Click here to learn more about anamorphic widescreen!
Go to the Home Page
Go to The Rumor Mill
Go to Todd Doogan's weekly column
Go to the Reviews Page
Go to the Trivia Contest Page
Go to the Upcoming DVD Artwork Page
Go to the DVD FAQ & Article Archives
Go to our DVD Links Section
Go to the Home Theater Forum for great DVD discussion
Find out how to advertise on The Digital Bits

Site created 12/15/97.

The Digital Bits logo

page created: 2/28/00

Please visit our sponsors!

Chat Transcript: Bits Editor
Bill Hunt on Etown/Yahoo


The following is a complete transcript of the on-line chat I did with the folks at Etown (via Yahoo) on February 23rd. Thanks to John at Etown for providing the transcript, and for inviting me to the chat.

etown_host: Hello everyone,
etown_host: and welcome to tonight's etown.com chat event!
etown_host: we're very fortunate tonight
etown_host: to have with us
etown_host: Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits website -- www.thedigitalbits.com
etown_host: one of the premier sources of news and information about DVDs
etown_host: on the Web.
etown_host: thanks for being with us tonight, Bill
the_digital_bits: My pleasure - glad to be here
etown_host: We already have quite a few questions,
etown_host: so I won't waste any time.
the_digital_bits: bring 'em on!
baltazar71 asks: Do you think that Sound Of Music could be release this year yet?
the_digital_bits: That's a good question - I do believe...
the_digital_bits: that it's current being worked on...
the_digital_bits: a lot of it depends on what condition...
the_digital_bits: the film elements are in - do they need restoration?
sempre_ubi_sub_ubi asks: why can't I find independence day on DVD?
the_digital_bits: ID4 is on its way to DVD from Fox...
the_digital_bits: Look for it in June I believe...
the_digital_bits: Let me check...
the_digital_bits: June 13th
etown_host: won't the ID4 disk have both versions of the movie on it?
etown_host: director's cut and theatrical cut?
the_digital_bits: It will have an option for you to...
the_digital_bits: to watch the theatrical cut and the longer director's cut...
the_digital_bits: via seamless branching
etown_host: cool!
isaac_dvd asks: When do you suspect American Beauty on DVD?
the_digital_bits: that depends on how the movie does at Oscar time...
the_digital_bits: you can expect it some time around then...
the_digital_bits: I think April or late May
shakamatt asks: How much do you think the PlayStation 2 will increase DVD software sales?
the_digital_bits: I think it will make a big difference...
the_digital_bits: we have to remember that some video games sell more than major movies do...
:
the_digital_bits: and in Japan, where DVD has been slow to catch on...
the_digital_bits: it could ignite the market
the_dvd_list asks: When are we going to see the roll-out of DVD-Audio?
the_digital_bits: The DVD-Audio rollout is expected this summer...
the_digital_bits: as soon as the new CSS-2 encryption scheme is finalized.
etown_host: I have to add
etown_host: that the summer schedule is pretty tentative --
:
the_digital_bits: yes - it depends on a lot of things
etown_host: a lot of companies are spooked by these copyright/hacking issues.
the_digital_bits: yes... but the manufacturers and content providers are committed to DVD-Audio
etown_host: with the major exception of Sony, which is backing SACD.
cartman_26_518 asks: On my PC some DVD's play choppy, others play fine.......but for all of them the audio has a lot of static...why?
the_digital_bits: It's probably a resources issue, or a software conflict
the_digital_bits: do you have enough memory...
the_digital_bits: is there a conflict between your video card and sound card...
the_digital_bits: those are the things you need to look into
isaac_dvd asks: Do you think that Martin Scorsese will begin doing more commentaries, since he did Last Temptation of Christ?
the_digital_bits: I think that's up to him... I'd certainly like to see it...
the_digital_bits: but some director's don't like doing commentaries...
the_digital_bits: prefers to let the movie speak for itself...
the_digital_bits: while others can talk for hours about their films...
the_digital_bits: I think it's a personal choice
etown_host: Scorsese has done some Criterion commentaries for movies he DIDN'T direct, right?
baltazar71 asks: Why warner just insist in the snap case for DVDs?
the_digital_bits: I believe that's the case... yes
the_digital_bits: well... they're trying to keep the cost down
the_digital_bits: and they own the company that makes Snappers I believe... ;-)
cartman_26_518 asks: When will the Indiana Jones Trilogy come out to DVD?
the_digital_bits: When Lucas wants it to...
the_digital_bits: The films have been digitally mastered...
the_digital_bits: so it's a matter of when they decide to do it.
bellg asks: Bill, I'm considering buying an HD 16:9 set. What do you suggest so I can get the most out of my dvd collection (with money a strong consideration)? Thanks!
the_digital_bits: Toshiba, pioneer, Mitsubishi and Panasonic all make good models
the_digital_bits: and there are several that are getting down to the $3,000 and under price range...
the_digital_bits: I'd do some comparison shopping and pricing online...
etown_host: at the risk of tooting our own horn, you should check out the DTV section at www.etown.com
the_digital_bits: in magazines and at places like etown.
the_digital_bits: exactly ;-)
etown_host: for reviews of many HD and widescreen sets.
etown_host: for those who joined us a little late,
etown_host: let me remind everyone
etown_host: that we're chatting with Bill Hunt,
etown_host: editor of the Digital Bits website -- www.thedigitalbits.com
etown_host: back to the questions...
thndrlight asks: What influence if any do you think FOX Home Video has on Lucasfilm for releasing the Star Wars movies.
the_digital_bits: I think exactly none...
the_digital_bits: I remember when Fox was bidding to get the rights to Episode I...
the_digital_bits: an exec at Fox told me that when George came in...
the_digital_bits: they were going to say to him, "whatever you want, George..."
the_digital_bits: I think Lucas calls all the shots on releasing them on video
etown_host: Agreed -- Fox only owns the rights to the original "Star Wars" anyway
etown_host: and they would never do anything to upset Lucas.
the_digital_bits: Yes... and I think actually only Star Wars
the_digital_bits: They only own distribution rights to the others
the_digital_bits: That's why Lucas makes so much money...
thndrlight asks: Why do you think studio's such as Paramount are holding back on films such as Forrest Gump that would sell very well?
the_digital_bits: Well, they're afraid that if they releasing all their best stuff now...
the_digital_bits: they'll have nothing for later...
the_digital_bits: so they're spacing things out
the_digital_bits: plus... it takes time to do a good DVD...
the_digital_bits: and with their best films, they want to make the most of them
isaac_dvd asks: Do you feel that Warner will release an Unrated Eyes Wide Shut?
the_digital_bits: No
etown_host: never?
the_digital_bits: Their policy is pretty clear here in the states
the_digital_bits: never say never... but not for a while
the_digital_bits: "nothing unrated" is their comment
Lyrian7 asks: Any Word on Close Encounters of the Third Kind coming to DVD
the_digital_bits: Hopefully this year...
the_digital_bits: It's been mastered in high def anamorphic...
the_digital_bits: and all the elements needed to do the DVD are done...
the_digital_bits: Columbia TriStar is just waiting on Spielberg's ok...
the_digital_bits: and since he's doing Jaws and Jurassic Park later this year...
the_digital_bits: CE3K is certainly a possibility for 2000 or early 2001
baltazar71 asks: Citizen Kane,ten in ten critics say that it's the best movie ever made,why not in DVD,who has the rights bill?
the_digital_bits: Warner has the rights - by owning the old Turner RKO catalog
:
the_digital_bits: It's coming...
the_digital_bits: if the DVD is to be as good as we all expect it to be...
:
the_digital_bits: Same story with Superman I & II...
the_digital_bits: You might be happy to know that...
the_digital_bits: Warner is also working on Looney Toons cartoons for this year
etown_host: we can only hope the Citizen Kane DVD is as good as the Third Man, which Criterion did
etown_host: speaking of which:
the_digital_bits: Amen to that
mistagreg_dvd asks: Mr. Hunt, in your opinion, why are the Criterion releases considered special, when very few are enhanced for 16x9 TVst enhanced for
the_digital_bits: Well, it's because of the extra care they take in assembling the supplements...
the_digital_bits: Criterion's hands are ties with 16x9...
the_digital_bits: they can only do what the owner of the film will allow...
the_digital_bits: they always push for 16x9 these days...
the_digital_bits: but they're not always allowed to do it.
:
etown_host: and they've gotten, in cases like Rushmore
t8no asks: when will the sixth sense be on dvd?
the_digital_bits: yes
the_digital_bits: The Sixth sense - hang on...
etown_host: very soon, I think!
the_digital_bits: March 2000 - that's official
the_digital_bits: I think at least a few
isaac_dvd asks: Do you think that their will be a non-flipper version of Goodfellas?
the_digital_bits: it will be a collector's edition
the_digital_bits: some day, Warner will probably get around to it
etown_host: Sixth Sense = Collector's Edition, FYI
the_digital_bits: they're about to re-release Little Shop of Horrors, so there's hope
nlerx asks: Mr hunt, in your opinion why do studios still choose to shortchange us on DVD features especially on some of the bigger name titles?
the_digital_bits: well, sometimes there simply aren't materials to include on the disc...
the_digital_bits: they don't exist anymore...
the_digital_bits: and sometimes, the studio simply can't get the actors and crew...
the_digital_bits: to participate, for whatever reason...
the_digital_bits: sometimes there's also a legal issue that prevents them...
the_digital_bits: from including something...
the_digital_bits: 9 times out of 10 though...
the_digital_bits: I believe the studios do their best, and aren't...
the_digital_bits: trying to shortchange people deliberately.
the_digital_bits: boy - how's that for good spelling?
Munikita asks: I have a new sharp DVD player and when I play DVD's the color goes from light to dark, what is wrong with it? I won it from a contest at work so it can't be returned.
the_digital_bits: If you're going through a VCR to your TV...
the_digital_bits: it could be that the VCR doesn't like the macrovision copy protection on the disc...
the_digital_bits: that's probably it
the_digital_bits: just hook the DVD player up straight to the TV...
:
the_digital_bits: and you should be okay.
etown_host: we get that question at www.etown.com a lot,
etown_host: and that's almost always the problem.
the_digital_bits: me too at the Bits.
etown_host: let me take this opportunity
etown_host: to remind everyone
etown_host: that we're chatting with Bill Hunt,
etown_host: editor of The Digital Bits --- www.thedigitalbits.com
etown_host: one of the Web's premier DVD information sites
bellg asks: Bill, what is your background. How did the Digital Bits get started?
the_digital_bits: I started as a film & video producer...
the_digital_bits: did that in college and after (I graduated in 1990)...
the_digital_bits: and that led me to California...
the_digital_bits: being involved in the industry...
the_digital_bits: I was aware of DVD long before it came to market...
the_digital_bits: so when it arrived, I started sharing what I new on the Net...
the_digital_bits: including the news forums at etown and alt.video.dvd...
the_digital_bits: so many people were asking me questions via e-mail...
the_digital_bits: that a web page seemed like the answer...
the_digital_bits: now we serve 1.5 million pages a month...
the_digital_bits: and still growing
lefeb_99 asks: I really enjoyed the Roger Ebert commentary on Dark City. Are there any more DVD commentaries that he's done?
the_digital_bits: I don't think so, but I loved that one too!
the_digital_bits: We should see if we can get him to do another...
the_digital_bits: that one was a favorite of mine.
rscan2000 asks: Any word on The Final Countdown?
the_digital_bits: That's a long story...
the_digital_bits: I'd love to see it too...
the_digital_bits: But the owner of the film seems to have...
the_digital_bits: no interest in DVD at the moment...
the_digital_bits: believe me, people are working to get it...
the_digital_bits: me included...
isaac_dvd asks: Do you think that New Line's 2 Disk set of Seven and Boogie Nights will be worth picking up for those who already own them?
the_digital_bits: Absolutely!
the_digital_bits: Being able to listen to a Fincher commentary on Seven...
the_digital_bits: will be worth the price of that disc alone...
the_digital_bits: And New Line is doing some awesome SE material...
the_digital_bits: I definitely think so. - we'll see...
t8no asks: is dvd really gonna take over vhs?
the_digital_bits: plus - the current Seven is a flipper
the_digital_bits: Some day
the_digital_bits: I think once DVD becomes recordable...
:
the_digital_bits: later this year... and prices drop (in 2001)...
the_digital_bits: it will have a bigger impact...
the_digital_bits: the industry expects 10% of VHS households...
the_digital_bits: to have DVD by the end of this year...
etown_host: either way,
the_digital_bits: That's amazing when you consider that VHS has been around so long...
the_digital_bits: and DVD is only 3 years old
etown_host: DVD is still the best format launch in history
the_digital_bits: exactly
the_digital_bits: Yes...
the_digital_bits: Artisan is working on a T2: Special Edition...
the_digital_bits: which should come out at about the same time MGM's Terminator: SE...
the_digital_bits: comes out - this Summer - MGM's new edition...
the_digital_bits: will also be anamorphic (as will the T2:SE)
baltazar71 asks: Mr.Hunt do you know any information about Sunset Boulevard?
the_digital_bits: It's coming this year from...
the_digital_bits: Paramount. I think it's actually in their little DVD catalog...
the_digital_bits: let me check...
drw9537 asks: No question - Just want to say Thanks to Bill and Todd for all the hard work. I love the site!
the_digital_bits: no not there - my mistake. but it's coming this year is my understanding
the_digital_bits: Our pleasure - we love dvd as much as anyone...
the_digital_bits: and consider ourselves more advocates of the format...'
the_digital_bits: than reporters of it
jaguila_1999 asks: Bill, what do you think of the lack on support spanish subtitles of some studios ?
the_digital_bits: I think that's a deliberate decision...
the_digital_bits: the studios don't want DVD's intended for the US...
the_digital_bits: to be sent to spanish-speaking countries overseas...
the_digital_bits: I don't like it myself, but I think that's the reason
etown_host: "flipper" means a disc that has to be flipped to the other side
etown_host: halfway through a film
bellg asks: What ever happened to the ability for a dvd player to do on-the-fly pan&scanning? Are the studios just not interested in this feature?
the_digital_bits: Yes... I think that's the reason
the_digital_bits: With all of the problems some players are having with DVD-Rom...
the_digital_bits: I think they're afraid some players won't be able to use it properly
the_digital_bits: and also...
the_digital_bits: anytime you try to teach a studio new tricks...
the_digital_bits: like anamorphic widescreen for example ;-)...
the_digital_bits: they take a while to pick it up
etown_host: with less than 10 minutes left,
etown_host: I just wanted to remind everyone that
etown_host: we're chatting with Bill Hunt,
etown_host: editor of The Digital Bits -- www.thedigitalbits.com
etown_host: The Bits is a great place for DVD news and reviews,
etown_host: as is www.etown.com for info, reviews, and shopping
etown_host: for DVD players and home theater hardware
baltazar71 asks: HAS MAGNOLIA A POSSIBLE DATE TO RELEASE ON DVD?
the_digital_bits: i think it's tentatively set for April or May - I'm sure the date is set, but it's not been announced yet...
the_digital_bits: forget that - June 6th
the_digital_bits: but still not official yet.
isaac_dvd asks: What's the highest quality DVD you've seen so far?
the_digital_bits: A Bug's Life, Tarzan and Antz are tops in picture quality...
the_digital_bits: along with almost anything done by Columbia TriStar...
the_digital_bits: their Sony HiDef Center is doing some amazing transfers...
the_digital_bits: also, for audio, I like Saving Private Ryan, The haunting and Titanic
the_digital_bits: You should check out our Bitsy Awards at the Bits - we list our favorites
scherr00 asks: Bill, have you heard anything new about Star Trek: the Next Gen on dvd?
the_digital_bits: Yes - this summer, you'll see ST: TNG episodes on DVD, two per disc...
the_digital_bits: just like the Original Series is being released now
the_digital_bits: And the rest of the feature films...
the_digital_bits: should be out by the end of the year...
the_digital_bits: starting with Star Trek III in April
isaac_dvd asks: I enjoyed the Live Commentary feature in Mallrats, Ghostbusters, and Muppets From Space. I heard Dogma has it. Do you think it will become a feature that is used more often?
the_digital_bits: Sure, if it can be included without sacrificing anything else of importance on the DVD...
:
the_digital_bits: the key is to have a balance of features on the disc...
the_digital_bits: that best serves the film
the_digital_bits: extras just for the sake of having extras...
the_digital_bits: like DVD-Rom screensavers...
the_digital_bits: are a waste of disc space as far as I'm concerned
shakamatt asks: How about Pulp Fiction:SE?
the_digital_bits: that's in development at Miramax...
the_digital_bits: Along with an eventual English Patient: SE... might take time though...
the_digital_bits: hopefully soon
etown_host: I'm afraid that will have to be the final question!
etown_host: sorry if we didn't get to each question,
etown_host: but we had more than 150 tonight!
etown_host: I'd like to thank Bill for sharing his expertise with us tonight
the_digital_bits: My pleasure - I had a great time
etown_host: you can check out his site at www.thedigitalbits.com
the_digital_bits: Thanks to everyone for tuning in!
etown_host: and you can find hardware information
etown_host: as well as news and reviews
etown_host: at www.etown.com
etown_host: join us tomorrow for a home theater chat
etown_host: with Lawrence E. Ullman
etown_host: thanks again to Bill, and to everyone who joined us tonight.


E-mail the Bits!

Please visit our sponsors!
Don't #!@$ with the Monkey! Site designed for 800 x 600 resolution, using 16M colors and .gif 89a animation.
© 1997-2002 The Digital Bits, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com