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Oct 23 2009

This message is a direct press release from Freesat

Jump aboard the Millennium Falcon and prepare to fight the Death Star as the entire Star Wars movie franchise is coming to a living room near you, in High Definition and subscription free, on the ITV HD service from Freesat, starting 24th October.

Running throughout the month of November and December, the entire series will be airing on ITV HD in consecutive order, beginning with Episode I: The Phantom Menace on 24th October, culminating with Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in December, and including the terrestrial premiere of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. A favourite of film fans of all ages, this franchise has to be seen in digitally remastered HD.

The Star Wars have generated a universe of their own, from books to video games and has made stars of actors such as Harrison Ford. Originally released in 1977 with Star Wars, followed by The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, director George Lucas returned to Star Wars in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, prequels to the original series.

Other ITV HD highlights on Freesat include films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Champions League and FA Cup football.

74 Responses to “Every Star Wars Movie In HD On ITV HD”

  1. Chief Says:

    Fantastic news!! Just wondering if ITV will show the films in their original 2.35:1 aspect ratio? And not have the picture cropped to 1.85:1 as they did with Carlito’s Way and United 93.


  2. Karlos Says:

    How can I watch all this HD stuff with a broken goodmans HD box!


  3. soul4real Says:

    I tried to record star wars for this saturday, it’s not in hd but itn news which run’sbetween the film is in hd


  4. Paul S Watts Says:

    Great news. About time there was a bit of light on the platform. Shame about the red button, but anything is better than nothing.

    Feelings go out to those with Harvard boxes on the blink.

    But, we must remain positive and upbeat and this is a start. Now all we really need are the Zone channel rebrands, but more importantly, more HD.

    May the Force etc. etc etc. for the purists…………………


  5. Adrian Says:

    Just tried to record it but wasn’t offered an HD option. What am I not surprised?


  6. David R Says:

    Yes, the HD on the EPG is set for the news break in between. I really hope ITV don’t mess this up. Can we let them know somehow?


  7. Jonathan Says:

    You’re not able to record HD on Freesat products due to HDCP protection. Looking forward to Star Wars etc. and really the footy is quality in HD vs ITV’s SD output.


  8. Peter (bobmarleypeople) Says:

    @Adrian: I don’t know. You tell me if you’re surprised or not.

    This is good news, though I’m still not mad keen on ITV’s non-film programming.

    ……anyone else thinking of Film4 HD? That would be awesome!


  9. Rod Says:

    Shame its on ITV with all those adverts I would have liked to archive it.


  10. Peter (bobmarleypeople) Says:

    @Rod I think it’s safe to say that a blu-ray release will be shortly round the corner.


  11. eklektofonic Says:

    Looking forward to this, especially if it has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, although maybe that’s expecting too much…


  12. Robert Says:

    Just tried to record Star Wars and on mine its in HD, BUT THE SOUND IS NOT AS GOOD AS BBC 7.1, AS my amp tells you what Dolby point it is in and my amp is only 6.1, but it’s got the full bag of mashings. lol (Sony STR-DB1070) 100 Watts per channel x 6.1 lol


  13. Dan Says:

    The BBC do not broadcast in 7.1 but in 5.1, as for ITV, no doubt it’ll broadcast them all in 2.0 as usual :-(


  14. Brian P Says:

    Let’s just hope that ITV remember to transmit the film in HD – their record hasn’t been very good so far.


  15. Adrian Says:

    I am able to record it in HD now, something changed since last night.


  16. Michael Says:

    Watching it now in HD. Quality looks rubbish. No better than a DVD.


  17. eklektofonic Says:

    I’ve just had a look – picture is noisy and sound is 2.0 – duh!


  18. easybourne Says:

    No 5.1 from ITV HD.
    Phantom Menace (watching at the moment) is upscaled and not true HD.
    Garbage. Still that’s a step up for ITV.


  19. Dazz Says:

    The picture is pants, does NOT do this film saga any justice whatsoever. AFAIK there is no HD version available , so , as above , its just upscaled :(


  20. Lee B Says:

    Just stopped recording as quality is pants….Knew ITV would c*ck it up


  21. ChrisA Says:

    I’m also rather surprised to see in the press release that they are apparently going to show ‘Lock Stock’ in HD – I seem to remember it looked very grainy in 16:9 SD, so I dread to think what a HD version will look like tbh…


  22. Galvatron Says:

    I saw the last 15 mins of it and the quality was terrible, indistinguishable from SD. I don’t usually have that problem with BBC or ITV HD


  23. GaseousClay Says:

    Dispite the PQ I was pleased to see that ITV have appeared to overcome the issue regarding setting flags for HD on Split Event schedules. So credit where credit due.


  24. Kevin Says:

    I compared the DVD on a quality upscaling player, and the ITV picture was marginally better. However, the poor 2 channel sound on ITV HD meant we quickly switched back to DVD.
    However, I seem to recall last time ITV showed these films, episode 2 was significantly better than episode 1 – I wonder if it’s more to do with the limited CGI in the first film compared to 2&3 ?


  25. Brian Damage Says:

    Yeah, the picture quality wasn’t brilliant (perhaps it WAS upscaled) but what spoiled it more were the staggering number of commercial breaks.

    I’d have expected ITV to have saved this run of films for the launch of ITV HD on Freeview. Although with no DVB-T2 receivers on sale yet, maybe they decided it wasn’t worth waiting!


  26. m o malley Says:

    it was utter mince trust itv hd to mess it up with cr– hd transmission
    hope the rest are better quality.


  27. Glen Says:

    Great stuff . . Considering Phantom Menace wasn’t filmed in HD it looked like a good effort to me . .

    As for the sound, stereo sounded just great to me!


  28. pedro Says:

    Film was ruined by slow change over from SD to HD at the beginning of the film and when there was the break for news. Picture quality was better then normal SD however it was a little grainy.


  29. Al Catraz Says:

    I agree with Glen – not a bad effort considering it wasn’t in HD in the first place. Let’s see what no 2 has to offer…


  30. Denis Says:

    Picture quality was very good as it was not actually filmed in HD. An excellant example of ITV doing a brilliant job on upscaling.


  31. Kevin Says:

    Filmed in HD? I imagine that Phantom Menace would have been filmed on 70mm film stock and as such would be of sufficient quality to be converted to HD video. I gather that even 35 mm film is now being converted to HD such as the original version of Star Trek.

    I do seem to recall that the last Star Wars movie was not filmed but recorded in HD. I am sure someone has the relavant information.


  32. Se Rush Says:

    Watched the whole airing. Whilst a lot of noise was evident in sections of the movie (particularly the light sky) I thought it was excellent. Very pleased I was as it has to be viewed as a step in the right direction.

    I would, with caution, recommend that anyone experiencing lower quality than a DVD, to look at their setup as something is clearly wrong. It seems a shame that some TVs, connections, HDMI, Scart setups are not performing as you really are missing out. Hope your problems are resolved.


  33. David R Says:

    Of course the original was filmed in “HD”. Just because digital cameras would not have been used, the film would have enough resolution to create a HD film. How do you think you can blow a film up to the size of a cinema screen if the resolution is not there? The ITV output was disgraceful. What an opportunity missed. If you stretch a wide screen film vertically and then output at 540 resolution, you have completely defeated the point and reduced the effective resolution on screen back to SD. How ITV can get away with outputing this as a HD broadcast is beyond me. It is a joke and not what I bough two Freesat products for. Silly me.


  34. Denis Says:

    Excellant picture quality on my Panasonic!!!


  35. gordon bacon Says:

    new sony freesat tvs with free installation bril


  36. Paul Says:

    @pedro Says: “Film was ruined by slow change over from SD to HD at the beginning of the film”

    Glad it was not me that was frustrated by this. It seems to happen a lot of the time by ITV. They put up the red button and then it doesn’t work!!!


  37. Kevin Says:

    That is because ITV are more interested in getting sponsorship than providing a decent service to its viewers!

    Now it will get worse as I believe product placement is to be allowed.

    Oh by the way does anyone else get really fed up with pop ups during the shows? It is bad enough we are no longer allowed to read the credits at the end of shows.


  38. Denis Says:

    Thought red button arrangement was very slick this time. Well done ITV. Excellant service.


  39. Michael Says:

    I’m amazed they get away with labelling something as HD when the source is clearly NOT!


  40. Kevin Says:

    I have just done some research and Star Wars Episode 1 was filmed on 35 mm film using ArriVision which is an Anamorphic process. The aspect ration being 2.35:1. Clearly this can be converted to HD video format.

    Attack of the Clones was recorded in High-Definition Video using the Sony CineAlta digital camera. Ironically this would be transferred to 35 mm film in Panavision 2.35:1 for use in cinemas.


  41. Kevin Says:

    Whilst watching Doc Martin in HD this evening towards the end the picture broke up at intervals. Did any one else have this problem?


  42. Denis Says:

    No, Doc Martin picture was excellant through the whole programme.


  43. Steve Says:

    Dear ITV,

    Watched some of Saturday’s evenings efforts… picture was terrible.

    Kind regards,



  44. Dean smith Says:

    Worse picture of hd yet. Dvd is much better.


  45. Paul Says:

    ITV – Crap HD picture and crap content

    BBC – Excellent HD picture and excellent content


  46. Denis Says:

    When posters comment on the quality of their HD picture it would give a better idea of making comparisons if they quoted the TV model and Feesat box that they have. Yes I am not doubting that some may have poor quality HD but we are not all watching using the same equipment.


  47. Steve Says:

    Humax Foxsat-HD box


    Sony 40Z5500 TV


  48. David R Says:

    Foxsat HDR and Panasonic 37″ LCD (forget model, about 12 months old).

    Absolutely garbage HD picture. Typical of ITV. As I have already stated, the main issue to me seems to be the cropping of a low HD resolution picture instead of showing it in widescreen. Come ITV, this is supposed to be the future of TV. How many Freesat HD owners are likely to be watching on anything other than a widescreen HD TV? None I bet. What’s the point in showing it in Pan/Scan or what ever it was. I find it completely illogical to show films in anything but widescreen.

    I have also noticed a drop off in their football resolution/clarity.


  49. Alex Says:

    Humax HDR, and Pioneer 50″ Kuro Plasma.

    Picture wasnt too bad, but bbc hd blows it out the water


  50. Ste Rush Says:

    Panasonic 37″ Plasma – Humax Foxsat HDR

    Excellent for me in most areas. Looking forward to next chaptor. At least all the moaners about crap this and crap that won’t be watching as it obviously turns their stomachs.

    Let’s see if the same people are moaning next time which may show an unhealthy aversion to moaning.

    PS How many have had their TV calibrated?


  51. Denis Says:

    Goodmans HD and Panasonic 32″ LCD LXD 700 15months old.
    Find most HD pictures excellant. Last nights Life prog on BBC HD was absolutely stunning.


  52. Michael Says:

    Just put ‘Revenge of the Sith ‘ on (DVD) and it’s quality is higher than the rubbish broadcast quality of Saturday’s ‘HD’ Phantom Menace.

    As has been remarked upon – from any film source you can get a decent HD result with proper work. So what did ITV DO to get theirs?


  53. Kevin Says:

    Maybe they got their copy from a pirate source!

    It seems that ITV have a mind set that goes back a long way that they think they know what the viewers expect whilst in reality they get it so wrong. For example back in the days of 4:3 TVs they would only rarely show films in the piller box format on the grounds that viewers would complain. Instead they would use the panning process which I used to find very annoying.

    Generally I have never been keen on the way ITV present films. It is so annoying having to wait 40 minutes in the middle thanks to the news. The ads are often placed in the wrong places and films are often edited either to tone down adult scenes or just to trim the film to a time slot. If you want to watch the film in HD I suggest waiting for the Blu Ray discs.


  54. David R Says:

    Ste Rush, do us a favour. What sort of idiots do you think we are? How anyone can praise ITV for this is beyond me. Calibrate my TV? I can quite easily compare the quality of ITV films by switching to BBC HD, playing a BD or watching an upscaled DVD. The ITV broadcast was poor in comparison to all these and with a DVD you get 5.1, so ITV fail on the sound aspect as well. A Sci-fi film like that with two channel stereo – ITV just can’t be bothered.


  55. Ste Rush Says:

    @David R I don’t think anybody is an Idiot.
    It is not I making sweeping statements that are just not true Quote “How many Freesat HD owners are likely to be watching on anything other than a widescreen HD TV? None I bet.”

    I hope you did not bet as the last two systems I installed were both Humax HD boxes linked to a 28″ CRT and the other a 32″ CRT.

    We could ramble on and on but it does seem odd that people use BBC HD as a symbol of quality when it itself receives poor remarks about quality.

    The amount of BLU RAY disc comments often revolve around picture quality or as in some cases, a lack of.

    As regards my comment about calibration…I guess that’s a no then.

    I stick to my statement that it’s good for me on this platform whilst I do agree that 5.1 sound would be great.

    I just like to be positive and encourage as I find that a lot more constructive, albeit more difficult in the face of more and more blind authoritative statements.


  56. frod Says:

    The original (1970s) films upscaled on a DVD player looked better than what ITV broadcast last Saturday. The only thing worse than the “HD” picture was the SD picture by the same channel. ITV, give the guys who are trying to do this work more budget, please.


  57. Kevin Says:

    ITV should have given it to the experts at the BBC who have done miracles on programs such as Dads Army where they have converted black and white film copies into digital colour. They have done fantastic work restoring numerous TV programs including replacing basic CSO effects with CGI.

    However I suspect Frod has hit the nail on the head in respect of the budget. ITV is no longer the licence to print money, but is now the relation who has fallen on hard times!


  58. David R Says:

    Ste Rush

    CRT TVs are the past. HD broadcasting is the future. ITV should not be broadcasting HD films to cater for people with old TVs. It makes little sense. What is the benefit to someone with a nonHD TV? HD TVs are the reason for HD broadcasts. Why on Earth would you be arguing the merits of HD broadcasting when your TVs are not HD?


  59. Denis Says:

    Agree anyone watching a CRT TV is missing out on a lot. Its like watching a pirate video of a cinema film. They are not getting the full picture.


  60. Ste Rush Says:

    @David R
    Just to clarify as this seems a pointless task. Please read the posts thoroughly. You are again making statements that are just not thought out. Please note in post 50 it quite clearly states what system I have so just to appease you I am running a HD Plasma with a Humax HDR linked to a surround sound amp to which I also have connected a BLU-Ray player so that is why I am able to comment on HD issues.

    You stated and I quote “How many Freesat HD owners are likely to be watching on anything other than a widescreen HD TV? None I bet.”

    To which I replied to show that your opinion, whilst you are entitled to one, is not actually accurate, said -quote ” the last two systems I installed were both Humax HD boxes linked to a 28″ CRT and the other a 32″ CRT.”

    To clear this up I said I installed them, as in a customer asked me to install Freesat for them, at their home, not mine.
    The reasons for fitting this box are numerous and for another discussion.

    I would say your opinion would hold more gravitas if you could quit being so aggressive in your wording and not as sensationalist in your thought process. Read and take in the points and take a deep breath.

    I like the phrase empty can rattles the loudest. I realise this comment is not constructive so the last words on the matter for me will be yours, use them as you wish.


  61. Kevin Says:

    There are further reasons for buying a HD box despite using a CRT TV. The price premium for selecting a HD box over a SD box is small so it makes sense to get equipement for present and future use. Secondly the TV schedule on BBC HD is often different to the other channels and they show repeats of some shows only on the HD channel. Last of all it could be a false economy to purchase a SD box because it is expected that a new HD TV is to be purchased in the near future.


  62. Ste Rush Says:

    @ Kevin
    Spot on with reasons, and one of the big reasons also for choosing the Humax is reliability as shown in the problems Harvard have had recently.


  63. David R Says:

    Ste Rush-

    The issue is ITVs output of films. ITV should not be catering for the lowest common denominator. There may be people who choose a Humax HD box for differing reasons, but they are undoubtedly the minority.


  64. Tony Hales Says:

    I think ITV HD showed a Video CD last Saturday :-)


  65. KDHUK Says:

    Attack of the Clones ………….. excellent picture on ITV HD this week

    So why is The Phantom Menance so bad — ITV must have a very grotty copy!!!


  66. Chazzer Says:


    Agreed…excellent picture this week, little noise compared to last week.
    Still looking forward to the news in HD in the break…maybe next week?


  67. Kevin Says:

    Just heard on the radio that ITN are having a revamp. I wonder if that includes HD?


  68. Francis Says:

    @ Kevin
    It’s only ITV new’s programmes that are getting a revamp, no HD what a pity though, would like to see some new HD channels (nea chance there), i wonder what 2010 will bring for us on Freesat.


  69. David R Says:

    After all my whining about the first film, the second was much better, although it should still be improved, particularly the aspect ratio and the sound. The overall quality is still patchy. Close up shots of faces etc are good, but background clarity is hardly better than SD.


  70. Chazzer Says:

    I can’t even begin to describe how my heart has been filled with joy.

    Not only did ITV HD disappear in the final five minutes of the Paulton vs. Norwich FA Cup game, which I presumed to be a result of someone treading on a cable in Somerset, but Star Wars III has so far failed to appear in HD in any form whatsover. The red button takes you to a completely black screen. Must be that cable in Somerset…perhaps they’ve only got the one?

    Hopeless…absolutely hopeless. I even phoned ITV to complain about their red button “service” (their description) but being a menu driven “service” (my description) they naturally only work weekdays (!).

    ITV HD..largely doesn’t appear to work Mondays, as other postings on this site have suggested (looking forward to “Collision” anyone?), as presumably the bloke who switches it on has his day off. Seems now it doesn’t work at weekends either. After “Jurassic Park” failed to appear in HD a few weekends back, the latest development in non-appearance of HD content can only lead to the conclusion that….

    ITV 1HD (when it appears) will be a complete & unmitigated disaster because ITV cannot be bothered with it.

    “Admin” would you therefore please remind your contacts that the public would wish Freesat to be a success (saw the tv commercial at half time in the football)…however…being long of tooth I recall the TV landscape of 20 years ago where $ky swallowed BskyB….and have experienced NTL struggling to pay $ky fees for product & consequently hiking their fees, hence I wholeheartedly support the Freesat model. If Freesat does not start punching it’s weight & its USP (only recently have BBC program ads noted “also on BBC HD”), given the popularity of the licence fee (which $ky have also argued against recently) I can sadly foresee a landscape in the next 10 years where everybody has only one option….and none of it is “free to air”.

    Finally…also another question for admin. Could we have a survey seeking views on ITV HD & its service & whether it should be scrapped in favour of another HD provider (e.g. Channel 4 HD)?


  71. P Smith Says:

    Starwars III HD , No problems from winter Hill, Very little film noise due to high use of CGI, too many ads breaks.Only thing missing was DD 5.1.
    More things were going on in the background then I ever noticed before.
    What was with the borders on the last scene?


  72. Brian P Says:

    I managed to watch Star Wars III in HD. The prompt came up before the start of the film – no complaints here.


  73. Kevin Says:

    Just had a look at the ITV HD schedule for the next week and they now have HD content for every day of the week! Is that a first?

    I think ITV is really letting down the side by not providing a varied schedule of HD content. Sky must be laughing all the way down to the bank as ITVs audience share is further diminished. The BBC have been making programs in HD for years so the technology is now settled and many American programs are now produced in HD. Surely it is time they abandon the red button and just create a ITV HD channel like the BBC!


  74. Brian Damage Says:

    Ooh, new logo: “ITV 1 HD” ??!


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