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Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

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Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Old 12-02-20, 11:06 AM
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Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

According to The Digital Bits, Babylon 5 is rumored to be getting a release on Blu Ray in 2021.

Also, were starting to hear rumors that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is cooking up a Blu-ray release of the classic Babylon 5 TV series, which would presumably involve some kind of upsampling and remastering. But a number of European retailers have set a Babylon 5: Complete Collection for tentative Blu-ray release in March. Well keep our eyes on this and post as we learn more.
https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/m...uwtTW3FXxW_ugU


So my guess is we're getting a partial HD version. The film elements will be in full HD, but the CGI and composite shots will be upscaled from SD. It will look MUCH better than the current DVD's, though, because they're going back to the original 4x3 framing, so no cropping and zooming on the effects shots.

Even if it isn't a full reworking of the CGI it's going to be a massive improvement on what's been available, and that's good news. Fingers crossed that this actually happens...
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Old 12-02-20, 02:09 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Ive never watched it, but I feel like I might enjoy Babylon 5. Id potentially blind buy the series.
Old 12-02-20, 03:16 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Ive never watched it, but I feel like I might enjoy Babylon 5. Id potentially blind buy the series.
You've never watched it? What's wrong with you??

It may come as absolutely no surprise, but I HIGHLY recommend the series!

The first season, for some, is a bit of a tough watch by modern standards (slower, more deliberately paced, and some no so special stories). But it is mostly set up for the greatness that starts to kick in about halfway through the 2nd season. And when you re-watch Season 1 after finishing the series a lot of stuff makes more sense (there are a lot of easter eggs hinting at events to come).

The big drawback to the DVD's has been the botched mastering. They cropped the CGI and zoomed in, creating a blurrier, fuzzier picture for the CGI and composite shots than should have been acceptable. The show is still great, but the DVD's are kind of crap when it comes to the effects shots.

Blu Rays, even if only upscaled from the 4x3 image will look a lot better.

Definitely recommended if this happens, and right now it looks good!
Old 12-02-20, 03:41 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

They can do this, but Paramount won't spring for DS9 or Voyager?
Old 12-02-20, 03:43 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by TheBang View Post
They can do this, but Paramount won't spring for DS9 or Voyager?
Robert Meyer Burnett, who produced the Next generation BD special features, said No. He said it lost too much money and wasn't worth the investment for CBS. People weren't buying those sets.
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Old 12-02-20, 04:07 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

I don't know if they still have the original rendering data for B5. I heard it was summarily destroyed by Warner. Even if they did can they use it? Undocumented file formats are the bane of digital workflows. On modern hardware I'd bet rendering, even in HD, would go really fast.

I'm surprised the original film elements exist, and if they do I doubt they're in good condition considering how shabbily Warner has treated the series. They would likely need some restoration work done.
Old 12-02-20, 04:27 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

I never understood the appeal of this show. I tried several times and never made past a few episodes. But I wholly support any older show like this getting new life on physical media.
Old 12-02-20, 04:37 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Robert Meyer Burnett, who produced the Next generation BD special features, said No. He said it lost too much money and wasn't worth the investment for CBS. People weren't buying those sets.
The TNG Blurays came right as physical media sales started falling off and streaming started really gaining a foothold. I'll admit to being one of the people that sold my TNG DVDs when the news was announced with plans to buy the Blus, but then we really got into streaming and just found we preferred watching it there. None of the extras really appeal to us, so that part didn't matter.
But I still think Paramount is foolish for not giving DS9 and VOY the restorations they need to make them hidef, because they're going to live the rest of their lives on streaming and they'll be the only two Trek shows to not have hidef presentations (even TAS was done on film so they were able to remaster it).

Warner may be doing a Blu release of B5 for the collectors and such, but I'd bet a nickel that their real target is to give it a long life in the realm of streaming.
Old 12-02-20, 04:41 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by TheBang View Post
They can do this, but Paramount won't spring for DS9 or Voyager?
Well, "This," is likely going to be upscaled 4x3 versions of the show.

The DVD's got screwed up when they cropped the CGI and composite shots to widescreen, then zoomed the image in, and then upscaled it. The upscaling was jacked up and a ton of artifacts were created as a result. The effects shots looked horrible on DVD as a result.

From what I've read they will likely be upscaling from the non-cropped image, and I've seen some examples of that online, and the results are WAY better than the DVD's.
Old 12-02-20, 05:00 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
The TNG Blurays came right as physical media sales started falling off and streaming started really gaining a foothold. I'll admit to being one of the people that sold my TNG DVDs when the news was announced with plans to buy the Blus, but then we really got into streaming and just found we preferred watching it there. None of the extras really appeal to us, so that part didn't matter.
But I still think Paramount is foolish for not giving DS9 and VOY the restorations they need to make them hidef, because they're going to live the rest of their lives on streaming and they'll be the only two Trek shows to not have hidef presentations (even TAS was done on film so they were able to remaster it).

Warner may be doing a Blu release of B5 for the collectors and such, but I'd bet a nickel that their real target is to give it a long life in the realm of streaming.

This is what Burnett 4 years ago said about the HD remastering costs


I bet if you tried to remaster them now, they would be pushing $80 to $100K per episode. DS9 would be more expensive.


It was a really expensive endeavor and the cost had to be passed on to the sets and I know the sets were expensive upon initial release.

and regarding the extras, there was some really good stuff on it including several hour long documentaries and cast reunion discussions. If you're not really into that, then I suppose the extras don't matter.

But, sticking to this topic, I would be curious at the remastering costs for this show.

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Old 12-02-20, 05:13 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
This is what Burnett 4 years ago said about the HD remastering costs

https://twitter.com/BurnettRM/status...175544322?s=20

I bet if you tried to remaster them now, they would be pushing $80 to $100K per episode. DS9 would be more expensive.


It was a really expensive endeavor and the cost had to be passed on to the sets and I know the sets were expensive upon initial release.

and regarding the extras, there was some really good stuff on it including several hour long documentaries and cast reunion discussions. If you're not really into that, then I suppose the extras don't matter.

But, sticking to this topic, I would be curious at the remastering costs for this show.
I'd bet money that the costs are far less now than when TNG was done a decade ago.

The technology is better, faster, and easier. Fans are doing it and posting it on YouTube. For free. The costs can't be what they were then. It's like any other technology, it gets cheaper.

And this won't be a complete re-rendering, either, from what I gather, rather an upscaling of a better source. So even though it won't be as great as a full re-rendering, it will be a lot better than what's been available for the last 18 years.
Old 12-02-20, 05:18 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
But, sticking to this topic, I would be curious at the remastering costs for this show.
I doubt they're scanning original film elements in HD and compositing upscaled SD effects. This is Warner after all, who has historically hated B5, and doing B5 moderate justice like that would cost more than trivial dollars. My bet is if a blu-ray set happens it's an upscale from the broadcast videotapes, which is cheap to do.
Old 12-02-20, 05:34 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
I'd bet money that the costs are far less now than when TNG was done a decade ago.

The technology is better, faster, and easier. Fans are doing it and posting it on YouTube. For free. The costs can't be what they were then. It's like any other technology, it gets cheaper.

And this won't be a complete re-rendering, either, from what I gather, rather an upscaling of a better source. So even though it won't be as great as a full re-rendering, it will be a lot better than what's been available for the last 18 years.
Yeah youre probably right. And now a lot of work is being done remotely so that would also reduce costs as well.
Old 12-02-20, 05:58 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Well, "This," is likely going to be upscaled 4x3 versions of the show.

The DVD's got screwed up when they cropped the CGI and composite shots to widescreen, then zoomed the image in, and then upscaled it. The upscaling was jacked up and a ton of artifacts were created as a result. The effects shots looked horrible on DVD as a result.

From what I've read they will likely be upscaling from the non-cropped image, and I've seen some examples of that online, and the results are WAY better than the DVD's.
Yeah, the Babylon 5 DVDs look like absolute garbage.

It was a colossal mistake to cave to fan pressure and release it in widescreen when they weren't willing to re-render the CGI. The result is that the image is constantly switching back and forth between decent-looking shots on film to shots with SFX that look they came a second-generation EP VHS.
Old 12-02-20, 06:01 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Yeah, the Babylon 5 DVDs look like absolute garbage.

It was a colossal mistake to cave to fan pressure and release it in widescreen when they weren't willing to re-render the CGI. The result is that the image is constantly switching back and forth between decent-looking shots on film to shots with SFX that look they came a second-generation EP VHS.
My preference for this set would be for them to keep all the widescreen interior stuff and use 4x3 for any CGI or composite shots. It's not all that noticeable with The Dark Knight, for example, when the aspect ratio changes, so I'd be OK with that if it was necessary for this release. I'd prefer the widescreen stuff with the actors - but probably won't get it.
Old 12-02-20, 06:06 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
The TNG Blurays came right as physical media sales started falling off and streaming started really gaining a foothold. I'll admit to being one of the people that sold my TNG DVDs when the news was announced with plans to buy the Blus, but then we really got into streaming and just found we preferred watching it there. None of the extras really appeal to us, so that part didn't matter.
But I still think Paramount is foolish for not giving DS9 and VOY the restorations they need to make them hidef, because they're going to live the rest of their lives on streaming and they'll be the only two Trek shows to not have hidef presentations (even TAS was done on film so they were able to remaster it).

Warner may be doing a Blu release of B5 for the collectors and such, but I'd bet a nickel that their real target is to give it a long life in the realm of streaming.
Frankly, I don't think Paramount ever had any intention of remastering DS9 and VOY. TNG was always more popular and well-known than either of those series, and Patrick Stewart went on to become the most famous actor out of all of the modern Trek series. So they remastered TNG, and then blamed the fans for not buying enough blu-rays of TNG to justify DS9 and VOY instead of just coming out and saying they didn't want to bother with treating the red-headed stepchildren.

I think that they did remaster TNG for syndication and streaming, and went ahead and put it out on blu-ray to amortize part of the cost, but they were never under the impression that blu-ray sales would cover the costs to remaster. They're trying to claim that they remastered TNG solely for blu-ray, and that is bullshit.
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Old 12-02-20, 06:06 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
This is what Burnett 4 years ago said about the HD remastering costs

https://twitter.com/BurnettRM/status...175544322?s=20

I bet if you tried to remaster them now, they would be pushing $80 to $100K per episode. DS9 would be more expensive.


It was a really expensive endeavor and the cost had to be passed on to the sets and I know the sets were expensive upon initial release.

and regarding the extras, there was some really good stuff on it including several hour long documentaries and cast reunion discussions. If you're not really into that, then I suppose the extras don't matter.

But, sticking to this topic, I would be curious at the remastering costs for this show.
I really found the TNG Blu-ray releases to be pretty reasonably priced when they came out. I bought most of them release week and think I only paid like $45 for most of them. Not bad when you consider how much the DVD sets originally cost.
Old 12-02-20, 08:43 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
I never understood the appeal of this show. I tried several times and never made past a few episodes. But I wholly support any older show like this getting new life on physical media.
Did you watch the pilot movie The Gathering first? Should've stuck with it. It turns into one the greatest scifi TV shows ever made. Here's the viewing order (the proper timeline):

Movie: The Gathering
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Movie: In the Beginning
1st 2 disks of Season 4
Movie: Thirdspace
Remainder of Season 4
Season 5 (all but the last episode)
Movie: River of Souls
Movie: Call to Arms
Season 5 (final episode)
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Old 12-03-20, 04:27 AM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

I'll buy any remastered version of B5, DS9, and maybe VOY.
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Old 12-03-20, 05:31 AM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

This may explain why the icon on my iTunes copy changed to one with a "remastered" banner for a few days then went back to the original.

Bring it on!
Old 12-03-20, 10:52 AM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I bet if you tried to remaster them now, they would be pushing $80 to $100K per episode. DS9 would be more expensive.
Remastering shows like DS9, Voyager, and Babylon 5 would be even more difficult than remastering Star Trek: TNG was. As those shows were made, their productions relied much more heavily on green-screen and CGI to save costs over building physical models and props. If you look at behind-the-scenes clips from these shows, practically every set had a green-screen component somewhere in the frame. All of that CGI would need to be redone from scratch today.
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Old 12-03-20, 11:26 AM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
This is what Burnett 4 years ago said about the HD remastering costs

https://twitter.com/BurnettRM/status...175544322?s=20

I bet if you tried to remaster them now, they would be pushing $80 to $100K per episode. DS9 would be more expensive.


It was a really expensive endeavor and the cost had to be passed on to the sets and I know the sets were expensive upon initial release.

and regarding the extras, there was some really good stuff on it including several hour long documentaries and cast reunion discussions. If you're not really into that, then I suppose the extras don't matter.

But, sticking to this topic, I would be curious at the remastering costs for this show.
I'm sure they sold the remasters into syndication as well, so $70k might not be that much.
Old 12-03-20, 11:56 AM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by lisadoris View Post
I'll buy any remastered version of B5, DS9, and maybe VOY.
I for sure would pick up DS9 and likely VOY too.
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Old 01-29-21, 07:49 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Well, "This," is likely going to be upscaled 4x3 versions of the show.

The DVD's got screwed up when they cropped the CGI and composite shots to widescreen, then zoomed the image in, and then upscaled it. The upscaling was jacked up and a ton of artifacts were created as a result. The effects shots looked horrible on DVD as a result.

From what I've read they will likely be upscaling from the non-cropped image, and I've seen some examples of that online, and the results are WAY better than the DVD's.
Exactly right! The remastered B5 premiered on HBO Max this week. It's phenomenal!
- The live-action scenes were restored back to their original 4:3 ratio and were cleaned-up. It's a slight improvement.
- The digital scenes were also restored back to 4:3, eliminating all of the zooming/cropping/upscaling that was done (poorly) for the DVD releases. They're stunning!
- The matted scenes, mixing live-action and digital, were the biggest beneficiaries of the process, as they no longer look like digital crud. They, like the digital-only scenes, look as they originally intended.

With many of the original digital models no longer surviving, coupled with the loss of a lot of the negative stock during the Northridge earthquake, what was just released might very well be the best we'll ever see. But you don't have to take my word for it... if you've seen the series before and don't mind spoilers, you know which episode you'll want to go watch.... Severed Dreams (3x10). You can not onlymake out the whiskers on Major Ryan's chin, but the first firefight scene between the Alexander and Clarkstown will make a believer out of you! This is the best B5 has ever looked since its original broadcast 30 years ago.

It is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes - $30 a season (steep) but there are rumors that a DVD or BluRay release of the remastered series may be coming out later this year. Of course, that may be just that - rumors. But if you follow JMS on Facebook, he's been keeping folks on top of things.
Old 01-29-21, 07:55 PM
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Re: Babylon 5 Coming to Blu Ray??

BTW - HBO Max included the TNT version of The Gathering in the Series 1 episode listing. That specific movie was NOT remastered, it's the same version they've always had and is identical to what's on the DVD set. If you start with that (which, story-wise you should) you'll be disappointed because the PQ shows absolutely no improvement over the home video releases. It all kicks in with Midnight On The Firing Line (1x01) - Ragesh III gets their butts kicked in stunning 4:3 digital goodness.
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