Softly Softly: Taskforce

What's not currently on the box
Peter Neill
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Peter Neill »

I haven't seen this yet (though I might well buy a copy after Christmas) but from the description it sounds like field reversal, when the interlaced lines are shown in the wrong order. This won't show on a computer monitor and isn't really apparent on slow-moving images.Some video formats use upper field dominance and others lower field and it's an easy thing to get wrong when transcoding. One reason why edit suites should always have proper monitors as well as the computer.

Andy Marriott
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Andy Marriott »

It isn't a field dominance error, it is simply that the fool who encoded it did it as progressive, not interlaced.
It hasn't even been de-interlaced nicely, just a rough blend of fields.

GarethR
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by GarethR »

It may have been caused earlier than the encoding stage. It's possible to inadvertently filmise something by running it through a DVNR set to film mode rather than video mode.

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robinsmith
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by robinsmith »

Hi guys, long time no speak.
How does one know if one has the original or reissued discs? Should one purchase directly from Simply?

Andy Marriott
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Andy Marriott »

GarethR wrote:It may have been caused earlier than the encoding stage. It's possible to inadvertently filmise something by running it through a DVNR set to film mode rather than video mode.

Agreed but if this has been through a DVNR it should be scrapped, there is loads of noise and it has been encoded very badly, so the noise is now blocks, lovely!

markboulton
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by markboulton »

Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.

Obviously, in a strictly-contractually-controlled environment such as this, a distributor will no doubt be bound to issue material in exactly the format given over by the content owner. Trouble is, the environment in which that approach worked was when everyone at both ends of the chain was adept at technical review. This is clearly no longer the case. In fact, if anything, I would hazard a guess that even if anyone at Simply had noticed a problem, they would have been told from higher up and from the BBC, "author exactly what we've given you".

I now work in the construction industry and there are often times where what the contract calls for is clearly not viable, either technically or commercially. Sometimes even potentially disastrously so. If one was to follow the contract instructions to the letter, a lot of money could be wasted and safety could be compromised too. In that industry there is a widely-recognised form of communication called a "Request For Information" or RFI. They usually take the form of a paragraph beginning or ending with words along the lines of "are you sure?!?! You do realise..."

The client will often come back and admit that yes, actually, you were right, and will issue an instruction that varies the original contract requirements.

Maybe there should be something similar in place for media companies, such that if a distributor performs a technical review and decides that a lot of money could be wasted having to recall and re-press discs, that would at least force the BBC into taking a certain amount if time reviewing what they've given and what they've instructed them. They can of course choose to still say "no matter... just do as you're told", but then each company has a record of the communication and, in any future dispute that might occur, it will clearly show who is liable for the recovery costs.

ian b
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by ian b »

markboulton wrote:Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.
It may be obvious to you, but probably not to those who have read what Simply eventually reported...

An audit of all internal and external processes, working closely with the BBC and our external encoding companies, has been completed. Our findings indicate that the `filmised` effect was caused by a progressive scan being enabled during the DVD encode which caused an uncomfortable watch for some. New sample encodes have been examined by a former member of the BBC archive team, who incidentally actually completed some of the original Softly Softly transfers from 2` to D3 and hence was sympathetic to the views that had been expressed . We are advised that the new test encodes address the issue and the picture quality is now as it should be.

Andy Marriott
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Andy Marriott »

markboulton wrote:Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.


Well, I (like many here) work in the tv industry and deal with material from the BBC almost daily. It is invariably delivered on Digibeta and is a copy of the distribution master with no processing whatsoever, just a "vanilla" dub. To do otherwise would be time consuming and costly.

The problems occur once the material has left the hands of professional producers and broadcasters and been handed to the people who don't know the difference between interlaced and progressive, and who think that "its old, it should look bad"!

markboulton
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by markboulton »

ian b wrote:
markboulton wrote:Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.
It may be obvious to you, but probably not to those who have read what Simply eventually reported...

An audit of all internal and external processes, working closely with the BBC and our external encoding companies, has been completed. Our findings indicate that the `filmised` effect was caused by a progressive scan being enabled during the DVD encode which caused an uncomfortable watch for some. New sample encodes have been examined by a former member of the BBC archive team, who incidentally actually completed some of the original Softly Softly transfers from 2` to D3 and hence was sympathetic to the views that had been expressed . We are advised that the new test encodes address the issue and the picture quality is now as it should be.
Well, that throws new light on the situation. I didn't see that paragraph quoted anywhere above. Still don't, as it happens.

markboulton
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by markboulton »

Andy Marriott wrote:
markboulton wrote:Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.


Well, I (like many here) work in the tv industry and deal with material from the BBC almost daily. It is invariably delivered on Digibeta and is a copy of the distribution master with no processing whatsoever, just a "vanilla" dub. To do otherwise would be time consuming and costly.

The problems occur once the material has left the hands of professional producers and broadcasters and been handed to the people who don't know the difference between interlaced and progressive, and who think that "its old, it should look bad"!
Well, how very gratifying. Very different to the days when, for instance, a company like Fremantle (whose employees, I believe, can be said to "work in the tv industry") would routinely send out clones of D3 transfers made using poor PAL decoders which had all sorts of burned-in artefacts, simply because, to do otherwise (i.e. to go back and re-transfer the original tapes), would be "time consuming and costly".

markboulton
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by markboulton »

Just to say that "distribution master" and "vanilla version" are very rarely the same thing at all.

Andy Marriott
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Andy Marriott »

markboulton wrote:
Andy Marriott wrote:
markboulton wrote:Well, I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the BBC who did a duff transfer and gave that to Simply, and Simply "simply" did a "faithful transfer" of the tripe the BBC gave to them.


Well, I (like many here) work in the tv industry and deal with material from the BBC almost daily. It is invariably delivered on Digibeta and is a copy of the distribution master with no processing whatsoever, just a "vanilla" dub. To do otherwise would be time consuming and costly.

The problems occur once the material has left the hands of professional producers and broadcasters and been handed to the people who don't know the difference between interlaced and progressive, and who think that "its old, it should look bad"!
Well, how very gratifying. Very different to the days when, for instance, a company like Fremantle (whose employees, I believe, can be said to "work in the tv industry") would routinely send out clones of D3 transfers made using poor PAL decoders which had all sorts of burned-in artefacts, simply because, to do otherwise (i.e. to go back and re-transfer the original tapes), would be "time consuming and costly".

What is the point of your sarcasm and snideness?

lovecraft
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by lovecraft »

So, did anyone send back their discs back and get their replacements yet?

MDK
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by MDK »

I took delivery of newly-released Angels Series 2 today and to my dismay, Simply have managed to make a hash of the transfer yet again. It got me wondering - do they enjoy winding people like me up, or are they just completely incompetent?

Fortunately the "filmised" look only seems to affect episode 1 (maybe someone noticed before they started on episode 2?), so I won't return the set, and I suppose we should be grateful that they are releasing these titles (Warship as well out today), but they really ought to start employing people who know what they are doing.

ian b
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by ian b »

It's not just my eyes then! I watched it Sunday and, though it's not as extreme and uncomfortable a watch as the SOFTLY cock-up, it's not a nice look at all.

The second episode is ok, and judging from the snippets Iooked at, so is the third. I have t the heart to go through the other ten...

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Simon36
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by Simon36 »

Simon36 wrote:
softly2 wrote:"Private Mischief" was never broadcast on UK Gold... I think the episode you're thinking of was "Skipper's Walk" featuring guest appearances by Warren Clarke and Anne Stallybrass (who was in the kitchen scene with Frank Windsor and Norman Bowler).
Ah thanks for this. I was guessing it was PM as the synopsis looked about right. I can actually remember the kitchen more than anything else!
Have watched Skipper's Walk now; kitchen different to how I remembered it but no wonder this episode stayed in my memory! Did this really go out at 8.10pm? Stunning final act, but shocking!

PeteH
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by PeteH »

Not long finished watching Series 1 - most enjoyable! I bought direct from Simply as various members suggested and all discs were fine.

Notice on Amazon that Series 2 is due on 26th September - can't wait!

lovecraft
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by lovecraft »

Finally beginning to work my way through series 2 and really enjoying it. What a thoughtful and intelligent series for the most part.

Any sign of any further series from Simply or will I have to resort to those German releases?

Addendum - an email from Simply received today says they have no further plans re this series......sad face

brigham
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by brigham »

I suppose that includes 'normal' Softly Softly too, as well as the 'Task Force' kind?

lovecraft
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by lovecraft »

brigham wrote:I suppose that includes 'normal' Softly Softly too, as well as the 'Task Force' kind?
I didn't specify but seems safe to assume so.

lovecraft
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Re: Softly Softly: Taskforce

Post by lovecraft »

So, here we are, some years down the line and I am just about to watch the last of my Pidax discs. Despite, the Jack the Ripper release, it seems the era of archive TV on DVD is pretty much drawn to a close, but the era of some kind of streaming service of such material is a long way off if indeed it ever comes....

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