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Battlestar Galactica in HD 203

Hauzer writes "Ars Technica is carrying news that I know will bring joy to some fans: Universal HD is going to be broadcasting Battlestar Galactica. They're going to run the miniseries and the first Season (2005) of the new Battlestar Galactica, starting Sunday night at 8PM, with HD repeats coming every week. Now if only Sci-Fi would provide an HD channel so we can watch when the new stuff airs!"
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Battlestar Galactica in HD

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  • ... but it still can't replace Dirk Benedict.
  • Cool... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:11AM (#12191052)
    And the hdtv divx version airs at 9pm Sunday night on bittorrent
  • by loggia ( 309962 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:14AM (#12191067)

    Think about it.

    - The constant cigarette is a nice way to subtly - almost subliminally - throw you off. But Ron Moore and his writers have relished in making the cylons as nuanced, flawed and unexpected as the humans. A cigarette-smoking cylon is a brilliant touch.

    - One of the first things the doctor says to President Roslin is to PRAY regarding her cancer. Again, a subtle hint regarding the cylons' preoccupation with their religious beliefs.

    - As a trusted and unquestioned figure, the doctor is in an ingenious place to sabotage and manipulate the crew. President Roslin accepts the doctor's diagnosis without question (a learned respect typical in most cultures, including our own). Even if she wasn't sure, there appear to be either no or few medical doctors with more experience on hand in the fleet.

    - It is a savvy device for the writers. If Mary McDonnell - a very esteemed actor along with Olmos - doesn't want to continue in the series, she passes away. If she is in for the long haul, it turns out the doctor LIED about the seriousness of her cancer. Either way, it is organic to the writing.

    - We have seen no "elder" humanoid cylons, a strange anomaly.

    - The doctor is neither a main character nor a completely marginal one. It would come off as cheap if a character we have scantly met pops up as a cylon and it would be rather boring if another main character had the silicon implants, so to speak. The doctor is in the show enough to elicit some good surprise and recognition if he comes out of the closet... er cylon closet... (cyloset?)

    - Let's face it. The guy would make a cool cylon.
    • Dunno why this was modded funny. Maybe I missed the sarcasm or something. If you're being serious I'd have to disagree with you. If he was a Cylon there would be no point in him having that 7of9 chick in his head. She's running his life. Not him.
    • And he's providing her the medicine that is causing her hallucinations. :)
    • Briefly: I think you are way off. Primarily, I think the Doc is absolutely one of the primary characters of the show - I would posit that he's in a more central role than even the President.
    • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:55AM (#12191257) Journal

      - The constant cigarette is a nice way to subtly - almost subliminally - throw you off. But Ron Moore and his writers have relished in making the cylons as nuanced, flawed and unexpected as the humans. A cigarette-smoking cylon is a brilliant touch.

      It's also a great way to kill the people on Battlestar. Via passive smoke.
      • It's also a great way to kill the people on Battlestar. Via passive smoke.

        Dastardly. I bet he's also removing the desicants from their clothing. Imagine in 3-5 years when all Galactica's shirts are noticable dank and musty...

    • - Let's face it. The guy would make a cool cylon.

      I just couldn't take it if "Doc Roberts" was a Cylon!

      (Same guy played lead Doc Roberts on long-running Canadian TV show "Danger Bay".)

      Seriously tho, cool plot idea.


    • What about Galatica's Petty Officer Second Dualla?

      She doesn't check in the Olympic Carrier when its disappearance is being used by Number Six to test Baltar's faith in the Cylon monotheistic god.

      She has a romance with President Roslin's aide Billy, which each uses for "back-channel" between their respective bosses, Adama and Roslin.

      And she's ideally situated on the bridge.
      • No, I think that would be too obvious.


        My money is on Lt Gaeta.

        In the finale he hands Boomer something, and the camera pauses momentarily on the 'handshake' just prior to her shooting the Commander.

        Also, just after the 'handshake', she says to him, 'Thanks' -- and it appears to be entirely apropos of nothing, as it doesn't quite fit the short conversation they've just had about Apollo's mutiny.

        Think about it.

        - Who does Boomer dance with in the closing scenes of Colonial Day?
        - During the
        • I've been comming to the same conclusion. And you missed a few things.

          Gaeta plotted the jump that carried Boomer and Crashdown's Raptor to Kobol. Boomer shouts something about "Damn you Gaeta!" when the jump lands too close to the planet. Clearly he played a role in Boomer finding the lost colony. And right after Boomer left, the cylons found it.

          Gaeta has been an assistant to Baltar's cylon detector project. If Gaeta is a cylon it would make sense that he would want to monitor the progress Baltar is makin
          • You're right, especially about the first point. I thought Gaeta did it so close almost in collusion with Boomer, as it throws suspicion off -- if anyone on the Galactica is even paying attention; I suspect they aren't.

            Jury's still out on the detector, mainly because Gaeta hasn't even done any work on it, and because Baltar hasn't seen fit to entrust results to anyone else, staff or no.

            I especially think you are right about the Cylon civil war idea. Don't know how, and certainly don't know exactly why, but
            • I especially think you are right about the Cylon civil war idea. Don't know how, and certainly don't know exactly why, but it's bound to be very interesting.

              It is so that Baltar can assume his rightful place at the throne of the Cylon empire, by bringing order to the force or some such nonsense.

              Geesh. Too easy.

              • "It is so that Baltar can assume his rightful place at the throne of the Cylon empire, by bringing order to the force or some such nonsense."

                Based on the old show, Baltar has the coolest swivel chair imaginable.

              • Actually, the speech Six gives in the finale makes more sense in light of the things Baltar's been doing. Specifically she refers to Baltar's role as protector of the new hybrid children between Cylon/clones and humans.

                And Baltar has been assuming Christ-like poses (literally) for quite a long time now ...

                I know many of you think it's corny or nonsensical but I get the distinct impression Moore's had a lot of fun writing this stuff.
    • by ManoMarks ( 574691 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @03:33AM (#12191841) Journal
      Actually, IIRC she was diagnosed during the miniseries, by a doctor we never see and who presumably dies in the initial cylon attack. I'm not saying you're wrong about him being a cylon, just got one fact wrong.
    • SPOILER for episode 7 or 9, forgot which one.

      Now, with that out of the way. I'd have to say I that I agree with you, but still have my doubts During one of the episodes (I finished watching all 13 episodes from the British torrents), he gets set up by the Cylon lady in red who whispers to him; at the end, he's exonerated when he prays to God and agrees to work humbly for the Cylons.

      The key thing is, after this, NO ONE, will dare challenge his integrity again. I think at the end of the eps, the Cylon
  • by Ignorant Aardvark ( 632408 ) <cydeweys@gma i l . c om> on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:14AM (#12191068) Homepage Journal
    I've already downloaded a HD movie in 1280x720 resolution, and it was awesome. Yeah, it's a very large file (700MB for 40 minutes), but the quality is amazing. All of the other stuff I download is typically a max of 720 wide - most are below that. I would love to watch BSG on my nice 1600x1200 monitor and actually have the video source be more than half of my screen BEFORE I maximize it.
    • Question: is anything ever broadcast in 1920x1080?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        ABC-HD, FOX-HD, ESPN-HD, and ESPN2-HD are broadcast in 720p. Just about all other HD channels, including Universal-HD, are broadcast in 1080i.
      • by jerw134 ( 409531 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:23AM (#12191107)
        Yes. NBC and CBS broadcast their HD in 1080i, and there are many others.
      • by maxbang ( 598632 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:27AM (#12191129) Journal
        Don't know for sure, but isn't 1080i 1920x1080? All the HD channels I get are 1080i 16x9 format, so I always just assumed it was 1920x1080. I don't see how it would be anything different. Can someone with more info please elaborate? The first page of Google's results are vague and I'm incapable of clicking any further.
        • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:51AM (#12191243) Homepage Journal
          ATSC 1080i is 1920x1080, interlace scanned.

          It looks like the HDV standard is 1440x1080 though, horizontally stretched. HDV is a consumer HD digital video standard that uses standard DV tapes.
          • ...just like HDTV. The first HDV cam was 720p, it is a HD stream format for DV tapes.

            "What is HDV?

            A MPEG 2 recording format allowing recording of 720p and 1080i formats.

            1080i format consists of 1440 x1080 pixels, sampled 8 bit 4:2:0 and then compressed 60 to1 to tape. Data rate of 25mbs

            720p format consists of 1280 x 720p sampled 8 bit 4:2:0 Data rate of 19mbs

            The inter frame compression takes place across 6 frames.

            1920 x1080 signals (YPb Pr) by "upconverting" 1440 x1080 to 1920x1080.

            The HDV
        • I've started to go to Wikipedia for this sorta stuff rather then googe.

          Yes, 1080i=1920x1080x60 fields (30 frames) per second.
          • You mean the same Wikipedia that declared authoritatively that Marburg was "very contagious?" That little factoid, unchecked, made it into the New York Times last week. They had to issue a correction. Marburg, like all blood-borne viruses, is not very contagious.

            Don't believe anything you read on Wikipedia. It's wrong as often as it's right.
      • Here in Australia all but one of the channels standardised on 1080i DVB broadcasts, rather than (my preferred) 720p.

        However a lot of the content is still only broadcast in Standard Definition, or at best upsampled.


  • by akac ( 571059 )
    Here we've got almost all the HD channels - except for Universal HD.
  • supa (Score:5, Funny)

    by boomgopher ( 627124 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:17AM (#12191077) Journal
    ... now my eyeballs will become chapped even faster, as they stare unblinkingly while my brain is in an infinite loop trying to figure out what the hell is going on...

  • This is great news. The rereleased Battlestar Galactica is one of the best series ever IMO. Second to Beast Wars (don't be hatin!) It's good that they're being broadcast in HD. The torrents floating around have horrible audio encoding and it will be nice to have the series in HD. =)
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:29AM (#12191143)

    I was all prepared to hate this show. I really was.

    You gotta remember, this is the channel that made an even worse Dune than the trainwreck that aired in the theatres. The same guys who keep bringing you movies like "Killer Anaconda" and "Mansquito".

    They told us there would be changes, and I was ready to hate this show for that reason too. A female Starbuck? Oh, how I would hate this show when it aired. How dare they?

    But you know what? I finally got around to watching a few episodes...and it's really good! The mood is intense, the writing is good...good acting...I really can't find anything to dislike about it. It's not the same show you watched as a kid, no doubt about that - but for some reason I can't put my finger on, the changes in mood and tone and character seem to work.

    My only (very minor) gripe is the camera work. The "shake the camera around" bit I find to be a little annoying. Later shows don't shake it around as much though, so it's easier to watch.

    It's hard to believe, but Sci-Fi has a really good show here. A huge surprise, too. I even like the female Starbuck. Who'd have thought that was possible? I can't wait to see the next one, and it's been a *long* time since I've felt that way about anything on TV.

    If you can see it on HD, I'd recommend it. It's a good show and HD could only make it better.

  • by Eyeball97 ( 816684 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:30AM (#12191147)
    I think this "Anonymous Coward" dude's a Cylon. Think about it... he's all over the place... I mean everywhere... and he keeps us confused by taking up contrary positions even with himself... My God I've seen entire threads where he argues with himself... Personally I think he's a pear short of a fruit bowl...
  • I'm still looking for a torrent for the miniseries and season 1, so that I can have the folks at home grab it for me--or so that I can get it myself when I'm not on campus.

    Could somebody point me in the right direction?
    • usenet (Score:3, Informative)

      by poptones ( 653660 )
      I got the entire series in 704xsomething HD rips before I knew I would like it so much. I had a hard drive problem and lost a few eps, now I need to fetch them again and I find all the eps right on usenet in HD format. Check alt.binaries.multimedia, alt.binaries.multimedia.scifi, or maybe even alt.binaries.battlestar-galactica

      I don't watch much TV. Yeah it's cool universal will run them in HD, but I really feel kinda "whoopee" about it - I can download them with no commercials and watch them anytime I want
    • Re:And here I am... (Score:1, Informative)

      by fgl ( 792403 )
      That would be naughty. The Man [] & the other man [] is watching.
      Bittorrent [] is evil [] & no one would Battlestar Galactica []
    • Re:And here I am... (Score:5, Informative)

      by zarthrag ( 650912 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @01:00AM (#12191271)
      Bitme TV [] for all of your tv-related needs. got the entire season+movie in one fell swoop.
  • BSG in HD in AUS (Score:3, Informative)

    by C077335 ( 874822 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:43AM (#12191209)
    Battlestar Galactica has been aired in SD and HD in Australia for over 7 weeks now.
  • FCC DTV mandate. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Technician ( 215283 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:44AM (#12191211)
    If the FCC wants the john Q public to get Digital Television, Why isn't this stuff on over the air local TV broadcasts?

    The original Battlestar series I watched on network TV in the late 1970's. The big thing keeping joe sixpack from demanding digital television sets is the lack of broadcast content.

    There are lots of digital ready monitors on the market and HDTV monitors, but a very small ammount of Digital Televisions. Dorm dwellers simply don't have the space for a home theatre solution nor the budget to buy a TV that includes a tuner. There are set top tuners, but they cost more than my current television. There is little incentive to spend the bucks simply because of the lack of quality content. BitTorrent is making an end run past the content/broadcastflag/overtheair stalemate.

    The FCC deadline will come and go, but market forces will simply mean the end of analog over the air is simply the end of free over the air TV.

    I'm hoping my prediction is not true, but so far, I have no plans in the future for an over the air digital television. I'll get broadband instead.
    • Personally, my TV plays 99% DVDs and 1% analog over the air TV. If analog over the air goes away, I won't be missing it much.

      Of course, news, weather, sports, and all that other stuff has come over the 'net since about '97, on demand, with commercials that don't force me to wait them out.

      I think I'll be renting Battlestar Galactica, the series, when it comes out on DVD.


      Have you tried life in ICLOD? []

    • It's going to take time. The first NTSC color television sets were very expensive (about $6000 in today's dollars), and sold in very small volumes. It took over ten years for color programming to become commonplace, and for color television prices to reach "affordable" levels.

      Assuming that they don't get shot down in federal court, the FCC is forcing television manufacturers to include ATSC (digital) receivers in new television sets. This is the same tactic they used to mandate vendor support for the UHF

      • Receivers with screen sizes 13" to 24" -- 100% of all such units must include DTV tuners effective July 1, 2007;

        I know the mandate, but in the 60's when color started to catch on, there wasn't the internet to compete with television. Due to market economics, the first generation of small sets with digital tuners will have little demand. High quality will be met by the sales of monitors and subscription content. The content providers will provide the Dish reciever or Cable box. Not many will opt for sm
        • The last numbers that I saw, said that about 15% of American households relied exclusively on over-the-air broadcasting for their television reception. Even in households with cable or satellite, many have secondary sets that rely on over-the-air signals.

          Depending on who you talk to, the price premium for adding an integrated ATSC receiver to a television set should be around $50-$100 for large production volumes, and will decrease over time. There will also be cheap set-top boxes for existing NTSC televi

          • Depending on who you talk to, the price premium for adding an integrated ATSC receiver to a television set should be around $50-$100

            So why aren't they doing it? All local stations starting with PBS have digital on the air. No retailer that I know of is demo'ing a receiver for it. There are walls of analog TV's showing a local channel and there are some HDTV's showing a demo satelite or TIVO channel. Nobody is demo'ing a digital tv, high deffenition or otherwise on a realtime local broadcast.

    • If the FCC wants the john Q public to get Digital Television

      You sound kind of like those guys who come along every once in a while and say things like "the Internet will never be successful until" and then something silly.

      According to the latest report from the FCC, something like 97% of American homes receive all four major broadcast networks in HD already, and something like 92% of cable subscribers have the option of buying additional HD channels. All satellite subscribers have that option, of course.
      • According to the latest report from the FCC, something like 97% of American homes receive all four major broadcast networks in HD already,

        This is done without using a digital television receiver. It uses the cable box and a HDTV monitor. Same thing with Satelite TV.

        There is a lack of Digital TV's that pick up the local channels over the air. How many of the 97% have an integrated digital TV tuner? If the subscription is shut off, do any of them have the means to watch TV (Digital, not NTSC) off the a
        • Does anybody know for sure if it's really a Digital TV receiver? A hang on a UHF antenna and turn it on type digital TV? If so, I may have found one.

          I doubt it. They point out that it has component inputs. So what? Most TVs sold today have component inputs now (it is an easy thing to add, since it is just an NTSC signal without as much processing). It might handle multisync (capable of 1080i/720p signals, therefore qualifying as a digital TV). But Since they say component inputs but no mention of a digita

        • Maybe I'm just tired, but your post makes basically no sense to me. You seem to be bemoaning the fact that, despite that digital television is everywhere and equipment is widely available, you don't know enough people personally who've bought new gear. Which, you know, means nothing to anybody. Personally, I don't know anybody who still watches analog television. So obviously your experience is not the way to judge.

          Then your comment is just filled to the brim with nonsense statements. You say that nobody i
          • You seem to be bemoaning the fact that, despite that digital television is everywhere and equipment is widely available,

            I must live in the urban back country. I have a VCR. I haven't found any VCR's or PVR's with a digital TV tuner. I do find lots of NTSC sets. I have sevral small TV's. I have not found replacement TV's that have the tuner built-in. I have seen some monitors, and a couple receivers in the high end and I have seen some set top tuners that cost more than all 3 of my televisions combine
          • That's completely untrue. The 42:30 content window has been carved in stone ever since the 1960s.

            I was born in the 1950's and grew up in the 1960s and 1970's. I watched the erosion of program time. I watched the replacement of entire shows with infomercials. I watched the increase of re-runs. I watched shows being replaced by least common denominator mindless junk (sex and violence). I watched Sitcom's degrade from good clean fun to PG-13 rated material. I guess on the plus side, studios no longer
  • I want to know when the first season is going to hit DVDs. My video tapes are starting to wear out. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @01:14AM (#12191329)
    Because HDTV will actually make it look WORSE if it was done originally on 16mm...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Apparently the pilot was done on 35mm and then the series was shot directly on HD video, so HDTV broadcast should look fantastic:

      format wars heat up as reality opts for new strains of standard-def video []
      but more dramas shoot on Super 16 film

      High-definition certainly makes sense for effects-intensive shows. Sci Fi Channel's recent remake of the seminal 1978-79 series "Battlestar Galactica" shot its pilot on 35mm film then switched to HD when it went to series, set for a January debut.

      "HD is about a
      • There's a reason for that-- those shows aren't watchable more than once and the producers know it. I recall reading an article where they were discussing the syndication value of network dramas and sitcoms, and someone said that reality TV would never sell in syndication well, "nobody will syndicate/buy this dreck".

        Thusly, they "film" on SDTV because it's cheap and the content being made only needs to be shown once (maybe twice in a rerun).

        BTW: I still hope reality TV dies, and soon. That shit is awful.
    • The West Wing went to Super 16 this season. Nobody noticed. The new Kodak stock is amazing.

      But this is not relevant because, as already pointed out, Galactica was shot in HD.
  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @01:30AM (#12191389) Journal
    Battlestar Galactica in HD

    Pfft. Big deal. I've had Battlestar Galactica in my HD for quite a while now.
  • I'm sorry, I tried to watch it but I couldn't get through ten minutes. And I'll watch some real crap. :-)

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith