LIKE NEW _ 214 Minutes of Great Music!
Live at Radio City comes to the Blu-ray format in a 1080p/VC-1 encoding at 24 fps framed in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. It is rare to find a concert video shot progressively at this frame rate, so I was looking forward to seeing a difference from the standard interlaced fare. Spread out over a BD-50 disc, the video is a stunner from the first frame to the last. Most concerts I reviewed looked like high quality video, but not this one. This is the first presentation that looked like high quality judder free film. It is the most natural looking concert video I have ever seen. Captured with nine high definition cameras, the color reproduction is perfect as it accentuates the subtle but dramatic lighting in the hall. The lighting scheme washes the stage and hall with warm oranges and reds, and dramatic purples and blues, and it spilled out of my set like liquid crayons. Detail is excellent from the wide shots to the close shots; everything is rendered with dramatic clarity and razor sharp focus. There is no noise or compression artifacts found on this presentation. Blacks and contrast are sublime, with terrific shadow delineation. This is the best looking concert video I have ever reviewed bar none.
When it comes to pushing the envelope on audio fidelity, this disc leads the charge. Featuring a terrific 24/96 kHz Dolby TrueHD encoding, this presentation gives new meaning to the word transparent. I just could not believe what I heard. It sounded like Reynolds and Matthews were in the same room as I was. Every reverberant cue of the hall, and subtle and striking resonance of the guitar strings were recorded with stunning realism. The sound of the two guitars, and piano (when played) was highly detailed, warm, full, and room filling. Every sound just hung into space completely free of the speaker locations, as if the speakers were not there at all. The front sound stage is huge, deep, and well focused creating a holosonic wall of sound at the listening seat.
I compared the output of the PCM and codec's, and the results were pretty predictable. The PCM and TrueHD encodings sound surprisingly similar, with just a little loss of air on the PCM. As this is a front loaded mix with spare use of the surrounds so this is predictable outcome. The TrueHD encoding was a hair more enveloping thanks to the use of the surrounds at a very low level. The Dolby Digital encoding at 640kbps sounded like the sound stage was truncated in every direction, highs rolled off, with entire guitar transients smeared. It did not have the transient clarity and highly detailed sound of the other encodings