New to the forum. UFO was one of my favorite tv series as a kid. Disappointing that it only lasted for one season, but still a great series.
I was fortunate enough to have Dish Network back when they have the Voom channels and was able to get all the UFO episodes on my DVR and then moved to an external USB drive. They are all in spectacular hi def with Dolby Digital. I'm watching them on a 75 in Samsung UHD TV and it's amazing how good they look. They are also in 16:9 format as opposed to the 4:3 and they did a very good job wiht it. You never feel like you're missing something.
I'm thinking of getting the DVD Mega set and wondering if I should wait for the Blu Ray set instead....any thoughts?
The primary reason I'm thinking of getting either the DVDs or teh Blu Rays is because at some point either the hard drive they're stored on will fail or I will leave Dish and no longer be able to watch these..
Oooh, you have all the UFO episodes in HD 16:9 from Family Room HD? I have about half of these, as someone was able to move them from their DVR onto an unencrypted hard drive. They had to use special software for that, and I'm not sure if that software is still available or works any more (it has to break the DVR encryption to make the episodes independent of the DVR).
Anyway, onto your question... if you're in the USA, there is the UFO Megaset of course on DVD. These don't have the resolution that the HD versions have, but they are in 4:3, and the transfer was acclaimed at the time they were released.
There are currently Blu-ray releases of UFO in Japan and Germany, and another one is coming from the UK soon. The German one is restricted to Zone B, so you'd need a multi-zone player in the USA to watch it (or you could transfer the files on the Blu-ray to a hard drive and watch it that way). It's hard to speculate on the UK release, we'll have to wait and see if it's zone restricted, has better picture quality, etc. There are some problems with the German and Japan Blu-rays, although they are the same problems that are on the broadcasts you have, because these are just 4:3 versions that were done at the same time as the 16:9 versions you have.
The Family Room HD versions of UFO are unique in that they are all 16:9. Purists will argue that there is stuff missing from the top and bottom, but these enlarged versions do seem to have details that may not be easy to see in the 4:3 version.
The UK Blu-rays may be better quality than anything ever released before. At least, that's what the company making them says. But until we see them, who knows if they'll be better (or worse!) than what's come before.
As for decoupling those recorded videos from your DVR, I just looked this up, and the software that was used was called "PvrExplorer", and to use it you had to hook up the DVR hard drive to your PC. Also, it only worked when the channel was broadcasting MPEG-2 (not MPEG-4). Family Room HD switched to MPEG-4 on August 15, 2007, so all the recordings I have were from before that date. Also, back then they didn't necessarily broadcast in Full HD... the recordings I have are natively 1280 x 1080 (a non-standard format), not 1920 x 1080 which you find on Blu-ray. Also, Blu-ray has a much higher bitrate -- a single episode of UFO on Blu-ray is around 10 GB, while those broadcasts were typically around 3 GB per episode.
Also, in the "old days", I used to use a Hauppage HD PVR to record things off my cable box. This used the component outputs of the cable box, and via the PVR I could record things to my PC. The problem with that is that this re-encodes the video, so there is a quality loss. The "PvrExplorer" took the raw files from the DVR and made them playable on a PC (no re-encoding). If you want to try to save those 16:9 UFO recordings, we could take this discussion offline... I still have many emails on the subject from ~10 years ago.