Dave Pattenden, the project manager at Sanctuary Management for IRON MAIDEN's "Death on the Road" release, has issued an official statement directed to the fans regarding possible problems the fans may encounter when playing the DVD on their home systems. The statement reads as follows:
"For those of you who don't know me, my name is Dave Pattenden and I've worked with Rod [Smallwood] and the band here at Sanctuary for the past 8 years and owing to the seemingly technical, random and confusing nature of this problem Rod asked me to explain the situation.
"I want to say that as with any IRON MAIDEN product, EMI and Sanctuary ensure there is always stringent and thorough testing involved to make sure the product, the packaging and the content is the very best it can possibly be. IRON MAIDEN, as a band, and we here at management pride ourselves on producing such product for MAIDEN fans.
"With the help of your postings and emails we have tried to ascertain what the issues are with the playback of the Stereo Disk on the PAL version of the 'Death on the Road' DVD. I hasten to point out that there is NO issue at all with the NTSC versions of this product or indeed the 5.1 Pal Disk and Special Features Disk which makes things even more confusing as to why there appear to be playback issues on some of the PAL Stereo disks.
"We currently have the authoring house, the encoding facility, the manufacturing plant in Holland and a stand-alone QC facility looking into this issue so we can work out how to rectify it. At this exact moment in time it's impossible to give the exact cause, nature and reason for this issue. The product was tested and passed all regular procedures and was also had to pass Mr. Harris's [MAIDEN mainman Steve Harris] own eagle eyes which is often the hardest test to get past.
"We went to great lengths with the encoding of the program and worked alongside one of the lead development and encoding teams in Sweden to make sure that the picture and sound were at the highest possible resolution without causing problems to the most basic home DVD systems. Because of the nature of the show and the difficulties of encoding flashing images, with smoke effects and fast editing anybody who has worked in DVD encoding will be aware of the lengths that need to reached to maintain the highest picture quality and that is what has taken the time on this product. This is why there are two separate concert disks. One for a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio stream and the other dedicated to a Stereo track. Many DVD releases from the major film studios nowadays only support 5.1 or DTS soundtracks with no stereo option at all but as a number of fans had mentioned it we decided to supply you with the extra stereo disk you had asked for and at no extra cost for this additional disk. Test disks were also distributed in advance to the media for review purposes and no problems were reported, and it was only on Friday of last week, when product hit the shelves that any mention of a problem came up on the Bulletin board which of course rang alarm bells here but with the complex nature of the production of this DVD from filming, editing through to final encoding the origin of the issue is somewhat clouded in that the same problem cannot be replicated from DVD player to player.
"It seems the likely possibility is that some players are having trouble handling the amount of information on this disk while other players can 'second guess' and thus play it normally. Each DVD player and manufacturer is different which makes our job all the more difficult when trying to reach such high standards. I can safely say that I, and others here, have all experienced DVDs from major film companies that at one time or another have not played or have had glitches owing to authoring or manufacturing problems. In those cases often they simply direct you to your DVD player manufacturer.
"It does appear from reports at retail that the vast majority of you that have bought the product have not experienced any problems at all, however we of course want to avoid any disappointment for the bands loyal following, no matter how few and once the issue has been identified and solved we will take the most swift and appropriate action to ensure that your enjoyment of IRON MAIDEN is not affected. Obviously the band and we here at management want you to have the best as you deserve it and we are working all out to make sure that this matter is identified and resolved as soon as physically possible. We will get back to you then with added information."