New to Blu: March 26 – April 1

Three top TV series bow on Blu-ray this week, with one being an HD first for this market.

Amazingly, Rectify – Season One, which originally aired here in sub-standard definition on Sky’s Rialto Channel, is being released on Blu-ray in Australasia ahead of other markets.

The series went on sale in the US, via a different distributor, in June 2013, so for once it looks as if the wait will have been worth it for Kiwi consumers — which is some compensation for another Rialto acquisition, The Returned, coming out here only on DVD when it’s for sale in the US on Blu-ray.

While there aren’t any online reviews of the Blu-ray, US reviews of the DVD suggest picture quality should be excellent.

“The images are nicely sharp and detailed, as far as non-HD transfers go, but it’s hard to watch this without wondering why this first season set isn’t being offered on Blu-ray as well.”

Masters of Sex – The Complete First Season also is getting the Blu-ray jump on the US and UK.

A release date has yet to be announced for either territory, with only selected European markets getting the Showtime drama on disc ahead of us (although the downside of being first is the four-disc set doesn’t have any extras).

However, HD purists may wish to source Sherlock – Complete Series Three from the US, where it’s presented in 1080p.

“As such, the transfers are much more consistent in appearance with excellent sharpness and solid imagery throughout.”

While the Region B version is 1080i, “the video quality is very good …  The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout but affected by motion blur.

“The colour is excellent, with no issues to report.”

And one British critic argued, in relation to the show’s second season, that 1080i need not always be inferior.

“Having covered a fair few average-looking 1080p releases, I’m becoming more and more amazed by the results we’re getting from top quality TV releases given top quality HD presentation using only 1080i.”

Perhaps more of an issue for fans is the absence of commentaries, although there are three behind-the-scenes extras, while the balanced  DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio track “makes good use of the split surrounds.

“Because it utilises lossless compression, the presentation is rich and has a transparence throughout that nicely serves the show.

“Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.”

While it’s a blockbuster week for TV drama, the only theatrical movies debuting on Blu-ray are One Chance and an extended cut of Bad Grandpa (“because this film relies heavily on hidden cameras and what appears to be co-opted or specially planted security camera feeds, the image quality varies greatly in presentation”).

Going direct to disc are Afternoon Delight (“a relatively modest but artistically strong visual style”), Adoration (“a faithful transfer that should more than satisfy lovers of film”), WWE Royal Rumble 2014 and A MusiCares Tribute to Bruce Springsteen.

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One Response to “New to Blu: March 26 – April 1”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    March 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Since How I Met Your Mother is ending, wonder if it will be released as a Blu-ray box set? I would probably buy it if so 🙂

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