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 Post subject: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2021, 15:48 
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I just noticed there are HMAX 1080p episodes. Can't see much info right now, just about to head off to bed.
Audio is 5.1, video is P&S. I've seen one person claim these are scanned from original film and the CGI is just SD upscaled.

I'll check out some samples soon, also need to check out some SG-1 samples :crazy:
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 28 Jan 2021, 02:18 
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When I stumbled across this last night I wasn't even sure what HMAX was, it did seem familiar but I couldn't recall what service it was.
That may seem silly, especially to North Americans, but my memory isn't the best and with something like this my brain just considers it unimportant.

HBO Max :crazy:

Well apparently all the episodes have been remastered from film negatives, it's just the CGI scenes that are upscaled from SD (best source available). I can see why this has been done in 4:3, the CGI is that aspect ratio so they've done P&S of the live action scenes to match up.
Audio is DD 5.1.

I will definitely be checking out some of this footage to see what it looks like.
I haven't seen any mention of the movies and Crusade yet, but I'll spend some more time reading.





Pretty sure I've mentioned it somewhere here before; it would be nice if a BD set of this series was made with aspect options.
I mean CGI can be full 4:3 or cropped to widescreen.
Live action can be full widescreen or cropped to 4:3.

Why? Because I would watch the entire thing without anything cropped. Yes, the switching aspect ration might seem like a distracting idea, but I've watched this show both ways (broadcast 4:3 and DVD widescreen) over the years and for once would like to see every bit of footage included in episodes.
The CGI is so old now when it is cropped to widescreen it looks much worse.

Another problem with CGI/live action scenes is the latter was done in 24 frames but the former is 30 frames. 24 frames for BD is fine, but 30 would need to be reduced properly to match.

I would need to watch my PAL DVD set again, there might be some stuttering on the CGI scenes I really can't remember now :think:
Those scenes on that set are cropped to widescreen anyway.



Edit:
I just realised Mira Furlan died on the 20th :( RIP
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2021, 07:18 
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These are far from 1080p. Highly compressed and cropped. I believe the dvd set looks sharper on a good upscaling dvd player.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2021, 12:06 
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substance wrote:
These are far from 1080p. Highly compressed and cropped. I believe the dvd set looks sharper on a good upscaling dvd player.


I upscale the PAL DVD's on a BD player.

So have you actually watched any of these new episodes? They aren't the same as the VUDU web versions that have been around for a bit now.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2021, 19:19 
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deadlegion wrote:
substance wrote:
These are far from 1080p. Highly compressed and cropped. I believe the dvd set looks sharper on a good upscaling dvd player.


I upscale the PAL DVD's on a BD player.

So have you actually watched any of these new episodes? They aren't the same as the VUDU web versions that have been around for a bit now.



I watched the first half of the gathering. It was in widescreen. I have the US DVDs and LDs. I haven’t compared them to the streaming but I am familiar with the content. HBO Max version looked cropped from the full screen version, not the open matte DVD versions. You can tell from the framing on close ups, faces cut off from top and bottom. The video was full of compression artifacts, especially heavy on the block noise artifacts (common on SD DVD typically). The image was washed out and the colors were dull. I say this is an upscale from the DVD masters (based on the block noise) and a poor one at that. NTSC DVDs actually look very good on a good upscaling DVD player. I believe I compared the DVDs and LDs on this forum before. DVDs definitely have more fine detail but some compression artifacts ( a good DVD player can mask this). They are true open matte widescreen except the CGI is cropped from FS and have more compression artifacts. LDs hold their own extremely well, the only way to have the uncompressed soundtrack and the CGI is in its native FS therefore cleaner. I mean you have got to own the DVDs either way since LDs don’t cover the entire 5 seasons.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2021, 00:18 
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substance wrote:
I watched the first half of the gathering. It was in widescreen.

The Gathering is the only episode that wasn't actually remastered. I believe the masters for that were lost, anyway. It's the version that was played on TNT with a letterbox matte and different soundtrack. Try another episode to get a sense of the remaster quality.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2021, 00:20 
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Oh boy, that sounds terrible :( Everything I initially read about this is incorrect then. I guess someone somewhere posted info about these being remastered from film negatives then the same incorrect info was repeated other places.

The older VUDU versions aren't great either. Some of those episodes even have really messed up AR from what I remember. I do have some samples of those still so would need to revisit.

I don't have any of the LD's. But I do have a bunch of PAL VHS releases... not the entire show though, that would take up way too much space :lol:

The DVD sets are nice, but I do find the cropped CGI distracting. It's dated footage anyway but cropping it like that makes it worse.


I'll watch some bits of the HBO versions soon as I've got the SG-1 S1 stuff out of the way now.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2021, 00:22 
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yayanalog wrote:
substance wrote:
I watched the first half of the gathering. It was in widescreen.

The Gathering is the only episode that wasn't actually remastered. I believe the masters for that were lost, anyway. It's the version that was played on TNT with a letterbox matte and different soundtrack. Try another episode to get a sense of the remaster quality.


Really? :D
That's great news then, I was starting to think it was all lies about this being remastered.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2021, 03:45 
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yayanalog wrote:
substance wrote:
I watched the first half of the gathering. It was in widescreen.

The Gathering is the only episode that wasn't actually remastered. I believe the masters for that were lost, anyway. It's the version that was played on TNT with a letterbox matte and different soundtrack. Try another episode to get a sense of the remaster quality.



I could only stand the picture for a short time. I will try some other episodes. I also have the Japanese LD for the gathering somewhere. I need to find it. AFAIK, that one had the non-TNT version?
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 03:03 
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Well I watched some HBO random S1 episodes last night.
They aren't really terrible, if anything reminds me of watching the show when it was first broadcast (analogue) although sharper.
Not seeing much in the way of distracting artifacts, except for CGI/composites which is to be expected.
Overall the quality (besides CGI scenes) reminds me of TNG BD S1 lower quality shots, not exactly the same but that's the first thing I thought of.

I know it's just upscaled from SD, but a lot of the CGI I've seen seems ok. I haven't watched heaps though so need to see some more CGI scenes with a lot of stuff going on at once.

These are definitely better than VUDU versions (which isn't hard) but I would need to watch my DVD's again to see how everything compares. In particular any cropping going on.

In conclusion, to me these look like a better effort overall than the SG-1 BD release.
Could be better, but I'm wondering if we'll ever see every single scene uncropped and remastered.
It would be doable for a BD release as the format has options for switching different video for scenes.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2021, 03:10 
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Watched the second episode. The intro wasn’t improved from the previous episode, it looked awful. Picture improved significantly once the actual episode begun after the intro. Even the CGI segments after this point looked very good. This is definitely a new HD master, DVDs don’t have this kind of detail. The contrast and colors are improved as well but slightly. I hope at one point they release these on Blu-ray. HBO Max streaming is as good as any streaming can get but a little less compression noise is always welcome and hopefully lossless audio too. I also feel much more comfortable if I own my very favorite content on discs.

You won’t see me advocate LDs over newer HD formats often but this time I am split and leaning towards the LD versions. The gap between the HD versions and the LDs isn’t huge. LDs win with the lossless audio and the video is good enough. This would be even an easier decision if all episodes were available on LD.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2021, 03:29 
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substance wrote:
Watched the second episode. The intro wasn’t improved from the previous episode, it looked awful. Picture improved significantly once the actual episode begun after the intro. Even the CGI segments after this point looked very good. This is definitely a new HD master, DVDs don’t have this kind of detail. The contrast and colors are improved as well but slightly. I hope at one point they release these on Blu-ray. HBO Max streaming is as good as any streaming can get but a little less compression noise is always welcome and hopefully lossless audio too. I also feel much more comfortable if I own my very favorite content on discs.

You won’t see me advocate LDs over newer HD formats often but this time I am split and leaning towards the LD versions. The gap between the HD versions and the LDs isn’t huge. LDs win with the lossless audio and the video is good enough. This would be even an easier decision if all episodes were available on LD.


I've watched most of S1 now :)
Yeah the video quality overall looks ok, sometimes I can see a little jerkiness for CGI but it looks like they've tried to smooth that out at least. It's definitely watchable anyway, as the CGI on DVD looks pretty bad. HBO CGI is probably the best I've seen in many years.

Audio I'm not sure about to be honest. Sometimes I think the DVD audio might be better but I would have to watch some episodes again to be sure.

If they could do BD release with 4:3 and widescreen options (for both CGI and other) so I could set this up the way I want it would be great. It should be doable on BD, similar to Star Trek TOS is with selectable original FX and CGI although in that case the aspect is all the same.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2021, 03:40 
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The intro always looks blurry and bad. It needs to be redone completely.
All the CGI and composites should be redone too, but just redoing the intro would require far less work and would improve the experience.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2021, 07:02 
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DVDs should sound better slightly. They are DD2.0 at 192kbps. Online streaming audio is usually DD+ with 64 to 192kbps, latter usually reserved for 5.1 tracks.

I would be totally fine if they put these on BD without any further remastering. I don’t think expecting anything more is realistic given TV series on disc don’t sell well (ST sales proved this).
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2021, 04:47 
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The Pilot can't be remastered properly because source material, like what has been used for other episodes, was destroyed.

I've only just read that Amazon has had these remastered episodes available to download for maybe a month or more before HBO.
There wasn't any huge announcement that the episodes were remastered and not the same crappy versions Amazon had 2-3 years ago :o

It's possible the Amazon versions might be technically slightly better but I'm not sure. Probably not noticeable anyway :think:
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2021, 20:45 
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The new transfer is based upon the original Super 35mm negatives and I believe I have read that the negatives were scanned at 4K and probably reduced to 2K for streaming and to match the 1080p upscaled VFX footage in 4:3 aspect ratio (as it was broadcasted). This is probably going to be the "definitive" Babylon 5 we are getting. Some people have complained about missing footage from a couple of episodes and minor errors but hopefully this can easily be corrected and implemented if the source material is available. The only obvious thing, apart from the "new" color grading, I have noticed are the fonts that are different from the dvd set. I don't know if the laserdiscs have the same fonts, it's been a while I have checked my Babylon 5 laserdiscs.
The negatives for the TNT special edition of the Gathering were lost/damaged beyond repair during the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
Seems like Warner Bros. have been very quiet about this ongoing work for the last six years, so there hasn't been any real hype.
I would keep my dvd's even if we are getting a blu-ray release of the complete series.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2021, 06:15 
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laserpaal wrote:
The new transfer is based upon the original Super 35mm negatives and I believe I have read that the negatives were scanned at 4K and probably reduced to 2K for streaming and to match the 1080p upscaled VFX footage in 4:3 aspect ratio (as it was broadcasted). This is probably going to be the "definitive" Babylon 5 we are getting. Some people have complained about missing footage from a couple of episodes and minor errors but hopefully this can easily be corrected and implemented if the source material is available. The only obvious thing, apart from the "new" color grading, I have noticed are the fonts that are different from the dvd set. I don't know if the laserdiscs have the same fonts, it's been a while I have checked my Babylon 5 laserdiscs.
The negatives for the TNT special edition of the Gathering were lost/damaged beyond repair during the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
Seems like Warner Bros. have been very quiet about this ongoing work for the last six years, so there hasn't been any real hype.
I would keep my dvd's even if we are getting a blu-ray release of the complete series.


Yeah I've watched some more bits of S2 and I'm sure I've seen at least a small part of one scene upscaled from SD (immediately after a full CGI scene). I instantly thought of small parts of TNG upscaled :lol:
CGI with a lot of stuff going on (space battles) I've noticed more noticeable jerkiness but it's to be expected I guess.
The colour grading seems good to me :) Fonts, yeah I thought they might've been redone but I don't think I really care if they're actually different.
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 Post subject: Re: Babylon 5 1080p
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2021, 22:01 
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I'll have to wait until a norwegian or nordic streaming service schedules the show, but the color grading seems ok for the most part from what I have seen on youtube.
X-files did not get the fonts ported over to the remastered version. I believe the same people behind the remastering of TNG season 2 did the remastering of X-files. There was talk about the fonts were available, but they didn't care to use the correct font. Also MacGyvers iconic explosion logo font in the intro theme didn't get ported over to the season 1 of the original MacGyver, in this case there was probably a valid reason because this particular scene had a low resolution and the graphical logo didn't have a source, so they had to recreate it for the remaster and used the logo that follows the dvd cases. In my opinion the fonts are part of the shows integrity, but this isn't cultural history or something of importance, so yeah.....
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