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Welcome to the ORIGINAL TheBIGPictureDVD

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The definitive guide to DVD Picture and Sound quality since 1998.

Sponsored in part by

The BIG Picture DVD Image Gallery:
Another memorable scene from one of 1279 DVD's we've reviewed so far...
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Originally known as from 1998-2009, we lost our domain name when we were not notified of the site renewal by the domain registrar after our site had been hacked. Someone in Canada swooped in and took our .com domain and used our hacked database of reviews, trying to pass them off as their own. It was an attempt to "legally hijack" this web site. Reporting copyright violations to their ISP resulted in their removal of our content, but after putting years of passion and love for movies into, we weren't about to roll over and disappear, even though the site had been dormant for some time. So... welcome BACK to, which will now serve as a repsitory for all of our great reviews and information. We hope you will enjoy reading our reviews here at ORIGINAL BIG Picture DVD web site and replace your outdated bookmarks from the old site with

Our Mission
To provide all owners of DVD players - including those with large projection systems - with reliable information you can trust when seeking high resolution DVD recommendations. While most DVD's look great on typically-sized monitors and TV's, the real litmus test in terms of DVD video quality is revealed on much larger displays.

Technical Considerations
A well-mastered DVD has the amazing ability to transcend the screen size and doesn't seem to lose anything in the way of resolution or detail. Conversely, even poorly mastered DVD's may sometimes appear acceptable on smaller displays in terms of overall clarity, but look terribly out of focus on large screens. This could be an important consideration when building your DVD library. Coventional wisdom indicates that 16:9 enhanced (anamorphic) DVD's render the best image quality, however some non-enhanced discs have fared surprisingly well. We sort out the good, the bad and the ugly so your next DVD purchase or rental won't be a surprise anymore.

Our goal is to bring you accurate, timely and consistent ratings of the technical qualities of the films we view, rent and purchase for large screen viewing. You'll find our 5-globe rating system easy to follow and I hope you find the information contained herein helpful when making your DVD purchase decisions. Remember, our ratings of image and sound quality are independent from the subjective reviews of extras, artistic merit or content of the storyline. For in-depth artistic reviews, please click the review link on the title. The overall impression of a movie and all those cool extras can sometimes overcome even a less than stellar transfer. Ultimately, you will decide what to purchase, but at least you'll know going in what you can expect in terms of picture quality and sound. That's our promise to you. If a DVD gets a high rating on our charts, it will look great on any sized monitor or television of reasonable quality. Guaranteed.

Secondary Focus
It is our hope that by differentiating the quality difference between DVDs in a fair, consistent and impartial way, we might somehow make a small contribution toward the continuing evolution and growth of the format, encouraging studios and other content providers to strive for the highest quality that current technology allows when authoring discs, rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator for the sake of expediency and short term profits.

Enhanced Resources & Features for Serious Enthusiasts
Expanding our online offerings even further, beginning in December, 2001 we now offer special website access and bonuses to members only. Front Row members of receive valuable, exclusive content both on this website and via exclusive weekly e-mail not available to the general public. Front Row members enjoy a growing list of member benefits, including The BIG Picture's VIP Insider Report delivered weekly via e-mail, containing mini-reviews of all the latest DVD's we've seen in the preceding week (but haven't yet formally reviewed). See below for a partial listing of this week's titles. Our VIP DVD Reports are complete with image and sound quality ratings, instant, online DVD purchase discounts, and the ability to personally request reviews of specific titles from our vast (and continually expanding) DVD review library. Become a valued Front Row Member of The BIG Picture and get the inside scoop, plus unlimited access to our DVD ratings database, review, forum and news archives, discounts on software and hardware purchases, special prize drawings and a lot more.

This week's exclusive Front Row Insider Report newsletter includes the scoop on the following titles... an additional 300+ DVD reviews that will appear ONLY via our Front Row Insider Report, delivered via e-mail each week for the next year! Become a member today and discover what you've been missing!

Still not convinced that you belong in the Front Row? Here's what some of our current members have to say...

Our Review Equipment:

West Coast Facility:

Studio Experience Cinema 13-HD 16:9 LCD video projector, Quadscan Elite HD video scaler
Sony DVP-S7000 DVD interlaced and Toshiba 6200 progressive DVD players using component connections via MIT V-linq cables.
Stewart Filmscreen GrayHawk (optimized for LCD, DLP and D-ILA projectors) 16:9 aspect, 119" diagonal tab-tensioned ElectriMask ElectriScreen.
Yamaha RX-V992 Dolby 5.1 digital receiver.
Celestion Ditton 110's in the fronts and center
Polk AB Series architectural in-wall speakers
for rear split surrounds.
SVS 20-39PCi 320 watt powered subwoofer.

East Coast Facility

Sanyo PLV-60, 16:9 LCD projector
Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD player
Screen: Stewart Grayhawk, 16:9 aspect, 100" diagonal
Surround: Lexicon MC-1 Digital Controller
Amplification: 3 Parasound HCA-1200II Amps, 2 channels each, 205Watts/channel
Speaker System: 4 Mirage OM-10s (one in each corner), Mirage OM-C2 center channel speaker, and Mirage Substrata, 1500 Watt Subwoofer (at .1 LFE Channel)
Cables/Connectors: Monster MSeries M950I audio interconnects (processor to amps), Monster XPNWMS Speaker Cable, Monster MSeries Silver Digital M1000D audio (DVD player to processor), Monster MSeries M35I SWHT Subwoofer cable, Tributaries V2 Video Cables (component connections)
AC Power Conditioner: 2 Power Wedge 122s

Join fellow enthusiasts in our home theater hardware and software conferences!

NEW! Contribute your own DVD reviews to our Guest Review Index

NEW! Buy or sell DVDs, Home Theater gear, movie memorabilia and more!

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Participate in our DVD OPINION POLL and vote on several issues

Win a FREE DVD in our BIG Caption or Mystery Screenshot contests

The BIG Picture is now featuring 1279 in-depth, original DVD reviews, read by thousands!


Today's Featured DVD Review: Flashback DVD Review:
Get Carter

The China Syndrome

We are extremely pleased to originate and host the unique and comprehensive DVD reviews of Bob Banka and Jeff McNeal. In-depth reviews appear on all highlighted titles. Just click the text link on the movie title to access the review. You may also request a review.

Our All-Time Ten Most Accessed Reviews
  4. ANTZ

It's important to note that the in-depth reviews go well beyond the technical-only aspects of the image and sound quality as seen in our ratings guide. This is an important consideration when contemplating a DVD purchase. New DVD film reviews appear regularly. Check back often.

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We Want To Hear From You

Questions? Comments? Something missing that you'd like to see? Please take the time to fill out our 1-minute survey so we can serve you better! Some recent comments:

"I love your site- it is by far the most comprehensive and intelligent DVD review site I've ever seen (and one of the best review sites period). Thanks for the work you put into this."
--Jim M.

"Thank you (Jeff and Bob) for all the great work you do. It is unsurpassed and well thought out and provides a wonderful service... All your reviews... have such a great feel for content and context. I have yet to read a review where you say "if you like Raiders of Lost Ark, you will love The Contender." It's so refreshing to read your work. I have purchased over 150 discs based on your techincal reviews. At this point, I'm "afraid" to buy anything without first seeing if you guys have looked at it; or if you have heard it."

"It's a worthy site. Keep up the good work. One of the problems,especially with DVD are "reviewers" who like to gush about each release in the hope of keeping on the studio comp lists. There is so much inferior quality out there... that its difficult for people to know what's worth purchasing."
--Bob H.

"Since I own a large rp Theater TV, "The BIG Picture" is naturally the most important site in my bookmark file. Movie reviews here will carry greater weight with me than those from other sources. "
-- Allan W.

"Just found your site and I cant stop. As a DVD junkie this is great."
-- Richard B.

"This is the first time I'm at the site, and I'm extremely impressed with the reviews. Keep it up!"
Jimmy L.

"I found this site last friday night, read your reviews and rented four dvd movies based on those reviews. your descriptions about sound and picture quality were dead on."
--John D.

"I love your reviews! They are the best I have EVER read. Many times I buy a movie based on your review without even seeing the movie. "
--Chad B.

"Has anyone ever told you -- I assume they have -- that you have the best DVD site on the net?"
-- Fred H.

"Just a note of appreciation and thanks. I have a "Daily" folder on my netscape links bar. It's the important things I try to get to every day. Due to your fine DVD coverage, entertaining style and 'round the clock updates The Big Picture is now #1 on my list."
-- Bob M.

"...thanks for an excellent rating site. Not only does this influence my purchases, but I've also been educated a great deal as to what makes a good DVD transfer and what can be caught in a poor one.
--Chris M.

"I purchased a dvd rom for my computer yesterday and this was the only site that helped me choose what dvd's to buy as a priority. Excellent!
-- Adam B.

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Copyright 1998-2011, by Jeff McNeal Productions LLC. Click here to see our legal notice.