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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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August 03 2006

Firefly to be broadcast in HD? Well it's scheduled to be shown on the Universal HD channel on Sunday, September 24th.

I checked it to see if there's any episodes for October but the search facility doesn't go past September. Anyway, a very nice lurker sent me the link which came from this forum.

I recently saw a promo for Universal HD which included Firefly (just a couple of quick shots: Serenity landing w/ Firefly logo, and Mal pointing his gun at Patience). Glad to see some more confirmation. These will probably take up permanent residence on my HD-DVR.
Excellent! Wonder if it was actually filmed in HD, or if they're upsampling it.
Apparently it wasn't. But then I'm not an expert in these things. I do wonder if this means we'll see a Firefly HD DVD. I think there would be a big demand for it.
Fox Home Entertainment haven't even had the brains to release a Firefly Special Edition DVD set yet.
Fox Home Entertainment haven't even had the brains to release a Firefly Special Edition DVD set yet.

The UK set has 'Special Edition' on a shiny gold bar across the top. Not that it's any different mind.
UGH... don't call things special when they aren't.

Speaking of special editions - when are we getting the Serenity special edition stateside? I want the missing special features gorramit! And cast commentary! And R. Tam sessions on DVD!
Well, Universal Home Entertainment clearly have people who will buy a Serenity special edition, and there's plenty of material out there for it... So the ball is in their court. Put it out with another cover, and you'll get additional money from those who overlooked the original US DVD.

Ultimately, will they see the bags of money sat there?

[ edited by gossi on 2006-08-03 13:10 ]
And R. Tam sessions on DVD!

It was a nice surprise to see the R. Tam sessions on the Done The Impossible timeline. Sure it's only the same quality as the web versions, but still it was good to see it on the TV ;)
I imagine it was filmed on 35mm film, which would make a genuine HD transfer feasible, although the effects shots would have been rendered to SDTV resolutions. I know Zoic had to rebuild the Serenity CGI model for the movie so that it would hold up at HD resolutions. I think they mentioned BSG was their first HD effects project.
Just like Angel and Buffy, Firefly was filmed on 35mm (though Buffy was only on 16mm for the first couple seasons). I don't think they will do an actual HD transfer from the film. Instead, they'll probably do what TNT does for HD Angel - just take the DVD releases and upsample them.

I'm not sure how feasible it is to do from a standard def-TV broadcast to true HD. It hasn't really been done yet (on anything I've seen anyways). HD-DVD and Blue-ray seem to be a perfect medium if this happens, but who knows. The studios would really have to want to do it, because transfering all those episodes into HD would be very time consuming. The big benefit to HD-DVD and Blue-ray TV-wise will be disc amounts - you could have entire seasons on just one disc, and in the case of multiple layer BR discs, even entire series.
To my knowledge, Firefly was aired HD on Fox during its original run.
Instead, they'll probably do what TNT does for HD Angel - just take the DVD releases and upsample them.

Surely that kind of defies the point of an HD broadcast?
Well that's why TNT can be sneaky. Because HD TNT is just the rebroadcast of the actual TNT channel, not everything they show was shot in HD. I don't remember if Angel was originally shot in HD (the later seasons were in 16x9, which is not necessarily HD). What TNT does WAY too often is just take the 4x3 standard def broadcast, stretch it out and upsample it. They do it with Angel too, even though so many were shot in 16x9 not 4x3. Basically TNT is taking advantage of the fact that it is cheaper to appear to show things in HD without actually doing it.
I know I'm late on this, but I don't believe that Universal HD does the same thing as TNT -- I've never seen something simply upsampled there. It makes a big deal out of showing only true HD content. They show a lot of TV on UniHD, including older shows like The Equalizer, and they're all really in HD.

TNT-HD is kind of an afterthought to their main channel, but the whole purpose of UniHD is to showcase HD content. I can't see them showing stretchyvision versions, but I guess we'll know in September.

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