Why Not HD: Dexter

Season three of the blue-blood serial killer thriller, Dexter, will be released on DVD on Wednesday but not on Blu-ray.

It precedes the April 11 premiere of season four on Sky’s The Box and, like Breaking Bad and Weeds, is another series that video distributors could capitalise on for its HD potential.

The DVD-only release is especially frustrating for fans as the series doesn’t broadcast in HD here. It did on TV3, but the network has since relegated it to C4; while Sky deserves kudos for picking up the Miami slice-and-dice sensation, it’s a pity the satcaster doesn’t choose to air it in HD double-episodes on its premium Movies channels (as it did with Deadwood and Over There).

Paramount Home Entertainment has released Dexter’s first three seasons on Blu-ray in the US but these are region A-locked and need a hardware modified player, like the Oppo BDP-83 or BDP-80, to view here.

Why distributors insist on penalising fans of its product like this is beyond comprehension. It would add value to a show’s appeal in a territory where it’s been seen in SD only and would also discourage illegal HD downloads.

US sites, like High-Def Digest, say Dexter’s colour palette is brilliant in HD: “Blu-ray detail is exceptional, especially facial detailing, with no noticeable edge enhancement, and the picture often has that three-dimensional feel to it. The overhead views of the Miami cityscape simply blow the DVD out of the harbour.”

Meanwhile, season four of Dexter, which will screen 9.30pm Sundays, is arguably the most blood-curdling so far, opening with a disturbing premiere that introduces John Lithgow as Dexter’s looniest nemesis yet, and closing with a shocking development that will irrevocably change the direction of the show.

And don’t just take my word for it — here’s a smattering of the latest splatterfest’s US reviews: “as compulsively watchable as ever” (Chicago Sun-Times); “any fears you had that marriage and a baby would dull the sharp edge of Dexter — I admit it, I was worried — have been thoroughly allayed by season four’s wonderfully swift, witty, and violent start” (Entertainment Weekly); “he may be sicker than Hank Moody or Larry David, but he’s also a far richer figure, and in his own strange way, just as universal, thanks to the transcendent performance of Michael C Hall, who deepens every sick joke and raises the stakes on every emotional twist” (New York Magazine).

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