Review: 2004 Eurovision Song Contest DVD

by John Egan 418 views

After a slight delay, the EBU has released the first official DVD of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It�s comprehensive, incorporating both the full qualifier round and final, and while it isn't perfect it's certainly worth buying.

Follwing much success with its annual CD of Eurovision Song COntestentries, the EBU has launched the first official DVD of the contest. Getting it to market about a month after the contest was rather impressive. In fact, I was concerned that quality might have been sacrificed for speed. It hasn�t been. Overall, it�s an excellent set and well worth its price.

The full semi-final and final are each presented on a separate DVD. Openings, interval acts and voting are contained in their entirety. In particular, it�s great to be able to contrast the 2 performances of those who qualified for the final during the semi � Lisa Andreas in particular brought her singing up several notches on Saturday night. Judge for yourself: who lost momentum between Wednesday and Saturday, who picked it up?

But it�s not perfect. The entire voting is contained on one chapter of the DVD. Breaking it into smaller sections would�ve made it possible to scan through parts of it. And the artist info is of little value: a text bio and a still photo. Since the qualifier round was so much shorter than the final, how about including the preview videos � or at least extracts from them?

And it's clear that there were technical problems with the broadcast, many of which are also on the DVD. Host broadcaster TRT miscued some video (example, the scoreboard appearing in error). The sound quality for the qualifier round is inconsistent, though it's a bit better in the final. Those who commented after the qualifier round about the poor sound have proof. While TRT and the EBU did a good job, these sorts of problems reflect badly on the contest and must be attended to for next year's event.

Regardless, this is a must-have for any hard-core fan, and a worthy purchase for all sorts of people. The quality of the songs this year was arguably the best ever. All we need now is a DVD of all the winners for 50 years of Eurovision… perhaps the perfect product for the 50th anniversary celebrations?

Note: for non-European fans, this is a region 2 DVD. You�ll need a regionless DVD player or a Region 2 player to view the disc.

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