Amazon.com has the following strange remark about this: LASER DISC | now apparently out-of-print on VHS & not yet (never to be?) on DVD | normal shelf-wear to cardboard cover, otherwise pristine | DDD | TT 118:36.
Why did they put "never to be?"? Strange thing to write on that site. Do they something we don't?
Anyone fancy going there to find out if it's true? I've searched and googled - but zilch.
Bill posted on Friday, 01 July, 2005 - 02:21 pm
I looked at the Sony Asia web site and it has very little (and nothing about this DVD).
I got nothing helpful out of Google or Copernic either.
The DVD is probably the "unofficial" one that Richard mentioned. (He probably means that it is not officially released here, although Sony Asia presumably have the right to release it over there.)
I know some folk who are going to Korea...
Also, there's a guy I know in Hong Kong...
Richard Sliwa posted on Saturday, 02 July, 2005 - 01:01 pm
What I meant is that the DVD I have is a definite bootleg. I have absolutely no doubt that it is not an official Sony Asia release, which is why it's not mentioned on their site... If it had ever been released on DVD, a certain amount of noise would've been made about it, and it certainly would've had a European release as well.
Why am I so sure it's a bootleg? Well, whilst I don't read any far-eastern languages and couldn't even claim to be able to tell the look of the various languages apart, the non-English text looks like Chinese rather than Japanese to me. But that's just a side issue.
The more telling markers:
The Sony Classical logo is wrong. Sony have rules about how it should be reproduced (in accordance with their trademark), and neither the typeface nor the background colour of the logo is right (they demand that the box be silver or white; this one's black).
The catalogue number doesn't fit with any of Sony's numbering schemes.
Includes Sony (in black again) and BMG logos. The recording and production had sod-all to do with BMG - it should, however, include a LWT logo (which the ofifcial VHS eiditon does; LWT would've demanded its inclusion).
The full copyright disclaimer mentions "1997 Oranton Ltd, Rious Beleggingen B.V. and Click Productions inc." Who are these companies? The whole thing was a Sony Classical/LWT/RM Productions gig. It was made (and copyrighted) in 1993, and even if it was put on DVD aftaer that, the original date would have needed to be mentioned.
There's a "Program Content" boxout which claims: "Passion & Romance: Scandal ALAD9899DVD"; OK, I'll admit that some of the music is romantic and even passionate, but "scandal"? This has clearly been copied from another, unrelated, DVD.
(A google on that number has resulted in the production number of a film called (drumroll, please) Passion and Romance: Scandal; guess what year that film was made, and who made it?).
The box mentions that the sound is in Dolby MONO, whilst the on-screen options when playing the DVD mention Dolby stereo and DTS (which itself is another sign of far-eastern knock-offs - whist there is a DTS track, it's not properly mixed).
And those are just for starters. if anyone still had any doubts, the quality of the material itself makes it abundantly clear that it's been copied from VHS. Both the sound and image have imprefections which Sony would never have allowed onto DVD. Bear in mind that the film was recorded in HDTV (one of the first, if I'm not mistaken) and any proper DVD release would take advantage of the fact.
There is the possibility that the copy I bought (from the USA, not the Far East) is a knock-off of genuine stock, but that doesn't explain the inconsistencies on the packaging or the quality of the actual programming. If it was a copy of a genuine release, they would've copied the cover and included proper credits on the back, and not needed to mock up something so obviously fake.
So whilst someone in Hong Kong or Korea should be able to get their hands on a copy, it'll doubtkess be the same thing I have, so be warned and don't spend too much money on it...
Bill posted on Saturday, 02 July, 2005 - 08:22 pm
Richard: "not an official Sony Asia release...not mentioned on their site..." Fair enough, although there are very few artists mentioned on the site anyway.
"...don't read any far-eastern languages and couldn't...tell (them) apart, the non-English text looks like Chinese rather than Japanese to me" I can tell Chinese, Japanese and Korean apart. Send me a scan (after 26th July) and I can tell you.
Bill posted on Saturday, 02 July, 2005 - 08:26 pm
P.S. I'll be away on holiday from tomorrow until the 26th and don't know if I'll be able to get internet access.
Hmmm... I've just, ahem, P2P’d an avi file of this. It's strange - the viewable area is twice as wide as the height (letterbox format?) The aspect ratio is obviously wrong for UK viewing (JW looks like a 20 stone dwarf). The quality seems to be pretty good – far too good for a VHS transfer.
I can't for a second imagine that this was done either accidentally or deliberately as a joke. There’s too much time and effort involved to create (and distribute) it. Any UK laserdisc/VHS tape would in any case have to be in the correct 4:3 format.
Something's nagging my memory about this too. It may be senility (or beer), but I'm sure this was once broadcast (at least the start) in the UK with exactly the same problem. I remember that stab of fear that comes with expensive electrical equipment breaking down as well as the relief when I checked other channels.
In view of Richard’s comment on the bootleg dvd, do (did?) far-eastern countries use a DVD/TV format that displays incorrectly on western equipment?
I'll play with some clips to see if it's ok after correction. If not there’s always the recycle bin.
Tricky posted on Wednesday, 10 August, 2005 - 09:32 am
You've got to admire JW's sheer talent. You'd swear there were at least 2 guitarists present if you only heard him playing "Asturias".
(first 2 tries at correcting the avi have failed. 3rd coming up)
Richard posted on Friday, 19 August, 2005 - 06:52 pm
I've always felt that the "one guy can't be playing this on his own" impression is best exemplified by Barrios's "Una limosna per amor de Dios" (AKA "La ultima cancion", i.e. "the last song" - guess why) and Sagreras's El Colibri, whose subtitle (the flight of the hummingbird) lets you know what to expect - it's just a piece of show-off fluff but you really have to be good to pull off playing two separate melodies, AT SPEED, simultaneously...
The first time I saw JW play it (live, as a silly encore, it only lasts about a minute) I was nailed to my seat, mouth agape. I've since seen Richard Durrant do it, too.
Tricky posted on Sunday, 23 October, 2005 - 01:05 pm
I've given up trying to correct the downloaded file and bought the unofficial DVD mentioned above over ebay. It is of Chinese origin. I can understand the confusion over the "bootleg" issue. The quality is commercial, even though the logo and wording is wrong. It looks professionally mass produced. Someone's gone to a hell of a lot of trouble to make this.
(Quantum Leap got the packaging on the Bremen DVD wrong too, didn't they?)
Larry Seltzer posted on Sunday, 18 December, 2005 - 10:00 pm
I solved the problem by buying the PAL English videocassette (still available for around $30.00 shipped) and dubbing it to CD-R from a PAL compatible VHS player - better than paying $100.00 or more on Amazon for a used VHS NTSC copy.
Bill D posted on Sunday, 18 December, 2005 - 10:53 pm
Why did you dub a CD from the VHS tape?
The official CD is still on release in the USA and the UK, with a few bonus tracks too.
Tricky posted on Monday, 19 December, 2005 - 09:38 am
A quick search on ebay currently lists both the cd and dvd (NTSC only). Set the location to 'Worldwide' and search for 'Seville Concert'
A quote from one of the dvd pages:- "We sell only factory made DVD. We do not sell any VCD or burned DVD-R" The high quality of the dvd and packaging is such that I can confirm 'factory made'. The discs are silver (as opposed to purple dvdrs). All professionally printed, packaged etc. If this really is an "unofficial" release, it's a damn good one.
DVD - about $30 with p&p. CDs would be around $10.
Tim posted on Wednesday, 21 December, 2005 - 05:56 pm
The DVD is on ebay UK at the moment for £3.50 buy-it-now, ship to UK, Europe, Australia - I think NTSC means it won't play on my UK machine (£25 from Curry's). There's some decent screen shots on the page - including one of Aranjuez with dummy mikes (at least I think they're dummies) - though JW hardly looks like he's enjoying himself.
posted on Wednesday, 21 December, 2005 - 11:16 pm
Tim, you can usually hack a DVD player to get it to play different region discs. Even the vendors and manufacturers publicly display and provide the hacks these days. NTSC (R1) discs use 30 frames per second and PAL (R2) 25 - but the DVD player handles all the tricky stuff. There used to be a semi-reasonable excuse for region encoding once – the USA’s mains frequency is 60Hz (UK is 50Hz), and TVs synchronise to the mains frequency. (You may also have seen 100Hz TVs in Currys) From a manufacturer’s point of view, it's nonsensical to set up production lines for each region - so it's a case of one high volume line and program the players to suit. They've also belatedly realised that the peoples choice is a region free (R0) player - that Europe's not interested in the RIAA's marketing strategy.
The hack is usually a case of pressing a few buttons on the remote to reveal hidden functions - no big deal. I've done this with a Panasonic and Yamada - the Ellion DVD/HDD I recently bought didn't need one. Sites such as Videohelp list hacks. A Google for something like "Panasorny NCC1701 region free hack" will get you results. Some ask a fee of a couple of quid - most are free. The friendly P2P communities have books of them. (If you change yours now, you'll owe me a Xmas beer!)
Back on-topic - they could be radio mikes! I haven't noticed a single wall socket anywhwere (I can just imagine an electrician with his jeans hanging half-way down his a*se chasing out a cable run through those tiles - shortly before his execution :-)). Considering the location, I would imagine that the equipment was mostly battery powered.
Tim posted on Thursday, 22 December, 2005 - 12:21 am
Thanks for the tip Tricky, I'll take a look at those hacks. I'd offer you a Christmas beer but that thread has already hit the hard stuff (a medley of 'keep me safe, keep me warm' and 'nobody loves you when you're down and out'!).
Radio mikes - well I'd never have thought of that. Maybe that's because my understanding of recording technology is locked in those old Radio Active (later KY TV) jokes - characters like Mike Stand and Mike Flex if you remember them. The only problem with them being radio mikes is that I couldn't see a single mike picking up the orchestra.
Most electricians wouldn't have a problem chasing in the cable run - 'you're gonna need re-plastering anyway, I've got a mate who'll do you a good job for cash'.
Tim posted on Wednesday, 28 December, 2005 - 09:48 am
Don't know if anyone else has seen this description on e-bay (a seller from Canada, Item number: 6467952973) for the Seville VHS. "His technique is flawless as someone else wrote... although he can get a little boring to watch. Camera angles are usually interesting which make John's dullness a little less obvious."