Blu-ray disc content disappoints, DVD 1 - BD 0


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Aug 10, 2019
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Like the man and his music or not, Elton John has to be one of the most respected music artists around. So when I saw that his 60th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden was available on HD Blu-ray, I swept aside my distaste for the format and jumped in with both feet, eyes closed, and purchased this disc expecting a sublime audio/visual feast for the senses. As I have a substantial collection or "regular" DVD's, I re-package all my HD discs into DVD cases and print off inserts from the DVD version so they sit together nicely in the bookcase. I was really excited about watching this disc as it is effectively a MUSIC Blu-ray disc. My girlfriend and I sat down to watch the disc last night, undisturbed with some quiet snacks and some wine to savour the moment and then discovered someone had been fiddling with the AV settings as the audio was stereo only. So after checking, checking and re-checking EVERYTHING, we found that the disc DOES NOT HAVE A DD OR DTS AUDIO TRACK! The only audio available is STEREO or PCM 5.1 requiring a 6 channel connection I presume, which I have currenly on my SACD/DVD-A player. So I check the DVD insert and compare it with the BD insert, to discover the following:- DB content - 200 minutes of 1080i content in Stereo or PCM 5.1 DVD content - The same 200 minute concert in Stereo, PCM 5.1 AND DTS Digital, PLUS Live, rare and unseen footage of another 18 tracks, PLUS Eltons New York stories including another 5 tracks, Total of 330 minutes of content! And, the DVD is cheaper. So why on earth, with the capacity of a BD disc would they delete the DTS track and omit 130 minutes of content? Especially on a MUSIC disc. As the additional content on the DVD is archive stuff, anyone watching it on BD would accept the quality would not be HD. Overall then, as my expectations were high to begin with, I am very disappointed with this BD disc. Yet another failing for the format IMO. The picture quality is excellent as expected but if you really want the atmosphere of the concert, you will need a 6 channel connection, or buy the DVD and get over 60% more music content in DTS for less money.


Unfortunately Oldskool this happens far to often. It's only going to get worse now that BD has effectively cornered the market.

Studios will rush out HDM content on BD with little input on the extras just to get it to market, this happens already with SD that's why you get special editions, 2/3 disc editions, anniversary editions etc etc after the first release which allows, sometimes a third party, to compile and supply the extras to the studios.

When they do compile all the extras for the release, as we have already seen with BD, these sometimes don't play at all because there isn't the correct profiled player to play them on. But this will be less of an issue in 5-12 months time, after which, hopefully, the BDA will have finally finalised the format to 1.3 or even 2.0 so more manufactures will come on board and produce machines.

This is all still early days for HDM, and as early adopters of the format what can we expect. I own a HD DVD player but at least I can still watch movies on it upscaled to a reasonable quality and will now wait for the BD format to be finalised and priced accordingly to buy into it, maybe a years time.

EDIT: Plus I think BD isn't up to the same standard audio wise as HD DVD yet.


Oldskool - We also have the Elton John 60 BD. You are right in that you have to have your players six phono outputs (or HDMI) connected to your AV amplifier/receiver to ulitilise the PCM 5.1 surround sound.

In the USA, there is a double BD version with all the extras as on the two disc DVD. Maybe another rip off Britain situation? Disc two is only SD by the way on the US BD. You have the BD and the DVD, so you have all bases covered!

I was a bit sceptical about PCM sound, but BD has made me think differently. Having been brought up on LaserDisc Dolby Surround, then DVD DD5.1 / DTS 5.1, having now tasted uncompressed LPCM soundtracks, there is only one conclusion, LCPM wins everytime! Not that DD and DTS are bad, but uncompressed is so much more natural, may I even suggest totally lacking in distortion!

However, I think that omitting a DD or DTS 5.1 option is unforgivable at this stage. Now that Warner Brothers is exclusively going to support BD (effectively killling HD DVD), then manufacturers of BD hardware can start to release a range of products to suit price and feature requirements. Hopefully, people like Pioneer, Denon will produce 'universal' BD players that can handle SACD and DVD-Audio. Our Samsung can play DVD-Audio by the way. It's not supposed to, but it does!

Stefenr - You can't be serious about HD DVD being superior to BD audiowise? I would admit that Toshiba has produced fine HD/DVD players, especially at it's price point (maybe subsidy from MS keeping prices low - I don't know), but as a technology in terms of picture and sound quality, not least due to limitations of 30GB capacity, HD is inferior to BD in both respects.

Hopefully, all BDs will be encoded in MPEG-4AVC and have both digital and LPCM sound options for all tastes and set ups!? Everyone will be a winner then!


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