Han shoots first!

This September: Original Unaltered Trilogy on DVD

Original. Unaltered. Trilogy.


  1. Isn’t this what George Lucas said he’d never release? Yes. Exactly that. Never ever believe anything that George Lucas says. Ever.

  2. Bram: I see the Borg, errr I mean, Sony has assimilated you… I’d be happy if someone came out with a new DVD standard using MPEG4 or something similar, with the same capacity discs. By putting all the extras on a seperate disc and utilizing the higher compression encoding it should be possible to get a 720p movie on a DVD9 disc. Worth a try, anyway. The technology is here, now, to do that – and it’s ubiquitous/cheap.

  3. OK, I did some back-of-the-napkin calculations: 135 minutes of video in 9GB gives you an approximate average data rate of 9mbit to play with. Subtract 0.5mbit for high quality 5.1 channel audio plus a couple of 2 channel tracks (French or Spanish and commentary). You’re left with 8.5mbit. Now, 720p is 2.25 times the resolution of 480p (720*720/480/480), giving us an equivalent bitrate of 3.7mbit, all other things being equal. In other words, the quality of video at that bitrate in 720p will be no worse than 3.75mbit 480p video (and possibly better in fact). 3.75mbit gives quite nice high quality video using MPEG4. Therefore I don’t think my proposal is totally outrageous. Particularly long movies may degrade a little. But, the image quality should be substantially better than regular DVD video. And, the only change required is to put an MPEG4 decoder chip and 720p DAC in a regular DVD player. Everything else should be within regular DVD video spec (including maximum bitrate, etc.) Man, I really should post this stuff on my own blog instead of in comments on Murdoc’s 😉

  4. > I’m ready to move on from 480p. Hey Bram, how big a screen do you need before a 480p DVD starts to look bad?

  5. Well, I have a projector with a picture about 10 feet wide, 480p looks fine to me 🙂 Although, PAL (576 lines) is a bit better. I was slightly off in my calculations above, but I fixed them up and posted at my blog. You get at least the equivalent quality of a 3.05mbit 720×480 video if you try to jam a 720p image on a DVD9. IMO, 3.05mbit is sufficient for a codec like VP7 to achieve DVD quality. You get a bit more if you stick to the one audio track. I reckon that would be a great intermediate step before we all get 0wn3d by Sony.

  6. 1080p or bust! Either that or maybe a D-VHS format one. Maybe not as good a choice as just getting a blue-ray or hd in the long run but there are way more titles for it right now then the other 2. (D-VHS is like a high def vhs system)

  7. Geez, I finally am free of the horror of VHS and how you want me to go back to it? 🙂 And if I can hardly see any problems with 480p, why do I need 1080p? 720p is already more than two-and-a-half times as many pixels. Because it can reasonably fit on a DVD disc I think that’s the most sensible next step. I don’t think it will make much sense to buy Blu-ray or HD-DVD before it’s clear which, if either, of them is the successful one. Also, I’m going to wait for the costs to come down. DVD players went from >$1000 to <$100 in just a few years.

  8. If he’d release a HD-DVD version of them, I’d pay a premium for that. I’m just happy that I’ll be able to watch Star Wars on something other than my Laser Disc player, so SD DVDs will be fine. HD-DVD would be nice though…