Why Can't We Get Standard Def TV series on Blu-ray?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cinescott, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. jcroy

    jcroy Screenwriter

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    (I'll assume tvshowsondvd is a relatively reliable source, though not completely infallible).
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    While that plays a part in it, it's not just that. If they started releasing older SD shows on Blu-ray, where do they draw the line in terms of what era to not release? It's not just the dummies- if Fox put out Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season One or 24: Season One in SD on Blu-ray, I think even the average HTFer would be expecting real HD and they'd be unhappily surprised when they essentially got a DVD set with a few less discs.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of saving space (though I wouldn't rebuy things just to save a few inches) but I think if it was put into practice, it would get out of hand, be confusing to consumers and result in dissatisfaction too much to make it worth doing.
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I, for one would champion this practice. Shout Factory is releasing The Big Valley season 2 with 30 episodes crammed into 5 discs. I'm almost certain the quality would be better by putting them out in SD on 2 Blu-ray discs - 100 GB total vs. 45 GB.

    Here's another question. The Blu-ray standard also supports 720p. Why have there never been any Blu-rays made to this specification?
     
  4. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    I would imagine that there is 720p content out there, particularly for early-hi-def TV shows, but that it's encoded at 1080p, even though there is no advantage in doing so.
     
  5. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    Personally, I would love TV shows on Blu-ray. My Land of the Giants DVD set is 14 discs across two box sets, where it could easily be released as a single case 3 BD package. Similarly, my Tom Baker Doctor Who DVDs span 15 individual cases, once again to be easily placed on 3 BDs in a single case. In fact I held off for the longest time on buying the Dr. Who DVDs precisely because I had (faint) hope that they'd be released on BD (in SD of course, as they're sourced from video tape) at some point.

    But I have to agree with the requirements of the Blu-ray Disc Association, it cheapens the Blu-ray brand and would cause confusion. Here in Australia, we had an early release of Pulp Fiction, prior to the more recent proper high quality international release, which was simply the DVD upscaled to 1080i and slapped onto a Blu-ray disc. It was so bad, I literally threw it into the bin after the first viewing. It leaves a bad taste in the consumer's mouth if they get SD content on an HD format, because like it or not, a lot of people will not do the research, will not read the back of the case or the seller's listing in detail, and will expect remastered shows in HD when buying on Blu.

    I'm not even sure how much demand there would be for SD content on BD. I know it's hard for some of us to understand, but I suspect a very large number of consumers are still against the concept of Blu-ray entirely. They already have a DVD collection and don't want to rebuy their movies in HD, so they resist any move to Blu for any reason, even for SD content. I know people who won't buy a Blu-ray player even though they're dirt cheap now. It makes no sense, but it's happening. The vast majority of disc sales are on DVD, so companies will just release SD content on DVD with very little risk of customer backlash.
     
  6. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    TV sets on DVD take up a huge portion of my shelf space. So when they started packing up to 7 IIRC DVDs in a single-width Amaray case, that really quelled my desire for SD TV shows on BD, since "space" is already being conserved (what it's all about eh, one way or the other?). No way I'd re-buy all (any) of the "fat" DVD sets on BD though, if it ever happened.

    I agree with most of the reasons given for why it hasn't happened...I always assumed it would too. Brand differentiation and the desire to maintain some as inferior or superior is a big deal these days, probably one of the largest marketing considerations. Small differences in "branding" can result in huge differences in profit.
     
  7. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    If they really want to test the waters by releasing an SD series on BD why not do it for something that will actually sell, like THE WONDER YEARS, MIAMI VICE or MacGYVER? The former has yet to arrive even on DVD and it's been on many people's wishlists since the beginning of the format. Something like this would sell like hotcakes, even if it's not really high-def. I wouldn't mind buying something that has a Blu-ray logo on it that isn't really HD if it was something that hasn't had a home video release and is highly desired.
     
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  8. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Dark Shadows the Soap Opera would be a no brainer for this sort of release.
     
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  9. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    And the quality would be better for SD content due to compression improvements over MPEG-2.I am 100% in favor of SD on Blu and have wanted it since day one, if the material's original format is 480, great put it on and let us have many episodes on one disc. This isn't a storage thing for me but I like not having to get up. Even in HD the Dick Van Dyke set had 10-11 episodes per blu, and it was great to put one disc in and be done.
     
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  10. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    But DVDs load instantly (for me). I would never watch a whole BD(-50) crammed with SD TV in one sitting, and with the often obnoxiously and incompetently (design-wise) slow loading of so many (I'd say most) TV show BDs...drives me crazy. It's getting better in some cases, but not nearly enough of them. Bookmarking is not good enough, for the minority portion who even bother with it, still takes ages sometimes to get past the poor design of the initial startup (use mostly OPPOs here) and then the ragged bookmark access. Life is hard... :)
     
  11. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Add to all this the announced releases of The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy in HD. So how would the consumer handle seeing both SD and HD releases using the same format in the same cases? Personally, the 6 disk standard cases available has, for the most party, solved my space issues to the point I'd have no reason to need, or want to double dip for SD on BR.
     
  12. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    But why shouldn't it be there for those who DO want it?If someone can't read a disc package for 2 seconds to see what something is, then they deserve what they get.
     
  13. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    I would rather wait (forever?) for early filmed TV material to be given new hd transfers than see the Blu ray format used for SD purposes.
    The 'Adventures of Superman' TV series .. and 'Bewitched' and many others exist in such good quality (judging by their SD releases) that Blu rays would definitely make me double-up. That goes for Buffy as well....
     
  14. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Of course, I'm talking about something like All in the Family which only ever existed on SD videotape. Of course filmed material (I Love Lucy, etc) should be done as HD
     
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  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    This is the downside I'm afraid of: that studios will just upconvert to save time and money, arguing "no one will know the difference." Then explain the "goofs" section of IMDb. People notice these things.
     
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  16. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    are you worried they are going to upconvert SD stuff or that they will upconvert stuff that could be rescanned for HD?
     
  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I'm worried about both. I don't see a point of upconverting 480i tape material because it will just take up space and it won't add any extra resolution.

    The only reason to upconvert 480i/p film transfers is if the original film no longer exists. Don't say it can't happen. Sullivan Entertaiment had to rebuild parts of Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel in HD from alternate takes. Alot of this stuff was only edited on tape to begin with.
     
  18. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I just don't think there is enough of a market for it.

    First, I don't think TV shows of the 50's through 80's is a huge market. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many independents involved in releasing content, as well as so many stalled shows over the years. Then you have to cut that down further to those with very large collections to where storage space is a big concern. There are those that like seeing impressive collections. Then cutting it down again for those that haven't already taken measures with replacement cases that hold more disks, binders, or other space saving measures and don't want to double dip for no improvement in quality. Then cutting it down again for those not interested in upgrading to Blu-ray (more than just a cost issue, there is also portability and region encoding). Lastly, there would still be a conflict between those that just want the same in a smaller package vs. those that want them to still attempt to improve the product through up-conversion and much less compression (back to increasing the disk count).

    While I can understand that there are those who would appreciate it, I just think that when you whittle it down to those that would actually pay for it the numbers just don't justify going that approach.
     
  19. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    There's lots to be gained with a high volume disc with better compression that would not take up more space. Let the marketplace determine the demand.
     
  20. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    True about the resolution, but some would argue there is still a benefit to reducing the amount of compression involved and that the extra storage space and better compression approaches involved with Blu-ray could still deliver a better product. Especially, those with very large screens or projection systems. So I'm not sure all would agree on the best use of distributing SD content on a Blu-ray disk.
     

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