I agree with the photographer. I have also worked with photography for a number of years and have worked with color correction and have given color lots of thought. The scene with the glow of light coming from the TV is correct. TVs, particularly then; were always too cool color temperature wise along with a lot of TVs out of the box today!!! Even without knowing all of that, I say most would probably agree the colors having a muted (bluish effect) does make the scene much more suspenseful.
Now lets talk about those fall like colors from the DVD THX version of the movie. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong. The only direct sunlight I see is shooting across the horizon. (Another words, it's not high noon and it's without any real deep shadows.) In addition, I see a hazy or clear sky and both also effect how colors are recorded onto daylight balanced film. The point is, the sun is at a position like that only two times a day. Either early or late in the day. When that happens, unless there's sun light illuminating a subject directly (during that time of day,) what your going to get color wise is a major cooling effect in the shadows and shaded areas. For example, with the new Blu-ray edition, take a look at the house on the very left. It's totally in shade and very bluish (because the light is from the sky) along with the sidewalk and pavement on the road. That's just the way things look when it's dusk.
Now of course during dusk, and when the sun still has not completely gone below the horizon; that quality of filtered sunlight illuminating onto something directly, is going to be very orangey and reddish. And, everything else in the shade will appear bluish (unless there's lots of light being bounced or reflecting directly into a shaded area.) So based from what I know on the effects of light during different times of the day along with other naturally occurring conditions, the DVD THX version looks to be correct in a real world situation.
So the color differences between the THX version and the new Blu-ray version confuses the hell out of me and probably a lot of others on this board. So let's "shed some light onto the subject" (pun intended) and examine the differences in color between those two versions.
One person stated the scene was shot during the Spring. Well, that would have to be late Spring because everything looks to be in full bloom. In late Spring, there are also no fall colors. So where did all these fall colors come from? Looking for answers, I looked somewhere else. In a conversation about this movie within IMDB, one person wrote "H1 was filmed during the spring of 1978, hence the greenery instead of the autumn." There is also talk about how palm trees had to be "hidden." So the fact the movie was recorded in the Spring is not an argument.
To quickly move this conversation further and to a quick determination, I can only say, unless someone has an original road print from 1978, we can only speculate on how the colors originally looked.
Now, just for the hell of it, let's use some logic to understand more of what's going on here.
I can take any outdoor image of a lawn photographed in the Spring and play with the color adjustments all day. Yes, I would be able to make any and all green leaves and give them fall like colors. However, without being able to selectively target certain plants and/or vegetation for color adjustments, creating fall colors on trees without also effecting all the other green areas and the rest of the colors, would create an image that would look very bad!!! I mean really really bad!!! It wouldn't even look real. As far as I know, when working with selective color adjustments, (adjusting the color on one object while not effecting all the other colors,) is a technique that can only be done digitally. And of course, color adjustments like that would have been a impossibility in 1978. So, the only way to do that in 1978 would have been to either paint each one of those leaves or use some other type of special effect such as a mat paining and/or use of another 35mm motion picture camera. Of course, VistaVision would be the correct choice to help hide the effects of the extra layer of film superimposed with the original scene. Since (as far as I know,) VistaVision was not used for the making of this movie, painting the leaves would have been the better (and less expensive) choice for this 1978 low budget production.
Giving the benefit of doubt, if there was another film strip superimposed over the original scene and that special effect strip of film came up missing, that could explain why if going back to the original negative, everything has more of a spring like look like it was originally shot. At this point of course, I'm speculating. I don't know of any of those kinds of special effects being used for this movie.
Logically, I can only conclude, the fall like colors on the THX version came later by digital selective color enhancements. Again, the reason why I can only come up with this conclusion (and clearly it's my assumption!) is, if the trees were originally painted fall like colors in 1978; then those fall like colors would have to have been digitally taken out for the new releases. To take fall like colors out of some trees, would take more than simple overall color adjustments. It would have to be deliberate because of all the time it takes to do all of this. It would include selectively separating those fall colors to change them to green without effecting the rest of the colors. Again, if there's any overall adjustment of colors, ALL the colors would be effected. The point is, that would be a lot of work and there would have to be serious reasons to do that kind of work.
I can't stress enough, if all there was in adjusting colors to make those fall colors look green or greenish using a simple cooling effect (either by taking out some red/yellow or adding some blue or taking out some green,) would effect the whole image BADLY! And even worse, adding a cooling filter would still render the fall like colors on those trees, to still have some fall like color effects. So another words, a lot of major work (time) would be needed to make those fall like colors to look green. In my opinion, no one would work that hard to change fall like colors to something else unless it wasn't like that from the beginning.
Another conclusion I can come up with, is; if there's more than one very early generation print of the movie out there being used to create home video releases. For example, there might be a interpositive that differs from the original negative.
Also, it would be interesting to learn if anyone here possibly has a copy of the first VHS cassette ever released of this movie. Chances are, the source would have been from a road print giving us a clue as how the colors originally looked. Not for color matching, but at least to see if all those trees are greenish or have fall like colors. The only other clue to the original colors can also come from original copies of the trailer.
In conclusion, based from all the screen shots of the 35th anniversary Blu-ray edition, the color is probably the closest match of the original film. With that said, I'm very happy I held off on the earlier Blu-ray release!
A final note: Again about the color differences in the trees from the THX edition and the newer editions; EITHER: color was added to fall like colors for one version, OR: color was changed BACK to a natural green color on the newer versions for some odd reason.