View Full Version : BtVS coming in HD

19-08-14, 02:48 PM
Hey :wave:

Just thought I'd give a heads up and let everybody know that BtVS is finally being released in HD. Pivot is airing the show from S1 and they have remastered the series. A lot of people are speculating a Blu Ray release is coming soon. It'd also mean that people could screencap the earlier seasons and it'd be a lot easier to do fanart etc

Here's a trailer. The show looks very pretty :)



19-08-14, 10:05 PM
Forever dreaming of that BR release soon :)

20-08-14, 01:13 AM
Wow, that is NOT HD. The YouTube video is in 480p. My DVDs are in much better quality. If it were actual HD, why wouldn't the YouTube video be in at least 720p?

I do hope for a Blu Ray. We know that the stuff on the DVDs was digitally compressed because it says so on the DVDs. It would likely not be in true HD since the show wasn't shot with HD cameras, but it should be better than what is on the DVDs.

20-08-14, 05:22 AM

MikeB, you don't know what you're talking about. BtVS and AtS were filmed on old-fashioned, grainy FILM, not standard def. digital cameras that became common in television production later before the HD switchover (BtVS/AtS predate the digital switchover altogether). All film can be released on Blu-ray because the amount of information is so much more than what a DVD can hold. You don't seem to get that this isn't a standard def. vs. HD digital video issue, seeing as these shows predate digital video (and aren't even videotape either--think 'soap operas' for what that looked like before digital video started mimicking the filmic look). The shows were shot on 16mm and then 35mm (from season 3 on) FILM. Your complaint about what the YouTube ad was uploaded in having any relation to what is going to be broadcast really means squat. And there have been some MASSIVE changes to the footage in that ad.

Doctor Who 2005-2008 is a good example of what standard def. digital video actually is, though the Blu-ray upscale version wipes the floor with the DVD version (the better skin tone colors in the upscale are obvious), despite the idea that DVD was as good as it was going to get. Likewise, Classic Doctor Who being done on videotape (the kind that was actually wiped and reused, leading to the 97 episodes still missing) outside of some exterior film inserts means that Blu-ray is pretty much not going to happen (Spearhead from Space being the singular exception due to being filmed entirely on film), despite standard def. NuWho getting upscaled with impressive results.

Side-by-side comparisons:

Comparing images, the ads have the footage pan and scanned (4:3 to 16:9--hopefully not during broadcast), lightened and retinted (the Bronze scene from The Harvest is no longer dark and blue). Hair strands are visible where shadow used to hide them, eye whites that were blurry before aren't (Buffy's eye whites in the aforementioned scene weren't as shiny, her skin is pink instead of blue and her shirt is a smooth white--people cowering in the background are no longer completely ensconced in shadow), things that were extremely dark are lighter (but not in a way that would degrade the image--things actually look clearer) without very heavy tinting we're used to seeing, skin tones have a lot more of their natural pink in them (even in outdoor scenes, where things used to look grainy and yellow-washed), etc... Everything is a lot cleaner. A lot of blue and darkness have been taken out of the season 1 footage. I do suspect a waxy filter (very controversial in film restoration), because the film originals should have a lot more grain.

The show was all done on film (and exists in widescreen--possibly except for season 1--despite it not being framed for that resulting in production things popping into the sides on occasion, though not to a distracting extent and not much different from the boom mikes, crew, stunt double fails, dangling threads over cameras, visible shorts during intended nudity and other screw-ups already littered through the official versions!--however, you get a lot more scenery and actors to the sides of the often close-up centered face--there's a serious audio pitch issue with the conversion to the 25fps PAL frame rate, though), which means that a complete clean-up is possible with a little money spent (they've done similar upgrade overhauls on Star Trek, which had pretty sad-looking retro quality once upon a time, too).

I wonder if the real widescreen versions will just be seasons 4-7 or they've gotten their hands on 2-3 (see the PAL 'previously on' segments for This Year's Girl, Fool For Love, The Gift and Bargaining). One thing is for certain when I checked what Pivot was using for season 7 is that they're definitely using the widescreen versions. Their broadcast looks strangely skinny, though.

The big deal will be the fact that they'll need to redo all the special effects (vamp morphs, vamp dustings from the earliest CGI dust splatters to the later crumbling skeletons, Lurconis the particularly crappy sewer snake prototype that was a trial run to see if CGI could be done on a TV budget/schedule, the Mayor snake--not bad for 1999, Glory's Sobek snake, the Lord of the Rings-esque Turok-Han army, etc...). All special effects shots were done by transferring the film to videotape (which reduces the quality of the whole shot), which will be the biggest remastering problem. Every one of those vamp dustings cost $5,000 at the time.

Even a simple upscale would be great for BtVS/AtS (early BtVS is in the worst shape, obviously), but if they got a hold of the real film (which is a lot better than what is on the DVDs) and did a proper remastering, despite needing to redo all the special effects, there'd be a huge difference.

Even very grainy low-grade film that sometimes looks a little odd (and this is only an issue for very early BtVS--Inca Mummy Girl and Reptile Boy had a very strange 'what were they thinking?' overexposed orange tint) has more picture information than what can appear on a DVD. Really old films and even silent movies with much crappier film stock and all sorts of age-related restoration problems can get Blu-ray releases because they were still done on film. Everything would definitely get sharper with more picture information from a true film remastering.

All the BtVS/AtS DVDs are also extremely early releases from the late '90s/early '00s. BtVS had VHS releases! Comparing early and later releases of Classic Doctor Who shows how far DVD mastering has come (later releases are a lot sharper--and those episodes, done in a wacky combination of videotape and film, are decades old). Some of those DVDs had rereleases because those earliest remasterings weren't really up to par and the repair technology got so much better. Even on DVD, with Blu-ray being a definite possibility because they're on film, I think BtVS and AtS are probably due for some much-needed remastering.

And if the film getting cleaned up means everything gets a little brighter, then there's hope for the middle seasons of AtS to not look quite so much like it was shot without a single light bulb on set. LOL.

11-09-14, 12:20 AM
That just made my day! :-)

12-09-14, 08:34 AM
Sadly, there are some glaring issues, though the clarity of the footage and existence of never-before-seen 16mm season 1 having widescreen (even though the hack editor didn't always use it--cropping shots grotesquely within episodes that are then visible in perfect widescreen in 'previously on' segments and the opening credits!--not to mention the atrocities that didn't even use the full width of the 4:3 shot) is definitely a revelation... If only they'd have treated it with more care.

Bad news on the sfx remakes. They're... quite bad. The vampire dustings are... awful. Bursting water balloons/smoke bursts (often timed very differently and larger) with not a speck of dust or crumbling to be seen (no dust particles remain on the floor afterwards, such as in Darla's case--which is going to be a continuity issue, seeing as there is dialog such as Cordy mistaking dust she forgot to sweep for Angel in IWRY). And I'm thinking upscales seriously need to be used (or, better yet, they need to track down the original computer files) instead of the redone, totally half-assed, low-budget CGI (sub-'90s!) that looks very carelessly redone with absolutely no attention paid to what the original looks like. I cringe at what our new Mayor is going to look like!

And they've even managed to put in an entirely wrong shot of Giles during Prophecy Girl (during the Hellmouth beastie sequence). Sometimes the pink tint is very overbearing. The DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) is also blatant. They frequently didn't pay attention to which frames they were cutting on either (see the Youtube comparison videos).

However, the brightening of some sequences almost makes some so-dark-they're-almost-black shots truly visible for the first time ever, often in a good way (the visibility of the street making Sunnydale look a lot more real, the Summerses' porch, the fact that you can now see DB slipping SMG his tongue, etc... are a revelation), sometimes not (the day-for-night shot, the fact that Xander's flashlight no longer seems necessary, Angel's game face reveal desperately needs the dramatic shadows back on it and the Master needs his shadows back on him to prevent him from looking even more like a white albino rat--the green screen shot of him coming out of the blood pool needs to be color-corrected darker to match). We've had it revealed that the first sequence in Buffy's bedroom during Angel was a day-for-night shot with sunlight peaking through the blinds (you can see the sunny sky). LOL. That was clearly supposed to be darkened with a blue filter in post-production.

Much of the footage often seems to be the raw footage without any post-production grading (though they've gone a little overboard at times with adding unnatural levels of pink).

More details here:

This needs way more attention! Come on, Jossverse fans! I realize we're a dwindling species, but we've definitely got to put some pressure on Fox to make sure the Blu-ray gets a major overhaul from this. If we want anything approaching the quality of and the care taken with the Star Trek or The X-Files HD restorations, we really must act now.