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Wharfedale speak up

Following on from last weeks announcement that Columbia Tristar are to replace the extras disc from the Region 2 release of Gladiator, Wharfedale have issued a statement to refute some of the claims made in the edition of Watchdog broadcast on BBC1 last week. I've reproduced the statement in its entirety here:

Wharfedale are extremely surprised by stance taken on the DVD-750 by the BBC programme 'Watchdog' broadcast at 7.00pm on December 15th 2000. The programme appeared to be blaming both Tesco and Wharfedale for the inability of the DVD-750 to play the extra features disc supplied with the film Gladiator. Watchdog completely failed to mention that two other DVD players, from other brands, also cannot play this extra features disc. Therefore, in response, Columbia Tri-Star Home Video have re-mastered and re-pressed this troublesome extra features disc. The replacement discs are already available for exchange and Wharfedale are very pleased to see this issue resolved so quickly - less than three weeks after the first reported problem. We would like to thank Columbia Tri-Star Home Video for resolving this matter in such a short time period. Quite why Watchdog should take such an aggressive attitude towards Wharfedale, and the Tesco representative, given the circumstances surrounding this disc, is a complete mystery to us. Especially considering Watchdog did actually reported upon the disc re-pressing! Please note: at no point whatsoever did Watchdog have the courtesy to contact Wharfedale regarding this issue. Wharfedale, therefore, had no opportunity to a right of reply, or indeed the opportunity to contribute more in-depth information to the programme makers. Watchdog also further stated that the DVD-750 "could not handle" the latest James Bond film 'The World Is Not Enough'. Wharfedale believe that a very small quantity of faulty pressings of this disc reached the shops. The two customer complaints Wharfedale received about this film, both approximately three months ago, were all resolved by the customers returning their discs to the retailer and exchanging them for a later version. Since the Watchdog programme, we have purchased several copies of this film and can report that all played perfectly. Later in the broadcast callers to Watchdog complained about problems with the films 'The Matrix', 'LA Confidential', 'Jaws' and 'Toy Story', although no references to which players might be at fault was provided. To confirm, The Matrix, La Confidential and Jaws all play trouble-free on the latest version of the Wharfedale DVD-750. Owners of the earliest version of the DVD-750 (units purchased before March 2000) can view all the material contained on these discs by using the player's 'Goto' function. Nonetheless, a free upgrade chip has been available from Tesco for several months to circumvent the incompatibilities encountered with the menu systems on these discs (customers should call 0845 601 2549). The extra features disc supplied with the Toy Story box set is currently failing on a very wide range of DVD players, so at this preliminary stage we believe the disc may be at fault and hope that Disney will decide to release a new version in due course. The Wharfedale DVD-750 is not only the best selling stand-alone DVD player on the market, but also the best reviewed by the specialist hi-fi press too. To the best of our knowledge it has received more 'five star' reviews than any other machine. Wharfedale are now working in ever closer co-operation with software providers to minimise the likelihood of disc incompatibilities re-occurring, during this early development phase for the format.

Colin Polonowski

Last updated: 19/04/2018 19:35:49

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