This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think we have a situation. The kind you need to shoot at."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 02 September 2014




Tweet







June 07 2008

Serenity on HD DVD for only 6 bucks. Online store iNetVideo is having a clearance for those who backed the wrong HD horse. Other titles include Apollo 13 and King Kong.

Now when's it coming out on Beta?
Sweet. Now all I need to do is find a cheap HD DVD player.
...Or wait for it to come out on Blu Ray.
Does anyone know if they had the foresight and resources to have done the original Buffy masters in HD? I'm guessing not... and if they didn't do it then, it's never gonna happen. They can pull the HD off of the original film no trouble, but the FX, color correction, etc... I don't see how it could ever be economical to reconform the whole show. Shame... I would love to see that in HD...
6 bucks is pretty expensive for a drink coaster.

I think I'll wait for the Blu-ray.
Universal paid to have Firefly turned into HD from film. So they could show it on Universal HD. But then Firefly was filmed in widescreen. Buffy not, right?

You can sign up for an alert for Serenity Blu-Ray on Amazon.
Well, lets not confuse widescreen with HD. Buffy was blocked and framed for 4:3 aspect ratio, but as you can see from the Region 2 DVDs it was filmed and a 16:9 aspect ratio can be yanked from the masters. Since it was film, you could do an HD transfer, its just whether you would want to see all of the film grain and such from the first few seasons...
I remember the first season in particular being real grainy (but I liked that look for the show at the time), from watching an episode or two on my friend's Complete Series set a while back. I'm not sure, but Season 2 might've had the same look. I forget, when did the series start to look more glossy ? Season 3, 4, 5 ? It was never, like, big screen blockbuster or Nip/Tuck-level glossy, but I do remember the picture improving.

And just for the heck of it 'cause I'm curious, how many episodes of Buffy were shown in widescreen ? Even after Angel switched to being aired in widescreen (I think it was always filmed for widescreen, but they didn't start airing it that way until Season 3, if memory serves), I remmeber Joss maintaining that Buffy worked better in a box, that it framed the close-up head-shots better (I almost wrote "face-shots").

"Once More, With Feeling" was in widescreen..."Chosen" too, yeah ? How many other finales were in widescreen on the air ? "The Gift" ? Any other special eps that got that treament ?

Seeing Firefly in widescreen on the DVDs after watching it on TV during the original airings was real special. Seeing it on a big widescreen TV with surround sound was even better...
Anonymous1, Universal didn't pay to convert Firefly to anything. It was already in HD.
TamaraC,

So it doesn't cost anything to transfer film to HD?

They are not just showing the film every time they show Firefly on Universal HD, right?

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2008-06-08 06:26 ]
Anonymous1- you can apparently shoot *in* HD. At least that's what they say on my Stargate commentaries.
I know nothing about this, but I keep hearing everyone talking about HD TV's and broadcasting in HD. So I am guessing that HD TV is totally different than HD DVD's and players. Is that correct, or is this the second strike that zeitgeist warned me about? (whimper)
As far as I can remember, OMWF was the only widescreen Buffy episode. I just pulled out the little insert from Joss is Season 4.

"...were not shot in a widescreen format. They were shot in the TV 4x3 ratio. ...The BUFFY's that I (and others) shot were framed for traditional TVs."

He also writes that he resisted the effort to letterbox Buffy and always will. So those Region 2s don't have his blessing. From what I understand they sometimes show stagehands and equipment. I also remember reading that in some scenes they did a false letterbox by zooming and cropping.

On the HD topic. It doesn't cost anything extra to transfer film to HD. It's just a transfer, like regular dvd. It's the special effects that may cost more, since being computer created, were likely done for SD, and not HD. If they want to upgrade, it will cost extra, but we'll see if they do it for Bluray where they didn't for Universal HD. The Stargate reference to "Shooting in HD" was likely because they were using a digital video camera and not film. Film can be transferred to any format, digital SD can only be SD and digital HD can be SD or HD. The Star Wars prequels were shot in digital, so are all of Robert Rodriguez's newer movies. A lot of film-makers are moving to digital.

And then back to the original topic. There are plenty of HDDVD buyers and enthusiasts out there still, so I expect there will be plenty of sales at $6. I hear all about it from my brother with his 200+ HDDVD collection, massive import purchases and trading. Some of those folks are going a little crazy over their preferred format, not unlike some members of a certain fandom go crazy over that Joe Sweden guy and his projects. :)
newcj yes, you are correct, this is the second strike. :)

Actually, you're mostly correct about the other thing. HDTV and HDDVD are different in that they are just the delivery method of the content, not the content itself. It's like watching Buffy when it aired and now on DVD. Both would be the same Buffy episode, but one is a TV signal and the other is a disc.

I think maybe I should put the computer away and get back to work...
I think maybe I should put the computer away and get back to work...

There are people who work without computers?
It's called wading through the mess that is my apartment and trying to make it resemble a place to live, not a place to store stuff.

And yes, me typing means I haven't done that.
Hah! Way to go, danregal! When I "clean" my room after about 500 straight hours of nagging from my mom (yes, I still live at home *cringe*), I basically just shove things in drawers/nooks/crannies/etc. It's quicker, and my room still looks livable. You should try it!

As for HD DVDs, I was one of those who decided, for many reasons including money, not to choose a format until the battle came down clearly on one side.
I doubt I'd buy something I already have on the new format, unless it would be a huge, really awesome, improvement. Hell, I still have hundreds of movies on VHS, and I plan on keeping those and showing them to my future children.

Screw the format: it's the story that matters!
Oh, but the full 1080p HD with lossless audio! It makes the story matter more!!

Not that I would know, still no HD TV or super cool sound system for me...yet. I did get a PS3 this week. The impending release of Firefly on Bluray being the decision scale-tipper.

I've bought a few BR movies already, and some I already own on regular dvd. But mainly the ones considered to be the best of the best in quality. Like Pan's Labyrinth, Blade Runner, and the Pirates movies.

Curses on you world of technology for knowing my weak spot of gadgets and movie watching. Sigh, I'm tech's bitch.
... how many episodes of Buffy were shown in widescreen ?

From season 4 onwards over here (on the BBC). But as mentioned, Joss maintains it was framed for 4:3 and you do indeed see crew a few times (and one time IIRC you can see Aly Hannigan waiting to come into scene ;).

On the HD topic. It doesn't cost anything extra to transfer film to HD.

Nonetheless, it's an extra process - it might cost the same as transferring to DVD but since it has to be done again it's going to require more money, surely ? So they spent something on it.

(to anyone that watched 'Firefly' on HD BTW, did you actually see a quality drop during VFX shots ?)

As and when I get a Blu-Ray player i'll probably buy several of the DVDs I own in that format, both for the (extra) extras and to see the quality gains. It's the story that matters but, just as very poor typefaces, paper and print quality distract when reading a book, poor quality video distracts when watching a film or TV show IMO (I can barely stand to watch VHS now, it just looks so grainy and washed out - especially after the switch to digital TV so that most of what I see these days is much better than VHS quality).

edited cos danregal actually answered the original question

[ edited by Saje on 2008-06-08 10:04 ]
We have the HD cable converter box in our house. Hubby got it when he got the 42" plasma a year ago. When I see the Firefly eps on Universal HD, they are beautiful, clean and crisp. I would like to DVR them but I never know when they will air.

Also, I am unwise in the ways of this ratio you speak of. What does "4:3 aspect ratio" mean actually?
It's just the ratio of the width of the image to its height (so 4:3, sometimes called "full-screen", is 4 units wide by 3 high - i.e. nearly square - whereas 16:9 is 16 units wide and only 9 high, hence "wide-screen" ;).

4:3 is like the old, squarer shape of TV screen, 16:9 is like your new 42" plasma.
"newcj yes, you are correct, this is the second strike. :)"

Damn!

"Actually, you're mostly correct about the other thing. HDTV and HDDVD are different in that they are just the delivery method of the content, not the content itself. It's like watching Buffy when it aired and now on DVD. Both would be the same Buffy episode, but one is a TV signal and the other is a disc."

So it does not sound like I got it totally wrong, so it should only be 1/2 of a strike. ;-)

Here I go trying for the other half strike. So HD is alive and well as a way of filming and broadcasting/cabling or whatever you want to call it but it is dead as far as putting it on DVD, that is going to be bluray? So how does that fit with people who have HD TV and DVR and record their own discs from it? What are the implications?

Hmmmm, these are questions. I don't think I can get a strike for asking questions...
Not at all, newcj :) Question == good! HD is a set of high definition resolutions, 720 and 1080 progressive or 1080 interlaced images. 720 is 1280 wide by 720 high and 1080 is 1920 wide by 1080 high. Interlaced refers to half (every other line) of the scan lines being refreshed each time and progressive means the full image is refreshed every cycle.

More than you wanted to know about aspect ratios is in this link. Regular DVDs don't have the capacity to hold reasonable amounts of uncompressed high definition video and audio. Blu-Ray has enough capacity to hold feature lengths of uncompressed audio AND video (HD-DVD did not [ever or rarely] have completely uncompressed audio due to its lesser capacity (and no, triple layer discs don't count unless they work correctly), I feel I must mention for the audio snobs among us).

Being a Blu-Ray Profile 2.0 player (and easily upgradable) is one of the things that make the PS3 fairly attractive as a multi-function machine. Being a UPnP/DLNA media server client is another big one for me. Basically it can accept streamed content from other PCs or media server devices on your network (TVersity, Twonky, or Firefly Media Server for examples).

As far as DVR recordings go... it depends a little on who your provider is. Comcast squished the hell out of HD by limiting its bitrate, which makes it a really bastardized kind of HD. Comcast users, check out these bitrate and screenshot comparisons. If you have DirecTV you are in better shape, and if you have FIOS you have a completely uncompressed HD signal at full bitrate. Without full bitrate (typically around 18MB/sec) you can get aliasing and motion blur and it looks horrific. See, again, those Comcast comparisons from AVSForum.
Saje I'm sure Universal spent nothing and just got it in HD from Fox in the first place. It was probably part of the licensing deal.

As far as I know (meaning not very much) nothing special is being done to the CGI for the BD release. I could be wrong about that though.
Thanks Saje. It all makes sense to me now.

[ edited by madmolly on 2008-06-08 21:40 ]
No probs madmolly ;).

Saje I'm sure Universal spent nothing and just got it in HD from Fox in the first place. It was probably part of the licensing deal.

Yeah maybe TamaraC. It might very well have been Fox that spent the money rather than Universal but either way, since it wasn't shot in HD (but in wide-screen, on film) the fact remains that someone spent extra money on an HD transfer.

(only possible thanks to Joss too - apparently after "fighting" with Fox over filming in wide-screen he deliberately stationed actors at the sides of the shot so they couldn't easily crop it to 4:3 ;)
October for the BluRay, says the rumor mill.
Here I go trying for the other half strike. So HD is alive and well as a way of filming and broadcasting/cabling or whatever you want to call it but it is dead as far as putting it on DVD, that is going to be bluray? So how does that fit with people who have HD TV and DVR and record their own discs from it? What are the implications?

newcj, here's how it is. HD stands for High Definition, but all it is is a quality level. HD-DVD is a brand name that is High Definition, which Blu-Ray also is. They use HD in the name of their technology, but it is not one and the same. It's like if you eat McDonald's french fries. McDonald's doesn't have a monopoly on french fries. Anyone can make french fries. They don't own the words "french fries." They just use the words, because that's what it is. Maybe Burger King french fries taste slightly different, but they're still just deep fried potatoes. Presumably. Okay, maybe french fries were a bad example. Did I make it worse?
willbueche, I recently learned that date may be subject to change.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home