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Transformers Prime: Season Two Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-Y7 (FV)
  • Run Time: 600 Mins.
  • Discs: 4 (4 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 27, 2012
  • List Price: $59.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

The second season of Transformers Prime returns with surprising twists and turns for fans of the series. When this one first arrived in my mailbox a month ago, I was enthusiastic to rip it open and take a look, but first the flu and then hurricane Sandy stopped me from getting to it. The anticipation grew and it was well worth the wait. I have to admit that I was unaware this series even existed since it runs on a cable channel, Hub, that I don’t currently get. Being a kid who grew up watching the original Transformers cartoons, I was very interested to see what they did with it. Knowing that it was from the people responsible for the Transformers feature films didn’t impress me, since I really only liked the first film in that franchise. This second season, however, was just as action-packed, intriguing, and multi-layered as one could hope for a fun-filled sci-fi series such as this one. The Autobots and Decepticons continue their epic battles against one another, with the ‘Con Starscream (Steve Blum) now gone rogue and working both sides. Optimus Prime (played by veteran Prime voice actor Peter Cullen) is under suspicion by the ‘Bots and government after he loses his memory and is deceived by Megatron (Frank Welker) into believing he is an Decepticon. The search for energon and relics from Cybertron on both sides could potentially lead to the destruction of Earth and the revival of the home planet. It all leads to an epic conclusion to the second season.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The transfer of Transformers Prime‘s CG animation doesn’t look particularly good in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement. There are plenty of spots where artifacts in the animation can be noticed, color banding is an issue, and also plenty of posterization. Overall gamma levels seem to be set too high, making blacks look too greyish and some dark scenes not quite dark enough.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) is dynamic with a wide spread of stereo sound and deep lows that really pound with every kick, thud, and explosion, but it is all weighted to the front with mild ambience in the surround channels, making for a much less engulfing experience than one would expect. Dialogue is clean and stays above the many sound effects, but they also remain in the center. A LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) mix is also provided and there are no subtitles included for foreign languages or the hearing impaired.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

We get two high definition Q&A and roundtable features with the writers and producers and Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) to round out this 4-disc set.

The supplements:

  • A Look Back at Season Two (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:22:37) – A roundtable with the shows creators.
  • Optimus Prime: Up Close and Personal (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:28:04) – 2012 San Diego Comic-Con panel with Larry King and Peter Cullen.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Transformers Prime transports me right back to my childhood as 10-year-old kid watching the original series on Saturday mornings or after school. It may be even better than the original, with more fleshed out characters and spectacular action sequences. It’s fantastic family entertainment of this well known Hasbro franchise.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]


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