Hm. The commercial is on again. It says four DVDs. The website says five. And the DVDs they show have artwork on the front – single sided. (Of course, they appear to be generated and may not depict the actual product.)
Does the website have a complete list of the 50 films? If so, you might wanna check 'em against IMDB and add up the running times. I highly suspect that the “60 hours” boast is somewhat exaggerated (a common tactic for these kind of products.)
Six hours per disc side (assuming they’re DVD-18’s) is horribly compressed. That’s visually equivalent to VHS in SLP mode. Expect to see lots of artifacts, pixelation, and other problems that plague highly compressed DVDs.
I don’t even want to imagine what 12 hours per DVD would look like, if in fact they are single-sided!!
The website doesn’t have a list, but they do have a low-res version of the commercial where they rush the titles by quickly. They do say ‘full length’. That would be an average of 1:12 per film, so I suspect they have some short ones.
If you check eBay you will see a number of compilations like this floating around – classic musicals, classic comedies, etc. A lot of these are (or contain some) movies whose copyrights have lapsed into the public domain (such as As The Clouds Roll By or My Man Godfrey) – the kind you can download freely from The Internet Archive. They’ve also been highly compressed to about 1/4 to 1/8th their original size and have a minimal menu and, as you probably guess, no extra features. The quality of these varies – typically the compression is quite noticeable in dark scenes and in the gradations of black & white movies in particular. In some of them you can even see the block noise from the extreme compression.
Still some of them are a decent deal if you don’t feel like spending the time to download the PD ones.
Yes, you would be incorrect to assume that. In fact, it’s been my experience that B&W films are somewhat harder to compress than color films. Those shades of grey can wreak havoc with blockiness & pixelation, especially in dark scenes!
A bit off topic, but a while back I got the DVD of Splitting Heirs for $5.99 from deepdiscountdvd.com. It’s the only DVD I’ve ever seen that has no menu at all. When you put the disc in, it just starts playing; and when the movie’s over, it loops back to the beginning and plays again until you eject it.