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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old January 8 2013, 12:09 AM   #61
tomswift2002
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
I'm going to borrow my sisters DVDs, so I will be able to watch it, just not right now. I love how it's $2 an episode on Amazon when I can get the whole season for $12.50 from the WB store.

Plus the DVD's would give you better quality than the downloads (according to iTunes the show's only been released in Standard Definition---unknown if that's the original 4:3 or the broadcast high-definiton 16:9 transfer; also it appears that the downloads are only available in the US on Amazon and iTunes).
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Old January 8 2013, 01:31 AM   #62
JoeD80
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Well the itunes release is kinda weird. Season one is full-screen while the other four seasons are the same widescreen versions that appear on the DVDs.
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Old January 8 2013, 02:12 AM   #63
bigdaddy
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

It is kind of fun only knowing a little about the show. I'm watching Signs and Portents and I started laughing at the line...

"She isn't always right. She once said I would die because of Shadows."

Nice.

And I just noticed the episode is wide screen in full screen. I'm on a laptop, and thereis a full screen box, then wide screen in that. It's interesting.
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Old January 10 2013, 05:12 AM   #64
bigdaddy
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Signs and Portents is awesome, simply the best. No wonder the season is named after it.

By Any Means Necessary - It was fine, more Earth / B5 conflict. Nice to see it's not all love and joy like in Star Trek.

The Quality of Mercy - I don't like the doctor, he's boring and wooden. Glad the storylines mixed with the bad guy. Interesting the punishment for murder.

Eye - Earth really is even.

The universe seems so large, I don't get the talk of a reboot. Just do another spinoff! Set it in 2298 or something.

And thanks Jan for explaining the B5 / Crusade studio mess. I don't want to take over that topic.
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Old January 10 2013, 01:37 PM   #65
jayceee
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Picked up "The Gathering" dvd yesterday for 50 cents. It was the "Warner TV Premier DVD" 2004 version that came in a flimsy cardboard slip.

(Found it in the bargain bin at a discount store).

It seems almost like a standalone episode.
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Old January 10 2013, 01:45 PM   #66
tomswift2002
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

jayceee wrote: View Post
Picked up "The Gathering" dvd yesterday for 50 cents. It was the "Warner TV Premier DVD" 2004 version that came in a flimsy cardboard slip.

(Found it in the bargain bin at a discount store).

It seems almost like a standalone episode.
Well you have to remember that "The Gathering" was meant as a pilot, and was aired in January 1993, while the rest of Season 1 didn't start to air till September 1994. So it was designed as a made-for-TV movie of the week.

Plus the "Gathering", to date, is the only episode/movie to be presented in its original 4:3 format.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:07 PM   #67
jayceee
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
Plus the "Gathering", to date, is the only episode/movie to be presented in its original 4:3 format.
Is this 2004 dvd version an open-matte or cropped version of the original 4:3 picture format?

My copy is in a 16:9 widescreen ratio.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:14 PM   #68
tomswift2002
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

jayceee wrote: View Post
tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
Plus the "Gathering", to date, is the only episode/movie to be presented in its original 4:3 format.
Is this 2004 dvd version an open-matte or cropped version of the original 4:3 picture format?

My copy is in a 16:9 widescreen ratio.
You sure you aren't watching it on a widescreen TV that's stretching the 4:3 image (or even zoomed in to create a 16:9 image)? Since as far as I can tell it's only been formatted for 4:3. (And the earlier 2001 DVD release of "The Gathering/In The Beginning" had the "Gathering" in 4:3 while "In The Beginning" was in anamorphic 16:9.)
http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases...e-Release/3900

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases...me-Release/328
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Old January 10 2013, 02:27 PM   #69
jayceee
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

tomswift2002 wrote: View Post

You sure you aren't watching it on a widescreen TV that's stretching the 4:3 image (or even zoomed in to create a 16:9 image)? Since as far as I can tell it's only been formatted for 4:3.
My copy is definitely in a 16:9 widescreen ratio.

I am watching it using Media Player Classic on the computer. According to the statistics/properties of the video source, is says it is in a 16:9 ratio.

When I manually force Media Player Classic to display the video in a 4:3 ratio, the character faces look squashed and narrow. It is certainly not a 4:3 source.
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Old January 10 2013, 07:19 PM   #70
JoeD80
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

The Gathering was filmed 4:3. It was the only one filmed that way. The DVD definitely has that. When it aired on the sci-fi channel they cropped it to make it look like it was wide-screen so it would match the other episodes, so perhaps this video is using the same source they did.
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Old January 10 2013, 07:50 PM   #71
jayceee
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
When it aired on the sci-fi channel they cropped it to make it look like it was wide-screen so it would match the other episodes, so perhaps this video is using the same source they did.
Perhaps.

At the very beginning of the video, the first few seconds has "TNT presents a special edition of" on the screen, while the next subsequent few seconds has "Babylon 5 The Gathering" on the screen.
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Old January 10 2013, 09:06 PM   #72
Harvey
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

As far as I know, "The Gathering" has only been presented in 4:3, including the re-edited version you are seeing. Have you tried playing it using another media player or on a television?
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Old January 10 2013, 09:12 PM   #73
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Harvey wrote: View Post
As far as I know, "The Gathering" has only been presented in 4:3, including the re-edited version you are seeing. Have you tried playing it using another media player or on a television?
When sci-fi showed it, they did show it cropped to fake widescreen.

Here's the deal with that one ... Warners did a set of roughly 10 pilots, which they released for $5 each (I believe that was the price). Friends was another one that I recall seeing. They came in a thin cardboard case with a coupon that could be used for $5 off the purchase price of the first season of that same series. It was a promotional tool, nothing else.

There were complaints at the time that the pilots shown that way had been edited (or had the syndicated version, perhaps?) and were not the version of the same pilot on their box sets.

What they probably did was take that sci-fi file, put it on DVD (since there were no extras; I don't even know if it had a menu or if it was auto-play) and mass-produced it very cheaply without spending anything to clean it up in any way.
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Old January 10 2013, 11:54 PM   #74
jayceee
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Harvey wrote: View Post
As far as I know, "The Gathering" has only been presented in 4:3, including the re-edited version you are seeing. Have you tried playing it using another media player or on a television?
Same story on four other tv sets (both flat screens and cathode ray tubes), three different dvd players, and two different bluray players.

In regard to computer dvd player programs, I also used the VideoLan player to watch it.

In all the cases, the video on this 50 cents "The Gathering" dvd was in 16:9 widescreen. Not 4:3.

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
What they probably did was take that sci-fi file, put it on DVD (since there were no extras; I don't even know if it had a menu or if it was auto-play) and mass-produced it very cheaply without spending anything to clean it up in any way.
There was no menu system. It played a 16 second advertisement for the season 1 Babylon 5 dvd set, before it went straight into "The Gathering".

The actual disc itself looks like it was cheaply made. It is a single layer dvd disc, with a video_ts directory that is approximately 3.55 GB in size.


OmahaStar wrote: View Post
Here's the deal with that one ... Warners did a set of roughly 10 pilots, which they released for $5 each (I believe that was the price). Friends was another one that I recall seeing. They came in a thin cardboard case with a coupon that could be used for $5 off the purchase price of the first season of that same series. It was a promotional tool, nothing else.
Other titles I saw in the same style packaging (in the bargain bin), include ER, Gilmore Girls, and The Jetsons.
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Old January 11 2013, 01:35 AM   #75
Tulin
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Re: I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Signs and Portents is awesome, simply the best. No wonder the season is named after it.
Yep.

But, as I have said MANY times before - you aint seen NOTHIN yet!!!!

Nice to see it's not all love and joy like in Star Trek.
Nope - MUCH more interesting than happy happy joy joy ST.

The Quality of Mercy - I don't like the doctor, he's boring and wooden.
God - you are gonna HATE it when they make him an Australian aborigine and send him on w*******t.

Glad the storylines mixed with the bad guy. Interesting the punishment for murder.
Remember that.

Oh and it was VERY nice to see Mrs. Robinson.

Classy.

Eye - Earth really is even.
Funny - they seem odd to me!

The universe seems so large, I don't get the talk of a reboot. Just do another spinoff! Set it in 2298 or something.
Yeah but, as Harlan Ellison once noted, idiot kids with the attention spans of gnats consider nostalgia what they had for breakfast.

It WILL happen.
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