M*A*S*H Streaming on Hulu


M*A*S*H began streaming on Hulu yesterday (June 29th), nearly a year after Hulu and 20th Century Fox signed a deal to bring some 3,000 episodes from more than 25 TV shows to Hulu.

Hulu's M*A*S*H loading page.
M*A*S*H is now streaming on Hulu. The episodes have reportedly been remastered in HD and are now 16:9 widescreen.

I don’t subscribe to Hulu, so I haven’t been able to watch any of the episodes, but I’m told the show has been remastered in high definition and cropped to 16:9 widescreen. Although I’m happy the show has been remastered in HD, I don’t support cropping the episodes to 16:9 widescreen. The show was filmed with a 4:3 aspect ratio in mind, that’s how it originally aired, and that’s how it should remain. The producers never intended it to be shown in 16:9 widescreen. Every shot was composed and framed in 4:3. Hopefully, 20th Century Fox had the episodes remastered in 4:3 full frame as well. That way, if M*A*S*H eventually comes out on Blu-ray, the episodes will retain their original 4:3 aspect ratio.

Can someone with a Hulu subscription can provide some screen captures so I can compare the new HD, widescreen episodes with the DVDs?

Also, apparently the iconic Season 4 finale “The Interview” is streaming on Hulu in color. Finally, the five hour-long episodes (“Welcome to Korea,” Bug Out, “Fade Out, Fade In,” Our Finest Hour,” and “That’s Show Biz”) have been split in two on Hulu. That’s how they air in syndication and how Netflix streamed them. They’re available in their original form on DVD, however.

(Thanks to Dan.)

32 Replies to “M*A*S*H Streaming on Hulu”

    1. …more on the sides but less on the bottom…
      …and a new guy on the left appears to be wearing a digital wristwatch…
      …this does not bode well…

      1. Wow, you must have 8K television to discern what type of watch that is! As a life long watcher and fan of MASH, I think this conversion and HD upgrade is fantastic and feel it’s truly consistent with the framing intentions of the filmmakers. Also, it just looks beautiful.

  1. While it doesn’t matter to me, since I have the DVDs and don’t have Hulu, I’m happy for those who’ve been waiting for them to get off their butts and add it, lol. And of course, the more options for people to discover the show the better.

    “Also, apparently the iconic Season 4 finale “The Interview” is streaming on Hulu in color.”

    Honestly, that seems like it would hurt the episode, at least in my opinion. Obviously it’s still a great episode no matter what, but the black and white gives really goes well with the episode’s style.

      1. Not that it will help the Hulu watcher, but the DVDs had audio with & without laugh tracks.

  2. Has the picture quality for Seasons 4 and 5 improved in comparison to DVD? On DVD, Season 4 is dark and fuzzy, and Season 5 has the same problem with some episodes, while others are really orange.

  3. Here is something I noticed, 3 episodes of the 1st season have an alternate opening theme song that is heard only on the DVDs, but not the hd Hulu versions.”The Army-Navy game”, “Sticky Wicket”, and “Major Fred C. Dobbs” uses this alternate opening theme. So why isn’t the Hulu episodes using this theme. Wouldn’t the original source (or negative) for those episodes also have this theme, or I wonder if they remastered one intro and used for all the openings to save a little work excluding the “Pilot”. Not a complaint but an observation.

    1. What about Season 5? On DVD, the opening credits featured the same chopper footage as Seasons 1-4, yet in syndication, they use the chopper footage from Seasons 6-11.

      1. The season 5 opening is now corrected to use the same chopper footage as seasons 1-4, like it originally aired.

    2. Not to worry, other than that alternate theme being replaced, the rest of the anomalies seem unchanged…the alt shot of BJ approaching the chopper in a few early season four eps, and the unique “trumpet” theme used only the season nine premiere “The Best of Enemies”…

  4. I’m almost always against an aspect ration change from the original. For example, From the Earth to the Moon was created in 4:3 and re-released on 16×9 and, in my opinion, is a disaster.

    I’ve been watching 16×9 M*A*S*H on Hulu and I’m surprised how well it works. Scenes can look problematic form the cropping but the actual transfers are remarkable. I assume this was a long restoration project because the clarity is stunning.

  5. I haven’t seen any of the newly remastered episodes on Hulu, only a handful of screen caps. I fully support the new, high definition transfers. But high definition doesn’t require a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. No matter how well the widescreen looks, M*A*S*H isn’t meant to be seen in widescreen.

    I’m not saying fans shouldn’t be watching or enjoying the episodes on Hulu. Just keep in mind you’re watching a widescreen interpretation of M*A*S*H, not the episodes the way the producers/directors/cinematographers filmed them.

    (For the record, I feel the same way about any TV show filmed or videotaped in 4:3 and cropped to 16:9, with the possible exception of the few TV shows filmed or taped in 4:3 but safely framed for 16:9. It’s like colorizing a black-and-white movie. It may look nice, but it’s not the way the movie is meant to be seen.)

    1. As someone who films in HD, I can tell that this is true: HD doesn’t always have to be specifically 16:9, and cropping something in widescreen doesn’t automatically make it “HD.” As long as the pixel height is 720 or higher, it’s HD no matter how wide it is. Full HD is 1920×1080 pixels, and while my camera films in such resolution, I frame and edit my footage in 1440×1080 for 4:3 – I’ve never been a fan of widescreen, 16:9; not just for the cropping from 4:3 losing the tops and bottoms of the picture, but if something was naturally filmed in 16:9, why do we need to see what’s happening in the background off to the sides when it’s the action in the foreground in center frame that we’re supposed to concentrate on?

  6. As a TV director and life long watcher and ardent fan of MASH, I think the Fox/Hulu conversion and HD upgrade is fantastic. It’s truly consistent with and respectful of the framing intentions of the filmmakers (with practically no cropping, but rather adding). Also, it just looks beautiful! Although the color INTERVIEW is a bummer.

  7. I watched the whole series on Hulu…and they cut the credits on the last episode! That, along with the weird cropping and varying theme songs had me wondering if that was how I saw it when I fiest saw the reruns back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was so strange to actually see the show in order too…the local TV station played it out of order and made “Goodbye”, a Sunday after special they only showed once every few years…

  8. Due to staying with a friend who has a Hulu subscription I watched the first couple of episodes “Pilot” and “To Market, To Market”. I was pleasantly surprised by the switch to widescreen, it worked much better than I would have guessed. The sound quality was also good. Hopefully being on Hulu will introduce M*A*S*H to many younger folks who no longer watch over the air or cable TV.

    As an aside, I am astounded that people such as my friend pay for Hulu but still have to watch commercials. I found this very annoying in the 2 episodes I watched. On the plus side the episodes were not sped up and included all of the original scenes (unlike the butchering of M*A*S*H that ME TV is now engaged in).

  9. Picture does look good, the cropping bothers me a little but I can get over it; what I cannot get over is that some scenes have been edited (cut short), you would only know if you have watched the dvds a bunch as they used to do the same thing with reruns on TV.

    The two examples I have noticed are in “Bug Out” the part of the scene where the chopper pilot gives Potter the banana is cut. In fade in fade out when Hawkeye and BJ are packing up franks things and Margaret comes in. At the end of the scene Margaret pours gin all over franks things, this part is also cut out. Im sure there are others.

    1. That is because all the one-hour episodes have been split into two, and they are using the edited half-hour syndicated versions. Luckily, all the regular half-hour episodes remain uncut.

  10. I’m actually quite happy with the 16×9 versions. Since they rescanned full aperture negative they gained some image left and right that we have never seen before which allowed less of a crop top and bottom. If you account for what we lost in overscan when originally broadcast on old round-ish tv tubes of the day (at least 10% of the image) we are losing verrrrry little in these transfers. Well done. One quibble though, in the opening titles, the ambulance pass that was extremely scratched in the original broadcasts is thankfully replaced with a cleaner shot, but the colour balance is off. The AMC reruns use a better replacement that looks perfect

    1. Nonsense; this is like saying “I Love Lucy” or “Mary Tyler Moore” would look better in 16:9.

      Instead, to me, this is more akin to colorization. 🙁

      1. If you hadn’t known they were originally 4×3, you would never ever notice, they don’t looked cropped or have any strange framing…they spent time to recompose each shot in 16×9. I’ve worked as a tv editor for decades and would be the first to noticed if they messed this up.

  11. Just getting around to watching the series. I’m at The Interview. At some point, they must have swapped out the color version for the black and white version. Looks amazing.

  12. The cropping from the original 4:3 to 16:9, is extremely noticeable. For anyone who’s seen the episodes multiple times they will pick it up instantly. I honesty think it would be easily noticeable to anyone watching the series on Hulu, the close ups of the actors faces is so zoomed in the top of their heads are missing, as is their hands and hand motion. Turn on any episode on Hulu, then turn on your MASH dvd, (or youtube of the same exact scene) and you can see how zoomed in the new remaster is. You can also see how much has been lost on the top and bottom of the scene.

    1. Actually I did do a comparison. Nothing’s lost. Top and bottom is exactly the same. Sides are expanded. Looks amazing and feel more real!

  13. Looks like crap. Glad I still have my DVDs. Again, transfer and sound are amazing, but it ruins the series for me to have cropped improperly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.