15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Not the most recent 2009 concert at King's, DVD quality audio subpar to 2009 DVD,
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This review is from: Handel: Messiah [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Concert: 4.5/5, Audio: 2.5/5, Picture: 4/5
There was no information or back cover graphic provided on this page during pre-order and I had hoped (from the front cover graphic) this is the same version as Handel: Messiah [DVD]  which I have but it turns out to be this concert: Handel: The Messiah [DVD]  in the Netherlands and its re-release Handel Messiah - The Choir of King's College Cambridge - Brandenburg Consort[DVD] .
Note the Blu-ray is 1080i50 and the PCM stereo track sounds like compressed Dolby Digital with limited dynamic range and lacking in bass. The Hallelujah Chorus lacks impact! There's no multi-channel PCM or lossless audio, which is a great shame. The trumpeter had an off day with some obvious intonation issues. The picture is fine and looks like 16mm film at least. I have compared this Blu-ray to the 2009 DVD in real time using two players switching back and forth: the Blu-ray has poorer audio quality but somewhat better picture than DVD.
Overall the 2009 DVD is the better version to have because: (1) it is recorded in King's College Chapel; (2) it has better audio; (3) there are subtitles; (4) the overall tempo is more moderate and less rushed despite still being "period", reflecting a change in performing taste and (5) the concert uses the most recent Halle Handel edition (Hallische Händel-Ausgabe).
Here are some more comparisons.
_____2009 DVD / 1993 Blu-ray_____
no. of discs: 2 / 1
region: all / all
runtime: 2h38' / 2h16'
soloists: S,mezzo-S,T,B / SATB
stereo audio: PCM 16/48 / PCM 16/48
multi-channel audio: DD 5.0 448kbps, dts 5.0 1.5Mbps / DD 5.1 448kbps, dts 5.1 0.76Mbps
aspect ratio: 16:9 / 16:9
subtitles: 5 / 0
applause and end credits: yes / no
booklet: no / in English with libretto
recording: live, HD camera / live, film
Given the low price I can live with this. This is the second Blu-ray classical concert disc without multi-channel lossless audio (the first being Volodos In Vienna [Blu-ray] [US Import]) and studios should take note this is not good enough for the medium and does not do full justice to the calibre of artists.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jan 2011 20:41:48 GMT
Scorpion de Rooftrouser says:
I think that you mean "low loss" not "lowless". Thanks for a useful review.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2011 21:41:54 GMT
T. Wei says:
Thanks for your comment.
I used "lossless" in the second paragraph to mean Dolby TrueHD or dts-HD MA audio, as these are lossless compression codecs and on decoding give a bit-for-bit identical version to the original uncompressed LPCM. The word is commonly used in AV forums for these two new codecs. Hope that clarifies it.
Posted on 29 Jan 2011 12:08:49 GMT
Thanks for the info. Agree ...studios/labels should be aware that customers feel conned by lack of HD 5.1 audio on blu-ray releases. I won't buy anything that isn't clearly indicated as that.
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