the cunning foresight

TV Comedy Central picked up the rights to Friends after Channel 4 dropped them after a couple of decades. I've just discovered (via @ultraculture) that they're appearing HD because to quote their website:
"Back in the 90s the peeps at Warner Bros had the cunning foresight to shoot the original episodes on film so we’ve had them re-mastered to bring you better looking Friends on our channel. Widescreen and everything."
Given the ropey old transfers E4 were showing until the end and on the dvds which both made the episodes look like they were shot on standard sitcom video, that's a really pleasant surprise and leaves the way clear for a blu-ray release. As an illustration, here's the credits sequence from the pilot episode, the one without the clips. Make it 720p and fill the screen to get the full effect:

Look at all the extra space on either side of the couch!  You can even see the freckles on Lisa Kudrow's face. No wonder the complete dvd boxsets are being knocked out at rock bottom prices.

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