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The Wire on Bluray... Will it ever appear?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by John CW, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    agreed. but that is talking about a specific shooting.

    from many posts i see here, not just this thread, i get the feeling that people think that 16:9 is somehow intrinsically better than 4:3 ?

    from my perspective, whatever aspect ratio the "video" was shot in, is the best aspect ratio to see it in.
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I don't think that's true. Most members here at the HTF want to see TV shows and films in their original aspect ratio (whatever it is).

    And, for the record, here's the opening from the HTF Mission Statement:
     
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I suspect the reason we don't have an HD version of The Wire has little (if anything) to do with 4:3 vs 16:9, but that such a project would have to be done the same way as Star Trek: The Next Generation, meaning they'd basically have to go back and re-assemble each and every episode from the original individual film elements (and re-key in any on-screen text that appears over the live-action, such as writer/guest cast credits, if there was any on-screen text), as the show was presumably edited/assembled on SD tape at the time.

    So, even though there's no costly "sci-fi" video FX to be re-done, re-assembling all those individual episodes again would be a time-consuming (and costly) exercise, so HBO probably doesn't think the show has enough of a following to justify the expense. Yeah, Star Trek fans will re-buy their episodes on new media, but are The Wire fans as likely to outlay again, even though it would be a massive upgrade in quality (and, add to that, it won't fill up their new-fangled 16:9 screens)?

    I think there are very few shows that were shot on film but edited on NTSC tape (so, pretty much anything from the mid-to-late '80s until the HD era) that will get such an HD upgrade, outside of the sci-fi genre, because the studios don't have faith that the general public at large will spend the cash after already owning the episodes on DVD.
     
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  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    For that matter, I suspect a lot of less popular sci-fi/fantasy stuff from the 1990's and early-2000's will probably not see a proper "HD restoration" (like Star Trek), either due to lack of demand and/or inertia. Stuff like: Xena, Hercules, Andromeda, Total Recall 2070, Lexx, Farscape, Earth: Final Conflict, Psi Factor, Beastmaster, the revived Outer Limits, Sliders, Quantum Leap, Starhunter, etc ...
     
  5. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    i think quantum leap passed the "less popular" shows, and will get a blu-ray release.

    andy, when did the HD-era begin ?
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    If Quantum Leap was not a Universal property, I would be less pessimistic.

    I suspect the answer to this question would be network and/or tv show dependent.

    The first place to look, would perhaps be long running tv shows whose production years transitioned through the sd and hd eras. For example, tv shows like: the CSI and Law & Order franchises, Doctor Who, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Stargate franchise, etc ...
     
  7. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Not easy to find reliable information. But nevertheless, here's some partial info from imdb.


    These shows started using HDCAM (1080p/24) during the (season - year):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCAM

    - Law & Order: SVU (season 13 - 2011)
    - CSI: Miami (season 8 - 2009)
    - CSI: NY (season 6 - 2009)
    - NCIS (season 8 - 2010)

    Previously, NCIS, CSI: Miami and NY were using Super 35 (3-perf).
     
  8. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_television

    The first public HDTV broadcast in the United States occurred on July 23, 1996

    Since the formal adoption of digital video broadcasting's (DVB) widescreen HDTV transmission modes in the early 2000s; the 525-line NTSC (and PAL-M) systems as well as the European 625-line PAL and SECAM systems are now regarded as standard definition television systems.

    this gives me a reasonably specific timeframe.

    would you say it is accurate that HD programming is about 10 years old or so for most tv shows ?
     
  9. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    i posted before i saw your last post.

    actual hd programming then is on the average much less than 10 years old ?
     
  10. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Hard to pin down an exact date for the official start of tv shows in native hd resolution. (Back then, I wasn't really paying close attention to such events).

    On a different parallel, one might be able to pin down the start of native 4K tv shows to perhaps this year, with season 2 of Netflix's "House of Cards" being available in native 4K resolution (if one has the bandwidth).
     
  11. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    "from many posts i see here, not just this thread, i get the feeling that people think that 16:9 is somehow intrinsically better than 4:3 ?"Good point/question. I guess for many people it's still the same old "it doesn't fill my screen" argument. 4:3 feels old and if something feels "old" it feels less interesting - or "dated".Of course many people like 1.78:1 since it's widescreen and closes the gap between tv and movie theatre. But certainly 1.78:1 is not always "better".
     
  12. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I entered this thread by mistake and was going to reply that 12 gauge wire would be good for over thirty feet runs. :lol:
     
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  13. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Interesting topic; how long has HD programming been around? Did a few google searches and came up with this thread from AVS Forum:

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/34-hdtv-programming/1304794-when-did-television-shows-first-go-hd-were-early-adopters.html

    Based on information in that thread, it appears that 1999 was the year that it started becoming something of a normal occurrence. I knew a guy, back in the day who was watching HD on a Sony projector around that time - maybe a little later.


    Back on topic, I'd love to see a BD version of The Wire, provided that they maintain the original AR.

    - Walter.
     
  14. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    This may be stating the obvious.

    I just assume that anything produced after 2008 is with the full knowledge that 1080p hd resolution video content is viable as a general consumer product in the form of bluray (ie. after the format war was over).

    Over 1999 to 2008, it's somewhat murkier to say anything definitive. For example, series 1 to 4 of the revived Doctor Who (2005 to 2008) were shot in non-hd resolution. The 2009 Doctor Who specials were shot in hd resolution, and all subsequent seasons with Matt Smith. (No idea why series 1 to 4 of Doctor Who were done in non-hd).
     
  15. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    well, from what has been posted, it seems as though there is about 20 years for which there are some technical difficulties in bringing stuff to blu-ray.

    luckily for me, it is not in the timeframe where most of my liking is !!!
     
  16. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    It's actually even more sinister than technical problems. The blue lasers required for reading bluray or hd-dvd type of discs were tied up in patent disputes and litigation for large parts of the 1990's and early-2000's.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/330528-twilight-releases-lack-of-interest/?p=4068103
     
  17. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I have the opposite problem.

    A lot of the sci-fi/fantasy tv shows I'm interested in, are from this "murky" time period of the 1990's to the mid-2000's. I suspect for a lot of these shows, it would be very expensive to do "proper" hd restorations (similar to Star Trek: TNG).

    With that being said, the first batch of sci-fi tv on bluray sets were done decently, such as: Firefly, Heroes, the revived Battlestar Galatica, the revived V, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse, Fringe, Sanctuary, etc ...
     
  18. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    In the case of Doctor Who, the whole reason those first four series were shot standard definition was budgetary. If they could have afforded to shoot in HD and do all the SFX they wanted, they would have done, but they couldn't make it all work out until the time of the Tennant specials (Torchwood, which began during these four seasons, however, was HD from day one).
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a side note).

    I have noticed on quite a few late-1980's and 1990's era tv shows dvd sets, the video looks like the interlacing/telecine was left in. (IIRC, the telecine adapts progressive 24 frames per second into 30 frames per second). If I had to guess, it looks like the movie company just used whatever NTSC digital transfers they already had available (most likely used for off-network tv syndication reruns) and directly used it for the dvd versions.

    If some movie companies were so lazy to do something like this for their older tv shows (and some movies), I wouldn't be surprised if restoration is the furthest thing from their minds.
     
  20. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    when was this done ?

    i think the releases have gotten considerably better than they had been.

    too many amazon complaints have cut sales when they tried to cheap it out too much.
     

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