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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mick Tees, May 27, 2006.
For those with R2 or multi-region machines you may be interested to know that 6M$M and Bionic Woman season 2 are both scheduled for an R2 release on 23rd Oct.
The Kill Oscar story (Parts 1 & 3 were BW, Part 2 was 6M$M) has all three parts on the BW set.
Both sets are 6 disc boxes so looks like they'll be single sided. No box art available yet.
I found both on www.play.com but other retailers should have them as well.
I've avbout had it with Universal and they're attitude toward releasing this issue. Music rights aren't holding the series up. Cast and CDrew aren't holding the series up. Just what are they waiting for?
I hate to say it but I've resorted to downloading some episodes online and I'm about ready to buy the entire (unauthorized copies) series from eBay ...
I'd rather much have the original DVD releases but if Universal isn't going to get their act together, then why should we, THE FANS, have to wait for them to get off their collective asses (forgive me guys for the language) and release this series to DVD.
Coincidental timing about the subject but I posted this earlier on a Bionic Fan Forum as a reply to a member that was asking about the S3's for the overseas Universal releases. I threw in the towel on the wait for R1 releases for the Bionic series a couple of years ago and bought a Region-Free player.
[copy of my post on another site]
Nothing yet about the R2/4 S3 sets for either series. It's a little
early for Amazon UK or the other R2/4 sites to get a posting up for
the sets, assuming that they will continue releasing the 2 Bionic
shows overseas, but I'd expect we'll see a page up sometime in Sept
or early Oct if they're coming this fall. I bought the "slimpak" R4
release of BW S1 for someone to sign in Oct . FYI for anyone out
there that hasn't bought either R2 or R4 BW sets, they're identical
with the exception of a menu selection for Dutch or English language
with the BW R4 sets. For the "stateside" gang, check out the
Australian sites for cheaper exchange rates. I use
http://www.ezydvd.com.au/ and the int'l shipping (after your 1st
order with the store) is fast. I usually receive a DVD order in 7-9
days after the order. The Au DVD sets will show a multi-region stamp
on the cover R2,4,5 but they play perfect in a Region-Free
player. The xfrs to DVD for the BW sets are awesome. It's like
seeing these shows for the first time as they were intended to be
viewed. Details like background foliage, the performers' strands of
hair, sharp colors, etc, are top-quality for a 70's-era show. The
6M$M sets are not near as good. Who knows why, could be Uni Playback
didn't use the original elements for that series, or a cost-
prohibitive decision regarding remastering, etc. It's a shame that
they're not as good as the BW shows. I lucked out since BW is my
favorite of the 2 series and my best 2 seasons of the show have been
released. Still, I want that S3 set as well There are some, IMO,
outstanding shows in S3 as well. "African Connection", "Over The
Hill Spy", "All For One", "On The Run" are among my favorites in S3.
Yeah...I know..."Fembots in Las Vegas" is in S3 I liked that 2-
parter as well, but it wasn't among my top ones in S3.
Shoot...i thought something might have happened!
Nope....sorry about that But, if there's any news upcoming we may hear something this Oct. I'll be seeing Lindsay, Richard Anderson, Martin Brooks, Jennifer Darling ("Callahan" in the series), and another as yet un-announced (big!) guest in Oct and we'll definitely be asking if they've heard anything from Uni about future R1 releases. Richard A. has a "bionic" ear tuned in to the issue so we'll hope for the best. Maybe, just maybe, Uni and Dimension/Miramax are close to a settlement and when/if that happens, that'll remove the logjam that's prevented the domestic release of these shows.
At this point it's pointless to hold the rights for a movie that will probably never been made. Sure, Sci-Fi has a show and that would be a good reason to throw the episodes out there, but right now it's either getting a different region ala Hardcastle and McCormick/Riptide or just not bothering and sticking with my horrible VHS releases.
I'm thinking about buying one myself but I recently heard that some of the studios are staryting to encrypt their DVD's, HD-DVD's and Blu-Ray with a new technology that will not allow you to play their DVD's on a DVD player that is not native to your region or to Region Free DVD players.
I dislike having to go this way and I wish Universal and Dimension would get off their collective asses because fans of these cult shows are going to start turning to alternative ways to obtain these shows. I'd rather have an official store-bought copy of the DVD releases than to rely on second hand copies but I think that Bill Hunt said it best when he made the inference that entertainment fans are getting so fed up with the industry that their tired of waiting and are going to start looking at alternative sources.
I'm not a big fan of downloading, but this show is the one show that many fans are tired of waiting for, or am I wrong, everyone? What I don't understand is that I thought Universal controlled the rights to the series since they were the ones that produced the series. And, I remember hearing that Lee Majors held the rights to the series as well.
I'd just like to know why these studios are holding back this series from being released. They can't argue "Music Rights" because there is no music rights issues involved with the release of this series.
Hardcastle and McCormick seasons 1 & 2 are both available in our Region 1 thru Amazon.ca (they were released in Canada but will play fine on any region 1 player as Canada is also region 1) so no need for a region free player to see that series.
Riptide season 1 is also available in region 1 thru either Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
If you get a Region-Free player for Std DVD's you won't have any problem viewing Std DVD's from another region. You are right about the HD encoding issue, though. I believe that Blu-Ray has a 3-Region encoding format but I'm not that familiar with the HD formats.
For the reasons you mentioned, I went ahead and bought an R-Free player a couple of years ago when the official/studio S1 bionic-series releases were available in R2/4. It was worth the wait, for the Bionic Woman series, that is. The xfrs are excellent for that series. I have the S1 & 2 sets. Unfortunately, the 6M$M sets (S1/2) didn't fare as well when compared to the BW sets. It's anyone's guess as to the reason. Cost issues for restoration, orig elements damaged?....I'm just guessing. The S2 6M$M set is definitely watchable (I don't have the S1 set) and they're the best quality available anywhere to date since they are Universal releases (their overseas Co).
As for the holdup in R1, it is due to the legal stalemate between Universal, who owns the footage of the shows, and Dimension, who owns the R1 distribution rights and the Cyborg-novel character rights (ie, "Oscar", etc). The issue evolved as a result of Universal inadvertantly letting their (R1) dist. rights lapse and Dimension grabbed up the rights for any domestic release as well as the character rights to the Cyborg novel. Dimension's original intent was to go ahead with that film remake of the 6M$M (starring Jim Carey). That project has since been cancelled or delayed indefinitely. Until that legal issue is resolved, the waiting will continue in the states. There are some that are hoping that the new BW series airing this fall will affect the original series R1 releases but that would be true only if the legal logjam is settled. That's why I bought my R-Free player back in '05. I had other reasons for the purchase as there are a few other TV/DVD sets that aren't yet available in R1 and may not ever be released stateside.
I'd get the R2/4 sets vs any "other" sets out there because you'd be viewing the best available xfrs out there. As yet, the S3 sets haven't been announced at the R2/4 stores but if Universal/Playback follows their previous timetable for these 2 series, we should be seeing S3 pages up at those stores sometime late Sept or Oct of this year as it's been almost a year since the S2 releases and it was about a year between the S1's & S2 sets.
Thanks for keeping us updated
I thought the legal problems just concerned $6M Man. Wasn't aware of Universal not holding character/distribution rights on BW. Guess that could explain why they announced the title as "coming" a couple years ago, but never released it.
You're welcome, Oscar. Cheerio!
Andy, that's right. I still remember that "coming soon" preview on that NBC/Uni Promo DVD that featured NBC's fall lineup of network shows in '04. At that time, it was a case of the "right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing" at Uni. When they realized that they had allowed the rights contract for the Cyborg/characters and distribution rights to lapse (and Miramax at the time snatched up the contract) , they had their Home Video Dept pull that add and shelved the BW S1 set. The S1 set had actually been mfg'ed at the time. Uni offerered an undisclosed sum to buy back the rights contract a few years ago but the offer was rejected. Hence, the stalemate began.
Jeff, actually that special encoding is also done for some standard DVD's as well. AMazon has infomration about it listed on their site ...
Apparently the movie studios wanted to stop North Amercan fans from getting their hands on say for example "SMDM" and being able to play it in the UNited States on their Region Free DVD player.
They've been trying to control what DVD's can be played on Regional or Region Free DVD's.
Same reason the new revival/reimagned/updated "Bionic Woman" series has only reworked elements of the NON - "Cyborg" Novel part of the "Bionic Woman" series....
...gotta love the whole "seperation of rights" issues
Mark, If you're referring to the RCE encoding that some Columbia TriStar and MGM films used on some of their movie DVD releases, the hardware-modified R-Free players will playback those ok. Most hacked players will also play RCE-encoded Std DVD's but there have been some reports of hacked players having problems with RCE.
I don't know of any (yet) Std TV/DVD sets that have been encoded with any additional region coding, (thank goodnes), but maybe there's some out there somewhere. Interestingly, when MGM started producing a few RCE-encoded (movie) DVD's overseas, they were told by a high-rancking MGM exec to stop adding RCE to their film releases. Some studios are still using RCE. I tested my hard-coded player on a Columbia TriStar release that was confirmed to be RCE-encoded from a couple of years ago and it played back ok on my Pioneer DV-578A unit.
That's almost certainly RCE (Region Coding Enhanced). This was basically a tweak to region-coding to make it more robust. It mainly affected DVD players that had been made "region free" (and not many of those). It did not affect players where the user could switch regions as they pleased.
RCE was toyed with for a while, mostly by Warner and Columbia, the good news is that it was so ineffective they stopped bothering with it years ago.
The DVD standard does not provide for any more region-blocking stuff (if it did, they'd have tried it by now). To do so they would have to change the DVD standard, potentially disabling old players with new discs and vice-versa.
Blu-Ray does indeed have region coding (A, B and C) although at this time most players and discs do not utilise it, whilst HD-DVD does not include region coding at all.
They are really far more worried about disc piracy and unauthorised copying.
Thanks, you did a far more eloquent job of explaining it than I did
True....they are far more concerned about piracy than any "region-coding" issues.
All I know is, I do the "Bionic " whenever I pop in my R2/4 BW sets. There's no substitute for a studio/legal release. It's a real shame, though, that for some reason, the R2/4 6M$M set xfrs were below expectations. That's the reason I passed on the S1 set but that S2 set was a sure-buy with the Bionic Woman 2-parter included in that season of Lee's series. Plus, it was presented in a full-length episode instead of the usual 2-parter format.
I'll be hoping for the R1 gang, that we'll at least have some update news about the legal stuff in Oct. I'll be asking Richard Anderson directly about any news of this and pass it on if there's anything to "report" The cast of the Bionic Woman will be in LA this Oct so if anyone's been contacted about a possible R1 plan, we'll have on our Bionic ears
You do know that the "BW" episodes were originally aired in two parts, right? Only the home video versions have combined them into "movie" format. Just in case anyone misunderstood your post.
See ya in L.A. in seven weeks! Woo-hoo!!!
Yep, I knew (if I hadn't I'd be expelled from the OSI ) Thanks for the clarification for others here, though. Actually, for some reason, I prefer the combined format for the BW pilot that's in the R2/4 6M$M S2 set.
What's your guess on any news in Oct about an R1 release?
"T minus 50 & counting" See you in Oct!