Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

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Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Arian » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:07 pm

Something interesting floated around the Internet this week. I don't know what to make of it but it definitely is interesting.

A 720p "WEBrip" encode of Dragon Ball episode 1 had briefly surfaced and disappeared. I took a look at it and it does look a step above the Dragon Box.

Now before I continue, I'm not advocating piracy or encouraging it on this thread, this is simply a discussion about what might be going on behind the scenes.

What do I think? Well, I'm not sure of anything but it seems like an HD transfer of the film print. First I present a few screenshots of the encode. (I made sure to get a lot of Bulma in memory of Hiromi Tsuru).

https://imgur.com/a/bdrIA

Next, I did a little bit of digging, particularly at the Japanese Netflix to see if it had originated there and I did see something interesting there as well. When I went to take a look at the resolution control, I saw the maximum was at "910." This number presumably being the height. Had it been in 480p or somewhere around there, the maximum would have been "560" as shown in the following screenshot.

https://i.imgur.com/EtpftnY.png

So what do you guys think? Is this a legitimate remaster from Netflix or is this just a really good DNR/upscale job?
Last edited by Arian on Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by sangofe » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:10 pm

I don't know but it'd be very interesting if it's proper HD.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:25 pm

Well if DB was done like Funi claimed they did the DBZ Orange Bricks, then it would have been mastered in HD before being shrunk down. What's interesting here is the grain; that and the lack of blown out whites suggests footage that is closer to the Dragon Box footage. Was the Dragon Box ever mastered in HD like the Orange Bricks were?

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:30 pm

KBABZ wrote:Well if DB was done like Funi claimed they did the DBZ Orange Bricks, then it would have been mastered in HD before being shrunk down. What's interesting here is the grain; that and the lack of blown out whites suggests footage that is closer to the Dragon Box footage. Was the Dragon Box ever mastered in HD like the Orange Bricks were?
I have a theory that you're pretty close to there.

First up, this footage is exactly the Dragon Box footage, no doubt about that... And yet it looks too good to be an upscale; a lot of detail bleached out by the DVD authoring is in there, so it won't be a fan project if it is an upscale, and the actual picture detail is rather incredible, far better than I think you could get from an upscale. So, here's what I think happened -- Pony Canyon scanned the Dragon Box footage in HD, then scaled it down to make the digibeta(Or whatever format) copies that Toei authored the Dragon Box DVDs with, and thus also the copies that Funimation got for their release of the Z boxes.
It's not a huge leap of logic to assume this, and then to additionally assume that Toei never bothered to do anything with the HD masters; this holds some additional weight when you remember that this torrent was only 720p, so it's possible it was only scanned at 720, so Toei didn't see much point in using non-1080 HD footage, or didn't categorise it properly as HD, or something along those lines.
Arian wrote:I saw the maximux was at "910." This number presumably being the height. Had it been in 480p or somewhere around there, the maximum would have been "560" as shown in the following screenshot.
It says right there that that's the bitrate... :lol:
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:39 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
KBABZ wrote:Well if DB was done like Funi claimed they did the DBZ Orange Bricks, then it would have been mastered in HD before being shrunk down. What's interesting here is the grain; that and the lack of blown out whites suggests footage that is closer to the Dragon Box footage. Was the Dragon Box ever mastered in HD like the Orange Bricks were?
I have a theory that you're pretty close to there.

First up, this footage is exactly the Dragon Box footage, no doubt about that... And yet it looks too good to be an upscale; a lot of detail bleached out by the DVD authoring is in there, so it won't be a fan project if it is an upscale, and the actual picture detail is rather incredible, far better than I think you could get from an upscale. So, here's what I think happened -- Pony Canyon scanned the Dragon Box footage in HD, then scaled it down to make the digibeta(Or whatever format) copies that Toei authored the Dragon Box DVDs with, and thus also the copies that Funimation got for their release of the Z boxes.
It's not a huge leap of logic to assume this, and then to additionally assume that Toei never bothered to do anything with the HD masters; this holds some additional weight when you remember that this torrent was only 720p, so it's possible it was only scanned at 720, so Toei didn't see much point in using non-1080 HD footage, or didn't categorise it properly as HD, or something along those lines.
Ahh! Man it's a shame this footage isn't more readily available to purchase, the series does deserve it and the footage looks incredible for something from thirty years ago.

Mastering something in a higher-than-current-standard resolution is a common practice actually. War for the Planet of the Apes was shot in 8K, for example.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Footlong Shoe » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:38 pm

It's certainly interesting to see that this footage exists in such high quality. As unlikely as it is, I'd love to have a Blu-ray release of this.
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by LordCrumb » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:13 pm

Dragon Ball is on Netflix in Japan? Damn that's cool. Hope it comes to US/AU/NZ soon. Would be nice to be able to just watch a random episode without going through all the DVDs.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by KBABZ » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:25 pm

Footlong Shoe wrote:It's certainly interesting to see that this footage exists in such high quality. As unlikely as it is, I'd love to have a Blu-ray release of this.
A Blu-Ray release of OG Dragon Ball would be incredible!

Also worth noting perhaps that the footage isn't cropped to 16:9, since it isn't being broadcast on television and all that. It would also be interesting to get the exact same frame and compare it to the Dragon Box to try and see if the grain is identical.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Kuwabara » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:58 pm

Robo4900 wrote:So, here's what I think happened -- Pony Canyon scanned the Dragon Box footage in HD, then scaled it down to make the digibeta(Or whatever format) copies that Toei authored the Dragon Box DVDs with, and thus also the copies that Funimation got for their release of the Z boxes.
It's not a huge leap of logic to assume this, and then to additionally assume that Toei never bothered to do anything with the HD masters; this holds some additional weight when you remember that this torrent was only 720p, so it's possible it was only scanned at 720, so Toei didn't see much point in using non-1080 HD footage, or didn't categorise it properly as HD, or something along those lines.
I pray that you're wrong about this, because if you're right... That would mean that over the course of a decade, North American fans have endured two shitty releases and a great release that was cancelled... While Toei had HD masters of, possibly, all three of the original Dragon Ball series the entire time.
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 am

Kuwabara wrote:I pray that you're wrong about this, because if you're right... That would mean that over the course of a decade, North American fans have endured two shitty releases and a great release that was cancelled... While Toei had HD masters of, possibly, all three of the original Dragon Ball series the entire time.
It wouldn't surprise me if that were the case, but of course Toei would have to be willing to give it to Funimation as well. I don't think the Orange Bricks, where were mastered in HD, were using a Toei-provided master from the Dragon Box production.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by DB1984 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:11 am

I miss Kei17. Where is he when you need him? I wish he was here to confirm if it's a brand new HD master.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Kuwabara » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:13 am

KBABZ wrote:
Kuwabara wrote:I pray that you're wrong about this, because if you're right... That would mean that over the course of a decade, North American fans have endured two shitty releases and a great release that was cancelled... While Toei had HD masters of, possibly, all three of the original Dragon Ball series the entire time.
It wouldn't surprise me if that were the case, but of course Toei would have to be willing to give it to Funimation as well. I don't think the Orange Bricks, where were mastered in HD, were using a Toei-provided master from the Dragon Box production.
Even if they've explicitly denied Funimation use of these supposed HD masters, that's way beside the point... Why has Toei just sat on them for 14 years!?
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by sintzu » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:36 am

Kuwabara wrote:While Toei had HD masters of, possibly, all three of the original Dragon Ball series the entire time.
That would not surprise me. This is the same Toei that made Funimation sit on Kai's Buu arc for years just for a TV deal and waited nearly a year and a half to let Super be subbed on streaming sites.

With how big DB is in Japan now they should be releasing the original 3 on Blue-Ray at some point, or at least that's what would make sense to do.
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Arian » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:06 am

On a side note, Dragon Ball Z appears to have gotten the same treatment. Dragon Box master in 720p.

https://i.imgur.com/6AKCuw3.png
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The story of Kai's production is far more interesting than the actual product.
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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:57 am

Kuwabara wrote:Even if they've explicitly denied Funimation use of these supposed HD masters, that's way beside the point... Why has Toei just sat on them for 14 years!?
You got me. There were many chances in the past to do that, primarily the onset of Blu-Ray (which began in earnest when HD-DVD died in 2008) and the 30th Anniversary last year. Even if you put aside the Dragon Boxes, the masters would have been re-scanned anyway as part of the process of making Kai, albeit not entire episodes since only the stuff used in the cut of each Kai episode would have been recorded at the time.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by DB1984 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:58 am

Arian wrote:On a side note, Dragon Ball Z appears to have gotten the same treatment. Dragon Box master in 720p.

https://i.imgur.com/6AKCuw3.png
Did these new masters in 720 have any previews for the next episode?

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Arian » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:00 am

DB1984 wrote:
Arian wrote:On a side note, Dragon Ball Z appears to have gotten the same treatment. Dragon Box master in 720p.

https://i.imgur.com/6AKCuw3.png
Did these remasters have any previews for the next episode?
Yes, for both DB and DBZ. DBZ was missing the eyecatch though. At least in the episodes I saw.
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Super Saiyan Prime wrote:It's an edited, cynically produced, cheap recut with a poorly utilized ancient score and awful scene recreations that later got traded in for a weird green tint.

The story of Kai's production is far more interesting than the actual product.
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Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:40 pm
Screw Corus and it's monopoly. It should sell off the Nick, Disney, and CN assets at minimum.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by DB1984 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:30 am

Arian wrote:
DB1984 wrote:
Arian wrote:On a side note, Dragon Ball Z appears to have gotten the same treatment. Dragon Box master in 720p.

https://i.imgur.com/6AKCuw3.png
Did these remasters have any previews for the next episode?
Yes, for both DB and DBZ. DBZ was missing the eyecatch though. At least in the episodes I saw.
And in the wrong position I take it, right? (after end credits)

If so, funny how they still get it wrong for Dragon Ball, but they got it right for the latest DVD of Fist of the North Star.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by Arian » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:36 am

DB1984 wrote:And in the wrong position I take it, right? (after end credits)
You know it! ;)
DB1984 wrote:Funny how they still get it wrong for Dragon Ball, but they got it right for the latest DVD of Fist of the North Star.
I think it's because Toei never released a DVD set of that in Japan so they didn't have a chance to rearrange the order of sequence and as a result, Discotek got the tapes as broadcast.
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Super Saiyan Prime wrote:It's an edited, cynically produced, cheap recut with a poorly utilized ancient score and awful scene recreations that later got traded in for a weird green tint.

The story of Kai's production is far more interesting than the actual product.
Danfun64 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:40 pm
Screw Corus and it's monopoly. It should sell off the Nick, Disney, and CN assets at minimum.

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Re: Has Dragon Ball been remastered to HD or not?

Post by MR.Mark » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:15 am

Knowing my luck, by the time I finish my hard work on my Buu Arc edit, HD D-Box footage will become readily available, isn't it always the way? :lol:

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