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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

It's finally happening!

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I've already double-dipped with the VHS and the DVD. And I'm still getting this!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 10:33pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Wow.  

Hell just froze over. 

There's hope for Babylon 5
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I have them on DVD, and oddly enough, I have not watched them since they were broadcast! Dunno why!
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Francesco Consoli
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 6:52am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yes!
Great News!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I have my reservations about this but will support it.   

If it's a full series set, including TNBA I'll probably double dip.   The Complete BTAS DVD set (the one with the art book) was at one point a white whale of mine -- it wasn't on the market very long for some odd reason, and high demand created a situation where there were ten bootleg fakes for every legit copy.   Even tracking down a legit copy that hadn't been scratched and scuffed to hell that included the extra disk (always seemed to be missing in opened sets) was an exercise in frustration -- and I ended up returning many items listed as 'legit' back to ebay sellers over the years. I even made up my own picture guide of how to spot a fake set without opening it -- but a lot of ebay sellers have caught on and show a stock picture or a picture of a legit set stolen from someone else's auction.

I hope they put the time and effort needed to make these look good in hi-def, but short of a miracle where the original film or animation elements have surfaced I think the best we'll be able to get is an upconversion and a careful clean up supervised by the people who made this stuff like Bruce Timm and Glenn Murakami.  Timm had always been adamant that a remastering of BTAS wouldn't happen because you'd lose a lot of the grit and darkness that was practically another character on the show.   It's one of the few times where the muddiness of standard definition NTSC TV actually helped the mood.

The encoding on the DVD's is pretty terrible especially in the early episodes -- the original Poison Ivy/Harvey Dent episode is an almost unwatchable mess of aliased lines, moire patterns and NTSC artifacting.  The DVD's were sourced from VHS -- and encoded as 480i (though sometimes it's 240p) and that plays havoc with modern HDTV upconversion algorithms.  Also, animation with bright colours and thin lines doesn't fare well with standard upconversion even when the conditions are right-- thankfully BTAS doesn't have a lot of this but it's more common in the earlier episodes before the show style gelled.

It bothered me so much that I attempted at least twice to perform my own upconversions on some particularly bad episodes and while I ended up with something that was much more watchable it still wasn't perfect.  It's going to take a lot of 'by hand' dedication and love get this looking good in HD that is way beyond my talents.  I learned a lot about how TV was encoded and other stuff that only SMPTE members would care about though.

The only thing that really worries me is Bruce Timm's latest offering "in the BTAS style" was too bright, clean, and crisp and didn't capture the mood at all (and that's not counting my issues with the content!).

Maybe I don't want *that* Bruce Timm supervising the remaster...

(and,if they f**k with the aspect ratio to make it 'HDTV friendly' then I'm out)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 1:53pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Hmmm, I bought the DVDs which had pretty good extras. Unless there's a shitload of new extras (hours of them!), I can't justify buying it all over again on Blu-ray.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 2:34pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Rob, I would be happy just to get the
shows cleaned up a bit. Many look really
good, but some have a lot of cell dirt.
Normally it wouldn't bother me, but in
many cases, Timm made mention of it in his
commentary. Now, that's all I see.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I don't want to engage in too much thread drift, but buying something on Blu-ray has to be compelling for me.

Upgrading from VHS to DVD was easy (better quality, interactive menus, scene selection, extras), but replacing a DVD collection with a Blu-ray one has to give me a lot. A hell of a lot, to be honest!

I bought a Blu-ray player because WWE Blu-rays do have a dozen or so extra matches on compared to DVD, but if I am to replace a DVD of a film or TV series, then a Blu-ray must have quite a few new extras. If they just "regurgitate" the extras from the DVDs, that's not compelling enough for me.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I don't want to engage in too much thread drift, but buying something on Blu-ray has to be compelling for me.

-----

Remastering is pretty compelling for me. I haven't yet picked up the Mask of the Phantasm remaster, but I've been told it looks great and the comparison shots I've seen in the online reviews seem to confirm that. Bruce Timm even commented that some of the "grit" in the original series was a result of dirty lenses used to shoot the cels and not how they intended it to look. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 11:14pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Some of that grit, whether by accident or design, contributed to the style and flavor of the show.  There are some annoying bits of dirt and dust though, like the one on Batman's chin in the opening credits.   By all means remove that stuff but I think you have to be careful not to go too far.

I remember buying the (now long out of print) DVD release of the 1960's Spider-man cartoon that had been remastered (well, most of it... some of the Season 3 episodes weren't restored in the rush to have the DVD set on shelves in time for Raimi's Spider-man 2 film).   The restoration of that series was *too* good, IMO.  You could see quite clearly the individual brush strokes and folds in the background paintings in some scenes -- things that were never intended to be seen on 1960's NTSC television sets.   

I seriously hope they resist the temptation to 'fix' some rather obvious mistakes and leave the warts in there.   Biggest mistake off the top of my head is the Batmobile in the Adam West "Grey Ghost" episode, where the contracted Japanese animation studio misread the storyboards and had the batmobile bend to hug the road like it's made of rubber.  That same episode also has Alfred's mustache miscoloured.  Just leave that stuff alone.

It's probably too much to hope for SUPERMAN:TAS and BATMAN BEYOND to get the same treatment.  ZETA PROJECT and STATIC SHOCK never made out on DVD in full, and they have direct crossovers with B:TAS and JUSTICE LEAGUE.


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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 11:27pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

It's probably too much to hope for SUPERMAN:TAS and BATMAN BEYOND to get the same treatment.  ZETA PROJECT and STATIC SHOCK never made out on DVD in full, and they have direct crossovers with B:TAS and JUSTICE LEAGUE.

------

THE ZETA PROJECT is available through the Warner Archive, WB's print-on-demand DVD/Blu-Ray service. The first two seasons of STATIC SHOCK are there too, and I think they're planning to release the remain seasons. WB is even releasing seasons of current shows that might be low disc sellers through their POD service.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 11:44pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I just checked and Amazon has a license to manufacture Warner Archive discs through their own POD service. 
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:53pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Michael, I'd suspect the sales on the
Batman BluRay release will determine
whether on not to go forward with the
other shows, Superman and Batman Beyond.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I've seen so little of SUPERMAN: TAS. It would be nice to have either a DVD or Blu-ray set. 
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 1:53am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

There's hope for Babylon 5
-------------------------------------------------
No, no there isn't.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Robbie, Superman TAS was released as both
three small sets and one collected set.
Sadly, some of the disks are double sided.
In the collected set, there were
complaints about bad and/or scratched
disks.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:18am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Lots of weirdness with the DCAU DVD releases.

BTAS was released in 4 volumes (with the 4th actually TNBA, technically a separate show from BTS).   Each of those 4 volumes has been consistently in print since they were released.

BTAS was also released in a Complete box sex with an art book and extra disk that went out of print fast, came back in print briefly in 2010, only to be perpetually out of print since.  (see my post above for the horrible bootleg situation).  When I went to make my own upscaled versions I found that many of the disks in this set were not actually working properly.   Interestingly they are the exact same disks with the exact same silk screening as the 4 Volume sets.    Fortunately I had a friend who worked at the local Best Buy who could exchange the bare disks with ones taken from volume sets -- no skin off Best Buy because it's returned to the distributor as 'defective' (though it's not wholly above board either).

STAS was released with those flipper disks mentioned above and the Complete set also has the same flipper disks.   Seriously, who thought that reading the title of the movie off tiny print on the hub of the disk was a consumer-friendly thing?   Ironically, flipper disks are actually more expensive to make because they have to bond two disk surfaces back to back with specialized equipment.   Dual layer flippers (aka DVD-18's) are even more rare because they were extremely expensive and difficult to make.   I have DVD-18's of THE STAND, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and TERMINATOR 2 -- and they eventually had to start making T2 as two disks because of the high number of duds.

BATMAN BEYOND went back to regular disks in 3 sets and I've seen two versions of a Complete set -- one with an art book and one without.

JUSTICE LEAGUE's Complete volume was weirdly never released in Canada, just the indivudal season sets.   The first two seasons of JL are available on Bluray but there's some weirdness because Season 1 was produced in 4:3 aspect ratio but can be cut down to a 16:9 widescreen.  The widescreen version looks weird to me, zoomed and pixelated -- and perhaps psychologically I know that there's parts of the screen cut off and it's not what was was originally intended.  Season 2 and JLU's three seasons were all produced in widescreen.   Weirdly, none of JLU is available on Bluray in HD but the episodes are available in HD from streaming services.

None of the DCAU films are packed with the TV series, even though MASK OF THE PHANTASM actually does happen at a specific point in BTAS (after the first 'season').  The other two BTAS movies are a bit meh, though I notice MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN got a bluray release recently -- and I believe  Bruce Timm has said MOTBW may not be canon, or at least not wholly considered DCAU canon.

BB: RETURN OF THE JOKER is another weird one.  Censored on release, then uncensored and released in an inferior format.   This is the one film I hope gets a proper Bluray treatment and includes both versions.  Ironically the censored version actually is far more creepy in one scene than the uncensored version.

SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC ATTACKS might look like the DCAU but I assure you it's not.  It's also complete garbage. I also don't consider BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN to be DCAU, but that's just my personal preference.


I'd love to see a 'Complete DCAU' set someday.   Baby steps, baby steps.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 12 October 2017 at 6:21am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:54am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Lots of weirdness with the DCAU DVD releases.

***

Oh, I agree. So convoluted that it could form the basis of a pub quiz.

"How many DVD releases were there originally for BATMAN: TAS?"
"Which sets featured episode intros by Bruce Timm?"
"In which country was a complete season of JLA first released?"

Convoluted nonsense. 
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Steven Ely
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 9:58pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

BTAS was also released in a Complete box sex

********
I wasn't aware of the sex bit.

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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 11:12am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Minor note on STATIC SHOCK. I really thought Static was going to be THE "breakout superhero" of the early '00s in the same way that Wolverine was by the 1980s -- someone everyone had heard of even if you didn't read comics. (The Punisher, too, though he's no hero.)

I don't think it happened. I'm not sure why.

Today, the "breakout" character is...Deadpool. I would've preferred Static.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 12:11pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Adam, you reacted to Static as a fan, not an ennui-engorged fanboy who needs a character like Deadpool to show civilians he's still kewl reading comics.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 6:49pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Heh. Well said, JB. 
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