New to Blu: TV > November 5-11

A TV series that’s yet to be broadcast here leads the charge on Blu-ray.

Vikings is exclusive to streaming service Lightbox but won’t ever look as good online as it does on disc.

Shot in HD video by John S Bartley (Lost, The X-Files), “the colour palette has the slightly desaturated look often used for historical tales, but certain colours have been emphasised in post-production …

Vikings is one of the finest video presentations of a TV series I have had the pleasure to review.”

“Presented in a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer, Vikings looks very much like the kind of high end program you would expect from HBO, or even Showtime

“Although the premiere has questionable use of CGI elements in the opening sequence, the remainder of the series generally eschews such effects for stunning some cinematography that makes frequent use of filters to good effect.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers excellent fidelity and sophisticated use of the surrounds for a cable action series.

“The music score by Trevor Morris gets the full treatment into the fronts and rears, and there are split effects through the soundstage that aid immeasurably in establishing wonderful ambiance.”

Also new are seasons two of The Newsroom, three of Once Upon a Time and one of Agents of SHIELD.

“The Blu-ray release of Agents of SHIELD features a striking 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation sure to leave Marvel junkies even more smitten with Coulson and the Mystery Inc gang.

“The series palette is often cast in blues and other shadowy, conspiratorial hues, particularly in the last 7-8 episodes, yet colours still make a strong impression throughout.”

Even better news for Mad Men fans is part one of season seven resumes the deluxe extras that distinguished every season except, inexplicably, the sixth.

“It’s a wonderful half-season that justifies the split with a tremendous, moving midseason finale, and with the welcome return of episode commentaries, great picture, fabulous sound, and some interesting extras this is highly recommended.”

“Image detail is abundant, colours are reproduced vividly yet do not have saturation issues.

“DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless surround for all of the episodes and they are also as natural and immersive as can be.”

Season five of Justified lands here a month ahead of the US, which is bad news as it invariably means it will have none of the US commentaries or behind-the-scenes content.

NZ gets the Australian edition, which came out in August – too soon to include the extras being compiled for the US release.

The same problem afflicted season four of Breaking Bad as well but at least this has been redressed with the new Limited Edition Heisenberg Tin that’s exclusive to JB Hi-Fi ($200).

According to the press release:

The explosive saga of high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White is available in its entirety, including all 62 uncut, uncensored episodes, in an exclusive collectible tin box featuring the original Heisenberg illustration etched on the cover.

The Blu-ray and DVD sets feature hours of bonus content, including the 135 minute long documentary No Half Measures: Creating the Final Season, chronicling behind-the-scenes of the final season, from filming the first table read to the very last day on set and everything in between.

It also contains an exclusive collection of icon magnets inspired by the show.

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3 Responses to “New to Blu: TV > November 5-11”

  1. YAY, I’m looking forward to watching season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 🙂

  2. Didn’t you see it when it was on TV? First time ’round was like a lobotomy, hate to imagine the effect of seeing it twice.

  3. My copy of the extended 3D version of The Desolation of Smaug arrived from Amazon US today. Also I have just preordered Housebound Blu-ray from Amazon US. Apparently this movie is exclusive to Amazon US at this stage and can’t be bought anywhere else. This movie is due to be released next week.

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