Last week we were pleased to officially announce
the April 19th
release for Miracles
on DVD, a 4-disc set with all 13 episodes and extras. Since then, there's been some comments made in discussion threads at a few online forums that pass on word from Shout! Factory staff - apparently customer service agents, but we're not sure of that - about the aspect ratio of the DVD release.
was broadcast in the USA in 4x3 "fullscreen," but was available in hi-def widescreen for the comparatively limited number of people who have HDTV access in the States. Comments made by fans who viewed it in hi-def was that they felt in their opinion that it was composed for widescreen. Note that there were no quotes from the show's producers to support the intent of how it was to be composed; just private opinion. But those fans were strongly disappointed to get e-mail stating that the release would be fullscreen instead of widescreen.
We contacted Shout! to verify, and to ask what the situation was. They tell us that Buena Vista Television (owners of ABC and also of Touchstone Television, which are the producers of the show) has provided Shout with the 4x3 masters of the show as orginally broadcast to the mass market in the United States. According to Shout!, the widescreen masters seen on HDTV in the US (and seen overseas) were not made available by Buena Vista Television. Shout! was not given a widescreen option by the company that is behind the production of the show.
On the other hand, Shout! says the masters they received look great, and they point out that they are also including a ton of extras, including deleted scenes and commentaries with the producer, director and creator. In addition, they are upgrading the sound to 5.1 surround sound (the original only aired in stereo).
fans can look forward to seeing the show the way it was orginally seen by the vast majority of Americans, with upgraded sound, and with nice extras to boot. And don't forget that 7 of these episodes were never aired in the first place, so it will be great to finally see them. Cover art is still being prepared, so stay tuned for that.