixed to the bottom of my Disc 2.What is wrong with these Record Companies did they even think about the glue factor involved!!!!!
Yes, the picture quality is lacking somewhat. However, it's important to remember that Maiden is essentially a live band, and that the "Somewhere Back in Time" tour will most likely be released on DVD and CD after all is said and done, which will be cool. Plus, the 5.1 surround gleaned from the concert won't be "ported 5.1" like the "Live After Death" DVD, but will be actually recorded that way. The only drawbacks to this that I can see are:
1. The presence of Jannick, who is the least capable of the three guitarists, IMO, and
2. The crappy video editing we experienced on the "Rock in Rio" DVD. I felt like I was under a strobe light the whole time. Hopefully the video editing for "Somewhere Back in Time" will be more traditional than their latest release. I suspect the new tour will probably be filmed in 16x9, perhaps even in HD (a boy can dream, right?).