ust a quick "heads up" that there are reports of issues with the transfer quality of some of the films in the set from those who've received early review copies from Universal.
Nick Wrigley (one of the founders of the "Masters of Cinema" label) has been posting comments at http://enthusiasm.org/
The main issues seem to be:
1) Frenzy opening credits have been re-rendered and now have at least 3 typos.
2) Frenzy, Marnie and Family Plot have had varying amounts of DNR applied to them. Too much DNR can make faces look "waxy" and creates weird digital artefacts from the film grain. More worrying is that the Blu-ray transfers appear to be of a lower quality than 2008 HDnet TV broadcasts of the films!
If you're in two minds about buying the set, you might want to wait until sites like DVDBeaver and bluray.com have posted reviews.
There's even an unconfirmed comment on the HTF site that Universal are considering delaying the set until the transfer problems can be resolved.
Universal have just announced a delay on the release:
"Universal Studios Home Entertainment is postponing the Blu-ray release of Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection to October 30, 2012. Certain imperfections with the product have come to light and, as a result, we are delaying the release date to correct these points. Our goal is to always deliver the best possible product to our consumers."
There is more wrong then only the above mentioned films. It seems that there are at least 4 (such as "The Birds") movies with below to just average video quality, ranging from DNR and EE to wrong color aspects. I still have this set in my pre-order list, but I know many people who cancelled it. For 100 GBP u should expect top quality and Universal just can't live it up.
The US set has definitely been delayed, but I've yet to hear anything about any changes to the UK set. I've contacted a couple of UK distributors to see if they've heard anything from Universal and will post if I hear anything. At the moment, it's still not clear exactly which "imperfections" Universal are planning to fix: - typos on re-rendered Frenzy credits - overly heavy DNR on some of the transfers - unacceptable digital noise/fuzziness on Marnie (apparently the noise vanishes after a chapter stop near the end of the film, so it sounds like a glitch in the encoding)
There's more info on Nick Wrigley's site http://enthusiasm.org/post/31572808196 (Nick seems to be the only person who received the check discs from Universal and reported faults online)
Thanks for the update David. Tis a pity Universal didn't licence these out to MOC who would have given these films the respect they deserve. I would imagine that the discs being Universal would be the same worldwide apart from localisation labels.
Perhaps, considering his background, Nick got check discs as he'd be the one to notice any faults which Universal could rectify before release. The only problem is Universal not saying anything one way or another apart from where the US is concerned.
Oh well; Welcome to the third world of home entertainment distribution though that may seem a bit unfair....But still...
Just to add I believe it has now been delayed on Amazon.de although Amazon.fr are still showing a oct 2nd release date. Hopefully the UK and France will follow the US and Germany's lead regards this.