Posted March 03 2006 - 06:01 AM
| I borrowed my friend's copy of "B5" and I was very surprised at the poor picture quality. I've only seen the first 2 discs of season 1, but it seems grainy and unclean at times. Given the price of the sets, I'm pretty disappointed at the shoddy treatment the studio gave the DVDs. Do the later seasons look any better? |
Unfortunatly, there is a reason for it that is beyond the studio's control. As you may know, the original run was done at 4:3 AR, but was filmed composed (at least after the first season. First season is debatable) for a 16:9 aspect ratio. But, at the time, the effects were rendered at TV resolution to get them out on time. The original plan was to eventually rerender things for future formats (DVD and HD) when the time came.
Problem is, when Netter Digital turned over all of their files for the models to WB, they got lost at some point. So, there is no way to rerender the SFX without some signifigant work and cost.
So, to do the DVDs, scenes with effects work are basically cropped versions of the original 4:3 tapes. This is why the video quality is highly variable.
Course, when they came out, there were a lot of arguments about what WB should have done with it. There were a good number of people who would have liked to have a 4:3 version. Personally, I think any version of B5 was going to be a compromise and not ideal, so I like the current releases.
At least I know that unless they do a lot of work, I won't have to replace this with an HD version in the future. This is probably as good as it is going to get.