Woodstock Going Blu-ray

If you ever wondered if your parents may have been in attendance at Woodstock 40 years ago (or they—or maybe you—simply can’t remember!), help is on the way this summer.

“Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” a documentary released years ago on VHS and later standard DVD, has been remastered and being released soon on Blu-ray Disc for the first time. So suddenly, a lot of those blurry faces in the throng of nearly 500,000 participants can be seen with far better image clarity (1080p) than before. Also, newly discovered footage has been added and the Blu-ray version has been in production for nearly a year. (Its future Blu-ray release was first announced last August, which is unusually early for such an announcement.)

According to some reviews of the Blu-ray version, the documentary retains its long segments of split-screen footage, but many of the scenes are far clearer than earlier versions — which would be no small feat considering much of the three-day festival was held in overcast conditions and rain which turned much of the grounds in upstate New York into a giant mosh pit.

Since Woodstock was (among other things) a concert, a lot of attention was given to the Blu-ray edition’s audio—including processing new-footage audio to 5.1 channels and deploying lossless Dolby TrueHD. Still, the audio quality is limited by the mics and recording equipment of 40 years ago – and some online reviews point out that the end result is not equal to today’s typical concert audio.

Read all of HD Notebook here.