I own several thousand DVDs and Blu Rays that are kept on various shelves and bookcases around the house. I’ve also made copies for our children to borrow when they were younger, knowing that if they got their hands on the original I’d never be able to watch it again. It’s fair to say I know quite a lot about how to copy a movie and how to spot the copies.
I’m a big fan of Corner Gas, so ordered the DVD box set and the movie on Blu Ray. The movie is perfect. The box set is another story. It’s a very obvious copy. I’m going to show you how I know, and hopefully teach you how to spot them too.
Let’s start with the box. I knew the moment I saw it, before even taking off the plastic wrapping that it was going to be a copy. How? The card and the printing are all wrong on it. It looks like it’s been run off on a home printer. See how it looks dull, and how the colours ever so slightly blur into each other. It’s like the brightness and contrast are wrong on it.
Pulling out the first season gives the same issue. The paper the sleeve is printed on is also way too thin.
The back is even more obvious due to the text. Lots of bleed there:
How about the disc itself? Same thing, looks like it’s been run off on a home printer too:
A closer look at the logo shows just how bad it is.
Look how that compares to the genuine Blu Ray.
Let’s compare the boxes to see the difference.
You may even be able to see that the clear sleeve is wrinkled too on the DVD. It feels cheap and too thin compared to a normal DVD box. It feels like the kind you get from the pound shop. At least the quality’s good on the actual episodes, right? Nope. There’s obvious compression artifacts due to them shrinking the content down to fit on a single layered DVD. Even without zooming in, you can see it on the fist.
Zoomed in it’s even more obvious.
That’s known as Macroblocking, and is a sign the video’s been compressed too much. The people who made these fakes used single layer DVDs as you can see when you look at the disc info in Windows.
Every disc has the same size on it as they’ve used a program to shrink the contents of the original DVDs down to fit on a single layer disc. All in all, it’s a bad copy that was barely cheaper than the genuine version. There was no “too good to be true” pricing here. I’ll be opening up a ticket with Paypal to get my money back on this one, and I’ll let you know what happens.