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April 08 2008

Firefly on Blu Ray confirmed! Contacts at Fox confirmed to TVShowsonDVD.com that the upcoming release of Firefly is on Blu Ray.

Contacts at Fox confirmed the upcoming high definition release for Firefly (which we talked about here) and advised that at this stage in planning the release date had not been set and many details have yet to be finalized. Cheers to David Lambert for the heads up on this one.

All right, cool news. First Blu Ray I'm buying. Glad I got a PS3.
Sweet! I'm off to get a PS3. When it comes out.
Two by two, rays of blue?

(I'll probably end up doing what I did with CD's -- I owned a good handful of discs before I ever bought a player.)
I won't be buying it, then. Disappointing that they're only releasing it on Blu Ray.
You're totally right; it should be on 8-track tape as a companion to a set of View-Master Reels ;)
Yeah I'm not gonna buy it till they release it on betamax.
I should mention, totally joking above :) It makes sense for them to push new things to the new platform. Besides, if they just released another Firefly DVD set, we'd all be complaining that they are milking us (Serenity *cough*).
Is Firefly available for legal HD download?
Fantastic! Hopefully this will include more 'extras' stuff including new commentaries. Time to start registering with Amazon.com for when it gets a release date ;-)

[ edited by Zol. on 2008-04-08 16:50 ]
Not that I am aware. I believe the only way to see it in HD is on UniversalHD.
HD DVD is dead. Hope everyone remembers.

When Blu-ray climbs down to like $100 a player, that's when I'll consider buying one.

Fox loves Firefly now more than ever.
Well I'd be pretty pissed off about this if I hadn't already gone through the unreasoning rage phase of my grieving process for HD. Mrs. Haunt and I believed (and still do for that matter) that HD was the superior format and so resisted getting a Blu-Ray player till the last possible second. Now that we have both we still maintain that picture quality on HD DVD is better (noticeably so), and it annoys the frak out of me that the Blu-Ray discs take about 3-5 minutes to load up to menu... but at least we have one now. If the studios are going to force a particular format down our throats I suppose I'll take comfort in the fact that we can actually watch it now. *shrug*

At any rate, bitterness aside I'm happy that Firefly is getting the attention it deserves. Glad we'll get to see it in any high-def format. :)
I'll get one when my next PC has a blu-ray capable drive. I have no stake in what became of the format wars ... we haven't owned a TV in a couple years, now, so all the DVDs go right into the old 'puter (our living room chairs even face the monitor) :)
A thought occurs to me. Does anyone think that it would be possible to continue/have a series that didn't necessarily go to TV first, but which went straight to DVD/HD/Blu-Ray? Would it work? I can see the internet playing a role here, too. It just seems to me that Firefly might work that way, since it already seems to be so popular. Sorry, just thinking out loud.

I don't have either HD or Blu-Ray. Our local DVD store has a teeny tiny section with Blu-Ray, so I guess that makes Firefly one of a very distict group. Wow!
There's been a fair amount of discussion of whether a direct-to-disc or pay in advance subscription model would allow financing of cool and innovative series. I'm still hoping that someday it comes to pass. We see it on a small scale with things like The Guild being financed by donations after the initial eps. Blu Ray catalog titles and new titles are coming at quite a clip these days. You'll see a lot more of them in short order.

Now that we have both we still maintain that picture quality on HD DVD is better (noticeably so), and it annoys the frak out of me that the Blu-Ray discs take about 3-5 minutes to load up to menu.


With all due respect (don't you hate it when people say that crap?), if you see any diff between HD-DVD and Blu Ray these days that isn't Blu looking and/or sounding slightly better (more room for less lossy encode or fully uncompressed audio), then it is your unreasoning rage talking (or a bad hookup). And if you take 3-5 mintues to get to menus there is something wrong with the player or discs that you bought (have the latest firmware for it?). I've heard people complain of 45 second waits in the past (longer way back when - like 90 secs to 2 mins), but every disc I own loads nearly as fast as my DVDs did/do.
Hopefully this will include more 'extras' stuff including new commentaries.

As indicated in the previous thread, the only new extra anyone seems to know about is some sort of "cast reunion".
Sony Blu-Ray player (not sure the exact model, not looking at it right now.) And the wait time is on every singe Blu-Ray disc, not just a few. And trust me, the Better Half and I buy a metric TON of DVD's every week, of all formats including Blu. Now I'll admit the 3-5 minutes might be an exaggeration... I'll correct myself and say that it's maybe 1-2 minutes. But that is NOT the same as the HD DVD's, all of which loaded up basically instantly. And of the dozens (possibly close to hundreds) of various films of both formats (HD and Blu) that we have to compare, I promise that there IS a very distinct difference in picture quality. Not that Blu is bad really, just not nearly as pristine as HD. In fact I think part of the problem may be that Blu is TOO crisp, revealing every single microscopic "grain" or imperfection in the films. I don't know what it is, but trust me it's there. And the most annoying part about it is it wasn't our choice.

Also, I've heard much made of the greater storage capacity of Blu-Ray over HD, but so far just about every Blu disc we've gotten has LESS in the way of special features than any HD DVD we've got. It seems that if it's one of the selling points of Blu than someone needs to start showing it off a bit.

But this format war crap is only slightly less divisive than the 'Shipper Wars of old, so I'm done 'mongering I guess. As a Browncoat I'm used to be on the losing side of a war. ;)
Gahh. I guess I need a Blu-ray player now.
I'm just going to buy a bunch of cheap DVD players and watch the movies I have. And yes, I still watch my VHS tapes. :P
Some of the earliest BluRay discs did not use the same compression as HDDVDs, and did indeed look worse. Today both formats use VC-1 and look identical. The data doesn't care what kind of disc it is on.
Thanks, zeitgeist. I sort of thought so. It would be really neat if it happened. Of course, it would be even better if everything went to internet first without all the proxy restrictions. I'd pay for a subscription.

Enjoy the Blu Ray, folks. I'll have to let this one pass. Mr Slug is hankering after a flat screen first. Priorities.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-08 18:46 ]
Lost Season 3 on Blu Ray? Amazing. Better than TV HD. Watching the show on DVD is spitting-on-it worthy.

ETA: For Firefly, the effects are what worries me. I just hope it isn't too noticeable a drop in resolution.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2008-04-08 19:09 ]
Haunt - what Will said. The only other thing is, yeah I've heard the BDP-S300 takes up to 50 seconds to 'boot' and 1-2 minutes to get menus. Hopefully that's something they can reduce with firmware, cause I don't have that delay. It's possible that it could be the hardware, though (it is considered Sony's 'low end' BD player), which would suck righteously :( On the positive side apparently its got a pretty good video processor for upscaling DVDs. The review I just Googled mentions the video scalar and dramatically slow boot and response to commands.
MysticSlug & Zeitgeist, I've been around advertisers and network execs for awhile and it looks like the broadcast economic model is breaking down, so who knows how high-cost series will be funded and produced. There's a feeling that nobody, anywhere, is watching the ads anyway, and companies don't have much faith in ad pull for anything beyond big-time sports (event advertising), daytime soaps (package goods), and cable news (cheap corporate messages). Firefly on Blu-ray will be terrific -- but if networks lose faith in first-run audiences, where will the great drama series of tomorrow come from? Wish I knew the answer, because reality TV totally sucks (except "Runway").
Anyone realize that Firefly would be the first TV series to go Blu-Ray? That's history in itself!

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2008-04-08 19:22 ]
Wow, doghouse, that was interesting. And kind of comforting in a gee-this-could-go-any-which-way sort of manner. I shall ponder it.

Way with you on the reality TV. One more season of the smash hit "Farmer Needs a Wife" (loosely translated) and I might do something out of character.
>Wish I knew the answer, because reality TV totally sucks (except "Runway").

I couldn't agree more. I really despise reality shows. I watch so little tv now because of them. And now the networks are making the mistake of airing first run series not in Sept anymore, but scattered throughout the season. Lost is a perfect example of bad planning on the network's part. They lost a LOT of viewers moving it around like they did.

Soon, we'll have 12 episodes in a season like the UK. Or is it 6?

I'm less and less interested in tv the more changes like this they make.

When Blu-Ray players are as inexpensive as a regular DVD player, then I'll buy one. Until then, my regular (all region) dvd player is fine. Even if there are a ton of extras on this new Firefly box set (and it doesn't sound like there will be), I'm not going to spend several hundred dollars on a player.
Anyone realize that Firefly would be the first TV series to go Blu-Ray? That's history in itself!


Weeds, Lost, Damages, Prison Break etc?
Robin Hood as well. And a fair number of BBC shows by the looks of it (except for Doctor Who which is weird).
Also Rescue Me (S3). And Mad Men is coming. Still, I do hope the slow release pace of TV on Blu-ray continues to pick up.
Just a note from our friend David over at TVShowsonDVD.com:


Here's my complete list; items withOUT an asterisk were also made for HD DVD as well as for Blu-ray, while items with an asterisk only got a hi-def release in BD:


1. 12/19/2006: The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 1
2. 01/30/2007: Discovery Atlas - Australia Revealed
3. 01/30/2007: Discovery Atlas - Brazil Revealed
4. 01/30/2007: Discovery Atlas - China Revealed
5. 01/30/2007: Discovery Atlas - Italy Revealed
6. 04/24/2007: Planet Earth - The Complete Collection
7. *05/29/2007: Weeds - Season 1
8. *06/05/2007: Rescue Me - Season 3
9. *07/24/2007: Weeds - Season 2
10. 09/04/2007: Nip/Tuck - The Complete 4th Season
11. 09/18/2007: Smallville - The Complete 6th Season
12. 10/02/2007: Galapagos - The Islands That Changed the World
13. *10/16/2007: Masters of Horror - Season 1, Volume I
14. *10/16/2007: Masters of Horror - Season 1, Volume II
15. 10/23/2007: The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 2
16. *10/23/2007: The Company - The Complete Miniseries
17. *11/13/2007: Masters of Horror - Season 1, Volume III
18. *11/13/2007: Prison Break - Season 1
19. *12/11/2007: Lost - The Complete 3rd Season: The Unexplored Experience
20. *12/11/2007: Masters of Horror - Season 1, Volume IV
21. *01/29/2008: Damages - The Complete 1st Season
22. 02/26/2008: Justice League - The New Frontier: Special Edition

23. *06/03/2008: Weeds - Season 3
24. *06/03/2008: Fearless Planet
25. *06/10/2008: Broken Trail
26. *07/01/2008: Ganges
27. *07/01/2008: Wild China
28. *07/01/2008: Mad Men - Season 1
29. *07/08/2008: Batman - Gotham Knight
30. *07/29/2008: Human Body - Pushing the Limits
31. *07/29/2008: Robin Hood - Season 1
32. *08/05/2008: The Weather Channel's Epic Conditions


It can be argued that the Justice League (# 22) and Batman (# 29) releases aren't true extensions of the animated TV shows, but rather independent Direct-to-Home-Video releases that do not depend on the continuity of the television programs. I actually agree with that 100%, but nevertheless they are listed at our site due to extreme fan interest.


Cheers to David for that, rather impressive and unassailable list of all things TV on BD. Unfortunately, Doctor Who is not shot in HD (they always give excuses about scheduling and the high number of effects shots) and so we will likely see Torchwood on BD but not the good Doctor.
The BDP-S300 is a slow player, but it's not like HD DVD was immune to that. I bought an HD-A1 within days of release and the thing was clunky as hell. When I upgraded to an HD-A2 things ran much smoother, but there were still hiccups. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix takes five minutes to boot on my A2.

As for quality... if you're seeing a major difference, you either have a bad hook-up or are comparing the wrong discs (Basic Instinct vs. King Kong is not a good comparison, for instance). I have both formats -- and I was a major HD DVD supporter up until the day it died -- but the picture quality on both formats is identical, and Blu-ray has a slight audio advantage.
There are a couple ways that this release could have benefitted by being released on HD DVD.

First, lack of region coding on all titles. I don't know if Fox will region code it, but if they do I'd feel bad for those who may want to import the set.

Second, no combo version. I know that HD DVD combo's were more expensive and gave some people playback problems (personally, I've never suffered any problems with the 10 or so combo-discs I own and dozens more I rented). Combo discs worked well with the remastered Star Trek Season 1 set, and I know people who bought it only for the DVD side. It's also nice if I want to loan out a movie to someone without a HD DVD or Blu-Ray player. That won't be a problem here seeing how I already own Firefly on regular DVD. However, I wouldn't feel like I had to keep both sets if this was a combo-disc release.

Besides those two points, I hope it's a region-free release and that a special edition DVD version comes out for those who don't have (or plan to get) a Blu-Ray player anytime soon. Regardless, I'm neutral in that half of my HD-discs are HD DVDs and half are Blu-Rays. Each have/had their benefits, which both Haunt and zeitgeist have been quick to point out. There were and still are positives and negatives to each format, but being an early adopter I accepted both.

Concluding those thoughts, I will pre-order this as soon as it's available! So far the only TV shows I have on HD are Heroes Season 1, Lost Season 3, and Planet Earth if that counts. This will certainly join them and I hope it gets a similar (or better) treatment than those sets did.
I'm surprised so many TV shows have already gone HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. I SHOULD have remembered Heroes already did that. DUH!!
I stand corrected, but it also means we have to wait to see Heroes on Blu-Ray...and I'll have to wait even longer for the price of Blu-Ray players to go down before getting one.
I'm glad you guys got someone else to confirm it.
Happy to hear this. I don't have a blu-ray player yet but will most likely get one this Christmas if the price is right! I had the Toshiba H3 or H30 (something like that - it was one of the newer models) but I returned it soon after blu-ray won the battle and the fact that it was constantly skipping video on me. I still have the xbox 360 hd-dvd add on and I can watch all the hd-dvds I bought with that.

The BDP-S300 is a slow player, but it's not like HD DVD was immune to that. I bought an HD-A1 within days of release and the thing was clunky as hell. When I upgraded to an HD-A2 things ran much smoother, but there were still hiccups. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix takes five minutes to boot on my A2.


DVD players went through the same kind of growing pains, really. Technology is forever playing catchup with itself. I finally bought a new DVD player (and went for multiregion while I was at it) when I found that several particularly feature-loaded discs would take forever to load and/or would freeze partway through playback, and it's painfully obvious that my parents' DVD player is slower than even the one I upgraded from. The fact that early HD players (of either variety) might take a while to start playing discs wasn't that much of a shocker.

Still, I kind of laugh at the "this might take up to three minutes to start!" message I see when sticking Blu-ray discs into the PS3, since I don't think I've ever waited more than a few seconds.

All that said, the important thing: High-def Firefly = shiiiiiny. Fin.

[ edited by Casira on 2008-04-08 23:58 ]

[ edited by Casira on 2008-04-08 23:58 ]
I'm buying a set of these for every room in my house.
You can count on my hard earned dollars going to this...
Amazon Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available.

Check out that 1st to Know stuff!
Can't wait for your favorite movie or TV show to be released? You are in luck! Amazon customers can sign up to be notified immediately when the items they want become available on DVD or Blu-ray. Interested? Click through to any of the thousands of pages below and sign up, then we'll e-mail you when the item is available to buy. If there doesn't seem to be a page for what you are looking for let us know or discuss it in the forums below, and we may set up a page for it. Here's the real kicker--if something seems extra popular, we'll let the studios know. Remember: Your interest could make a difference.


"We'll let the studios know."

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2008-04-09 04:43 ]
I checked my other alert...Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place http://www.amazon.com/Two-Guys-Girl-Pizza-Place/dp/B000TGVD1U and a "customer"?? has put up an image of Three dvd boxes. Sure looks like Ryan Reynolds and Nathan on the cover.
The image of "Two Guys..." at Amazon is of a bootleg set. Brought to you by the same folks who bring you "The Wonder Years" and the 1960's "Batman," neither of which are out legitimately due to rights and/or music clearance issues. But, yeah, it doesn't hurt to get yourself on the notification list, just to let the studios know you're interested. Also get yourself over to TV Shows on DVD and register your interest there.

Excellent news about "Firefly" on Blu-ray. Frankly, I expected this before Christmas season last year, as the HD masters have been available for some time now. But good to know that there'll be new material on it. I haven't gotten into HD of any variety yet, mostly because of the format wars. Now that that's over, I'm more likely to buy in, but as long as a significant number of HD channels are going "widescreen" by simply stretching the picture out of proportion, I'm not in a big hurry to do it. This may be another case like CDs, where I bought a few discs before I ever bought a player.
Now that that's over, I'm more likely to buy in, but as long as a significant number of HD channels are going "widescreen" by simply stretching the picture out of proportion, I'm not in a big hurry to do it.

In my (FiOS) HD lineup, I count 3 out of 25 that do it (TNT, A&E, LMN). I can't stand it either, but it still leaves 22 channels that don't stretch, plus some good HD content on the stretchers (Law & Order on TNT, CSI: Miami on A&E). So there's really not much stretching left, really.
This is the worst news ever. On one hand, I have to have this. On the other hand, I'm not willing to spend f-ing $500 to get it. With HD DVD gone there's no incentive for them to drop the prices of the players any time soon either.

Please please please tell me that they'll be (re)releasing this on DVD at the same time.
I dunno, people not being willing to spend f-ing $500 sounds like a pretty good incentive to me ;).

(i.e. the price will come down because you sell proportionately more units that way - VCR's continued to get cheaper after Betamax bit the dust for instance. And certainly manufacturers that also have a stake in Blu-ray discs - e.g. Sony - will be keen to shift players so that they in turn shift discs. And obviously if they bring out a cheaper player then others will follow)
Okkay, it will only be on Bluray as of right now. I expect there will be $250 and $199 Blu ray players by the holidays.
Since I don't have HD yet, I can't really gauge the percentage of messed-up feeds versus those that are done correctly -- I only hear about the bad presentations, not the good ones. But it seems that there's a fairly constant stream of complaints about bad broadcasts at a home video enthusiasts' forum I read regularly. TNT is a prime offender (later-season "Angel" is unwatchable on their HD channel, cropped AND stretched), but I've heard plenty of other channels mentioned, most recently AMC. As for the content, the SD channels have the same content. I'll take my shows SD and unstretched any day.

I agree with those who've said the price of Blu-ray players will be down by the end of the year. They've already come down from their original $1000 price point, and they'll really have to drop further if they have a hope of gaining mass market acceptance. I'll be amazed if there aren't some substantially discounted BD players in this year's Black Friday sales.
Just to clarify one point, channels like TNT don't stretch everything. They show a fair amount of bona fide unstretched/unconverted HD content (L&O, CSI:M) that looks fantastic.

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