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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well does anyone know if this is just for this musical ep. or is Buffy going to be LBX from now on? I know it`s not HD but at least it`s wide screen. The sound was not bad, alot better then most shows, but not 5.1. This was a great show to bad I could not get a good signal for UPN today, as I was hopeing to try out my HiPix card, didn`t work rats. This was a long uncut version of the show that would never be aired again.
 

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I think that was the most nifty thing I've seen in some time now.


It was windowboxed on my WinTV-HD, black bars on 4 sides, but I managed to capture it with only about 3 small breakups. I think.


I liked that show. I am happy now. :)


- Tom
 

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I'm watching this right now on KCOP in Los Angeles, and the quality is awful compared to the regular weekly broadcast -- which is already widescreen. This letterboxing has just made less bits available for image.
 

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Well, Jacksonville FL doesn't have digital UPN but the episode was very good none the less. I've never watch a whole episode of Buffy but this one caught my eye (or ear as the case may be) and it was very well done. Sure it was corny in some parts but it was a refreshing change and fun to watch.


Tim Huey
 

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While I enjoyed the music on the Buffy Musical I thought that the picture quality was awful. The Dish transmission of WSBK and WWOR was awful and my OTA WDCA analog transmission was just as bad. Too many lines of resolution being taken up by the letterboxing bars. Maybe they'll release it on Anamophic DVD, wouldn't that be nice.


--Louis
 

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I am a compulsively dedicated Buffy fan and watch all of them. They are all very soft, heavily filtered, even for NTSC upconverts.


It is sometimes depressing to see the commercials have so much more resolution than the show.


But that said, I'm not sure the windowboxing loses much more resolution in my case. Since it's transmitted here upconverted to 1080i even if almost half the pixels are lost to the borders there are still many more than in the source. It's the filtering that gets it.


And last year I was watching it on WB which has some of the worst analog reception of any of my cable channels.


As evidenced by some of the commercials, I think that upconverted NTSC can be much better than analog. They just aren't upconverting it as well as they could.


- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My Hipix could not get a good lock on WWOR 44-3 here, so I lost what I think was the best Buffy ever. If all of you are wondering why I am so pleased with letter boxed shows is because of how I must view them. I`m just a poor house painter who can barely afford a Hipix and my 21inch iiyama CRT. This is how I watch most OTA at home. But I was able to convince my newly retired dad to buy a 57H81. The problem is he uses the streatch mode on ALL NTSC! he will not use the side bars ever! He does zoom in on the LBXed shows, but for the rest all are fat! It was good to see Buffy thin again :)
 

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I too am a compulsively dedicated buffy fan. If they don't win an emmy for this season, the emmy committee needs to be voted off the island.


Unfortunately in the bay area, UPN doesn't seem to upconvert their buffy, and it's not anamorphic, (evidenced by the upn logo mostly in the black bars) which is a shame. Low res and soft/filtered. Oh well, it's still the best show out there.


So, I'm thinking that we should take up a collection to buy Joss Whedon some 720P cameras and editing equipment, what do you think? or do they shoot with film?
 

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I think it is already shot on film. I suspect it's just a problem with how UPN upconverts it. Unless they are purposely softening it as a form of copy protection.


I realize this is supposed to be the HDTV forum and this is not really HDTV.


But with all the expertise on this forum it's a shame nobody bother to rag on the stations that are doing lousy upconverts. Many of them could probably improve their picture quite a bit at not too much cost if they wanted to. And then they could claim they were really working to transmit 24 hours / day of quality digital TV.


Of course many here would just say don't encourage them in dragging their feet to real HDTV. But I think it is almost certain that even good SDTV would accelerate the rollout. Think what it would do for A/B compares in showrooms.


And of course then I could see Buffy better. ;)


- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I`d just like to see it in good 480p once before the show ends!

I have to watch it on the UPN he in NY that shares the same channel with FOX! But why does the FOX SDTV look so much better then the UPN? I can`t belive any channel could look worse the FOX, it just had to be my Buffy channel :(
 

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Quote:
I`d just like to see it in good 480p once before the show ends!
Me too. But the funny thing about it is that 480p is really a waste of bandwidth for 24p film source. I'll probably get flamed and lectured for this but I think with proper 3:2 pulldown removal the main difference between 480p and (widescreen) 480i is whether someone felt they had to filter the heck out of it for interlaced displays. Since there are only 24 frames per second in film anyway 480p just sends more duplicate fields, most of which get compressed into practically nothing.


I can (and have) turn the Buffy show into 24p but after all the filtering it went through it is much less than DVD quality. And yet with the same or lesser bandwidth (about 12-14 mbps) I could create a much better than DVD 480i picture if I started from the film source. (and had the expensive toys)


I mean we are talking about way more than Superbit DVD's here.


Though I agree that most receivers won't do 3:2 pulldown removal on 480i SDTV yet, and those that do may still do some more filtering.


I just don't understand why they make it so soft. I wonder if they are just scaling it wrong? Maybe I can fix that? :)


- Tom
 

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I have to think that when the series comes out in January (rumor) on DVD, that the 480i will look better than the 480P they are producing today. Is it possible that the UPN stations are receiving it in NTSC and converting it to ATSC? I think that might explain the lack of PQ.


Certainly, a much better picture could be produced from the film. I just want to see it in good 720P. Maybe we should start a letter campaign re: Buffy in true HDTV.
 

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I have the PAL DVD sets of the first 3 seasons. I have to admit the first two seasons also look somewhat soft there. I haven't watched the 3rd one yet.


As far as Buffy HD, maybe it's getting closer. UPN Detroit is showing their first HD movie tommorrow night. :)

this thread


- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tom the first two seasons of Buffy were taped, and not produced on film, So thats why they look so soft. There also will never be any widescreen versions of the first two seasons for the same reason.
 

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But it's the current shows that are soft (I don't get fx in dtv so I can't compare reruns vs current).


Anybody know how much it costs to do a hidef transfer of 45 minutes of film?


Maybe we should try and convince Mark Cuban to distribute Buffy...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lomax
Tom the first two seasons of Buffy were taped, and not produced on film, So thats why they look so soft. There also will never be any widescreen versions of the first two seasons for the same reason.
That is not correct. "Buffy" has never been shot on video. It's always been on film. The first 2 seasons, however, were on 16mm. The rest are on 35mm. If you see a difference in sharpness, that's the difference you're seeing. In recent years, the differences have become less severe due to better 16mm film stocks and (more significantly) better telecines. To illustrate this, compare the early seasons of "Buffy" to recent episodes of Dawsons Creek, Roswell, or Scrubs, all of which are shot on 16mm, but transferred on modern telecines that do a much better job.
 

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Offtopic: So, if 16mm film stock has improved, does 35mm have roughly 4 times the resolution of 16mm? What I'm getting at is, would you start hitting film grain if you were transferring off 16mm at 1920x1080 or 1280x720?

I'm a photographer and I can usually get at least 6000x4000 off 35mm slide film. I'm just curious whether or not you could get true hidef on Dawson's Creek (one of my other favorite shows).


Interestingly though, Dawson's Creek (16mm) on SDTV on WB 20-1 (bay area, CA) is higher quality than Buffy (35mm) on SDTV on UPN 45-1 (bay area, CA). I'm sure that the quality reduction is all on the video processing end and probably not on the film or transfer parts of the conversion process.


mmost, since you seem to be knowledgeable about these shows, are they edited in video? Do they go back and do a final transfer based on a cut list from the video editing?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by foundation
Offtopic: So, if 16mm film stock has improved, does 35mm have roughly 4 times the resolution of 16mm? What I'm getting at is, would you start hitting film grain if you were transferring off 16mm at 1920x1080 or 1280x720?

I'm a photographer and I can usually get at least 6000x4000 off 35mm slide film. I'm just curious whether or not you could get true hidef on Dawson's Creek (one of my other favorite shows).


Interestingly though, Dawson's Creek (16mm) on SDTV on WB 20-1 (bay area, CA) is higher quality than Buffy (35mm) on SDTV on UPN 45-1 (bay area, CA). I'm sure that the quality is all on the video processing end and probably not on the film or transfer parts of the conversion process.


mmost, since you seem to be knowledgeable about these shows, are they edited in video? Do they go back and do a final transfer based on a cut list from the video editing?
Since a 35mm frame is roughly 4 times the area of a 16mm frame, given the same emulsion 35mm has approximately 4 times the resolution. That doesn't mean that 16mm is below common HD resolutions. You must understand that film grain is far smaller than pixels on a CCD pickup device, therefore you can't count the "number of grains" (which is somewhat random, since all individual silver halide grains are not the same size or shape, not to mention that there are 3 layers) the way you can number of pixels in a CCD, which is fixed. The resolution of 16mm still exceeds the resolution of HD video by a fair amount.


You state that "Dawson's Creek is higher quality than Buffy." This is not necessarily the case. What you really mean is that you happen to like what Dawsons looks like more than you happen to like what Buffy looks like. So many people here have opinions that they like to turn into technical judgments. I'm not saying that all broadcasts are transparent to the original masters, and I'm not saying that some shows aren't a bit more meticulous about their "look" than others. But network television programs are, in general, posted by the same facilities, using the same equipment, and the same personnel. The equipment used is the highest quality state of the art equipment available, and the personnel who run this equipment are highly skilled and take great pride in their work. The "looks" of different shows have far more to do with creative decisions on the part of producers and directors of photography than anything else. What you see on the air is almost always the creative intent of those who make the show. That's not to say there isn't a glitch in the broadcast chain occasionally, but particularly when dealing with digital broadcast, it doesn't happen often. What you see is what was delivered. If you don't happen to like it, that's up to you. But nearly everything that's mentioned here as pertaining to "picture quality" is a subjective judgment based on personal taste, and not a technical judgment of the material at all. "Picture quality" judgments here are usually referring to how much detail and sharpness there is in the image. Storytelling isn't always about detail and sharpness. Sometimes the story is told more effectively when you can't see everything and everything you see isn't in focus. Contrary to those who post here, producers of network television programs in general do not know or care about what their programs look like in HD. The vast, vast, vast majority of the viewing public is seeing the NTSC frame. That is what is concentrated on. I don't know of any show that concentrates on the HD image.


As for editing on video: EVERYTHING today is edited on video. Television, feature films, everything. There is practically no film editing left at the professional level today. There are a few shows that generate negative cut lists from a digital editing system (Avid is dominant in both TV and features), assemble the negative, and transfer from that. These include ER, Third Watch, West Wing, NYPD Blue, and Law and Order. Practically all other shows finish on tape using the daily transfers as a source, whether SD or HD. That would include the 2 shows you mentioned.
 

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Agreed that the looks are very subjective. Let me re-phrase. I prefer the detail and sharpness of a fair number of SDTV shows compared to Buffy.


I haven't yet done enough research to see if it's correlated with the different channels I'm receiving in the bay area.


I know grains can't be equated to pixels, but especially in certain images (blue skies) at certain resolutions you can begin to "see" the grain. I treat this as a practical resolution limit, as when I'm shooting/scanning slide film I don't often have the time to do sharpness/resolving ability tests.


Mmost: you state that shows are made to look a certain way, but you also state that directors/producers never see the DTV result.


Given that some UPN stations are upconverting and others aren't it seems like some of what we're subjectively perceiving as softness and lack of contrast could be variations on what equipment the broadcasters are using.


Getting back to the original topic, I definitely liked the widescreen aspect ratio of buffy. I hope that they continue with it, and of course I'm being greedy but it would be nice if it was anamorphic (and hidef :) but I guess I'll have to wait for the DVDs.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by foundation
Mmost: you state that shows are made to look a certain way, but you also state that directors/producers never see the DTV result.

No, but they do see the original masters, or close facsimiles of them. The purpose of DTV transmission is to maintain more faithfully the picture and sound on those original masters through the broadcast chain, without the various errors introduced through analog transmission and reception. There are certainly different levels of encoding quality out there, in general, you get what you pay for. That's why network upconversions of national commercials generally look crisper than local digital encoding of similar material. I have found, though, that in general, digital transmission does maintain the look of the original master quite well, particularly on network broadcasts, regardless of format (i.e., the statement includes Fox).
 
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