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5 Star Series in a 2 Star Budget Box...
on 16 January 2012
I felt awful clicking the 2 star tab, as I'm a life-long Star Trek fan and this is a pop culture icon... the very definition of a five star series. However, it is my duty as a consumer to warn other prospective buyers and to urge you to pay the premium and buy the separate season sets over this complete set. Reason being? Scratched discs from the awful cardboard slot style packaging, the likes of which you receive FREE promotional discs in a Sunday newspaper.
No doubt you have come across all the new 'Full Journey' sets... TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT on DVD, and TOS also on Blu-ray disc? Well common sense and a previous experience of this cardboard slot type packing should steer anyone away from the DVD sets (the slimline season sets are much higher quality and cheaper), knowing how prone DVD discs are to scratching, but knowing how difficult it is to scratch a Blu-ray disc, I assumed I'd be safe to go ahead and order the TOS set on Blu-ray and save myself a considerable sum of money (the individual season sets on Blu-ray, unlike in the case of the DVD's, are higher priced). Well yes, I did save some money... and then received my box-set with several discs rattling around loose inside. I quickly put them back and stored it on my shelf, thinking I was safe as Blu-ray discs are hard coated. I started playing the odd disc here and there, but noticing several surface scratches on the discs as I took them from their card slots. This could only be caused by this ridiculously cheap packaging, or cheap manufacture of the Blu-ray discs. The last straw was a disc I pulled out that wasn't even one of the ones that arrived loose, yet it had a severe scratch, a scratch which ran horizontally across the surface of the disc, the type of which can cause havoc and leave the player's error correction a real tough fight to play the media back without skips and freezes. Needless to say, they got quickly packed up and a return/refund request was placed. I am ordering the individual sets instead, which have the discs in sensible Amaray multi-cases.
As regards the series itself and the episodes I watched on Blu-ray, well they're immaculate. It looks like it could have been filmed yesterday. You get both the new CGI and the old model based special effects (unlike on DVD which only has the new CGI), and you can change between them on the fly with either the angle button if your remote has one, or via the pop up menu. There are also a wealth of extras. So yes, a 5 star release let down by shoddy packaging of which CBS Paramount UK should be ashamed. They are in for a world of hurt as regards customer returns, and it will be a hassle to places like Amazon and other suppliers as much as the customers, as they have to deal with constant returns. So for the sake of (at the time of writing) thirty to forty pounds more, you should really go for the individual sets if you can afford to. If that kind of a saving is just too much to pass by, you could take your chance and hope that there are few if any scratches and, of those there are, they do not cause playback issues. I myself believe Blu-ray should NOT be getting packed in budget packaging at all, as it is a premium format, commanding a premium price, and you should be able to rely on getting a premium product. In the case of this 'Full Journey' set, that is NOT the case. So buyer beware, I'm afraid.