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Friends: The Complete Edition - Blended Uncut and Blu Ray together. (Released)

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 (Edited)

Over the quarantine period I took it upon myself to start a huge project. I loved the Blu Ray quality of the tv show Friends, but if I wanted to watch the Full show uncut I would have to just watch the uncut dvd versions. I thought if I put all the work in to blend them together now, I could get the best of both worlds for every re-watch here after. I didn’t think it would be too difficult but I felt like a Director and an editor at the same time as it went along. There were so many alterations that came down to my choice but I’m extremely proud of what I accomplished. One part to note is I got used to ignoring the multiple credits as I wanted to keep as much of the HD version as possible, and it does switch the aspect ratio from widescreen to full screen anytime the uncut footage was used.

If there was an episode that had a visual error in them, like a cameraman or the end of a set for example I cropped them out. I have kept both versions though.

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I would love to see these as they are available. I’ve ALWAYS wanted the HD of friends, but also wanted the uncut versions from the DVD’s as the cut material usually removes material for either new jokes or is able to show the reason why something was said/done later. I never did buy the excuse from WB that they just didn’t have the material in HD, that it was just “lost”. I hope that you are able to complete this project. If you need any help, I’ll be glad to do what I can.

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This sounds great, am currently going through the uncut DVDs slowly. Could I get a link if available? I’d rather watch these than the DVDs. Sounds like a definitive version.

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This is great timing for me. I’ve been planning on watching the entire series just before the reunion special.

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 (Edited)

I started watching these yesterday, and I think you’ve done a great job in terms of audio here, the transitions are seamless. However, I found the constant switch between 16:9 and 4:3 a bit jarring. Have you considered cutting the BR footage to 4:3 so the switch between BR and DVD footage is less noticeable?

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Heavysyde said:

I started watching these yesterday, and I think you’ve done a great job in terms of audio here, the transitions are seamless. However, I found the constant switch between 16:9 and 4:3 a bit jarring. Have you considered cutting the BR footage to 4:3 so the switch between BR and DVD footage is less noticeable?

I wouldn’t want that. Besides, from my understanding, the 16:9 are cropped 4:3 anyways, so it still would be rather noticeable

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heathen3017 said:

I wouldn’t want that. Besides, from my understanding, the 16:9 are cropped 4:3 anyways, so it still would be rather noticeable

I’m not sure what you mean by “the 16:9 are cropped 4:3 anyways”. On a 16:9 laptop monitor or TV, the BR footage is full screen, whilst the DVD footage has black bars on the left and right (as it is 4:3). The switch between BR and DVD footage is therefore quite noticeable. As there’s no way to make the DVD footage 16:9 (has not been released by NBC or whoever made Friends), the only way to make the output image ratio consistent would be to crop the BR footage. Ofc, OP can do what he likes, just my thoughts on this.

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I understand how not everyone would be a fan of the aspect switching, My wife and I watched it through as I made them and found for us it got less noticeable, but people can feel differently about that part of it. I like the widescreen for the majority of it so I chose not to alter that, you may feel free to alter it for yourself if you want to put in that amount of work. Thanks for noticing the audio transitions that took an awful lot of time to get right and found helped make the aspect change that little bit less jarring.

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This sounds perfect and absolutely what I have been looking for! Any chance of a link?! Thank you!!

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I’m planning on starting the series again now we’re in another lockdown. Can I have a link please.

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Could I possibly get a link to this as well?

I stumbled across this while researching between the two different releases, and would really love not having to pick one or the other!

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 (Edited)

deadakaalive said:

I understand how not everyone would be a fan of the aspect switching, My wife and I watched it through as I made them and found for us it got less noticeable, but people can feel differently about that part of it. I like the widescreen for the majority of it so I chose not to alter that, you may feel free to alter it for yourself if you want to put in that amount of work. Thanks for noticing the audio transitions that took an awful lot of time to get right and found helped make the aspect change that little bit less jarring.

Hi, I am interested in seeing how you did, too, if you could send me a PM with a link…

About the aspect ratio, these link explains a little bit about it: https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/7254/friends_complete.html

https://forums.thedigitalfix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=611329

Friends was actually shot with the 16:9 ratio in mind. The cropping in this case was for the DVDs and of course, broadcast (4:3). Since there’s additional image in the Blu-rays, it would not make any sense to remove image just to make everything look the same.

Further explanation about aspect ratios:

This is an old 4:3 TV, and also reality if you are using an iPAD, which uses the same aspect ratio:

[]

And this is what everybody is using now:

[]

Back when we had DVDs, all contents (Widescreen or not) had to be put in discs within that frame:

[]

Of course that changed into this, for Blu-rays:

[]

The 1920x1080 resolution implies a 16:9 frame while 720x480 is of course a 4:3 frame.

So let’s say I have a random TV show, like Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), one that has been projected with the 4:3 ratio in mind, and has been released both in DVD and Blu-ray also that way… in 4:3.

This is how the Enterprise from TNG was projected to be viewed by us:

[]

The director didn’t care about opening the left/right sides.

This is what the above image would look like in any 4:3 screen:

[]

And this is what it will look like in any modern WIDESCREEN TV:

[]

Why there are black bars on the sides? Because you are trying to insert a 4:3 image into this here:

[]

And into this 16:9 frame the 4:3 image will fill from top to bottom (or bottom to top), but it will not be WIDE… enough.

If it was wide enough, then it would look like this:

[]

Let’s also assume the wider image from the TNG crew is from FRIENDS, which is also 16:9.

This is, of course, how any content with a different aspect ratio from 4:3/1.33:1 would appear in an old TV set:

[]

And this is how this wider image appears in a modern WIDESCREEN TV:

[]

No surprises that it fills the screen because they both share the same 16:9 ratio (16:9 = 1.78:1). If the image was in fact 2.35:1 then black bars (top and bottom) would also be noticed in this same WIDESCREEN TV.


Bottom line: since you have the same content in two aspect ratios, making them look the same means sacrificing the picture to cut the sides, since they can only look the same if not wide enough (which is how 4:3 already is).

And in the case of FRIENDS that means removing content from the 16:9 version, because that one (released in Blu-ray) is wider than the 4:3.

Both 4:3 and 16:9 have the same HEIGHT. It’s just that 16:9 is wider.

I am being painfully obvious, yet it’s necessary to explain all of this because not many people understand why things are the way they are. The black bars (on the sides or top/bottom) are there for a reason.

If you always want to fill 100% of your screen you are either going to distort or crop the image, applying zoom.

EDIT: correction: I said 720x480’s frame used the 4:3 AR but that’s not true… my bad:
https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/why-720x480.229867/
http://www.miraizon.com/support/info_aspectratio.html

It’s more complicated than that, so search for this resolution and/or DVDs and ARs for further details.


https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/2tagbd/eli5_why_are_mid90s_shows_like_friends_available/


They shot Friends on film which is widescreen. At the time they were not worried about 16:9 aspect ratios because no one had TVs like that, so the extra space was just cut off on televisions. Around season 4 the networks started telling him to account for 16:9 because the transition to widescreen was imminent, but he said he was skeptical and didn’t do what they asked.


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Would love to get a link to this - sounds great!!! Thanks!!

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About Friends in 4:3 and 16:9, I took a look into the first episode, and was able to pause in both the cuts, the 4:3 and 16:9 or 1.78:1 version.

https://i.postimg.cc/xj3SChYd/X1.jpg

4:3

https://i.postimg.cc/HsW17zs9/X2.jpg

16:9

It turns out Friends in 4:3 is OPEN MATTE. Meaning there’s extra information on the top and bottom, which was cut for the 16:9. At the same time the 16:9 opens up the image more to the sides, in this specific scene (episode 1, 1m40s or 1m42s) to the right.

Open matte is a filming technique that involves matting out the top and bottom of the film frame in the movie projector (known as a soft matte) for the widescreen theatrical release and then scanning the film without a matte (at Academy ratio) for a full screen home video release.

Open matte versions are not the intended way by the director to view these movies, because they often reveal more information than necessary, so the 16:9 version (and most films are shot with the 16:9 ratio in mind, in fact ALL OF THEM, including TV shows like Friends, shot on FILM and 35mm).

So this extra info at top and bottom is always cut, and then the Widescreen version reveals more details at the sides, which is of course CUT in 4:3.

Think of it this way: face shots are always better in 4:3, while landscapes are way better when viewed in Widescreen, including 2.35:1. If I wanted to take a selfie then I would be showing more my face instead of the people around me, which will force me to take a wide shot that reveals more of the location I am at the moment, what people often do when they travel to a foreign country and want to show how beautiful the surroundings are.

This is when a widescreen picture will make more sense, even if it’s in 1.78 and not 2.35.

Even so, 4:3 open matte versions (or sometimes 1.85:1 Open matte ones from 2.35:1 movies, such as Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3, Terminator 2 (1991), or THE MATRIX) may be interesting to look at.

However in FRIENDS case I am not seeing much benefit.

Here’s another interesting comparison from the same 1st episode:

14m48s and 11m18s

https://i.postimg.cc/MHVNjsnq/X1.jpg

4:3

https://i.postimg.cc/mZH0qr8J/X2.jpg

16:9

As you can see the 16:9 picture is much better: while it cuts a little the top and bottom (the lamp is hidden), it reveals much more the sides than 4:3. So 16:9 was a great decision by the distributor, despite in some instances not being optimal for viewing.

Why’s that? Read again what Highdefdigest said about the image:


Fans will need to take note of three important aspects of this newer viewing presentation for ‘Friends:’ first, the original 1.33:1 framed versions of the show are not included in this release. Second, the majority of the show was composed in a manner that would keep most of the activity in what viewers would see on the 1.33:1 frame, so while the picture is expanded, it sometimes becomes slightly distracting if one pays attention to the tight composition of the majority of shots, leaving wide open, empty space in a large amount of the frame. Lastly, and most importantly, there have been a number of scenes that created visual goofs, due to the tight filming conditions of some scenes making the ends of sets and sometimes even video and sound equipment visible. For the most part, this Blu-ray release removes these visual errors. For example, in the episode ‘The One with Rachel’s New Dress,’ as Rachel shoos a duck out of the apartment, for a brief moment in the HD broadcast version a camera is visible, as is the end of the set. This Blu-ray release fixes this issue with a cropping of the edge and a slight zoom, making part of Rachel’s body leave frame momentarily. Additionally, errors featured on the 1.33:1 framed version of the show are also fixed, with audio equipment featured at the top of the frame in a shot of ‘The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss’ as Monica does her (somewhat weird) hair braid dance. Said equipment is no longer visible on this release, and it’s not even a noticeable change, like the quick zoom job fix.


What this review says makes sense:


The majority of the show was composed in a manner that would keep most of the activity in what viewers would see on the 1.33:1 frame


So it was shot in 16:9 (film/35mm) but the action was also most of the time happening in a way that a 4:3 frame would not look cropped as hell. Meaning the benefit of expanding the picture to the sides don’t offer so much gain to the viewers. The benefit is there, but most of the action was happening with a 4:3 frame in mind.

That doesn’t mean we need to ditch the 16:9 version, it’s just that it’s not replacing 100% 4:3. Meaning 4:3 may be worse or better, depending on the scene. Or that 4:3 is not really worse as it’s not cutting so much the sides.

Now, compare that to SEINFELD, which was never released in Blu-ray (only in DVD and 4:3) and it’s only available in HDTV broadcasts:

  • Seinfeld was clearly shot with the 4:3 ratio in mind. Even if it was in the exact same situation as FRIENDS, what happened was this:

  • The 16:9 broadcast versions are indeed cropping a lot of the top and bottom of the picture, and adding negligible information on the sides. Really, almost nothing.

So that makes me wonder if the distributor did a lousy job with the 16:9 HDTV versions or…

if Seinfeld is ever released properly on Blu-ray, it would have the same fate as Star Trek: THE NEXT GENERATION, being released as 4:3 and never in Widescreen.


Back to FRIENDS: in DVD Warner released as far as I know only the EXTENDED EPISODES. In Blu-ray it was the other way around: only the ORIGINAL BROADCAST VERSIONS.

So episode 1, for example, while UNCUT and blended by the OP, has 28m53s against 22m49s from the Blu-ray release.

It was a very bad decision to not include the extended episodes in HD.


This project is a great idea to finally watch FRIENDS complete, the transitions are smooth and so far I am not seeing anything bad about it. The OP did a great job with it.

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hey i sent you a pm regarding this fan edit can you please check it out???

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Sounds awesome…
Can you PM with details on how to get it?
Thanks in advance

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I was looking for this for a while and I just found your thread about it and joined the site. So thanks for doing this, sounds like a great job. But also thank you for making me aware of this kind of fanbase out there 😃 Can we still ask for the link?