Prison Break: Season Three (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-16-2008, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2007
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Feature running time: 568 Minutes
Genre: TV Action/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Starring: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Robert Wisdom, Chris Vance, Amaury Nolasko, Robert Knepper, Wade Williams, William Fichtner
Directed by: Bobby Roth
Music by: N/A
Written by: Paul Schering & Matt Olmstead
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 12, 2008

"The rules are simple: Fight or Die"

Film Synopsis:

Breaking out of maximum security at Fox River was the easy part.Michael Scofield (Miller) finds himself once again imprisoned – but this time at SONA, a Panamonian Prison without rules and without guards. So, with time running out, Lincoln Burrows scrambles desperately to free his brother along with the only man who can deliver Linclon’s captive son from the sinister clutches of The Company. Along with fellow inmates T-Bag (Knepper), Mahone (Fichtner) and Bellick (Williams), Michael not only must fight to survive, but is also tasked with breaking out of prison…again.

My Take:


I remember watching Prison Break in its first season. The trailers for the show looked amazing and the first few episodes were promising. I slowly lost interest because it just seemed too far fetched and too many things that would never happen from a realistic perspective were happening. I know its entertainment and we have to relinquish reason at times. The other problem was that it was on at the same time as some other (I don’t recall which one) prime time show that I wanted to watch and it “Lost” out. Anyway, here it is having completed its third season and it apparently doing quite well. This set features all 13 forty three minute season three episodes in 1080p high definition spread out over four BD-50 dual layer Blu-ray Discs. Roles have been reversed from season one and now Michael is incarcerated and Lincoln is working to free him. There a few differences though. Lincoln is working from the outside, his son and Dr. Sarah Tancredi, have been kidnapped by “The Company“, and Michael is imprisoned in Sona which is a prison village of sorts which is run by the inmates with the guards maintaining an exterior perimeter to keep them contained. The key to everything is an inmate who is also incarcerated at Sona named Whistler. T-Bag, Malone and Bellick all return and play a part in the ongoing fracas. I won’t go into any more detail regarding the events that unfold. Those who have seen it already know. There may be those who didn’t catch all of it or have never watched it at all and I don’t want to spoil it. After watching Season three my opinion of the show has changed somewhat. I would say that it is entertaining, and its ongoing storyline would be easy to get absorbed in. This would especially be true once you as a viewer became invested in the show’s characters who are well written. The action based sequences are not original but that’s to be expected. The writing is good but I have to wonder how many storylines can be developed that involve escaping from prison in one form or another? I enjoyed this set though and may just have to check out season four this fall.

Parental Guide:

The show contains adult subject matter, and violence. It would be appropriate for teen viewers 14 and above.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Video: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Prison Break: Season Three comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 mbps.

The video presentation was quite good and offers viewers a relatively sharp high definition picture with visibly highlighted detail and natural color rendition. Contrast appeared spot on while black levels were not as deep as I would have liked. Shadow delineation didn’t clearly render all of the detail present in the backgrounds of the dark and murky labyrinths below Sona. Grain was heavier in low light scenes which made them appear grittier than the rest of the video. Skin tones were warm with enough variation so that everyone’s complexions had noticeably different characteristics. I so no signs of video related anomalies or artifacts related to bit starvation. Audio quality was top notch for a TV series. This mix was fully system active and delivered tonally descriptive voices through the center channel and seamless soundstage pans across the front three channels. The surrounds were busy and generated both atmospheric ambience and directional cues that enhanced the onscreen action. At times this created room filling surround sound that was impressive. Bass response was such that it appropriately supplemented the show’s elements but didn’t achieve the depths required to shake the room.

Bonus Features:

The bonus content was above average and features plenty of cast interviews and behind the scenes footage for series fans. Two of the features are offered in high definition which is always welcomed.

  • (HD)Season 3: Orentacion - Featurette - Cast interviews where they discuss their characters and the show in general

  • (HD) Breakout episode - Featurette - Examines shooting the Breakout/escape episode

  • 13 Directors Takes - A breakdown of 13 sequences from the season by the cast/director

  • Between Takes - 7 short segments hosted by various cast members discussing what they do while not shooting.


Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed Prison Break: Season Three more than I expected to. Its season long story might be a little contrived but it is entertaining and pretty well written. I don’t know what the future will hold in terms of continuing plotlines but for now it works. I will be checking in on the upcoming season and look forward to it. Fox has given Season Three a very solid release on high definition Blu-ray Disc which will appeal to fans and novices alike. Recommended.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-17-2008, 03:11 PM
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Thanks Ralph. I am a huge fan of the show and even though season 3 wasn't as good as the first 2 seasons, I still enjoyed the 3rd season. I rented disc 4 on Blu-ray from Blockbuster which only had the last episode on it (episode 13) and thought that the picture quality was excellent except for those low lit scenes you mentioned. It seemed like there was a heavy amount of grain in some of those scenes.
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