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Danger Man aka Secret Agent complete series with superior audio
#1
Not sure if anyone has seen it, but the old TV British show Danger Man is available in the public domain in the states, it seems, as you can find the complete series there

https://archive.org/details/secret.agent...ete.series

Two things I noticed in comparison to the USA old DVDs from A&E:

First the vids are here compressed in H264, but don't look different from the DVDs, so no loss of quality.

Second, the audio is English mono AAC compressed.

However, in direct comparison, the old DVDs had their dynamic range crushed into square waves at low volume.

Here the dynamics look untouched and the waveforms are healty to look at.

Finally, it looks like Shout! Factory is streaming the series 1 in HD 720p, though I can't watch them.

Could anyone check?

http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/series/secret-agent
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#2
The archive.org episodes sound pretty bad, though - there's literally no information above 5.5 kHz (hard cut-off), so everything sounds pretty muffled. Most episodes like these on the site tend to be DVD-sourced.

Might be interesting if you encoded the DVD track to 50 kbps AAC (LC) and then looked at the waveform - it might be very different than the original.
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#3
Most old TV shows audio were mastered that way. Interestingly, when Network recently remastered old The Avengers episodes and re-EQed the sound, people complained of too much bass.

They are so used to that transistor sound, any deviation feels off (in fact, it sounds great!).

It looks to me that hard cut off was done on purpose to sound good on sixties tube TVs.

Now upon your comments. I wasted time checking several episodes for you theory, and of course, the ac3 converted to AAC just looks as bad and identical as the original AC3, you can't restore dynamic range where there wasn't any before.

Those episodes on the wayback channel thus look like they are mastered from the source, and are superior to any commercial release for now (save for HD streaming).

Here are caps to further my point.

First is the pilot in aac from wayback

https://ibb.co/52YG1Bj

Now the pilot from the DVD

https://ibb.co/Hd26sx3

Pilot from the DVD in AAC (looks completely identical)

https://ibb.co/fdXN44p

Sight increase on the Wayback uploads, but clearly improved upon and more transparent to the master.

This is the pilot, but improvement was may more apparent in episode 2 for example.

So I would suggest anyone into spy 60's TV, to get the Wayback DLs, and if anyone could find a way to save the Shout! Factory Season 1 and 2 720, please I'm all for it Smile
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#4
I don't have access to my desktop at the moment so I can't produce any evidence to support by claim, but you can totally manipulate an audio track with EQ to increase its perceived dynamic range (i.e. the waveform will look less like a brick wall, even though it'll sound just as compressed and/or clipped). Applying a high-pass filter will always do this.

I would be shocked--shocked--if your suggestion that the original soundtracks exhibit a hard cut-off to conform to old television sets is true. Nothing I've ever encountered supports that - and an analogue high-frequency roll-off would never be this steep. This is just lossy compression.

It may indeed be more dynamic than DVDs (I don't have them, so I don't know), but it still sounds bad to me.

Edit: Looking at the DVD waveform, the greater dynamics easily fall within what can be simulated with a high-pass filter. See here.
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#5
Probably, and they sound very much alike.

It's overcompressed anyway, but it's cool to have them all available.

Also I highly doubt so much variation in volume between parts of the soundtrack may occur just by using a high-pass (why would anyone spent time fixing 100 of episodes sounds anyway to put them online).

The images also have scratches and dirt and grain more apparent than on the DVD.

So it suggests it's the masters pre-DVD formated, straight transfered to H264 and 60kbps AAC.
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#6
Stamper Wrote:Also I highly doubt so much variation in volume between parts of the soundtrack may occur just by using a high-pass (why would anyone spent time fixing 100 of episodes sounds anyway to put them online).
Applying a high-pass filter takes a couple minutes and is hardly 'fixing' anything -- it's inherently destructive and is usually just a way to remove low-frequency rumble.
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#7
Sounds like the audio issues stem from the production mastering (careful editing and preservation for TV material wasn't top priority back in the day) and whatever masters were used.

Danger Man is not PD in the US anymore, thanks to it being a UK production that had it's copyright restored from the Berne Convention Copyright restoration that went into effect in 1996. It's controlled by ITV Studios and licensed to Shout Factory (who has a US distribution deal with them) explaining how that and several ITV owned material not only got released by the like of Shout Kino and corpion on BD, but is also popping up on ShoutFactoryTV.
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#8
Thank you. But why would the complete show be on DL on archive.org?

I checked out the YT upload of the pilot from SF, it appears to be upscaled from NTSC not true 1080p.
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#9
(2020-01-03, 06:09 AM)Stamper Wrote: Thank you. But why would the complete show be on DL on archive.org?

Maybe the person who put them on Archive isn't aware of the current rights status. Lately, there's been a slew of folks that have been abusing the "PD" tag filters on Archive and putting up various copyrighted material, mainly alternate versions and obscure edits/dubs that probably won't get an official reissue, that would get the boot from YT and throughout the internet. There have been things like The Grinch extended TV cut and the edited DIC dub of Saint Seyia that are on there. But then I've also seen Archive take down stuff as they probably receive complaint notices from the rights holder, with someone once having all episodes of the 4kids edit of One Piece on Archive and then suddenly got taken down a few months later likely due to a "copyright status" claim or AKA Toei.
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#10
Thanks. regarding the audio, I have a theory: Maybe the audio was redone better after the first box sets releases, as they repackaged the set many times in america. So it's probably here a rip of a latter release that was re-authored.
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