Cartoon DVDs: Will HDTV be any better?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Don Black, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I'm a prolific DVD collector (about $5k/year) and I own seemingly everything. However, as HD-DVD/Blu-Ray gets closer (12-24 months), I'm starting to think about selling parts of my collection.

    The sci-fi ones are easy to let go. I'm not going to have time to watch STTNG S1-7 and B5 S1-5 again anytime in the next couple of years and these are natural HDTV releases due to the geeky/techie fan base.

    However, I'm unclear about what to do with my cartoon box sets. Am I going to see any kind of PQ increase on GI Joe in HDTV vs. DVD? For that matter, will Toy Story and other CGI releases look any better in HDTV than on DVD. All digital is all digital after all...

    So, my question kind of boils down to: Will the added resolution of HDTV affect the PQ of cartoons (Scooby, GI Joe, Transformers) and CGI releases (Bug's Life, Toy Story, Nemo)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    A couple of Pixar movies have aired on ABC in high-definition and look noticeably improved over their DVD counterparts. I haven't had the chance to see much traditional animation in high-definition. In order to make a difference for cartoons, they'd have to go back to the original negatives, which seems unlikely for shows like G.I. Joe and Transformers.
     
  3. Mark_Johnson

    Mark_Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldnt sell your dvds yet, it could be a good five or more years until you see them released in hi-def.
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    I fear that many cartoon High-Def discs will be cropped to 16:9.
     
  5. Jonny_L

    Jonny_L Stunt Coordinator

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    On top of the logistics of gearing up for a format that hasnt come out yet, ask yourself if some of the more obsure items you have (I believe you mentioned GI Joe) would even get a release on any kind of HD disc. A lot of people dont even have a means to watch HD, let alone an insentive to upgrade en mass to an HD source. This will probably translate to huge blockbusters and classics being released only for the first few years.

    Anyhow, that was just a thought [​IMG]
     
  6. Michael Sliger

    Michael Sliger Second Unit

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    To my eyes, both of these series may be absolutely pointless to re-release in a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray format. AFAIK, there are no Hi-Def masters for ST:TNG since the episodes were edited on 480i videotape. Even if the film masters still exist, all of the episodes would probably need to be re-edited from scratch and many of the FX sequences may have to be made again. Paramount might break down and do that someday since ST is such a cash cow, but I can't see it happening for a long time since it may take years to remaster seven seasons.

    Babylon 5 is not as bad off since Hi-Def masters do exist, but upconverting the cropped 480i FX sequences all the way to 1080i should lead to an even more displeasing image quality for those sequences. Since the source files for the CGI have been lost, I can't see Warner forking out the cash to hire a new company to remake every digital shot. If you do love these series, I would suggest holding onto those disks (and probably those for any TV series that hasn't been filmed in the past 5-6 years).
     
  7. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    I agree. DVD is already higher quality than most tv programs' production. HD is going to do very little to G.I.Joe or Ren and Stimpy.

    I'm not caring about HD just yet. If SONY doesn't win and we get HD DVD it will be backwards compatible. Also I have an ED set so I won't be trading up any time soon. HD progamming on it is better but not astounding.

    And what about the rumors of Ultra HD?
     
  8. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Sony's Blu-Ray will also be backward compatible with existing DVDs, Jonathan.
     
  9. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    Really? I heard that only HD DVD would. Thanks, David!

    In any case, it's even less of a reason to wait for HD versions of 80's cartoons.
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    This is why I think TV production companies made a mistake in the long run not finishing things on film. I knew it was going to bite them in the butt for the poor stability of magnetic material, but now with HD coming the need to re-finish these shows on FILM may soon be necessary, and for some shows, it may be too late.

    Fairly warned be ye.
     
  11. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I think I agree here. Esp. with B5. The stretching of the CGI is iffy (some people don't notice it on small screens, but it is clearly evident on my projector). If Warner was going to pony up for new FX (unlikely), then maybe...

    I doubt you will see it remastered in HD. Especially since season 1 film was in pretty rough shape anyway. Plus, the fanbase isn't that huge to begin with (big enough, but not like Star Trek).

    I would anticipate ST:TNG on HD since it has a much bigger fanbase, and Paramount loves to milk anything ST, but if the experts say that there aren't any hi-def masters, I'd believe them.
     
  12. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I saw a high definition broadcast of Stuart Little that blew me away. You could literally count the hairs on his face, whereas in the standard definition broadcast they all just kinda blurred together. Yes, HD can offer remarkable improvement with animation.
     
  13. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Second Unit

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    But Mike, Stuart Little is a feature. Most tv programs don't have the time or budget for that level of detail.
     
  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Animation will benefit from HD the same way anything else would. The only thing to look out for would be programs that are produced for standard definition television which may not have archival elements available to support hi-def. Even classic TV shows shot on film frequently have their post production work done in the video domain.

    Regards,
     
  15. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Hmmm... I think, at the very least, the studios would re-release STTNG and B5 on HDDVD/BR just to milk the new format for all it's worth. While the PQ might not be improved, the number of discs might be reduced (6 DVDs to say 2-3 HDDVDs), no?

    Thanks again.
     
  16. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    When they first began broadcasting, a few of the HD cable channels showed a few animated films. When compared to their dvd's, there was no comparison, Colors are more vivid, contrast better, all due to the extra pixels. They looked absolutely beautiful. I can't imagine how stunning such films as Finding Nemo and the visuallly rich Treasure Planet will look. On my Sony 11ht projector, I have 167" picture on my wall. Dvd's compared to anything in high def seem like crap. I have been watching alot of the classics on HDNET and when I compare them to the dvd, it makes dvd's I thought were beautiful look like VHS.
     
  17. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    This is why I believe the HD-DVD format belongs to those who enjoy today's programs mostly. I think for people who like old shows (1970s and before), the format will do nothing more than show all the imperfections of the original film source even more than they already show up on the DVD format. I can't imagine what the Looney Tunes Golden Collection would look like on HD-DVD, but I can imagine every spec of dust, and every dot of film grain would be so evident, that it would actually take away from the viewing pleasure. Since I'm not really a movie fan (I mostly watch only old TV shows) and I don't watch any shows that were made after the 80s (except for Seinfeld), I don't believe the HD-DVD format has anything to offer me. I'm sticking to regular DVD til the end. [​IMG]
     
  18. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

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    I'm sticking to regular dvds too.
    Once blue ray and HD DVD start appearing in stores, doesn't that mean that regular dvds will be cheaper?
     
  19. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Stupid Question time....

    Some Cartoon studios are stretching their releases pretty thin. 3 eps on DVD, when the series is around 200 strong. Funimation and DBZ comes to mind. Anyone think that'll stop once HDDVD comes around, assuming you can fit more higher quality eps onto an HD disc?
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As far as the "newer" 3D films (like Bug's Life and Nemo)- Most definitely, since they can re-render the animation in HD specs. As far as the original Toy Story, I heard that they weren't able to render the movie out as a complete file (due to render lengths). They had to render out parts of the animation and composite them to the backgrounds. This is why it took so long for the first one to come out on DVD, they couldn't re-output the animation, it had to be put to DVD from the films. So while Toy Story could look better on HD-DVD, it wouldn't be as impressive as the later films (that can be re-rendered directly to HD sizes).
     

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