New to Blu: June 22-28

Fans of Downton Abbey will be able to buy the popular period drama on Blu-ray barely 12 hours after its season-one finale.

It screens 8.30 tonight on Prime and the Blu-ray goes on sale tomorrow for $45.

DVD Town thought some scenes suffered from heavy grain and noise but rated the transfer 9/10. “For the most part, Downton Abbey looks noticeably superior in HD …

“Skin tones are natural-looking, black levels pulled back just a little, and there’s just enough grain to make it all look appropriately aged.

“There’s still plenty of filmic grain and texture, but there’s far more detail and sharp edges in the Blu-ray version, which produces a nice sense of three-dimensionality.”

Extras include commentaries, deleted scenes and two making-of shorts.

Out in 3D, 2D and “limited” editions is the James Cameron-produced underwater adventure, Sanctum.

US reviewers praised the HD audio more than the video.

“While things were bright and colourful on the surface, below in the caves, where most of the film actually takes place, things weren’t as strong,” High-Def Digest argued.

“Weak black levels, DNR, and grain all contribute to a very average end product here.”

But it called the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track “powerful” and “sure to please fans of the film and engulf new viewers.” said the image “lacks consistent, lifelike depthSanctum’s 3D presentation doesn’t hold a candle to Avatar’s top-tier beauty.

“It’s more of a gimmick — a flawed, problematic Fusion Camera demo reel, really — than an all-encompassing 3D experience.

“Just don’t be so quick to blame Universal; blame the environments [director Alister] Grierson is exploring, the additional challenges presented by his 3D location shoot, and the director’s inability to live up to the high 3D standards set by Cameron.”

Also new are the direct-to-disc Season of the Witch and, from Monday, the martial arts release, Shaolin.

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