I just got Discotek’s release today. And it’s really as I expected; the quality is about the same as the UK DVD. There are a couple differences though;
-The intro and end credits are grittier looking. I think the UK DVD may have actually touched the intro and end up. It was always clear to me though that they copy/pasted the same version of the intro/end to every episode on the UK DVD. Here they look unaltered, or more like how they looked on the “Space Quest for F-01” credits did on the Japanese DVD.
-The commerical intermission frames with the “Star Fleet” logo are intact.
Other than that, Discotek’s masters are pretty much indistinguishable from the UK DVD apart from being NTSC, with the same fuzziness, color grading problems and brief audio cutouts. What I am grateful for is that the editors didn’t slow the footage down to 24fps, which was my biggest fear. It’s interlaced to 30fps which is proper procedure, keeping the speed/pitch. When things get slowed or sped up like that, that makes it about unwatchable for me, with few exceptions.
The menus are nice, but nothing to write home about compared to the UK release. There are no extras except for the “Making of” Special on the last disc. They should’ve at least included the Brian May music video. Then again, there’s probably some royalties to be paid in including that…
Am I disappointed? No, I’m really quite happy that we finally got a release at all. It’s been 8 years since the UK got it, so it’s about bloody time. I’ve never found these transfers at all unwatchable. They’re just subpar.
So, if it’s not already clear, the French DVD is still the best quality out there. With that said, the remastering project goes on…
I’m just about done with the project, but there are a few things I need to do. Waiting for this DVD release we can cross off that list. I need to get my burn drive fixed for one, and find someone who could do an S-VHS transfer for a UK Star Fleet VHS I got my hands on (the Thorn EMI one with Episodes 4 & 5). The thing about the UK VHS tapes is that they clearly came off of 35mm transfers rather than the 16mm ones that the TV airings and DVDs came off. It may be for absolutely nothing because for all I know, the tape could look awful.