DS9 on blu ray?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by borgboy, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    If DSN was shot with DSN in mind, I would be happy. If it was shot that way you could make a case that was the way it was meant to be seen. I've hada widescreen TV's since the mid-late 1990's. I believe Europe was quicker to adopt Widscreen TV's than the USA.

    And I would disagree that 15 years ago consumers had to fight studio ignorance from cropping movies to 4x3. My memory might be faulty but I could walk into a store and easily buy a Widscreen VHS/DVD true some movies were also released in 4x3 format. But that might be down to my point above.
     
  2. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Amazing, isn't it? No matter what the standard aspect ratio, there are people who demand their image to be chopped to pieces.

    I wonder if the Mona Lisa would look better if we chopped off the top and bottom of it.
     
  3. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    As LOKAI has already pointed out, Berman is mistaken in that Enterprise was shot mostly with 35mm film, not digital tape.

    And when Berman says DS9 and Voyager were framed with 16:9 in mind somewhere down the road, what he really means is that every episode was framed for 4:3 and later on (sometime around '96/'97) it was decided that a 16:9 version would share the same width as the 4:3 area (so-called "common sides") and would have to be meticulously reframed on a shot-by-shot basis via a tape-to-tape Tilt & Scan online repositioning session. This is exactly what happened to the Enterprise pilot "Broken Bow" (and a few other early S1 episodes, I suspect) which was shot 4:3 (just look at the behind the scenes featurettes that show production monitors) and then reframed under the guidance of the director, James Conway, at UPN's insistence because they decided at the last second that they wanted to air the show in 16:9 letterbox. :)
     
  4. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some studios were better than others. But some, like Disney, were late the widescreen party, and when they did widescreen, it was letterboxed, not optimized for widescreen TVs. Universal took a while too.
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Europe was indeed much faster to adopt true aspect ratio releases on VHS, but even then it was a niche market compared to the decade of Pan&Scanned releases that came before. I adopted laserdisc specifically to get away from the P&S of VHS, and we're finally in a paradise where DVD/Blu releases that are in the wrong ratio are in the minority.

    Trouble is, "fill my TV!" hasn't gone away, so old 4x3 material is getting butchered due to people either not wanting to *cough* waste space on their TV, or in a misguided attempt to make something more "cinematic". (The idea that just chopping off information that was supposed to be there somehow makes something feel grander is asinine...in my opinion.)

    At the end of the day, if someone wants an altered 16x9 version of something shot in 4x3, I don't mind at all...except if it stops the 4x3 version from being released. Release both and I have no complaint. And if you're not going to release both, surely basic common sense says that you should release it the way it was made. (Hi, Star Wars Special Editions, I'm looking at you, you bastards!)
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yes but if DSN was shot for Widescreen why not release it in that aspect ratio? We aren't talking about changing anything just releasing as it was meant to be seen. Years ago Widescreen films were shown on TV in Pan and Scan Format as Widescreen became more popular in the late 90's and early 2000's TV stations began to show films on TV in widescreen format (at least in the UK).
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't. This has been stated over and over again. The last few seasons were possibly* shot with 16x9 protection, which is not the same thing.

    *Coming from someone who has other facts wrong. Plus the fact that "protected" shows are frequently no such thing. Friends and Buffy are good examples of shows that were supposedly 16x9 safe but the various directors still shot for 4x3 only.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I said "IF", but the later seasons of Buffy were released in 1.78:1 format
     
  9. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the UK and Australia, yes. But at the behest of Joss Whedon, the US release was 4x3.

    And when you watch the 16x9 UK releases, you can see why. Empty space around characters huddled together, lighting equipment in the shot, wires coming out of props where they should not be, stagehands in frame holding "demon pieces" and people waiting for their cue to enter a scene.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, that's not how I remember the various TNG aspect ratio discussions in the different forums in late 2011 and early 2012, to me it seemed like 75% advocated 4:3 with the other 25% were being discredited as a minority that didn't understand "art" (I consider Star Trek the art of entertainment, not necessarily the art of cinematography, especially considering many first time directors working on the series).

    And the widescreen supporters didn't ask for a rigid zoom to do a debatable 16:9 frame extraction but instead to access the unseen areas on the camera negative to get a wider image and thus to reduce the need of unnecessary trimming at the bottom and especially the top (there is a high probability that studio equipment would not clutter up the sides of close-up shots like the example I just linked to).

    The equipment is a problem in full shots like this example from "Lonely Among Us".
    However, I don't believe the composition would look any good with all the action in the center and all the expendable areas (even without equipment) in the image, too.
    In such cases a widescreen image extraction from the existing 4:3 area could seem like the option yielding the most satisfactory results.

    Of course, which was already true for TNG, this just constitutes extra remastering work (= costs) and tasteful decision making to achieve an optimal and good looking widescreen extraction and presentation.

    If it is true that sales figures of TNG have started to dwindle down (which I find hard to believe because Seasons Four through Six have the best stories to offer, IMHO) because audiences have now "gotten used" to the breathtaking picture resolution of TNG in HD, CBS might be inclined to get better sales figures for DS9 on Blu-ray by announcing "For the first time in high definition and widescreen".

    Whether that is going to happen or not remains entirely speculation, I just think we shouldn't exclude that possibility and be prepared. :)

    Bob
     
  11. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ain't gonna happen. Especially for a product that's even more niche than TNG.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Frankly, that's what I'm afraid of (no DS9 on Blu-Ray?). I vividly remember that the first two seasons looked as crappy in SD as did TNG throughout its seven seasons.

    But IIRC after the first 10 episodes of Season Three the SD picture quality increased suddenly, but I'm not aware exactly why (new post-production equipment with latest state-of-the-art technology, then?).

    At least DS9 in widescreen would no longer require to CGI erase overhead microphones. Of course, I don't know to what extent that could be a relief in terms of remastering costs.

    Bob
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Being more niche isn't always a bad thing. Products which appeal to a niche market can sell quite well (true they might be more expensive).

    Beisdes as has been mentioned it's not just about BR sales, but future TV sales. DSN is still shown Mon-Fri in the UK and we've just had a DSN weekend on SyFy (UK).
     
  14. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Being niche is fine. My point is that since DS9 appeals to a smaller base than TOS and TNG, it would be most unwise to mess with it. Most of the ones buying it will be hardcore fans. I, for one, would not buy it if cropped to 16x9, and I know I'm not the only one.
     
  15. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    +1

    As a dyed-in-the-wool hardcore Trekker of many years standing, and a keen home cinema enthusiast to boot, there's not a rat in hell's chance I'd go for HD DS9 butchered to 1.78:1 - whatever technical jargon and justifications (spin) they may put on it.

    As suggested by an earlier poster, I'd be prepared to sample some kind of hybrid version with the live action footage fully remastered and the FX "manipulated" - maybe!
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As long as it looks good, I don't care if it's 4:3 or 16:9. *ducks!*
     
  17. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Besides, with TOS and TNG already having been done the correct way, it'd be silly for CBS-D to start messing things up so late into the game.
     
  18. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I doubt they would do a scale/crop job. I wouldn't cry about it either way, but I doubt they'd do that. Any people in-the-know who could gauge the likelihood of that hypothetical?

    I think the worst SD to HD job I've seen was the '80s sitcom "The Golden Girls." I can't remember what cable network had it, but they did this thing where they upscaled it vertically, then progressively stretched it horizontally from the center of the screen until the picture filled 16x9. It was a progressive stretch, so it looked like I was watching the show through a magnifying glass if you can imagine that. Beyond awful, it was vertigo-inducing.
     
  19. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Usually, I'd agree, but having seen some of the chops from 4:3 to 16:9, I doubt it's going to look good.

    I watch all my tv-shows on dvd in 4:3 if they were originally shot that way, otherwise it just looks disgusting.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You really don't have a choice unless you're using the TV to stretch the picture horizontally. :p