This fall, Warner Home Entertainment will bring Friends: The Complete Series to Blu-ray. One of the most popular series to ever air on television, David Crane and Marta Kauffman's sitcom focuses on six young professionals sharing an apartment together in Manhattan.
Warner's twenty-one-disc Blu-ray package presents all 236 original broadcast episodes - newly remastered for 1080p high definition - in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio wth 5.1 English Dolby Surround audio tracks (Warner's press release does not specify if these will be lossless). The package also includes the following bonus supplements:
Commentaries on thirty-one selected episodes
Friends Around the World
On Location in London
The One That Goes Behind the Scenes
Behind the Style: The Look of Friends
Friends Final Thoughts
The Flaming Lips' "Phoebe Battles the Pink Robots" music video starring Lisa Kudrow
Uncut version of "Smelly Cat"
Matt LeBlanc's "Joey, Joey" music video
Friends of Friends video guestbook
Gag reels from multiple seasons
Newly produced bonus supplements:
True Friends retrospective documentaries:
Friends From the Start
When Friends Become Family
Legacy of Friends
Original producer's cut for "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross" with introduction by Kevin Bright
Original script for "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross"
Friends cast's 2005 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Friends cast's 2004 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The Ones With More Friends: The original extended broadcast episodes
The One with the Never-Before-Seen Gags never-before-seen blooper reel
The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You" music video
In addition, the Friends: The Complete Series box set comes in new lenticular packaging with a hard-cover book that holds the twenty-one Blu-ray discs and a thirty-two-page episode guide.
Friends: The Complete Series streets on November 13th.
Viewers In the UK have been able to watch these new remasters of Friends In HD and Widescreen on Comedy Central.
I have countless examples of problems with the remasters. The widescreen now allows shots to see past the edge of the sets - example, In the thanksgiving episode where the Friends and the Gellar parents are sat In the living room, a shot of Jack Gellar sat on the sofa reveals the edge of the set, and camera marks on the floor.
Another example, In the London Wedding there's a wide shot of the interior of the church as the ceremony begins, again the edge of the set Is revealed and there are black curtains to the right hiding the studio audience.
Also - with the widescreen, there are occasions where the actors can be seen on the edge of the shot 'not' talking, yet they can be heard talking.
My opinion - sloppy! Very sloppy! Shame, because as picture quality goes - the first series has never looked so good.
Don't say you weren't warned folks. Buy at your own peril.
thomasevans i hope you are wrong, this truly was one of the great shows that made Thursday nights worth watching on NBC. With the loss of Friends, Seinfeld, ER and such TV nights just have not been the same.
I am not sure here in the states if the HD reruns of the show have been remastered or not on TV. But I guess now this is something I will have to pay attention to as well.
This is very exciting! To get the entire series all at once on blu-ray is truly awesome! I have seen the HD reruns on TV and thought they looked amazing. I can live with the fact that there might be an occasional camera mark - after all, these can be seen in other classic sitcoms (Roseanne, Golden Girls, etc.) in their non-HD presentation. It doesn't mean I won't enjoy the show any less.
People need to realize there is a huge difference between the TBS HD showings and the ones that will be on this blu-ray. It's a must get for me...not day 1 but will get it once the price becomes reasonable.
Price will be list of $279.98, but I think it may drop to the $199 by release day. If so I will pick it up, however as I already have the ultimate DVD collection, I am more hesitant to pick this up with such a high price tag.
Has anyone noticed when on Nick at Nite everyone's voices are higher pitched? i'm wondering if they speed up the episodes slightly to allow additional commercials. I can't even watch it on Nick at Nite because their voices drive me nuts.
Very excited about this. I wish other studios would get behind TV on BD like Warner. That they actually recently remastered the show in HD is very encouraging. I don't see any reason to boycot their efforts simply because some, relatively few brief shots might reveal the very edge of the set, something that would only be a distraction if you're actually looking for it, rather than watching the show. I suspect if it were a significant issue or very common occurence they wouldn't have elected to invest more money opening the mattes for the new presentation. I'd actually be more concerned about the 5.1 remix.
For those purists out there, you can always, very simply mask that part of your screen yourself if it's important to you. Where for those who might prefer to watch the show in widescreen, their only option would have been to distort the picture by horizontal stretching or heavily crop the top and bottom of the image, if Warner hadn't considered that portion of the shows fans too. This way we have a product that can offer a presentation that appeals to both purists and consumers who prefer to maximize their screen real estate. Considering it's a TV show, a medium filmed on a tight budget, without nearly as meticulous or artistic intent, I see little problem if occasionally I might see a wee bit of tape on the floor, should I actually grow weary of the show to the point where I'm not completely tuned in to the focus of the scene.
Why does the bloody thing have to be in that ridiculous box that won't fit on any regular shelf with other blu-rays? I hate when studios do these annoying "special packaging" gimmick. Who the hell is going to sit there and admire the box?
@miniroll32: you could not be more wrong. friends was shot on film for the most part, except for maybe the later seasons which could've been hd. but listen to Ashamed Pegasus...the shows look fantastic in HD. I even saw the pilot and couldn't believe how clean it looks compared to the DVD.
Gah, I would want this ... but how much will this "little" sucker go for? No chance this goes for less than $200 I imagine (we are talking about a very famous show, 10 seasons, 236 episodes, 21 Blu Ray box set).
Wait and See ...
I think they might sell this for under $150 by the end of the year. Reason being, Blu-ray is still a niche format, a complete package will be expensive, and also Friends sells cheaply. All the seasons are under $20 right now on Amazon; some under $15. For the past 3 or 4 Black Fridays that I can remember they sell for around $9.99 at box stores and online. Therefore a lot of people already have the whole series and will consider themselves done, even if they have Blu-ray.
They may have a low-ish price tag to entice people to rebuy. I never bought a season so I can't wait for this. I too have seen the widescreen versions and they look great
WB is at it again. they're again cramming entire seasons onto 2 bluray discs. People will love the artifacts/heavy grain this show puts out just like the Big Bang season 1 and 2. I like the show, but im not paying for this obviously cheap release.
agree with you completely. don't like this show at all, but hope this mean Seinfeld is close. my wife on the other hand loves this show, but i already got her the dvd set and she doesn't see any difference, so i am getting away from having to spend 200 bucks for this!
on another note: the That '70s Show season 1 Blu-ray is awesome and I hope we will get the other seasons soon.
Very few shows encapsulate the 90s better than Friends did. From the clothes to the attitudes to the music (some of which I know is changed due to rights), Friends started when I was in high school and those early seasons feel SOOOO dated but in a comforting way. Hard to think that show began almost 20 years ago now. I'm curious to see how it looks in HD, though it may be a while before I jump on getting it.
I'll have to get this and take a week off from work, I'll marathon ten seasons in six days, and on the seventh day, I'll rest. 'Cuz your real "Friends" will always "be there for you," even "when the rain starts to pour."
the lack of knowledge that people spew out regarding 4x3 and 16x9 is just ridiculous. just because the show was broadcast in 4:3, which used to be the broadcast standard, does not mean that the source material is 4x3. friends was shot on film (maybe later seasons in hd) and therefore retains the 16x9 aspect ratio. true, film can be shot with 4x3 stock, but this is incredibly uncommon.
Friends is one of my favorite tv series of all-time. Very happy to hear is coming to blu-ray this November. Now if WB can get the complete series of Seinfeld and Smallville I will be even more happy'er.
This is so great for fans of the series, I have never watched but I hope it sells well, and paves the way for more classic shows on Blu. Hopefully PQ & AQ will be great, and maybe I'll have to check it out. After all, Jennifer Aniston in HD is never a bad thing!
@tomred75: actually, above the special features, it mentiones "The original extended broadcast episodes"; my guess is the box-set will include the extended episodes. It'd be interesting to see both version in seamless branching and maybe a pop-up over the extra scenes, but I think that's not happening.
I hope it's got the audio in HD, even if Warner often released tv-series on BRD in DD 5.1. Nevertheless, I'll buy it when it's at least 50% off.
Warner Brothers TV shot all of their filmed shows in 1.85:1, which is the film standard and protected the image to 1.33:1 for TV broadcast. Later, the 1.78:1 HD Standard was set by the industry. Now, WB can go back to the original filmed elements and strike new HD prints in the 1.78:1 format for Blu-ray's. Very forward-thinking of WB.
I believe this could be a real game-changer. If it sells good (and I mostly mean pre-orders and day 1 purchasing), other major studios and WB itself will realise how much fans want their favourite series released on this format and they'll work on at least the ones shot on film - and there's plenty. They're likely going to release complete sets, and since we're talking about ended series with solid fanbases, I think it's for the better. I mean, I would never buy Friends season-by-season spending at least 30 bucks for each one and waiting months from one release to the other.
Riddle Me This? Every season in HD but they show a newer intro, one from one of the last three years? Lets see the opening from season one to determine the quality. Wheres Smallville? The Sopranos? Two and a Half Men?Wheres Legend of the Seeker? Wheres the second and third season of White Collar? These companies dont think when the release stuff. I cant wait for Big Bang Theory, They are smart releasing all of them. id buy this because it was a good show and if sales are good other shows might be released.
I'm not a fan of the show and I of course would not even consider buying this set. With that said I'm glad WB is giving their catalog TV shows a chance on blu-ray. Hopefully they will take notice of the price complaints mentioned on the comments here and adjust it. The box and slip cover look great and hopefully they will be the extended cuts with extra supplementary content. Hope it sells well
Yay for Friends fans, not me, but I'm happy for ya. Now when will Warner Bros. release The West Wing on Blu-ray?!? It's already in 1080p on iTunes, but I'm not about to pay $50 a season for their horrid compression. Give me blu!
@RSuarez - WB says MSRP is $279.98, so I'd expect around $200 for actual retail price which would be $20 a season basically..
@DirtyMoPosse - well Legend of the Seeker is Disney and White Collar is Fox.. WB is pretty much the only one to really care about TV on Blu-ray that much at the moment, and even they don't always follow through. they're bringing Misfits to the US but as DVD only, and they didn't do Mike & Molly season 2 BD even though they did season 1 on BD. WB has already said the Smallville graphics weren't made for HD and they won't be upgrading them.
I'm in for it, but only when it's around $100-150.
If I were to guess, I'd think this wouldn't sell that well. It's in heavy re-run rotation on multiple channels in HD. It's been off the air for almost 10 years. Die hards already have each season on DVD (I do). Most importantly, I'm guessing the price will be very high. So hopefully it drops to a nice price within a short period of time and I can unload my DVD's.
I know some of these have been rumored to never come to Blu, but I'd love to see: Seinfeld, The Shield, The Wire, The West Wing (want this one more than any other), The X-Files (still haven't opened my complete series box for fear that it's damaged...harder to re-sell opened), Cheers (looks great in HD), and more.
I don't think compression will be an issue. Most seasons of Friends had what 23 or 24 episodes? On the DVDs they have 6 episodes per disc and a DVD is around 8.5 GB per disc capacity? So even if there were no menu's, special features, etc. and the disc was completely full it would come to about 1.4 GB per episode (and we know it's not even that much.
Now on blu this will work out to about 12 episodes per disc. Capacity of the disc is 50 GB so going by the same equation (no menus, special features, etc.) that would come to about 4.2 GB per episode. Sure these aren't exact numbers, but I think they will look just fine.
I was weary at first but many of you are saying is was shot in Widescreen so that means this will not be cropped and that means I am buying this for sure!! Well, when it's $150 or under. I love this show. If I could get Buffy on Blu now I would be very happy!
Please stop saying there are not the extended versions. It clearly says: The Ones With More Friends: The original extended broadcast episode. I think that's pretty much clear, right? Sure it doesn't say the opposite.
After posting the Friends Blu-ray press release we've had a few readers email us to double-check exactly what episodes would be on the set. The press release mentions "all 236 original broadcast episodes released for the first time in the US," but fans weren't sure whether these mean "as aired on TV," or the extended cuts that previously appeared on DVD.
We double-checked with Warner Home Video and confirmed that these are the NBC broadcast versions, not the extended episodes. The extended cuts were special versions created for the DVDs and no longer exist in a form that could be used for a Blu-ray release. The good news is that you'll have the original broadcast cuts in HD (on Blu-ray), and the extended cuts in SD (on DVD).
Each BD-50 holds 9 hours of HD content and 23 half-hour episodes is just under 9 hours so with the added data from the audio + bonus material, each season will fit comfortably on 2 BD's (2x10=20+1 bonus disc?).
"This and Titanic in the same year. My wife is going to scream like a teenager. I will be playing a lot of video games"
Yes, 2012 has been, and will be an amazing year for Blu-ray's and video games. I can't remember when I ever had so many things pre-ordered.
Alfred Hitchcock: Masterpiece Collection
The Walking Dead: Season2
Indiana Jones Collection
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Devil's Advocate
Also - I may be right In saying that only the water fountain opening credits stuff was NOT shot In widescreen, and has been cropped or digitally altered.
There Is an odd shot In the london wedding episode of Ross and Emily kissing, that's had some digital tampering done with it to extend the shot to the right of the frame. I wish I could get some screen grabs to show you guys.
EDIT - Here a very small example of the issues with revealing more of the picture in widescreen. And could people please stop saying it's only here and there. It happens ALL the time In these episodes.
I want 4:3 as I've seen the evidence of the sloppy job 16:9 on UK TV, with episode after episode showing the edge of the set, camera hole in set, cameras etc.
If the blu included a 4:3 matting option, then you could have the improved PQ (which is a huge upgrade), but not end up distracted by the cameraman etc.
You know, I had to watch your example of edge problems, even with the zooming in, THREE TIMES to figure out what the issue was. And I'm a director. Wow, there was a take where the door stayed open but they put in the sound of it closing to match the next shot. Congratulations, Gaffe-Finder General. Give me a break. You should be watching the show, the people speaking, thinking about the story, appreciating the joke, not saying, "Look, that's not a Central Perk customer in the extreme corner of the shot, it's a cameraman's wrist!"
After watching the video at that link, that is worrisome. Obviously, I have no idea how many instances of this there have been. And for all I know, these instances might be on the current TV airings, but have somehow been remedied for the BLU release which doesn't come out until November.
But I do appreciate you bringing this to my attention, as it might save someone who will be bothered by any flaws to research a little more instead of buying on Day 1 and ending up disappointed.
But for most of us FRIENDS fans, we will still be getting this, as the picture quality is really what we're excited about.
Ok haters....we get it! You don't like Friends and you won't be getting this. Point taken...now go somewhere else and wait for the complete Seinfeld series to be announced (not hating on Seinfeld either, love the show. Just seems to be the most talked about one here).
Price just announced, currently $195.99 on Amazon. Wonder how far it will come down during the holidays.
It seems weird that they'd put what I'm guessing are the "supersize" episodes as a special feature. Since the set is going to contain the episodes as they originally aired on NBC, why put those episodes as a feature, when their extended version is the version that originally aired?
I would love to pick this up for my wife but the price is to high just to upgrade to Blu considering we bought each season as they came out which each cost $60, they should bring out an upgrade plan I would trade in all 10 seasons and pay a little more to upgrade to Blu.
I have to say, you don't know me - so don't try to judge me from 3 comments made on a freaking website. But I'm of the same mind as you. I hate people nitpicking the errors In shows and films. If It's a good show or film, then who cares. The odd error means nothing. But this Isn't an odd error. AND I TYPE THIS Im watching more friends ep's on Comedy Central UK In widescreen, episodes Ive not watched In widescreen before and the errors are SCREAMING out of the screen. This is more likely because Ive seen friends so many times, being a big fan. BUt these are irritating, and detract from my enjoyment of the show. The widescreen adds NOTHING to the experience, so why allow all these errors to go out.
BTW your a director - I'm an actor. What relevance that has on this particular subject I dont know, but like I said - dont judge me to be someone looking for holes. With this - I'm literally falling over them every episode.
I am curious. Why are non-Friends fan contributing their comments? Anyway, if these episodes are the extended versions, love it. Not extended, well, still love it because they were 10 years of my life and I get to relive them through Blu-Rays. :-)
Sorry, Master Evans, no anger. I guess I lumped you in with the haters. Why anyone would open a page about a show they think is "worthless" and just post shite is utterly beyond me. I'm a collector, but only of movies/shows I like and while not a fan of "artsy" "films" (*cough* Criterion), I can't imagine going into a new release announcement and posting, "Kurosawa sucks! Most overrated director ever!" Idiots.
So no worries, mate. You know, I was a boom operator, and I had a sound mixer with a monitor insist I get "In... in... in..." and I kept going, "I'm TWO INCHES out!" "In... in... further..." Definitely not TV-safe! So we'll all see what comes out, I guess. Hopefully they pushed in a few pixels in post...
End result, more TV on Blu is good for both buyers and sellers, even if it isn't Seinfeld. Or Fellini.
(Oh! And I'm looking for a UK friend to get me play.com steelbooks. If you ever want any Best Buy steelies, PM me. Cheers.)
"I really want the Best Buy 'The Ring'... but I understand It's region A locked ... "
Yes, The Ring is region-A locked! It is quite an amazing transfer and they did a great job of keeping it the way they intended it to look, with the greenish tint throughout. As this was a US Best Buy exclusive, I foresee a wide Blu-ray release shortly throughout the world. Great flick.
I'm sure this has already been discussed in this discussion, but I am a little confused about one thing...
- including all 236 original broadcast episodes released for the first time in the US
What does that mean? I had the individual DVD seasons, then I upgraded to the FRIENDS complete collection on DVD, now I pre-ordered the complete Blu-ray collection. Will the Blu-ray be different versions than the DVD? I liked the DVD versions of each episode and I hope they are the same.
I know Friends was broadcast in the UK in HD, and from what I understand that is the version we will be watching on Blu-ray, but is that different than the DVD editions?
Can someone clear this up for me, as maybe others are wondering the same thing? Also if someone could give an example of an extended scene which will now be cut out in this broadcast Blu-ray edition.
For those interested in the differences, here are the complete scripts to every episode with all the extended scenes, new plotlines and one liners highlighted in blue http://uncutfriendsepisodes.tripod.com/
Wow! If this is correct they sure cut a lot out. I now wish I wouldn't have sold my DVD set. Damn!
Why would they do this? They should port them over from the DVD's that we are accustomed too.
Not the extended versions? for any of them? really odd...
"Dolby Digital"??? are they kidding? if space is an issue, DTS-HD HR @ 1.5mbit/sec is reasonable for television show "surround", and DTS-HD MA is just fine for stereo. IF WARNER PAID ATTENTION TO HBO RELEASES THEY WOULD ALREADY KNOW THIS.
weird scene tampering instead of just a zoom or brief reframing? while 1.78:1 is nice, I'd rather have a consistent 1.66:1 and not see the slop.
here's another vote for The West Wing and Seinfeld, but only with lossless audio please. on the HBO side, I'm still itching to buy The Wire, Flight of the Conchords, and Carnivale on bluray
So, we wait and wait for the Friends blu rays to be announced, but somehow, when they finally are, it is minus the extended uncut scenes. blagh... That is really shameful, that they are not able to include those extra parts for whatever reason. It leaves people with the best choice to take the time to cut and paste those missing parts back in, and merge the hd, with the uncut parts from the dvd's into an mkv.
I'll have to create some bastardized hd, uncut version, because you can't go back to broadcast, it sucks. HD Friends in Syndication is ruined, because it's heavily edited, they cut out so much, even from the original broadcast versions. Nope, I'm gonna take my blu, and take my dvd, and make bastardized mkv files.
1) I can't believe nobody mentioned how little the person that wrote the news item actually knows about the show... They're NOT 6 professionals (only 2 of them are), and they DON'T all "share an appartment"....
2) I also can't believe how many people are stupid enough in that they don't like the show and yet come into the news item to read the posts and stupider still to comment, in some cases saying only "I never liked the show so I won't buy it"... Who gives a fu** ? Nobody...