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PAL VHS Archive Collection

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As I have stated more than once, I have been collecting UK PAL VHS Star Wars tapes with a view to capturing them up onto DVD for my own benefit so that I can watch Star Wars how I did for many years without the need for a VHS player.

I now have 37 tapes, a LITEON DVD recorder and a brand new LG Nicam Stereo VHS Recorder so I am now ready to go.

The tapes I have are............

1986 Jedi - Fullscreen
1988 Trilogy - CBS FOX All Time Greats Collection - Fullscreen
1989 Trilogy - Fullscreen
1991 Trilogy - Special Widescreen Edition - Widescreen
1994 Trilogy - Digitally Remastered - Fullscreen
1994 Trilogy - Digitally Remastered - Widescreen
1995 Trilogy - One Last Time - Fullscreen
1995 Trilogy - One Last Time - Widescreen
1997 Trilogy - Special Edition - Fullscreen
1997 Trilogy - Special Edition - Widescreen
2000 Trilogy - Special Edition - Fullscreen
2000 Trilogy - Special Edition - Widescreen

also
2000 TPM - Fullscreen
2000 TPM - Widescreen
2002 AOTC - Fullscreen

Some of the above are identical so there is little point (at first) in capturing them all. The current plan is to do the Early Release, the Digitally Remastered Release and the Special Edition Release in both Fullscreen and Widescreen. I am also planning an extras disc of all the interviews, trailers and Making of's from the tapes.

There is one compromise that I am having to make and that is that I am using 2 hour mode on my recorder and the PAL Jedi is (generally) 126 minutes long so I will not initially be able to get all the credits on the disc.

I will be recording the last few minutes and will look at splicing the credits together later.

There are also no plans for any menu's but that may also change in the future.

So far, two things have already come to light which are a suprise.

Firstly, it is well known that the PAL movies are shorter than the NTSC movies by 4% due to the different framerate.
For some bizarre reason, the 1991 Trilogy Special Widescreen Edition films are approx 4% longer than the other releases I have.

Star Wars 118 mins and 122 mins
Empire 119 mins and 125 mins
Jedi 126 mins and 132 mins

It is almost as if there is some type of framerate compensation to make the films play for the same length of time as the same as the theatrical and NTSC versions.

Has anyone got any ideas on this one??

Secondly, on the 1995 Trilogy - One Last Time - Fullscreen and Widescreen release, Empire and Jedi only, there is no Fox logo and fanfare. Instead there is the crappy blue CBS FOX logo. This is very wrong!!!

See for yourself here (29Mb)

I will post any other issues as I find them.

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“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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I believe that the Executor boxset is based on the same release as the "1995 Trilogy - One Last Time - Widescreen" release as both are THX and came out in 1995.

Do Empire and Jedi have the Fox Fanfare or that crappy CBS Fox logo and music???


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Originally posted by: russs15
So far, two things have already come to light which are a suprise.

Firstly, it is well known that the PAL movies are shorter than the NTSC movies by 4% due to the different framerate.
For some bizarre reason, the 1991 Trilogy Special Widescreen Edition films are approx 4% longer than the other releases I have.

Star Wars 118 mins and 122 mins
Empire 119 mins and 125 mins
Jedi 126 mins and 132 mins

It is almost as if there is some type of framerate compensation to make the films play for the same length of time as the same as the theatrical and NTSC versions.

Has anyone got any ideas on this one??


I have done some trials with the DVD capture of my 1991 Widescreen PAL recording of Star Wars.

Two identical players were rigged up to my TV, one playing my 1991 PAL recording of Star Wars and the other playing the Dark Jedi Definitive Collection Star Wars NTSC DVD. I set up the split-screen mode and synchronised the two together and left them playing. At the end of the film, they were still synchronised.

They matched exactly!

My 1995 Widescreen PAL recording of Star Wars was then played alongside my 1991 version and within minutes they were way out of synch. This is exactly what happens with a PAL/NTSC comparison except in this case, both were PAL recordings!!!!! Very odd.



The 1997 Star Wars Special Edition Fullscreen has just finished and Empire is being done at the moment.

The Special Edition looks very different this way as a lot of the changes are out of screenshot. In a way, this is the version I most wanted to put on DVD as it is not available from anywhere else.

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Originally posted by: russs15
Secondly, on the 1995 Trilogy - One Last Time - Fullscreen and Widescreen release, Empire and Jedi only, there is no Fox logo and fanfare. Instead there is the crappy blue CBS FOX logo. This is very wrong!!!
I've mentioned this before (see here - my post dated October 17th). Because the audio form my DVD was taken from this set, I had to capture the laserdisc audio for the fox logo.

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Another interesting point to note about this set; Empire and Jedi do not have the 20th Century Fox fanfare. Instead it has been replaced with the CBS Fox home video intro.

A little strange to watch, because everyone is used to the fanfare continuing to play into the "Lucasfilm" logo, however on these tapes the CBS/Fox music has finished by the time Lucasfilm appears.

(I expect that now, due to this unique feature, the more dedicated geek members of the forum will be clamouring for a straight transfer of this set... )


I knew that I had read this somewhere recently but the effect it would have on the start of the film did not dawn on me until I saw it for myself.

It is a very strange and unique feature but there has been none of the "clamouring for a straight transfer of this set..." that you predicted!!

I suppose that if anyone wished to re-create the effect, they could use the sample vob I posted earlier.


Anyhow, I have now done what I set out to originally do so I will now capture the rest of my tapes to do some detailed side-by-side comparisons of supposed identical sets.

Still no further info on the 1991 Widescreen time-stretched release..........

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Have you checked the capture on a PC? Are there any frames that show interlacing artefacts that might indicate the use of some kind of non-standard pulldown?

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Originally posted by: Moth3rHave you checked the capture on a PC? Are there any frames that show interlacing artefacts that might indicate the use of some kind of non-standard pulldown?

I have to show my complete ignorance here and publicly state that I havn't the foggiest what you just said there!!!!!!!!!!

Anyhow, if you wanted a we look at what I have on my DVD's, I am sure that can be arranged. I could even re-record in 1 hour mode to try ang get the best quality picture available if you wish. Let me know........


I have made another find.

My 1988 Star Wars Fullscreen is a very different animal to all the later PAL versions and the 2 NTSC transfers I have.

In fact, it looks very much like the never offered for sale or rent HBO version mentioned here.

Despite popular belief, this was not the only transfer made of Star Wars. At some point, a second fullscreen video transfer was created from a 16mm flat print source. Since an anamorphic (2.35:1) 35mm print had been reduced down to a flat (1.33:1) 16mm print, this 16mm source featured different pan & scan decisions made during the print reduction. One main difference in this transfer was that Luke's macrobinocular POV shot of the Banthas was squeezed to actually show the Tusken Raider walking to the side of the frame. This video transfer was only shown on HBO and was never offered for sale or rent.


All my other versions synchronise and stay like that whilst played on split screen on my TV.

The 1988 version drifts out of synch a few frames here and there. It looks to be from a very different source indeed.............

I will post some comparison shots later.



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Originally posted by: russs15
Originally posted by: Moth3rHave you checked the capture on a PC? Are there any frames that show interlacing artefacts that might indicate the use of some kind of non-standard pulldown?


I have to show my complete ignorance here and publicly state that I havn't the foggiest what you just said there!!!!!!!!!!
Load a VOB into an editor such as VirtualDubMod. View frames with motion. If the video is pure 25fps progressive then you should not see any interlacing "jaggies" or "mice teeth".

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Thanks for that info, I plan to have a go at that sometime.

Meanwhile, as promised, here are some screenshots I promised.

The shot shows Luke's macrobinocular POV shot of the Banthas which was squeezed to actually show the Tusken Raider walking to the side of the frame. This video transfer was thought to have only been shown on HBO and never offered for sale or rent.

It compares the 1988 Fullscreen to the 1994 Digitally Remastered Fullscreen to the Widescreen that we are all now used to seeing.

1988 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/russ/002.jpg

1994 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/russ/003.jpg

1994 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/russ/004.jpg

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I have been comparing my 1988 set to the later sets in more detail.

All 3 films are so different. It would be easier to count the scenes that are the same it is that different.

There are even some shots where different charachters are shown on the screen at the same point in the film.

I would love to compare my 1988 version to the early NTSC releases of LaserDisc and VHS.

All being well, there should be a release of some of the early LaserDiscs shortly but I am unaware of any plans to capture the VHS sets.

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For those that are interested, I have thrown together a webpage detailing all my OT PAL VHS tapes along with pictures of the covers. Very pretty it looks too..........

1988 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1988ep4mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1988ep5mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1988ep6mini.jpg

1989 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1989ep4mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1989ep5mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1989ep6mini.jpg

1991 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1991ep4mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1991ep5mini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1991ep6mini.jpg

1994 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep4fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep5fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep6fullmini.jpg

1994 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep4widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep5widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1994ep6widemini.jpg

1995 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep4fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep5fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep6fullmini.jpg

1995 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep4widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep5widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1995ep6widemini.jpg

1997 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep4fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep5fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep6fullmini.jpg

1997 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep4widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep5widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/1997ep6widemini.jpg

2000 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep4fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep5fullmini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep6fullmini.jpg

2000 Widescreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep4widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep5widemini.jpg,http://www.galactictradefederation.com/laser/images/2000ep6widemini.jpg








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Hi Russ - the 1994 fullscreen ROTJ cover is one that's not seen too often - I don't think I've ever seen that one before.

Good luck with the rest of the project m8 - the more PAL goodness being backed up forever, the better


If you need any help on info for the UK releases try the bbfc.co.uk website - they are surprisingly friendly lot for a bunch of censors - and have vast info on every film released in UK cinemas AND on tape.
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I find that answer vague and unconvincing.
 
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The 1994 set was the version that only lasted a year before they brought out the 1995 "One Last Time" set.

That was a bit daft in my opinion. The good news is that that would never get away with it nowadays.





Ooops, silly old me, they just have!!!!!!!!!!!!



On the PAL front, the early LD's are part of a current project but I do not know of any SE project - yet!

The early Star Wars and Empire VHS are still eluding me too.

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Forgive me for asking what may be a stupid question, but you owned all these 30-odd tapes? Wow. I have the trilogies on tape as well, but only the '97 fullscreen set, the '97 widescreen set and the '95 fullscreen set. I meant to sell the '95 fullscreen set on ebay, and I did for about AU$40, but I sent the '95 widescreen tapes by accident, much to my dismay. I had intended to sell them later on for about AU$100 as that was what they were going for at the time.

Anyway... I just wanted to ask, do you still have all of these tapes? Perhaps you could offer up some hi-res scans of the rarer covers, such as the 1994 fullscreen ROTJ that oojason mentioned. Pretty please?

Also, I think my local video shop may have the 1986 trilogy VHS. I don't know why they would have such an old set, but I do not see the versions that they have in that long list of covers you posted. Do you have any pics of the 1986 tapes and maybe I could check for you?

To contact me outside the forum, for trades and such my email address is my OT.com username @gmail.com

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A nice collection of covers, Russ.

The Alvin covers on the 1995 fullscreen tapes are my favourite, and are what my DVD covers done by Metallaxis are based on.

I think the 1991 widescreen edition was the first time a movie had a VHS release in the letterboxed widescreen format. If I remember, the Star Wars Trilogy was released along with Alien and Die Hard under the slogan "Widescreen - as they were meant to be seen". Is that trailer included on your tape? I have it on Die Hard.

Is C3PO's tractor beam line included in this 1991 edition?

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Anyway... I just wanted to ask, do you still have all of these tapes? Perhaps you could offer up some hi-res scans of the rarer covers, such as the 1994 fullscreen ROTJ that oojason mentioned. Pretty please?

Yes I have all the tapes, I only did the scans last night!!

I will do any scans requsted. The problem is that this 1994 set has the film title in silver - not ink but almost a kind of foil. I have tried allsorts to scan the things properly and it just will not work. Any way, here is a sample....

1994 Widescreen Empire

I have all the rest of the covers at this resolution and can upload them on a temporary basis should anyone wish to have them.





I think the 1991 widescreen edition was the first time a movie had a VHS release in the letterboxed widescreen format. If I remember, the Star Wars Trilogy was released along with Alien and Die Hard under the slogan "Widescreen - as they were meant to be seen". Is that trailer included on your tape? I have it on Die Hard.


I believe that trailer is on the Star Wars tapes. If I got much further with this project, all the trailers and extras would be on a single DVD.



Is C3PO's tractor beam line included in this 1991 edition?


The sound on this set is the 1985 Digital Sound Re-master and does not have that line. It is effectively the same audio as the Dark Jedi Special Collection and 1992 Pan and Scan sets.

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Most impressive Russ!

“My skill are no longer as Mad as the once were” RiK

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Originally posted by: russs15

1988 Fullscreen
http://www.galactictradefederation.com/russ/002.jpg


This almost looks anamorphic. Is it only squeezed like this in this scene?
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Originally posted by: russs15
Is C3PO's tractor beam line included in this 1991 edition?


The sound on this set is the 1985 Digital Sound Re-master and does not have that line. It is effectively the same audio as the Dark Jedi Special Collection and 1992 Pan and Scan sets.
That's interesting; according to DavisDVD the line was added to the 1985 remastered mix, but lost again during the 1993 THX remastering.

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Originally posted by: Moth3r
Originally posted by: russs15
Is C3PO's tractor beam line included in this 1991 edition?


The sound on this set is the 1985 Digital Sound Re-master and does not have that line. It is effectively the same audio as the Dark Jedi Special Collection and 1992 Pan and Scan sets.
That's interesting; according to DavisDVD the line was added to the 1985 remastered mix, but lost again during the 1993 THX remastering.


I had gotten myself confused there. The 1991 Widescreen does have that line.

I (wrongly) assumed that the 1988 and 1989 Fullscreen version was the same audio as the 1991 Widescreen version (it turns out that they are not).

The Fullscreens do not have the line and have the incorrect audio for that time period.
The Widescreen does and is correct for the time period.

The question now is, what the hell is the audio on the 1988 and 1989 version as it does not look like the 1985 remastered mix???????


To add more confusion, I have the 1987 release of Star Wars on the way too................

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The sample scan you provided looks good. If you do get around to making a disc containing all the extras from the tapes, surely a DVD-ROM section with the covers would be a good idea? I might request some cover scans, but at the moment my internet's too slow to download them (reverted to dial-up). I must say congratulations on capturing all these tapes.

To contact me outside the forum, for trades and such my email address is my OT.com username @gmail.com

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This almost looks anamorphic. Is it only squeezed like this in this scene?

This is one of the only scenes where this happens. Most of the rest are very much pan and scan.

This 1988/89 fullscreen version gets weirder by the day.

First of all, it looks like this version.....

Despite popular belief, this was not the only transfer made of Star Wars. At some point, a second fullscreen video transfer was created from a 16mm flat print source. Since an anamorphic (2.35:1) 35mm print had been reduced down to a flat (1.33:1) 16mm print, this 16mm source featured different pan & scan decisions made during the print reduction. One main difference in this transfer was that Luke's macrobinocular POV shot of the Banthas was squeezed to actually show the Tusken Raider walking to the side of the frame. This video transfer was only shown on HBO and was never offered for sale or rent


Secondly, the audio is not the 1985 remastered version due to the missing tractor beam line.

I will be getting hold of the LaserDisc from 1982 and 1985, both pre re-mastering so I will then compare the 1988/89 audio against those versions to see if they match or are different again.

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The 1987 version does not help the confusion either.

It has the squeezed up macrobinocular shot as seen in the screenshot above and doesn't have the C3PO tractor beam line that was added into the 1985 digitally re-mastered soundtrack.

Very weird inded and I would love to get to the bottom of it and identify what soundtrack this is.

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