New to Blu: February 8-14 > TV

New this week are Blu-rays of two TV series that have just finished and a third that’s about to start.

The movie version of Steve Coogan’s cross-country cuisine odyssey, The Trip, comes out just days ahead of the Rialto Channel screening the original, six-part series unedited in three hour-long double-episodes. (Sky 25, 8.30pm Monday).

If you’re not a Rialto subscriber, the good news is the 2010 series is being released here next month on DVD.

But if you want to sample the gastronomic hoot in HD, the only option is to see the meal-in-a-minute version, which runs for 111 minutes – although the extras include 50 minutes of deleted scenes

The good news about Christmas at Downton Abbey is it’s being unwrapped on Blu-ray tomorrow, following tonight’s SD conclusion on Prime.

However, if you haven’t yet bought season two on Blu-ray, you may wish to import it from the US, where it goes on sale today, as the PBS release bundles the Christmas special as part of the extras.

However, it’s not clear if the US Blu-ray’s region-free.

Also new is another series that’s just ended, Chuck: The Complete Fourth Season.

Despite the spy romp’s reputation for its grainy, 16mm visuals, “season four looks pretty decent”.

“While I did find the same lingering issues (varying colours look great in one sequence and flat in others), I found they weren’t as problematic this time around.”

Moreover, for the first time Chuck on Blu-ray boasts a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and a video commentary (on the episode, Chuck Versus the First Fight).

The second and final season of V at last lands on Blu-ray, with the 10 episodes largely looking “pretty darn good, especially where the principal photography and close-ups are concerned.

“Across the episodes, the image appears crisp, well defined and displays very good dimensionality.

“However, the image becomes inconsistent where the digital effects work is concerned, which appear less seamlessly integrated than they do in theatrical features.”

The week’s other TV newcomers are Top Gear at the Movies and the anime titles K-On! Volume 4, Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1, Fairy Tail Collection 1 and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid Collection.

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