Will the viewing of older TV shows be better on HD DVD?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Stan Rozenfeld, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    Rumors abound that Twilight Zone and Star Trek The Original Series are being prepared to be released on hd dvd (and blu-ray). To me, this brings up an interesting question.

    I am a big supporter of hd dvd, and consider watching a big screen film on hd dvd to be essential in appreciating director's artistic vision. It is also obvious to me that recent shows created during the high definition era (such as Lost and Band of Brothers) will also profit significantly on hd dvd.

    However, I can't help but think that even if an older TV show was shot and edited on film (and putting aside questions regarding those TV shows that were edited on video or had special effects done on video), the directors and producers of older shows created them to seen on regular TV sets with regular video quality. Doesn't that mean that on hd dvd will be seeing details that we were never meant to see (by director or producer)?

    Personally, I will definitely check Star Trek or Twilight Zone out to see how I react to it, but I wanted to get some input on this issue, and if my reasoning is wrong, I would love to be corrected.

    So what do you guys (and girls) think?

    Stan
     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    If they were filmed sourced, they would certainly have "The Potential", to look better than SD DVD.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Certainly Ed is correct, but also it may be that there may be some details (such as poor quality sets) that will be revealed in HD.

    I’d also observe that TV shows shot using the three camera technique may well offend our sensibilities when shown in HD, simply because the very flat lighting necessary for this style will possibly be even more uninteresting visually than they were, when originally shown.
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The Definitive Twilight Zone discs look so good that I'm betting that HD will bring even more out of them. That should be the case for any film-based program that has been properly maintained. Old does not equal poor quality visuals, as Warner has been proving with its classic film releases for some years now.

    The real problem area is the 70s and 80s, when most everything was shot on videotape. All in the Family will never look good, no matter what you do to it.
     
  5. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    There's a story (perhaps apocryphal) that when they went HD the producers of the Tonight Show realised their red curtain was filthy and had to be replaced. I fear similar flaws (especially in low budget shows) will be revealed once HD becomes more prevalent. Make-up in particular could be something which is exposed for following a less than stella standard. As the OP correctly pointed out movies are slightly different since they were mainly made to be seen in theatres on large screens, which should mean their production standards were high enough to encompass HD viewing.

    On the other hand Star Trek (the original) never really had believable sets even in SD so the move to HD probably wouldn't alter too much!
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Make-up, zippers, and wires will be a little more noticable, I can live with those. I'm more concerned we'll see tops of the frame chopped to make it 16x9. Like Kung Fu on DVD.
     
  7. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    There also is a story that when the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 crated hi-def masters of the footage they needed from Trouble with Tribbles, it created problems. Among the problems were paint brush strokes on the sets and stains on Spock's shirt. They were taken care of but it was very expensive. If these problems exist then it creates another hurdle in the expensive restoration that may be needed for HD. A tv show that made it on SD may not make it onto HD because of the added expense.
     
  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It is not the fault of the people currently running the studios and managing the archives if the sets and costumes look cheap.


    The fact that AitF was even in color was a concession to the network. On the other hand, the whole series (207 half-hours) will fit on a 50GB Blu-Ray disc.

    For shows shot on NTSC videotape (half of the major 70s sitcoms and all of the major 80s sitcoms except Cheers, Newhart seasons 2-8, and Designing Women) I strongly advocate going this route and trying to release shows on as few discs as possible, one disc if you can (taped shows that run 3 or 4 years or even 5 years could fit easily on 1 disc).

    I really do not want them to try and create fake HD by upconverting the 480i30 tapes.

    What about filmed shows? How many episodes of a 25-minute series shot and finished in 35mm, encoded at 1080p24 could fit on a HDDVD or Blu-Ray disc?
     

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