All in all, the DVDs are highly recommended.
The following is an overview of some positive and negative aspects about the discs (revised 09/14/2013):
Picture and Sound Quality
Contrary to seasons 1 and 2, the complete season was remastered from the original picture negative by WARNER BROS. Colors are bright and shiny, the picture is crystal clear and with sharp contrasts.
The following sample (a screen grab of SUSAN SULLIVAN's season 3 title card) illustrates the difference in the quality — the old TV picture on the left, the remastered DVD picture on the right. The excellent picture is comparable to current picture quality on television.
- Region 1:
The U.S. edition is the same version as used in the original CBS broadcast; the episodes per se are unedited. However, as in seasons 1 and 2, the sneak previews of the following episodes (usually before the end credits) are missing.
- Region 2:
In the German edition, the episodes per se are unedited, too. However, as in seasons 1 and 2, the sneak previews of the following episodes (usually before the end credits) are missing again.
For the first time, the German edition — unlike the German box sets of seasons 1 and 2 — contains the teaser trailers featuring a short sneak preview of the respective episode (before the main title). These segments do not contain German audio, but are subtitled only as they were never dubbed.
In both regions, all episodes contain the original CBS bumpers between acts 2 and 3.
The American audio includes the announcer ROY ROWAN's voice saying "'Falcon Crest' will continue" over the closing of the act, and a unique version of the main theme's key part plays in the background of these bumpers. In the German audio of the region 2 set, unfortunately, both the music and the announcer's voice were removed.
The "Falcon Crest" title appears beneath the coat of arms in those segments; it is the same card as used during season 2 (region 1):
- Menu aspect ratio:
The aspect ratio of the DVD menu is 1.66 : 1 (High Definition), i.e. not compatible with the episodes, which are in their original 1.33 : 1 (= 4 : 3) aspect ratio.
Modern TV sets, however, experience no problems at all to adjust to the correct aspect ratio automatically.
- Menu design:
- The U.S. configuration is simple. As there are no subtitles and no additional audio layers besides the original English audio in the MOD edition, it is just one page per disc without sound effects. Here are samples from discs 1 and 7:
- The German configuration features basically the same main menu plus an additional submenu for language selection (audio and subtitles).
- The artwork was developed by the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION, the WARNER BROS. division in charge of releasing MOD (manufactured on demand) products, in the USA.
- All publicity stills from the show are from season 3 only. The publicity photos were pre-selected in the WARNER BROS. slide archive in May 2010 by DFCF President THOMAS J. PUCHER to secure correct photo identification per season; he only selected publicity slides, which were previously unpublished, for the DVD release. After he singled out appropriate shots, the WARNER BROS. archivists had them scanned, and the final choice of pictures from that selection for the artwork was made by the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION.
- The white background of the packaging is not only to be kept in the U.S. design line, but also in the European artwork now. Only the color of the lettering is changed from season to season. After Spain and Scandinavia dropped out of the release after season 2, WARNER HOME VIDEO Germany did not develop a specific artwork for the European market anymore; unfortunately, this resulted in the red packaging of season 2 in Europe becoming the "odd man out" in the color scheme of the boxes.
Incoherent with the German box sets of seasons 1 and 2, the lettering "Die komplette dritte Staffel" ("The Complete Third Season") is all written in capital letters in the German edition.
- Incoherent with season 1: The falcon logo and the coat of arms with the seasonal numbering are outlined only this time, just like in season 2 of the region 1 release.
- The key art on the front is not a character image compilation this time, but an unpublished version of this season's official cast group portrait.
- The vineyard photo on the back is from Stags' Leap in the Napa Valley and shows a part of the original 50-acre vineyard at Falcon Crest, the Gioberti Estate (west of the Gioberti House).
- The photo of LORENZO LAMAS and ANA-ALICIA on the back is mirror-inverted. Despite the DFCF's advice to reproduce the historically correct version of the photo, the WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION designers deliberately went for the flopped version because they liked the idea that "LORENZO anchors the packaging edge".
- The artwork does not have a billing block (credits) on the back sleeve. Neither does it have an inlay card or any other episode list. The episode titles are printed on the discs though.
As a DFCF special feature, downloads of an episode inlay card — in English or German — designed by the fan club are made available for free to people, who purchased the season 3 box set in the Bonus Material section.
- The U.S. edition is not only compatible to DVD region 1, but can be played worldwide (region-free).
- The German edition is is not only compatible to DVD region 2, but can be played in regions 4 and 5 also.
- For general technical specifications, consult the Technical Details section.