Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Title Best
Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersR4

Michael D: Image-wise, both the R1 and the R4 versions of this DVD are superlative, reference quality transfers. However, when critically viewed, the Region 4 PAL version is clearly superior to the Region 1 NTSC version. The R1 version is harsher in appearance than the R4. The R4 version is simply smoother and more film-like. Careful comparison of images showed no clear additional detail in the Region 4 version over the Region 1 version, but the R4 version is simply the more pleasant transfer to watch. Aurally, the two versions are indistinguishable.

    Extras-wise, the R1 version has some additional DVD-ROM content which links to a specific DVD-only web site. I was not able to examine this content in detail as the appalling InterActual DVD player refused to co-operate beyond a certain point on the web site.

    The bottom line: You would be very happy with either version of this DVD, but the Region 4 version looks just that little bit better than the Region 1 version, and they both sound the same. Buy locally.

Tony R: The differences between the R1 and R4 are only slight, but I prefer the look of the R4: the R1 seems just a little bit harsh by comparison (which is only noticeable when you A-B the discs). I cannot really identify the difference - it could just be a visible manifestation of the slightly lower resolution of NTSC vs PAL, or it might be that the R1 has had a little bit of contrast enhancement applied to it. Either way, I'm glad I bought the R4.