Seinfeld TV series - now available in HD for streaming/digital purchase via iTunes/VUDU

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by SamS, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    Still not available on Blu-ray, so this is the first time you can own on HD. I bought the complete series via iTunes for $79.99, which seems reasonable to me. Individual seasons are $19.99. Previously, this was available via on-demand from Hulu.

    I have most of the seasons on DVD, and the extras from those discs do not appear to be on the digital versions - as best I can tell.

    Also, the aspect ratio is 16:9, not original 4:3. But to my knowledge, there is no way to watch/get the OAR in HD, so it's a catch-22.
     
  2. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity ThinkPad

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Does that mean that what we'd be getting from iTunes would be cropped somewhat?
     
  3. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    Correct, just like all HD versions - that I'm aware of.

     
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  4. budwhite

    budwhite Forum Resident

    Location:
    Götaland, Sverige
    It's a sitcom with the same crappy sets. Couldn't care less about the aspect change
     
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  5. OldSoul

    OldSoul Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oberlin, OH
    It still is! Geez, don't go around scaring me like that. :p
     
  6. dirwuf

    dirwuf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fairfield, CT
    Can't see why I'd want to purchase with it being on Hulu for the foreseeable future...it's not like we're getting any bonus material.
     
  7. sgtmono

    sgtmono Forum Resident

    Ick. The HD upgrade is not worth the claustrophobic crop job. I can't stand the look of 4:3 TV shows crammed into a 16:9 ratio.
     
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  8. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I was dreading the first four seasons of The X-Files when they were announced for BD in 16:9 but was pleasantly surprised how they turned out. I also don't mind Seinfeld in widescreen but no matter if they don't release them on disc.
     
  9. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    Can you download the shows from Hulu for offline viewing? I have never subscribed to Hulu.
     
  10. telliott

    telliott Forum Resident

    Any idea if the show will be upgraded on Hulu? I just got Hulu and haven't checked out Seinfeld yet.
     
  11. AKA

    AKA I got a custom title

    Seinfeld has always been presented in 16x9 HD on Hulu.
     
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  12. telliott

    telliott Forum Resident

    Thanks. I think I'm finding enough to watch on Hulu to justify keeping it past the trial.
     
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  13. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I think the difference is that The X-Files being changed to 16x9 was a result of mostly opening up the sides of the frame, as it was protected during shooting (though they did had to crop some shots, too), so you were seeing all of the original picture plus more. In the case of Seinfeld it's mostly cropping, with a tiny bit of the sides being opened up, so you're seeing much less of the original picture.
     
  14. AKA

    AKA I got a custom title

    I have the commercial-free plan. It’s great to be able to watch NBC, ABC and Fox shows the day after they air with no commercial interruption.
     
  15. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Seinfeld looks fairly good to me in 16X9 aspect.
    I know it is not how originally "intended", but a lot of the framing on the 4X3 original aspect is kinda wonky also.
    Many of the 4X3 shots look like someone said, as long as you can see everyone it looks good, and no lighting showing.
    In other words, not sure it matters all that much, as I do not see tons of thought put into the 4x3 framing honestly.
    Many shots were people standing face to face, like 2 feet apart and talking.
    Not exactly like it was a well thought out movie, or some complex show where every little thing will make some huge difference.
     
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  16. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida

    I usually like OAR, but this video almost makes the case, that they were way zoomed out on a lot of the 4x3 framing.
     
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  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I think the guy is preachy and pompous as hell, and I think he could've made his point in 5 minutes instead of 13 minutes, but his facts are essentially correct: you lose about 20% of the bottom of the frame when you recompose the image for 16x9 instead of 4x3. He neglects to mention that the show is still very funny in HD 16x9. I also think in some cases, the remastered color is better in HD. I was also told that it did cost about $500K per season which rounds up to about $5 million total for the remastering costs. They remastered the show in 4x3 HD and in 16x9, so "technically" the 4x3 version does survive in the Sony Pictures TV vaults.

    That is pretty much exactly how I think as well. Another way to put it is, "come on! It's a friggin' sitcom! It ain't a cinematographic masterpiece!"

    But I really think we're very close to a time when a mass audience of people 35 years old and younger will be reluctant to watch a 4x3 show for the simple reason that "it looks old." Even if it's artistically correct, it's hard to overcome this prejudice.
     
  18. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    In the case of Seinfeld, it looks like there is almost too much room at the bottom of the image on the 4x3 shots.
    I watched some comparisons, and things like Tables, peoples legs or crotches or things are chopped off a bit, but never does it seem to matter much.
    Kinda like the 4x3 was cropped to be a bit distant or zoomed out, to show too much of the floor etc.
    So in this case, removing some seems to almost tighten up the framing.
    Yes some shots such as building exteriors are cropped, but 95% of people just talking are quite good or do not matter.
     
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  19. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend Thread Starter

    Location:
    Texas
    As much as I'd like to think I'm an "OAR snob", the truth is it's just a TV show, not Lawrence of Arabia. And like @Vidiot notes - if 16:9 helps more people enjoy the show or appreciate it as "less dated", then that's a good thing.

    Does anyone remember when HDNet showed high definition airings of Hogan's Hero's in ~ 1.66:1 back in 2001? It was like the first old TV show ever remastered and re-broadcast in HD!
     
  20. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I just hope if they eventually do a blu-ray release that it's 4x3, because most of the people buying such a boxset are going to be the ones who care about it being OAR. The 16x9 version can be for syndication and streaming to the great unwashed masses.
     
  21. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX
    I'd opt for this if it ever made it to disc.

    I really wish they'd issue all the bloopers+outtakes+extras together on a few discs. I've had the seasons on DVD for many years and still haven't managed to see all the extras on every disc.
     
  22. OldSoul

    OldSoul Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oberlin, OH
    The DVDs all said Remastered in High Definition (along with some other Sony releases, like NewsRadio). So I've always assumed the 4x3 HD masters were made then. I guess they could've gone back to do it again, maybe.
     
  23. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yes, that might have been the very first one. I think the deal was that Mark Cuban really detested letterboxing or 4x3 "pillarboxing," so the compromise was they did the Hogan's Heroes shows in 1.66 with a slight pillarbox. I thought it was bizarre, neither fish nor fowl: it pisses off the purists who want to see all of the picture, but it also pisses off the people who want a full-frame 16x9 image without any borders.

    I think the first standard-def show I remastered for HD was Andy Richter Saves the Universe, which was actually a nice show very few people saw. We also had to go back and redo quite a few shows that started off in standard-def but then switched to HD towards the end of their run; Will & Grace was one of those. At least in these cases they were both shot in 3-perf 35mm, so you saw more image in 16x9 without any cropping at all. That was also the case for That 70s Show. I wish they would have remastered Third Rock from the Sun, which was a very funny show (and also shot in 3-perf), but we were told that the syndication ratings were kind of abysmal and the studio didn't want to pay for it.

    They basically color-correct the entire 35mm frame for Seinfeld, then decide on framing for each release (4x3 and 16x9). So that means there's actually three aspect ratios in the vault: a full-ap, with every pixel on the original negative; a 4x3 version, which matches the original 1990s TV version; and a 16x9 version, which crops the image mainly at the bottom to provide a wide-ish picture. If it had been up to me with Seinfeld, I would have been very careful about the reframing decisions on the 16x9 and changed the framing shot-by-shot depending on what was happening in the frame. There is no "once size fits all" framing that will work for this stuff. If you do that, you're going to wind up sometimes cutting off important information at the top or bottom.
     
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  24. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I've always been in the camp show me what was shot with no cropping (to achieve fake full frame). I don't want to see less of the available picture.

    But for those that insist on a full frame 16:9 picture, their ire will surely be raised in the modern era as more and more TV shows adopt 'cinematic' aspect ratios like 2.35, 2.0 even 1.85 and thus appearing letterboxed on a 16:9 screen!
     
  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Disney Channel and HD Net (now known as AXS) have long maintained a preference for 1.78 HD shows and films. This means that you wind up seeing a little more than expected from a 1.85 film, and a lot more at the bottom from a 2.39 film. In the case of the latter, we're constantly changing the picture framing in order to maintain correct headroom, and we have to do some occasional tricks (including roto masks) to remove dolly tracks, lighting stands, cables, and so on at the bottom of the frame. I have to say, having done these versions, I sometimes prefer the 1.78 version when I see a bit more, but it depends a lot on the specific film.

    Almost all digital films are shot with some variation of a large frame/full ap image and are cropped for theatrical release. There's often more picture outside the intended aspect ratio, but it's not always interesting. Sometimes, it's just more picture, not better pictures. There is a trend now to allow a lot of "non-standard" aspect ratios like 2.00 and 2.20 for TV shows, and I don't have a problem with it at all, especially in 4K. But I do think the DP has to really consider the aspect ratio carefully and not use it as a gimmick. They do some amazing things with aspect ratio on shows like American Gods, where sometimes the picture is 1.78 and sometimes it changes to 2.39, and it's a very, very interesting approach.
     
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