Bluray Re-Mastered (in a good way)

It’s fair to say that the long-awaited release of Series 1-VIII on Bluray was a controversial one. Reaction to the bulk of the content has varied, but the one thing that everyone agreed on is that Series III and half of Series V were utterly ruined due to some sort of de-interlacing error that rendered the episodes in the wrong frame rate. Since we published our not-entirely-positive review, a small but noisy campaign for replacements and/or refunds started, thanks to the likes of Andrew Orton and his tireless emailing, and George Martin of Which?, who teamed up with perhaps the most intelligent and sexy Red Dwarf fan in the world in his reporting of the issue.

And today, that campaign has paid off. Those who have emailed the BBC to complain have finally received a satisfactory response, the pertinent bit of which is:

After a comprehensive review with all our suppliers involved in the manufacturing of this product we have now identified the source of the problem. De-interlacing did occur at tape to digital capture stage with one of the suppliers. This was not part of the Blu-ray authoring process as we originally had reason to believe.

The mastering of this release was a multistage process involving three separate suppliers. We hope you will understand that it would be inappropriate for us to say specifically where this fault occurred as we are remedying this with the company concerned.

We have started the process of recreating the masters and re-authoring these discs which will take approximately six weeks.

This is great news, obviously, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results, whilst not holding our breath bearing in mind that we weren’t keen on the rest of the Bluray versions in the first place. But after a frustrating few weeks in which official Red Dwarf sources have been silent and the BBC initially refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong, this is a big win. Well done and thank you to all those who fought for this.

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24 Responses to Bluray Re-Mastered (in a good way)

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  1. Glad I still haven’t bought it.

    Or a blu ray player.

  2. Well I sent mine back … I might pick up the boxset again just for the sake of having a complete media collection, IF they confirm at some point all stock has the corrected discs

  3. This is great news – the Blu-Rays were always going to represent only a marginal improvement over the DVDs, but the error actually made the affected episodes worse. Glad it’s being remedied – with corrected replacement discs I’ll be very happy with the set.

  4. Bravo to this site (and the other sites which carried articles). There’s no way the BBC would of done anything if not the the voice of people behind/visiting this site. I’m genuinely shocked. Even MORE angry that the BBC point blank refused to acknowledge there was a fault in the first place – giving bullshit excuses and plain lies for weeks on end. Unbelievable.

  5. Let it be remembered that in 2007 they repressed a Doctor Whp DVD because a PDF of Radio Times clippings was missing from the ROM content. It’s been a journey.

  6. YES DOCTOR WHP

  7. Unless they recall the ones they’ve sold in but not through I still won’t be that impressed to be honest.

  8. Such a relief to hear! I wonder how long it’ll take for the corrected sets to have reliably replaced the dodgy ones in shops.

  9. Let it be remembered that in 2007 they repressed a Doctor Whp DVD because a PDF of Radio Times clippings was missing from the ROM content. It’s been a journey.

    And yet they never fixed the fucked production information subtitles on the original version of Vengeance on Varos. Had they not decided to do a revisitation that presumably would never have been fixed.

  10. G&T Admin

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand how the release got through so many people that it ended up in the shops like this.

  11. G&T Admin

    I get the distinct feeling with all this that I get when I watch certain TV channels.

    “…nobody’s looked at this properly, have they?”

  12. A fiver says it’ll stay have Thanks for the Memories.

  13. If the error was pre enhancements, won’t it take a lot longer than 6 weeks to get new masters, have them graded/cleaned up, and then sent to press?

  14. A fiver says it’ll stay have Thanks for the Memories.

    Given that the series 2 disc isn’t one of the ones being replaced, I think that’s probably a safe bet.

  15. G&T Admin

    If the error was pre enhancements, won’t it take a lot longer than 6 weeks to get new masters, have them graded/cleaned up, and then sent to press?

    Open sequence.
    Select all.
    Copy.
    New sequence.
    Insert new source.
    Select all.
    Right click, paste attributes.
    Select all.
    Click OK.
    Export.

  16. They’ll have to find the attributes in a skip first.

  17. They’ll have to find the attributes in a skip first.

  18. Now they just need to uncrop the episodes and we’re golden. Seriously, what possible function does it serve? You’re just making the episodes look marginally worse by zooming even further into an SD video.

    I really really really am a loss to why the modern world is so fucking allergic to the idea of just leaving the picture size unaltered. Why does everything have to be cropped in one way or another? Is it really that fucking hard to just leave it the way it is instead of chopping the edges off for no reason?

    I wish we’d thought to complain about that as much the deinterlacing. Maybe they might’ve done something about it for the re-issue.

    Speaking of the re-issue, how is that going to work? And how would someone like me go about purchasing the Blu-Ray and actually get the fixed version? I’ve been burned before with the X-Files Season 8 Blu-ray, where I had every reason to expect I was getting the re-issue ordering directly through Amazon but I got the broken version where the black levels are cranked up so high you can’t see a thing. Even in the bright scenes half of people’s faces would be shroud in an eternal void of blackness.

  19. In my experience, it’s very rare for stock to be recalled when these disc replacement programs happen. Generally they just do as little as they can get away with which means only providing replacements to fans who contact them about the issue – and I’m not just talking about the BBC here. It’s certainly frustrating. At least they’re not saying that they will only issue replacements on receipt of our existing discs, which other companies have asked me for in the past.

  20. At least they’re not saying that they will only issue replacements on receipt of our existing discs, which other companies have asked me for in the past.

    Surely, they need to do that to stop people just emailing them for free discs to ‘replace’ ones they don’t have in the first place?

  21. That’s legally complicated, as you aren’t allowed to force an expense or anything that could be legally deemed an inconvenience onto a paying consumer in order to rectify a legitimate mistake. Even setting up a Freepost address, as some have done in the past, could be argued as an unnecessary obstacle and/or discriminatory, as e.g. somebody could live nowhere near a postbox or less able to go out and post something as others.

    Ultimately, in these circumstances, a company cannot inconvenience a wronged consumer any further in order to minimise its losses – any potential exploitation of a replacement scheme would need to be seen as part of the original loss.

  22. You can do proof of purchase, which the BBC have asked for via email. Also, in my experience these errors tend to happen with boxsets where there’s more to QC and something ends up getting missed so when people email for a replacement disc they might be lying but even if they are they’re usually only getting, for example, a corrected disc for series 4 disc 2 of The Sopranos Complete Blu Ray boxset which isn’t really worth much to anyone on its own.

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