EXCLUSIVE: Malcolm in the Middle Seasons 1-7 Coming to DVD Starting 2012! - Page 19
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Thread: EXCLUSIVE: Malcolm in the Middle Seasons 1-7 Coming to DVD Starting 2012!

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjdean View Post
    They don't use the original sources, and they haven't even converted from NTSC to PAL! Abysmal.
    That's not a big deal. I personally can't stand the 4% PAL speed up. It shouldn't exist. 3:2 pulldown is the way to go.

    Fox should do a new transfer in HD then give us some actual Blurays with the original cuts, true framerate, every languages + subtitles, an awesome video and audio bitrate, 16:9 ratio and maybe some features. That's all i want.



  2. #182
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    Exclamation Richard Walker, head of Fabulous Films, responds to DVD criticism

    I just got these replies from personal communication with Richard Walker, head of production for Fabulous Films, to complaints about the MITM DVDs raised by us here and on Amazon, and he was graceful enough to share them with us!

    Hie replies are in bold type.

    Why are the releases in NTSC while region 2 should normally be PAL format?

    DVD players nowadays have the capability to play NTSC or PAL DVDs, the region coding is the only regional part. We release most of our shows in the original format, and most of our shows are American.

    Why are the shows noticeably interlaced causing lots of combing effects? (the lines visible in fast-moving parts of the image, especially when viewed on computers)

    This will normally be down to the TV set, not the player of the disc, some older TVs aren't designed for playing NTSC discs. This never shows up on any of our players.

    Why do American rating agency symbols and Fox Widescreen Digital TV logos appear on some episodes randomly?

    This has been a massive headache..after we released season 1 in widescreen, we were told that all the seasons had widescreen masters. Seasons 1 and 2 were shot on 16mm then seasons 3-7 were on HD. So we thought let's release it all in widescreen. We order our masters direct from Fox and they have scoured the vaults and the only widescreen versions they have have the burnt indents in. They have plenty of 4.3 masters without but for some reason they were made like this and I have tried to access the original footage and this has proved impossible. We thought the indents were a small price to pay for having the benefit of the widescreen versions.

    What it all boils down to is this: why couldn't someone go back to the masters on 16mm film and have them scanned?

    The cost of doing this is huge, our view is don't mess with history, they were made and broadcast like this. We would have had more objection if we had messed with it.

    Were compressed digital transfers meant for TV (syndication or streaming) used "as is" for the release?

    All syndication masters were 4.3, these widescreen were only used domestically.

    The transfers also appear to be on the dark side, making adjustments on TV and computer screen necessary to see details.

    Nothing has been altered, we are working off the original broadcast masters. The first set of tapes Fox sent me were dreadful, it has been a huge battle to get out what we have.

    And there's the lack of subtitles. I know there will be budgetary constraints and so on, but still.

    I would love to but it would add a cost of £10,000 to each season. Season 1 has sold about 3,000 copies, to Season 4 about 500 copies. If season 1 had shipped 10,000 units on release of course I would have added subtitles. The DVD market is in massive decline due to all the online theft and file sharing, it means the real fans who actually buy the product are now denied all the bonus features they were used to enjoying..

    I see people kind of waver between enthusiasm that the series had finally become available, and in widescreen, which is a very nice bonus, and disappointment that the image quality couldn't be better and that we are now likely to be stuck with these versions for a long time and in possible re-releases, as the sources get older and are becoming less likely to get marketed as expensive "deluxe" transfers with extras.

    It is highly unlikely that Fox will ever release all of them in the US and it is highly unlikely they will present anything more than we have. They should have released them off the back of the broadcast and they would have sold well. Now it is an old show to them and of little interest and thus they won't invest anything into it, plus the music clearance costs in the US are astronomical. [As for possible extras, like interviews, gag reels and trailers], I made contact with all the key casts agents and got no support what so ever. I did try.

    Hope this answers you questions, and enjoy the rest of the series!! Season 6 release has just been posted on Amazon.
    Last edited by Richiepiep; Apr 6, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
    All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in.
    I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin.


    Beiß mein' Schorf, Blasenloch!

  3. #183

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    My season 5 set arrived today, and once again it is field blended, which as most people know, I absolutely despise. I regret to post that I shall no longer be purchasing any future sets, as I have season 5 onwards recorded from TV, without field blending artifacts.
    Such a shame really. I don't recall seeing any "TV PG" logos on this set, and I'm not sure if it's FF deciding to de-interlace these sets all of a sudden or not, but personally I don't want to pay for junked/ghost frames on a DVD set. This is the sort of thing I'd expect from a download.
    So sorry to say guys, but unless they re-release these sets without the field blending, then I shall be waiting for something else to turn up.

  4. #184
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    Hi Mass,

    I can perfectly understand your decision, as we were all more or less disappointed with the end results. What do you think of Richard Walker's comments on these issues?

    Rich
    All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in.
    I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin.


    Beiß mein' Schorf, Blasenloch!

  5. #185
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    Hi there, I've been reading the comments in this thread for a while now and I feel like I need to make a comment of my own after seeing so many complaints about the DVDs. I don't mean to come across as rude or anything, but are the DVDs really that bad? I mean at the end of the day does it honestly matter? I can think of way more important things in life than moaning that they aren't perfect and to say you will no longer buy them just seems a bit too drastic. Fans have all been waiting years for this show to come out on DVD and finally it has and all of the episodes are in full and play fine, so what are you complaining for? I have purchased every DVD so far and I can't see what is wrong with the episodes, we should just be grateful that they have finally been released! Again, I don't mean to sound argumentative, I am just baffled as to what is worth complaining about?

    Tom

  6. #186

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    Hi Tom,

    The reason I'm not going to be buying anymore is because of this 'field blending' technique they've suddenly applied to the DVDs from season 4 onwards. I posted a screenshot example on page 17.
    Like you, I have been waiting for years for this to finally come out, but I don't want to pay a premium for something that is actually inferior to what I recorded from BBC 2 many years ago.


    Richipiep,

    I appreciate the fact that he's taken the time to explain a few things, I can understand his frustration regarding the release of this series. It makes me wonder if people have complained about the interlacing so much that they've resorted to field blending just to please them. But as the old saying goes, you can't please everyone. If I had the choice to de-interlace these myself, then by all means I would continue buying this series. I would really like to know if they're aware of this field blending issue personally, but I haven't a clue how to contact them.
    I don't fully understand his comments about going back to the film masters and re-scanning. Unless this show was edited on tape instead of film, then how would going back to the negatives alter the episodes in any way?
    And finally RE: The TV-PG logos. I remember BBC 2 showed these in widescreen, as did Sky One, and I don't recall seeing any TV PG logos at all. Perhaps Fox junked these masters, or maybe the TV stations simply cropped them out for broadcast? It's possible, but unfortunately I don't have any episodes recorded from earlier seasons to find out.

  7. #187
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    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your reply! I think, as I have implied before, it has a lot to do with fandom.

    If you just have fond memories of the series that you saw a decade ago, or want to buy MITM on the strength of the great reviews it's getting on various sites and word of mouth, I think you'll be fine with the series as it is, like you say. This is the sentiment you get from the general reviews on the web: very funny, extremely well written, great actors etc., and no comments on camerawork, the original soundtrack used, image quality, edits, and what have you.

    However, we as MITM fanatics (me included) have been watching episodes over and over again for years, taking them apart, been obsessed with or let me say intrigued by all sorts of details, so we've come to expect the royal 'Lord of the Rings' treatment so to speak (or 'Seinfeld' in terms of TV series, thanks sjdean for pointing this out), with pristine image, extended versions, outtakes, cast and crew commentaries, gag reels etc. and not just a straight transfer of the TV broadcasts. In that sense, it can easily become a letdown.

    Yes, I think we ought to be glad about what we have now, and I appreciate Richard Walker's comments about how hard it can be to even get Fox to go though their vaults and release whatever material they come up with after a few cursory glances.

    As a case in point, even in the case of a highly acclaimed recent cult series like "Breaking Bad", I had some discussions with Dutch and Belgian TV how long it took them to get the right masters from AMC with the soundtrack intact, credit sequences etc.

    I hope this helps!

    Rich
    Last edited by Richiepiep; May 5, 2013 at 07:18 PM.
    All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in.
    I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin.


    Beiß mein' Schorf, Blasenloch!

  8. #188
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    Hi Mass,

    To get back to your comments, what do you make of Richard Walker's comments on interlacing and such? If I get his point, it doesn't bother me either on my TV set and standalone player, only when I play them with computer software, and then I can adjust the settings to de-interlace with various sub-options, as on VLC. So if I remember to do so each time, it's not distracting I would say.

    Yes, I think his opinion about re-scanning the film as messing with history is a fallacy. I think he means to defend what he got from Fox, and probably feels frustrated that they didn't get back to the film masters in the first place. Apparently, Fox has little interest now in MITM, so they don't want to carry out an exhaustive search and come up with consistently high-quality source material, just some version they have ready for syndication or streaming on various platforms.

    The PG logos are American, so I think they are the most likely versions to get from Fox if you contact them, along with the NTSC format. British versions may be harder to get from them, so they won't bother, or they may even be modified to what you've seen by the British channels after they bought them, I dont know.

    Rich
    Last edited by Richiepiep; May 4, 2013 at 06:51 PM.
    All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in.
    I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin.


    Beiß mein' Schorf, Blasenloch!

  9. #189

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    Richiepiep,

    Personally, I wouldn't think of the interlacing to be an issue what so ever, because like you said, you can de-interlace it, so there is a solution, and Richard Walker does justify that within his comment, specifying that it would only affect older TVs, although he probably should've taken PCs into account too.
    Besides, I think those 'sped up' shots rely on the interlacing, as these are the only parts of my PAL broadcasts that are interlaced. The rest are progressive. Does anyone know why the makers included these 'sped up' shots by the way?

  10. #190
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    The problem is when you compare it to shows such as The Munsters or even Seinfeld.

    These were both shot on film as far as I can tell, and they're released seemingly from the original source rather than video tape masters.

    Star Trek Voyager, was I think either done on video or mastered on video and so interlacing is to be expected.

    However Malcolm was shot on film, so the expectancy is for us to get what other shows shot on film do, and that is get copies of the film masters on DVD. In America, yes this would be sped up to 30fps (29.97fps actually) due to NTSC Telecine, but this is easily rectifiable.

    However we haven't got that. What we do have is the video tape broadcast masters. In other words, they haven't gone back to source. It isn't a rip, but it could be equated quite easily to just me or you sitting in a back room, downloading the shows from NetFlix or something, sticking on DVD and charging £20.

    Now judging from the comments from FF, one must assume - a) the show isn't that popular or it would sell more, b) FF are a tight bunch or c) Fox have zero intention of releasing the film.

    There was a big hoo ha when Roseanne was released because the first season was the syndicated versions with edits, which in the DVD realm is just plain silly because the masters were available.

    It doesn't affect the show in the slightest, but it is a sloppy, butchered half hearted attempt at a release seeminglly to cater to the fan boys only, which could have been so much better and actually generated a lot more revenue.

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