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ratios fouled up

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When t.c.m broadcasted both Ride Vaquero ride and take the high ground they attempted to show it in its widescreen ratio but ended up in just taking the 4 by 3 version and stretched it out giving everyone a fat look. Now I remember seeing the high ground on the movie channel in stereo. This version was mono. Then I read for video version the sound was just remixed, originally it was stereo, but that's probably lost too, like many pre cinemascope films of 53. T.c.m. need to fix the ratios of these films. Take the high ground was one by seven five by one. Now Vaquero's wide screen was artificial it was never shot in Widescreen. it was just cropped for widescreen by the projectionist. 

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I don't know why, but TCM seems to be stretching these 4x3 movies more often lately.  (I also saw them do the same thing to They Gave Him a Gun a few weeks ago.)  When I noticed Take the High Ground was being stretched, I checked the live feed on the WatchTCM app and it was also stretched.  But now if you look at the archived version on WatchTCM it looks normal.  It's almost like TCM has some automated system for broadcasting the movies and occasionally they get the database wrong and there's nobody actually watching to see if it looks OK.

I can understand if the original theatrical aspect ratio was widescreen then the aim is to stick to that, but when the source video is 4x3, stretching it for widescreen doesn't make sense to me.  I really hope this alteration of the video is not something intentional on TCM's part.

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I have never noticed TCM stretching a picture to fill the screen.  Whenever the picture has not been correct, it is because of the settings for the picture in my satellite feed or on my TV.

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8 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

I have never noticed TCM stretching a picture to fill the screen.  Whenever the picture has not been correct, it is because of the settings for the picture in my satellite feed or on my TV.

That's good advice, but in this case it is TCM all the way (at least on my cable system).  I have digital recordings that show it is not a TV setting.

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I'd still hesitate to blame TCM unless I knew the entire process of getting the movie from the distributor to your TV. There are so many ways for the picture to be altered.  Is your recording to a DVR?  or is it recorded to a DVD?  I know when I record a movie to disk, I sometimes have to change the setting on my TV to get the picture right.  Don't ask me why.  Have you tried this when you watch your recording?  I mean can you change your picture to make it the correct ratio?

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I have a screen shot of Ride Vaquero in the "TCM and aspect ratio" thread. It looks expanded to fill my 16:9 computer screen. I cannot make a direct link to the post from April 13, and include the image. Taken directly from Watch TCM's live feed on my computer using a full screen shot from the Chrome browser.

I will say again, there are a lot of 4:3 programs I watch on a regular basis. If my TV settings, or cable box were wrong, Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) would look fat. She looks great for 480i.

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5 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

 

I will say again, there are a lot of 4:3 programs I watch on a regular basis. If my TV settings, or cable box were wrong, Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) would look fat. She looks great for 480i.

That's not necessarily the case. Cable companies can adjust the aspect ratio on each channel individually. I'm not sating they do it intentionally or that's what happened in the cases sited, but it is possible. More often than not somebody typed a wrong code into the computer that runs the operation.

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8 minutes ago, markfp2 said:

That's not necessarily the case. Cable companies can adjust the aspect ratio on each channel individually. I'm not sating they do it intentionally or that's what happened in the cases sited, but it is possible. More often than not somebody typed a wrong code into the computer that runs the operation.

I agree. I haven't had any improper issues with the HD channels (I have Comcast/Xfinity cable), but a few of the SD channels have been sent by the cable company in the wrong aspect, stretched out, and no amount of adjustment with the equipment will correct it. They eventually fixed them all in my area, but it took a year or two to get them all straightened out.

It can get frustrating for people, I would guess, when the issue could be on the original production end (TCM showed it incorrectly), the provider (Comcast showed it incorrectly), the receiver/cable box settings, and/or the TV's settings.

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What seems to be getting lost in this discussion is that I saw the film Take the High Ground being stretched at the same time on the WatchTCM app live feed which is totally independent from any cable/satellite delivery system!  You can choose to believe me or not, but TCM was solely responsible for how this was done.

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One of many reasons that I don't bother using the WatchTCM app. Based on the comments on this message board, it seems to rarely work properly, and appears to be a never-ending source of problems for those that use it. 

But then again, if someone isn't having problems with it, they wouldn't be likely to post about it.

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29 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

What seems to be getting lost in this discussion is that I saw the film Take the High Ground being stretched at the same time on the WatchTCM app live feed which is totally independent from any cable/satellite delivery system!  You can choose to believe me or not, but TCM was solely responsible for how this was done.

I was watching Ride Vaquero on my television. When it looked incorrect, I used my computer and Watch TCM to create the screenshot.

http://forums.tcm.com/topic/258964-tcm-and-aspect-ratio/?do=findComment&comment=1986832

 

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36 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

One of many reasons that I don't bother using the WatchTCM app. Based on the comments on this message board, it seems to rarely work properly, and appears to be a never-ending source of problems for those that use it. 

But then again, if someone isn't having problems with it, they wouldn't be likely to post about it.

I am happy to say nice things about the WatchTCM app, which I like very much.  The main feature for me is the ability to have a second chance to watch movies that you might have missed when originally broadcast.  It has both the East Coast and West Coast live feeds, so for me if I miss the regular East Coast presentation I can try to watch the West Coast feed after a 3 hour delay.  If this fails they have a collection of recently aired films that lasts I think about a week after the initial showing.  Of course, the stability is dependent on your internet connection, and TCM apparently does not have the streaming rights for every film they show, so there are some gaps in what is live streamed as well as what gets posted to watch later.  I recently had a part-of-a-day outage in my cable system, so it was very nice to have the WatchTCM source as a backup to allow me to watch a film I had been waiting to see.  There are now so many forms of WatchTCM per different devices and apps so I can't speak to them all, but for me it has worked well.

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Hmm okay.  I finally found one that aired that way on Directv.  Not saying these don't ever happen on Directv, but most of the examples I see people mentioning on here I have already recorded at a previous date, so I just haven't recorded these more recent showings.

I did find that I had recorded Ride, Vaquero (1953) though.  This is listed in IMDB as 1.37:1 (close enough to 4:3)

Below I have uploaded some full-size images, linked so the forum can't corrupt the aspect ratio of the embed.   The native resolution was already 1600:900, so for the 4:3 examples I just plugged in 1200:900 for the reduction.

scene 1 - full screen capture from video player as recorded 16:9 (1.78:1)
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 1.png

scene 1 - screen capture in image editor - native 16:9 (1.78:1)
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 1a.png

scene 1 - screen capture in image editor - reduced 4:3 (1.33:1)  [close enough to original 1.37:1]
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 1b.png

 

scene 2 - full screen capture from video player as recorded 16:9 (1.78:1)
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 2.png

scene 2 - screen capture in image editor - native 16:9 (1.78:1)
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 2a.png

scene 2 - screen capture in image editor - reduced 4:3 (1.33:1)
http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 2b.png

 

The reductions did look a little narrow to me, but probably just an illusion from the comparison.

Probably not much help, other than to confirm it and also show my work.

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Thanks MovieCollectorOH for your examples.  For the scaled images you show, I think it does look nicer if the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio is used (this would be about 1233 x 900 instead of 1200 x 900 for your samples).  I would guess that TCM does have the ability to show something close to the theatrical 1.37:1 aspect ratio in the HD feed.

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46 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

Thanks MovieCollectorOH for your examples.  For the scaled images you show, I think it does look nicer if the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio is used (this would be about 1233 x 900 instead of 1200 x 900 for your samples).  I would guess that TCM does have the ability to show something close to the theatrical 1.37:1 aspect ratio in the HD feed.

Okay, here you go...   1233 x 900 for the above pics, using the same technique.  Starting with the 1600 x 900 originals.

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 1c.png

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 2c.png

 

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1 hour ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

Okay, here you go...   1233 x 900 for the above pics, using the same technique.  Starting with the 1600 x 900 originals.

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 1c.png

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/screenshot Ride, Vaquero (1953) 2019-04 2c.png

 

Looks good to me! 😊 

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If you want to see TCM stretching a 4x3 movie to be 16x9, turn on the channel right now and see what they're doing to The Wild North (1952)!  In primetime, no less.

This is an unfortunate trend.

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1 hour ago, cmovieviewer said:

If you want to see TCM stretching a 4x3 movie to be 16x9, turn on the channel right now and look at what they're doing to The Wild North (1952)!  In primetime, no less.

This is an unfortunate trend.

There was nothing wrong with The Wild North (1952).  My picture was correct.  I can stretch the picture or have it the correct ratio depending on the setting on my TV.  Check the options on your TV.

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From this thread so far, here are some recordings I already had.  I don't do anything related to aspect ratio to my TCM recordings.  Furthermore my encoder is always set to use whatever is fed to it, i.e. the Directv satellite receiver settings - which are always set to 1080i and 16:9. no exceptions.

The Wild North (1952) - my copy encoded May 2015 - GOOD

Ride, Vaquero! (1953) - I covered this one above - 1.37 showing up as 1.78

Take the High Ground (1953) - my copy encoded May 2016 - GOOD

They Gave Him a Gun (1937) - my copy encoded July 2015 - GOOD

For me, fixing these is a simple matter of corrective reencoding, an automated process on a different computer that just needs to be set up and run.  Very few, if any others that post on this board, are going to have this capability.  So that is why it matters to me.

P.S. From a different thread (aside from all the talk about movie theaters and consumer stuff)
http://forums.tcm.com/topic/258964-tcm-and-aspect-ratio/

All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953) - my copy encoded August 2018 - GOOD

The China Syndrome (1979) - my copy encoded Oct 2017 - 1.85 SHOWING AS 1.78 - STILL VERY WATCHABLE

So far all this all looks like to me is a recent absence on some titles of any letterboxing, pillarboxing, windowboxing, postage stamping, side bars, top and bottom bars, muntin bars  - whatever bars the flavor of the day is.

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11 hours ago, slaytonf said:

 

There was nothing wrong with The Wild North (1952).  My picture was correct.  I can stretch the picture or have it the correct ratio depending on the setting on my TV.  Check the options on your TV.

I believe you.  Not everyone is going to have your TV though, or even a TV with similar capabilities.  I know I don't.  Aside from that, I'm not really a consumer TV store type of guy, some others here are. There is too much variance among brands and models for it to really be of much use, except in general terms.

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16 minutes ago, Michael Rennie said:

Okay, I'll bite. What does that mean MovieCollectorOH, "I know I don't?"

I don't have a TV that can correct that type of aspect ratio distortion.

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18 minutes ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

I don't have a TV that can correct that type of aspect ratio distortion.

My TV and cable box have just two settings. Basically, normal and zoom. Guess all modern TVs are the same. I cannot see using the zoom feature. It makes SD fill the screen left to right, making people fat. Also chops top and bottom. Using zoom in an ultra-widescreen presentation would just make Martin Scorsese angry. It fills top to bottom chopping the sides. Even worse than pan and scan.

Guess I don't think your reply all the way through. My bad.

EDIT: Part of the problem is ongoing support for SD. My cable, for example, all the channels below 700 are SD. With widescreen, the aspect ratio stays SD, giving that miserable picture box when there is black all the way around. I think picture box is what it is called. The industry has issues. Big ones.

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To elaborate a bit,  the problem here is a malformed 16:9 picture, as received.  In most cases it is 4:3 content, received as a 16:9 picture.  That requires corrective distortion to be applied, which is above and beyond what some (many??) TVs are capable of.

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