Sultans of Swing - The Very Best of Dire Straits
Reviewed by Rodney Campbell
See also my Best of DVD Links web page

Review Equipment:

DVD Player:
  Pioneer DV-717

  Panasonic TX-79P100Z 79cm 100Hz CRT (4:3 screen with 16:9 mode)

  Denon AVR-2700

Front Speakers:
  Tannoy Profile Plus 633 (Biwired)
Center Speaker:
  Tannoy Profile Plus 621
Rear Surrounds:
  Sony Bookshelf
  M&K V75 MkII

Video Cables:
  QED Qnect SVS s-video
Audio Cables:
  QED Qnect DS & Qnect SS

Video 5
Audio 6
Extras 4
Overall 5

Video General
P & S/Full Frame Full Frame Region(s) 2/3/4/5/6
Wide/aspect ratio No Distributor Universal Pictures
16x9 Enhanced No Macrovision Yes
Audio Chapters 18
Audio Format(s) English Linear PCM Stereo (48kHz/16Bit) Running Time 90 min (actually 80 min)
Extras/Features RSDL/Flipper No/No
Trailer(s) No Classification G
Commentary Tracks No Subtitles Yes - Interview Only
Other Extras
Audio Interview with Mark Knopfler

Well those Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits are back with a DVD compilation of their best hits.


The Video is pretty ordinary for much of the DVD. They have basically taken their various video clips for each of these songs and transferred them verbatim to DVD. At times (especially for the older material like Lady Writer, Romeo and Juliet, etc) I don't think the DVD is adding much value here as the source material is pretty suspect at times showing the usual flicks, dust and fluff on the print. The more recent footage though is generally acceptably clean although there are moments when it seems a little grainy and even blurry.

Those 70's haircuts and clothes are pretty scary though - teenagers (we) didn't actually go for all that stuff back then did they? Some of the early clips look pretty lame today.

The transfer rate ranges between about 4 to 8 MB/s throughout the disc.


The audio, although not great is fairly reasonable; I suspect that they may have actually redone the audio for the disc. But it just seems to lack the punch of some of their studio albums, the clarity and oompfh of bits like the drum solo at the start of "Money for Nothing" just weren't there.

The audio seems to get better as we progress through the disc (whether this is because the source material is generally newer or the people mastering the DVD got better at it I can't say).


The only extra is an audio interview (with subtitles) with Mark Knopfler, speaking about the band and each individual song-track.


Overall I was pretty disappointed with this disc, maybe I was expecting a bit more than a rehash of their (now lame looking) video clips and average audio. The material generally gets better as we go along and there are however a few live tracks (where the lips are actually in sync with the words :-)) including "Love over Gold", "Your Latest Trick" and "Local Hero".

Some of their more recent material fared a lot better in the transfer to DVD than their older material which I guess is to be expected.

If you are fan of Dire Straits (or even this era) then you will find a good mix of songs and some interesting footage but this isn't a disc to show off the awesome capabilities of DVD (even for the concert genre of DVD's).

Some things to look out for include; whoever produced the disc made the "Opening Credits" which last 47 seconds a Chapter track in itself so that the song listed as the first track on the cover is actually Chapter/Track 2 and so on; the Thunderbirds in Calling Elvis.