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  • Just found on JMS's Facebook page:

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    It's not so much that the CGI masters were destroyed...it's that they were rendered at a standard aspect ratio for TVs at the time. The show was shot on what was essentially widescreen (the first TV series to do so, if I recall) but the tech wasn't there to produce the CGI in the same aspect ratio. (This was something I didn't actually know or realize at the time; I assumed it was being rendered wide.)

    So the only way to integrate the CGI with the wider-aspect DVD release was to blow it up and crop, which was a far from satisfactory solution. It would be pretty much impossible to go back and try to re-render every single shot in widescreen, even now, to make this work.

    The only way you could do it would be to do what they did in ST, which was to render all new EFX. The problem we'd have is that while an average ep of the original Trek had maybe a dozen or two effects shots in an episode, we had anywhere from 30 to, in a few extreme cases, a hundred shots in a single episode, many of which were composites using both live-action and blue-screen elements. So it would cost several times more to create new CGI for B5 than it cost for ST (which only had three seasons, vs. our five, which on its own would nearly double the cost even if our efx were no more than theirs.)

    So I think, barring a miracle, that it's a dead issue.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • Having jumped into the middle of the fan community and (through reading years of comments on various discussion forums) being exposed to so many iterations of the “Great Maker” myth (many revolving how he was responsible for every aspect of the show). I found this of particular interest.

      Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
      Jack: correct, we shot 16:9 but protected for 4:3, so you wouldn't miss anything on the edges. But the CGI was rendered at 4:3.

      And yes, the interview is correct: no one told me about the decision that prevented us from making the CGI in 16...:9. Because they knew that if they had, I would've gone apeshit. Hell, I would've happily paid for it out of my own pocket. Instead, they told me that it couldn't be done, and stupidly, I believed them.

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      • Well, what seemed apparently impossible for me it is going to happen. A TV show from the 80/90's is going to be released in Blu-ray!

        Startrek.com is reporting that Paramount and CBS have confirmed the Blu-ray debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation for January 31st. Fans of the popular sci-fi series, which is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, will be treated to a sampler disc of three remastered episodes in January and a full Season One set later in the year.

        The sampler disc, which has been titled Star Trek: The Next Generation- The Next Level will include both parts of the series premiere "Encounter at Farpoint", the Season Three episode "Sins of the Father" and the Season Five episode "The Inner Light". These newly remastered episodes will be presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1.

        According to Startrek.com, CBS returned to the original negatives for the remastering process and chose to re-composite the special effects rather than upconvert them from videotape. This was done in cooperation with longtime Star Trek consultants Michael and Denise Okuda. The remastering process is currently underway for all seven seasons of The Next Generation.

        Ken Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Entertainment issued a statement saying, "Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Transferring the series to high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual effects. We can't wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds with our upcoming Blu-ray releases."

        The Next Level sampler disc will hit retail on January 31st with a SRP of $21.99. Pre-orders should be up on Amazon soon. Check out the new trailer for the release below.

        Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.


        http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7439
        Besides Highlander, I can't remember any other show from this period being released in HD.
        "Whoever has not known himself has known nothing. But whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sidrack Marinho View Post
          Well, what seemed apparently impossible for me it is going to happen. A TV show from the 80/90's is going to be released in Blu-ray!

          Besides Highlander, I can't remember any other show from this period being released in HD.
          There you go.

          B5 fans are once again snubbed by a pathetic WB.

          Paramount commits to new CG FX, and has access to all original footage, whilst it is not my favourite of the ST family (that would be Classic TREK and DS9) at least P know how to go about pushing their product.

          And they did a really great job with the HD versions of 'Classic' TREK. I assume this will be no different.

          WB and B5..? Fans can go fish!
          http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
          Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
          47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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          • Well, if they are going to wait until B5 have his 20th or 25th birthday then it's going to be announced in 2014 or 2019. DS9 will have to wait until 2018. That's funny, both DS9/B5 being released at the same period?

            I wouldn't get my hopes for DS9, considering that CBS released a single episode from this show in one of TOS Blu-rays and the quality was even worse compared to the DVD.

            And Star Trek fans should be really concerned about this release, due to what Paramound did with most Star Trek movies. The picture quality from most of these releases is dreadful (I would say the same about most of their releases, only a few are in good shape). I bet they did an awful job in a hurry to force all the fans to buy the sets again in order to get the director's cut versions when the new movie is on theaters.

            I have this strange feeling that Babylon 5 would be greatly improved if released in Blu-ray. If they are not going to commit to new CG FX, why not releasing most of the normal footage in HD?

            P.S. It was reported a while ago WB was going to release Friends in Blu-ray. But I think it's just a rumour, or they might be still working on it. Either way, this is been discussed for years...
            Last edited by Sidrack Marinho; 10-10-2011, 06:14 PM.
            "Whoever has not known himself has known nothing. But whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things."

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            • Well FRIENDS certainly has had a remaster and is currently on Comedy Central (UK) HD and I must say that it looks pretty good.

              Just a shame that I cannot stand the show.
              http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
              Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
              47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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              • Just to post my two cents worth here, for what it's worth.

                Even if it were possible to transfer Babylon 5 to Bluray, I think the quality would really suck. The reason being is that for some reason, the picture quality of the episodes themselves isn't consistant through an episode. This holds true with alot of television shows.
                Have you ever noticed that when you watch an episode of say Baylon 5 or Stargate SG1 on DVD (just as a couple of examples), some scenes in an episode are really clear and yet other scenes are somewhat grainy? You would think that every scene in an episode would be consistent, but that's not the case.
                I'm guessing that converting these shows to HD Bluray would be a huge undertaking because the consistency of the picture quality in each episode isn't there. How is it that for some scenes you have a high quality camera and for others you have the opposite?

                Comment


                • I think it all comes down on how much WB would spend to restore the show. Honestly, I don't believe TNG will look that good even in Blu-ray. I have seen many movies released on Blu with sub-par quality, not worth of even be called HD. They only look a little better than upconverted standard definition.

                  Paramount did an awful job with Star Trek IV, with heavy DNR. The picture just loses a considerable amount of detail and texture. And many titles suffer from the same problem.

                  Most reviewers do a terrible job at analysing these inconsistencies and usually they say good things even if it's painfully obvious the company didn't do things right.

                  So rest assure even if Babylon 5 can be greatly improved compared to the DVD releases, it's a lottery if they are capable or willing to do the best work possible. To quote an example (again with the movies), look the picture quality from 007/James Bond releases.

                  You will notice that Mooranker (1979), for example, has one of the best (if not the best) PQ from a Blu-ray ever, and even older movies are great, while the most recent ones (from the 80's/90's/2000's) pale in comparison. And I don't think this is mostly due to the source being different. I think they were just not willing to restore in the best way possible.
                  Last edited by Sidrack Marinho; 10-16-2011, 08:30 AM.
                  "Whoever has not known himself has known nothing. But whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things."

                  Comment


                  • By the way, the B5 DVDs look pretty good on a Blu-Ray player and a big widescreen TV. I mean, I know the work that went into the DVDs wasn't particularly fantastic, but the visual quality of the show does hold up.
                    Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                    • I know people are going to have yet another endless (and futile) discussions about B5 BLu-Rays, and gee, Paramount has remastered TNG for Blu, so surely Warners will realize the error of their ways! The hard truth is, no they won't. Paramount has always realized the value of the Star Trek franchise and has responded accordingly in terms of finding new ways of selling that product to the fans. Warners has never come to that realization about B5, and I don't think they ever will. Don't expect them to invest more money in a franchise that they have neglected for years. To them, that is wasted money. If there is ever a Blu-Ray, it will just be an inferior transfer, with little or no work done to bring it up to scratch. Anybody who believes differently is living in a fool's paradise. That being said, I agree with Jonas: just play the DVDs on a good TV and a Blu-Ray player and they will look just dandy. If you want more than that, I'm afraid you just ain't gonna get it.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
                        Paramount has always realized the value of the Star Trek franchise and has responded accordingly in terms of finding new ways of selling that product to the fans.
                        I am afraid that does not apply to the rest of the Star Trek franchise. Paramount only have eyes for TOS and TNG, I bet they will not touch Deep Space Nine/Voyager and even Enterprise, which is the most suited of them to be released on Blu.

                        My local Paramount distributor (I live in Brazil) discontinued the release of further DS9/VOY DVD seasons (only the first 3 from DS9 and 2 from VOY were released), but they released all TNG/TOS material that was made available for US/worldwide, including the Blu-rays. And Babylon 5 was never released (by Warner).

                        They are only going to release something or spend their money dealing with the negatives, etc. if the product is viable...

                        For example, I would see a future sample with a bunch of Babylon 5 episodes released in HD, but I find hard to believe they would spend a nickel doing the same for any of the B5 movies. Those people are not interested in keeping all the material available in the best way possible, to preserve this show (like the people from Criterion are used to do), but making sure what they are doing is highly profitable.
                        Last edited by Sidrack Marinho; 10-16-2011, 04:56 PM.
                        "Whoever has not known himself has known nothing. But whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
                          I know people are going to have yet another endless (and futile) discussions about B5 BLu-Rays, and gee, Paramount has remastered TNG for Blu, so surely Warners will realize the error of their ways! The hard truth is, no they won't. Paramount has always realized the value of the Star Trek franchise and has responded accordingly in terms of finding new ways of selling that product to the fans. Warners has never come to that realization about B5, and I don't think they ever will. Don't expect them to invest more money in a franchise that they have neglected for years. To them, that is wasted money. If there is ever a Blu-Ray, it will just be an inferior transfer, with little or no work done to bring it up to scratch. Anybody who believes differently is living in a fool's paradise.
                          The above is spot on. Hell, we were lucky they sprung for a repackaging.
                          Mac Breck (KoshN)
                          ------------------
                          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                          Babylon 5 is the football.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                            The above is spot on. Hell, we were lucky they sprung for a repackaging.
                            Is the repackaging as inferior as the first? I haven't seen them.
                            "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                            "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                            "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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                            • Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
                              I know people are going to have yet another endless (and futile) discussions about B5 BLu-Rays, and gee, Paramount has remastered TNG for Blu, so surely Warners will realize the error of their ways! The hard truth is, no they won't. Paramount has always realized the value of the Star Trek franchise and has responded accordingly in terms of finding new ways of selling that product to the fans. Warners has never come to that realization about B5, and I don't think they ever will. Don't expect them to invest more money in a franchise that they have neglected for years. To them, that is wasted money. If there is ever a Blu-Ray, it will just be an inferior transfer, with little or no work done to bring it up to scratch. Anybody who believes differently is living in a fool's paradise. That being said, I agree with Jonas: just play the DVDs on a good TV and a Blu-Ray player and they will look just dandy. If you want more than that, I'm afraid you just ain't gonna get it.
                              Just as Joe says, unless WB has a divine happening on the road to Domestos, I cannot see it happening. Which is sad.
                              Last edited by DGTWoodward; 10-17-2011, 02:12 PM. Reason: I forgot 'has'
                              http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                              Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
                              47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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                              • Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                                Is the repackaging as inferior as the first? I haven't seen them.
                                Though I don't have them, I've seen them in stores and no, they're much better. The ones I saw were like the repackaged StarGate SG1 discs (version 2, not version 3*) and Supernatural seasons 1-5 discs ... A plastic shell about the size of one and a half normal dvd cases, with plastic hanging things (sleeves?) inside, with one or two discs per "page". No cardboard, no glue.

                                * - Fox (or whoever) has repackaged SG1/Atlantis yet again. Now they have the entire season in a case that is the same thickness as one normal dvd case. Version 1 was the box sets where each disc had its own case.
                                "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                                The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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