New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

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spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:27 pm

A laser disc is on it's way. It will take a while to get here, and then I have to convert it and make covers (the square front/back LD covers have to be reformatted to fit the rectangular DVD case front/back--the end product will look very professional). I'll then list them on Ebay for any interested in having an ultra-clear version of the pilot with embedded Japanese subtitles.

I also may have a line on getting the VHD converted, but if the laser disc works out, there may be no need, as I think the content is exactly the same on both formats. The only thing that would make me want to get the VHD converted as well is if I find out that the Japanese subtitles can be removed. With laser disc, I already know that they can't. With Laser discs, the subtitles are not a separate image layer that can be removed--they are encoded as part of the video. If the subtitles can be removed with VHD, then I may go ahead and get it converted as well.


spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:28 pm

Here's something else to think about. I have seen various sources that refer to the "feauture-length" pilot. In one of the letters that accompany's one of the press release photos I have, it says that the "90-minute pilot is scheduled to air on...."

I know that the Canadian and Japanese versions of the pilot differ from the NTSC American version both in the effects in some scenes (vertical lift using actual bike vs. props and the blue vs. red particle beams) and the length (seems I remember reading that the Canadian version has slightly longer cuts of a couple of scenes).

But I don't think any format of the pilot thus far is known to be 90 minutes. So I wonder what scenes were cut to make the final airing 60 minutes. 30 missing minutes could hold a lot of cool stuff...

spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:22 pm

The laser disc finally made it here from Canada. It is pristine--looks like it's never been played or touched by human hands.

Image

It may take a few weeks before I get a converted DVD in my hands, as I want to check to see if the mono sound can artificially be converted and enhanced to Dolby Digital, or at least stereo. It may not be practical, but I'm going to check into it.

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pentastar
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by pentastar » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:27 pm

Oooohhh....pretty.

Does it play in English without subtitles?

If so, count me in for a DVD copy.

spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:41 pm

No, with laser discs the subtitles are encoded as part of the video, so you'd have to deal with those, but here are the benefits:

Clearer picture than anything we've had before (great for high-quality screen grabs for reference in building a replica ;) )

Higher quality sound (though still mono)

The alternate version of the pilot that many of us have not seen which includes the blue laser and superimposed blue-screen special effects

Extended scenes (the American VHS version has a running length of 1 hour, while this Laser Disc has a 70 min. run time)

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scott
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by scott » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:44 am

I bought this laser disc years ago and converted it to DVD. It's a fine copy of the pilot, and does allow one to pick out a few extra details. I don't think the copy I bought had ever beed played either.... :D

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scott
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by scott » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:02 pm

Oooohhh....pretty.

Does it play in English without subtitles?

If so, count me in for a DVD copy.

If you or anyone else is interested in a DVD copy without subtitles, I have the same alternate cut (blue electricity beam, different bike FX shots, etc.) completely clean, no Japanese subtitles. Drop me a PM if interested. Below are some grabs from my version:

Image

Image

Image

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shtvseries
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by shtvseries » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:54 pm

PM sent :)

spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:54 pm

Scott,

That's really cool! Is your alternate non-subtitled version a DVD recording of the yellow-case VHS, or were you somehow able to remove the subtitles from the Japanese LaserDisc version?

Either way, I would definitely be interested in the alternate version you have without the subtitles. I'll PM you...

My LaserDisc was mailed off to be converted yesterday. I chose a premium option for the conversion that involved converting the video into an AVI file before being compressed into MPEG2. Some transfer services just hook up a LaserDisc player to a DVD-R and record the stream directly to MPEG2 as the LaserDisc plays. I'm told that the intermediate step will result in a bit higher quality than a direct transfer, but who knows if the difference will really be noticeable...

Also, because I was in a good mood, I paid double to go ahead and have the NTSC format LaserDisc converted into an NTSC format DVD (used in the States and Japan) and a PAL-format version so that I could make copies for those in the UK and Europe. I've scanned and re-scaled front and back covers for the cases, but still need to find a way to actually make copies of the masters I will be receiving back, as my computers do not have DVD re-writable drives...




spyhunter2k
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New pic & Laser Disc conversion progress

Post by spyhunter2k » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:10 pm

My Japanese LaserDisc conversion finally came back. It was apparently recorded on a DVD +/- R which my older DVD player cannot read, so I can't say for sure how much clearer it is just viewing it on a laptop. I'll have to see it on a real tv to know for sure.

After that disappointment set in, I watched it on my laptop and realized that, regardless of the pics on the back of the disc cover showing the blue particle beam being used, the actual Japanese cut is identical to the American one, using the red beam and updated jump special effects. Oh well, I'm getting Scott's DVD that has the blue beam, so I will have to wait until then to see it. The only difference between the Japanese LD and the American VHS/syndicated version is that it has a run time of 70 minutes, so about 10 minutes trimmed from the American VHS/syndicated version has been re-added.

The main reason I got this LaserDisc and had it converted was so that I could have clearer screen grabs to use in building my replica, especially clearer pics of the electronics, and I was able to get some as I'd hoped, so I'm still pleased overall.

While I was at it, I took a few full-screen caps, and will try to post most of them soon.

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