PictureParamount has presented us with an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen picture with an average bit rate between 5-8Mbps. It is clear with good detail and even though shot with muted colours each is definable with no bleed or wash. Blacks do run a little grey at times, but this may be due to the poor 'day for night' original footage. Understandable for such a new series there is no print damage at all. Edge enhancement is visible in a few sections and film grain though minimal is visible on occasion. There were no compression problems with rain and mist looking clean and detailed through out. Not a remarkable print, but not great either.
SoundThe only sound track on the set is English Dolby digital 5.1, and it is not that good. There is very little separation, and the rears are severely under used. On the one or two occasions when all channels are used the effect is good, but I could count the times on one hand. I am guessing that this lack of dynamics is a function of the series' TV origins. As such the track is purely functional, clear, precise and free from distortion and hiss. But other than that it is very unremarkable and clearly disappointing.
ExtrasNot a sausage.
VerdictThe 4400 is a very engaging series, and those that like sci fi and/or story driven drama would do well to seek this one out. As a DVD package it is possible the worst value at its m.r.p. with no extras, no sound track options, subtitles only if you're English this is a true bare bones edition, perhaps there is a special on the way? Thankfully you can now pick it up very cheaply on the net, and at these prices it is well worth it.
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