ATTN JMS: B5 on DVD & latest news from Warner Bros.

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Apr 22 04:22:13 EDT 2000

From: biles at (C/1Lt. Joe Biles)
Date: 21 Apr 2000 14:48:32 -0600
Lines: 78

$1500 x 110 episodes + the 5 movies is a
>good chunk of change.)

The pilot was 4:3 ratio, so that's only 4 movies. Still more than I
could afford (hell, right now I couldn't afford to transfer a single
ep) but there it is.

What you COULD do though, make the DVDs from the PAL digibeta masters
and flip the region encoding. On DVDs the only difference between West
v. East is encryption, not actual format differences. Once you've got
the digitized copy of the episode, you can crank out as many as you
want. Making a GOOD transfer from analog to digital format, I'm not
sure how much that costs. NDEI had to do it every ep before they put
in special effects, so you tell us, would that be cheaper than $1500?

On 20 Apr 2000 14:51:33 -0600, jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5) wrote:

>>1)  Around September you were quoted as saying that Warner Bros. had told
>>you that a DVD release was scheduled, first in the U.K. (early 2000) and a
>>few months later in the U.S.  Is this quote accurate?
>I actually can't recall now where I heard it, I've been kind of scattered of
>late, but what I do recall hearing was that they were going to release some in
>the UK and if they did well, they would consider releasing them in the US.  But
>that was the full extent of what I'd heard, and it certainly isn't binding on
>>2)  I remember seeing an interview with Doug Netter in which he seemed to
>>imply that hi-def widescreen masters for all the episodes and movies *had
>>already been produced* by Warner Technical Operations in anticipation of
>>eventual syndication or cable deals involving HDTV transmission.
>>Is this
>>information correct?   If so, could you sketch out a map of the Warner Bros.
>>studios showing how to get from the WHV building to WTO?  I'd like to send
>>it along with a compass, a canteen and a few granola bars to Mike Finnegan.
>This I *can* speak to with authority, because I've SEEN the widescreen
>versions.  We worked hand in hand with the guys at WB's technology office to
>help handle the transfer to widescreen.  Not only that, but at one point we sat
>down at Laser Pacific here in LA with a bunch of guys from WB, LP, and our team
>(Flinn, me, Copeland, others) to view an ep in widescreen to examine ways in
>which we could take greater advantage of the wide frame while still protecting
>for current aspect ratios (i.e., don't shoot everything dead center, have it
>off-center a little more or bleed off the side, because it'll all come back
>again once you retelecine back to the original widescreen, that sort of thing).
>What WB says, repeatedly, is that there is no such critter.  Which is true and
>not true.  There is no such critter in NTSC format.  The widescreen versions
>were made for foreign release, in PAL format only.
>So there is no NTSC format widescreen.  But you can HAVE an NTSC format
>widescreen by just transferring the PAL digibeta tapes to NTSC.  
>It costs about $1,500 per episode to do this, because it has to be carefully
>tweaked to avoid digital artifacting and line trading and the like.  (See how
>much tech stuff you learn being an exec producer?)  WB has been unwilling to
>pony up the dough for that transfer.  ($1500 x 110 episodes + the 5 movies is a
>good chunk of change.)
>So widescreen versions DO exist.  I've seen them, others in the B5 team have
>seen them, and some of the movies have been released in wide in the UK.
>One can only hope that, in time, they can be persuaded to expend the effort.
> jms
>(jmsatb5 at
>B5 Official Fan Club at:
>(all message content (c) 2000 by
>synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
>to reprint specifically denied to
>SFX Magazine)

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 21 Apr 2000 15:06:08 -0600
Lines: 21

>The pilot was 4:3 ratio, so that's only 4 movies. Still more than I
>could afford (hell, right now I couldn't afford to transfer a single
>ep) but there it is.

Oops, you're right, I misspoke; the other 4 were in wide, and I just lumped in
the pilot with those.  


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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