Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kail, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Booji

    Booji Commodore Premium Member

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    Season 1-5 are normal 4:3. However, for some stupid reason, The Gathering is a shitty widescreen DVD rip and it looks like crap.
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Got mine. Took the DVD sets off the shelf and stuffed them in a box, and put the unopened BD box on the shelf. And now I have room for more stuff! :D
    It'll be a while before I watch it, we just watched it when Max had it on.
     
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  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not even the commentaries?

    Sigh.
     
  4. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

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    Those jerks are going to double dip. In a year or two they will announce: Babylon 5 Special Widescreen edition on Blu-ray!
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Admiral Admiral

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    On the run.
    Thankfully (for anyone with the old "B5 Movies" DVD set) the Gathering special edition is 4x3, so matches the Blu version of the series.
     
  6. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    It'll take more than a year or two to make a widescreen HD version of the show. It'd be as hard as doing DS9 or Voyager, a bit harder than TNG was (potentially much harder, WB had some infamous blunders with storing B5's raw film that don't make me optimistic).

    This has "library release" written all over it. If they sell out every copy they pressed immediately and Jeff Bezos offers to finance it, maybe there'll be a proper HD remaster, but it'll probably take three to five years just to make it, with a full team and access to every needed resource.
     
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  7. Forbin

    Forbin Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Maybe by then it'll be long enough since this release that my wife won't say "We're buying it AGAIN??"
    (Yes, I bought the VHS seasons as they released them, and they didn't finish releasing them, before they issued the DVD sets, and I ended up throwing away the VHS seasons).
     
  8. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Fine by me to do a complete series collection with the other films, extras, and revised f/x to match up to the full original 16:9 aspect ratio of the live action stuff.

    The release date price was already lower than MSRP and the restoration, at even the level of the newly-released blu-rays, is an enormous undertaking. The live action footage is simply gorgeous, though a little more grain removal wouldn't hurt. Regardless, it's a massive improvement over the broadcast originals, and DVD releases despite the 16:9 aspect ratio used...

    ,..as the live-action filing was done in 16:9 for the sake of futureproofing, and now pillarboxed to matte up with the effects (which, let's face it, look worse when stretched horizontally), this is the best of both worlds - same aspect ratio as in 1993 but with more intricate details in costuming, color, etc.
     
  9. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    "library release" as in an existing, older 1080 transfer kept on the side for possible future use, and not returning to the original film negs as rotting away in a salt mine and/or warehouse's third floor? That could explain some of the graininess... at least from what I can tell...
     
  10. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    As I understand it, the source for the DVDs was a set of conformed film cuts made in parallel with the production of the original show for foreign distribution in markets that still used film-based broadcast systems and hadn't switched to videotape (which would, among other things, explain the presence of commercial bumpers in a handful of episodes at the act breaks). It would be a relatively fresh digital scan of those film masters following their discovery (so it wasn't entirely without effort, but it was as straightforward as the HD releases for shows like "Columbo" or "M*A*S*H", which were originally edited on film), but they never went near the original negatives as far as I've heard. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if anyone ever mentioned the format of these film masters, they could've been in 16 mm or something instead of 35, which might also have something to do with the amount of grain.

    I'd guess that these film masters were probably done without being pre-matted to 4x3 (IIRC, JMS made a comment to that effect implying that this project did give them a widescreen digital master), so they could be used as sources for widescreen HD version of the live-action footage, but the CG and composite shots would still have to be cropped in from the 4x3 version, so you'd need the original negatives for the composite shots to do it properly (you can recreate the actual 2D and 3D effects from scratch, and a surprising amount of the models and scenes have survived to the present for reference and to give the team a head-start). On the other hand, I suppose that means there could be a widescreen low-effort cash-in release, but it would either crop in the VFX like on the DVDs, or do the "some scenes filmed in IMAX" thing where the aspect ratio changes from shot-to-shot depending on if there are any VFX (and that'll include some "invisible effects" work that happened on the show, like painting out a flyaway hair on an actors' face or a stain on their costume).
     
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  11. Tosk

    Tosk Admiral Admiral

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    Considering how "dumped on disc" this release seems to be, I'd be very surprised if they ever revisit it.
     
  12. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Hopefully they will. It's a pipe dream, but it's worthy of a full-fledged restoration - though the current one is very good, all things considered.

    Not having seen the show for over a decade or so, it's amazing how quickly - yet how well - the universe is set up. Only just got through Bester's introduction and I'm glued tighter than the guy from the superglue advert who glued his hat to the steel beam that's 5 feet off the ground:



    Yeah, people weren't as weird back then...
     
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  13. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^^this

    When the DVDs came out, it was cool to know they were in 16:9. The effects I knew were dated, but they told the tale adequately. I did hear people make big rants about stretched ships and cropped scenes, but that wasn't the big reason I was looking for the show. While the added screen space doesn't show much, it does fill out the screen and, indeed, looks more cinematic. The sets aren't as cheap as its reputation either, though even the current blu-ray shows enough more detail...

    ...But fast forward to now: Aspect ratio is now consistently aligned between live action and f/x, having the big bonus of better color gamut and overall better sharpness, etc, etc. Now others are happy but I'm all whiny because it's not the native 16:9 that the footage was. But at the same time, the picture is technically the way it was aired, despite it being filmed for futureproofing sake*. The fact they futureproofed it is something that seems noble to honor in a full remaster down the line. But more customers are probably happy with $92 for all 5 seasons versus $60~90 per season as a full remaster, assuming all the film negs are found, also requires a new set of effects re-rendering. So this $90 set is probably the best we'll ever have.

    * even the monitor displays in the show's sets are framed 16:9 so they knew the industry was in the middle of a format change, and with home video of movies already being big, it's not hard to see why. A 2.35:1 movie shrunk to even a 32" 4:3 set is laughably bad as 66% of the screen is letterboxed black bars. But that was then, this is now - yep, those words remind me of something, let me find it...


    ...eureka!


    :devil:
     
  14. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't want to take the For All Mankind thread off-topic, so I'm making my reply over here:
    Apparently Clark spent a lot of his free time as dictator working on his calligraphy, comparing that off-hand signature to his much-more-legible final written statement a season and a half later. Maybe that first glyph is a "W" for "William," but I have no idea what that backwards "F" in the middle is supposed to be. It sure isn't "Morgan."
     
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  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    When did Bill get his Keeper?

    OMG.

    Two actors played the same turd.

    The Great Machine made Draal younger, so why couldn't the Keeper make Clarke younger?
     
  16. Kraig

    Kraig Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because The Great Machine is not a Keeper?
     
  17. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    And there's no reason to think Clark would've gotten a Keeper. He was a client of Morden's, and there's no suggestion that he ever became... intransigent... like Londo.
     
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  18. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Reverse Engineering

    I figured that few wrecks from the Dilgar War would be useful for analysis. Explosions would obliterate much of the more delicate equipment, such as electronics.

    Hull fragments, however, might be useful. The Babylon universe seems to emphasize hull armor instead of Trek like shields. Armor might have simpler structures, compared to some high tech technologies. Something that Earthlings might be able to replicate. Perhaps a composite of several different armors, or perhaps a new synthesis.
     
  19. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The thing is, the 3rd Space alien ships had 'Energy Shields', so it's possible within the B5 Universe to have "Energy Shields" like Star Trek.

    The main species in B5 just don't seem to have 'Energy Shields'.

    1x 3rd Space Alien Fighter was equivalent in fire power to an entire White Star.

    That's how broken it is to have 'Energy Shields'.

    Their weapon seems to depend on Plasma as well.
     
  20. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    Earth was on par with the Dilgar in terms of space tech (biomedical is a separate issue), given they handed them their arses when the League was getting pummeled. Not much advantage to salvaging ships you can already beat.