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Dragonball Z WideScreen & Remastered

Q. Are the Dragon Ball Z Season Sets going to be available in HD format, or will they play on a regular DVD player.

A. The entire Dragon Ball Z series has been digitally remastered in high definition (1080p) for the highest quality video available. The Dragon Ball Z Season Sets will be released on standard definition DVDs.

Q. What changes were made to the voice and audio track on the Season Sets?

A.This is a multi-part answer:
a. For the first time, all 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z will be presented consistently, meaning, we have brought back the FUNimation voice actors to the studio to record new lines throughout the Dragon Ball Z series.
b. There are multiple options as to the type of play back

1. English Voice track with Original Japanese Music - 5.1 Surround
2. English Voice Track with TV Broadcast Music
3. Japanese Voice Track with Original Music

Q. How many episodes are on Season One?

A. Season One is 39 episodes. It includes the entire Vegeta Saga.

Q. Will there be compression and video quality issues caused by including 39 episodes in the Dragon Ball Z Season One release?

A. The original plan for the Dragon Ball Z Season One release was to have all 39 episodes on five DVDs, and this is what was stated in our initial announcement. Right after the announcement, the team involved in the digital remastering and restoring of the Dragon Ball Z series noticed that there was potential for video quality issues. This would negate all of our efforts, so the Dragon Ball Z Season One release will now be six DVDs.

Since this is an important topic, here is a little more information on the release. The Dragon Ball Z Season One release will consist of six DVDs. These DVDs are encoded as 480p progressive discs from a 24fps master. This eliminates 6 frames per second of redundant data which translates to 20% less data that needs to be encoded compared to a master recorded at 30fps. With less data to encode, the resulting files will actually require less space on each disc. We havent lowered the bit rate to fit the 7 episodes onto the disc; we simply have less video to worry about.

Q. If the show was animated and shot at a full screen ratio (4:3), how are we getting more viewable content when its cropped and altered to a widescreen (16:9) format?

A. Its important to note, we DID NOT letter box the transfer from previous Dragon Ball Z DVD releases. The new Season Sets were transferred from the original film prints. We sat down with the guys who do this for a living to get their take on many of the comments and questions being raised. This is a bit of a lengthy answer. Lets start with a little information on what happens to images from a DVD when played back on a television and the process of transferring images from film.

1. Overscan

Most of the forum posts with screen captures, and even the ones we initially provided, do not take into account a 4:3 televisions overscan. Ripping a screen capture from a computer software DVD player will not provide a true representation/comparison of the television viewing experience. When this same DVD is played back on a set top DVD player, connected to a 4:3 television, there will be a certain amount, up to 10% from each side (top, bottom and sides) of the image that will not be viewable. This is known as overscan. Every 4:3 television has some amount of overscan; however, the amount of image that is not visible due to overscan will vary from TV to TV.

Viewing a 16:9 image that is played back as letter boxed on a 4:3 television, there is no image lost to the overscanning for the TV. The full 720x480 anamorphic image is viewable. The television still will not display the same amount of video due to the overscan; however, its not as noticeable because the missing video is black. The amount of image from the film that is lost from the top and bottom of the 16:9 transfer will be very similar to the amount of image lost from the top and bottom of a 4:30 transfer due to the televisions overscanning.

2. Cropping

When transferring film to video, there will always be some amount of cropping that occurs. To avoid areas of the original film that are damaged, the lens can be zoomed closer into the film. Once the film has been framed to avoid this damaged area, it could be considered cropped from its original form. This happens on every film transfer. Less damage to the film provides a greater image area to work with, while more damage to the film results in less area in which to work.

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The Original Frame is a shot of the actual film with out any processing applied. Damage at the top of the frame can be seen as well as the rounded corners of the exposed area of the film. The 4x3 Full Frame shows the area of the film when it is transferred from the film as 4:3. The 4x3 Overscan shows the image as it is viewable on a 4:3 television, taking in 10% of each side due to overscan. And finally, the 16x9 widescreen illustrates the same image as it is presented on Dragon Ball Z Season One. Notice that after cropping for the film damage as a 4x3 image and allowing for a televisions overscan, there is little difference between the top and bottom of the 4x3 overscan and the 16x9 widescreen images. At the same time, there is clearly more of the film visible on the left and right sides in the 16x9 transfer.

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