MacGyver terrible quality

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Glenn Curtis, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Glenn Curtis

    Glenn Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    Having bought all the individual season sets of MacGyver, I am appalled at the awful picture quality. I've only watched up to Season 5 so far but I cannot believe that Paramount have not done anything to rectify the situation. If forty year old series like Mission Impossible and Hawaii Five-O can look so good, why can't a reasonably recent series?

    I presume that the complete series box set due out soon will feature the same dreadful prints.
     
  2. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Is it the picture quality that bad? I find it hard to believe that this series (from the 1980s and early 1990s) can be worse in visual appearance than the 1960s / early 70s Mission: Impossible.

    I was planning to eventually start buying MacGyver, but I purposely held off until the price per set came down. Now that the earlier seasons are $20 apiece in Fry's Electronics stores, for some reason I've lost interest....for now.

    It's already available. Fry's had it for about $180, but the set is nothing more than
    all 7 season individual box sets with plastic wrapped around them.
     
  3. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    Watching what I have seen so far (I bought all seven seasons this past Winter) I see nothing wrong with the Picture Quality. Is there a Possibility you got some Defective Disks?
     
  4. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

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    The only parts which look bad to me (I have all 7 seasons) is when they use the 'stock footage' which admittingly this show uses quite a bit.
     
  5. AlexCosmo

    AlexCosmo Stunt Coordinator

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    late 80s-early90s shows like Macgyver were put together on video because it was cheaper. Stuff from the 60s and 70s were finished on film, so they can be remastered just like a movie. With Macgyver, there's nothing to remaster, they just have the same crummy videotape it was finished on 20 years ago. They would have to go to the expense of digging out the raw film the episode was physically shot on, (if it still exists and can be found) and rebuild the whole show from scratch, which is a major deal and would probably never happen. (especially for a show with 100+episodes).
     
  6. ChrisCook

    ChrisCook Screenwriter

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    I also have all 7 seasons, and from the episodes that I've watched, I haven't noticed the video quality suffer in any way (other than some of the "stock footage" RogerH mentioned).
     
  7. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Alex, that's interesting info. Thanks. I've wondered how, as an example, the "Time Tunnel" set or the "Untouchables" set has awesome picture quality when some of the 80's sets that I own aren't as good. As for the MacGyver sets, I have the S1 & 2 sets and I'd rate them (1-5) as a solid 3 or maybe a 3.5 . On the other hand, "Lois and Clark" S1 was not so good but the later seasons of that series were improved from S1. Not sure why.
     
  8. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

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    I hope they release the TV movies seperately as I'm not buying the series again.
     
  9. Glenn Curtis

    Glenn Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes in my opinion it is poor quality and that applies to all the seasons I have watched (up to 5) so I don't think it can be faulty discs.
     
  10. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    If you think the DVD's of MacGyver look bad, i am guessing you have never seen the show in syndication where it looks far worse. I was never expecting great quality for these sets, but considering what i have seen in the past, the image is not bad. This is the best i have ever seen them look. So i am quite pleased with the product.

    Where i am peeved is the tv-movies perhaps only being included in the upcoming complete set. I am not rebuying the same dvd's again either. This is where the real fans of a tv show get burned and it isn't right. But as usual and it is to be expected most of these studios could give a rat's arse.
     
  11. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Sitcoms were videotaped 20 years ago...but not anymore. Only news, talk, sports, reality shows, game shows, and typically crappy daytime serials do that these days.

    Well-produced dramatic / action series like MacGyver were always on film, although I seem to recall they would have an occasional episode or two with a newcast on TV presented in videotape form. From what others are saying, this show looks great on DVD because it always looked great. I don't doubt that, because I've never seen a poor-quality print of MacGyver. [​IMG]
     
  12. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    What people are saying is that MacGyver was shot on film and then the film was transferred to tape for editing , special effects , titles etc. The complete shows are assumed to be only available on this video. In order for the show to look better the studio would have to go back to the originally shot unedited film and recreate everything. This is like Star Trek where the 60's series can be redone in high definition but it would be much more expensive to put the Next Generation in high definition because that show was mastered on video while the 60's series was mastered on film. Again for the Next Generation they would have to go back to raw film footage and create the series from that.
    This is not to say MacGyver was shot on video tape like "All In The Family ". MacGyver was shot on film but edited and put together on video. There is a difference.
     
  13. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    That makes sense, Gary, although when MacGyver was produced they didn't have high definition video (at least not the kind that came into being in the mid 1990s). Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez had become one of the leading users of HD video when he made the last (?) sequel to his own Desperado. Editing on HD video digitally, and then transferring that to film stock it looks great. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    ? He didn't say they did. They shot on film, edited on video. So we're stuck with the quality of film-to-video transfer made at the time, plus generational loss during editing and mastering. Unless, as Greg said, they dig out all the raw film footage and edit it all over again.
     
  15. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

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    I thought the quality of the MacGyver sets were pretty bad, but of course it looks better than watching it on TV in syndicated form. I did find that one episode looked like it was shot on video then filtered to look like film, I think this was from the first season, and was set in Mexico or Latin America somewhere, I remember one thing in the episode was a large ant colony or something like that. Anyone else see this episode and think it was shot on video?
     
  16. Glenn Curtis

    Glenn Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    The reason could be that huge chunks of the episode were pinched from the film "The Naked Jungle"; ie all the ant stuff. The MacGyver episode is "Trumbo's World".
     
  17. Richard Michael Clark

    Richard Michael Clark Second Unit

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    AlexCosmo is spot on with his/her post.
    The dvd masters of many late 80s & early-mid 90s shows are never going to look any better because they are limited by the quality of the original final broadcast master tapes (which for a show like MacGyver most probably originate on analogue 1" tape) even though the raw footage was shot on film. In the mid-late 90s shows shifted to digi-beta masters and these days of course they mostly go for hi-def masters as it's "future proof" as far as is possible at this point in time.
     
  18. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    What type of filming process did a show such as WISEGUY use in the late 1980s? As with other Stephen J. Cannell productions, they look better than a lot of today's TV shows. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jake S.

    Jake S. Auditioning

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    The picture quality of the R1 MacGyver sets is indeed a disgrace.
    When the show used to air in my country, it looked a lot better than the episodes on the DVDs. Many of the episodes I recorded onto VHS 10-12 years ago still look better than the DVDs.

    I guess bad compression is why the DVDs look so bad. There is a lot of video noise and pixelation that shouldn't have been there...
     
  20. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    hmm are you using the same old tv to watch your dvds on as you did your vhs copies? because what your saying doesn't make any sense. Of course the vhs copies are going to look better when your not seeing alot of the detail thats on the dvd. but if your system is configured the right way and your using the right connection to your tv there is no way that is the case with these dvd transfers. I dunno what some of you are expecting with the show.
     

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