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Author Topic: Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)  (Read 3077 times)

Offline Hawkbit

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« on: August 12, 2011, 11:08:32 PM »


Time to take a look at the TV series DVD boxset that was issue in Europe in 2005.  Its on the used market now.  My set cost $27 (before shipping) so it doesn't cost a fortune in itself these days.  However, to get all the episodes you will have to buy from Europe or from Australia...bad news for fans in the United States, these DVDs won't play in your regular DVD player.  However, its not hard to get a computer to play the DVDs....install VLC Portable and that's all you got to do because the program doesn't give a hoot where the dvd comes from like other software does.  To go a step further (as I did) you can decrypt the DVDs to remove the region coding and keep the files on your harddrive, if you have 40gb of free space.  :exactly

So what do you get with the package?

All the episodes from all three seasons, all in order.  There are no special features on these discs.  Its a bummer in itself because there is a "Making Of" out there that runs about 15 minutes, but I have yet to figure out which set has this bonus addition.  Its probably one of the newer Australian releases, but you'll pay upwards of $65.00 to get that to the United States.

Visually, the series looks amazing!  It was not made in widescreen so the images below are the correct aspect ratio of 1:33:1.  The video bitrate clocks in at a healthy 5mbps on average, as well as it should spreading the episodes out over so many DVDs and not needing to seriously compress the files.  Audio is excellent as well.  No 5.1 surround--stereo only.  I really like my subtitles, but alas, none of those either.  :meh  Bit of a bummer.  One of the interesting things about the set itself is the ratings...it'll fluctuate from a U (Universal Audiences) to a PG (Parental Guidance) depending on the season.  Season 3 is PG rated.  Some of the earlier episodes of Season 1 apparently got the same rating.  I didn't find anything in Season 1 or Season 2 overly scary or dark so the rating makes sense.  When you get to the darker Season 3, the change in ratings makes perfect sense.

Is it worth the purchase?  Well, its really up to the individual.  I like Watership Down enough that I want the product and am willing to spend money to get it.  Yes, I know all three seasons are on youtube, and both soundtracks can be gotten for free.  You know what...screw that!  I got it all at a quality you can't touch (those youtube copies are at about 800kbps for video, and maybe 96kbps for audio--no comparison!).  I always want to support those I fell have done an amazing job, worthy of my hard earned money.  :exactly  Can it be an expensive purchase?  Yes, but you are getting all three seasons, and I don't know how many "new" copies remain before it goes entirely on the secondary market (and then the prices really spike!).

A couple of images for reference:



The files playing at full-screen resolution.



A screencap, minus the black sidebars common with a 1:33:1 aspect ratio on a widescreen monitor.


EDIT: to fix the images
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 09:51:32 AM by Hawkbit »

Offline Clover

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 11:36:54 PM »
Wish I was able to buy the DVDs, but I just had to go with using http://video.online-convert.com/convert-to-avi to download the series, and burn them to discs. I just fit as many I could to a disc at a time (usually 4 episodes a disc). That was the only way I could, the same with AOFW and Redwall. All DVD quality, Redwall, all full episodes. AOFW, full episodes, seasons 1 and 2, season 3 in parts, and WSD all in parts except for the christmas episode. I've got the whole Redwall season 3on my computer and it only takes up 12.45 GBs (I haven't totaled up 1 and 2). Most of these are .wmv files, but a few I had to keep in .avi format or they the sound was messed up.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 11:45:03 PM by Clover »

Offline Owsla-rah

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 11:40:26 PM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
All the episodes from all three seasons, all in order. There are no special features on these discs. Its a bummer in itself because there is a "Making Of" out there that runs about 15 minutes, but I have yet to figure out which set has this bonus addition. Its probably one of the newer Australian releases, but you'll pay upwards of $65.00 to get that to the United States.

That really is a bummer. I was really looking forward to see the special features. :(
"The world is as bitter as the coffee I drink this Morning."-Donald E. Waters

Offline Owsla-rah

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 12:23:35 AM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
Its probably one of the newer Australian releases, but you'll pay upwards of $65.00 to get that to the United States.


Well I looked around to see if I could it. But all I found was the this http://www.dvdwarehouse.com.au/watership-down-complete-tv-series.html

Barcode 3000000072172
Production Year 1999
Run Time 936 minutes
Rating G
Rating Information General Exhibition
Type DVD
Region 4
Format PAL
Aspect Ratio 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio
Special Features None
Animated Yes
Colour Colour
Re-release No
Release Date 02/05/2009
"The world is as bitter as the coffee I drink this Morning."-Donald E. Waters

Offline Hawkbit

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 09:32:48 AM »
Actually something I forgot to mention in the review initially, I'll go and put it back in. You can see with the initial picture if you look to the lower left you'll see a triangle...this is where the rating goes.  You can see it change between U (Universal Audiences) and PG (Parental Guidance) depending on the disc.  The discs that make up season 3 are all PG rated, plus one of the earlier season 1 discs (about ep. 4-6).  I find it hard to believe ratings would fluctuate during a season, but I can definitely understand the Season 3 rating compared to the other two.

Quote from: Quote:on 
All DVD quality, Redwall, all full episodes. AOFW, full episodes, seasons 1 and 2, season 3 in parts, and WSD all in parts except for the christmas episode. I've got the whole Redwall season 3on my computer and it only takes up 12.45 GBs (I haven't totaled up 1 and 2). Most of these are .wmv files, but a few I had to keep in .avi format or they the sound was messed up.

Youtube isn't dvd quality.  You're wasting space if one of your seasons is 12gb and its off of youtube.  I know the conversion will cause an increase in space, but don't keep them when the source files will be of better quality.  If the sound is messed up, maybe it has to do with the video player you're using to play back the files.  As I said in the review, VLC will play just about anything.  If you want to get brave, you can go grab DaumPotPlayer (the one you see in the screen capture)...it too will play anything but the lists of what it can do overwhelms people sometimes.

Offline Keith

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 02:28:51 PM »
I'm actually surprised that there isn't dvd's available in Canada (where i live) because a Canadian Company co-produced the series. And I'm also surprised I never even seen the series before now, played on CBC and YTV and I watched those all the time.
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Offline Hawkbit

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 10:00:16 PM »
CBC and YTV according to the credits had some role in this tv series.  My suspicion is the reason you don't hear of it in Canada these days is

1.) This was made twelve years ago.  The new stuff is "in".  I don't know what kind of rights need to be paid out to get this shown on tv.  I suspect there's a lot of hands in the pot (Decode, Alltime, Martin Rosen, and probably more still), which turns people away having to pay so many different parties to show the tv series.

2.) Unlike a lot of shows, you need to watch in a semi-sequential order to get the story.  You cannot just show random episodes like with a lot of programming.  This works against a series if you cannot promise regular programming to follow the story.


As for available dvds, I can't speak for that.  The US has very little available, and I suspect it never sold well.  Right now, amazon.uk still has new copies of the entire boxset for sale so if they haven't even sold out of the original inventory that was delivered seven years ago, the likelihood of new dvds making it out there are slim.  I'm speculating, but I suspect its why there's slim pickings on this one. ;)

Offline TammyChiro

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 01:58:24 AM »
Alright so where do i go to find out where to order them from??  :D  :wave

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Offline Hawkbit

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 10:14:31 AM »
Depends on what you want to buy.

The entire 3 seasons are available here from amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Watership-Down-Complete-Box-Set/dp/B000BLBSOK

A couple of the 1st season episodes are here for those in the US/Canada: http://www.amazon.com/Watership-Down-Pack-Journey-Escape/dp/B00016113S

Winter (or Christmas) on Watership Down is here: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Watership-Down-Dawn-French/dp/B0000AZT3T/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1315221255&sr=1-1


So you have choices. :)

Offline TammyChiro

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 08:05:39 PM »
Thanks!
I'm looking at the Box Set  :D

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Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2015, 01:18:36 PM »
It's impressive resolution you have. Definitely'll see the series from start to finish without a break with such high quality HD picture and sound. I'm dying to have the series immediately.
Hey Hawkbit !!!    :hawkbit
Where I can buy the series ?, soundtrark also the soundtrack of the movie !, to ask for once in my order and get me all at the same time !. All this is great!

I also wanted to buy the cards Watership Down Darkling me that way, but ... no longer had in stock.   :blackberry
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Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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Watership Down TV Series DVD Review (2005 Edition)
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 08:33:14 AM »
I didn't write something about the DVDs of Watership Down :o

Personal, I think, the quality is bad. The picture is interlaced (with makes it always blurry and hard to capture screenshots - nearly impossible with fast moving scenes.

The sound is compressed strongly. Good audible on a Dolby TrueHD-Receiver.

And then, there are maybe 10-15 minutes of advertisement on every DVD. And you only can skip them by using fast-forwarding.

And last but not least, the whole series is divided on 14 (!) DVDs. This makes only 2-3 episodes per DVD.

Nevertheless I'm more than glad, that the whole series is available in Europe :)


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