Can anyone tell me how is the quality on the DVD sets? I cannot see anywhere that they have been digitally remastered. I have some episodes recorded from digital tv and the quality seems quite variable between episodes. I appreciate the series was first filmed around 30 years ago but I believe they used film rather than videotape. Any assistance on this point would be appreciated.
I assume these episodes were filmed on 35mm film, and that generally produces a slightly washed out colour in the video on the DVDs [that often is is quite agreeable, giving it a vintage feel suitable for a series set in the past]. However video colour in all these DVDs is fairly vivid, even on the older episodes, and there's no hint of the flickering dust and hairs you would occasionally get with a straight transfer, suggesting the digitised image has had some processing as least - but there's certainly no hint of digital remastering either on the box or in the video quality - and the video quality of this set looks very standard PAL resolution. Another possibility is that the indoor shots were taken using video and the outdoor shots with 35mm film, which the BBC did do.
Miss marple picture quality seems a bit better than the BBCs 80's Narnia, CH4's Mapp and Lucia, and even recent the recent Jonathon Creek DVD sets. I would say it looks OK to adaquate on a standard 21" CRT TV, good even from a distance [we don't have a 32" LCD TV so I don't know if DVD upscaling might help picture quality - I doubt it]. Predictably if you view the first DVD 'Body in the library' from 1984 the resolution fine detail is noticably poorer than the last DVD filmed in 1992 [The mirror cracked]. I assume the other episodes gradually improve as the series nears it's 1992 finale. This difference in image quality looks a bit like the difference between good LP and SP on a modern DVD recorder. But on a standard 4/3rds CRT TV at reasonable viewing distances, this DVD sets image quality doesn't really detract from the viewing pleasure, and the mono sound is clear enough.
And at least there's no adverts [that plagued the recent Sky broadcasts], and the DVD goes from start to the main menu in a commendable 30 seconds [that would take up to 15 minutes in a Disney DVD with all the adverts and the 'would you pirate a DVD and deprive Jonathon Ross' stuff].