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Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

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Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Old 12-01-11, 10:26 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

One last thing. I found this old trailer for Angel, advertising the series premiere on the WB. And it's in letterboxed WS, with shots from both Buffy and Angel:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcZW5qcUMHQ
Old 12-02-11, 01:49 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Every single trailer is on the Buffyworld website.

I downloaded them all when I put them on to PS3 with the episodes, rounding out the viewing experience. It's like recapturing the spirit of watching on The WB, which was always vastly superior to DVD viewing. I've always found it a big shame that so many fans have never seen the show as it originally aired, and DVD may be more convenient and all, but the sense of anticipation and hype with the trailers and the hiatuses making viewers wait agonizingly long months is completely lost. I'd trade DVD and marathon viewing for that any day of the week. NOTHING beat and nothing was ever as good as watching these shows as they aired originally week to week.

I regret not watching Buffy as it aired until about season 6 when I started watching regularly because I was Angel-exclusive and knew nothing about Buffy but looking back on how season 2 unfolded with Angel and Angelus, season 3 with the mayor and Faith, that must have been a hell of a ride each week.
Old 12-02-11, 02:20 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
You're right that a single flub doesn't discount a certain aspect ratio. However, the preponderance of "flubs" introduced in the WS versions of Buffy and early Angel does suggest that the shows probably weren't composed for them.


The show was apparently not composed for 4:3 either. Looks to me like the OAR should be about 1:1. I bet it kills Joss Whedon that he was never allowed to broadcast his vision in his intended square ratio.

Originally Posted by Nick Martin
Having seen them in action, the widescreen version of ANGEL is not cropped to create a widescreen frame, but the opposite. Every shot is simply expanded at the sides.
It's common in TV production for shows (those shot on film, anyway) to be photographed in 3-pef format, which yields an image on the negative close to 16:9 in shape. The 4:3 broadcast version is taken as a center extraction from that.

This saves a lot of film in comparison to the way that feature films are made, in 4-perf format, where the widescreen version will have to be matted on the top and bottom.
Old 12-02-11, 02:35 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z


The show was apparently not composed for 4:3 either.
There's a difference between someone miming action that's supposed to be off-screen, which is a framing problem, and something like a boom mike dropping into frame, which is simply a sign of operator error and that they didn't have to time or money to do another take.

In addition, I never said that the 16:9 goofs, in and of themselves, proved that they weren't composed for 4:3. But when you put them together with all the other evidence, including testimony from the shows' creator and show runners, then it's pretty clear that they were composed for 4:3.

Originally Posted by Josh Z
It's common in TV production for shows (those shot on film, anyway) to be photographed in 3-pef format, which yields an image on the negative close to 16:9 in shape. The 4:3 broadcast version is taken as a center extraction from that.
Common for shows intended for 4:3, maybe. Other shows that shoot for 16:9 will make full use of the frame, requiring a P&S transfer to 4:3 instead of just a center crop.
Old 12-06-11, 10:44 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
Common for shows intended for 4:3, maybe. Other shows that shoot for 16:9 will make full use of the frame, requiring a P&S transfer to 4:3 instead of just a center crop.
I think you've got that exactly backwards. If a show is intended for 4:3, you'd think the producers would want to use the largest 4:3 negative frame (if they can afford it). If a show is intended for 16:9, why waste the additional perfs above and below the part of the center image that's going to be seen?

Feature films are shot in 4-perf format because they will be projected in 4-perf format with matting at the projector.
Old 12-06-11, 11:45 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z
I think you've got that exactly backwards.
I think maybe he means weird cases like Angel, the latter seasons of which were shot 16x9 and intended to be letterboxed, but they were cropped on TNT. (And, awesomely, TNT-HD takes the widescreen image, crops it to 4x3, then stretches it back to 16x9, resulting in something pretty much completely unwatchable.) I'll admit to being a little fuzzy on why that was brought up, though.
Old 12-06-11, 11:57 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z
I think you've got that exactly backwards. If a show is intended for 4:3, you'd think the producers would want to use the largest 4:3 negative frame (if they can afford it).
Buffy was shot 16:9 with extra image on the sides for the same reason that LOTR was scanned and finished (with full effects) in 16:9 with extra image on the top & bottom. The studio wanted the extra image so that they could release a "full frame WS" version if they wanted.

Ever since 1.85:1 films were shot on open-matte 35mm film, there's always been extra image for the studio to exploit. So the question* in determining the correct aspect ratio (i.e. what it was composed for and originally intended to be seen as) isn't "is there extra image?" but "which image has the best composition?" Cramming all the action into the center 4:3 are of a 16:9 frame is horrible 16:9 composition, but really good 4:3 composition.

BTW, a lot of feature films are shot in 3-perf nowadays, now that open-matte 4:3 versions are not needed. Before that, a number of 2.35:1 films used 3-perf Super35, since it wasted less film than cropped 4-perf down to scope, but still allowed for opening up to 16:9. Kill Bill is one of the earlier examples of this.
https://www.google.com/search?site:imdb.com+3-perf
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697/technical


*Of course, there's only a question when the original creators didn't publicly assert an intended aspect ratio, which is not the case with Buffy or Angel.
Old 12-06-11, 12:04 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
I think maybe he means weird cases like Angel...
I was referring to cases like Firefly and Babylon 5, where the shows were shot for 16:9, but originally broadcast in 4:3 (which is why I specifically referred to them in an post). In both those cases, the shows had compositions that required P&S transfers, with the 4:3 frame traveling from edge to edge to keep the action in the frame.

This is in direct contrast to early seasons of Angel and all of Buffy, where the 4:3 transfers are straight center crops. This makes sense, since they were composed for 4:3, and thus all the action was shot to stay in the center, with the image at the sides being superfluous.

I'm not familiar with how TNT cropped the later seasons of Angel. If my theory is correct, the 4:3 jobs on the later seasons of Angel should prove to be P&S transfers instead of just center crops.

Last edited by Jay G.; 12-06-11 at 12:14 PM. Reason: I mentioned Firefly and Babylon 5 in an earlier post, but not the one JoshZ last quoted
Old 12-06-11, 12:37 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

I've seen the odd syndicated episode of ANGEL from season 3 and onward, not anymore though. They were indeed cropped at the sides, no real pan and scanning going on.

I used to do tests with a 4x3 TV by playing a season 3+ episode on it, and setting the DVD player to zoom the 16x9 image for standard TVs (The 4x3 P&S setting instead of 4x3 Letterbox) and it looked the same as what was on TV. The DVD player just zoomed in to crop the sides of the image off. It's especially noticeable in the ANGEL main title sequence, which changed from square-shaped for seasons 1 and 2 for the actors' names, to rectangular for seasons 3+.

I remember that latter seasons of CSI I'd check out would be cropped at the sides which cut off some of the on-screen titles. Every once in a while I'll look at what a show looks like on its SD counterpart channel to see if they letterbox or crop.

I remember watching reruns of Dawson's Creek on TBS (when I used to be able to actually get TBS) and I figured that despite being broadcast on The WB and elsewhere and released on DVD in nothing but 4x3, that show was clearly shot for 16x9 from its season 3 and onward because there was a huge amount of obvious pan and scanning in every episode.

Last edited by Nick Martin; 12-06-11 at 12:46 PM.
Old 12-07-11, 04:27 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
I was referring to cases like Firefly and Babylon 5, where the shows were shot for 16:9, but originally broadcast in 4:3 (which is why I specifically referred to them in an post). In both those cases, the shows had compositions that required P&S transfers, with the 4:3 frame traveling from edge to edge to keep the action in the frame.
Firefly was broadcast in 16:9 on Fox's 480p "Enhanced Widescreen" channel at the time.

A show like Babylon 5 would have shot in 3-perf format (despite being composed for 4:3) for budgetary reasons. 3-perf uses less film than 4-perf. Less film = less expensive.

Cramming all the action into the center 4:3 are of a 16:9 frame is horrible 16:9 composition, but really good 4:3 composition.
Even to this day, most primetime TV shows are shot with the understanding that they'll be broadcast in 4:3 on the network's SD channel and 16:9 on the HD channel. With some notable exceptions (the DP for Law & Order famously refused to compose for 4:3), these shows are composed to be "safe" for both ratios. That means you see a lot of shots where the action is crammed into the center of the 16:9 frame.

The question of "OAR" is more complicated for TV shows than it is for feature films.
Old 12-07-11, 05:06 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z
Firefly was broadcast in 16:9 on Fox's 480p "Enhanced Widescreen" channel at the time.
True, but given the talk about not letterboxing the SD broadcast, and Joss knowing after the pilot, there's still a lot of off-center action in the WS shots, suggesting that the 4:3 conversion was a P&S instead of a center crop.

Originally Posted by Josh Z
A show like Babylon 5 would have shot in 3-perf format (despite being composed for 4:3) for budgetary reasons. 3-perf uses less film than 4-perf. Less film = less expensive.
I think you just answered your own question there:

Originally Posted by Josh Z
If a show is intended for 4:3, you'd think the producers would want to use the largest 4:3 negative frame (if they can afford it)..
However, Babylon 5 was composed for WS, not 4:3, as evidenced from this quote from J. Michael Straczynski:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...6169eead66459c
We *somewhat* compose for standard aspect ratio, but often our
directors frame quite a bit off center, or have stuff going on over in
the edges, or otherwise work to make the whole thing interesting when it's
returned to widescreen format
Originally Posted by Josh Z
IEven to this day, most primetime TV shows are shot with the understanding that they'll be broadcast in 4:3 on the network's SD channel and 16:9 on the HD channel. With some notable exceptions (the DP for Law & Order famously refused to compose for 4:3), these shows are composed to be "safe" for both ratios. That means you see a lot of shots where the action is crammed into the center of the 16:9 frame.
It'd be interesting to know which shows cram action into the center for the 4:3 version, and which do a P&S for the 4:3 version.
Old 12-09-11, 11:42 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
It'd be interesting to know which shows cram action into the center for the 4:3 version, and which do a P&S for the 4:3 version.
The 16:9 HD broadcasts of the later seasons of Gilmore Girls were terribly composed. Everything was shoved into the middle, and there was nothing but dead space outside the 4:3 safe zone. Most shows these days are smarter about it and spread things out a bit so that critical information (such as character faces) are in the center but the edges aren't distractingly empty.
Old 12-19-11, 01:20 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Bump.

If there are any PS3 owners following along, season 5 of ANGEL is now for sale on the Playstation store in HD.
Old 01-03-12, 10:07 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

I think after the mediocre last 2 seasons, this show left a bad taste in my mouth. After watching it over from the beginning, I can honestly say that this is one of the best TV shows of all time.

The season-long storyarcs, continuity, the way episodes pick up right where the last one left off, but they still manage to be accessible and enjoyable on an individual basis.

This is one show that I would love to see brought back with a better budget and production values, but luckily, nothing really makes me cringe. It would just be nice to see stories and sets on par with the comic book Season 8.

I think Fray would make a really good TV show. It's a whole new character in a new era.
Old 01-03-12, 10:36 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin
If there are any PS3 owners following along, season 5 of ANGEL is now for sale on the Playstation store in HD.
Oh, that's cool. Have you watched any of them? How do they look? (The affiliate in my neck of the woods hadn't gone HD when season 5 was on the air, so I missed out.)

Originally Posted by Superboy
It would just be nice to see stories and sets on par with the comic book Season 8.
I have to admit to finding season 8 even worse than the live-action Buffy's final season. I'm right there with you on Fray, though.
Old 01-04-12, 12:06 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Oh, that's cool. Have you watched any of them? How do they look? (The affiliate in my neck of the woods hadn't gone HD when season 5 was on the air, so I missed out.)
Since I have all episodes of both shows on my PS3 (made my own mp4 videos out of them) I purchased the first episode "Conviction" for comparison.

The establishing shots of Los Angeles that bookend scenes throughout the episode are very grainy, much like Buffy of the early days when it was shot on 16mm. The night sky is alive with grain and noise, however during the remainder of the episode which is much, much brighter, there's a fine layer of grain throughout that isn't intrusive at all. There really isn't a massive difference compared to the standard definition DVD in terms of fine detail. It is obviously stronger with the higher resolution, but not a giant leap that will blow anyone away. The opening credit sequence is obviously softer than the remainder of the episode either, since that is a mix of different seasons during the first few seconds before the actors' names appear. During the "Created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt" credit you can see some combing due to it being from an interlaced source in standard definition.

One good test scene in terms of examining detail would be the back-and-forth between Angel and Eve during their first meeting, since it's a brightly lit room with a lot of close-ups on each character. The stripes of Angel's new blazer are quite sharp, and you can see that Eve is wearing a lot of makeup despite having a fairly naturalistic look to her. When Angel bites into the apple, his face does not look nearly as sharp with detail (pores, some slight five-o'clock shadow, very faint lines around the eyes, which at the time he didn't really have) compared to the very high level of detail you would see of him on "Bones". Later close-ups with Gunn, Wesley and Corbin Fries do show a lot of detail, so it's fairly inconsistent from shot to shot. One scene with Gunn waiting to speak to the doctor in a waiting room looks like a low-resolution standard definition shot. The entire exchange between Angel and Agent Hauser (and subsequent ultimate badass moment of Angel's occasionally brutal nature) looked like a standard definition upconvert, similar to "Firefly" whenever an effects shot was on screen. In this case the only effect shot was a brief vampface transition, so I'm not sure why the entire scene was upconverted. For whatever reason the brightness of the image really showed off Alexis Denisof's medical troubles (Bell's Palsy) at the time, as the stillness of his left side of his face was much more obvious. The image is just as desaturated as the DVD and original broadcast was, compared to earlier seasons that while dark, were much more vibrant in color. I suppose that and the softer image are a source issue, probably because of the lower budget that year. The opening credit sequence for season 5 looked very flat and dull in color compared to earlier seasons.

I think if season 2 or 3 were in HD, there would be a much more obvious benefit, because those seasons looked fantastic on DVD already.

The audio is not in 5.1, so it's the same 2-channel as it's always been but much louder compared to DVD.

The one real issue I have with it, is that if this were on Blu-ray it would not suffer the many, many compression artifacts that cropped up throughout the entire episode. This thing just wasn't encoded very well. It's 1080p AVC video at 6Mbps, but it is full of macroblocking and noise. I have the free PSN downloads of both the "Terra Nova" pilot and "New Girl" pilot and those were flawlessly encoded in comparison. The file size for "Conviction" was 1967MB.
Old 01-04-12, 03:33 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

I've seen it in HD and the worst part is how incredibly fake the props look, you can see gaffers tape everywhere, the grips are visible, and the stuntmen/women stick out even more.
Old 01-04-12, 03:35 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner

I have to admit to finding season 8 even worse than the live-action Buffy's final season. I'm right there with you on Fray, though.
Season 8 was okay, but the scale of the stories and settings was obviously much larger than the TV show because it was not limited by such a small budget.
Old 01-04-12, 05:52 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Superboy
Season 8 was okay, but the scale of the stories and settings was obviously much larger than the TV show because it was not limited by such a small budget.
I deliberately avoid the comic follow-ups to both shows, but I do know that Joss Whedon said "season 9" would correct that issue, because it got too far out of hand so he wants to treat it like the show and keep it on a more realistic scale.
Old 01-05-12, 12:45 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

"Season 8" was awful in the comics and I seriously doubt the show would have been anywhere near that bad if it had been made on television by Joss Whedon.
Old 01-05-12, 03:57 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin
The entire exchange between Angel and Agent Hauser (and subsequent ultimate badass moment of Angel's occasionally brutal nature) looked like a standard definition upconvert, similar to "Firefly" whenever an effects shot was on screen. In this case the only effect shot was a brief vampface transition, so I'm not sure why the entire scene was upconverted.
I watched Angel Season 5 in HD during its original broadcast. The season was produced in the same manner as Firefly, where all VFX shots were rendered in standard definition and upconverted. It was quite distracting. As for why the entire scene you reference would need to be upconverted, it's possible that there's a VFX element somewhere in the frame that just isn't drawing attention to itself. Perhaps part of the background is a composite? If there's any VFX element in a shot, the whole shot will be upconverted.
Old 01-06-12, 01:07 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

If there's anything in there I have no idea what it could be. Aside from the brief vampface transition, the scene plays out with Angel standing still listening to the agent. Even the quick stunt of Angel kicking the barrel of Hauser's shotgun up and forcing his arm down to pull the trigger wasn't a visual effect. Guess for whatever reason they just edited it that way, using the standard definition stuff for the whole thing.
Old 01-06-12, 01:49 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

As long as there's one bit of CGI (the vampface transition) in a continuous shot, it's going to have to be kept SD.

The Babylon 5 DVDs were the same way. In that case, Babylon 5 was initially broadcast standard definition 4:3, and all of the CGI and special effects were rendered that way as well. But the live action was filmed in protected widescreen (in order to future-proof it for HD).

When it came time for the DVDs to come out, it was released in widescreen, and in order to accomodate the 4:3 masters, all scenes with special effects/CGI shots had to be cropped and zoomed. And this is any kind of effects shot: full CGI space scenes, live action shots with any kind of CGI element, and even optical wipes/dissolves that transitioned between scenes. As a result, the DVDs really look like shit. It's constantly switching back-and-forth between DVD quality and sub-VHS EP quality.
Old 01-06-12, 10:37 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin
If there's anything in there I have no idea what it could be. Aside from the brief vampface transition, the scene plays out with Angel standing still listening to the agent. Even the quick stunt of Angel kicking the barrel of Hauser's shotgun up and forcing his arm down to pull the trigger wasn't a visual effect. Guess for whatever reason they just edited it that way, using the standard definition stuff for the whole thing.
You'd be amazed at how many visual effects the average TV show employs that you'll never notice. A while back, some VFX studio released a demo reel that showed extensive greenscreen work even on simple drama series like Law & Order and Ugly Betty.

I haven't looked at the scene you're referencing, but is it possible there was digital wire removal during the stunt? That would do it.

Or, like you suggest, maybe the editors just got lazy and threw the whole scene together in standard-def because it was easier to work with? I don't know.

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
The Babylon 5 DVDs were the same way. In that case, Babylon 5 was initially broadcast standard definition 4:3, and all of the CGI and special effects were rendered that way as well. But the live action was filmed in protected widescreen (in order to future-proof it for HD).

When it came time for the DVDs to come out, it was released in widescreen, and in order to accomodate the 4:3 masters, all scenes with special effects/CGI shots had to be cropped and zoomed. And this is any kind of effects shot: full CGI space scenes, live action shots with any kind of CGI element, and even optical wipes/dissolves that transitioned between scenes. As a result, the DVDs really look like shit. It's constantly switching back-and-forth between DVD quality and sub-VHS EP quality.
Right, and especially in the later seasons, there were hardly any live action shots without CGI elements somewhere in the frame. Even a simple two-shot of a couple characters standing in a hallway talking would have some production design detail in the background CGI'ed in.

Last edited by Josh Z; 01-06-12 at 10:42 AM.
Old 02-05-13, 02:00 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Hi all,

Sorry to drag up an old thread but I have a question that I can't seem to find the answer to.

I live in Australia and I own the Australian region 4 box sets of Buffy and Angel. The issue I have is that the first 3 seasons of Buffy (which are in the 4:3 aspect ratio) are stretched to fit my 16:9 screen, rather than having the black bars down either side and the picture being in the middle and not stretched.

Is this the same on the Dvd's for the other regions or is that just a region 4 thing? Because if the US or UK versions are in proper 4:3 then I will purchase them.

I would prefer to watch it not stretched like this as I find it just doesn't look correct, and I would rather watch it as it is supposed to look.

Apologies if I've got some of the jargon wrong, I'm not really an expert on this kind of stuff.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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