HBO’s ‘The Wire’ Gets HD Remastering in 16×9 Format, Blu-ray Hits in 2015
Long renowned as one of HBO’s crowning achievements in drama, David Simon’s Baltimore crime saga ‘The Wire’ is getting a major facelift for 2015. Not only will the network premiere a high-def digital remastering of the series in late December, but digital and Blu-ray updates of ‘The Wire’'s remastered set will be available after the new year.
HBO’s official press release on the matter explains that the series’ original negatives were “scanned, edited, dust-busted and color-corrected with great care and attention taken to stay true to the look and feel of the original Standard-Definition 4×3 version.” ‘The Wire’ had famously been one of the few 4x3 remnants of HBO’s programming history, subsequently declining the opportunity to go 16x9 after the third season, though creator David Simon conferred his blessing on HBO’s forthcoming remaster.
December 26 will see HBO debut the remastered ‘Wire’ both on HBO GO, and as an HBO Signature marathon, with digital versions available on various platforms for download purchase on January 5. Actual Blu-rays of ‘The Wire’'s remastered 60 episodes won’t hit until summer 2015, and aren’t likely to incorporate any 4x3 cuts of the series.
Aspect ratio changes have certainly courted a bit of controversy lately, what with FXX’s mammoth ‘The Simpsons’ marathon displaying classic 4x3 episodes in the modern 16x9, though David Simon’s involvement in the new transfer at least inspires some confidence. What do you think? Are you excited to relive (or perhaps discover) ‘The Wire’ in 16x9 hi-def? Will you pick up the Blu-ray next year, or simply check out the digital incarnations?