Originally Posted by dougotte
Wnorris, everything you wrote above about the Trek set makes sense, with one small caveat:
The branching parts of each episode were fairly small, and included only the opening credits and a minute or two of effects shots. I'd estimate each episode at about 1.1 times the normal episode, not 1.5.
I'm curious: why aren't you interested in lossless audio on this set? Lossless audio should always be better, depending upon the quality of the source tapes, of course. When I watch the HD-DVD of Casablanca, the audio strikes me as sounding slightly muffled, even compared to other older films (e.g. The Third Man) which do have lossless audio. I know that might not be a fair comparison...
Well, I'll diasagree. The entire opening sequence (2-3 minutes in itself) was branched, plus numerouse effects shots. Every return from commercial break has the Captains log narrated while the Enterprise orbits, so 3 breaks per episode. Any phaser fire, many shots where background can be seen through windows, painted backdrops were replaced with CGI backdrops. So often when on a planets surface, the entire segment (15-20 minutes) will have a new background. Then every space shot was redone, viewports, and any scene with a transport, etc. Any scene that that has the bridge's main screen has new effects, even if you don't notice. All around, I think there are about 60 new effects shots per episode. There is much more new effects than you realize, and the branch doesn't just happen immediately when the new effects shots occurs. Most branches occur several seconds before the effects shot, and a few even occur several minutes before at scene transitions.
Maybe it is a little less than 1.5X, but it is definately more than 1.1X.
EDIT: After some poking around, I found that the average size per episode of TOS, including the branching footage, subtitles, lossless audio track, and mono audio track is 8.75 GB per episode.
So if the Prisoner had all of that , you would have to compress more heavily to fit it on a BD25. But I'm not sure it will have the lossless audio (which would save about 1.5 GB there by itself). It also won't have branching material.
So even if TOS is only 10% branching and you remove lossless audio, it makes it 6.5 GB per episode. Close enough that I could easily see the Prisoner having 4 episodes with very high quality transfers on a BD25.
It isn't all doom and gloom.