I started watching Babylon 5 for the first real time

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by bigdaddy, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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).
     
  2. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  3. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  7. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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/Babylon-5-Volume-Release/3900

    http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/Babylon-5-Volume-Release/328
     
  9. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  10. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  11. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  13. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.

    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.


    Other titles I saw in the same style packaging (in the bargain bin), include ER, Gilmore Girls, and The Jetsons.
     
  15. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep.

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

    Nope - MUCH more interesting than happy happy joy joy ST.

    God - you are gonna HATE it when they make him an Australian aborigine and send him on w*******t.

    Remember that.

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

    Classy.

    Funny - they seem odd to me!

    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.
     
  16. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And it will fail, there is simply no point in redoing it untless they get a 100 episode order and can make all 100 episodes before someone fucks it over. That way there wouldn't be 2 seasons of build up to Shadow War and a season of the war because they have to shove all of it in season 4. :lol:


    And even is the new evil. Everyone knows that, it's like "ast" is the new ask.
     
  17. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Uh the shadow war starts before season 4. Also, from shortly after *season 2* finished filming Joe said the war would not last until the final season.

     
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "The Gathering" was filmed the same way as the rest of the series, in 1.65:1 first and the cropped to 1.33:1. TG is only released in 4:3 because Warner's already spent money redoing the episode for the Special Edition (and as far as I know iTunes had the original 1993 version available in the US years ago, but the DVD's have received the 1998? Special Edition, along with the other download services).

    So, maybe the Sci-Fi channel is cropping it on their own; unless Warner actually created a HD widescreen version that was just for broadcast.
     
  19. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't think this 50 cent "The Gathering" widescreen dvd I have, looks anything like hd quality resolution.

    Overall, the video quality of this "The Gathering" widescreen dvd looks fuzzier and worse than the video quality of the five tv seasons dvd sets of Babylon 5.
     
  20. Tulin

    Tulin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't say I wanted it(I don't - the original is awesome and should be left as a SF classic), I just said it WILL happen.

    We see enough ignorants on here that will not watch something made eighteen months ago because "Them thar effexes look bad!!!1!!11"

    Hollywood will remake it for the lowest common denominator.


    I thought it was "axed". I used to watch Ricki Lake(propbably before your time)and I wondered why a certain, ummmm, let's say "urban" demographic were not being constantly jailed for "axing" their parents, friends, siblings, etc...
     

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