New to Blu: September 5-11

The unjust vagaries of Blu-ray distribution are highlighted with this week’s release of two key TV series: Justified and The Fades.

Season two of Justified is being sold on Blu-ray exclusively through JB Hi-Fi while series one of The Fades, which is out on Blu-ray in the UK and the US, is DVD-only.

“Continuing with the visual success of Justified’s first season on Blu-ray, the second season has an almost identical look to it.

“The 1080p picture, while at times can be gritty, looks outstandingly good for a television show.”

However, “the transfer does suffer in its darker scenes.

“Blacks turn murky, allowing shadows and darker surfaces to form one gigantic blob of darkness with little-to-no definition.

“Such scenes sometimes yield softer elements, too, and it’s here where the transfer loses its crisp detailing.”

If you want to import The Fades on Blu-ray, be aware “there is quite a bit of video noise that becomes apparent in the image in the low-lit scenes.

“Detail is strong, but it does soften quite often, again, in darker scenes. Shadow details are prone somewhat to crush, but the brighter scenes are vivid, clear, and lifelike without much to complain about.”

“From day scenes to the horror-requisite night-time sequences, the image is clear and well-filmed, with production values that shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with BBC series.”

Fresh from the multiplex is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

“The print is in pristine condition, and a very light layer of unobtrusive grain is visible, giving the image a natural, filmic quality.

“Detail wavers a bit from scene to scene, with more dimly lit sequences carrying a comparatively soft look.

“Bright scenes, however, feature very nice clarity, revealing many sharp textures and fine details.”

“The whole thing looks very filmic, with deeply saturated hues and loads of fine detail. Black are appropriately dark and stable, and neither digital nor compression artifacts are a problem.”

Also new on Blu are the 2010 BBC wildlife series, The Great Rift, and the direct-to-disc Oba: The Last Samurai.

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