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Real Ghostbusters DVD Collection Hands-On

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Nov. 21, 2008 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
A surprise package was left on my porch today from TimeLife. I was expecting to get my copy of the set next week, but apparently some select people are getting copies of the set this week in advance of the shipment to the general public this Tuesday.

The promo pilot was the first thing I watched and it looked great. The first 54 seconds was used in its entirety in the Blockbuster and Syndication promos, so that first minute of the pilot didn't seem so fresh. The rest was incredible. It was also a hoot to see all of the known footage in its proper context. In my mind I kept saying, "So that's where that shot is from." Considering the original source is a 20 year old videocassette (you can tell the source was VHS), the quality is amazing.

I have not even taken every disc out of the case, much less watch it all, but I did search out a few other things to check up on them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that "A Fright At The Opera" and "The Bird Of Kildarby" were the alternate Tahiti music versions and not the series music versions (as I was originally led to believe). This is great news for Kildarby because the series music version can be found on Sony's Creatures of the Night DVD, not so great for Opera because it means that I'm stuck keeping my Fox Family copy until I can find someone with a copy of the series music version from the original syndication run sans logo, on-screen text, and edits.

Although I state this on my page for the set, no redubbed or alternate episodes are included except for the one-hour version of Deja Boo (and technically the retitled Slimer! "A Mouse In The House" that none of us knew about - or probably cared about). However, of the four alternate music episodes, two are series music and two are Tahiti music.

However, all is not good. I've found at least two things content-wise that I don't like. The first one is minor, but the second one is major. At the end of every episode, the "Columbia Pictures Television" logo is replaced with the new "Sony Pictures Television" logo. I can sort of understand replacing the logo in the early episodes, due to the original bearing the Coca-Cola Company mark, but there was no reason to change it in the later episodes. In fact, on the 2005 Ghostbusters II DVD, they left the original logo intact on "Partners In Slime". Only on "Citizen Ghost" was it changed.

The major issue is that something is really screwy with Season 4. Again, the "Partners In Slime" episode is played too slowly, and thus sounds bad, has defects in the audio, and runs unusually long. It was like this on the GB2 2005 DVD, but NOT in the original ABC broadcast. A few other Season 4 episodes I checked sound slow as well.

When I finally get the chance to watch all of the episodes, I'll make notes about what doesn't sound or look right and compare them to the original ABC episodes. I have a feeling I may have to keep a few more of my old tapes than I originally planned to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATE [12/10/2008]

I wasn't the only one who noticed the slow episodes, as Zuul noticed it as well: Is it just my copy or are all the episodes on Volume 4 - Disc 2 kind of slow? All of the voices are really noticeably sluggish. Even the music and effects track is messed up. [This is the disc with "Partners In Slime" on it.]

Matt aka clortho has shed some light on why certain episodes play slowly: As for those "slow" episodes Paul was talking about, I can almost guarantee they were PAL masters slowed down to match the NTSC framerate, which although the framerate is now matching our standard, it just doesn't look right. I have a few DVDs that are like that where PAL masters were used and it looks like shit. It's possible the original masters broadcast on ABC are no longer in existence or whatever.

His sentiments were back up by Chris Stewart: A few of the tracks are apparently pulled from PAL sources - PAL (UK/Asia) runs at a different rate than NTSC (North America), hence the slow down. There's been no confirmation of this, though the effect is consistent. And there's no explanation as to why this is.

Well that certainly would explain it. However, According to Andy Mangels they are not from PAL masters:
I can guarantee you that they are not, and I don't know why Paul thinks they are different.

I spent 10 days at Technicolor going through over 600 1" Master NTSC tapes, finding the most complete and best set of ORIGINAL masters I could.

These are 100% from NTSC masters, and AS ORIGINALLY AIRED, unless the labels were lying. Some of the ABC shows even had the original commercials in place.

Best,
Andy Mangels
http://www.AndyMangels.com
Well, I can assure Andy that the slowed-down episodes in Volume 4 are NOT as originally aired on ABC. You know, when "Partners In Slime" showed up on Sony's GB2 DVD in 2005, I thought they screwed up in the transfer. But now I'm starting to think the issue is with the master. So if all of the masters were NTSC, not PAL, then I can only think of one reason for why the episodes on the DVD are messed up:

The masters that Andy was given were actually NTSC conversions from PAL masters (done a long time ago), but were never labeled as such.

It's quite possible that some time in the past 20 years they lost or misplaced the original NTSC masters that aired on ABC and figured that the PAL masters would be just as good, not realizing that the different video formats pose quite a problem. Based upon what Spengs said about the episodes originally airing this slow in Europe, which was not the case in the U.S., this seems to be the likely scenario.

Odd enough, I checked out one of the two-story pair episodes - specifically "Venk-Man! / Slimer Streak" - and "Venk-man!" sounded incredibly sped-up. It was like I was watching Fox Family Channel! I'm going to have to check out the original ABC broadcast to see if that's simply how it is or if there's something strange going on in the neighborhood.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other than that video quality is good. As good as the original television broadcasts, if not a bit better, though I'd hardly call the episodes "remastered" or "restored". You will see the occassional spec of dust and dirt that you'd expect to see from something of that vintage - nothing bad, though one of the Slimer! eps had some scratches at the very beginning, which although minor, proves that they weren't "restored" or "remastered" in any conventional sense of those words.

Audio is a mixed bag, generally because it's like that way in the series. In some episodes Lorenzo and Maurice sound odd and in others they sound fine. That's not a fault of the DVD, though.

You can read more of my thoughts on the audio, video, and select features in my review of the promo DVD from last month.

My biggest complaint about the set, and I know that I'm not alone in this sentiment, is the disc-over-disc storage inside the steelbook cases, and the disc locking mechanism which has absolutely no give and upon repeated use will cause the inner ring of the disc to crack. I've had this happen with my GB1 1999 DVD, and that case's disc locking mechanism is a bit better than this ones - but not by much. The steelbooks on the outside are nice, and the art inside is nice, but the actual storage of the discs leaves a lot to be desired. I would have expected better for a set that costs near $200.

[UPDATE - 1/11/2009]
A better alternative to the Steelbooks DOES exist! CBS/Paramount's Petticoat Junction - The Official First Season set has five discs packaged inside a clear standard-size plastic keepcase (same width as the Steelbooks), with each one on its own page with NO overlap! As you can see in this photo I took, the Petticoat Junction case fits nicely in the RGB box in Volume 1's place. The disc locking mechanism, although not as good as the four spade (my name for it) and M-Lock hubs, is FAR superior to what the Steelbooks use. I can guarantee that not a single one of you would have a complaint about it.

And being that it's a clear case, they printed episode information on the reverse of the outside liner, and thus there was background art - just like the Steelbooks have. There's even clips on the inside front cover, so a booklet could be stored inside, too. Very handy for Time-Life's individual retail releases of the sets.

Although the steel exterior of the Steelbooks is nice, I think Time-Life would have done everyone a big favor by using this style case instead. The consumers would have user-friendly and disc-friendly packaging, and TimeLife would save some money (as I'm sure the 5-disc plastic case is cheaper to produce than the Steelbook cases). It's a win-win for everyone.

Anyway, before I get completely off-topic, let me wrap this up by saying that if you'd like to read more about the set, go over to Proton Charging, GB Fans, TheRealGhostbusters.com, Cinema Blend, and be sure to check out Chris Stewart's new packaging pics.

Oh, and if it seems like I'm being really negative and complaining about everything...well, it only seems that way. By and large, I *LOVE* the set and highly recommend it to everyone. It's just that I'd be doing a great disservice to the other fans if I didn't mention the things that just aren't kosher :-)
67 comments »

67 comments

"However, all is not good. I've found at least two things content-wise that I don't like. The first one is minor, but the second one is major. At the end of every episode, the "Columbia Pictures Television" logo is replaced with the new "Sony Pictures Television" logo. I can sort of understand replacing the logo in the early episodes, due to the original bearing the Coca-Cola Company mark, but there was no reason to change it in the later episodes. "

Afraid that you're not going to win on that one- mainly because Columbia Pictures Television no longer exists as a business entity. As much as we can be sticklers for keeping things in their original broadcast form, I'm pretty sure that Sony Pictures Television, technically the new copyright holder since the Columbia TV wing was renamed, wants to copyright the material that they're releasing.

Point being, it was a legal decision to change those logos - not a creative one. :)
Nov. 23, 2008 @ 16:50
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Well, I did say that was the minor issue :-)

Still, on the 2005 Ghostbusters II DVD, they left the original logo intact on "Partners In Slime". Only on "Citizen Ghost" was it changed.

On top of that, all of the copyrights on the set for the RGB materials are for "CPT Holdings, Inc." So I don't see why it would have been a legal issue either.

Anyway, my big issue is with the episode(s) that play at slow speed. "Partners In Slime" is one, and it seems like there might be a couple of others in Season 4.
Nov. 24, 2008 @ 06:02
Comment from: Scott R. Lacey [Visitor]
Paul,

First, I want to express how overjoyed I am with this collection. I have been watching through my copy of the set (still can't believe I am finally holding one after all of these years), and I have noticed some things about which I was hoping to get confirmation. Watching the first disc, I notice that the dialogue isn't always in sync with the movement of their mouths. It isn't always terrible, and I though maybe I am simply overanalyzing the set, but I went back to some of my tapes. There is definitely a difference, and I think the one place to clearly see what I am talking about is in "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood." Just after they destroy her dress the dialogue matches the picture, but it slowly changes and by the time Ray says "Oh.... OH!", his mouth clearly moves in a delay. Perhaps this is an issue with my collection alone, but if you could confirm or deny that you see the same thing, I will know for sure.

I also couldn't help but notice the absence of a title card for "Killerwatt" when watching the episode. It seems that the bumpers aren't in place for 100% of the episodes either. Finally, another thing I noticed was in the credits for "Troll Bridge," the song "The Boogieman" by Tahiti is listed. Perhaps the master for this episode didn't have the credits attached, so they cropped it from the other episode. These are all minor nitpicks compared to the dialogue. Oh, and I definitely agree with your assessment of the season four episodes. I can notice the slow played audio as soon as the opening sequence begins. I watched "Elementary, My Dear Winston" to discover this occurrence.

I would love to compare notes for additional discrepincies I may notice, so if you don't mind, I will post here again in the future.

P.S. It must be satisfying seeing your name listed in the set!
Nov. 28, 2008 @ 11:39
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
Got my set on the 25th. Overall, it's great. The Firehouse design and steelbooks are both nice touches and you can tell a lot of work into those.

The extras are also superb. The extended interviews portion of the bonus disk is close to the amount of content I expected in the way of extras when the set was first announced, but we ended up with a ton of stuff. I appreciate that Andy really went the extra mile to make this a crowd pleaser. Another thing I liked is all the seasons got at least some extra material. They didn't just focus solely on the first few seasons like I've saw other supplements do.

After years of low quality video tapes and Youtube uploads, I finally get to enjoy this series with good sound quality and most of the episodes look great.

Though nothing is perfect, and I do have a few complaints. Given as I said that most of these look really good, I was pretty surprised by how rough "A FRIGHT AT THE OPERA" looked. Some of the other episodes had the occasional scratch, but there were so many in that show that it was distracting. Several of the Slimer! episodes on the first disk have more scratches than usual also. Not as bad as "A FRIGHT AT THE OPERA" but still more than the normal episodes. I'm not too worried about Slimer! though, but I'm just pointing it out.

The slow episodes are the main thing, as many have already pointed out. I don't know when those came to be, but after watching the others at normal speed, they certainly are a bother. I first noticed them when the show aired on Fox Family. I definitely think it's a master problem. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt we would have gotten these three times now (Fox Family, GB2 DVD, and this set) if the normal versions from ABC were still around.

Paul mentioned that "Venk-Man!" sounded sped up, and I think he is right. There is a version of that episode on Youtube that runs just over 14 minutes (no commercials) and the one on the DVD runs over 12 minutes. All the other shorts do as well. I think those could possibly be syndicated versions of those episodes. The opening theme has certainly been sped up on all of them, as it runs several seconds shorter than normal.

I hope I didn't sound too negative because I really do love the set. I would give it a 9 out of 10 and say that it is no doubt worth the price for RGB fans who have been waiting for years to own the show on DVD.
Nov. 30, 2008 @ 18:00
Comment from: Scott R. Lacey [Visitor]
In addition to the items I previously listed, I was also surprised by a defect in the episode "the Old College Spirit." When we first see "the West Side Women's Club" presenting to Peter at the start of the episode, a "static" effect rolls across the top of the screen (reminiscent of old VHS tapes correcting for tracking issues.) This defect was surprising mostly because it is not present in the Jetix aired copy floating around online.

Nov. 30, 2008 @ 22:32
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
The last thing I will mention is in the episode "THE RANSOM OF GREENSPUD" when Egon and the guys are talking about letting Spider Legs out of the containment unit - Egon says "We may not need to get her out at all".

During that line there is a skip, and part of his line is then repeated. I don't have this one on tape, so I don't know if it's an error in the show or on the disk. Could just be my copy, I'm not sure.
Dec. 1, 2008 @ 02:08
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Hi Everyone

Thanks for posting your defect finds, though it saddens me to learn there are so many. I haven't had a chance to do much with my set due to the holidays and other things that have kept me busy. I'm going to try to find some time this week to gather up the runtimes for all video content and put together a list of all of the bumpers, but that's probably all I'll be able to do until the new year. So I'm relying on all of you who are actually watching the episodes completely to note anything that's just not right. If you find any defects noted on the major GB forums, please note them here and give a credit/link to the source. Having them all in one place makes it so much easier on me :-)

And be sure to note the time codes for anything you find - but please use the time codes for the "episode only" versions, not the ones with the introductions on them. And just go by the solo episode runtimes, not the "Play All" runtimes.

Once I have a list of the defects, I'll check them with the original ABC and syndication recordings I have, and put up some brief image and/or video files to illustrate the defects. Then I'll present them to Andy Mangels and Jeff Peisch (fromTimeLife) to see if they can confirm the defects on their end; and what, if anything, they plan on doing about them.

The slow-playing episodes are a MAJOR defect, which hopefully can be fixed. What I noticed briefly with the fast-playing "Venk-Man!", if indeed an error (as I suspect it is), is something that I'd consider to be major - even if no other episodes are affected. Anything that dampers the viewing experience for the entire duration of the program is something that I'd definitely consider to be major.

Some of what you guys have mentioned, although bad, might be considered minor. Still, I'll present everything you guys find, and we'll see if TimeLife would be willing to fix them, and issue replacement discs for the discs that contain the affected episodes.

Scott, I found a screen shot on a forum which I added to your comment about the static effect in "The Old College Spirit". I hope that's what you were talking about. This static defect really goes against the claim that the episodes were remastered or cleaned up in any way.
Dec. 2, 2008 @ 00:51
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
This GBFans forum thread (where I found the screen shot) has the info listed below, which I copy and pasted here for the sake of keeping it together with everything you guys already noted.

# Comment by egon92
Something I found more of a distraction was that during NIGHT GAME there are several frames where the bottom of the screen jumps. It seems to happen with scene changes. Imagine a black line jumping up from the bottom of the screen to maybe 1/8 of the screen height.
Dec. 2, 2008 @ 01:07
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
That bit of dialog I mentioned from "IT'S ABOUT TIME" / "THE RANSOM OF GREENSPUD" takes place at 19:13 .
Dec. 2, 2008 @ 03:31
Comment from: Scott R. Lacey [Visitor]
Concerning "the Old College Spirit," that defect is the one. Thank you for adding that shot. I am hoping to have some time this weekend to post time codes for the items I have noticed.
Dec. 2, 2008 @ 07:11
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
I just noticed that the set corrected a previous error.

On both the Fox Family and Sony's 2006 DVD presentations of "THEY CALL ME MISTER SLIMER", Winston's opening line at the beginning of Act II had been incomplete. But since they added the bumper to the episode, the line is now intact.
Dec. 4, 2008 @ 00:39
Comment from: Garrett [Visitor] Email · http://www.cartoonreviewsite.com
The episodes on Volume 4, Disc 2 are definitely cranked to slow, as if they were unnecessarily corrected for the PAL speed-up effect. Since there's no visual commentary on the disc, I can't figure out if it's a DVD mastering error, or a problem with the tapes themselves (as a similar anomaly appears in the second act of the Transformers episode "War Dawn", and the Canadian VHS release of another TF episode has constant problems with the playback speed).

Regardless, there's no way any half-hour TV show from the '80s would have had only 4 minutes for commercials.
Dec. 8, 2008 @ 01:07
Comment from: Garrett [Visitor] · http://www.cartoonreviewsite.com
I've noticed that ALL of the two-story episodes are sped-up. Like the slowed-down episodes, it's very obvious that something is wrong just by hearing the opening theme.
Dec. 9, 2008 @ 22:15
Comment from: Snatcher42 [Visitor] · http://ltny.hitart.com
Here's a interesting anomaly between the first full acts of Night Game:
A couple frames of a vintage Burger King advertisement! :)

Dec. 10, 2008 @ 19:54
Comment from: Spengs [Visitor]
Hey Paul...
Got the whole series on videotapes. They're from the first time RGB aired here (I'm European), and all of the season four episodes are this slow / fast - Never saw another "normal" speeded version in 20 years! Point is, it cannot be this PAL/NTSC-thing, since all my eps are PAL, but only season four is this strange.
Dec. 10, 2008 @ 21:22
Comment from: SonofSamhain [Visitor]
I was impressed with the overall look of this collection. It's one thing to see it online, but to actually see & feel it in person was a dream come true. Again, a HUGE "thanks" to all who were involved.

However, one thing that irritates me is constant pulling or tugging you have to do to get the discs out of their holdings in the Steelbook casings. I believe Paul commented on this when he received his advanced copy. I can't shake this nagging feeling (whenever I hear that awful "pop" sound upon removing the discs) that it's just a matter of time before the discs crack or snap in half, no matter how EXTREMELY careful I've tried to be.

I still admire the beauty of the collection; the artwork, the casings, the firehouse box, but who's idea was it to make the discs so difficult to remove? I've seen really cheap bootleg DVDs that come with better TLC (e.g. the plastic mechanisms you push down in the center & the disc EASILY pops up). Why wasn't that implemented to a collection that a true fan is going to be repeatedly watching/therefore repeatedly removing the discs from their confines?

Another issue that sort of ties in with the difficult removal aspect is the layering of the discs & having to remove one disc to get to the other. This only further compounds the first issue I expressed. For a collection to be so aesthetically pleasing, I thought that there should've been more attention paid to the two issues that could greatly affect the performance of the contents inside; the main reason we bought it in the first place!

P.S. ~ Just outta curiosity, why wasn't the Tahiti "Boogeyman" version of Knock, Knock included? Didn't the episode originally air that way?
Dec. 11, 2008 @ 12:00
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
First, I want to again thank everyone who's submitted errors. I have been reading them all, and saving them to a text file on my computer for safe keeping. I promise that as soon as I can, I *WILL* organize this into a concise list with multimedia proof of the errors (and correct versions, where applicable and available), and then submit that list/link to Andy & Jeff to see if they'd correct the errors (which I hope they will do) and issue replacement discs (it seems that Discs 2 & 3 of Volume 4 definitely need to be replaced). I *REALLY* would have liked to have had that all done already, but between the holidays and personal matters, I'm lucky if I can find the time to eat and sleep. So I also want to thank you all for your patience.

I'd like to make some brief comments on the latest finds.

# Comment from: Garrett [Dec. 9, 2008 @ 22:15]
I've noticed that ALL of the two-story episodes are sped-up. Like the slowed-down episodes, it's very obvious that something is wrong just by hearing the opening theme.

So it seems that *ANYTHING* that runs 26 minutes is being played incorrectly - either too slow or too fast. What makes the two-story episodes interesting is that if they're slowed down to normal speed, they're going to be LONGER than 26 minutes! Of course, from what I've been told by James Eatock (who helped Andy go through the masters), there were no "definitive" hour-long blocks of stories. ABC (or whomever) just pieced together the "Slimer & The RGB" hour-long blocks using whatever new and/or old stories they had. Which means that it would not be odd for these two-story episodes to run longer than the standard half-hour-sans-commercials length since they weren't originally compiled into two-story pairs anyway. (I hope that makes sense.)

# Comment from: Snatcher42 [Dec. 10, 2008 @ 19:54]
Here's a interesting anomaly between the first full acts of Night Game: A couple frames of a vintage Burger King advertisement! :)

OH MY GOD! Andy DID say that "some of the ABC shows even had the original commercials in place." Although "Night Game" is a syndicated ep, not from ABC, this does prove him right. I can only imagine what it was like to find all of the commercials in the master. I would have had a huge "flashback" smile on my face from seeing them!

# Comment from: Spengs [Dec. 10, 2008 @ 21:22]
Got the whole series on videotapes. They're from the first time RGB aired here (I'm European), and all of the season four episodes are this slow / fast - Never saw another "normal" speeded version in 20 years! Point is, it cannot be this PAL/NTSC-thing, since all my eps are PAL, but only season four is this strange.

That's odd because I can definitely tell you that here in the U.S. they were not originally shown that slow. I have the proof on videotape as well.

So these particular episodes were normal-playing in the U.S., slow-playing in Europe, and slow-playing on an NTSC master - but all of the other episodes are normal-playing for all three realms. That does eliminate it being a PAL/NTSC issue.

I don't know anything about the format masters are stored in, but maybe there's a flag or a bit that's set incorrectly which causes the master to play at a slower speed. Or maybe the masters they found were converted from PAL to NTSC a long time ago (with no indication on the label about it), and the original NTSC masters used for the U.S. ABC airings are either missing or lost forever. Anyone have any ideas?

# Comment from: SonofSamhain [Dec. 11, 2008 @ 12:00]
However, one thing that irritates me is constant pulling or tugging you have to do to get the discs out of their holdings in the Steelbook casings. I believe Paul commented on this when he received his advanced copy. I can't shake this nagging feeling (whenever I hear that awful "pop" sound upon removing the discs) that it's just a matter of time before the discs crack or snap in half, no matter how EXTREMELY careful I've tried to be. [...] Another issue that sort of ties in with the difficult removal aspect is the layering of the discs & having to remove one disc to get to the other. This only further compounds the first issue I expressed.

Yes, I commented on both of those issues in the post at the top of this page. I'm happy to know that I'm not alone in the opinion that the disc locking mechanism and disc storage is user-UNfriendly and potentially hazardous to the discs.

I've said it in the original post, but it's worth repeating: my GB1 1999 DVD has cracks on the inner ring of the disc due to the disc locking mechanism used by the standard Amaray keepcase. It clips the disc whenever you remove the disc, and I think when you insert it as well. I have just recently put both 1999 movie DVDs into better cases, but the damage is already done to the GB1 disc.

I realize that the Steelbook packaging presents a lot of limitations on how the discs can be secured and stored. So I can't fully fault TimeLife for the problems, though I was told by Andy many months ago that TimeLife prefers disc-over-disc storage, so I have to put some blame on them for being in that mindset.

Obviously we could have had a better disc locking mechanism if they went with other packaging instead of the Steelbooks. I don't know how people feel about the Steelbooks, and I will admit that they look nice, but I don't think that they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. I could have easily done without them if it meant getting better storage of the discs.

I just recently bought MPI's two volumes of Beverly Hillbillies episodes. Each is in a one-inch thick black plastic case with pages inside for the four discs and room for a booklet. One case uses the "four spade" disc locking mechanism, with the discs stored on two double-sided pages, the four-page booklet under clips on the inside front, and nothing on the inside back. (I really wish that I knew who made this locking mechanism or could find a picture online to better explain it. With this locking mechanism, which was used in the Ghostbusters 1 & 2 slim cases in the 2005 "gift set" and in the dual-disc slim cases in the later Tales From The Crypt sets, the hub that holds the discs is comprised of four arrows or spades pointing inwards. If you've see these cases before, you probably know what I'm talking about.) The other case uses the "Locking Mechanism" M-Lock hub locking mechanism, with the discs stored on the inside front, the inside back, and on one double-sided page in the middle, with room for a booklet under raised clips above the disc on the inside front.

Although these cases are thicker than the RGB cases (double thick, I think), I would have preferred these cases to the Steelbooks for three simple reasons: (1) better disc locking mechanism - either the "four spade" or "M-Lock", (2) better disc storage - using the first cases' design there's easily room for five discs in the case with no overlap, (3) they can be replaced since they're not designer cases. Also, if these cases come in Clear, "background art" (the images under the discs) could be printed on the reverse of the outside liner and shown through the case. So nothing would be lost, except for the steel exterior and a few inches of shelf space.

Maybe all of you feel differently, but I would gladly have had the set take up 6-7 inches of shelf space for better secured and stored discs, then to have the ultra-compacted set we got. (Just to make it clear, I'm complaining about the inside of the Steelbook packaging, not all of the pretty pictures or the firehouse box.)

Oh, and here's a little tip that make help make the discs easier to remove and lessen the amount of damage done to them in the process. Be forewarned: What I'm about to say, if done incorrectly, could ruin the locking mechanism making it impossible for the discs to stay in the case. If you look at the hub you can see which tines hold the disc in place and which don't. With the disc(s) removed, push those tines inwards a bit. This will make the plastic tines provide a little "give" for when you remove the discs. If you push the tines too far in, the disc won't stay in the case, so just push a little bit. Experiment for the best results. (I hope that makes sense because I don't know how to better explain it.)

P.S. ~ Just outta curiosity, why wasn't the Tahiti "Boogeyman" version of Knock, Knock included? Didn't the episode originally air that way?

I don't know. I made Andy aware of ALL of the alternate episodes many times, and he told me that he looked for them amongst the masters, but didn't find any (other than the hour-long "Deja Boo"). Of course, he had lead me to believe that the series music versions of all four alt. music episodes were being included, and it turns out that only two were. So maybe he didn't check them all like he said he did, or maybe they didn't have the master for the Tahiti music version of "Knock Knock".

For what it's worth, the Tahiti music versions of "Knock Knock" and "Venkman's Ghost Repellers" can be found on the UK DVDs from 2004, which were converted to NTSC on the bootleg Manhattan Madness DVD (both are also available on individual VHS: Knock Knock, Venkman's Ghost Repellers). The series music version of "Bird Of Kildarby" can be found on Sony's Creatures Of The Night DVD (the box set has the Tahiti music version). The only alternate music episode that isn't available on VHS or DVD is the series music version of "A Fright At The Opera".
Dec. 11, 2008 @ 17:32
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
It seems the jumping picture problem isn't exclusive to "NIGHT GAME". I saw it a few times in both "BUSTER THE GHOST" and "TRADING FACES". I'll try to post time codes for those later.
Dec. 14, 2008 @ 14:33
Comment from: AJ Quick [Visitor] · http://www.gbfans.com/
The episode with the "Mean Green Teen Machine" (or whatever) has a timecode appear for a split second.
Dec. 14, 2008 @ 23:46
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
Strike what I said about "BUSTER THE GHOST". I think was being overly critical of that one. After watching it again last night, I don't think what I saw is significant. However the frame in "TRADING FACES" looks like it's being pulled from side to side several times. Also along those same lines, if you watch "STICKY BUSINESS", "HALLOWEEN II 1/2", "CAMPING IT UP", and "POULTRYGEIST" closely enough when there isn't much movement in the picture you can tell that the frame ticks up and down slightly for the entire episode.

A few more things I've noticed is that "THEY CALL ME MISTER SLIMER" has a line that travels from the middle of the frame to the top of the screen like on an old video tape, several times in the first few minutes of the episode. I point this out, because I didn't notice on the 2006 DVD that Sony put out. Something similar also appears in the episode "THE DEVIL TO PAY", when the illusion of Samhain is attacking Ray and Winston. The only difference is this one is at the bottom of the screen and only lasts for about a second.

Also in the episodes "SPACEBUSTERS" and "GUESS WHAT'S COMING TO DINNER", there is this weird flashing halo that appears around the characters in closeup that I haven't noticed before. It happens maybe twice in the former episode, but at least five or six times in the latter right after the guys duck into the alley to discuss changing their clothes, and through to when Ray and Egon are approaching the Firehouse in an attempt to get inside. I've gone through all of the episodes at this point, and that's everything I saw that didn't look right and was worth pointing out.

I'd like to say that even though I contributed everything I could to help compile potential errors, the only things that really bothered me that much in the set was the muddy transfer of "A FRIGHT AT THE OPERA" in Volume One and the speed problems in Volume Four. I think most of the other stuff I posted can be overlooked, but if it's possible that they could or would be willing to fix them on the later individual volumes, that they should be.
Dec. 18, 2008 @ 17:25
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
I'd like to again ask everyone...PLEASE PUT UP THE EPISODE-ONLY TIMECODES FOR THE DEFECTS YOU FIND! When the holidays pass and I finally have the time to go through all of the defects everyone mentioned and try to find them in my set, it would help tremendously if I could zap right to the defect spots without having to watch each entire episode and find them myself.

# Comment from: Uncle Horace
I'd like to say that even though I contributed everything I could to help compile potential errors, the only things that really bothered me that much in the set was the muddy transfer of "A FRIGHT AT THE OPERA" in Volume One and the speed problems in Volume Four. I think most of the other stuff I posted can be overlooked, but if it's possible that they could or would be willing to fix them on the later individual volumes, that they should be.

I agree with that sentiment. That's why when I organize all of the defects into a definitive list, they'll be separated into three categories: Major, Moderate, and Minor. Major defects NEED to be fixed, Moderate defects SHOULD be fixed, and Minor defects don't necessarily have to be fixed. There might be a fourth category called Anomalies, which are things that aren't really defects, but should be noted anyway. The Burger King ad that Snatcher42 mentioned would fit into this category.
Dec. 18, 2008 @ 17:51
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
Sorry that it took longer than I thought, but here are the remaining time codes for the errors I posted.


"TRADING FACES / TRANSCENDENTAL TOURISTS" - Picture shifts from side to side several times between 4:25 and 7:05

"THEY CALL ME MISTER SLIMER" - Rising lines appear several times between 2:10 to 4:36

"THE DEVIL TO PAY" - Group of lines near the bottom of the frame at 16:43

"SPACEBUSTERS" - Flashing halo appears around the characters in some shots between 16:40 and 18:50

"GUESS WHAT'S COMING TO DINNER" - That same flashing halo appears again at several points between 10:45 and 12:05


I think all the others I posted applied to the entire episodes.
Dec. 23, 2008 @ 19:19
Comment from: Johnny Splitz [Visitor]
Another very small thing I noticed was with the episode "Play Them
Ragtime Boos". After the theme song & commercial bumper, the
commercial bumper that happens right before the title card is
completly cut except for the last 1/2 second. You can barely see it
unless you're looking for it.
Dec. 25, 2008 @ 00:53
Comment from: Johnny Splitz [Visitor]
I forgot a whole chunk of what I wanted to say in my last message.
I noticed that a few episodes from the 1st season (ABC)are missing
commercial bumpers:
"Ghosts R Us" (Too bad they left this one out, from my tape this is
the only one with a commercial bumper with the voice over and no
score.)
"Killerwatt" (Also has no title card which I believe was stated by
another user.)
"Slimer, Come Home"
It seems this is all contained to disc #1, volume #1. The next disc
all the episodes seem to be in tact. If I notice any others with
this error I'll report them at another time.
Dec. 25, 2008 @ 01:07
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
What's interesting about the Killerwatt title card issue is that it's missing in the episode, but it's there in the gallery on the bonus disc!

Dec. 25, 2008 @ 15:40
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
In an effort to keep related comments from other sites in one place, below are all of the relevant and useful comments from the two posts about the slowed-down episodes from over at Proton Charging.

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Zuul Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 11:28 am

Now that I've looked at Partners In Slime on the GBII DVD, I think that it could be a PAL conversion. That one is kind of slowed down too. Although, it was a bit less noticeable since we didn't have any other episodes to compare it to.

I think that it just effects this disc, which still seems odd to me.

Oh well, it's still kind of watchable. It just feels like your brain has been fried while watching it.
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Garrett Says:
December 9th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

The episodes on Volume 4 Disc 2 are slowed down, and all of the two-story episodes on Volume 4 Disc 3 are sped up, but neither seems to be a conversion from a PAL source. If the episodes were corrected PAL conversions, the audio would be normal, and the picture a bit blurry (though not necessarily). I could probably make sound files and play with them to figure out the percentage difference for the eps, but that would interfere with my watching the last few discs. ;)

What's odd, though, is that the episodes that have been sped-up and slowed-down are all about 26:15 in length-some 3-4 minutes *longer* than was normal for a network cartoon at that time. ("If I Were A Witch Man" is an exception at 23:32, but it also seems a bit sluggish to my ears.) Since they come from the same season, the slow episodes should be longer, the fast episodes shorter, and the bootlegs from the ABC broadcasts should be right in the middle. So, it's thoroughly possible ABC fiddled with the episode lengths, especially if Season 4 was when the show got shrunk back down to a half an hour (I was committing self-torture by watching NBC's Saturday line-up at the time, except when Garfield & Friends was on, sorry.)
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Tyler Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

It's a bummer for the people who bought these, but seriously - when there's a problem with DVDs out of the box (especially one widespread) the company putting them out usually replaces them for free. It just sucks right now trying to go through in chronological order and watch them.
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Zuul Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I skimmed through at least 3 episodes or more from each disc and found nothing similar to this. All of the bad ones that I've found are on volume 4 - disc 2. There might be a few more, but I'm guessing that it could be something with the disc?
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Zuul Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I've found something else out.

On volume 4 - disc 1 the episode lengths are 22-23 minutes and on volume 4 - disc 2 they're up to 26 minutes. "If I Were a Witch Man" is the only episode that runs close to normal at 23 minutes.
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Brad Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

The one thing I have noticed is on Vol.4 Disc 2 is the music for the intro drags quite a bit on mine!
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AJ Quick Says:
November 28th, 2008 at 11:37 am

Yep.. That's what I see.

Vol 4, Disc 2.. all of the episodes are pretty slow. You can tell in the theme song, and any places that use music with a regular beat.. you can tell it is off.
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Knight Says:
November 28th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I sure hope Time life will let us send back any lagging or skipping discs separately instead of the Entire set, then I would be worried about the new discs having problems on different discs
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whataboutbob1784 Says:
November 28th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

After reading these comments I checked mine out. I have only gone through the first 6 episodes so far and it is awesome but I noticed a problem with the music in the intro for all episodes on Volume 4 Disc 2. I didnt check the episodes b/c I want to watch them in order, but does anyone know if it lags during the shows too? Other than this problem I have been very happy. Hopefully if the problem is big enough they may fix it and let us trade the disc in. Sounds like the problems are isolated with this one disc so should be an easy fix.
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AJ Quick Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 1:16 am

Disc 2 (Vol 4) appears to be the only one with trouble. (And EVERY episode on it.. has the problem).

Beezer, your problem is definitely related to your DVD player and not the disc. Granted the DVD drives in computers are much better at reading the data. Perhaps you need to clean your laser on the DVD player.
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whataboutbob1784 Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 7:41 am

I am glad that it is an isolated incident. Do you think we will be able to contact someone (TimeLife) about it and see if it is something they might look into replacing?
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Knight Says:
December 1st, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I think the episode "you cant take it with you" on vol 2 disc 1 After Egon throws the trap under the electricity in the pyramid device his speech is very fast & a little garbled anyone else notice this I think he says something about "I never thought it would work" but the audio is all scrambled but only his voice not the music or effects.

also in "No One comes to Lupusville" when Winston asks the little girl Lita if she can find the spare proton pack she seems to mouth the word "yes" but theres no voice, just wondering if anyone has had these & whether it may just be the way they were broadcast originally.
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Justin Says:
December 2nd, 2008 at 12:05 am

I too have seen this issue with Volume 4 Disc 2. It really sticks out during the intro.
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Zack Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 10:15 pm

You Can't Take it With You, Egon was always just mumbling to himself.
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Zack Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I watched Venk-Man and it was VERY fast. It was over before I knew it.
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Dr. Stantz Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Is it me or do some of the Volume 4 disc 3 episodes seem just slightly to fast? (like "Surely you joust" or half of the opening and closing sequences being off as well)

No problems with disc 3 of vol 1.

I checked my old tape for "No One comes to Lupusville" and it did the same thing, but it was from a teletoon broadcast a few years ago, not the 80's.
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Knight Says:
December 16th, 2008 at 8:52 am

Thanks to those who cleared up the audio question I had earlier, I suspected as much but I just wanted to see if everyone had the same.

I watch Vol 4 disc 1 & theyre all slower not just intro but the eps as well.
but I suppose its not as bad as it could be but then again for $170.00 I think I should be allowed to be picky.

Future Tense is probably the most sluggish after egon xrays the TV. but out of all "if I were a witch man" seems faster than the rest ending at 23mins where the rest end at 26mins

On Vol 4 Disc 2 The Halloween Door Special seems to be at the perfect speed But I'm on "Surely you joust/Kitty cornered" and it seems all the eps & Intros after Halloween door are sped up.

I'm wondering if there was a timing adjustments or something on these & They got switched when they burned the DVDs for shipping who know just a speculation.
==================================================
Dec. 25, 2008 @ 15:47
Comment from: Brent [Visitor]
I absolutely LOVE THIS BOX SET! I got it for Christmas yet after examing the dvd's I noticed that on volume 4 3 out of the 5 were severly scratched, I think it is due to how they are packages laying on top of each other. Oh well, I am sending it back for another copy of the box set...but I dont want to WAIT!! haha
Dec. 28, 2008 @ 12:39
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
I've noticed a fault on my copy of "The Copycat", between the episode title and the scene where the Ghostbusters enter the apartment, the picture freezes. Weird thing is the sound keeps going, but the picture doesn't move for a minute or so. Have you encountered this playback problem on your set?
Jan. 7, 2009 @ 11:57
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steven

I actually haven't had the time to watch any of my set, except for a few specific things I searched out upon arrival. You'll notice that the only errors in this blog post/thread that I found were the slow- and fast-playing episodes in Volume 4. Everything else has been found by others.

However, what you're describing sounds like a defective or dirty disc, not a set-wide error. Still, I'll keep it in mind for when I eventually watch my set.

You might be better off posting your message to one of the forums to see if others experienced the same problem.
Jan. 8, 2009 @ 11:04
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
Since there will be different categories on the list, I'll list a few more of the smaller errors:


During the title screen for "THE SCARING OF THE GREEN", the picture jumps and contains lines.

In "JANINE MELNITZ, GHOSTBUSTER" The picture scrambles for a second which is followed by a rising line from 17:24 to 17:26.
Jan. 10, 2009 @ 04:54
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
This comment is about the inside-case disc-locking mechanism, which holds the discs together inside the Steelbook cases. I've actually shattered all three of those inside the first volume DVD case, because it just wouldn't budge, I've tried to avoid damaging the discs, but in the process it did more harm to the interior than good. Why Time Life couldn't have chosen better disc-locking mechanism, with soft touch with opens easily is beyond me. The ones they've used are crap, this has caused me to strain myself removing the discs from the case and at the same time trying to reduce the risk of damage. Hopefully the volumes that are being made commercially available in March 2009 will have suitably better locking mechanism than the Complete Collection had.
Jan. 10, 2009 @ 08:23
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steven

From what I know, the individual retail releases are going to be the exact same cases as in the box set. I'd love to know how they're going to be able to put a booklet in there :-)
Jan. 11, 2009 @ 12:00
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
Hello Paul!

You mentioned that on some of the episodes in Season 4 on the box-set, that the music and dialogue are slowed right down, would I be right in thinking and this is only because I've only ever seen these episodes through YouTube uploads by Glew1424, my opinion is, that they were deliberately slowed down in terms of music and dialogue, CITV showed them like that too and this was overseas. In the UK. All of the Season 3 episodes: The Joke's On Ray, Flip Side, Poultrygeist, Standing Room Only, Robo-Buster, Short Stuff, Follow That Hearse & The Brooklyn Triangle I've noticed seemed to be slowed down too, when I first watched them, was through Fox Family channel video recordings posted on YouTube and I thought the episodes were at normal speed? Am I being paranoid or were they sped up? What were they like on ABC originally? There is a download thread for RGB & EGB episodes, check it out on this link:
http://forums.ghostbusters.net//showthread.php?t=8210
Jan. 12, 2009 @ 05:45
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steven

You can ONLY compare the episodes on the DVD to the original ABC and syndication broadcasts from the United States in the late 1980s/early 1990s. These are the only ORIGINAL airings in the ORIGINAL video format (NTSC) and country of origin.

Episodes that aired in other countries or that aired later on USA or Fox Family are useless for comparative purposes.

When I finally get the chance to organize and confirm all of the errors that everyone has submitted in this thread, and put together the formal list, I'll add in some video from my tapes of the original ABC airings, which should make everything 100% clear to everyone in regards to the episodes that play at the wrong speed.
Jan. 23, 2009 @ 00:20
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
In-between the first part and second part of Who're You Calling Two Dimensional where the commerical spot there is a brief competition advert of The Terminator
Jan. 23, 2009 @ 04:46
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
The Devil to Pay has picture problems, there seems to a flickering rainbow pattern consistently at the top of the screen
Jan. 23, 2009 @ 05:02
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
The sound playback for "THE GHOSTBUSTERS IN PARIS" is noticeably diminished compared to the other episodes. It's almost like a Mono track.
Jan. 29, 2009 @ 23:21
Comment from: buster010908 [Visitor]
got my copy of the set on january 15..no problems with any of mine
Jan. 30, 2009 @ 14:45
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
I have more to add to the discussion about technical errors:

In The Copycat, the picture goes briefly for two seconds before returning, this happens when Peter is looking around the Ghostbusters bedroom for the Copycat and then the alarm clock next to Ray's bed starts buzzing, Peter dives to one side and zaps the clock, which explodes. The blacks screen occurs before the smoke clears and you can see the remains of the broken alarm clock (The black screen appears just after the ion stream hits the clock, if you watch closely you can see it go just for a moment and then the picture comes back)

Also there is a pinkish tint on some episodes: Ghost Fight at the O.K. Corral, Poultrygeist (the No-Ghost bumper looked very pink in the commercial break spot and when it came back on before the second part commenced), The Brooklyn Triangle looked dark during the title card especially the “Real Ghostbusters” lettering and the animation seemed to have the pink tint in that episode.

Also in Short Stuff, when Peter is saying, "Not quite, Ray. In the old days, the ghosts didn't come barging into headquarters.” You can tell the animators meant to draw Winston turning his head to look at the other Ghostbusters, but he's still looking at Peter. You can see the shadow when he turns to look the others. This is more of an animation goof than anything.
Feb. 7, 2009 @ 11:09
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
During the first act of "A GHOST GROWS IN BROOKLYN", the screen shakes after almost every cut. It looks pretty rough.

It seems to be mostly the Syndicated episodes that have picture problems.
Feb. 12, 2009 @ 20:59
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
Certainly one thing's for certain, there's a hell of a lot of grain on the masters tapes of the Slimer episodes on Discs 3 & 4, it’s fairly obvious that Time Life haven’t undertaken any remastering or done any digital restoration work on these episodes. It was like sitting through an old Looney Tunes cartoon on the network Boomerang, thankfully though Warner Bros got their act together and remastered them for the DVD releases
Feb. 13, 2009 @ 13:26
Comment from: A. Spengs [Visitor]
I believe I may have found a disc authoring error on Volume 2 Disc 3. If I select "Bird Of Kildarby" from the episode menu and watch through the end of the credits, instead of returning to the episode menu it goes to a black screen and freezes-up. My Panasonic player locks up so badly that I have to turn it off and back on to resume functionality. My PS3 and Philips players became non responsive until I press the Stop button to completely stop playback. Note that this is only the case when selecting the episode individually. The problem can be avoided by pressing my remote's menu button before the credits end.
Feb. 14, 2009 @ 20:35
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
Another fault with the DVDs themselves is that sometimes if you want to watch an episode individually rather than the whole disc or if you do want to watch every episode on the chosen disc and choose the “Play All” feature. I’ve noticed that sometimes when the episodes have finished their run they don’t always stop and return to the main menu. The picture seems to stick and nothing happens when I try to go back to the interactive menus, I can hear the disc in the machine struggling to load, these problems can occur quite frequently.

Sometimes even the little icon that appears so you can scroll up and down the screen doesn’t always show up. This is mainly a problem with UK Multi-Region DVD machines, although the playback is very smooth and trouble-free on my Playstation 3, so I've heard. There are no Regional restrictions as to which DVD players you can or can't watch the discs on, they are Region-free (Region 0) so can be watched on any DVD in the UK or USA. Playstation 3 will only play Region 2 encoded discs, not Region 1 DVDs, but occasionally it does support the playback of Region 0 discs
Feb. 15, 2009 @ 07:02
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
Throughout Beneath These Streets, there is frequent popping in the sound on the audio track for this episode. The first instance of this is when Peter & Ray are hit by the tidal wave of sewage water, you can hear the sound of their screams become audibly distorted when the wave hits them. It’s as though the pitch was too high for the DVD to cope with, also there is low but distracting sound popping heard throughout the rest of the episode
Feb. 15, 2009 @ 07:21
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steve

I saw all of your feedback, as well as everyone elses, and I truly appreciate it. I've been so busy that I *STILL* haven't even watched any of my set, except for the quick look I took when I first got it back in November.

Rest assured that I have been keeping track of the feedback on that page and keeping a copy on my hard drive for safe keeping. I still plan on turning all of that into a formal list of errors and adding some multimedia for proof of some things. It's just a matter of finding a good chunk of free time in which to do it. Honestly, I was hoping to have it started and completed before the end of January.

And I also want to fully document the set on my site with pictures, scans, screen captures, and video - and a list of all of the bumpers (sorted by both bumper and episode). So I also have THAT as well!

I gotta tell you, looking over the feedback list, I'm really scared to even try to check it all out. Not just because there's a LOT to check for, but because I don't want it to come off as if we, the fans hate the set and are trying to bash it. Or worse - that *I'M* trying to bash it personally!

It's going to be a very thin line to walk in trying to accurately document the errors, keeping an obligation to the fans who made submissions not to totally disregard them, and not to come off as a RGB DVD Set-basher.

I'll tell you one thing for sure, once I post that formal list, I'm closing the comments on the "Hands-On" post. Unless someone finds an absolute MAJOR error, I don't want to hear anymore after that! This getting to be a bit overwhelming.
Feb. 17, 2009 @ 03:32
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
I only recently got around to adding my comments and criticisms because I've spent the last few days going through each episode meticulously to check which ones have faults or which haven't. Janine Meltnitz, Ghostbuster does have the fault between 17:24-17:26, it's very brief but the sound goes, it's like watching a worn out VHS where the picture goes all snowy, that's the only way I can describe it, then the picture rolls and remains stability with a line going up the screen.

The Ghostbusters in Paris is screwed-up in terms of audio and sound, it sounds like it's being played through one speaker even though my Jetix copy is perfectly clear audibly, it's sounds far away and distorted. It must be daunting for you having read all these different people adding comments each day after day about a particular episode when you haven't had chance to view the DVDs, I have to say that before I became the proud owner of the box-set I was sceptical about purchasing it, because of all the feedback people kept writing about the master tapes from the sources Andy Mangels had used for the episodes prior to the release, it almost put me off buying the set.

One other thing, someone has already mentioned that the short episodes after The Halloween Door are all speeded-up, this is true most of they are accelerated, Till Death Do Us Part plays at the normal speed though.
Feb. 17, 2009 @ 07:50
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
Only two episodes from Season 3 have the No-Ghost bumper intact, Flip Side (Volume 3, Disc 5) & Poultrygeist (Volume 4, Disc 1) though the colour of the No-Ghost bumper looks very washed out, the No-Ghost bumper is normally red, it's glowing pink, not all the episodes on the discs have the bumpers intact, for example Apocalypse, What -- NOW, Hard Knight's Day & Ghostbuster of the Year the bumpers have been edited out, they start without any appearance from the No-Ghost logo.

Also at the end of A Fright at the Opera, the Arsenio Hall voiced bumper comes on saying "The Real Ghostbusters will return after these messages", and then the credits roll before he says "We now return to the Real Ghostbusters", the same happens at the beginning of Play Them Ragtime Boos & Sea Fright when the bumper comes on after the opening credits finish. I prefer the Frank Welker voicing the No-Ghost bumper but it's nice to hear Arsenio Hall having a go at voicing the bumper too!
Feb. 18, 2009 @ 05:53
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
When I first heard that Time-Life was putting together a definitive and complete collection of The Real Ghostbusters I was really excited, especially when I heard that the episodes were going to be uncut, but most of all I was thrilled even more by the mention of the episodes would be digitally restored.

But to be honest, most of the episodes I've watched, since I received the set, all seem to have their own faults in terms of video and sound quality, none of the episodes on the discs are flawless; at the back of the booklet it states clearly that “you may notice occasional flaws in the original episodes due to age or the video elements, but wherever possible we have tried to restore those elements.” There seems to be a mixed bag of visual and audio problems. Time-Life were either misleading when they mentioned of the possibility of all 147 episodes being digitally restored or they were downright lying through their teeth, it was just their little plan to get the fans to buy the set.

This is similar to when Sony released that promotional poster advertising Creatures of the Night, Spooky Spirits & Slimefighters on DVD, the DVD specifications were iffy too: “Digitally Mastered Audio and Video”, “Full Screen Presentation” & “Quick-Start Continuous "Play" Feature” (which wasn’t even true, because you had to sit through the trailers of Jumanji, Open Season, Stuart Little 3, Zathura, etc at the beginning and even then when you wanted to watch an episode, you had to sit through the FBI Piracy warnings)
Feb. 18, 2009 @ 12:16
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steve

I understand and sympathize with your complaints and grievances, though I don't think TimeLife was intentionally lying to the fans in order to sucker them into buying the set.

What I'm about to say might ruffle some feathers with the fine folks who worked on the set, and my rather blunt and direct writing style probably won't help in showing that I don't mean to bash the set or the people who made it (I have a hard time expressing emotions through text), but I feel that I should address your concerns the best that I possible can.

You mention the blurb at the back of the booklet which states exactly, "Due to the age and nature of the film and video elements you may notice occasional flaws in the image and sound quality. Wherever possible, we have sought out and restored the original materials to ensure the best possible quality." I have been told that 37 video/audio errors were found and corrected. So this blurb isn't a lie. I think it's a matter of the production team not having enough time to meticulously watch every master and every episode the way you and the other die-hard fans have.

Personally speaking, I wish that I was given an advance copy of just the episodes, so that I could have watched them and given my feedback on errors. It wouldn't have hurt to have an extra set of eyes checking them out. I tried to help in every possible way that I could with the set, and am proud to have been a part of it and have my name attached to it, but I would have loved to have done more if I were given permission and the ability to.

In the promotion of the set there have been several claims of restoration. Looking over the original press release from July 2008, there are three specific mentions of restoration: "...in remastered clarity packaged in a collectible 25-DVD set...", "...in their complete original form, but remastered for picture and audio perfection.", and "From the digitally restored episodes to the extensive bonus materials...". Obviously, with all of the reports I've gotten from you and the other fans, these seems to be outright lies. Maybe they originally intended to fully restore everything, and weren't lying at the time the press release was written up (July 2008), but ended up not having the funds to do the proper restoration. I can't say one way or the other, but considering the state of the economy, this could certainly be the case. Since they didn't have the money to edit out the bumpers and include them separately, I'm included to believe that a lack of funds was the cause.

Three months ago I was privileged to take a look at the two-minute early cut of the "Direct Response" (customers order directly from TimeLife) television commercial for Volume 1. At 1:16 into the ad the announcer says, "Digitally mastered for picture and audio clarity", while the on-screen text says, "11 hours of digitally mastered episodes", and the video does a "before and after wipe" showing the unrestored footage which is then wiped into the restored footage. Although I'd hate to call Andy, Jeff, or anyone else a liar, especially since I didn't personally see the masters myself, I have to call shenanigans on the "before and after wipe". In all my years of tape trading, I have never seen copies that looked as bad as the "before" footage, and that includes VHS copies that were MANY generations removed from the original. Heck, the copies that Fox Family aired, which were the most recent airings here in the United States, looked infinitely better than the "before" footage, and I'm sure that no restoration was done on the masters that Sony gave them to air.

I sincerely hope that the final cut of the Volume 1 television ad removes the "before and after wipe" and any mention of restoration, because I don't want TimeLife to look like liars when people watch the episodes and, as all of you fans who commented here have done, see that no restoration "appears" to have been done.

Oh, yeah, as for Sony's trilogy of Real Ghostbusters DVDs that they released in 2006... any program released on DVD or Blu-Ray contains "digitally mastered audio and video" since the product itself is digital. So Sony wasn't lying there, though I hate when companies use that term when it's such a "No Duh!"

I hope this message addresses your concerns...and doesn't get me into trouble with Andy and Jeff.
Feb. 18, 2009 @ 23:23
Comment from: Scott R. Lacey [Visitor]
I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to an extent that there exist flaws within the DVD set. As fans of the series, I'm sure we all had this high expectation within our minds of what the show would be when finally released on DVD. Do I think the set could have met that standard? Well... yes. It's hard not to acknowledge the capabilities of remastering, especially having seen the phenomenal job that was done with Casablanca recently. Could we expect Time-Life to sift through roughly some 49 odd hours of run time like the studios did for Casablanca... sure, if we didn't want to get the set within our lifetimes. Casablanca was remastered in a period of years by going through cell by cell removing all dirt and recreating the image where necessary. All that time and effort for a black and white print about two hours long.

The test for me was asking myself one simple question: "Does the quality of what I am watching on this set best anything I could get my hands on for the past 23 years?" I could not answer yes without a huge grin on my face. There is clarity on all episodes the like of which I've never seen before. I probably shouldn't say this next thing, but the random defects here and there actually bring back a sense of nostalgia. I've been watching this show since my parents started taping it for my when I was three. The majority of my collection comes from tapes that date back to 1988. Sadly enough, glitches and falling integrity are tied to the nostalgia of the show for me (as are the wonderful commercials of the 80s and early 90s!)

Can I claim what many are in saying that we've been duped for money and sales. No! If you need any clarification that this was indeed a labor of love for those involved in its production, look no further than the special features, mainly the interviews and commentaries. Time-Life could have neglected those fine points, but they didn't. No, this show was intended to reflect what we all wanted from the series. It's just a shame that the masters didn't hold up better over time.
Feb. 20, 2009 @ 07:13
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Scott

Very well said, my friend. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sure we all would have liked to have perfect masters for the set, but unfortunately, for one reason or another, the masters didn't hold up perfectly, even over a span of just 20 short years. I mean, could you imagine if this were a series from the 1950's?!?

Sure there are defects that could have, and should have, been corrected. But like you said, there wasn't the time (and the money) to go through every episode frame by frame.

I'll admit to having not watched any of my DVD set the way others here have done so far. Honestly, I have over FOUR YEARS worth of DVDs that I still need to watch. Although some of the defects I've read about are bad, it doesn't sound like any of them greatly impact the episode as a whole. The only ones that I know of that I'd love for TimeLife to go back and fix are the slowed-down and sped-up episodes on Volume 4. And for them, I'd probably have to find the time to get the runtimes from the original U.S. ABC recordings I have, and do a little sample multimedia, since it seems like there's something screwy with the masters for those episodes.
Feb. 20, 2009 @ 21:15
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
UPDATE ALERT - I just updated the end of the original post with information and photos of the superior case used in the Petticoat Junction: Season 1 set. I back dated the "update notice" to 1/11/2009, which is when I bought the set and intended to add the update notice. Better late than never, right?
Feb. 20, 2009 @ 22:15
Comment from: Uncle Horace [Visitor]
I'm out of errors to report, so no more coming from my direction. :D

I just wanted to say, in case someone involved with the set happens to see my error posts and takes them the wrong way, that it wasn't done to try and show up anyone involved. As an avid fan of this series for 20+ years, I am very appreciative of the set and watch it frequently. As I said in a previous post, I just wanted to help out as much as I could in the chance that some of the things that might have been missed for whatever reason, could be corrected in the future individual releases if at all possible.

I think the point about time being a factor in some of these errors is right on. I'm sure they wanted to put out as good of a set as possible, and would have fixed a lot more of these smaller eye sores if they had more resources.I'm not sure if they would correct any of those or not. But, I agree with Paul that they should fix the slow and fast episodes from '89 since that's not how they originally aired.
Feb. 22, 2009 @ 00:25
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
I was watching Buster the Ghost and in-between the first two parts there’s a still-frame from an old Mattel commercial for Wee Lil Miss dolls that caught my eye
Apr. 19, 2009 @ 12:48
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
Steven Reed's RGB DVD Set Defect Images (compiled April 26, 2009)
(gallery)


Hello Paul. I've finally got round to putting all the screenshots of technical picture faults from my copy of the Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection DVDs as promised, here are the screen captures from the episode The Copycat. There'll be more images from the other episodes on the way soon




Here are the picture faults from Janine Melnitz Ghostbuster. These images are when Janine and Slimer are in the elevator, the scene changes to the pad on the wall of the lift and the picture goes snowy for a few seconds before carrying on as normal. I've numbered the pictures to sequence when the picture interference occurs, as I did on The Copycat, hope this helps? It wasn't easy to capture all these glitches/faults as I had to slow the speed on the VLC player right down to capture them all.



Also I've noticed something at the beginning of Lights! Camera! Haunting! so I took the liberty of taking some screen captures. The first one is from Volume 2, Disc 3 & the other is from the Jetix broadcast, both are comparisons of the opening scene. The buildings near the highway bridge in the opening scene are all glass-fronted skyscrapers in the ABC version on Volume 2, but in the the Jetix copy the buildings aren't glass-fronted, they look like Victorian skyscrapers, judge for yourself


Uncle Horace was right about The Scaring of the Green title-card jumping and containing lines (horizontal streaks like VHS) & the fuzzy picture in Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster, so I've already sent you a sequence to accompany his comments about that and now I'm sending you screen captures of the The Scaring of the Green title-card and that will complete his update about those two episodes.


Before the title-card of Drool, the Dog-Faced Goblin appeared, there was some picture interference during the No-Ghost bumper turning himself the right way up and announcing, "We now return to the Real Ghostbusters", it was just horizontal lines dancing on the "No-Ghost" logo


Here's the Terminator competition between the first two acts of Who're You Calling Two-Dimensional? Not forgetting that scene from Short Stuff where you can see the shadow of Winston turning his head when he's still looking at Peter, I've included that as well. And the Wee Lil Miss commercial in between the first two acts of Buster the Ghost


Here is a screen capture of the time-code that briefly appear in Mean Green Teen Machine, this scene was in the Fox Family channel version too, I seem to remember that there was also a reference to Ghostbusters II where Ray, Egon & Winston in the movie were digging up the street and then the incident in the sewer, this topic was brought up in conversation by Winston. That was the part of the episode when Peter & Ray had disguised Ecto-1 as a Pizza stall whilst Egon & Winston were disguised as workmen. They were lying in wait to capture the ghosts.

Apr. 26, 2009 @ 11:10
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Steven

Thanks for all of those images. I'll have to check some of those out personally when I finally get the chance to watch my site as they sound really neat - such as the buildings in Lights! Camera! Haunting!.

I can barely make out the Terminator commercial, and can't see the Wee Lil Miss commercial at all! Maybe it's hard to see on an LCD monitor.

Anyway, thanks again for all of the images.

-- Paul
Apr. 28, 2009 @ 17:15
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor]
You can kind of understand now why there are only “Visual Commentaries” for certain Real Ghostbusters episodes, such as: Ghosts ‘R’ Us, Slimer Come Home, Take Two, Adventures in Slime & Space, Venkman’s Ghost Repellers, Don’t Forget the Motor City, The Collect Call of Cathulhu, Egon On the Rampage, The Scaring of the Green, The Cabinet of Calamari, The Long, Long, Long, Etc. Goodbye, The Devil to Pay, Egon’s Dragon, Baby Spookums, Halloween II ½ & The Brooklyn Triangle, but there are none featured on Disc 2 of Volume 4, can you image the various people alongside Mangels on the Commentary track discussing their participation and involvement in putting the cartoon together, then they turn round and see the horror of the current masters of Episodes 100-107 that had been used, they would be distracted by the slowed-down sound and dialogue, they’d be tearing their hair out and yelling at Mangels, demanding to know why he didn’t spot this fault or even rectify it before the set became available for general release. He should never have made do with the crappy masters for Episodes 100-107; he should’ve looked elsewhere before settling for these sub-standard copies
Sep. 7, 2009 @ 12:53
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Well, it could also be that eps 100-107 just aren't worth doing commentaries for. Andy tried to make sure that only the best or notable eps were the ones to get commentary tracks.

From what I understand these ARE the best quality masters they could find. There was one ep that they couldn't even find the master for. The only reason its on the DVD is either because they found it at the last minute or because they sourced it from one of Sony's DVDs.

I fully understand that some of the masters used leave a lot to be desired. I agree that more could have been done to fix the errors that all of us have found. But at this point, I know that nothing is going to be done to fix the errors - even in light of the mass market release this month - so it really doesn't do us any good to continue complaining about it.
Sep. 8, 2009 @ 14:00
Comment from: J. Owens [Visitor]
About those 26:00 eps, upon close inspection, I sincerely doubt the two-story eps were sped up the same way the earlier half of the season was stretched out. I listen to them with noise-reducing headphones, and I don't find the voices are characteristic of being sped up. They sound very on-pitch and natural. Granted, there really isn't any breathing room between lines, but only the OP and ED appear to be obviously sped up. In this one ep I scrutinized, Janine Soucie seemed to stumble over her lines twice, making two syllables one. It did sound a little odd, but since she was the only one who had this effect, I imagine it was just as likely that the voice director was crackin' the whip on them so hard that they were told to rapid-fire delivery of their lines and don't worry if they get tongue-tied as long as the audience can comprehend what's going on.
Sep. 22, 2009 @ 23:09
Comment from: J. Owens [Visitor]
About the second half of Season 4 RGB eps, you were right. They are all sped up. It's painfully obvious during music cues. I was just going by what I noticed by skimming an ep last time, but now I've actually watched all of Season 4 (just two more to go, then I start on Visual Commentaries). My main reason for being so hesitant to believe the entire eps were faster than normal is because they're already 26 minutes each. Slowing them back down to a normal pace would make them even less commercial-friendly. I can only guess that since they are on the DVD as 12 minutes per story, they must have been planning to do another season of Slimer! or just use the shortest of the reruns to fill the extra 8 minutes of time. From the interviews and such, the crew seemed to like the Slimer! show, especially Pamela Hickey. It always made me roll my eyes, but I've always tolerated it better than others. I just never saw it as THAT drastic a decline in believability. They had ridiculously convenient plot devices since day one. But, still, I've never in my life been someone who likes being talked down to like that show did. Anyway, just thought I should clear up my earlier mistake before too long. Sorry again.
Oct. 15, 2009 @ 23:10
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
From what I've been told, they mixed and matched stories to fill those one-hour blocks - there were no definitive parings. If I remember correctly, most of the Slimer! stories are 7 minutes each. They probably paired these with the sped-up stories that are probably 15 or 16 minutes each if played normally. And then they'd add a normal-length RGB story to that pairing, and you'd get the one-hour block.

That's just an educated guess on my part, since I never taped any of the one-hour blocks when they aired 20 years ago on ABC.
Nov. 18, 2009 @ 23:58
Comment from: Derick Jones [Visitor]
I was planning to get the set. Glad that I was able to learn about this post before I went ahead with the purchase. Thanks!
Jun. 29, 2010 @ 13:37
Comment from: Johnny Splitz [Visitor]
Just skimming through some of the posts and just towards the end I came across this one about how the Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters episodes were laid out. I used to tape them from this time on and collected actual ABC copies of episodes from various Ghostheads and of course adding from my own collection. This is how it worked for each season:

1988 - 2 Slimer! episodes, a full-length episode (original to that season or re-run), followed by a final Slimer! episode

1989 - 15 minute episode, a full-length episode (original to that season or re-run), followed by a single Slimer! episode that was a re-run from 1988. Also depending on the block constructed you could see 1 of the 5, 15 minute Slimer! episodes instead of a Real Ghostbusters episode at the start.

1990 - 2 back to back full-length Real Ghostbusters episodes. Either an episode original to the season or re-run. Re-runs spanned from all the way back to the 1st season (ex. A re-dubbed episode of "Mr. Sandman, Dream me a Dream" and right up to them re-running hour blocks from 1989.) The episode pairings were as follows:
1) "Janine, You've Changed"/"You Can't Teach an Old Demon New Tricks"
2) "The Haunting of Heck House"/"Ghostworld"
3) "Mean Green Teen Machine"/"Spacebusters"
4) "My Left Fang"/"Russian About" (European Tour, commericial bumper for "The Slob" at the end of the block. I have no idea if it really aired or not afterward. Mostly since "Deja Boo" originally aired for a full hour-long block. It would seem they paired the shortened version in re-runs to "The Slob" as a new episode on the second go around. Does anyone know for sure?)
5) "The Slob"/"Deja Boo" (Prof. Dweeb episodes, the 1st Slimer! crossover.)
6) "Stay Tooned"/"Very Beast Friends"
7) "Guess What's Coming to Dinner"/"Afterlife in the Fastlane"
8) "Busters in Toyland"/"The Magnificent Five" (Only aired twice on ABC. Once as the hour block with the bumper for "The Magnificent Five" at the mid-point. I actually have it on tape from that only Saturday it was aired: Lucky me! In 1991 they re-runned back to back where I taped them also.)

1991 - Single Full-Length episodes. Most re-runs were from 1989 and 1990 Full-Length episodes. Nothing from earlier seasons that I ever noticed.

If anyone has information to add, please do! I know that sort of rambled on, but, from different postings I've seen between different boards it seems that no one is 100% completely sure. So, I hope this is some useless trivia for some crazy Ghosthead such as myself! :P Have fun lovin' the boys in brown...er...multi-coloured uniforms!
Aug. 29, 2010 @ 22:34
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Excellent information, Johnny. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for your contribution to this post.
Aug. 30, 2010 @ 23:00
Comment from: Steven Reed [Visitor] Email
In reference to the slowed-down, hiccupy dialogue and drawn-out audio... A YouTube member named renegade202, who lives in London in the UK, uploaded seven Season 4 episodes a few months ago: Three Men And An Egon, Elementary My Dear Winston, If I Were a Witch Man, Partners in Slime, Future Tense, Jailbusters, and The Ghostbusters! From Al Capone's Tomb.

These came from his own personal VHS collection and were recorded in the early 1990's in the UK on a TV network called ITV - or in the part of the UK that I live in, that's the South of England, the ITV network is called ITV Meridian. The episodes that were shown on ITV are the PAL masters. These versions visually look the same and audibly sound the same as the versions that Time Life used for The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection.

These masters are probably the only ones in existence. Clearly as one of the other Spook Central members commented, something must've have happened to the original NTSC masters of the Season 4 episodes from 1989 or someone might've mislaid them, I don't know? I have watched through all of the ITV transmissions of the first seven episodes, the only episode missing from his collection is the first episode of Season 4 from 1989, Something's Going Around.

When the ABC network began premiering the new episodes of Season 5 of Slimer & the Real Ghostbusters in 1990, ABC must've slowed-down the first eight episodes of Season 4 from 1989 for re-runs. So ABC slowed down those episodes to 26 minutes when I guess originally the episodes must have originally run for approximately 23 minutes in length. Strangely enough If I Were a Witch Man ran for 23 minutes on the Time Life DVD box-set on the 4th Volume, Disc 2. The Halloween Door plays at the normal speed in terms of audio and picture quality, there is no long drawn-out music and sound effects track, there's no hiccup-dialogue and the actors' voices or actresses' voices don't sound sluggish vocally in this episode, but other that the rest of the episodes and are labeled as two-story episodes are sped-up to squeeze in more commercials.

Apologies for rambling I just felt that this feedback was worth contributing
Apr. 25, 2011 @ 12:56
Comment from: Hab Anagharek [Visitor]
I've talked about this set in a thread at stevehoffman.tv, where an industry person posts. He thought that using video masters and not transferring from the original film elements was a very cheap move. In his view, using the film elements would not have been terribly expensive. To give the benefit of the doubt, I assume Andy had to work with what he was given. Perhaps the film elements are long gone?
Feb. 7, 2012 @ 12:27
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Hab, it's always better to get as close to the original source materials as possible. If the animation cels still existed, the best quality you could possible get would be to rescan them in in HD-resolution, as then you could even do a Blu-ray release, if desired :-)

That said, it's a pipe dream to think that anything closer than the video masters still exist, and even some of them are NOT the original video masters as broadcast from 1986-1991 on ABC. Look at the info cards from the video masters used in the set and you'll see that a lot of them are from after the series ended in 1991. There are a bunch of episodes in Volume 4 that play too slow or too fast, and I think that the masters used for these episodes were converted from PAL masters and/or from time-compress-for-syndication masters.

In any case, one look at the final product tells you that they used the video masters "as is" with no apparent restoration done. I think it was a combination of using what they had and doing it as cheaply as possible.
Feb. 8, 2012 @ 15:57

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