Customer Review

300 of 318 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, terrible transfer, July 18, 2002
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This review is from: The Jewel in the Crown (DVD)
This DVD set is a real heartbreaker!
The Jewel in the Crown is absolutely one of historic the highlights of "quality" television. An absolutely arresting story. Wonderful script, wonderful acting, etc. I can't add anything on that count to the reviews already here.
That makes the TERRIBLE quality of the DVD transfer all the more disappointing. This set has literally the WORST video quality I have ever seen on a DVD! Murky, muddy picture with visible scratches and dirt on the film. The soundtrack is a little better. On my home theater setup it sounds like its coming over a half-decent clock radio. Seriously, the picture looks like they took an old VHS tape of the show and just ran it through a disc burner.
No, I don't expect blockbuster quality from an 30-year old BBC film, but I would have expected something more like the recent DVD set of Elizabeth R, which is quite watchable.
Sadly, this is almost surely the only DVD we'll ever see of this marvelous series. I'm going to rent the old tapes of this. They might easily be better. If not, I guess this is what we're all stuck with.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2008 4:38:26 PM PDT
I LOVED the Jewel in the Crown, watched it religiously every week when the BBC produced this level of fantastic quality in the 1980's. Having read the reviews, I would not buy it on DVD, Sounds a nightmare..difficult to watch and will be buying an old VHS tape if I can

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2008 4:34:44 PM PDT
Bridge to Penelope and Robert, last time I looked this was 2008. Buying and Renting Video TAPES is the past. The chances on finding them to rent is next to nil, and to buy em costs an arm and a leg (from 3rd, 4th and 5th parties at that).

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 8:28:08 PM PST
Nate says:
Please do something about the poor quality of this DVD! Why can't you bring out a new edition of this great BBC series? If you were to do so, I'd buy it--even at an outrageous price!

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 9:21:24 AM PST
In addition, no versions of The Jewel in the Crown are closed-captioned for the hearing impaired, rendering this true jewel of a film inaccessible to those who need captioning. When the original appeared on Masterpiece Theater, even hearing members of the family were grateful for CC, as there are so many accents and of course much background sound appropriate to the drama. This and I, Claudius were my favourite Masterpiece Theater works ever--neither is available in CC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2009 8:51:37 PM PDT
Excuse me Eric but I have the set of videos of this masterpiece, my favorite Masterpiece Theatre production of all. And I won't give up my VCR, have it maintained well, don't care the cost. I love the classic black and whites in creamy velvety black and white. Many DVD transfers are awful, you can read reviews right here on Amazon. VHS has a lot going for it as compared to DVD transfers. I don't care if Ingrid Bergman's tears in Notorious (my favorite w/Cary Grant, Hitchcock directing) look like crystals on the transfer. Normal tears are just fine. And the reviewer also stated film otherwise is grainy. I also bought the set of 12 Miss Marple on VHS (Agatha Christie) Joan Hickson as Jane Marple, on Ebay and they are great. You can find a lot of VHS, if lucky fm a seller who is honest and tells truth, try to find seller who describes item as viewed one or twice etc. and look for the other signs that tell you about quality sellers.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 8:08:07 AM PDT
bunburina says:
Dear Amazon Posters:

Please note that the Jewel in the Crown was NOT produced by BBC. BBC had nothing to do with it, neither with Brideshead Revisited, the original TV series (if anyone cared to know) It was produced by Granada Television. Please give credit to the company that was responsible for bring us this production.

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 8:25:23 PM PST
Pepper says:
It is now 2011 and I was hoping for an up to date critique of the new 25th Anniversary edition. Anyone out there have some thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2011 8:26:55 PM PST
Pepper says:
I have an excellent set of the original tapes. The color is much better and I was about to
give it away in favor of the new edition, but they still haven't quite gotten it for DVD quality. Don't think I will live long enough to see it. Shame...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2011 12:34:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2011 12:36:05 PM PST
C. Dube says:
I am in full agreement with you. I, too, watched the original back in the 80's and fell in love with it. Purchased the VHS set and take it out every year to watch again. I was hoping to purchase a cd set but after reading all the negative comments regarding the poor video quality, I think I'll pass. Keep on viewing the VHS set.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 2:32:13 AM PST
L. N. Bolton says:
This comment is interesting especially as its the exact same review for the 25th anniversary boxed set dvd on its exactly the same check for yourself. so now i am wondering how honest the review was and why not tell the truth.
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