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Highlander: The Series on BluRay ...in high-def or 480?


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 02 2009 - 06:13 PM

A couple years ago there was some advance word that Highlander: The Series starring Adrian Paul as Duncan McLeod would be coming to BluRay. But everyone except the producers said "Hey, wasn't that edited in 480i video? How are you going to make it into high-def for the BluRay release?"

And that question remains, even as today we finally have some renderings of the cover art for season one, and a new release date and price:

tvshowsondvd.com/news/Highlander-Series-Season-1-Blu-ray/12404

...We know that this series was shot on film, in Vancouver and in France. The title sequence, and the "Quickening" special effects (those that were not pyrotechnics) within each episode were certainly rendered on video, and that would have had to have been 480i video since in 1992 that was all that existed. I've been under the impression that the episodes themselves were edited in 480i as well, but I may be wrong. We know that the series aired in the US and in the UK in different lengths (the UK had longer episodes). Maybe out of awareness that they'd need both NTSC and PAL versions, maybe they edited the show on film. Maybe.

Any speculation or predictions or insider knowledge about what will be on BluRay?

480i episodes on a BluRay platter, or a real high-definition presentation?

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 02 2009 - 06:17 PM

Oh, alt.tv.highlander, how I miss thee. (Newsgroup, for those too young to remember the other half of the internet).

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted August 08 2009 - 06:53 AM

TVShowsOnDVD.com has an exclusive look at the revised package art for the Season One BluRay, including interiors and a screenshot. Still no word on whether the show is in 480 or 1080 (though the article is written with the assumption that it is 1080 -- I'm expecting we'll learn it is just an upscaled 480, not a true high-def release)

http://tvshowsondvd....1-Blu-ray/12442



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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   ATimson

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Posted August 08 2009 - 08:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will_B View Post

Any speculation or predictions or insider knowledge about what will be on BluRay?

480i episodes on a BluRay platter, or a real high-definition presentation?
I wouldn't expect 480i, but rather the original upscaled to 1080p like Life on Mars. Maybe they edited on film, but even knowing that there would be PAL conversions wasn't enough to get them to do so for Star Trek...


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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted December 17 2009 - 03:51 PM

So did anyone get their preorder yet?

Myself I am waiting until some reviews come in. Plus the show only got really good in season 2 anyway.

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted December 17 2009 - 04:45 PM

Some info from the forum-that-we-shall-not-name, and from the official Highlander Facebook page:

The season one BluRay presents the episodes in 720, with Dolby Stereo audio. Seasons two onward will have better sound formats, "The first season couldn't be because of how it was produced originally," according to the nameless spokesperson on Facebook.

The 720 video is upscaled, as expected, but no one knows if it is upscaled from 480 or 625, because no one knows if the show was mastered in PAL or NTSC, or what the BluRay producers were working with, if they even had a choice of what tapes to pull.

No one knows what mastering house did the work on the BluRay yet. (I suspect it may have been done on someone's home computer with prosumer software, but I'm cynical like that).

Oh, also, people are saying it looks like crap. But until screenshots are released, who knows.

The show is in 720 rather than 1080 as a way to reduce the number of discs needed.


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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Demis G

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Posted December 19 2009 - 08:38 AM

and what's worse, people in other forums and on the facebook official fanpage of highlander started reporting problems viewing the discs on Profile 2.0 BD players. NO problems on Profile 1.0 players though...

http://www.facebook.com/#/highlander.official?ref=nf


#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted December 21 2009 - 04:39 AM

Bravo! Finally, after people (such as myself) berated the producers of the BluRays for not doing any interviews with any bluray sites about their process for getting this series on BluRay, and numerous reactions by people who expected more, the producers are finally going to do what they should have done a couple months ago: Speak. This, from a Facebook update a few seconds ago:

QUOTE From the producers of Highlander Season 1 Blu-Ray:

It has come to our attention that there are some questions about the new HD version of Highlander The Series. We are here to say that the critiques about the quality of the Highlander Blu-ray experience seem to be due to a lack of awareness regarding HD/Blu-ray technology. In a follow-up in depth discussion on the Highlander Blu-ray experience, we will address some of the questions regarding the use of original film negative, 720p HD vs 1080i HD, the difference between up-converting Standard Definition DVDs to High Definition and Re-mastering the original show masters to High Definition. Also we will answer questions about the use of stereo sound as opposed to 5.1 surround sound for the first season Blu-ray release of the series.

We are confident that you will enjoy the new Highlander Blu-ray experience when you have a chance to view it and look forward to releasing additional blu-ray collections for your enjoyment seasons episodes for your enjoyment.

UNQUOTE

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted December 22 2009 - 06:45 AM

Highlander: The Series - Davis-Panzer's Official Statement on Technical Aspects of the Season 1 Blu-ray

Online criticisms of the high-def release's A/V quality are addressed by the studio



http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Highlander-Series-Season-1/13147

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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted December 22 2009 - 09:26 AM

They didn't say much, but at least they said a little. And I was pleased to note they never confirmed that rumour that an insurance fire took the original film rushes. They simply say it would have been too expensive.*

I accept their statement that the 5.1 audio on the DVDs was fake anyway, so having 2.1 is no big deal.

Frankly I just wish they'd release some comparison screenshots, since it seems like no one who owns the set is posting any.

*I think it would have been nice of them to re-assemble (from film) the first episode, The Gathering, which had both Duncan and Connor. Even if the dialogue was cheesy. But that won't have any prospects of happening unless, perhaps, the remake of the film does huge.

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#11 of 12 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted December 22 2009 - 02:13 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Will_B 

Frankly I just wish they'd release some comparison screenshots, since it seems like no one who owns the set is posting any.
These are the only screenshots I've seen online, and I ran across them somewhat by accident:


The dude obviously took a picture of them with his digital camera.  I think most people would have to do it that way.

For me, taking screenshots is done by playing the DVD on my computer, and clicking the screen-cap icon on the software-based player I'm running the DVD with.  Since none of my computers have a BD player, I don't have this option where Blu-rays are concerned.  I think this is the same situation for the huge majority of people out there, until BD drives become much more common (and inexpensive) for PCs.  So Blu-ray screenshots are rare as a result.

The folks at Davis-Panzer seem to be monitoring the Facebook page linked in a post above, and also the Blu-ray.com page here:
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=3909

I suppose you could ask them for the screenshot comparisons you want.  Tell them Dave at TVShowsOnDVD said we would post them at the site, if they shoot them our way, as long as they are no wider than 550 pixels across, and as long as the file sizes aren't astronomical or anything.  :)


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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted December 23 2009 - 05:09 AM

You're so right. I forgot about the difficulty in taking BluRay screen caps. That flickr set is really rather impressive in itself -- though I know it can't really be used for critical examination, I like the opportunity to see the sidebars (and they look good!).

I passed your request for caps on to the Facebook page.

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now