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ALIEN (Preservation of various properties i.e. the Fan Bonus Discs.)

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 (Edited)

The OG audio and more doesn’t need to be preserved anymore, MAYBE, due to the release of the ALIEN: 40th Anniversary 4K UHD. It’s amazingly on a BD100 (Triple Layered Disc!), is incredibly stellar with great amounts of detail, film grain is preserved, and multiple audio tracks. http://dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=50198 https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=5205&d2=13061&s1=48549&s2=130233&i=2&l=1

Anyway, anything which is not included on the ALIEN: Anthology 6-Disc Blu-ray set, PROMETHEUS, and ALIEN: COVENANT physical releases or is still in print. The previous bonus feature fan discs which were at best on DVD5s could be re-encoded to be housed on BD25s via AVC codec. Content still available solely as Streaming could possibly be featured on a disc if possible. OOP counts too for preservation.

(ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN³, ALIEN: Resurrection, PROMETHEUS, ALIEN: Covenant. AVP Duology doesn’t count but the video game Trilogy does but that’s an entirely different matter. ALIENS: Colonial Marines & ALIEN: Isolation. Former is a buggy mess though.)

No idea if these shorts count since they’re only online for streaming, not disc or digital. https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Alien_40th_anniversary_short_films

Just throwing out random suggestions.

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The previous fan docs were pretty screwed up. The now-banned individual who put it together re-encoded everything to PAL specs when it wasn’t needed. So anything that was archived probably could have fit together in a different way. It really is too bad.

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digitalfreaknyc said:

The previous fan docs were pretty screwed up. The now-banned individual who put it together re-encoded everything to PAL specs when it wasn’t needed. So anything that was archived probably could have fit together in a different way. It really is too bad.

That’s very unfortunate. Perhaps someone could re-encode but to AVC/H.264. Might be a bust though since original files would be preferred to re-encode for custom bonus feature BD25s, including keeping resolution. I’ll look on The Spleen.

Is there a compiled list of what’s not on DVD, Blu-ray disc, or UHD? OOP counts if it’s exclusive content not carried over to anything. Breakdown by film would be helpful.
(ALIEN, ALIENS, ALIEN³, ALIEN: Resurrection, PROMETHEUS, ALIEN: Covenant. AVP Duology doesn’t count but the video game Trilogy does to me. ALIENS: Colonial Marines & ALIEN: Isolation. Former is a buggy mess though.)

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digitalfreaknyc said:

The previous fan docs were pretty screwed up. The now-banned individual who put it together re-encoded everything to PAL specs when it wasn’t needed. So anything that was archived probably could have fit together in a different way. It really is too bad.

I can’t speak for the individual you refer to, but when I authored the second and third volumes of Alien Appendix, I needed to reconcile a mixture of sources - some NTSC, some PAL. Since the longer pieces were from PAL broadcasts, I prioritised those.

That was the way it was in 2007. These days, I naturally wouldn’t use DVD media, but even BD video has its issues - you could theoretically combine both SD NTSC and PAL on one disc, but most US BD players wouldn’t be able to handle the 25 frame content (I don’t know if UHD players/displays have moved forwards in this respect).

I guess the only solution that would suit all users is the ‘bag of files’ option, which isn’t much fun from a user perspective but at least has the benefit of source purity.

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Jonno said:

I guess the only solution that would suit all users is the ‘bag of files’ option, which isn’t much fun from a user perspective but at least has the benefit of source purity.

“bag of files”, meaning all PAL and NTSC files “thrown” inside a directory/disc?
I’d go with two (or more) disc, one PAL, one NTSC (possibly including two versions, where available).

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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spoRv said:

“bag of files”, meaning all PAL and NTSC files “thrown” inside a directory/disc?

That’s the idea.

I’d go with two (or more) disc, one PAL, one NTSC (possibly including two versions, where available).

I think splitting up PAL and NTSC content would be unhelpful - it’s far more user-friendly to organise by film, not format, hence the idea of just creating a repository of files in their original form (which, come to think of it, would now include 23.976 material such as my updated Giger’s Alien rip).

This would be well-suited to format-agnostic viewing, such as desktop playback, at any rate (and presumably media servers such as Plex and Kodi too, given that they can transcode on-the-fly for TV viewing).

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TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

I’d much rather have the content on BD25s with the content encoded in AVC, not MPEG2/PAL/NTSC, and no more DVDs.

AVC still has resolutions and frame rates that need to be determined - you’re stuck with the basic rules and limitations of PAL and NTSC, unless you’re prepared for the material to be (destructively) altered.

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Jonno said:

TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

I’d much rather have the content on BD25s with the content encoded in AVC, not MPEG2/PAL/NTSC, and no more DVDs.

AVC still has resolutions and frame rates that need to be determined - you’re stuck with the basic rules and limitations of PAL and NTSC, unless you’re prepared for the material to be (destructively) altered.

Then how come for SD bonus features on Blu-ray disc use the AVC codec instead of MPEG2? Keeping aspect ratio would be key. Would it need to be upscaled but same bitrate? Could be low bitrate for more content regarding each BD25.
Possibly.

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MPEG-2 to AVC conversion is useful only to get the same image quality with lower bitrate, hence smaller file size - yet, some quality will be lost, even if not that much. At that point, an alternative could be to do a nice upscale (that should be better than the average HDTV real time upscale), apply a slight deblock (useful for MPEG-2 encoded video) and possibly a light noise reduction, and have the NTSC 480p 29.97fps as 1280x720 59.94p or 1440x1080 59.94i, and PAL 576p 25fps as 1280x720 50p or 1440x1080 50i - I’d go with 1440 horizontal lines if the DVD material is anamorphic, as 1440=720x2, hence better upscale. So, any PAL and NTSC material, when upscaled, could be burned on a BD-R and be read by any BD player, from US or any other part of the world, without eventual compatibility problems.

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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Again, US DVD/Blu-ray players and displays are known to have issues with 25 or 50 field/frame content (SD or HD) - they’re generally not made with anything other than NTSC/film specs in mind (whereas European players have been NTSC ready since the DVD era).

The sources of the fan-collected Alien materials are a combination of (true) NTSC and PAL frame rates, e.g.

Shock and Awe (UK broadcast documentary - 50i)
James Cameron: A Director and His Work (US tape source - 59.94i)
Giger’s Alien (shot on 16mm film - 23.976fps)

There’s no one disc medium that will support all of these formats and play anywhere in the world - there has to be a compromise somewhere along the line.

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May I suggest PAL-NTSC and NTSC-PAL conversion, and also speeding up Giger’s Alien on PAL discs?

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Jonno said:

Again, US DVD/Blu-ray players and displays are known to have issues with 25 or 50 field/frame content (SD or HD) - they’re generally not made with anything other than NTSC/film specs in mind (whereas European players have been NTSC ready since the DVD era).

Sorry, you are completely right… well, let’s take the 25/50fps to 23.976fps (or 24), and we will solve everything - or not? Even if there is some movie pieces in the PAL sources, they surely not have IVTC problems.

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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No noise reduction please. What resolution are the bonus features on discs 5 and 6 for the ALIEN anthology Blu-ray disc release? If we can get the resolution matched that’d be ideal. Again, should be AVC but as 24p to have universal playability as has been mentioned.

Filesizes low? Lots of content on those two BD50 bonus feature discs. Also have to figure compression would need to be variable bitrate for each feature on the disc.

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Jonno said:

Giger’s Alien (shot on 16mm film - 23.976fps)

–> there´s a LD version on spleen:

Complete name : Giger’s Alien.mkv
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 1.49 GiB
Duration : 34 min 8 s
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 6 253 kb/s
Encoded date : UTC 2017-05-01 09:30:31
Writing application : mkvmerge v9.1.0 (‘Little Earthquakes’) 64bit
Writing library : libebml v1.3.3 + libmatroska v1.4.4

Video
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L4
Format settings : CABAC / 4 Ref Frames
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 4 frames
Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration : 34 min 8 s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 6 000 kb/s
Maximum bit rate : 7 000 kb/s
Width : 700 pixels
Height : 476 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4:3
Original display aspect rat : 4:3
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 23.976 (24000/1001) FPS
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.751
Stream size : 1.43 GiB (96%)

–> and a VHS version on the spleen (Giger Collection):

Complete name : Giger Collection (VHS2DVD)\VIDEO_TS\VTS_04_1.VOB
Format : MPEG-PS
File size : 918 MiB
Duration : 32 min 10 s
Overall bit rate mode : Constant
Overall bit rate : 3 989 kb/s
Writing library : encoded by TMPGEnc (ver. 2.511.51.160)

Video
ID : 224 (0xE0)
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings : CustomMatrix / BVOP
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=13
Format settings, picture st : Frame
Duration : 32 min 10 s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 3 718 kb/s
Maximum bit rate : 8 000 kb/s
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 576 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4:3
Frame rate : 25.000 FPS
Standard : PAL
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Bottom Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.359

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Jonno said:

benduwan said:

Jonno said:

Giger’s Alien (shot on 16mm film - 23.976fps)

–> there´s a LD version on spleen:

Yeah. I put it there.

And I grabbed it during a freeleech. Belongs on a BD25 compilation though in much better capture quality.

As an aside, I’m still considering these custom BD25s as continuations of discs 5 & 6 from the ALIEN Anthology Blu-ray disc set. i.e. Disc 7~Whichever.

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TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:
Belongs on a BD25 compilation though in much better capture quality.

Not sure what you mean by ‘much better capture quality’. I’m fairly certain my rip is the best out there right now and, given the considerable limitations of the laserdisc format, it’s unlikely to be bettered any time soon (burning it to Blu-ray certainly won’t have magical improving powers).

Happy to be proved wrong, of course, but in the 25+ years since I first saw this documentary, options for viewing it have remained maddeningly few.

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My suggestion would be to burn the original files as files instead of authoring a disc. It’s far easier to do and I combine all types of files and resolutions onto BD-R’s.

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If source is 1080p i.e. current shorts or promos not on disc, there should be a menu for BD25 instead of data files. Especially the ALIEN 40th Anniversary shorts.

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TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

If source is 1080p i.e. current shorts or promos not on disc, there should be a menu for BD25 instead of data files. Especially the ALIEN 40th Anniversary shorts.

Resolution doesn’t matter. There is no correlation between resolution and the ability to have menus. For that matter, you could have menus for the older files as well.

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digitalfreaknyc said:

TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

If source is 1080p i.e. current shorts or promos not on disc, there should be a menu for BD25 instead of data files. Especially the ALIEN 40th Anniversary shorts.

Resolution doesn’t matter. There is no correlation between resolution and the ability to have menus. For that matter, you could have menus for the older files as well.

Then why not make menus for the older files? Re-encode them as AVC for BD25, no more archaic MPEG2 for DVD. No DVD releases whatsoever. Time to move on from that format.
If there’s going to be random data discs for the older files on BD25, why not use HEVC/H.265 with MKV? Better compression. No need for HDR10. IDGAF if it won’t play on Apple.

EDIT: This is only for those features not on ALIEN Covenant or any other disc. Easier to have 1080p/24 HD content to receive menus on BD25s compared to NTSC or PAL. So, all NTSC files to have its own BD25 with zero menus and the same for PAL files for BD25? 1080/24p with menus as its own Archival disc, NTSC as its own Archival disc, and finally PAL as its own Archival disc.
I can dig it.

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TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

digitalfreaknyc said:

TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

If source is 1080p i.e. current shorts or promos not on disc, there should be a menu for BD25 instead of data files. Especially the ALIEN 40th Anniversary shorts.

Resolution doesn’t matter. There is no correlation between resolution and the ability to have menus. For that matter, you could have menus for the older files as well.

Then why not make menus for the older files? Re-encode them as AVC for BD25, no more archaic MPEG2 for DVD. No DVD releases whatsoever. Time to move on from that format.
If there’s going to be random data discs for the older files on BD25, why not use HEVC/H.265 with MKV? Better compression. No need for HDR10. IDGAF if it won’t play on Apple.

EDIT: This is only for those features not on ALIEN Covenant or any other disc. Easier to have 1080p/24 HD content to receive menus on BD25s compared to NTSC or PAL. So, all NTSC files to have its own BD25 with zero menus and the same for PAL files for BD25? 1080/24p with menus as its own Archival disc, NTSC as its own Archival disc, and finally PAL as its own Archival disc.
I can dig it.

Then do it yourself. I prefer everything in its original frame rate with as little re-encoding as possible

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digitalfreaknyc said:

TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

digitalfreaknyc said:

TiddySprinklesPimpBillion said:

If source is 1080p i.e. current shorts or promos not on disc, there should be a menu for BD25 instead of data files. Especially the ALIEN 40th Anniversary shorts.

Resolution doesn’t matter. There is no correlation between resolution and the ability to have menus. For that matter, you could have menus for the older files as well.

Then why not make menus for the older files? Re-encode them as AVC for BD25, no more archaic MPEG2 for DVD. No DVD releases whatsoever. Time to move on from that format.
If there’s going to be random data discs for the older files on BD25, why not use HEVC/H.265 with MKV? Better compression. No need for HDR10. IDGAF if it won’t play on Apple.

EDIT: This is only for those features not on ALIEN Covenant or any other disc. Easier to have 1080p/24 HD content to receive menus on BD25s compared to NTSC or PAL. So, all NTSC files to have its own BD25 with zero menus and the same for PAL files for BD25? 1080/24p with menus as its own Archival disc, NTSC as its own Archival disc, and finally PAL as its own Archival disc.
I can dig it.

Then do it yourself. I prefer everything in its original frame rate with as little re-encoding as possible

Agreed. My rule of thumb is never re-encode video unless you absolutely have to. I cannot see any benefits to converting MPEG2 SD footage to H264, it will look worse due to the conversion. I’ve read before that MPEG2 produces slightly better quality over H264 when using SD footage. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

However the mix of PAL and NTSC is an issue particularly for North American users, as 25 FPS is not a required blu ray standard in North America. I did a project recently where all but one of the special features were NTSC and one was PAL. It was a choice of having a disc that can’t be fully played in most of North America or converting that one video to NTSC - I chose the latter but it’s not a good situation to be in.