What will new mediums (HD-DVD, Blu Ray) bring to TV-DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Andreas_K, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Andreas_K

    Andreas_K Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder what the introduction of the new medium(s) like HD-DVD and/or Blu Ray will mean for future TV on DVD releases and what we as the consumer want from them?

    I don't think every show that is released now will make it onto the next generation of discs. But the major shows will undoubtedly be re-released.
    It'll obviously take some time till these mediums are available to the mass market but it might be fun to speculate a little on what the future will bring and perhaps let the industry know what we want.
    • Obviously with more storage capacity the number of discs will me smaller per season which means leaner packages and less shelf space.
    • Will we see new/more/different extras than on the current releases? It might be an incentive to buy a show you already have (they'd have to be good though).
    • Is there a chance that some music issues might be resolved until then?
    • Is a better picture quality possible for current bestsellers like Buffy, Angel, Alias and 24?
    • It would be nice if they would put 16:9 and 4:3 versions of the shows on the disc where it is possible, so the viewer can chose him-/herself how she wants to watch.
    • What about older shows, will they be just ported over from DVD or benefit as well with a better picture or sound?
    • I definetly would prefer "full series" sets that are reasonably priced rather than season set releases. Makes more sense than to start collecting shows again that you already own.
     
  2. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    Yes and no. Size will be smaller to fit regular DVDs on HD-DVD discs, however, the HD-DVD format will be used to fit the new high definition format (which uses up ALOT of disc space) onto those discs. This takes away the "smaller", leaner packages theory. Since I am much more a fan of old TV (Pre-90s, except for Seinfeld) rather than new TV or movies, and I know the HD-DVD format won't bring anything new or better for my enjoyment of the shows I like, I don't plan on upgrading to the HD-DVD format. I mean, I enjoy fullscreen TV shows, so why should I get a widescreen TV and have to watch alot of the picture cropped off? It's not like a regular letterboxed movie, where I can watch one occasionally and know I'll have my fullscreen back to watch my TV shows. Nope, the widescreen HD-DVD format forces you to watch TV shows that were originally released in the 4:3 format with the vertical black bars on the left and right of the widescreen TV set. This is a major inconvenience to us old TV show fans who like watching the fullscreen format. For those who enjoy theatrical widescreen movies on their widescreen TV sets, more power to you. I just don't want to have to see Seinfeld on HD-DVD with those vertical bars, with a much smaller area size instead of filling up the screen like it was meant to do. Sorry, I'll pass on the HD-DVD format. However, if I should hear that they intend on releasing regular DVDs on the HD-DVD format, so as to squueze entire TV series on just 2 or 3 discs, then I'll definitely look into upgrading. In other words, I like what the format has to offer as far as squeezing more shows (on the regular DVD format) as opposed to what it has to offer as far as high definition. Besides, those who enjoy older shows will only get to see alot more grain and dirt on the film with HD-DVD, since it's alot more sharper. This is where regular DVDs can look excellent, but too much perfection can actually take away from the enjoyment of the TV watching experience.
     
  3. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    So you think it's better to ADD more picture degradation to an already grainy or dirty image? Isn't that like not cleaning your glasses because your windshield is dirty?
     
  4. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    No, I said it's better to leave the picture looking as good as it does in the regular DVD format. I can enjoy sharp quality more than I could if it's so sharp that I can see every spec of grain and dirt on the film. A good example would be the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. Looking at the picture quality of the cartoons on that set, we can see alot of the original dirt and grain from the original cel drawings, now when it comes out on HD-DVD I assume the picture will look so sharp that the grain and dirt will be much more evident, to the point of distracting the viewer from the cartoon itself. I remember alot of the old movies on VHS actually seemed to look cleaner on VHS than they did when they came out on DVD. Does that mean it was sharper? Of course not, but the sharpness of DVD also brought out the grain and dirt that the VHS format couldn't see. Now can you imagine how much more dirt and grain the HD-DVD format will bring out? Don't get me wrong, I think the HD-DVD format will be great for new shows and digital movies, etc. But since my interest lies in older (fullscreen 4:3 TV shows), I don't feel the format has anything positive to offer me.
     
  5. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    IMO, more resolution is always a good thing.
     
  6. Tony S

    Tony S Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope that the extra disc space will allow more episodes per disc, thereby cutting costs, so that certain shows will now be profitable. Maybe we can eventually get Mad About You season 3 on a single disc for 19.95 MSRP.
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Are you referring to 16:9 shows that have been cropped? If so, then I agree that the 4:3 version should be intact...but if you are referring to tv shows that are filmed in 16:9, since HD is widescreen, the only way to show 4:3 is to add bar to the sides, so I can't see why they would bother to include both versions.
     
  8. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    I agree, as long as I can watch my favorite TV shows in their original 4:3 ratio, fullscreen. I currently own a 4:3 HDTV, but I rarely use it to watch HDTV programming. Now should they ever decide to offer us HD-DVD in fullscreen (where we can actually see the 1000+ horizontal lines of resolution) on a 4:3 HDTV set, I'll gladly upgrade to the HD-DVD format [​IMG]
     
  9. Alex-A

    Alex-A Stunt Coordinator

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    I just recently purchased a widescreen TV that's HD compatible, even though I don't receive any HD programming. All I do is watch TV and DVDs. I have no problem setting the TV to fill the screen with 4:3 video. My TV doesn't use black vertical bars, they are gray. I don't like the idea of having gray bars there for hours at a time since the chance of burn-in is always there. Honestly stuff doesn't really look that distorted. The only stuff I buy that is fullscreen is TV shows, I don't touch fullscreen movies if I can avoid them.
     
  10. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Carlos, I have no idea how they plan on handling original 4:3 material. But, I suspect it will be framed in a 16:9 frame. So, in your case, you better not get it. On your set you will have black bars on all 4 sides.
     
  11. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    I have a 4x3 Tv as well as a 16x9. When I'm playing back 4x3 HD content that is pillarbox... on the 4x3 I get black on all 4 sides. The top and bottom are generated by the TV squeeze fuction. The verticle sides are on the source. On the Widescreen just the verticle sides.

    I don't believe that 1.33:1 spec is currently available on any of the HD formats. Correct me if I'm mistaken.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Perhaps future HD players will have a "zoom" function that works horizontally instead? So those with by-then "legacy" 4:3 displays can zoom in on 4:3 material, eliminating the pillarboxes, the same way those with 16:9 displays today zoom in on non-anamorphic widescreen movies to eliminate the letterbox bars?


    Sounds just like how "soft focus" in certain, ahem, magazines, enhances the end-product from an esthetic point of view...

    We're a spoilt lot. I have to agree, with the larger display I bought some 8 months ago, I now get distracted by artifacts and/or flaws in the transfer, whereas on my older smaller TV I couldn't see these and I just enjoyed the content. Oh well. Us HT enthusiasts are just so picky... [​IMG]
     
  13. Esten

    Esten Supporting Actor

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    What about 4:3 standard-resolution, shot-on-video tv shows? How will they be affected on HD-DVD?
     
  14. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    My guess, is that they will most likely look like crap as they will have to be upcoverted to an HD res. Pillar box added or cropped/scan/zoomed/. Thank goodness that video tape was not used as a camera source on many Tv shows.
     
  15. Andreas_K

    Andreas_K Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought of shows like Buffy and The Shield where we have a 4:3 DVD release in the US and a 16:9 DVD release in the UK.
    Regardless of what one thinks of OAR both releases exist on DVD. On a German board I visit, there was quite a debate as to what viewers preferred. So I thought it would be nice if the viewer might get a choice with a release that contains both versions (if it's technically possible) in the future.
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Again, yeah, tough call, but since HD is 16:9 and there is no such thing as anamorphic HD, I would say it would be best to go with the 16:9 version (as long as the 16:9 version isn't cropping what was seen in the 4:3 version).
     
  17. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    All this means is cost for us and it all needs to stop for a few and let it all settle and let everyone catch up.
     
  18. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    The way you do that, is by not buying for a few years. As for me, I plan on buying as soon as the first units and disks, hit the market. I was an early adopter for 16:9 HDTV, and I haven't looked back.

    As far as the AR is concerned. I believe It's going to be 16:9. So,4:3 material will be "pillered" in the 16:9 frame. People with 4:3 HD sets will just have to stick with standard DVD, unless they want "black bars" all around the 4:3 image. IMO, that's what they get for being short sighted, and buying a 4:3 HDTV. Of course, they could also just upgrade their TV's, at the same time they updrade to HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.[​IMG]
     
  19. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    I was FAR sighted, I could see 16:9 sets cropping my favorite 4:3 shows, this is specifically why I bought a 4:3 HDTV set. Now I can watch my favorite TV shows the way they were meant to be seen, and if I want to watch a widescreen movie, then I'll gladly watch them letterboxed. Since I've been watching them this way all the way back to the VHS days, I'm used to it. However, being forced to watch a 4:3 movie cropped on the sides, that's degradation of the fullscreen format to my eyes. Yup, 4:3 HDTV was the way to go for me, no regrets at all [​IMG] I guess it all depends on what aspect ratio is more important to the individual viewer...4:3 OAR for TV shows, or 16:9 for movies.
     
  20. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Er, 16x9 HDTV's do NOT crop a 4:3 image.
     

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