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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 2 2013, 11:49 PM   #46
SpHeRe31459
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
And begs the question how CBS is going to handle this issue for Blu-ray presentation (I think the ENT release on Blu-ray is a hint concerning future aspect ratio presentations of DS9 and VOY).
That doesn't follow. ENT was actually produced for widescreen from the get go. It has no bearing on the rest of the shows which were produced for 4:3.


As an aside, the way things were presented when we asked about TOS-R being produced in 16:9 (for future uses/other markets) but the Blu-rays (and US broadcasts) were kept 4:3, so we were told that the Blu-ray is for the ultimate collector/purist, so it was left the way it was produced.

So I would assume that notion is still in their minds for TNG-R, DS9-R, VOY-R. The Blu-ray releases will be in 4:3 since that's the proper aspect ratio. But then there may be TV syndication packages in the future that have 16:9 versions. Which makes sense, purists get their BD versions with awesome bonus content too, and interested TV networks can get a version they can easily "sell" to a modern HDTV owning audience.
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Old September 3 2013, 12:12 AM   #47
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I always thought Seinfeld looked awful on TBS where they show them 16:9. Maybe a transfer that judiciously pick-and-chose how to do the shots could crop it better but I was not impressed by what I've seen so far.

In fact, I find a lot of 2.35:1 movies that get cropped to 1.85(or is it 1.79?) widescreen really distracting but I admit I'm in the minority of those that notice. Any time I point it out people think I'm crazy if they can even understand what I'm saying. Most people think full widescreen is OAR when watching widescreen material.
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Old September 3 2013, 12:42 AM   #48
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Those that hate Trek being shown in 4:3 so much need to learn how to zoom or stretch the image on their widescreen televisions until it fills the entire screen. Problem solved.
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Old September 3 2013, 12:47 AM   #49
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

The Caretaker wrote: View Post
I was reading on a B5 forum a while ago about this issue and some were certain that the original film cans were either missing or had been "attacked" by rats, making a TNG-type restoration impossible. Where they got this information from I have no idea. If we are worried about the CGI in DS9 causing a headache for Blu Ray I have no idea how Warners would cope with recreating all the CGI shots for B5.
Blame the people owning the B5 film stock for not taking care of it more carefully like Paramount has done with Trek. Also the people that did all the original visual effects and had that information are now gone, along with everything they did. They would have to start from scratch with completely new effects.

The studio probably doesn't think it is worth the cost to do a completely new remastering for B5.
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Old September 3 2013, 01:11 AM   #50
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

As much as I would love to see it, it almost certainly isn't worth the cause. Babylon 5 isn't an active franchise, and when it was, it had a fanbase a fraction of the size of any incarnation of Star Trek.

As far as the negative being destroyed, I know a few shots from "The Gathering" were eaten by rats before JMS re-edited it in the late 1990s, but as far as I know the series negative hasn't met the same fate.
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Old September 3 2013, 02:41 AM   #51
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Dream wrote: View Post
Those that hate Trek being shown in 4:3 so much need to learn how to zoom or stretch the image on their widescreen televisions until it fills the entire screen. Problem solved.
Not really because there's a hitch with doing that. It distorts the picture. Now, usually TV's stretch the picture in a "smart" way that stretches the edges more than the center so the picture usually isn't too out of whack so I'll admit on the DVDs I stretched the picture and it looked, by and large, fine.

But the BluRays are matted with actual black bars on the sides (on the DVDs there was simply no image on the sides at all leaving "white bars" on the side an effect of the TV getting no picture information from the source) so when you stretch the black bars away the "smart stretch" effect is rendered ineffective since the black bars are stretched away leaving a highly distorted picture.

Zooming in crops the top and bottom of the picture and can have many complications not to mention showing more grain in the picture.

Again, I say just cope with the black bars on the side of the screen and stop obsessing with "filling the screen." The picture on the screen is the same one you enjoyed 25 years ago that should be more than satisfying.

Stanley Kubrick disliked any form of black bars. He felt these distracted you from the viewing experience and composited accordingly. He shot in 4:3 (for 4:3 TV sets) but anticipated the widescreen crop for theatrical presentations.
If you're distracted by "black bars" on the side of the screen you may have attention issues. I find no such distractions when watching TNG on BD. Just like I'm not distracted by the black bars on the top and bottom when watching a non-16:9 movie on my TV. (Which is a majority of them.)

Are you referring to "pan-and-scan," in which movies shot in CinemaScope or 70mm widescreen were cropped to fit the old 4x3 TV screens? Yeah, that sucked. But the only alternative back then was "letterboxing," which shrunk the image so small that it was sometimes unwatchable.
"Pan and Scan" is a slightly different technique for converting things to 4:3. There's cropping the image to fit the screen by centering on an area where the most action was taking place and then there's "pan and scan" where false camera movies are added (literally "scanning" the picture) to fill 4:3 but done in times where more image is needed than can be displayed (for example two people on opposite sides of a table talking.)

Usually when a non 4:3 source is made into 4:3 a combination of techniques are used, pan and scan often needing to be a choice for films shot for some of the wider formats.

There are "some" movies that where shot with 4:3 in mind where horizontally the picture can remain the same and to convert MORE information is simply added to the top and bottom without revealing production elements (in most cases, there's a couple instances where this doesn't quite work out that I can think of.) This was largely done in the 80s and 90s when home video was popular and most people wanted pictures that "filled their screens."

Pan and scan is ugly. The false camera movies can be very, very distracting.
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Old September 3 2013, 10:03 AM   #52
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Dream wrote: View Post
Those that hate Trek being shown in 4:3 so much need to learn how to zoom or stretch the image on their widescreen televisions until it fills the entire screen. Problem solved.
That's only the solution or choice proposal of those who don't care.

Zooming up the image to fill the screen to have an acceptable result would only work with those DS9 and VOY episodes that were "protected" for widescreen.

And since that protection frame is usually cropping more at the bottom than the top you'd need a flat screen where you could manually adjust the height of the extraction frame.

(If CBS goes for DS9 and VOY in 4:3 they should at least provide a test image for zoom extraction (height level) of the widescreen "protected" episodes. Somebody please tell them, thanks!)

But for close-up shots and the like a simple zoom would yield horrible results, namely to cut off actor's heads and chins.

In such close-up shots the use of the undisclosed areas left and right on the camera negatives would become mandatory for a palatable 16:9 or a rather cautious 15:9 presentation.

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Old September 3 2013, 05:38 PM   #53
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

When I'm out walking, I can occasionally see TVs in peoples' livings rooms. A lot of them watch 4x3 content stretched on their HDTVs. Not zoomed, but stretched. I can't understand why anyone would want to do that.
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Old September 3 2013, 05:48 PM   #54
Beta-Z
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Because it's called wiiiiiiide screen.
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Old September 3 2013, 06:01 PM   #55
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

jimbotron wrote: View Post
When I'm out walking, I can occasionally see TVs in peoples' livings rooms. A lot of them watch 4x3 content stretched on their HDTVs. Not zoomed, but stretched. I can't understand why anyone would want to do that.
Why would you want to understand? It's their homes and they can view their entertainment anyway they want.
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Old September 3 2013, 06:40 PM   #56
Hober Mallow
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Since the vocal majority of TNG fans demanded a 4:3 HD presentation, CBS would have been stupid not to give them what they wanted (allowing CBS to make back some of its remastering investment while that is still possible with 4:3).

TNG in reformatted 16:9 is just a question of time for those who look forward to it, and after the 4:3 aficionados have been pleased.
I don't think fan input had anything to do with it. The series was made for 4:3 aspect ratio, and they want to make as few changes as possible.

It's not just the difference between fan preferences; it's the difference between seeing all of the picture or not seeing all of the picture.
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Old September 3 2013, 07:52 PM   #57
dg1379
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I don't think fan input had anything to do with it. The series was made for 4:3 aspect ratio, and they want to make as few changes as possible.

It's not just the difference between fan preferences; it's the difference between seeing all of the picture or not seeing all of the picture.
Exactly. The 4:3 ratio was the standard for tv for decades. No one in the 80s / 90s could have imagined blurays and hd tvs and prepped the show for it. I would rather have the 4:3 aspect and lose nothing over having a 16:9 widescreen and cropping the scenes. Remember, its a miracle that this project even got the green light to begin with!

This debate comes up a lot. Perhaps we should pin this up for future reference.
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Old September 3 2013, 08:21 PM   #58
GameOn
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

jimbotron wrote: View Post
When I'm out walking, I can occasionally see TVs in peoples' livings rooms. A lot of them watch 4x3 content stretched on their HDTVs. Not zoomed, but stretched. I can't understand why anyone would want to do that.
You'd be surprised how many people don't even think there's anything wrong with the picture and happily watch 4:3 programs stretched all the time. I actually got accused of breaking a friends TV after I set it to auto switch to the correct aspect ratio.
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Old September 3 2013, 09:16 PM   #59
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Dream wrote: View Post
The Caretaker wrote: View Post
I was reading on a B5 forum a while ago about this issue and some were certain that the original film cans were either missing or had been "attacked" by rats, making a TNG-type restoration impossible. Where they got this information from I have no idea. If we are worried about the CGI in DS9 causing a headache for Blu Ray I have no idea how Warners would cope with recreating all the CGI shots for B5.
Blame the people owning the B5 film stock for not taking care of it more carefully like Paramount has done with Trek. Also the people that did all the original visual effects and had that information are now gone, along with everything they did. They would have to start from scratch with completely new effects.

The studio probably doesn't think it is worth the cost to do a completely new remastering for B5.
If Warner Bros. were to do a straight-up release of the series right now on Blu-Ray, virtually none of the current effects work would hold up in 1080p resolution. This is because the majority (if not all) of the original digital effects files were dumped out of computer memory years ago at Foundation Imaging and Netter Digital, and would have to be completely recreated from scratch for any future high-definition release.

Were those same files still available today, they could be upconverted to HD (according to JMS). But they aren't, sadly.

Watching the show nowadays via DVD on our 60" HDTV, the live-action stuff still looks pretty good; most of the space stuff, unfortunately, does not. If Warners were to simply dump the existing transfers onto BD, the resulting mess would be excruciating -- the space-battles would look like junk, resolution-wise, still locked in 480p (or below).

When you check out the recent B5: The Lost Tales movie, the VFX work was produced in high-definition, and it looks amazing. God forbid the main series itself should ever actually look this great. For Babylon 5 to continue to have any sort of realistic future and shot at rediscovery, it desperately needs a TOS/TNG-style visual makeover.

Warner Bros. has grossed close to a billion dollars from this show on DVD sales alone. The audience-base is still out there, and they know it. If they release it on Blu-Ray tomorrow strictly as-is, it'll be a debacle.
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Old September 3 2013, 09:17 PM   #60
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Harvey wrote: View Post
As far as the negative being destroyed, I know a few shots from "The Gathering" were eaten by rats before JMS re-edited it in the late 1990s, but as far as I know the series negative hasn't met the same fate.
Yup, this is exactly what happened -- and only the negative for "The Gathering" experienced any type of noticeable damage (due to rats and some water exposure), rendering the use of certain angles and takes during the TNT re-edit untenable. The rest of the series' negative is purportedly under proper storage conditions.
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