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ndbs9u3 06-11-2012 09:36 PM

How to Identify Bootleg Discs (work in Progress)
 
12 Attachment(s)
Do you have a complete TV series on DVD? You may very likely have bootleg discs even if they've come in elaborate, seemingly professional or actually real packaging!

Buyers and sellers should both be aware that bootleg discs are circulating on EBAY, Half.com and the Amazon.com Marketplace. Remember that even top-star sellers in the U.S. may very well be selling you bootleg discs.

Here are some of my discoveries.

Batman The Animated Series - Complete DVD Set

I was mainly tipped off by the spelling of ANIMAED instead of ANIMATED in the complete Batman The Animated Series DVD set in addition to numerous quality control issues. Others have written at length about the differences between legitimate and bootleg BTAS sets.

For example:
-ANIMAED appears on the cover of the booklet. Early sets include this mistake on the front packaging too.
-COMLCS appears on the side in early sets but latter sets do not include this mistake.
-The front and spines of the two disc holder "books" say VDLUMES.
-The back contains many instances of incorrect English, although these mistakes are corrected in later versions.
-BUNUS OISC appears on the cover/top of the bonus disc.
-DVD label colors are faded and text is blurry, as opposed to the DVDs having deep, rich colors and very sharp detail.
-There are no long (10-25) serial numbers in the holographic area around the hole on the bottom side of the discs.
-Discs are limited in size to not much more than 4 GB whereas real sets are dual layer (with twice the data capacity). In fact, the package backing indicates that it's supposed to be dual layer. Proper sizes are thus 6.x - 8.x GB. A smaller size means the data has been compressed down, which results in a poorer presentation. This process can additionally result in disc errors thanks to sloppy re-encoding. This often manifests as one or more seconds of highly pixilated video and/or a pause in the playback.
-Discs are supposed to be housed in plastic cases that snap shut, as opposed to simple units that look and work like the cover of a hardback book or notebook.

People have discussed this all over the Web. Here are some places where people share their experiences:

http://www.amazon.com/Bootlegs/forum...sin=B001CTXUTQ

http://www.joblo.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133378

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2T5UW4...R2T5UW4D46STWO

Here are a few videos on YouTube that reveal what bootleg sets are supposed to look like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LLFJ...h_response_rev

Here are a few videos on YouTube that reveal what real sets are supposed to look like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N43hUh8YksU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csm5QbWKRxg


Here are some photos including a sample comparison between a real disc and a faded Asian bootleg:

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I have applied the above information to other series purchases.

Batman Beyond - Complete DVD Set

The outer packaging does not have any huge warning signs except for the extremely shoddy construction. This includes large patches of serious discoloration on what should be shiny, silver and reflective backing.

-The cover art on the discs is faded compared to the real versions.
-There are no long (10-25) serial numbers in the holographic area around the hole on the bottom side of the discs.
-Discs are limited in size to not much more than 4 GB whereas real sets are dual layer (with twice the data capacity). In fact, the package backing indicates that it's supposed to be dual layer. Proper sizes are thus 6.x - 8.x GB.

Angel - Complete Square Box Set with Flip-Down Front Side

I bought an ANGEL set that resembles the Buffy "Chosen Collection" box. (I have, by the way, seen some people complain that their Buffy the Vampire Slayer sets have bootleg discs but I'm unsure as to which particular editions are plagued as my version is completely real.) Anyway, the ANGEL packaging was mainly fine and it was shrink-wrapped. However, I applied the tests and learned that the discs are bootlegs!

First, I went to the local library. Our system here includes just about every movie and TV show DVD. So, I picked a few ANGEL discs and brought them home to compare them.

-The discs I have are not dual layer, which means that instead of being 6-8 GB in size, they are 4.x GB in size.
-The digital labels of the discs, as seen on a computer, always say "NEW" as opposed to the standard season and disc numbering.
-The printing on the discs is faded. Do realize, however, that the disc art itself is supposed to be completely different from the art on discs included in single-season sets.
-There are no long serial (10-25) numbers in the holographic area around the hole on the bottom side of the discs.
-So, even though the packaging was, in my opinion, perhaps real packaging, the discs were nevertheless bootlegs.

Medium - Complete Set of 7 Individual Seasons

I also bought a group of 7 seasons of Medium. These were also shrink-wrapped. What I found most disturbing was the fact that they were all individually shrink-wrapped but the second season was missing a disc! The set became more and more suspicious until I finally ran the tests and learned that these discs were also bootlegs!

First, I went to the local library, as our system here includes just about every movie and TV show on DVD. In addition to discs for other shows, I picked up some Medium discs for comparison.

-The discs I have are not dual layer, which means that instead of being 6-8 GB in size, they are 4.x GB in size.
-The digital labels of the discs, as seen on a computer, always say "NEW" instead of the standard season and disc numbering.
-The printing on the discs is significantly faded to the point that some colors actually flip (from pink to orange or dark red to black, for example). Also, disc art is not nearly as sharp as the real discs.
-There are no long serial (10-25) numbers in the holographic area around the hole on the bottom side of the discs.

And I must say that I could not find any differences in the actual packaging other than the printed inserts that drop into each of the 2-disc slim-cases to form a front and back cover for the plastic disc holders. This printing looked only slightly faded and fuzzy. So, at first, I did not even suspect it. After all, the boxes were just about flawless. Perhaps they were flawless or maybe they were very-well duplicated. In any case, the discs are bootlegs!

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Nip/Tuck - Complete Series in Shiny Silver Box

I also bought a complete Nip/Tuck silver box that had boxes of the individual seasons inside. There was also a detailed paper backing stuck to the outside of the shrink-wrap. You would never think that bootleg discs could be inside but...

Again, I went to the local library and picked up some Nip/Tuck discs for comparison.

-The discs I have are not dual layer, which means that instead of being 6-8 GB in size, they are 4.x GB in size.
-The digital labels of the discs, as seen on a computer, always say "NEW" as opposed to the standard season and disc numbering.
-The printing on the discs is significantly faded, discolored and not nearly as sharp as the real discs.
-Also, there are no long serial (10-25) numbers in the holographic area around the hole on the bottom side of the discs.

I could not find any differences in the packaging but the discs were clearly bootlegs!

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Summary

Unless you shop at a top source such as the studio itself, always be sure to check your discs and verify that they are not bootlegs! Also remember that, if you ever decide to sell your sets, you could get into serious trouble if you have bootlegs, although this is much more of a concern for regular sellers who may want to check their inventory!

Here's another piece of advice: Try copying files from a disc to your computer. If the process works instead of giving you an error message, this may indicate that you have a fake product.

Vintrus 06-14-2012 05:53 AM

thats interesting my single editions of Batman TAS has blue dc logos not black but im dam sure my discs are genuine.

ndbs9u3 06-14-2012 02:30 PM

sorry, forgot to mention that this is for region 1.

Vintrus 06-14-2012 10:06 PM

my single sets are Region 1

ndbs9u3 06-14-2012 10:54 PM

then it must be a variant. good thing I don't pick apart the logos. :)

Tranzor 06-24-2012 03:37 PM

You should also mention the Batman TAS Boxed set boots are factory pressed discs, but an odd gray color on the bottom (similar to the coloring of a bluray). Also another typo is that the dvds are supposed to be dual layered (even the boot packaging list this). In the pc, the disc are all single layered, region free and NO copy protection

When the set came in I had a feeling it was the boot due to the discs color, the odd disc manufacture number and most importantly the pixel/block noise that occurred once you played the disc and the scene went to a fade. I knew from my own my experience that is usually nasty compression artifacts (obviously from) a low bitrate and more importantly when a **** job on shrinking down a disc was used

I had a fight with an eBay seller because he sold it as legit and turned out to be the boot. So I let ebay know the differences as well as showing them some links (which inc amazon.com) where the boot version was discussed. In the end I was told to send back the box to the seller (free shipping from eBay printed label) and was FULLY reimbursed everything. Shortly after this the seller became a "no longer registered' user.

I only found out about that boot because another ebay seller mentioned in his auction to beware of sellers using stock photos instead of the actual set

lordsmurf 06-24-2012 03:55 PM

Thank you for actually attaching your images to the forum.
It really annoys me when somebody attaches everything to an "image hosting" sites, because those tend to get deleted.

I've never minded bootlegs for otherwise-unreleased anime, but this is clearly out of bounds. The sellers should be reported.

As Tranzor mentions, quite often Asian bootlegs shrink DVD9 down to awful-quality DVD5 presses.

Tranzor 06-24-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lordsmurf (Post 83980)
Thank you for actually attaching your images to the forum.
It really annoys me when somebody attaches everything to an "image hosting" sites, because those tend to get deleted.

I've never minded bootlegs for otherwise-unreleased anime, but this is clearly out of bounds. The sellers should be reported.

As Tranzor mentions, quite often Asian bootlegs shrink DVD9 down to awful-quality DVD5 presses.


difference though with many of the bootleg anime (mostly Chinese/Hong Kong)is that besides the added English subs, most of them are actually all dual layered. Only cheaper boots (usually Philippine or Malaysia) made from the other boots will then shrink the disc down. This is not the case always but from what I have seen over the years


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