Customer Review

144 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The upgrade to Blu-ray is worth it, November 25, 2009
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This review is from: The Sopranos: Season 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Blu-ray version of Season 1 boasts significant video quality improvements over the 2000 DVD release.

Season 1 used a grainier film stock than subsequent seasons. This was problematic for the 2000 DVD release because MPEG II encoding has a difficult time handling grain, HBO squeezed 4 episodes onto each discs (except the last one) resulting in a high level of compression, there was a lot of edge enhancement applied to the video, and that this was a relatively early DVD release -- MPEG II encoding has significantly improved since then. As a result, the video on the DVDs had a lot of artifacts -- and the larger the TV you have, the more obtrusive the artifacts and edge enhancement are.

The Blu-ray release pretty much fixes all of those problems. You can really see the difference in the closeups on the actors' faces. The image is clear with a film texture. You'll also notice a lot more details in the background.

The pilot episode doesn't look as good as the rest of the season. This is no doubt because a cheaper film stock was used and they had less time to light scenes due to it being a pilot. The rest of the episodes look uniformly excellent.

Don't expect the show to look quite as good as good as the HD broadcasts of the later seasons. Starting in Season 2 much more money and effort was put into the cinematography in order to give the show a feature film look. The interiors of Season 1 are typically slightly over lit with a soft white light. I suspect this was done because they had a shorter production schedule then later Seasons when the show was a hit, and they didn't have time to relight sets every time they moved the camera.

The packaging is virtually identical to the DVD box. HBO has wisely decided to spread the season across 5 discs -- no more than 3 episodes per disc. This minimizes compression and helps improve video quality.

Nothing to report about the sound. Like the DVDs, the surround sound channels only come to life during explosions and shoot outs.

Fans of the show will be very happy with the results.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 2, 2009 10:14:12 AM PST
At Home Dad says:
"The packaging is virtually identical to the DVD box."

Since I don't own this, can you please elaborate? Does each Blu-ray disk have it's own thin shell case, or is it one of those accordion fold-outs that the center fail on?

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2009 10:18:42 AM PST
R.D. Monsoon says:
It's an accordion fold-out.

I've owned other accordion fold-out style boxes for nearly 10 years at this point, and while they've taken on wear and tear over time, I haven't had any kind of box failures and the DVDs have neve been damaged.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2009 10:29:55 AM PST
At Home Dad says:
Thank you for your feedback.

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 7:40:19 PM PDT
mikelong says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 7:42:26 PM PDT
R.D. Monsoon says:
Uh, no.

Blu-ray discs have a finite storage capacity.

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 10:35:29 PM PDT
Saxette says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2011 12:07:16 PM PST
Nurturer69 says:
In answer to your question about content. The Sopranos is considered by many, including myself, to be one of the best TV series ever produced for television. The writing, the acting and overall 'look' of the series are excellent. And you will also get an occasional laugh. The only thing wrong with this series, is that it ended.

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 4:52:37 PM PST
Jacek Wtyklo says:
when are the other seasons coming on blu-ray come on what is the hold out?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2011 5:18:11 PM PST
R.D. Monsoon says:
Probably never. Home video sales have been in decline for years, and the bad economy has only sped that up. On top of that, it's a catalogue release and most die hard Sopranos fans probably already own the DVDs.

HBO subscribers have access to all the episodes in 720p via HBO GO.

My prediction is that HBO will eventually make HBO GO available to non-HBO subscribers, and if you want access to all the shows in resolution better than DVD, you'll have to buy the service.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2013 5:43:28 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 19, 2013 5:43:56 PM PDT]
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