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[b]Scheduled running times vs. actual recording times[/b]

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I hope I'm not opening a can of worms here - but does anyone else who is an avid recorder of TCM's movies have an issue with the running times of the movies going over the advertised time?

I adore TCM and enjoy Robert Osborne's insight on the features,(Manckewitz' so-so) but sometimes the pre-movie talk runs 1 minute, sometimes 2 minutes, sometimes 3 mins. plus. The movie itself will then often run over it's time slot because of the pre-talk and I'll cut off the ending.

It makes it very hard to schedule a recording.

I use a DVD recorder that is not forgiving at all (no editing), and I'm just thinking that if there were a more "standard" talk time- maybe say stick close to 2 minutes as a rule, then movies shouldn't run over and all would run within the allotted time.

I still want Osborne's intro but not at the expense of getting off schedule.

Is this an issue for anyone else, or just me?

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this is a great question and something we struggle with


as you might expect, we like to start the next film as soon as possible after the previous one, but we don't want to start films at odd times (like 10:04, or 9:17)


we always allow a couple of minutes for the introductions and the outros, but sometimes we miscalculate a little


I noticed last night "House of Wax" ended at 12:01 - while I'm glad we had "Nosferatu" right after (as opposed to waiting until 12:15), I realize if you were using tivo or something similar, you would have missed the last minute of the movie


I think we've gotten a little better about this, and we do try to keep it in mind, but sometimes we're off a little - sorry about that


this is not an issue for just you

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Thank you tcmprogrammer for your interest in this matter. As you guessed, I was referring to "House of Wax". I noticed the running time was going to be close, and when Mr. Osborne spoke for 3+ minutes in the beginning I knew I was sunk. I missed the part where Vincent Price actually fell into the vat of wax. The video then picks up and I got the ending and all of "Nosferatu".

It just seems when the running time is the closest, that's when they talk the longest!

Thanks again for your attention.

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I'm glad you brought this up scamperbritches! I ran into the same problem that you did with House of Wax last night. I also knew I was cooked when Osbourne spent all that time talking. The outcome, I missed the climax of the picture when I watched my tape today. One big tip, most of the Harold Lloyd movies that TCM air go over their running time. I strongly suggest leaving at least 10 extra minutes while taping them.

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My method is to record from the start time of the program to the start time of the NEXT program, or close to it. That way you can sure you'll record the whole film, and even some of the extra stuff (short films, trailers, etc.) after the film. I never go by the film's running time, which is not always exact anyway. I've been recording this way and never had a program cut off at the end.

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To my way of thinking, it's Robert Osborne's Introductions, and post-notes, that make TCM's viewing of any film a much richer experience for us all. Where else do we have this opportunity to know more about the films we are being shown?


Another person suggested setting your recorder to cover the time between one movie and the next and disregard what the "run-time" for just the movie was listed as....a simple solution to get around any problems not getting all of your movie. If anything, you might end up with some pleasant surprises on your tape, like the shorts between movies, in addition to Mr. Osborne's valuable input. ;)ML

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Thanks everyone for the tips, that is how I record when doing so with my VCR - run it over the allotted time to insure getting all of the movie.

However, I am recording on DVD-R media with the DVD recorder from hell. The discs are not editable, so if you go over, that time is forever used (and unrecordable).

Since Nosferatu came on immediately afterward, the recorder won't start a new "program" until after it writes the first one (takes about 50 seconds - just long enough for Vincent Price to fall into the vat of wax!). This was a no-win situation- something was going to get lost because of the back-to-back programming.

I couldn't stay up late enough to babysit it, so I set it and went to bed.

DVD Recorders can be mean, vindictive little devices.

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This is what swayed me into putting up a little extra to get a DVD recorder with a hard drive (Panasonic DMR-E80). With the hard drive, you can record to the hard drive and pad the time a bit on both sides, then edit it on the hard drive and download it at fast speed to a DVD-R without loss of picture quality (I usually edit the host's intro & outro into a single file to add as an extra at the end of the DVD-R, along with the trailer and any related TV spot, such as Word of Mouth--where I've been lucky enough to catch them on the hard drive in previous recording sessions).


The only problem is that the hard drive fills up pretty fast at the rate I've been recording lately.


- Clark

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I also have a DVD recorder and love it. My biggest complaint so far is the recording times on DVD's is only

4 hours. A heck of a lot of movies run well over 2 hours

meaning only one movie per DVD instead of 2. But like

classic says I just record a lot of shorts in between.

Hard Drive may be the answer though


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I do love the stand alone DVD recorder even though it can be quite a scheduling nightmare for the very reasons you mentioned. I too only put 4 hours on a disk- at LP speed.

If there are two movies overnight that are over 2 hours each, it means getting up in the night to change the disk.

I'm sticking with this instead of the hard drive, I wouldn't have time to do all the editing.

It just means I have to stay ultra-organized and am constantly adding up hours/minutes all the while leaving some wagon room at the end (about 2 mins.) The DVD-R disks don't seem to like to record all the way to 4 hours.

That's why I need things to run as closely to schedule as possible.

Luckily the movies are repeated every couple of months or so!

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  • 8 months later...

I have used Tivo to record many movies on TCM so that I can watch them at a later date. I have been fustrated to find that several times lost the last 5 minutes of the movie. I have now set the Tivo to record 5 minutes longer, this can be set under options. Hope this helps.

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