The Godflesh anthology In All Languages has been released and the DVD collection of videos has gone out as well. Some have voiced their opinions concerning a 'grainy' look to the videos and Richard has done a little research and kindly submitted it to us. Here's what he found out.
"The problem was this: "The video quality of the videos "Crush My Soul" and "Mothra" are questionable. What I can only describe as electronic grain runs rampant through each of these videos. This pixilated grain isn't the TV, it's embedded in the print, because when I pause the images, the grain is paused as well. I don't believe it's the DVD because the menu screens and other videos don't seem to have it. I compared my VHS tape version of "Crush My Soul" with the DVD version and it looks a lot cleaner. What's up with this? There shouldn't be a reason for a VHS copy to look better than a DVD copy unless something happened in the DVD mastering process maybe?"
I found some additional info.
Here is some feedback from Earache
Rob Harris (European Production Manager):
"Thanks for getting back to us, it's only when we get feedback from fans that we can try and improve what we do...
Having spoken to the guys who author our DVDs they have given me this response:
"Basically when we encode from tape to MPEG2 the digitization process looks at what information can be dispensed with and what has to go in. When the encoder sees video noise or grain it thinks it has to include it and even magnify it giving an overall effect of making the picture appear even more noisy, this is especially true of 'old footage' shot on an analogue format such as Beta SP or 1"C..
As a quick aside I can assure everyone at Earache that we use one of the best encoders on the market and constantly get excellent reviews for the Picture Quality on the DVDs we produce.
It is possible that DVD will show the footage with all its horribleness where VHS will not. Explanation...
VHS at best was 240 lines so the original footage was always better than the VHS. DVD is 500 lines so when we go from footage that is not this pristine quality it makes it look worse."
Essentially, as you can see, the problem is that as we release these old classics on such a high resolution format as DVD it really shows up all the imperfections which VHS simply wasn't high enough quality to detect. We have tried to counteract this by either including as many bonus features as we can possibly fit on a DVD, as in the case of the recent Carcass DVD or the forthcoming Napalm Death DVD, or by offering the DVD at reduced prices as we did with the Godflesh DVD. I hope this goes some way to explaining your query but please, feel free to drop me a line if you still have any questions."
We hope that helps some of you wondering what's going on...
Thanks to Richard for the investigative work.