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"That '70s Show" on Blu-Ray, widescreen in 1080p


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#1 of 14 Greg_S_H

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Posted October 14 2011 - 07:22 PM

Today we got the scoop from Mill Creek Entertainment, that they are preparing to officially announce the Blu-ray release of That '70s Show - Season 1. Not all details are being disclosed, but it's confirmed that all episodes have had 1080p high-def transfers, with a 5.1 audio remix, and that the episodes will be presented in the original widescreen aspect ratio. "BURN!," you say...weren't those episodes shot on tape? Nope, Carsey Werner has confirmed for our contacts a Mill Creek how That ‘70s Show was "shot on film, in widescreen" (I'm directly quoting). We're told the first season "has undergone an extensive transfer so it'll be at full 1080p". Taken from: http://www.tvshowson...5#ixzz1apgBTarQ

Sounds a little fishy to me. The Mill Creek DVDs have been called uncut, and they (apparently) have some seconds trimmed off here and there, as well as song replacement. Do you think there's any chance they'll spring for the original music if they're going through all this trouble? And, do you think they should go through all the trouble of making a widescreen, HD release?

#2 of 14 Zack Gibbs

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Posted October 14 2011 - 07:56 PM

It's true, you can watch all 8 seasons in widescreen HD on Netflix streaming already. I'm guessing they were producing for HD from the start. Not a big deal, if still uncommon, for 1998. Since it's no trouble, I'm guessing the music issues would remain.
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#3 of 14 TravisR

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Posted October 15 2011 - 01:03 AM

And, do you think they should go through all the trouble of making a widescreen, HD release?

I'm assuming the series was shot 16:9 but given its age, they likely composed their shots for a 1.33 frame. In widescreen, you'll just get to see some extra empty space on each side of the frame but you won't be losing any picture though.

#4 of 14 Mike*SC

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Posted October 18 2011 - 06:38 AM

"That '70s Show" was shot on film, in 4x3 but "protecting for 16x9." That is, the camera viewfinders showed a widescreen image with a box in the center that showed what would air on television at the time. In theory, the cameramen and everybody watching the feed on stage would watch both, but in practice, that's a hard thing to do. The show was posted in 4x3. Once it got to the editing room, that 16x9 image was never seen. The editor never looked at it, the producers never looked at it. Now they have gone back to the film elements and rescanned the actual film at 1080p in 16x9 and reassembled the shows using the original EDL (edit decision list) files. This is an expensive process. The trick is, the producers never saw it this way, and things can appear in the sides of the screen that they would not have approved of. Ideally, somebody has watched each episode closely as it was assembled to make sure that continuity errors -- or light stands! -- do not suddenly pop up in the sides of the frames. For purists, the 4x3 image is actually truer to the original intentions than the 16x9 is, though they were keeping 16x9 in the backs of their minds (the very backs!) during the original production.

#5 of 14 Nailwraps

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Posted October 20 2011 - 08:44 AM

This is making me curious. Can anyone post a widescreen and full screen comparion? I understand ABCFamily is airing the show in widescreen. And OT here for a sec, it's amazing that The Simpsons widescreen episodes are playing either cropped or non 16x9 enhanced for syndication.

#6 of 14 TonyD

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Posted October 20 2011 - 01:29 PM

Is this the same as what was done with Seinfeld?
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#7 of 14 TravisR

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Posted October 20 2011 - 02:16 PM

Is this the same as what was done with Seinfeld?

I believe that Seinfeld opened the sides of the frame a little bit but they also had to chop off some of the top or bottom of the frame to make it 1.78. With That 70's Show, they'll just be showing the extra picture information on the sides of the frame that wasn't seen when the show was broadcast in its original 1.33 framing.

#8 of 14 mrmike898

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Posted October 20 2011 - 08:33 PM

This is making me curious. Can anyone post a widescreen and full screen comparion? I understand ABCFamily is airing the show in widescreen.

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#9 of 14 moviepas

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Posted October 20 2011 - 09:04 PM

Great comparisons. I know which version I would prefer. To think of all the yelling and crying I had from people when I had my shop when they started putting widescreen on VHS. Peyton Place, the movie & Carmen Jones were good examples. I got asked to out the feet back in on the former and a guy cried he was too embarrassed to give the latter to his friends and would be laughed at. Those samples above prove how wrong they were.


#10 of 14 WinstonCely

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Posted October 20 2011 - 10:47 PM

This is pretty neat! Thanks for the comparisons. I may actually buy the first few seasons... Is it just me, or is it a little strange that a show about the 70's is in HD? I almost want it to have that old shot on circa 1970's video tape look....

#11 of 14 Nailwraps

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Posted October 26 2011 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for the comparisons! :) Well, it's official the show WAS made in widescreen!

#12 of 14 Zack Gibbs

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Posted October 26 2011 - 09:21 AM

I've been watching the show on Netflix since this thread was posted. The framing isn't as simple as opening up the sides, it can change from shot to shot frequently. Sometimes there is some bottom cropping. Occasionally they'll zoom in on a smaller area making it a bit soft. Sometimes when the frame is open all the way you can see some unintentional vignetting. They use various techniques to try to frame it well, and though there can be issues they've done a pretty good job. The only poor shot that I've noticed is when they do a closeup on a television set. This was framed to just show the screen in a 4:3 AR, but now you can see the whole set and it's off to the right of the screen since the dials/speakers are on the right of the television-- with just empty space on the left.
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#13 of 14 sullum

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Posted October 30 2011 - 04:29 PM

I have purchased the Mill Creek season's one and two sets. Since I already have the original season two set I thought I would compare the episode lengths between the two. Unfortunately, the lengths are virtually the same. In fact, on the Mill Creek set most of the episodes are a few seconds (3 to 8 seconds) less than the originals. Before I make any harsh judgements any number of possibilities could be the reason: Maybe, the MC version runs slightly faster; or the fade outs to commercial happen quicker; or maybe season two of the original set was already the full eps. So if anyone can verify any other season that would be nice. But so far I'm not sold on the claim of Mill Creek's sets having much more footage than the original sets. Thanks

#14 of 14 Frank Ha

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Posted March 24 2012 - 06:55 AM

Has anyone gotten this set? It came out this week. I bought it on Amazon when it went down to $15, but I can't view it until late April when I return to the States. Just curious if anyone has seen it yet and what their impressions are.
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