First Trailer for “Mary Poppins Returns” Released

The first trailer for #MaryPoppinsReturns has been released! #MaryPoppins

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RIP Zienia Merton

#RIP: actress Zienia Merton has died at the age of 72. She played Sandra Benes in #Space1999, Ping-Cho in #DoctorWho, a registrar in #TheSarahJaneAdventures, a teacher in #Dinotopia, and much more.

Our deepest condolences to her family, friends and fans. May she rest in peace.

Zienia Merton (1944-2018)

Barry Langford Tweet

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RIP Burt Reynolds

#RIP: the legendary actor Burt Reynolds has died at the age of 82. Born Feb. 11, 1936, most of his work was not in #SciFi or #fantasy, but he did play Rocky Rhodes in an episode of #TheTwilightZone, and Mentor in two #UniversalSoldier TV movies.

Burt Reynolds also turned down the opportunity to portray Han Solo in #StarWars: the role was offered to him before Harrison Ford. While Burt Reynolds said later that he regretted not taking the role, it is interesting to speculate how different the “Star Wars” franchise would be had he been part of it.

We will, however, acknowledge some of his other works for which he will likely always be remembered:

  • Quint in “Gunsmoke” (1962-1065).
  • Lewis in “Deliverance” (1972).
  • Paul Crewe in “The Longest Yard” (1974).
  • The Bandit in “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977).
  • J. J. McClure in “Cannonball Run” (1981).
  • Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982).

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds (1936-2018)

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RIP Bill Daily

#RIP: actor Bill Daily has died at the age of 91 in his home in Santa Fe, NM. Born August 30, 1927, Bill Daily will likely be best remembered for his portrayal of Major Roger Healy in the 1960’s fantasy sitcom #IDreamOfJeannie, as well as his for being in 140 episodes of the “The Bob Newhart Show”.

Our deepest condolences to his family, friends & fans. May he rest in peace.

Bill Daily

Bill Daily (1927-2018)

References

Video Formats and Region Codes for DVD & Blu-Ray Discs

DVD and blu-ray distributors utilize two primary methods of applying digital rights management (DRM) when it comes to international distribution:

  • Video formats, which vary in display resolutionaspect ratiorefresh rate, color capabilities and other qualities. Different countries use different broadcast standards that apply different video formats, which include both analog and digital formats. Analog video formats were carried over to DVD’s.
  • Region codes, which is a DRM technique designed to allow rights holders to control the international distribution of a DVD & blu-ray releases, including their content, release dates, and prices, all according to the appropriate region.

Analog Video Formats Applied to DVD’s

The main types of video formats that are used in different countries based upon their broadcasting standards are as follows:

  • NTSC was named after the National Television System Committee and is the analog television color system that was used in North America from 1954 until digital conversion. It was also used in most of the Americas (except Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and French Guiana), Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, and some Pacific island nations and territories.
  • SECAM, which stands for Séquentiel couleur à mémoire, (or “Sequential colour with memory”), is an analogue color television system first used in France beginning in 1956. It was then adopted by the former Soviet Union and used in client states and colonies.
  • PAL, which stands for Phase Alternating Line, is a color encoding system for analog television that is used by broadcast television systems in most countries that broadcast at 625-line / 50 field (25 frame) per second (576i), but variants occur due to how the audio carrier frequency is handled:
    • Standards B/G are used in most of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
    • Standard I in the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Macau
    • Standards D/K (along with SECAM) in most of Central and Eastern Europe
    • Standard D in mainland China. Most analogue CCTV cameras are Standard D.
  • Other PAL Variants
    • PAL-M in Brazil.
    • PAL-N in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Video Format Usage Map

Vido Format Usage Map

Region Codes

Region codes work because the vast majority of DVD and blu-ray players sold around the world are region-locked, which means that they won’t play discs that are meant for regions outside of the intended region. Regions devised for DVD’s are not the same as regions devised for blu-rays.

DVD Region Codes

There are a total of 10 region codes for DVD’s. DVDs may use one code, a combination of codes (multi-region), every code (all region) or no codes (region free).

DVD Region codes 1 through 8 are defined as follows:

  1. Canada, United States, Puerto Rico.
  2. Europe (as of 2020 will include Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the 3 Caucasus countries), Egypt, West Asia, Japan, South Africa, Greenland, and French Guiana.
  3. Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
  4. Latin America (the Americas except Canada, French Guiana, Puerto Rico and the United States) and Oceania.
  5. Africa (except Egypt and South Africa), Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, Mongolia, and North Korea.
  6. Mainland China.
  7. Reserved for future use, MPAA-related DVDs and “media copies” of pre-releases in Asia.
  8. International venues such as aircraft, cruise ships and spacecraft.

DVD Region 0 include regions 1 through 6, but do not necessarily take the video format into account. DVD Region ALL means all 1-8 flags are set, allowing the disc to be played in any location, on any player.

DVD Region Codes Map

DVD Region Codes Map

Blu-ray Region Codes

Blu-ray discs use a region-code system that is much simpler than the for DVD’s as it only has three regions, labeled A, B and C. As with DVDs many Blu-rays are encoded region 0 (region free), making them suitable for players worldwide.

  • Region A: The Americas and their dependencies, East Asia (except mainland China and Mongolia), and Southeast Asia; excludes instances that fall under Region C.
  • Region B: Africa, Middle East, Europe (except Russia), Australia, New Zealand, and their dependencies; excludes instances that fall under Region C.
  • Region C: Central Asia, mainland China, Mongolia, South Asia, Russia.
Blu-ray Region Codes Map

Blu-ray Region Codes Map

References

 

Barry Gray: The Composer behind the Works of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

Children who grew up in Britain in the 1960’s were the first to see the science fiction of the late Gerry & Sylvia Anderson (1929-2012, 1927-2016). These works included a very characteristic set of musical scores that were all composed by the late Barry Gray (1908-1984).

Barry Gray

Barry Gray (1908-1984)

The works to which we’re referring were mostly filmed using puppets in a format that Gerry Anderson dubbed as “Supermarionation”, but the later works were filmed with live actors. We’ve listed the main works below (excluding derivative works), which all have the music composed by Barry Gray.

Barry Gray’s music is characterised by the use of brass and percussion sections, as well as extensive use of leitmotifs. (A leitmotif is a short, constantly recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.) His works also required the use of fairly large ensembles of musicians, as well as some unusual electronic instruments to produce some very unconventional musical notes and sound effects:

  • An ondes martenot, which was invented in 1928 by French cellist Maurice Martenot  in an attempt to replicate the accidental overlaps of tones between military radio oscillators. ondes_martenot
  • A swarmatron, which is an analogue synthesizer that uses a ribbon controller rather than a keyboard and is noted for its use of multiple oscillators that are linked through a ‘swarm’ control to create its distinctive sound and method of playing.jyniyot2wqop1gibpbci

A live concert of Barry Gray’s music was performed in 2016 in Brighton, UK. Below is a YouTube video discussing the music and instruments that Barry Gray used:

Barry Gary’s Opening and Closing Themes

Included below are YouTube videos of the theme songs written by Barry Gray:

Supercar theme:

Fireball XL5 theme:

Stingray opening & closing themes with snippets:

Thunderbirds opening & closing credits with snippets:

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons opening and closing themes:

Joe 90 opening and closing credits with snippets:

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun movie theme with other themes:

UFO opening and closing themes with snippets:

Space: 1999 first season opening theme:

Space: 1999 first season closing theme:

References