WB looking into Babylon 5 in HD?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Neroon, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Link to story

    Everything I've heard on this subject has said it's a technical impossibility due to the condition of the source material stored. Even the WB executive cited
    But it does bring a glimmer more of hope than we Babyloniacs have had before.
     
  2. Fist McStrongpunch

    Fist McStrongpunch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't really know or care about blu-ray, but I'm always confused by this B5 thing. Isn't blu-ray at its core a way of storing media? Why does it being on blu-ray necessitate it being HD?
     
  3. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    That's more of a market assumption than a technical requirement.

    Since all Blu-Ray players are DVD-compatible (at least for now), and it's already out on DVD, there would be no point in a Blu-Ray release unless it were HD.
     
  4. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Probably the best B5 fans can hope for is some kind of upscaled standard version à la the Farscape BD release.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure HD would do Babylon 5 any favors. The show was pretty cheap looking in SD.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, blu ray and 1080p HD go hand in hand now, even though it's not necessary. I do wonder how they are going to sell UltraHD or 4K films, because those will be released on blu ray as well.

    "blu ray 3D" is one of those marketing inventions. No, it's not a special blu ray. The data stored on it is different.
     
  7. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Probably not something I'd buy, unless they truly remaster as they did with TNG. A simple upscaling doesn't really do much, and a true remaster will be difficult thanks to the huge amount of CGI involved.

    So no, I'll probably stick to my DVD's. :)
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Might but it, depends on the cost, and quality of the transfer.
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    B5 always had a very video-ish feel to it. Did they even shoot it on film?
     
  10. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not HD necessary but i recently tried to watch my DVD version of Friends on my HD and it just looked like crap when you're used to HD TV.

    Also while the SFX were par for the course for the 90s they don't age well on HD and given the apparent bad quality of the original source it would take a major investment to spruce up the picture quality to make it HD comparable.

    Star Trek has the legs to do it and while B5 still hase a very good reputation i don't know if it warrants the investment.

    I would kill for a B5 with updated CGI though.. something on the level of BSG :drool:
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least they could hire A LOT of hobby 3D artists, because even newcomers produce B5 images and animations that are at least as good as the original effects.
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Actually, no, I don't think they could do it that way. Aside from the issue that getting a mishmash of amateurs to work together on a long term project is like herding cats, I'm pretty sure it'd be against union rules.

    Regarding the CG: it's not so much an issue of quality so much as resolution and aspect ratio. From what I gather the way things currently stand, the best/cheapest option is to do an up-scaled transfer of the 4:3 masters. Basically a slightly cleaned version of the old VHS releases.

    If they want to do a widescreen transfer then thing get *very* expensive and complicated. It'd mean redoing every single CG and comp shot. No simple thing since it's not just the cutaways and establishing shots of spaceships and the station. It's any time a PPG is fired. Any time there's a bluescreen back drop like the central core, the docking bay, windows and the like. Plus things like the odd CG creature, enhanced VFX (electrical arcs etc.) and it all adds up to a *lot* of work on just about every episode.

    Then there's the matter of the flood/rodent damaged masters.

    It's technically *possible* to do all this, it's just that up till this point it hasn't looked terribly practical from a commercial POV. Add to that WB's internal competitive structure and...well...let's just say I shan't be holding my breath. ;)
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Given all the technical and economic barriers to this happening (all of which are summarized in the article), I wouldn't hold my breath over this happening. But it would be a pleasant surprise if it did.

    Then again, I'm not sure HD would do the program's production design any favors. But it would be nice to see a proper transfer of the series (the cropped VFX widescreen version on DVD at the moment is appalling, and the original 4:3 version isn't available except as a digital download).
     
  14. Teelie

    Teelie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's one of those nice if it happened dreams but I'm doubtful it will happen.
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If WB are actually serious about this, then I suspect what they'll do is remaster one of the movies as a test case and see how it sells before even attempting to show proper.
    IMO 'In the Beginning' would be the most obvious choice, even over 'The Gathering'.
     
  16. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS

    WB *always* tests the waters. They've done it with everything from the first VHS tape. And they always seem surprised that there's a market. Sigh...


    Jan
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Considering the relative size of the show's audience compared to Star Trek, testing the waters is only a wise business move. Hell, even a mainstream hit like The X-Files isn't getting the same treatment as Star Trek: The Next Generation (Fox is going back to the original negatives for the filmed elements, but using the SD effects and stock footage elements).

    Also, the show's continued non-existence in syndication (as well as on Netflix), along with the ground falling out of the home video market, has to make this a more risky proposition than it might have been 10 years ago.
     
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Some of it might come down to competative pricing. i.e Don't price it out the market.
     
  19. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which union? Does SFX have a union?
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    VFX workers aren't unionized, no, although that may change.