Max Headroom DVD!

Things for you to buy: Max Headroom: The Complete Series, ships Aug 10. Also, Daria: The Complete Animated Series, ships May 11.

By the way, does anyone have a 3D mesh of Max's head? I've long wanted to do a Max screen saver. The swoopy box background is easy, but I haven't been able to find a decent model of his head. (Yes, I know he was a practical effect, not digital. Stay with me here.)

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24 Responses:

  1. dr_memory says:

    And not a decade too soon. I would occasionally cry myself to sleep over the knowledge that you could buy all 3,000 seasons of "Family Matters" on DVD, but not Max.

    (captcha: "cockade decisions". To drink, or not to drink?)

    • pavel_lishin says:

      I've tried downloading the episodes before, couldn't find a single one. This is pretty great news. Hope it comes to Netflix.

      • bitwise says:

        Oh, they have been out there for a while. Unfortunately it seems that not all the episodes were converted by the same person, so the quality is all over the place.

        It's weird to watch the original pilot (British) and the rest of the series (American). And to realize how much better the pilot is. Wikipedia tells me I'm wrong; the series was make in the UK as well, but with a mostly American cast and targeted at an American audience.

  2. dossy says:

    If you find a 3D mesh of Max's head, and you make a screensaver ... you have to go the whole hog and hack together a text-to-speech library that uses Max's voice with the stuttering effect.

    Then, you take a random tweet from Twitter's public timeline, and have Max read it as part of the screensaver, configurable as to how frequently he does this.

    Yes. This would be very excellent, indeed.

    • spoonyfork says:

      +1 This is the most cogent use for Twitter that I've heard to date.

    • lloydwood says:

      Easy enough to do on Mac OS X - try this in terminal:

      $ say he he he he hello I am Max Head Head Headroom

      Linux doesn't even have working sound drivers, so why bother with it?

      (captcha: upside to)

      • lionsphil says:

        I'm sure as long as jwz doesn't make it entirely entangled (e.g. write the whole thing in ObjC), someone will #ifdef the appropriate flite plumbing.

        Hell, I've got a few C files sitting around that pump it through crude DSP routines and out to SDL to try to get a rough approximation of SHODAN-like corruption. The main problem is that neither of these things seem to have a way to separate the "parse this into syllables/utterances" and "turn these annotated utterances into a waveform" stages, allowing you to muck about with stutters and slurs in the middle, or get useful word timing information to do it with the sample data.

        • elsmi says:

          Some synthesizers that let you get at the phonemes and their timing in the synthesized stream: festival (lousy documentation, but try (utt.relation.print (SayText "Hello World" 'Word)) or 'Segment), espeak (via the 'events' in its library API), and the non-free Cepstral voices (which have a pretty decent API).

          For munging the phoneme stream and then synthesizing that: I'm sure it's possible in festival, but no clue on how; espeak has a --phonout option that spits out phoneme+timing information in the format mbrola wants as input; cepstral supports the SSML tag.

          HTH, HAND.

          • lionsphil says:

            Ooh, cheers; I'd not heard of espeak, and an alternative to full-on Festival's bonkers API is welcome.

            Ouch. They probably should have picked an easier example than poetry.

            • elsmi says:

              Doh, that was supposed to be 'the SSML <phoneme> tag'.

              Anyway, cool, have fun. Espeak is pure format synthesis, i.e., optimized for being comprehensible at arbitrary speech rates and sounding unnatural at all speech rates, but from your description maybe that's what you want anyway :-).

  3. telecart says:

    DO WANT.

    (the dvds and the screensaver!)

  4. telecart says:

    btw, do we know if the DVD set contains the original British 20 Minutes Into the Future pilot?

    • dr_memory says:

      That's the $75,000 question. Nobody seems to know yet: they've been pretty stingy with the details about what's going to be on the set.

  5. waider says:

    It is somehow ironic that this is not available in the country which created "20 minutes into the future".

  6. djmermaid says:

    well FINALLY!!!

    too bad for them that I finally broke down and got an "unauthorized fan version" or somesuch a few years ago.

    thank you, Mr umpiring ;-)

  7. allartburns says:

    ... and I've been looking for a head to 3D print. No luck so far.

  8. tedlick says:

    While the show shaped my world view and is the #1 thing I've been wanting on 'DMCA authorized' release in regards to everything Headroom... it would rule to get the talk show episodes too.

    I occasionally find myself humming the theme song to QUIZ!, and it's been over 20 years since I saw those.

    ...still have my original VHS taped copies of the show when it aired in the 80's, more a relic than a functional piece of media these days.

  9. lafinjack says:

    It was also revealed that due to high licensing costs, much of the music on the show will be replaced by covers or sound alike songs on the dvd release (although the studio has not released an official word about this topic).


  10. elfasi says:

    OH GOD YES! I don't have to pull out my VHS tapes after all.

  11. thargol says:

    Max Headroom: The Complete Series, ships Aug 10

    That is indeed good news, although it doesn't seem to be happening here in the UK. However, what I really want is to see "20 minutes into the future" released on DVD. The original one, that is, rather than the remake they did to act as the pilot for the series. As a huge Ultravox fanboy, I only originally watched it because of Ure/Currie doing the soundtrack. But it seems that it's not out on DVD, and the only one that's ever shown on TV is the remake :-(