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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Simpsons - Season 20 (2-disc) [Blu-ray]

 

(creator Matt Groening)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox Television

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 0:22:00.319

Disc One: 46,869,781,484 bytes

Disc Two: 47,488,433,487 bytes

Episode Size (average): 4,011,442,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.16 Mbps

Chapters: 6 each episode (20 episodes)

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase (see images below)

Release date: January 12th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (first disc) and 1.77 (second disc)

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3668 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3668 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Featurette - "The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock" (3:31 in HD!)

 

Sample Episode Bitrate:

 

 

 

Case:

 

 

Description: The world's longest running – and best - animated adult comedy television series arrives for its 20th season.... and they have finally gone both HD (for the regular season TV show) AND 11 of the 20 episodes are in 1.78 widescreen looking gorgeous. The entire package is 1080P and is once again filled with the bitingly satirical adventures of America's best known family. Entertainment value far exceeds The Simpsons Movie (also available on Blu-ray) with over 8 hours of entertainment spanning 2 Blu-ray discs.

 

1) Disc One (1.33) TOP

2) Disc Two (1.78) - BOTTOM

 

 

Disc 1 (1.33): 218 Minutes
 

Episode list:
Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes
Lost Verizon
Double, Double, Boy in Trouble
Treehouse of Horror XIX
Dangerous Curves
Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words
Mypods and Boomsticks
The Burns and the Bees
Lisa the Drama Queen
Featurette - "The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock"
 


Disc 2 (1.78): 264 Minutes

Take my Life, Please
How the Test Was Won
No Loan Again, Naturally
Gone Maggie Gone
In the Name of the Grandfather
Wedding for Disaster
Eeny Teeny Maya Moe
The Good, the Sad and the Drugly
Father Knows Worst
Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh
Four Great Women and a Manicure
Coming to Homerica

 

 

The widescreen (disc 2) offers a spanking new opening sequence:

 

 

NOTE: The last three captures above are from a unique episode - not part of the standard new opening!

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

I'm sure a lot of fans are saying "about time" for The Simpsons iconic TV series moving to both HD (on Blu-ray) and to widescreen - which comparatively looks like night and day in terms of image quality. Differences appear to be as if the second half of Season 20 was direct digital animation - that is essentially flawless as , example: it has none of the common deficiencies that we can find when transferring live-action film to high-definition digital - things like edge-enhancement or noise removal manipulation. Haze and blurriness are intentional effects to create the perception of motion. By rendering digital animation to1080P Blu-ray we should be able to obtain the highest accuracy of the original, flawless intent. The 4:3 episodes have many more 'jaggies' and are definitely softer almost as if they have been bumped up from SD (I know this is not the case). The 1:78 aspect ratio widescreen episodes look absolutely brilliant - smooth clean, bright and fabulous colors. The 1.33 are a notch behind being slightly less sharp but colors are likewise impressive.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disc 2 (12 episodes ) are in widescreen 1.78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Some Simpsons episodes can have some aggressive audio effects and the DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3668 kbps sounds perfect handling explosions to Barney's burps and Homer's 'D'oh's'. It supports with ease the mostly dialogue-driven episodes and when bass is called upon it respnds well - as does the higher end with the theme music sounding crisp and toe-tapping. There are English (SDH), Spanish and Portuguese subtitles (no French as the box indicates- but there is a French DUB) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Unfortunately the only supplements is "The 20th Anniversary Special Sneak Peek by Morgan Spurlock" featurette running a skimpy 3.5 minutes. It is simply whetting the whistle for this 'Special' that seems strange not to include in this package - nor any amusing commentaries. The 'Special' seems to have some focus on the obsessive fans and one who even owns 30,000 pieces of Simpsons paraphernalia. It looks to be quite interesting/funny.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is the best The Simpsons TV episodes have ever looked for my viewing pleasure. The second disc Blu-ray renderings are quite eye-popping at times and I think this is one of the best content seasons in the past 4 or 5. A huge plus here is having so many shows on one disc and being able to 'Play All' while putzing around the house. I hope this is just the start and we get more Simpsons and other classic TV in the new format (ala The Prisoner). This is definitely the best way to watch this addictive show and while I am slightly disappointed about the lack of extras - we still give a VERY strong endorsement. 

Gary Tooze

January 9th, 2010

 

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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