Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

A few words about...™ Battlestar Galactica -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
95 replies to this topic

#1 of 96 Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist

  • PipPipPip
  • 7,209 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted July 19 2009 - 08:03 AM

In an effort to aid in the understanding of what makes a "quality Blu-ray," the point cannot be made too often that Blu-ray is merely a system that plays back discs on which data has been pressed or burned.  It's a holding device, in many ways no different than a bottle used to hold liquid.

One can fill that bottle with pure mountain water, with impure water from a poor city system, or for that matter with a nice Chateau Petrus.  It's still a bottle filled with liquid.

The nice thing about Blu-ray, as opposed to standard definition DVD, or even Toshiba's HD system, is that it can hold enough data to allow for extremely high quality reproduction of motion pictures in a home theater environment.

While a "quality Blu-ray" can be shiny, bright and clean -- think a Pixar release -- it can also be dark, grimy, grainy and low in the areas of color saturation, contrast, blacks and whites.  The important thing is that it should look as closely as possible to the original film or video elements and their intended look when printed to positive stock or run as video or data.

A "quality Blu-ray" does not necessarily take on the visual parameters of a high def baseball game.

Whether mastered from 16, 35 or 65mm film, from data files or HD recordings, Blu-ray has the capability, but no guarantee of reproducing the original to a stunning degree.  While the debate may continue, those with an understanding of cinema need only take a look at the dregs of data pressed to Blu-ray, ie. The Longest Day, Patton or Gangs of New York.

I much prefer viewing series television on Blu-ray, generally waiting until seasons appear and then jumping in.

Battlestar Galactica is totally new to me.  While I'm aware of its various incarnations and permutations, 1978 TV movie and TV series, the 2003 mini-series, and most recently the series that ran from 2004 through March of 2009, I'd never seen a moment of it until earlier today when my son suggested I take a look after he heard that I had Season 4.5 in my possession.

First, something that will be no surprise to fans of the series, I like it.  This is superb entertainment.  Second, let's discuss the look, textures and audio of BG on Blu-ray from Universal, and why I've appended the same prologue that I've used for 12 Monkeys and Midnight Express.

According to Imdb Pro, Battlestar Galactica is shot both on 35mm film (kodak Vision 500T) as well as HD, with the final results taken to D5, and then down to what we're seeing on Blu-ray.

Those results, when projected on a screen of reasonable size work beautifully, allowing for an image of far greater resolution and detail than seen in HD broadcasts.  What one will also see, especially in dark scenes, is a healthy amount of noise, but that noise is part of the image, as intended by the filmmakers, and as made.  Well lit sequences, and they abound -- are gorgeous -- not gorgeous as in Lost, but gorgeous as in Battlestar Galactica gorgeous.  Am I making my point?  Audio, reproduced uncompressed as DTS-HD Master data is perfect.

My sample viewing comes from the Blu-ray Season 4 release, and I'm now realizing that I've got to go back to the beginning before I get further into this, and start correctly with 2004 and Season 1.

Am I slightly embarrassed not to have been exposed to this earlier?  Possibly.  What matters is that it's now available on Blu-ray, as it was meant to be seen.  Fans of the series are going to be thrilled.

Highly Recommended.

RAH





"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 96 Zack Gibbs

Zack Gibbs

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,687 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 15 2005

Posted July 19 2009 - 10:53 AM

Make sure you start with the 2003 mini-series actually, which essentially is the first 3 episodes of the show.

"Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him... because he can take it... because he's not a hero... he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a DARK KNIGHT."

#3 of 96 Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted July 19 2009 - 11:16 AM

 It took me until spring of 07 to get up the enthusiasm to give the show a shot. I rented out the first season in the spring, and quickly barreled through that and the next season. Six months later, when the first season was announced for HD DVD, I didn't hesitate to order it, and in a VERY rare move for me, I devoured the entire first season again. I  NEVER re-watch anything that soon, and in the 10 years of collecting DVDs, this was the first and only time so far that I've rewatched an entire TV season.
Fortunately, those HD DVD sets were notoriously QC compromised, and after sending the second set back for problems, Amazon refused to ship any more replacements and so I've been patiently waiting for this day. I still haven't seen the last half of the last season- and the first half of it did have some noticeable weak points and believability gaps, but man-oh-man were those first 3 seasons a hell of a ride.
I know from my experience with the HD DVD set, that despite the abundant, sometimes overwhelming, noise in many scenes, there is still oodles and oodles of eye candy on display in here. Drop dead gorgeous, highly dimensional imagery...and all in the service of intelligent, quality content. You can't ask for much more.

well...I suppose you could ask for sensible, form follows function packaging, but that sort of seems churlish at this point 

#4 of 96 ATimson

ATimson

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 16 2008

Posted July 19 2009 - 12:04 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris ">

According to Imdb Pro, Battlestar Galactica is shot both on 35mm film (kodak Vision 500T) as well as HD, with the final results taken to D5, and then down to what we're seeing on Blu-ray.
 
My understanding is that the miniseries was shot on 35mm, while they moved to HD for the series proper.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the complete series set when it comes out soon. I like the earlier seasons better than the later ones, but I'm still looking forward to giving the whole series a rewatch. I hope you find it as fulfilling as I did. <br /></span>
<br type=
"Niceness is the greatest human flaw, except for all the others."
--Brendan Moody

#5 of 96 DaveF

DaveF

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,515 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 19 2009 - 12:05 PM

Is all of BSG on Blu-Ray now? I watched the entire series on DVDs from a friend's DVR, that recorded analog cable. It was low quality.

Rewatching BSG on Blu Ray is one of a few things that will get me to buy a Blu Ray player.


#6 of 96 Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted July 19 2009 - 12:17 PM

 A Complete series Blu-ray set will be released on the 28th, along with Season 4.5 on Bd.

#7 of 96 Sam Favate

Sam Favate

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 4,557 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 03 2004
  • Real Name:Sam Favate

Posted July 20 2009 - 12:56 AM

I'd glad to see the complete series is being issued on BD, but, I may be in the minority here, I am going to wait for the Complete Series 2.0, which will inevitably be released eventually, containing The Plan and the 2009 webisodes. Battlestar is going to be to Universal what Star Trek has been to Paramount, in terms of home video releases.


#8 of 96 RogerH

RogerH

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 877 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 28 2004

Posted July 20 2009 - 05:11 AM

I'll be picking up 4.5 in Blu and waiting for them to re-release the seasons individually as my bank account can't afford to get this in all one go.


#9 of 96 LarryH

LarryH

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 05 2000

Posted July 20 2009 - 02:45 PM

Thankfully my statement closing date comes before the release of this.  I'll have to watch my expenses next month because of this big hit, but I just couldn't miss this.  I bought season 1 in HD-DVD and have been waiting for the full series on HD with great anticipation (just couldn't manage to watch on Sci Fi network).


#10 of 96 Aragorn the Elfstone

Aragorn the Elfstone

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2008

Posted July 21 2009 - 08:25 AM

As much as I'd love to indulge the fantasy of buying the complete box set - I can neither afford nor justify such a purchase. The extras are identical to the dvds - and an A/V upgrade is not enough (for me) to justify putting down $220. I will, however, happily buy the BD release of Season 4.5. I'm glad they're doing that for people who are happy with the rest of the show on dvd. Watching Daybreak in full HD is going to be incredible.


#11 of 96 ATimson

ATimson

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 16 2008

Posted July 21 2009 - 09:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aragorn the Elfstone 

As much as I'd love to indulge the fantasy of buying the complete box set - I can neither afford nor justify such a purchase. The extras are identical to the dvds - and an A/V upgrade is not enough (for me) to justify putting down $220. I will, however, happily buy the BD release of Season 4.5. I'm glad they're doing that for people who are happy with the rest of the show on dvd. Watching Daybreak in full HD is going to be incredible.
I agree, it doesn't justify it. But that's why you flog your old copies on Amazon/Half.com/eBay. ;)

"Niceness is the greatest human flaw, except for all the others."
--Brendan Moody

#12 of 96 Aragorn the Elfstone

Aragorn the Elfstone

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2008

Posted July 21 2009 - 11:15 AM

You're not helping.

;)

#13 of 96 Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted July 21 2009 - 12:23 PM

 I'm glad I resisted the urge to buy any DVD sets, now I don't need to unload any.

If the last half of the last season is anything like the first season I saw on HD DVD, I think Jack is going to be tempted to replace all the other sets after he finishes 4.5. No hyperbole here- I though many of the planetary and space vistas were as impressive as anything in seen in the Planet Earth set. Just spectacular HD imagery.

#14 of 96 Eric F

Eric F

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,810 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 05 1999

Posted July 21 2009 - 02:06 PM

DeepDiscount's 25% sale will still be going on when the set releases next Tues 7/28 /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif.


#15 of 96 ATimson

ATimson

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 16 2008

Posted July 21 2009 - 04:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric F ">

DeepDiscount's 25% sale will still be going on when the set releases next Tues 7/28
"Niceness is the greatest human flaw, except for all the others."
--Brendan Moody

#16 of 96 Eric F

Eric F

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,810 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 05 1999

Posted July 21 2009 - 04:52 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by ATimson 


True, but what are the odds that they're going to jack the price up on Tuesday? I'm pricing some stuff out, and even after discount Amazon's cheaper for some stuff (like Order of the Phoenix).
Oh I don't know. Going by past sales, I don't think they'll jack up the price just that day before or people will be mighty PO'ed and they have the potential to lose a lot of faithful customers over this single item alone. I think they are aware of what items are due for a lot of purchases, for example, they didn't raise the price of the Star Trek: TOS 1 set and they were already one of the lowest prices on the net.

We'll just have to wait and see.



#17 of 96 Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted July 21 2009 - 09:26 PM

 The price on the Midnight Express Bd actually went down on release day by a few bucks. There's a good chance that the BSG set will stay at that price which would make it a hell of a bargain.

BTW- They also have a great price on the ST Motion Picture Collection as well now with the extra 25% off. well over 50% off of msrp.

#18 of 96 Stu Rosen

Stu Rosen

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 294 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 27 1999

Posted July 22 2009 - 12:53 AM

Does anyone know if Caprica is included in the Blu-ray box set?
 

#19 of 96 Sam Favate

Sam Favate

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 4,557 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 03 2004
  • Real Name:Sam Favate

Posted July 22 2009 - 01:20 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Rosen 

Does anyone know if Caprica is included in the Blu-ray box set?
It is not.


#20 of 96 Paul Arnette

Paul Arnette

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 2,616 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 16 2002

Posted July 22 2009 - 01:37 AM

I think I will be holding off until I see what kind of packaging is going to be used for the individual season releases.  I'm definitely not crazy about the complete series packaging, and since I've been watching this show from the beginning, I doubt I will be revisiting it immediately anyway.  I will own it at some point however, as I love the show.  It is one of the best series of all time in my book.

Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: A Few Words About

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users