Some of the reviews from the people who actually have the DVDs say the quality is poor. I've ordered it but it hasn't arrived yet (Thanks to the delay for the free shipping) so I don't know first hand. Is it VHS quality, or worse?
It's better than VHS. Comparitively speaking, it's not the best or worst I've seen, but I'm happy with it. It's easy to compare it to the best thing you've seen and then criticize it without knowing the facts. There could be some reason why the original prints couldn't be restored, if that is the problem. For example, some shows had the special fx added after the film is transferred to video tape (check out the Twilight Zone 1985), which doesn't hold up well over time. Maybe someone with inside knowledge will enlighten us as to why the quality isn't the best we've ever seen.
I was really disappointed. CBS did a great job with their "Wild, Wild West" releases; a show that went off the air almost 40 years ago. Who would know that they would screw up a show that premiered 20 years ago? The picture is faded, soft and white-saturated. I have tapes of "Friday the 13th: The Series" from Sc-Fi Channel marathons that are maybe 6 years old and they look so much better than the versions on this dvd set that it is truly depressing. Even the bonus materials look 10 times better than the actual episodes! Fans that have waited so long for this set certainly deserve better. I guess the only bright spot is that the original creators finally get some money for this.
Probably part of the reason I'm not as disappointed as you and some others is that my copies from sci fi channel are really bad. I have an 8 disc set that sucks! These looked great compared to those, but I can understand disappointment if you had bootlegs copies that are better. There has to be some explanation for this, even if it's not an adequate excuse.
Yeah, you're right, I got it today and it's much much better than the bootlegs I had (also the 8 disc set).
I don't think it looks that bad. I think the original quality wasn't that great, it was never really a high budget show and probably shot on video, not film, or cheap film (like the 2nd season of Sledge Hammer)
It's definitely better than VHS. I imagine that this show was never shot on actual film, but videotape.
Sure, the quality of these DVD's could have been better, but I like that fact that this isn't some souped up digital remaster. This was meant to be a gritty, scary, low budget show. I like it to be a bit dirty and shoddy looking. Take Texas Chainsaw Massacre for example. Why would anyone want a pristine digital transfer onto DVD? It's meant to be low budget and have washed out color and mono sound. It adds to the ambiance of the movie and to this F13 show.
Having said all this I wish the audio were fixed at least a little. The quiet parts are very, very quiet and the loud parts are really LOUD. At least 1/3 of the episodes here have this problem.
Other than that, this is a good set. The picture quality is quite bad in a few shots, but these DVD's were most likely transferred from video masters. The beginning of The Executioner episode is on black and white and very grainy, but it's meant to be that way. So buy these DVD's and relive some memories.
To those wondering about the picture quality. Back in the 80s, it was common practice to shoot TV shows on Film, then transfer the film to video, edit on video, add the special effects and credits on video, and release the final product on video. While that was good enough for on the air viewing in the 80s, now that we have HDTV and we can see all the defects, we now realize just how much quality was lost with this cost-saving practice. Other shows that were shot the same way as Friday the 13th, The Series was shot, include Tales From the Darkside, and Monsters. I have yet to see those shows, so I can't comment on their quality on DVD, other than to say that I would expect their quality to look about the same. As for whether Friday the 13th, the Series can look any better than this, yes it can, however, I doubt they will ever try to make it look better. The reason for this is because it would be way too complicated, time consuming and expensive. The way it can look great would be like this: If they still have the original film negatives of all the episodes, they would have to transfer the original master films to digital video, and then re-edit the entire episodes exactly as they were originally, adding in all the effects and music as well...This would make the shows look as good as any movie from the 80s would look on DVD, but like I said, it would be way complicated, time consuming and too costly, so expect this DVD set to be about as good as it's going to get for Friday the 13th, the Series.