New to Blu: TV > August 19-25

Who needs SoHo when you can buy on Blu-ray complete seasons of Justified, The Wire and Boardwalk Empire?

All three are being released this week, along with seasons one of The Knick and Defiance.

The Justified box set is cheaper than the Limited Edition US version ($195 vs $US216) but doesn’t have the gift box trappings of a flask and commemorative book.

It does have exclusive extras: Writers’ Room TourLeaving Harlan Alive: Making the Final SeasonHarlan Revisited: Favourite Moments and In Elmore’s Words (actors reading select passages of his most well-known works).

But Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has yet to confirm if the box set includes the season four and five volumes that were released here without extras or the original Region A pressings that came out later in the US.

At least season six has gone on sale globally with the same content.

Moreover, “The Complete Final Season‘s 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer generally looks terrific.

“The entire frame enjoys a constant, effortless sharpness that helps reveal broad and fine detailing alike across every environment.”

“Even though the first disc is packed with five episodes, I didn’t notice any compression noise hampering the overall viewing experience. Digital anomalies of every kind are kept at bay, including banding, aliasing, and blocking.

“This is a clean, well-done transfer. One of the best looking TV shows I’ve seen on Blu-ray so far.”

The box sets of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire also have exclusive extras, and this is the first time The Wire has been released on Blu-ray, complete with reformatted 16:9 framing.

The Knick‘s 1080p/AVC-encoded first season is crisp and clean, with very little in the way of distractions.

“Noise creeps into darker scenes as well as shots bathed in deep, red light, but there aren’t any other anomalies of note.

“Edges are often razor sharp, fine textures are precisely resolved, and the only softness that appears is optical.”

“Of note, Cliff Martinez’ electronic, almost industrial-inspired score throughout The Knick is hypnotic, chaotic, all-encompassing, and that he did not receive an Emmy nomination for it is one of several outrages with that list.

“Quieter moments of dialogue are well-balanced and the directional effects and channel panning are present and effective … An excellent sound source that impresses from beginning to end.”

Defiance is presented in a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer that looks terrific and helps make the show and its sometimes iffy, but largely acceptable special effects look better than you might think.

“While it delivers a nice image with some slightly shoddy CGI, it makes up for it in sound that is remarkable for TV and manages to compete with the big budget shows of HBO and Showtime.”

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