1 (edited by ireactions 2022-03-25 19:09:23)

Topic: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

EDITED BY IREACTIONS TO ADD: A Summary of all SLIDERS home video releases to date.

SLIDERS has had home video releases from three separate companies. www.slidecage.com from our friend Jim_Hall also has some excellent reviews of the DVD sets.

Universal Home Video DVD

Universal released a Season 1 and 2 box set in 2004 followed by individual season sets of Seasons 1 - 5 and subsequently a complete series set. In all these sets, the episodes are presented in airdate order instead of intended order. The pilot is accompanied by a commentary track from the original series creators.

Season 1 Video Blurriniess: The pilot episode of SLIDERS is in excellent quality. Unfortunately, the rest of Season 1 looks extremely poor: it is blurry and lacking in fine detail or sharply defined outlines. This is due to SLIDERS' first season episodes after the pilot being stored on low resolution analog videotape.

Produced in 1994 - 1995, SLIDERS' first season was shot on film (35mm for the first three seasons). For editing, the film was then transferred to videotape with approximately 250 lines of resolution (possibly U-Matic, Betamax or 8mm tape), causing the image to lose detail and clarity. This would have been adequate for standard definition TV broadcast at the time, but the damage is glaring when these episodes are screened on modern HDTVs. Some fans have mistaken the blurry image quality for DVD overcompression, but the blurriness is in the master tapes.

The Pilot episode looks sharp because it had a higher budget than the series that followed and was edited on a higher resolution format, possibly film or a high quality SD videotape format like Hi8 or some equivalent with 420 lines of resolution.

Season 1 Video Aliasing: Poor DVD authoring has also created other problems. The episodes "Prince of Wails," "Fever," "Last Days," "Eggheads" and "Luck of the Draw" suffer from severe aliasing (jagged edges and flicker on straight lines for shelves, vehicles and buildings). Videotape and DVD are interlaced formats (formed from alternating field lines of image detail); these five episodes have had the even-and-odd interlaced video fields reversed, creating the distortions. The other four episodes suffer from a low level of aliasing that is unavoidable for most interlaced video formats.

However, fan video enthusiasts have been able to fix the aliasing issues by running the copied DVD files through a detelecine process followed by a deinterlacing process for removing interlacing artifacts. For the problem episodes, detelecine followed by deinterlace reduces the jagged edges and flickering lines by about 90 per cent. For the correctly interlaced episodes, these two processes will remove the aliasing almost completely.

DVD Upscaling Season 1: Anecdotally, some fans playing these Season 1 episode DVDs on upscaling blu-ray players or upscaling HDTVs have achieved passable results where the video is at least an adequate DVD image. Some video players also have deinterlacing functions that alleviate the aliasing.

Season 2 - 3 Video Quality: These episodes achieve above average DVD quality. From Season 2 onward, SLIDERS would have been edited on digital videotape, introduced by Panasonic in 2005 with its 540 lines of resolution becoming the industry standard. Digital videotape can hold a scaled-down version of the film image that retains the image forming grains and detail. While DVD compression diminishes some of this with blur and compression & interlacing artifacts, the image is clear and well-defined.

Season 4 - 5 Video Quality: These episodes are in good DVD quality with impressive levels of sharpness, detail and clarity. Seasons 4 - 5 were filmed on what appears to be 16mm film, a lower resolution format that retains sharpness even when scaled down to standard definition thanks to 16mm film grains that are larger than 35mm film. Despite DVD compression, the larger image grains have kept the video quality extremely sharp for these final seasons. (Note: Some fans think that the increased grain is merely a different 35mm film stock and a camera set for higher light sensitivity.)

Packaging: The Season 1 & 2 box set were presented in foam sleeves while the individual seasons were granted card and plastic packaging. The Season 3 discs are double-sided discs that require flipping them to see additional episodes.

Availability: Some of these sets are available online, previously used and priced from $8 - $45 USD. The complete series set is entirely sold out.

Mill Creek DVD

In 2016, bargain home video distributor Mill Creek released a complete SLIDERS DVD set with all 88 episodes on 15 discs at a $40 USD price. This set remains in print and available online. The episodes are in the intended production order instead of broadcast order.

Video Quality: Mill Creek used the same digital files as the Universal set, but further compressed them to fit more episodes onto fewer discs. As a result, the already blurry post-Pilot Season 1 episodes retain the same flaws of the Universal set but are further blurred and are covered in an even greater degree compression artifacts.

The colour is also severely desaturated, missing almost half of the vibrance in the Universal DVD release.  The pilot and Seasons 2 - 3 are not as fuzzy as Season 1, but compression has marred them in noise and reduced the colour although less significantly as those episodes had higher saturation levels than Season 1. Seasons 4 - 5, due to the larger film grains that form the image, have survived the compression and retained the image data and most of the colour.

DVD Upscaling Season 1: While upscaling disc players can reduce the compression distortions, this simply adds more blurriness as there is little detail beneath the blockiness of the blurry videotape image that's been further compressed and blurred for DVD.

DVD Upscaling Seasons 2 - 3: An upscaling disc player can reduce the compression artifacts and upscale the videotape stored film image effectively, although it will be a little blurrier than upscaling results with the Universal DVDs.

DVD Upscaling Seasons 4 - 5: Most upscaling disc players will present the final two seasons well as the larger film grains can survive the compression with most of its quality intact.

Packaging: The Mill Creek set is presented in a cardstock box containing glossy paper envelopes, each of which contains one disc.

Turbine Media

In 2016, Turbine, a German home video company, released a standard definition blu-ray with all 88 episodes of SLIDERS on four region free blu-ray discs in cardboard boxing with plastic trays. The high capacity blu-ray format and updated authoring techniques allowed Turbine to release episodes without the excessive compression of DVDs. (The box claims to be "Region B, PAL," but is actually playable on on North American blu-ray players and blu-ray disc drives.)

Playback Issues: The blu-ray, despite being region free, is based on PAL video masters and encoded as PAL video on the discs. Some fans have been unable to play PdAL discs on North American NTSC blu-ray players that lack PAL decoding function.

Others have been able to play the discs on NTSC blu-ray players but have had playback issues where the video is 20 per cent too fast as PAL is 25 frames per second while NTSC is 30 frames per second.

Some have been able to play the discs without issue due to their blu-ray players being able to accommodate PAL playback appropriately; some have used PC blu-ray drives to copy the video files into a format like MKV or MP4 for playback.

Season 1 Video Quality: Unfortunately, Season 1 episodes, including the Pilot, have even poorer image quality than the Universal DVDs. Turbine has used the PAL masters which are 720 x 576 pixels and a 20 per cent higher resolution than the NTSC masters. But for Season 1, the PAL masters were produced by Universal taking the NTSC versions and stretching them from 640x480 to 720x576 through what appears to be a lossy analog videotape duplication process. With copying and stretching, there is a corresponding loss of contrast and sharpness.

Turbine's "Summer of Love" is, for some reason, blurrier and also missing half the colour of the Universal version. Turbine's "Prince of Wails," "Fever," "Eggheads" and "The King is Back" seem to be missing about one-quarter of the colour. "Last Days" and "Luck of the Draw" are not desaturated but suffer from a lost of contrast and sharpness like the rest.

However, thanks to modern video compression techniques, the image is not obscured with artifacts and blockiness like the Universal and Mill Creek DVD releases. In addition, the PAL files do not seem to suffer from the severe aliasing issues that affect five Season 1 episodes in the Universal set; the files have been run through a detelecine process to reduce if not wholly remove interlacing artifacts.

Disc Player Upscaling Season 1: Anecdotally, some fans report that the Universal DVD and Turbine blu-ray versions of Season 1 look about the same when played on some modern blu-ray players with upscaling functions.

This is because many blu-ray players will diminish compression artifacts on DVD playback, adding a small amount of blur that make the sharper DVD file look closer to the blurrier Turbine version. Blu-ray players will often increase colour saturation on blu-ray playback which offsets the desaturation of the Turbine episodes. Such players can also modestly sharpen standard definition video; this might negate the blurriness of artifact removal on the Universal DVD and reduce the fuzziness on the Turbine blu-ray, potentially taking two videos with different flaws and making them look the same.

No two disc players will have precisely the same upscaling methods. Therefore, results will vary with each player and television.

Season 2 - 5 Video Quality: Pleasingly, Seasons 2 - 5 on the Turbine blu-ray feature high quality standard definition video files. Seasons 2 - 5 were edited on digital videotape which could be duplicated and converted from NTSC to PAL losslessly and the PAL masters have been digitized for blu-ray at maximum fidelity. Film grain is prominent through Seasons 2 - 3 and even heavier in Seasons 4 - 5, and when viewed at living room distance, the grain manifests as texture and detail.

AI Upscale Process

A SLIDERS fan was making AI upscaled to 720p and 1080p versions of SLIDERS using the Universal and Mill Creek DVD sets. This is a private video project for a single fan's home viewing. It will not be shared with the public due to copyright, although the process as well as short clips and stills are available for proof of concept. Fans are advised to purchase the Universal DVDs for the best version of Season 1 and the Turbine blu-ray for the best versions of Seasons 2 - 5, and to use upscaling and PAL-capable players.

To AI upscale SLIDERS:

Hardware: One fan upscaler used a Lenovo Legion Y520 laptop with a 256GB SSD for the OS and software, a 1TB SSD for file encoding and storage, and an external USB blu-ray drive for the SLIDERS discs. The Y520 laptop had a low-end Intel i7-7700HQ CPU, an nVidia 1050 Ti graphics processing unit, and 32GB of RAM.

Copy Episode Files: First, the files should be copied from the discs. This can be done using MakeMKV. However, the files are in an interlaced format (odd and even lines forming the full image). The files will need to be either deinterlaced or detelecined so that AI upscaling can be more effective in removing artifacts and increasing sharpness as opposed to processing an interlaced video.

Deinterlace or Detelecine in Handbrake: Deinterlacing combines the even and odd fields single frames. Detelecining, however, is a slower process that seeks to reduce aliasing (jagged edges and flickering lines) caused by film to video transfer and incorrect field arrangements. Detelecining will also leave some portions of the video interlaced. While a detelecined file can still be upscaled well, the upscaled file will need to be played on hardware and/or software that deinterlaces the file or horizontal lines will flash across the screen in isolated sections.

Season 1 of SLIDERS, including the pilot, is best detelecined to remove the jagged and flickering edges. Seasons 2 - 5 can simply be deinterlaced. The files are best encoded at the Production Standard preset in Handbrake to prevent quality loss due to compression; they should also be kept at the same frame rate as original file.

Colour Enhancement: After deinterlacing or detelecining, the Season 1 episodes, including the Pilot, may also benefit from a 15 - 30 per cent increase in colour saturation for modern HDTVs, depending on personal preference and video source. This can be achieved using AVIDemux.

AI Upscaling: After this, the pilot episode and Seasons 2 - 5 can be upscaled to 1080p in Topaz Video Enhance AI using Artemis High Quality preset for removing High Compression which identifies film grain and uses that as a guide to rebuild the image in HD. The remaining episodes, however (the last eight episodes of Season 1) lack adequate film grain for AI enhancement to HD. The process for these episodes is more involved.

Denoise at 480p: Without film grain, the Season 1 episodes come out of AI upscaling looking like watercolour paintings. However, if Topaz is set to deblur the episodes but not increase the resolution (keeping it at only 100 per cent of the original), the result is cleaner and sharper standard definition files. Topaz also has the option of applying film grain and with the amount set to "1" and the grain size set to "0.5," the new graininess can serve as filler to offset the blurriness of the Season 1 episodes.

After this, the cleaned up 480p file can be upscaled to 1080p in AVIDemux using a bicubic filter, a highly forgiving method for raising resolution without too much image degradation.

Currently, the best results have come from using the Universal DVD version of Season 1 and the German Turbine SD blu-ray for the rest of the episodes.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Original 2016 Mill Creek DVD Announcement by Jim Hall

http://tvshowsondvd.com/n/22066.

TV Shows on DVD:
We're pleased to have the scoop that in the not-too-distant future Mill Creek will be releasing (or re-releasing) six other TV shows which they've licensed from Universal Studios, and all will get some form of DVD version from MCE. Some of them will also make their debut on high-def Blu-ray Disc format, too...but Mill Creek hasn't finalized which ones, and in what configurations. Here are the six other shows to look for: Quantum Leap, Sliders, The Rockford Files, Coach, Friday Night Lights, Necessary Roughness.

EDITED TO ADD: DVD pushed back till October 11th 2016. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Slider … ries/22692

EDITED TO ADD: DVD announcement, no blu-ray possible: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Slider … ries/22442

Mill Creek Entertainment is excited to announce that on October 4th they will re-release Sliders - The Complete Series on DVD. Mill Creek knows that a lot of fans have REALLY been pushing for a Blu-ray release of Sliders, and so they have asked us to pass along that high definition masters of the episodes have NOT been made available to MCE, therefore no Blu-ray release plans have been made at this time. Unfortunately they just do not have the ability to make it happen; they are only able to use what materials are provided by the studio they've licensed the property from. But they are excited to give fans a new way to get the show on DVD, at a great price, and for the first time in the proper order.

slidecage.com
Twitter @slidersfanblog
Instagram slidersfanblog

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

WOW!!!

We need to write Mill Creek and start a campaign!

And we should push for scanning the masters for a true blu-ray not just an upconversion/cleanup of the current discs.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

It should be interesting to see how they turn out. Some of the stuff from the 90's look pretty bad.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

From the article:

"Mill Creek can only work with the versions of the episodes that Universal sends them, so their hands could be tied. We'll have to wait and see; stay tuned!"


So I'm guessing it would be an upconversion/cleanup job.  Because we can assume universal doesn't have a digital scan in 16:9 bluray format, right?

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Well, if Mill Creek could do their own transfer of the masters, we'd get somewhere. That said, many small video publishing outfits do not have the equipment or resources to do this. They might be able to make it a condition of licensing SLIDERS from Universal.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

If it's anything to note NBC Universal Store removed the Complete Series set from their website about a month ago. Season five was also removed, I asked them and they said they have no release date for that season.

I feel it's either going to be a good blu ray transfer or a kick in the shins with yet another DVD re-release. A shoddy up conversion/cleanup just seems pointless.

slidecage.com
Twitter @slidersfanblog
Instagram slidersfanblog

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Would they really pick up the licensing rights just to do a dvd release of something already available on DVD?

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

Well, if Mill Creek could do their own transfer of the masters, we'd get somewhere. That said, many small video publishing outfits do not have the equipment or resources to do this. They might be able to make it a condition of licensing SLIDERS from Universal.


I may be wrong but looking at their site, I don't get the sense they'd engage in this sort of thing.  I'm hoping though they can get some help from universal on this and just get good digital files from them.

The article states that decisions haven't necessarily been made by Mill Creek yet so the more we can get fans to reach out to them asking for a high quality master transfer, the more they'll realize this is what fans are really looking for out of a re-release.

That said since universal didnt bother, I'd take a good upconversion job, but it wont quite be the same.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

*sigh* I'll contact them.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

*sigh* I'll contact them.


Thanks. It's very important we let them know what we want.

From the article:

Some of them will also make their debut on high-def Blu-ray Disc format, too...but Mill Creek hasn't finalized which ones, and in what configurations.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Looking at the Pilot episode -- the transfer is good. It's just that with all the subsequent episodes, the bit rate for them is significantly lower than the Pilot.

I think Universal probably has a decent transfer already of the master tapes -- they just put the Pilot at maximum quality, using up the majority of the space on the first DVD, and then proceeded to use a lower bit rate for the rest of the episodes on that disc and the rest of the box sets.

Looking at the Pilot and only the Pilot, anyone with a home computer could run the aspect ratio conversion and the upscale. The first thing to do is run a non-linear stretch on the image, stretching the sides and zooming in slightly to change 4:3 to 16:9. The next thing to do is to boost the resolution to 720p (not 1080p, let's not go nuts). To cover some of the degradation, a low level of noise should be added and the contrast reduced. The end result would be a good upscaled DVD with the high capacity of a blu-ray allowing the episodes to fit on the discs.

It's not hard. It's plug and play. It's worth doing. I'm just waiting for some contact info to come in and I'll get in touch. And plead. And beg. And cajole. And urge.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

My biggest question would be was Sliders shot in widescreen, like the X-Files and no one knew until years later till the HD versions were released. Mill Creek has Airwolf on blu ray and they also have Knight Rider HD but failed to put it on BD as TVShows on DVD says:

The episodes will even be newly remastered in high definition, for great quality on such a low-cost item. And who knows? With HD masters available, maybe Mill Creek's got top-secret (for now) plans to later put this show out on Blu-ray Disc, like they're doing on the same date with Airwolf!

They also done a That 70s Show BD, in the trailer they keep bantering how it was transferred from the original film negatives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6AIGQN3p1w. Who knows who done the transferring though.

slidecage.com
Twitter @slidersfanblog
Instagram slidersfanblog

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

You can upscale and smart-stretch even without having shot it in 16:9.

Hey, RussianCabbie, check your E-mail. There is one key contact for a blu-ray release that we need YOUR help on! :-D

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Unless there's any new material not released on the original DVD sets, I doubt I'd buy a new DVD release (I don't have a blu ray player at all), other than a season 3 with single sided discs.

For a show that everyone seems to think is forgotten, it sure has a lot of life in it on streaming licenses and DVD releases.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

The first thing to do is run a non-linear stretch on the image, stretching the sides and zooming in slightly to change 4:3 to 16:9.

Please, no. Unless it was filmed in 16:9, it shouldn't be released in 16:9. The directors framed the shots for 4:3 and they should be viewed at 4:3. It's no better than when widescreen films used to get cropped to fit a 4:3 frame.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Star Trek TNG BD is still 4:3.  For Sliders, they had to use a higher quality transfer for the The Hub HD broadcasts.  These were far superior to the DVD's IMO.  It may simply have been professional upscaling from the masters used for DVD.  What was the quality of Sliders on Netflix or whatever streaming service had it, when it was on there?  On BD, you'll at least get a better bit rate, which will look far better than DVD.  As for extras, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I mentioned to Gord at TVShowsOnDVD that Sliders seasons one and two were re-released back in 2012 with new packaging. He said they don't list them if they are just repackaging without any new content. So hopefully this new article brings promise. Obviously Quantum Leap will be one of the 'candidates' to be on blu ray since they are streaming it in HD on Netflix.

Stretching 4:3 to 16:9 would be a tragedy for Sliders. I'd rather see 4:3 in HD rather than a stretch. I watched a documentary about Star Trek TNG a while back and while they shot the show in a 16:9 format they weren't thinking that it would ever be necessary to be seen that way. And as a result they left C-stands, etc. off to the sides of the frame. It wouldn't shock me at all if FOX took that approach but hopefully the director of photography and others had some say.

slidecage.com
Twitter @slidersfanblog
Instagram slidersfanblog

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I watch most of my 4:3 DVDs in 16:9 with non-linear stretching using Cyberlink PowerDVD. I think you would be very impressed by the conversion. There is no distortion. The cropping is slight and barely noticeable. The result is an image that fills the screen without much, if any, loss of picture and the shot composition is actually enhanced because there is no distracting pillarboxing.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Add Knight Rider and Miami Vice to the bluray list:

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Knight … ries/22436

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Miami- … ries/22437

So far Mill Creek is running the table on their new licenses - all have gotten blurays.  Sliders may see it happen yet.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Out of luck on the blu-ray
http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Slider … ries/22442

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

At least that will finally be a good version to donate to libraries so that more of the public can have a chance to see it.   I'll keep an eye on how much it discounts down.  When Mill Creek released the Complete Married with Children, it went from $69.99 MSRP to $29.99 on Amazon.  If Sliders takes a similar cut, then it will be more reasonable to buy up that extra copy to donate.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Hopefully, all the episodes in the new release will be the same quality as the Pilot instead of having the Pilot in a high bit rate and all the other episodes at a low bit rate.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Jim_Hall wrote:

Stretching 4:3 to 16:9 would be a tragedy for Sliders. I'd rather see 4:3 in HD rather than a stretch.

Here's an example of how SLIDERS could be upconverted to 16:9 with a plug and play solution. This is how SLIDERS looks when I watch it on my HTPC and switch on the upconvert. The upconverted version is on the right.

The algorithm isn't just chopping the top and bottom off a 4:3 image. It's stretching the edges of the image at a moderate percentage for the left and right and an even smaller percentage at the top and bottom, filling a 16:9 space while losing some detail at the border of the image, but not remotely as much as uniform cropping and it avoids distorting the image.

https://i.imgsafe.org/7d9a3d0986.jpg

24 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-02 13:12:37)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:
Jim_Hall wrote:

Stretching 4:3 to 16:9 would be a tragedy for Sliders. I'd rather see 4:3 in HD rather than a stretch.

Here's an example of how SLIDERS could be upconverted to 16:9 with a plug and play solution. This is how SLIDERS looks when I watch it on my HTPC and switch on the upconvert. The upconverted version is on the right.

The algorithm isn't just chopping the top and bottom off a 4:3 image. It's stretching the edges of the image at a moderate percentage for the left and right and an even smaller percentage at the top and bottom, filling a 16:9 space while losing some detail at the border of the image, but not remotely as much as uniform cropping and it avoids distorting the image.

https://i.imgsafe.org/7d9a3d0986.jpg

I ended up doing the smart stretching based on your recommendation. It was great for getting a sense of what a 16:9 scan would look like, but I think I may go back to 4:3.  From what I saw, every time characters weren't in the middle of the frame (eg when they were on the sides), they stretched too much, and their width changed as they moved through the frame.

I'm pretty frustrated with us likely not even getting simulated HD with this release, but hopefully as you say the source files are of better quality. I am not holding out hope. Perhaps I am mistaken but even on Netflix the pilot seems to be much higher quality than other episodes from season 1. I think universal just sent Netflix the ones they had on hand for the dvd and will do the same with Mill Creek.

I'm going to try to post my clips of my upconverted pilot at some point, somewhere. If we can get quality enough source files for the episodes, I might just try to do a blu-ray myself, because I have no faith in the likelihood Universal bothers with giving us anything new anymore.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

The problems you describe with your stretching strike me as too high a stretching percentage on too much of the border areas with insufficient cropping to obscure the width issues of movement. My HTPC uses Cyberlink PowerDVD with their stretching algorithm called TrueTheatre Stretch: http://www.cyberlink.com/stat/technolog … _video.jsp Their technique does not create the distortion you describe.

26 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-02 15:49:06)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

The problems you describe with your stretching strike me as too high a stretching percentage on too much of the border areas with insufficient cropping to obscure the width issues of movement. My HTPC uses Cyberlink PowerDVD with their stretching algorithm called TrueTheatre Stretch: http://www.cyberlink.com/stat/technolog … _video.jsp Their technique does not create the distortion you describe.

Oh thanks!

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

What are the chances the "making of season 4" special will be included? My VHS tape of that off sci fi channel from its first airing is in mighty bad shape.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

You mean this one?

http://earthprime.com/video/making-of-sliders-sfc

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Yes that one!

30 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-04 17:23:11)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Transmodiar wrote:

You mean this one?

http://earthprime.com/video/making-of-sliders-sfc


Not sure if you have these, Season 2 EPK:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x43bem … -part-1_tv

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x434ln … -part-2_tv

Aaron had posted this in another thread.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Did anyone happen to DVR the Hub episodes (particularly season 1 & 2 eps) and still have them on your box?

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I have "The Good,the Bad and the Wealthy" & California Reich on my tivo premier.
but i dont realy have a good way to transfer them to anything else

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

sliders5125 wrote:

I have "The Good,the Bad and the Wealthy" & California Reich on my tivo premier.
but i dont realy have a good way to transfer them to anything else


Would you be able to compare "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy" to the DVD version and see if you think the image quality is better on The Hub vs. the DVD?  I'm interested to see if The Hub broadcast the same digital file as what the DVD had, or if it were any different.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Looks better than season 2 dvd's, but these are the ones from 2004 in the floating DVD case, they had like 6 episodes compressed on one DVD something new at the time where as previous to this release usually there would be 3 hrs on a single dvd vs the 5hr + on these dvd's.

Saying that the HUB Broadcast looks better, as said before their are black bars on the left and right of the screen being that The HUB was an HD only TV network.

The DVD has more grain...The HUB images look slightly better.

Is it a drastic difference "No", I am playing the DVD on a bluray player with a DVD up-convert so I am getting the best version of what the DVD could offer.

The HUB was the only network to try Sliders Reruns and they aired them in order with the best quality possible...I wish it would of worked but we had an extra year of so of new eyes getting to see Sliders again.

I checked it out on Netflix, Netflix looks better than DVD, HUB still looks better.

35 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-04 16:01:25)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

sliders5125 wrote:

Looks better than season 2 dvd's, but these are the ones from 2004 in the floating DVD case, they had like 6 episodes compressed on one DVD something new at the time where as previous to this release usually there would be 3 hrs on a single dvd vs the 5hr + on these dvd's.

Saying that the HUB Broadcast looks better, as said before their are black bars on the left and right of the screen being that The HUB was an HD only TV network.

The DVD has more grain...The HUB images look slightly better.

Is it a drastic difference "No", I am playing the DVD on a bluray player with a DVD up-convert so I am getting the best version of what the DVD could offer.

The HUB was the only network to try Sliders Reruns and they aired them in order with the best quality possible...I wish it would of worked but we had an extra year of so of new eyes getting to see Sliders again.

I checked it out on Netflix, Netflix looks better than DVD, HUB still looks better.

Ok, thanks. My understanding from what others have said is the 2014 Complete Series DVD didn't have better quality for the season 1 & 2 episodes on the 2004/2005 DVD release.

It sounds like either the Hub did their own transfer from the master tapes and/or did an upconversation on the digital assets, either from their transfer or the one provided by universal.

It doesn't sound like you're saying there's a huge difference but its better. Since we're never going to get a Blu-ray and I find the quality of the season 1/2 on DVD or netflix makes it look like a show out of the 80s (or 70s), I'm going to have to see if it's at all an option to get stuff from the hub to do my own upconversion job with. I remember The Hub looking better, but it's been so long, I wasn't sure to what degree. Sounds like it's still pretty meh.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

My guess is the new release coming out may look better single layer disk, etc. The problem If you got the hub episodes is the bottom of the screen hub would take up to advertise what was coming up or contest, so you would end up with an network logo on all episodes.

I would guess if the new release dvd sells good the only thing left to do is a bluray conversion.

I would guess the last couple rereleases had some sales for their to be a complete season rerelease with episodes in correct order...tthis is the 1st time anyone has 5aken the time to do this on dvd...with it being a new conversion it may have less episodes or a better conversion.

The show was shot on film but the badly done special effects would have to be redone..would be nice to get a star trek classic series or sting bluray redo but I can't see anyone spending the money....maybe could talk amazon into it as an exclusive on demand project.  I t would be cheaper than a 13 episode show and their is a built in audience

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

sliders5125 wrote:

My guess is the new release coming out may look better single layer disk, etc. The problem If you got the hub episodes is the bottom of the screen hub would take up to advertise what was coming up or contest, so you would end up with an network logo on all episodes.

Ah, I was just thinking there'd be a logo. Still would probably be worth it if the source files were materially better. Not to mention, I might be able to figure out a way to use the bottom of the dvd image to cover that stuff.

I would guess if the new release dvd sells good the only thing left to do is a bluray conversion.

I would guess the last couple rereleases had some sales for their to be a complete season rerelease with episodes in correct order...tthis is the 1st time anyone has 5aken the time to do this on dvd...with it being a new conversion it may have less episodes or a better conversion.

The show was shot on film but the badly done special effects would have to be redone..would be nice to get a star trek classic series or sting bluray redo but I can't see anyone spending the money....maybe could talk amazon into it as an exclusive on demand project.  I t would be cheaper than a 13 episode show and their is a built in audience

Even low-budget projects cost about $800k per episode.  Unfortunately, no way we have enough power to do that for an exclusively premium distributed product.

As far as blu-ray, to do true hd they'd also have to re-edit everything because the film negatives are just what was shot, not the edited episode. So you have to re-edit which takes time, and too many man hours for a project with sliders dvd sales.  Although I did hear of one series where they used image recognition technology to reassemble the shots. But it's huge obstacle outside of special effects.

But, as ireactions has said before, they could do a simulated hd verison... we would just have to push universal to make something like this happen. I don't think they care, and frankly, I think they have bigger fish to fry, which is why the dvd releases have gotten the past treatment they have.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Is there anyone in this thread that doesn't already own the series on DVD - or can catch it on Netflix? What is the audience for this release at this point?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

There are more Sliders fans than the show gets credit for. It isn't a wild fanatic type of fandom, but it is pretty large. A lot of people seem to get references to the show when I see it come up in conversation. And most people seem to think fondly of it.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

40 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-05 14:08:18)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Transmodiar wrote:

Is there anyone in this thread that doesn't already own the series on DVD - or can catch it on Netflix? What is the audience for this release at this point?


I think this article, speculating in April about what Mill Creek's Quantum Leap release would be like, highlights their business model:
http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Quantu … nd-2/22175

Mill Creek hasn't said in their announcement materials one way or the other, but for fans hoping that this re-release would correct the missing material from the original DVDs that Universal put out in 2004...we have NO reason at this time to believe that Mill Creek's releases have that missing material. Our expectation at present is that the episodes will be the same on these new versions, and that the re-release isn't targeted at passionate fans who already own the previous versions (but rather, like many of Mill Creek's re-releases, at casual fans who missed picked up the original DVD sets, perhaps due to cost).

If we look at the Sliders release by MC in 2016, it's suggested retail price is $45.  The Universal one in 2014 was what, $150 or something?  So MC is really offering this at the fraction of the cost. Of course, people do have options to buy season sets individually on the cheap or get the 2014 release used.  Who knows how well this will do, as long as Mill Creek didn't pay much for the license they should be ok, I think.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I think it's great that the show continues to make money and have a market for continued re releases. I own the original releases of each season (as I'm sure most of "us" do). The re release of seasons 1&2 were interesting but unnecessary to me (although I'd love for the "normal" packaging those have. I would definitely buy a re release of season 3 of it was released on single sided discs (I was hoping those would come after the re release of 1&2).
The 2014 complete series had no appeal to me other than single sided discs on season 3, but at that price, it wasn't an option.
This new release is a much better price, correct order, and includes single sided discs for season 3, but no other extras I don't already have (which is why I'm hoping for the Making of season 4 special to be included - and anything else I don't know about that hasn't been released). While I'd love to save some space and get a complete series for Sliders (which includes the original boxes and 10 jewel cases for my seasons 1-3 discs, since the original boxes are unacceptable to keep discs in), I'd probably keep the boxes for 1-3 anyway to always be reminded how laughably horrible those boxes were (also season's 5 awful cover art with Mallory as the star and both Remmy and Maggie taking a back seat).

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I emailed Mill Creek and asked about the video quality on the new set and they wrote back to spend three paragraphs saying NOTHING WHATSOEVER. I don't think they know what the video quality will be; maybe they don't have the original DVD release to make a comparison.

If the new release isn't compressing six hours of video onto one disc, I'll buy it. Netflix Canada doesn't have SLIDERS. Even American Netflix is missing some episodes for reasons unfathomable but are probably due to the Dr. Geiger's Combine experiment warping spacetime and corrupting reality into a twisted incarnation filled with horror, madness and loss.

I'd like the episodes in the correct order. I'd like a decent quality version of "As Time Goes By" to watch endlessly. I'll never watch anything past Season 2 except for research purposes. The lack of simulated HD isn't a huge problem.

I do think that Mill Creek could have done a blu-ray release with the techniques I've explained. However,  my PowerDVD software player can do the upscale for me.

A blu-ray release could store the video at the highest possible quality, but I imagine even if you maxed out the bit rate, the video quality would not be any better than video at the upper limit of DVD storage. Universal's masters are undoubtedly in standard definition. So long as Mill Creek doesn't overcompress the way Universal did, it should be fine.

43 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-05 17:29:51)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

A blu-ray release could store the video at the highest possible quality, but I imagine even if you maxed out the bit rate, the video quality would not be any better than video at the upper limit of DVD storage. Universal's masters are undoubtedly in standard definition. So long as Mill Creek doesn't overcompress the way Universal did, it should be fine.

Right, as long as they are doing a transfer themselves... and not just reusing the digital assets Universal has sent out to netflix, vod and used for the previous DVDs (all which look like crap for those non-pilot early episodes).  That's what I fear but if they do the transfer themselves, I think we'll definitely see improvements as  I can't see how they could f it up more than Universal did.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

If the HUB could get the digital materials to do a decent semi-HD upscale, I see no reason not to think Mill Creek couldn't benefit from the same. It's possible that Netflix and Universal came to the streaming arrangement before Universal had a department and a procedure for handling HD broadcast on shows only stored as standard definition on their masters. The Professor would tell you to expect nothing but hope for everything.

45 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-05 19:11:28)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

If the HUB could get the digital materials to do a decent semi-HD upscale, I see no reason not to think Mill Creek couldn't benefit from the same. It's possible that Netflix and Universal came to the streaming arrangement before Universal had a department and a procedure for handling HD broadcast on shows only stored as standard definition on their masters. The Professor would tell you to expect nothing but hope for everything.

I just don't know if Mill Creek cared or even knew of the issue with the early episodes, enough to reject the existing digital assets (if those were offered).  Since Mill Creek is pricing this extremely affordably and has lower margins on this release, it's really not clear if they'd try to do a transfer themselves.  And Universal only recently put out their own series two years ago, so they may just send those files MC's way.  It is 88 episodes after all, and doing a transfer cost money (might be about $9k).

The thing about The Hub is they were broadcasting in HD. And we know they put in some resources into sliders, producing promos etc.  It's just a bigger outfit than MC.

So I think it could go either way, we'll see October 4 smile

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

There's no way the HUB could have done the HD upscale unless they were given the raw materials from Univeral to do it in the first place.

47 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-05 20:33:28)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

There's no way the HUB could have done the HD upscale unless they were given the raw materials from Univeral to do it in the first place.

Oh, I agree with that.  Here's hoping Mill Creek works with the same.

48 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-05 21:43:28)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I'm away now, so I don't have access to my DVDs for a screen shot, but here's an example of the netflix pilot vs. a pilot upconverted off the dvd file (stretching for 16:9).

https://i.snag.gy/tIGqjm.jpg

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

upconverted that yourself?   the netflix quality looks awful.

50 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-07 15:33:17)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Grizzlor wrote:

upconverted that yourself?   the netflix quality looks awful.

Yea.  The netflix is putrid.  With good source files (like the pilot dvd), as ireactions has said in the past we can get a decent picture using software that algorithmically fakes HD. It fills in empty lines of resolution in going from SD to HD, deals with noise, colors, sharpness, etc.  I have a family member who has done this stuff before and did it for me with this material.

It looks tremendous on an 60 inch tv and was even able to get it looking pretty good projected at 150 inches (but it required my playing it using power dvd's own video enhancement setting).

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

To get an idea of what a bluray release from Mill Creek may look like, here is Airwolf a show with a similar life of being a mid season show with 3 seasons on broadcast(CBS), being retooled midway through, then spending its final season on cable(USA)with a mostly new cast...
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Airwolf-T … 67/#Review

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I think the best way to imagine a SLIDERS blu-ray release from Mill Creek is to put your hands over your eyes and let the empty blackness of nothing fill your sight. It's not going to happen. However, AIRWOLF is interesting in that the 1080p transfer really achieves nothing; there just isn't enough detail in the image to make it worthwhile; I suspect SLIDERS would be about the same.

I am concerned to examine Mill Creek's site and see that they are storing 88 episodes on 15 discs. The previous complete DVD set had all the episodes on 22 discs; does this mean Mill Creek is compressing the video even more than the last release? It's possible the disc count is just preliminary, of course, given that Mill Creek's customer service reps couldn't answer a single question about the DVD.

53 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-07-07 18:58:14)

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

I think the best way to imagine a SLIDERS blu-ray release from Mill Creek is to put your hands over your eyes and let the empty blackness of nothing fill your sight. It's not going to happen. However, AIRWOLF is interesting in that the 1080p transfer really achieves nothing; there just isn't enough detail in the image to make it worthwhile; I suspect SLIDERS would be about the same.

I am concerned to examine Mill Creek's site and see that they are storing 88 episodes on 15 discs. The previous complete DVD set had all the episodes on 22 discs; does this mean Mill Creek is compressing the video even more than the last release? It's possible the disc count is just preliminary, of course, given that Mill Creek's customer service reps couldn't answer a single question about the DVD.

I was worried about the disc count as well, and it might be a problem (discs cost money and this is a low-margin release for MC so every dollar counts).

However, assuming its dual layer DVDs, and the previous release was not, then it would be like having 30 discs vs. 22.  It will probably be dual layer with 6 episodes per disc, and potentially some extras on a disc with 4 episodes.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

There was less speculation over the contents of the fourth and fifth seasons than there has over this cash-grab DVD re-release. tongue

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

These discs are a chance for a home video release to finally get it right with dual layer discs to avoid overcompression, episodes in the correct order, no missing episodes and without packaging so poorly designed that the only sensible response is to return it to NBCUniversal through their front window attached to a brick.

NBCUniversal should be ashamed of the DVD release they put out -- if they can't even put the episodes in the right order, why release it at all?

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

ireactions wrote:

These discs are a chance for a home video release to finally get it right with dual layer discs to avoid overcompression, episodes in the correct order, no missing episodes and without packaging so poorly designed that the only sensible response is to return it to NBCUniversal through their front window attached to a brick.

NBCUniversal should be ashamed of the DVD release they put out -- if they can't even put the episodes in the right order, why release it at all?


Are you referring to the complete series packaging, or the individual releases? I never got or even saw in person the complete series (with its price tag and lack of incentive to get, I didn't pay too much attention). The original releases were horrid (except season 4). Seasons 1&2 packaging with the floating discs in stirafoam for $80ish was awful- and when I thought it wouldn't get worse - double sided discs in a package where disc overlap for season 3. 4 was just right but 5 could've been better- putting Remmy as the main picture instead of Mallory on the cover, and having release dates for the episodes and an animated menu would've been nice.

What was the original complete series packaging like?

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

I only ever bought the Season 1 - 2 release and its absurd foam packaging was ridiculous, as was using single layer DVD discs. I read plenty of reviews of the Season 3 disc set which stacked the discs so you had to remove whatever discs were on top of the disc you actually wanted. And the double-siding! How is that acceptable in the twenty-first century? Seasons 4 - 5 were reportedly okay. But there's really no excuse for putting the episodes in airdate order in the original release, or for simply repackaging the existing DVDs at a ridiculously marked up price with all the flaws reiterated.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Anyone else notice TVShowsOnDVD 'some of them coming to blu-ray shows' that well they've all been recently announced to DVD-none to blu-ray.

I'm close to buying another DVD case for the upcoming set. If you take a look at the recent release of Mad About You from Mill Creek it doesn't bode well: https://www.amazon.com/review/reviews-l … B01CIS85YE

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Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Jim_Hall wrote:

Anyone else notice TVShowsOnDVD 'some of them coming to blu-ray shows' that well they've all been recently announced to DVD-none to blu-ray.

I'm close to buying another DVD case for the upcoming set. If you take a look at the recent release of Mad About You from Mill Creek it doesn't bode well: https://www.amazon.com/review/reviews-l … B01CIS85YE

Are you suggesting that blu-rays are possibly on their way out? I never bought a blu-ray player of any kind (so never any blu-ray discs either). I figured, even if dvd's become obsolete for blu ray, they can still be played on a blu-ray player.

Hmm, that dvd case doesn't look very promising if they use a similar style. I store my seasons 1-3 Sliders discs in jewel cases due to the poor packaging design. If I would have to for the new series, that's certainly a major reason not to get them.

Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)

Jim_Hall wrote:

Anyone else notice TVShowsOnDVD 'some of them coming to blu-ray shows' that well they've all been recently announced to DVD-none to blu-ray.

I'm close to buying another DVD case for the upcoming set. If you take a look at the recent release of Mad About You from Mill Creek it doesn't bode well: https://www.amazon.com/review/reviews-l … B01CIS85YE


I thought miami vice and knight rider got bluray?