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Proposal Buffy the Vampire Slayer series remaster
I heard about the fact Buffy in HD had some problems, but I had not investigated about this since lately... and the situation is a lot worst than X-Files, for example...

First, follow these links to get an idea (if you don't know anything about this):

So, in few words, here are the problems:

Aspect ratio 
Joss Whedon clearly stated that Buffy was intended to be shown in 4:3 (hence, 1.33:1 is its OAR) - apart one episode, "Once more with feeling", which had to be in widescreen.

HD version often crop abruptly the image, leaving important parts outside - sometime on all four sides! - while other times zoom in, worstening the previous situation... other times has more image on sides but less on top and/or bottom; in few (or many?) occasions, crew and stage things could be seen...

Here you can have an idea of the different framing sizes - a playlist of all seasons:

Color grading
Not only colors are different in HD, but often brightness too; there are some scenes that used some filters that perfectly showed up in SD, while completely ruined in HD (like some day for night scenes); sometimes, brightening shots reveal stunt doubles...

It seems it is set too high, and the usual "wax skin" problems arise often.

Some special effects are remade from scratch; even if some are great, others seems out of place, like when vampires are killed - in SD, they became dust, in HD they seem to evaporate!

What could be the solutions?

Aspect ratio
The ideal solution would be to use the OAR - or, better, IAR of 1.33:1. Even if I agree, I'd prefer to get best of both world - as you can see in the previous videos, it could be wise to use UAR to get more image, or overlay HD version on top of SD when HD frame is contained inside SD, to get more resolution.

About crew and stage things - and unwanted character: whenever possible, I'd digitally mask them whenever possible, or crop the affected side(s).

Color grading
I'd use SD as color and contrast reference; only in case HD had a better color (it seems some episodes in the later seasons have it), I'd leave it as is.

A nice grain plate from film always help!

I'd leave the old "dust" ones, and eventually use the new ones - of course, taking in account UAR or hybrid version.

Video sources for SD would be NTSC DVD 1.33:1 (seasons 1 to 7), PAL DVD 1.33:1 (seasons 1 to 3), PAL DVD 1.78:1 (seasons 4 to 7); for HD, there are various ones; I guess the best ones should be WEB versions like Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, but there are various HDTV versions like Pivot, French 6TER, and SyFy; eventually, they could be combined to get better quality.
Audio source could be DVD - at least, it has several foreign versions; also, it could be used to get related subs.

Just written this article to discuss about a possible restoration - it doesn't mean I'd do this, though! Happy
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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Some info that may be helpful:

- Seasons 1-3 were filmed on 16mm film. As such there's not really much more visual information than in the original 1.33:1 frame, so the 16:9 versions of the first three seasons have the top and bottom cropped off.
- Seasons 4-7 were filmed on 35mm film in widescreen, but framed for 4:3 from the get-go. Against creator Joss Whedon's wishes, the full 16:9 versions of these episodes were sold outside the US, hence the 16:9 PAL DVD sets.
- Season 6's "Once More With Feeling," the only episode filmed with the intention to air it in 16:9, is presented in widescreen on the US DVD, but it's non-anamorphic and *windowboxed* (presumably to compensate for overscan on CRT TVs). The PAL set is anamorphic with no letterboxing or windowboxing.
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What are the chances of Disney doing a proper remaster on Blu-ray now that they have bought Fox?
In addition - it gets a reboot/spinoff soon and it might be released on Blu-ray like Charmed did.
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(2018-11-18, 10:08 AM)farerb Wrote: What are the chances of Disney doing a proper remaster on Blu-ray now that they have bought Fox?
In addition - it gets a reboot/spinoff soon and it might be released on Blu-ray like Charmed did.

Chances are slim. Disney buying Fox's catalogue is all about having a shitload of content for their upcoming Disney+ streaming service. That's the future of home video. I'd expect the Mouse to stop making discs pretty soon to force people to subscribe. That's part of the reasons I wish Comcast had won the battle.
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I could maybe see them doing a new remaster for their streaming service, but I think it's unlikely. And I'd still expect seasons 1-3 to be cropped to 16:9, unfortunately.

They're already doing a sequel series/reboot, though, aren't they? Or is that in limbo now thanks to the Disney buyout?
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