Are you one of those who FINALLY got your copy of TBotFA on DVD only to have a colourless-faded-blotchy or muddied mess? There are some who have had that problem and are discussing it on The Hobbit Discussion Board right here.
I received my copy from Amazon on Friday (March27), and it was in perfect shape. The sound, the colour and detail were as good as I experienced at the theatre. We have not heard of any like-problems with the Blu-ray format.
If you know there’s no problem with your DVD player, then you’re one of the unfortunates to receive a bad copy. Your only recourse is to take it back to the store and get an exchange for a new copy. Most retailers will not refund the cost of your DVD if the package has been opened, but they will exchange for the same item. If you received your copy via online sales (i.e. Amazon), contact them and they’ll arrange a replacement for you.
One of TORn’s knowledgeable Wizards has experience with why bad DVD copies occur. A video quality issue like this doesn’t usually happen on the replication end. Most likely there was a video encoding error on the original master that didn’t get caught until the first run of discs was done. A fix was made and given to the replicator as a “running change,” which means that all discs going forward would be made with the corrected master. Most retailers will return that bad run of discs without them hitting shelves. But for some reason, a few of the bad discs tend to slip through the cracks and go out to consumers.