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Hitchcock delayed, Harry Potter and The Avengers disc woes

Technical errors are not uncommon in the world of DVD and Blu-ray, and in the past weeks a few high profile releases have been affected that we feel are worth bringing to your attention...

The most prominent of these and the only one to be caught prior to release is Universal's Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection. Originally due for US release on 25 September, one UK reviewer got his hands on check discs for the Sight & Sound magazine review and began cataloguing a variety of flaws with the transfers. Alongside concerns with restoration and video encoding quality, one of the most glaring faults is a newly recreated opening credits reel for Frenzy which features a different font and even some typos. Internet message boards went wild and Universal (USA) have responded with an official delay, putting the US release back to 30 October.

Their statement: "Universal Studios Home Entertainment is postponing the Blu-ray release of Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection to October 30, 2012. Certain imperfections with the product have come to light and, as a result, we are delaying the release date to correct these points. Our goal is to always deliver the best possible product to our consumers."

Subsequently the UK release has also been put back, moving from 1 October to 5 November, and similarly the worldwide release dates have also moved back. Exactly which problems (some or all) will be addressed remains to be seen, but for a better idea of the issues found on the check discs please refer to the following blog.

Next up is the recent Warner Home Video release of Harry Potter Wizard's Collection, a set which brings together all 8 Harry Potter films in one limited edition set boasting new extras and lots of other goodies. Our very own Geoff Dearth purchased the UK version of the set and discovered several problems, the most glaring of which is that the 'feature' discs for films 4, 5 and 6 are the original releases as opposed to the 'Ultimate Edition' releases which boast DTS-HD MA, and films 4 and 5 also lack the 'In-Movie Experience' extras. Another problem is the Deathly Hallows feature discs are incorrectly labelled. If you're affected then you should let Warner know via email: as they are apparently going to send out replacements. See the comments on our original news piece for more detail on the issues.

Last but not least is this week's UK release of Marvel Avenger's Assemble which not only lacks the audio commentary found on the US release but as it turns out, is also censored. It's only minor and will probably go unnoticed by most, but it's certainly annoying to many. Please note the scene in question is a spoiler if you have not seen the film, so only follow this link showing the change if you've already seen the film. Apparently the fault has come about due to Disney using the censored print version intended for selected European markets.

Disney UK's response to this so far has been a general denial, claiming the censored version on disc is the same as that seen in UK cinema screens earlier this year. Conversely a statement posted on the AvengersUK facebook page confirms the mix-up and offers an apology to fans.

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