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OT bootleg DVD reviews

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As you all know there are various bootleg versions of the OT out there, most are a transcode from the lasedisc versions, and the threads about them are very convoluted reading to say the least!

What we'd all like to see is some reviews here from people that have the various versions, and put the good the bad and the ugly up for all to see.
If you have more than one version of the bootlegs, and also have the laserdisc versions then a comparitive review would be ideal.

We would like to see the:
Picture Quality - Sharpness/detail, MPEG artifacts, colour rendition etc.
Audio Quality - Type (Dolby Digital/PCM/ bitrates etc.)
Extras Included - Commentaries, subtitles, chapters etc.
DVD size (DVD-5 or DVD-9)
Anything else you can think of.
But try and keep the thread to the point so that we can all compare and try to find the best OT version out there!

And remember kiddies, if you DL a torrent, reseed it for others to use!

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Why don't you just keep this in the bootleg DVD thread in General SW Discussion section so that all the people that are already there will see it? Most of the people inhabiting that thread don't even visit this section of the forum.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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I tottally agree with Bossk. I had trouble finding this to repost my last review. But when in Rome....

originally posted on....
Sat March 13, 2004 11:10 AM



Well I’ve seen the TR47 Star Wars DVD’s. They really are pretty damn good. In fact out of the four sets I have seen they are the best yet. The picture is really good. I played them on my 57” Widescreen and they looked a bit soft at parts but on the smaller 36” TV they looked just fine. Don’t get me wrong the movies look awesome in their 57” HD glory. All the dirt and scratches on the image are obviously from the Laserdisc they were taken from. That would account for the soft parts too. I compared the DVD set and my Definitive Edition Laserdiscs and they are about spot dead on. If you really, really, really look hard you can find MINISCULE differences. But it’s nothing that you would even start to notice on a low end screen (or if you didn’t have a bunch of free time to actually look for them). Now that I think about it I should go check out the soft parts. I bet money they are on the Laserdiscs too.

As for sound it was the first time I had watched a bootleg set not in 5.1 and let me tell you this is the best sounding set I have ever run through my system. The Three other sets were all in 5.1, yes, but it was a mixed up version from a 2.0 source. So what you get from that is sound the wraps around you but sounds very flat once it gets past the front sound stage. I ran this through a Dolby Prologic II receiver and the sound really defused nicely to the rear sound stage. It sounded great. I would be will to take a leap and say it’s the best sounding the Original Trilogy will even sound. Of course I say this assuming that George Lucas will never release these on DVD.

The set has the three movies on three discs all with no menus to eat up space for the movie. They also have quite a few chapters for the ease of navigating the movie. The set also came with a bonus disc with a bunch of boring crap that I fell asleep watching and a fifth disc with files for printing out your own case covers, inlays, and disc covers. That was a very nice touch and something that is greatly appreciated.

My only complaint with this is that it isn’t in Anamorphic Widescreen as I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong this is the best widescreen transfer I have ever seen of these movies but it’s not anamorphic. That is of course easily fixable with the zoom feature on your TV. The movies are (For the first time I know of in bootleg form) actually presented in its true 2.35:1 ratio. I have seen anamorphic DVDs of these movies that actually crop the movie to around 1.75:1 which also cuts off all the subtitles. So I’m more than happy with this non anamorphic set. Of course if you don’t have a 16:9 TV you don’t give a damn about that. But I do so there.

In closing I would say this is as good as it gets for now. To quote Darth Vader…

“Impressive…Most Impressive”

Equipment Used:
57” 16:9 HD Toshiba Projection TV (I can’t remember Model Number)
Pioneer VSX-D810S (Receiver)
Pioneer DV-F727 (DVD Player)
M&K V-1250 THX Subwoofer
Infinity 12” Subwoofer (Again no idea on Model Number)
M&K 550 THX Surround (X2)
M&K LCR-750 THX Front (X2)
M&K 750-THX Center (X2 - one in front and one in rear)



“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Let's just leave it over in the other thread and kill this one. Sound good?
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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Mackey,

I'd be interested to see how you compare the set that's anamorphic that I'm sending out.
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send me a set and i'll look at them

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Ok, I have finally been able to do a real comparison between the set I have and the anamorphic set that is floating around here:

Anamorphic set:
Pioneer DVL 909 used for transfer
Audio:
192k DD 2.0 compressed from 1500k PCM
Commentary track w/optional captions
Video:
Anamorphic flagged widescreen
Original LD markers used as chapter stops
Fancy menus/intro
Overall a nice set, but they did a better job with DVD authoring/making menus than actually transferring the set, as it is blurrier and the color is oversaturated. The contrast, brightness and hue are more or less correct.

TR47 set:
Pioneer CLD 59 Elite used for transfer
Audio:
1500k LPCM uncompressed
Video:
Letterboxed widescreen
Aliasing/noise filters applied
No menus
Better overall transfer, the color balance is correct (except for a very slight blue green hue tint) and the sharpness is full DVD resolution. It is a more bare bones approach but more closely matches what the actual LDs look like. I have posted a few screen shot comparisons to illustrate the differences:

Anamorphic shot 1:



TR47 shot 1:



Anamorphic shot 2:



TR47 shot 2:



You can see the obvious differences between color levels and sharpness. Overall, I would say go with my set if you're more interested in audio/video quality, and go with the anamorphic set if you care more about bells & whistles or have a 16x9 TV.
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^ I'd rather have a review done by someone who isn't looking to plug/sell their own set, but...

How much does each set cost?

How much DID each set cost when it was first available?

I know people like digitalfreaknyc and others are willing to post to anywhere in the world. Is this the case with TR-47?
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I just got my digitalfreaknyc set and have yet to watch it. I'll get around to it sometime soon but am leaving for vacation in a day or two, so I'm not sure when it will happen.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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hey Bossk where ya going???
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Quote

Originally posted by: oojason
^ I'd rather have a review done by someone who isn't looking to plug/sell their own set


Yeah, I know what you mean.



Quote

I know people like digitalfreaknyc and others are willing to post to anywhere in the world. Is this the case with TR-47?


I think TR-47 only ships in the US.
My Blog
Currently Reading: Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover
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Originally posted by: Luke Skywalker
hey Bossk where ya going???

LA LA Land. Los Angeles.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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nice....
pleasure or business...
or both...
hehe
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Unlike DC, this one's all pleasure.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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ahhh very nice...
well hope you have a great time....
"Never. I'll never turn to the darkside. You've failed your highness. I am a jedi, like my father before me."
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Originally posted by: oojason ^I'd rather have a review done by someone who isn't looking to plug/sell their own set, but...

How much does each set cost?

How much DID each set cost when it was first available?

I know people like digitalfreaknyc and others are willing to post to anywhere in the world. Is this the case with TR-47?


I have both the TR47 set and the Anamorphic set and agree with TR47's comparison review 100%. It just depends on what's important to you, no frills DVDs that are almost identical to laserdisc quality or DVDs with slightly less audio and video quality, but with all the bells and whistles.

TR47 recently reduced his price and sells his four disc set on high quality media for $25 shipped and includes an artwork CD with a few different types of covers. US sales only.

Rikter has both the TR47 four disc set and the Anamorphic four disc set. He looks for trades first or a donation of $4 per disc. I don't know what kind of media he is using, but I have had no troubles with any of the discs he sent me. He also has an artwork disc with many different types of covers.

His shipping prices -

United States
1-3 DVDr Shipping included in price
4-6 DVDr Shipped first class $2
6-15 DVDr Shipped Priority $5

Canada and elsewhere else via Global Priority:
1-10 DVDr - $5
10-20 DVDr - $12

digitalfreaknyc at one time was offering to burn the Anamorphic set for free if you sent him the blank media and included return postage, but I don't know if he is still doing this.

By the way, the fourth disc of supplemental material from both sets is the same.

I have dealt with both Rikter and TR47 and can say they are both honorable people. Both sets are worth either of their prices. Remember, not only are they burning the DVDs, but they buy the media, pack it up, and take it to the post office. It's a small price to pay for their time to do this and the wear & tear on their equipment.
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The Original Trilogy has been available in DVD format.
They are in dual layer DVD and in widescreen format.
They are transferred from the Definitive Collection LD.
Only $29.99 per set at www.endorforest.com.
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I have the DVDs seen at endorforrest.com and have to say I was pretty disappointed overall. True, these are dual-layered, factory pressed DVDs that come with very nice covers, inserts, disc art, and contain almost all of the supplementary material from The Definitive Collection, but the audio and video quality are severely lacking. The picture seems a bit dark and and is noticably fuzzy with some video artifacting. The worst which was on Jedi. Dual-layered DVDs would seem have room for both the original two channel PCM audio tracks and the commentary track. These DVDs have neither. This set has a compressed Dolby 2.0 audio track. Also, the disc covers say "Widescreen Letterbox 16:9," but the actual image is 4:3 widescreen. The opening THX logo was anamorphic, though. I paid about $40 somewhere else. I'm still keeping them as I like the artwork, but if that is not that important to you, I'd recommend the TR47 or the Anamorphic DVD-R sets any day over this set.
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I have the anamorphic DVD set - got it from digitalfreaknyc, who is good enough to ship worldwide - and took only 3 days from my order to reach me here in the UK from the USA - all for the cost of 4 blank disks and postage & packing.

Originally I was going to go with the TR47 set, though through reading the Bootleg DVDs thread in the General Section I was less than impressed with his actions in there. Obviously most of us will be glad that he has competition from others selling their sets too - otherwise we'd have been paying a substantial amount of more money. I would not have been happy to buy a set from this guy and find out the next day that he'd cut his prices by around a half (perhaps even more) as there is now a bit of competition....

Those people offering DVD sets for free (postage & packing) and other similar amounts of $/£ are to be applauded.

A BIG thanks to all those who've created and or posted DVD covers, disc art and inserts here too - they've come in most handy
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As another UK SW fan desperate for a decent OT bootleg, anyone got any views on Kriegersaurus' versions - link below?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6301144525&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Are these just copies of TR47's disks, the Anamorphic ones or something new? Of course, I guess they could be the old ones from Honk Kong. I bought some bootlegs from the Far East about a year ago, and they were *just* about okay - apart from the generally fuzzy and over-saturated video and the sound in ROTJ lagging a fraction of a second behind the lip movements! Aaargh!

Personally I'm desperate for a copy of TR47's disks - I just want a decent quality, unmessed-up version of the films that I loved as a kid to show to my kids when they're old enough. Is that too much to ask for, George?

Any help much appreciated,
DaveTheHutt
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Originally posted by: DaveTheHutt
As another UK SW fan desperate for a decent OT bootleg, anyone got any views on Kriegersaurus' versions - link below?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6301144525&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Are these just copies of TR47's disks, the Anamorphic ones or something new? Of course, I guess they could be the old ones from Honk Kong. I bought some bootlegs from the Far East about a year ago, and they were *just* about okay - apart from the generally fuzzy and over-saturated video and the sound in ROTJ lagging a fraction of a second behind the lip movements! Aaargh!

Personally I'm desperate for a copy of TR47's disks - I just want a decent quality, unmessed-up version of the films that I loved as a kid to show to my kids when they're old enough. Is that too much to ask for, George?

Any help much appreciated,
DaveTheHutt


From the description, that set may be the Anamorphic as it mentions the interactive menus which the TR47 set does not have, but there's not enough info or screen shots to be sure. Who knows? It could be yet another laserdisc transfer that we haven't seen yet.
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For those who does not have The Definitive Collection Laser Disc, I think the best option is to get the The Definitive Collection DVD.
The bonus material included in The Definitive Collection is something you won't get in the SE version. As for the audio and visual quality, it is as good as the laser disc copy, but some how for us who always look at digital DVD and listen to the DTS audio track, we may feel that the analog is not so up to expectation, and also the Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 audio track, just don't seem satisfactory. What can we do, the films was made during 1970's and 80's, that is the best they have during that time.
I myself just got one copy from www.endorforest.com, it's only $29.99 for a set, what big deal if George Lucas don't want to release them as he may think the small portion of us can't make him go richer.

"The next target will be earth!"
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The endorforrest.com set may have been mastered from the Definitive Collection laserdiscs, but it's NOT laserdisc quality. See my brief review earlier in this thread. I have all three sets and the TR47 and Anamorphic set are a little cheaper in price and A LOT BETTER IN QUALITY!
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Hey, DaveTheHutt!

Turn on your private messaging and contact me. I might be able to help you out if someone has not already done so.

-RowMan
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Hi RowMan,

Sorry about having PM off - "d'oh", as they say in Springfield.

Thanks for the offer of help - help yourself to a froglet from the bowl, they're delicious... ;-)

Cheers,
Dave The Hutt