DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF - techical DVD review - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2001, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF - techical DVD review

I know there are a few topics on this, but i wanted to put this long-winded review in a new thread. That will work better in case it will be linked to jemsite later on. Comments welcome.

DVD Review
Joe Satriani: Live in San Francisco


I'll start the review by saying buy this DVD now. The performance is superb and it's a cool audio-visual memory of a fine tour. By buying this DVD, you also show the record labels that FANS support musicians like Joe and Steve. That alone is a reason to buy the DVD.

Stop reading here if you are unfamiliar with DVD and don't care much about audio-video perfection. Ignorance is bliss and I wish i would ignore my own feelings posted below.

[rant on]
This DVD is a subpar effort, typical of the sludge that SONY is churning out with no regard to consumers. This is evident as you open the packaging and there is not even a liner card. Can you be any cheaper Sony??? you are an embarrasment to the videophile. You know you're dealing with a company that doesn't care then you see "Chapter Selection" as a disc Feature. Gee hasn't this been available for 20 years now since CD was released!

Upon watching the DVD, you can see this was shot with SUBSTANDARD made-for-TV equipment. Shoddy cameras with no ability to take good video in low-light theatres. I have clearer Hi-8 video from vacations and my honeymoon for christ sakes :angry:

Satriani, Sony and Co. must not be aware of the ANATOMICAL FACT that our eyes do not see in a 1.33:1 *aspect ratio (width:height) TV shaped field of vision. Our sight is more akin to 1.85:1 which is just about what MOVIES are released at, and WIDESCREEN tv/projectors are also. So as you watch this DVD, you can't help but realize you're LOSING 1/3 of the information that the concert view would see. Worst this is avoidable by just "filming" with proper video equipment and not 'taping' it like a home video :angry:

In watching the first "multi-angle" track I am sickened to see some IDIOT running CAMERA-3. This amateur should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY for shooting video like that. I am not photographic expert, but i take pride in EVERY photo or video i shoot... and i have never (even as a child) taken such terrible video. HIRE PEOPLE who know who to film, not film the FLOOR and have a general clue. Sad to think that these 3 mult-angle songs were the BEST they had in the can. It would be scary to see the stuff on the cutting room floor. Very disappointing.

Framing and filming issues aside, the video itself is very poor for DVD. It is grain, fuzzy and lacks any sense of sharpness. THe video only becomes acceptable upon closee-ups of Joe, a sign of low-resolution 'made for TV' equipment was uses. Wide angle shots show a total lack of resolution that looks more like a web-cam than a DVD.

It is very obvious that this DVD was budgeted with "looking good" on a 27-32" TV... and nothing more. Sony is the worst studio IMHO and their cheapness is very evident since they refuse to accomidate anyone above their "target demographic". With one breath, they love to sell you large projection TVs, and pricy Sony garbage, but their software division caters to "joe six-pack" and champions mediocrity.

To be fair, my 48"x96" widescreen system will magnify weaknenss... but it will also highlight superb quality. A capable DVD (or even laserdisc) will drop your jaw. Not this one. *It is sad that I can pop-in a DVDs of a movie shot in the 1950s that looks 10x better than this disc. No excuses except a lack of effort by the studios.

On the audio side, the 5.1 mix is excellent. It's main usefulness IMHO is that it allows you to listen in 5.1 w/o having to recalibrate or change your AV setup. In past Dolby Surround and even 5.1 mixes were all wrong, having the guitar in the center channel and this 5.1 mix sounds very much like STEREO, with a little extra ambiance. I didn't bother checking the PCM track, as i already have the same track on CD.

Thankfully all of the above can be overlooked by watching Joe and co. After the initial (though not surprising) sub-quality of the video, you tend to look past that and let the music and vibe sink in. Mixed feelings set in, because it's nice to have this SF archive on DVD, yet one can't help to think it could have been even BETTER with just a little tender, love and care... glen
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2001, 04:00 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

On one of the earlier threads, someone said that this would be the one that they would purchase a dvd player for. I felt the very same way. You see, I AM, Joe Six-Pack and I DO own a 32 inch TV. *I'm glad I did'nt get the dvd player for this one (don't get me wrong, I'll have one some day), but I'm also glad that I bought the vhs tape, because this was a great show. I've seen every concert of Joe's since the "Flyin" tour, and for some reason, he did'nt bring this one to my town, so this tape is extra special for my family and I.

Thanks Glen for the review......It was a good one.

And anybody with an old vcr....drop the sixteen bones and get this tape. *If ya don't like it....I'll buy it from ya.


jc
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2001, 04:30 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

Glen,

I agree, excellent audio, awful video. *This looks like some of the concerts that were shot on video for MTV in the 80's. The camera crew and director should be ashamed.

However, the band's performance saves this disc for me, and I'll still recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in instrumental rock music. *

Joe is fantastic on this. It's a shame the company wouldn't expend the effort (or wasn't capable of?) to capture the feel of the evening.

Bill
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-01-2001, 05:49 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

Actually, I feel that the poorer video quality gives it a more live feel to it for some reason. I like it.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2001, 10:44 AM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

I just got my copy from Amazon.com on Friday - it was a great way to spend the Labor Day weekend! *I watched it on my Titanium Mac G4, *and the footage was awesome. *Crystal clear, *great sound, *better than ANY footage I've seen before, *and certainly better than any instructional video. *Want to learn some great riffs? *Check this DVD out.

22.00 is an amazing deal for this DVD - Thanks Joe....now we need Mr Vai and others to follow suit...

Luther
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2001, 02:06 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

I agree with Glen's comments on the alternate-angle features. WHile I enjoyed most of the rest of the performance, the muli-angle could have been far superior than what was here. Also, I didn't agree with the song selections that have these features ("Mystical Potatoe Head Groove Thing" would have been an obvious choice for me). But, at least we do get the benefit of the 5.1 mix which is stellar. Too bad the sub-par video can't match up to the audi quality of the disc. Who knows, maybe we'll see this re-released in the future with better footage as an "Ultimate Edition"
:sarcasm:
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2001, 03:46 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

I wish Joe played 'Crushing Day.' *

Oh well, awesome DVD nonetheless.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2001, 02:29 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

I am ignorant, but please help anyway!
I am saving for a dvd player, and the Dt and JS dvds are the reason why. Until I get the player, can I get audio by playing the dvd on a cd player?

Guy
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2001, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

sorry... the DVD can NOT be played on a CD player. You will get a disc read error since the CD player cannot read the DVD's table of contents... it won't recognize the disc that was inserted.

Technically, the DVD contains the stereo 16-bit PCM tracks but they are stored differently on DVD media than CD media... glen
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2001, 03:28 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

Whilst surfing the audio files at
www.download.com
there are programs that can take sound etc from a dvd............any help?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2001, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

you need a dvd-rom drive to rip the audio off the DVD discs... glen
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2001, 05:41 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

Thanks for the info. Got to save for the DVD player then. Still waiting for a UK release on SFAM *and JSLISF on dvd though.

Guy
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-07-2001, 06:34 AM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

So is Dt's Metropolis DVD better? I want to buy a DVD to play on my PS2 but I can't make up my mind, but I already have Metropolis on VHS so is it worth buying the DVD?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2001, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

Quote:
mattyo5150 on 6:34 am on Sep. 7, 2001
So is Dt's Metropolis DVD better? I want to buy a DVD to play on my PS2 but I can't make up my mind, but I already have Metropolis on VHS so is it worth buying the DVD?
The DVD will *always* be better than the same VHS, since it offers more 20-30% more lines of resolution and picture quality (as well as CD-sound or better (dts/dd). Upgrading from VHS is a no-brainer for chapter stops and the reasons above IMHO even if no additional features are added to the DVD (which should be a standard but isn't)... glen
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2001, 08:04 PM
 
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DVD review: Joe Satriani Live in SF

yes! get the DT dvd. the extra contents are worth it by themselves. I recommend getting a DVD for your computer. mine cost about US$45, obviously the image isn't great on a 15' screen, but i have the audio running through my stereo and sounds great. get one of these and once you have a decent collection, go for the real thing.
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