Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

When will TCM go HD?


Vlad48
 Share

Recommended Posts

Many of us are getting 50 and 60-inch TVs, and broadcasts in 250 lines of resolution are unwatchable.

TCM is our favorite channel, which makes it difficult when the image looks so awful. Anyone know if Turner is planning to offer HDTV options in the forseeable future?

- Hopeful in Canada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been brought up before...

 

Probably doesn't make sense for TCM to go HD until there are HD versions of the classic movies. And most classic movies probably won't be available on HD until there is a market for it (where a profit can be made). There's hardly any classic movies available on HD home video right now, and many people are not jumping on HD home video because nobody knows whether Blu-Ray or HD-DVD will prevail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For this discussion, it is essential to remember that by simply enchancing the quality of its signal to HD quality, TCM will vastly improve the telecast-quality of the conventional dvds it now uses.

Consider:

- most dvds produce about 500 lines of resolution

- conventional TV only offers 250 lines of resolution; so we only get 250 lines

- HDTV offers about 1,000-line potential, meaning we'd see all 500 lines that the conventional dvd offers

- net result: a far better picture using even conventional dvds as the source material

- the more discussion of this issue, the faster we'll get a better theatre experience at home

- Vlad48

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What on Earth makes you think that TCM "broadcasts DVDs?"

 

Well, whatever method they're using to get their digital signal/storage/etc., whether it's DVD (commercial or non-) or hard drive or whatever, it's exceptionally clear at the end of RKO movies, the more recent Columbia/Sony ones, some of the MGM re-masters of other studios' material, Criterion collection, Janus (the list goes on...) that the movies are being shown from commercially prepared versions. In some cases (earlier, maybe not recently), laserdiscs they were playing could be identified when the tail-end of the introductory material might get shown. Don't forget the Cinecube remasterings which play the intro music over the new logos which can't be taken out (without fading to black) - those are clearly commercial, also.

 

The only question would/could be whether the media-of-the-minute under consideration were being played directly onto the airwaves/cable/satellite, or had (more likely) been converted to some other storage medium first. There were probably some, like me, who once wondered if the movies weren't being shown (from film) onto a screen in the studio (which I was I saw one time at our local station, MANY years ago).

 

So, whether you are questioning that commercial DVDs are being played for us, or if that is the preferred storage medium (burned DVDs), we ARE being shown (always?) commercial versions from SOME time period, it seems.

 

And what's the problem with that, anyway? As someone wrote on another thread a while back, now that Turner doesn't ) (apparently) even own its old library but has to lease everything, they can't always access the best versions. For example (one only) my KINO laserdisc of "Old Dark House" blows away the one they continue to show, but they apparently can't get the rights (or would have to pay too much). One example only, as I promised!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bill,

I appreciate your detailed reply, and I may well be in error about the source material is using for its telecasts.

That being said....

I still stand solidly behind my main point. That is, even if TCM is not using HD media for its movies, by telecasting in HD it would maximize the clarity and sharpness of the current source material it is using. Using a 500-line of resolution source (or whatever it is) but telecasting in 250 lines will only give viewers 250 lines. I'd rather get the 500.

- Vlad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to look at this from a different angle. Not a technical one, but a practical one for the company. I think the powers-that-be, at the corporate level are not giving priority to switching TCM to HD for the simple reason that the viewer demographics for TCM skew towards an older audience. This audience is less likely to spend $3000 or whatever on a HDTV.

 

Don't get me wrong, I know there are younger viewers here and I know TCM is making some changes to get more, but I think, for the time being, corporate sees more value in switching their other channels to HD first because they draw a larger and much younger audience and which can put a lot more money in the company cash box than TCM can. I don't really agree with this attitude on their part, but that's the way it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point about age of TCM viewers. Most under 30 won't even watch a B/W film.

 

Technical question for those who know a lot more than me about this.

If I copy a TCM movie onto a DVD with an upconvert capability and then show it on a 1080p LCD, will the picture be improved over the broadcast image.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Many of us are getting 50-60 inch TVs"... Do you and Santa know something *I* don't know??? I'm a middle-aged fuddy-duddy who still uses a VCR and is not likely to shell out thousands of dollars (and esp. not put it on revolving credit) to buy "the latest and greatest" and biggest... Agree this is more a young person's game, and that person probably isn't representative of the TCM viewing audience (although recent programming changes appear to be trying to corral this group).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I knew what the heck you guys are talking about. I have a 24" TV which shows a beautiful picture no matter if I use a tape, DVD, or the TV itself. Most living rooms and family rooms aren't really big enough to warrant a 50 or 60 inch TV, unless you're watching from another room. My brother has one in his family room, and you literally have to move your head like watching a tennis match. It's lousy for football, too, because if you're watching the center/quarterback, half the time you miss any fouls on the front/back line. And you almost never see holding until the flag goes down and you see the replay. Screw that, I want to see the whole screen, it's like watching How the West was Won in Pan and Scan.

 

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

My 80 year old father-in-law bought a 32" LCD HDTV shortly after I did. He paid about $1350 U.S. and I paid about $600 U.S. I think you'll find that almost all age groups are buying LCD HDTVs now. For one thing, they cannot lift the 200 lb. CRT TV models.

 

Were TCM to go HD and be offered in Canada, I'd trade in my digital cable box for an HD one in an instant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in Seattle there is a station on Comcast called INHDCOM(channel 664) that shows old fox films in HD. They are all in color and widescreen and the resolution and digital sound is fantastic and up to 1080i quality. This is not a movie channel. They play IMAX films, nature documentaries and concert films(Isle of Wight), too, but this shows that TCM could upgrade to HD with a fantastic boost in picture resolution. DVDs of older black and white films such as are in the Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan signature collections when shown on an upconverting DVD player look great also when viewed on an HDTV. This is the future, but how many years it will take is anybodys guess. With DVDs going to HD, the pressure will be on to upgrade someday. Casablanca and Gone with the Wind are already out on HD-DVD(or is it the other one?).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not like I've been keeping a close eye, but atm there seems to be less than a handful of pre-1960 movies on HD home video.

 

The biggest hurdle to overcome is that we're still caught in the silly tug-of-war of the video/hardware companies, and we don't know if Blu-ray or HD-DVD will prevail. (That happens to be the reason I've yet to bother with a HD disc player).

 

Expect things to happen faster once there is a winner in the format wars. But even then, it might be quite a while until the kind of programming TCM offers is readily available on HD. (I'd love to be wrong about this but I'm not going to hold my breath).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rarely read these threads that sound like they're going to be technical, because I don't know what they're talking about, and I'm so sorry that I read this one. You guys have me coming and going.

 

I'm pretty sure that HD means High Definition

What does it mean when someone says TCM went Digital a few months ago?

someone mentioned 1080i - what is that?

What is Blu-Ray?

What the heck is 250 lines and 500 lines?

 

I don't expect answers, just letting you know that some people have no idea what you're talking about when you use phrases (or words) like these - I'm one of them. I have heard of HD before, but never in any connection with or versus BLU-RAY. This just all goes to prove my statements that NOTHING is made today to last more than a short time. Several years ago, there was a weird lady named (I think) Susan Powder who was a fitness guru. Her slogan was "The madness has got to stop". Although I didn't follow her life style, I sure agree with her slogan. All of this transferring from tapes to DVD, from audio tape players to CD players, from regular TV to flat screen, and now this HD/BLURAY etc. stuff is nuts. You just about get settled into one thing, and suddenly something else is there to replace it.

 

If you buy a new VCR/DVD player, and you have cable or dish, and also a stereo, you have to go out and buy a universal remote or have 3 or 4 different remotes laying around, and God forbid if anyone should hit the wrong button, it takes hours to fix it. Even if you don't care to 'upgrade' like stoneyburke, you have to if you want to continue watching what you have been watching for years. Out of the 120 channels I pay for, I only watch maybe 10 at the most, but I pay for 42 sports channels, and out of the 10 I watch, 8 of them have 'paid programming' on from midnight to 7 a.m. So essentially my dish network is screwing me every month and laughing all the way to the bank.

 

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When TCM went all digital that means all their movies have to be in a digital format to be shown. They cannot be VHS tape or Laserdisc or 35 or 16 mm film or any analog form(the old format). So a good reason some movies are not shown anymore on TCM is they have not been digitized to be shown in that newer format yet. I know my Comcast cable system is now all digital for every channel.

Blu-ray is a high definition DVD player that Sony is pushing. HD-DVD is a different high definition format that other companies are favoring. They are not compatible. They are both backward compatible with regular DVDs. 1080i is the number of lines of resolution that equals high definition. 250 lines is regular analog TV. 500 lines is approximately what now old-fashioned DVDs come to. Upconversion DVD players boost regular DVDs to 1080i resolution when viewed on a high definition television through an HDMI hookup. The final goal of all this "progress" is to experience the same resolution and sound that you would going out to the movies. So then we wouldn't even have to go outside our house anymore! What a drag.

 

Message was edited by:

Terry982

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mrsl, that's why I haven't yet bought a DVD player and probably never will. I had read about Blu-ray when I was considering getting one and figured it was the equivalent of the cassette vs CD sham. High Def is a need created so companies can fulfill it and make everyone think it's the best thing in the world and they have to have it. Just advertisers doing their job.

 

As to ugrading to a cable system that would restore TCM to me, you're right. I counted and I only watch 6 channels out of the 57 I now have on my analog cable. Until the government which has been paid off by the media moguls forces me to get digital or watch a blank screen (and by that time I may watch a blank screen), I refuse to upgrade, for that very reason you noted.

 

Finally, as to Susan Powter and her 'Stop The Insanity!' slogan? If you saw her, she was a screeching harridan and a peer at the time to the Jane Fondas and other fitness charlatans. Her brother came out and said she wasn't all she was cracked up to be. Again, she was just a very clever advertiser doing her job, making people buy her videos when all they had to do was stop eating.

 

dolores

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Such misinformation. Much of the image quality issues *I* have with TCM and other SD cable channels are the fault of my cable company over-compressing to save bandwidth. On the other hand I pay for HBO HD and SHO HD and get all the SD versions of those movie channels to boot. They look awesome here because I am paying for it.

 

TCM would benefit greatly by switching to HD but I really can't see how this is economically feasible now. You see, I am grateful for the awesome channel we now have and fear the day it becomes what AMC did several years ago. Remember, at one time AMC had no commercials and was similar excellent quality as what we now see on TCM. Unfortunately somewhere along the way they needed to *make money* to survive and you see what the result of that is.

 

For TCM to pioneer into the HD realm now would be awesome for me but they would either need someone with deep pockets to finance it or charge monthly like a premium movie channel. This is basically what we have with HDNet right now with Mr. Cuban. In my opinion TCM is already "giving" us something quite valuable essentially for free and I can't see them digging deeper to also "give" us TCM-HD.

 

That being said, I would be the first in line to pony up the cash every month for TCM-HD. The question is, how many of y'all would be willing to pay $10-12/month?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

all their movies have to be in a digital format to be shown. They cannot be VHS tape or Laserdisc....

 

Laserdisc is digital, isn't it? Just like a big DVD, except not bit-compressed like DVDs. Digital soundtracks (even AC-3 surround) on the later ones. And there have been times (not many) when a "smidgen" of the LD identifiers have shown up as TCM began a movie. When they showed the 1934 "Man Who Knew Too Much" last year, it certainly appears to be the Image LD version, which the FIRST good copy I've ever found.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> Laserdisc is digital, isn't it? Just like a big DVD,

> except not bit-compressed like DVDs. Digital

> soundtracks (even AC-3 surround) on the later ones.

> And there have been times (not many) when a

> "smidgen" of the LD identifiers have shown up as TCM

> began a movie. When they showed the 1934 "Man Who

> Knew Too Much" last year, it certainly appears to be

> the Image LD version, which the FIRST good copy I've

> ever found.

 

LaserDiscs are analog. While it is true that some of the later discs had digital soundtracks, the video was still analog. It's the higher resolution that makes them superior to VHS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LaserDiscs are analog.

 

Thanks for confirming what I should have remembered if I weren't stretched so thin for the holidays. Like SuperVHS before that existed, plus no tape to wear out (and fairly tolerant of scratches). If only they'd caught on better! When I started scarfing them up as DVD came along, even at half-price and better I paid around $50 for some three-disc sets; and just try to buy a Looney Tunes Volume 5 original set (not DVD clones)! and Happy Harmonies! But, I'll get lucky like I did with my Tex Avery and TomandJerry sets one of these days on eBay (or even a yard/estate sale).

 

(Just realized that second sentence sounds as if I meant I were stretched like Super VHS - oh, well). Merry Christmas to all, and to all a (very) good night!

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading up on all the new replies since my last post, I am mostly struck by the frustration that technological progress inevitably can produce. Some of us already got used to something that seemed pretty good, some of us look forward to something that will be even better, and sometimes we all just don't want to have to face a never-ending barrage of upgrades, etc. etc.

 

I dunno, technological progress is inevitable and also makes it ironic that some of the things we now take for granted were unimaginable in the days when these movies that we love were made. Back in the golden era of Hollywood, no movie star, no matter how rich, could have ever imagined the ease of use and wide availability that home video formats have brought. Neither could ordinary moviegoers. It was a time when you either watched it when it came out, or else you simply had to wait for a lucky break to see the older movies either on re-release or (starting in the 50's) on television.

 

Today we have tens of thousands of movies at our disposal, a lot of them are on DVD, others are still only available on VHS and/or Laserdisc or can only be watched when shown on TCM or other movie channels. Still, we have awesome home theater systems available if we choose to save up and invest in them. Not to mention stuff like TiVo and DVD recorders. Overall it's a whole lot better than just 15 years ago.

 

At the same time, this progress paradoxically kinda makes us wish (sometimes!) that every movie ever made was easily available in the best format possible and with a perfect A/V transfer.

 

Well I'm sure if we wait just a little bit longer, more and more movies will become available on HD and eventually HDTV will leave standard TV systems behind completely just like color TVs eventually all but replaced black-and-white ones. It's just a matter of time. But bear in mind that with the number of baby boomers that will be retiring, there's a good bet that there will be considerable demand in the next decades for classic movies in the best format possible.

 

Personally I can't wait until most Cinemascope movies are available on HD, either through DVDs or on TCM. The 2.35:1 format has unquestionably suffered the most in the home video process, even with letterboxing. Movies like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Lawrence of Arabia will be absolutely awesome when the fill up those widescreen HDTV sets, with the kind of picture quality that even standard DVDs can't possibly deliver.

 

Until that day comes.... we must be patient!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2.35:1 format has unquestionably suffered the most in the home video process, even with letterboxing. Movies like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Lawrence of Arabia will be absolutely awesome when the fill up those widescreen HDTV sets, with the kind of picture quality that even standard DVDs can't possibly deliver.

 

Of course, the 2.35:1 will still be letterboxed (bars at top and bottom) since that's thinner than a 16:9 picture! But it will come closer to filling up the picture....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am new to this forum, so I will try to be gentle (not usually my first instinct, I am afraid), but people who pooh-pooh what TCM would be like in HD are really clueless.

 

We just got a Samsung 40 in. 1080p LCD TV about a month ago. We have Dish Network for programming, including all their (former Voom) HD channels, including one called "World Cinema"--it is OUTRAGEOUS. They have had a Kurosawa festival this month--we've watched The Bad Sleep Well, Ran, Throne of Blood, High and Low, and The Hidden Fortress; just stupendous in HD, widescreen (for some bizarre reason Dodes Ka Den was not widescreen). We have also seen other classic fims in HD already--Witness For The Prosecution, Hell In The Pacific and Knife In Water come to mind. The difference between these and TCM's SD picture was SO radical I cannot describe it. Ran you might expect, since it is such a gorgeous film visually, but even on the older B&W films--I mean, the level of detail on Mifune's coat of armor in Throne of Blood was like a revelation. Short of seeing the film with a new transfer in a movie theater (how likely is that now?), you just haven't seen the same Throne of Blood that I saw recently. And the first battle sequence in The Hidden Fortress was jaw-dropping; my girlfriend had never seen the film and I felt almost the same way.

 

I realize all the technical stuff can be intimidating. I used to labor under misconceptions confusing HD with Digital (NOT the same, although HD is a digital signal). But really--take a look at these films in HD and then watch the same thing in SD; it is a bigger difference than watching a muddy old VHS tape versus a remastered DVD on your current TV.

 

TCM would be fantasitc in HD; I'd pay $10 extra a month for it alone (and that is almost what I pay extra for all my HD programming).

 

Message was edited by:

KingoGondo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...