Best Blu-ray Deals

Best Blu-ray Deals, From $3.99 »
Now: Coraline $7.39 (99% sold out)
Now: ParaNorman $8.79 (98% sold out)
Top deals | Price drops  
 All countries United States United Kingdom Canada Germany France Spain Italy Japan
The Dark Knight Trilogy (Blu-ray)
$27.99
2 hrs ago
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Blu-ray)
$9.99
2 hrs ago
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
$149.99
2 hrs ago
The Newsroom: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
$22.99
2 hrs ago
The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
$14.99
2 hrs ago
Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Blu-ray)
$39.99
11 hrs ago
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6 (Blu-ray)
$31.99
 
Band of Brothers (Blu-ray)
$22.99
2 hrs ago
How to Train Your Dragon 2 3D (Blu-ray)
$19.99
11 hrs ago
The Avengers (Blu-ray)
$9.99
2 hrs ago
Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray)
$13.00
2 hrs ago
Lone Survivor (Blu-ray)
$7.99
9 hrs ago


No BD for The Shield, 16mm Film Stock Blamed

Posted September 1, 2009 06:03 AM by Juan Calonge

Sony Pictures'The Shield: The Complete Series Collection' has recently been announced on DVD but not Blu-ray. Our friends at TV Shows on DVD looked further into the matter, and found confirmation from a Twitter post by show creator Shawn Ryan that the studio considers that the film stock the series was shot on is "of insufficient quality to put out on Blu-ray."

The TV-centric site elaborates, "it does make sense and seem appropriate, though, that the 16mm film stock wouldn't translate to a good-enough high-def picture. And, while we're sure that a number of tech-savvy fans of the series already knew that, it's still good to have it out there from the studio, for everyone else who may not be as clued-in on the technical front of things. There are a number of other shows that this would also apply to (the first two seasons of Buffy, for example), so it's certainly worth bringing up from time to time."

Far from us to proclaim ourselves tech-savvy or second-guess anyone, least of all the industry or the media, but in the face of the above some factual, objective clarifications need to be made: firstly, 16mm-sourced BDs exist already, both for movies and TV series; and secondly, many users and reviewers consider its picture more than deserving for high-definition.

'The Shield' was shot on the variant of 16mm called Super 16. The Super 16 frame has an exposed area of 0.493 by 0.292 inches, that is, less than half the surface of a 35mm film frame. Image resolution is thus lower and film grain more prevalent, especially when blown up to a big-size screen. Our older readers will remember the 110 photographic format so popular in the 1970s and 1980s and whose tiny negative size caused enlargements to often be grainy and fuzzy. This is roughly the same problem with 16mm cinema.

However, film experts consider that the resolution in a 16mm frame, even undoubtedly lower than that of 35mm, is far greater than standard definition and thus benefits from a high-definition transfer. This has been borne out by real-life examples of actual releases.

The closest example to 'The Shield' available in Blu-ray, as regards cinematography and general look, would be Darren Aronofsky's 'The Wrestler'. Like 'The Shield', it was shot on Super 16 (cropped further to 2.35:1), with a gritty documentary style, using natural light whenever possible and with handheld cameras. The movie's cinematographer, Maryse Alberti commented: “The decision to shoot The Wrestler in Super 16 mm format was partially based on a modest budget, but mainly it's a bit of an edgier look that we felt was right.”

So much so that when 'The Wrestler' opened theatrically, one of our fellow forum members deemed it fit to open a thread to warn others that the movie was "extremely grainy", in anticipation of the complaints when it came out on BD, insisting that was “how the movie was in the theater and that's how it's supposed to look.” Had the movie not been received critical accolades and multiple awards, maybe it wouldn't have been deemed worthy of a Blu-ray release.

However, when 'The Wrestler' came out on Blu-ray, our reviewer Martin Liebman gave it 4.5 stars for video, labeling it an “impressive” transfer and considered it “generally exceptional in the context of the film's intended visual presentation.” He praised the color and detail reproduction, and concluded that “overall, The Wrestler looks fantastic on Blu-ray, serving as yet another disc that isn't clean and clear but recreates the director-intended look of the film very well, making it a first-class presentation.”

Several other films shot wholly or partially on 16mm have been released on Blu-ray, often to positive reception, such as 'This Is Spinal Tap', 'U2: Rattle and Hum', '28 Weeks Later', 'Babel' (Morocco section), 'Hustle & Flow', 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' and 'Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music'. More movies shot in that format are coming up, including 'Clerks' and 'Chasing Amy' in November.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the studio which is releasing 'The Shield' on DVD, is itself not totally averse to releasing 16mm content on BD: in August 2008 it released the movie 'The Counterfeiters', which was shot on Super 16.

Regarding television series, a fine example of how to treat 16mm right is 'Pride and Prejudice', which got 5 stars for video in its Blu-ray.com review by Svet Atanasov. HBO's 'Generation Kill' is another example. To be fair, another 16mm title, 'Burn Notice: Season 2', got a less than positive review, partly because of issues unrelated to the film stock. Also coming up in November is 'Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season', which is shot on Super 16, albeit on a slower, more finely-grained film stock. 'Scrubs' cinematographer John Inwood recalled that initially “some people were claiming that the picture quality that you render on film in Super 16 format wasn't sufficient to air in HD format,” but, he adds, “Larry Fields and I tested the show in HD and found it not only held up, but it looked terrific.”

In summary, as we said at the beginning, there is quite a bit of 16mm content on BD, and by and large it is worthy of release on high-definition. And that's not even considering the improvement in sound quality from upgrading to a lossless audio track. Now, studios are totally free to decide what to release on Blu-ray for any reasons technical or commercial. But not because 16mm is not good enough.

Hopefully all of the above facts will sufficiently clarify the issue.

Update: Generation Kill added. Thanks to "mrbobtherubberrat".


Source: TV Shows on DVD | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (16 comments)



Seretur
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
Excellent points, Juan. This should be a sticky, as a reference for whenever this issue crops up again.

will_ares
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
was this show broadcast in HD?
RedIsNotBlue
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I think cost is actually a big part of it as well. Releasing an entire TV series all at once seems to be very scary for studios right now because the current ones aren't selling that well. But I think that is more due to the fact that later seasons are being released while the first few seasons still have not seen a Blu release.

X400
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
16mm shouldnt be an issue, as OP indicated... oh well i hope this won't be a excuse that studios make (to garner sales on dvd and hoping for double dips later on) in the future

Afrobean
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I think it's hilarious if someone were to think 16 mm is less resolved than DVD. Good 16mm should be able to best 1080p I would guess, and at the very least, it can outstrip DVD's 480p EASILY.

And then there's the old addage: anything worth seeing is worth seeing in HD. Even if it's not highly resolved, super-pristine and clear, it'll still look better scanned at 1920x1080 than at 720x480.

I don't personally care about The Shield, but it would be nice if the studios got their act straight. Oh, and Scrubs? I thought the last season was shot on digital. Earlier seasons I know were 16mm, but I thought I heard they switched to digital for the last season. I suppose I was mistaken though.
fullyalive76
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I know Blu-ray fanboys won't agree but I think that a lot of these types of films look worse when they are "cleaned up". Texas Chainsaw looked horrible, not better. I would much rather watch it on VHS then Blu-ray. I don't need crystal clearl grain. People will be making technical excuses like this thread all day long but in the end most people who buy movies outside of HD junkies just don't care and in my case as a person with a Blu-ray player stay away from grainy fair.

mpstjohn
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I'm glad to hear Sony is not as much against this as the series creator. As long as its in its original aspect ratio and there's some improvement over the audio I could care less about a boost in PQ. If the PQ can indeed be improved in blu I'd buy every season they release no matter the price.

Gelogurte
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
That's the worst excuse I've ever seen since "not today, honey, I've got a headache".
mrbobtherubberrat
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
Another fine example would be Generation Kill which was shot completly on super 16mm film stock, so i dont see the problem really.

adh56
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
Well it least my bank account will be happy
editor11
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I've personally had all of my own 16mm transferred to HDcam 1080p. Why? Because...

a.) 16mm is better than standard def video, perdiod.

b.) Anything that is not shown on an HDTV in an HD format looks BAD because you are forcing a 720x486 picture to cover a 1920 x 1080 picture.

c.) 1080 24p plays back at the same frame rate as 16mm, and no 3:2 pulldown is necessary.

d.) DVD will eventually be a dead format, so why not transfer all your legacy material to HD or 4k now to get a jump on things?

It is simply a no-brainer that for anything to look good on an HD monitor, it needs to exist on an HD format.

steve_99101
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
looks like i won't have to double dip now. the best series no one ever watched.
DVDave
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
But a 1968 TV show shot on 16mm called The Prisoner is getting hi-def blu-ray treatment. So has Star Trek. Come on Sony, you really expect us to buy that lame excuse? Give me blu-ray or give me death.
TKurata
  Sep 01, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
Jeff Tweedy Redux...people need to realize that 16mm film stock IS roughly the same resolution as 1080p...this is lame. Fantastic series, 2nd only to The Wire as far as cop shows go!

Top contributor
devilnamedBuena
  Sep 02, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
This is definitely not scottish!

akadkins
  Sep 03, 2009
Vote plusVote minus Report as inappropriate
 
I respect the show creator for saying he doesn't think this is up to HD standards. As someone who loves The Shield...one of the best shows I've ever watched...I agree. You would not gain that much in picture quality if they moved to Blu because of the original 'look' of the show.

That being said...they could use Blu's to release the entire series and put 1 season per disc - saving some room on my bookshelf.


Add comment



Please login to post a comment.


Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Blu-ray) Deal of the Day
$109.99 $39.99
Buy Now
 


Get Daily Blu-ray Deals



* We do not share your email and you may opt out at any time.



Top Blu-ray Deals

 


The best Blu-ray deals online. Don't miss out on these great deals.

See Today's Deals »


 Top movies



Latest Deals United States



The latest deals on Blu-ray movies
at Amazon.

Show new deals »


Trending Blu-ray Movies
1. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 3D
2. 22 Jump Street
3. 22 Jump Street
4. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
5. How to Train Your Dragon 2
6. Princess Mononoke
7. The Wind Rises
8. Kiki's Delivery Service
9. It Happened One Night
10. Guardians of the Galaxy 3D
11. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 3D
12. Into the Storm
13. X-Men: Days of Future Past
14. Guardians of the Galaxy 3D
15. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3D

Trending in Theaters
1. Interstellar
2. Big Hero 6
3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
4. Dumb and Dumber To
5. Nightcrawler
6. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
7. Gone Girl
8. John Wick
9. Fury
10. Whiplash
11. Autómata
12. The Equalizer
13. St. Vincent
14. The Maze Runner
15. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
16. A Walk Among the Tombstones
17. The Drop
18. Foxcatcher
19. The Guest
20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Top 10 Sellers United States
1.  Guardians of the Galaxy 3D
2.  How to Train Your Dragon 2
3.  Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Chr...
4.  Fight Club
5.  Maleficent
6.  Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4
7.  Lone Survivor
8.  Big Hero 6
9.  X-Men: Days of Future Past
10.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  » See more top sellers


Top 10 Pre-orders United States
1.  Guardians of the Galaxy 3D
2.  Big Hero 6
3.  The Expendables 3
4.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3D
5.  Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourt...
6.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
7.  The November Man
8.  The Maze Runner
9.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D
10.  Fury
  » See more pre-orders


Top 10 Bargains United States
1.  Guardians of the Galaxy 3D
$19.99, Save 50%
2.  How to Train Your Dragon 2
$17.99, Save 54%
3.  Fight Club
$3.99, Save 84%
4.  Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4
$39.99, Save 64%
5.  Lone Survivor
$7.99, Save 77%
6.  X-Men: Days of Future Past
$9.99, Save 75%
7.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
$19.96, Save 45%
8.  The Expendables 3
$19.96, Save 50%
9.  Mr. Peabody & Sherman
$13.00, Save 65%
10.  Rise of the Guardians 3D
$9.99, Save 82%
  » See more deals



Most Popular Blu-ray Movie Deals


The Dark Knight Trilogy

 United States


$99.97 $27.99





X-Men: Days of Future Past

 United States


$39.99 $9.99





Breaking Bad: The Complete Series

 United States


$299.99 $149.99





Best Blu-ray Movie Deals »



This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.
Registration problems | Business/Advertising Inquiries | Privacy Policy | Legal Notices