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Will TCM Have an HD Channel?


WGL
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I see that AMC now has an AMC HD channel. Widescreen films shown on standard definition channels, like TCM, do not display correctly on our new LG 16x9 TV. They display as if our TV were 4x3, resulting in a correct aspect ratio within that 4x3 box, wasting screen space on all sides. The only way I can enlarge the widescreen picture is to stretch it horizontally, distorting the image. Even some of my earliest DVD movies in widescreen are not formatted for 16x9 & thus display correctly only in a 4x3 box with our TV screen.

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The problem with a TCMHD is that TCM needs to acquire a large selection of HD masters before they can have a legitimate channel. I don't think they want a lot of SD programming on an authentic HD channel...but they also don't want to repeat the same things over and over and over again.

 

Most of the studios are ready to provide HD masters of their holdings including the classic films, most DVDs were made from HD telecines, the problem is gathering enough of them - it's a lot of time and money.

 

I think it's possible that a genuine HD channel may debut around TCM's 20th anniversary in 2014 but you can't be completely sure about that.

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filmlover wrote:TCM does have an HD channel. You should contact your local cable or satellite provider. While it is upgraded content, rather than actual HD, you do get to see widescreen movies in a widescreen format, not 4:3.

 

I *DO* get to see widescreen movies in a widescreen format when tuned to TCM's SD channel. Hence, despite recent posts to the contrary notwithstanding, TCM is not routinely converting wide screen formats to 4:3 for showing in their SD channel. Thus, as far as I am concerned, there is no reason not to view all movies in SD, thus giving up viewing a very few genuine-HD movies in the so-called HD channel.

 

Now that your post has once again put me up on my soapbox:

 

For a given aspect ratio, the picture area in the HD channel is only 50% of the picture area in the SD channel. So why would anyone in his/her right mind want to view an *identical* picture in this much smaller size? Don't tell me that it is because the picture is sharper in this smaller size :-).

 

musikone

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To WGL:

Your problem -- not being able to watch widescreen films shown on standard definition (SD) channels with your new LG 16x9 TV w/o distortion and w/o a lot of black on all sides of the image -- is the TV's fault (or it is possible you're not selecting the proper display mode). Some LCD TVs, such as Sharp (at least the older Sharp models), have a "Zoom" function (in addition to "Stretch" or "Side Stretch"), which does not alter the aspect ratio; rather, it zooms in on the image, so that the small widescreen image on a SD channel fills the screen better (eliminating to some degree the black borders -- usually without over-zooming so that there is no lost image). The display modes work not only for broadcast SD channels, but also SD DVD players.

 

I have noticed your problem on numerous new 16x9 TVs. If your problem has to do with the incorrect display mode, refer to this little chart below:

 

*S(mart) Stretch*: Suitable for stretching 4:3 programs to fill the screen. THIS SETTING DISTORTS THE IMAGE

 

*Zoom*: Suitable for viewing wide-screen 2.35:1 aspect-ratio programs in full screen. Also will zoom in on a widescreen movie on a SD channel and fill the screen more fully. THIS SETTING WILL ENLARGE THE IMAGE W/O DISTORTION [sD DVD players will usually adjust to this setting automatically when playing 2.35:1 movies.]

 

*Stretch*: Suitable for viewing wide-screen 1.78:1 aspect-ratio programs.

When viewing 1.85:1 programs, stretch mode may still show very thin black bands at the top

and bottom of the screen. WILL DISTORT THE IMAGE IF USED TO ADJUST BROADCAST TV IMAGE (i.e., 4:3 movie); NECESSARY FOR PLAYING BACK ANAMORPHIC SD DVDs [sD DVD players will usually adjust to this setting automatically when playing 1.78:1 movies.]

 

*Dot by Dot*: Detects the resolution of the signal and displays an image with the same number of pixels on the screen. ON NEWER 16x9 MODELS.

 

Blu-Ray DVD players add a whole new bunch of issues, since the output is not 480p (as with a SD player), but 720p/1080i using HDMI output to your TV. TV controls (such as "Zoom") don't always work (i.e., you can't zoom or stretch HD content.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

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> filmlover wrote:TCM does have an HD channel. You should contact your local cable or satellite provider. While it is upgraded content, rather than actual HD, you do get to see widescreen movies in a widescreen format, not 4:3.

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> {quote:title=musikone wrote: }{quote}I *DO* get to see widescreen movies in a widescreen format when tuned to TCM's SD channel. Hence, despite recent posts to the contrary notwithstanding, TCM is not routinely converting wide screen formats to 4:3 for showing in their SD channel. Thus, as far as I am concerned, there is no reason not to view all movies in SD, thus giving up viewing a very few genuine-HD movies in the so-called HD channel.

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> Now that your post has once again put me up on my soapbox:

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> For a given aspect ratio, the picture area in the HD channel is only 50% of the picture area in the SD channel. So why would anyone in his/her right mind want to view an *identical* picture in this much smaller size? Don't tell me that it is because the picture is sharper in this smaller size :-).

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> musikone

Obviously, you misunderstood what I was saying. I was not saying that TCM was converting widescreen into 4:3. I would never say that.

 

I was saying that if you have the TCM SD channel and a 16:9 screen, and there is a widescreen movie playing, the picture width is that equalling approximately a 4:3 screen, except on the HDTV 16:0 screen there is going to be black bars on the top & bottom AND on the sides.

 

For example, here is The Nun's Story from the TCM SD channel on a 16x9 screen. Notice black on top, bottom, AND the sides WITHIN the picture area of the TV.

 

6796106018_6571977c7d_z.jpg

 

(Yes, one could use the zoom button on his remote or TV to articifially make it big enough to reach the edges but the picture will suffer.)

 

But on the TCM HD channel, the picture automatically stretches from side to side, with no need to artificially stretch it. And the picture quality is better.

 

6796106088_ebd0f95107_z.jpg

 

(The black areas in this picture are the TV;s own frame, not inside the picture.)

 

So, you can see the TCM HD channel is better.

 

Edited by: filmlover on Feb 29, 2012 5:36 PM

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kriegerg69 wrote:Let's not get started on this tiresome old argument all over again when people can go back to the existing thread over that nonsense.

 

As I read it, your complaint with my "tiresome old argument" is that you are unable to see any rationale for "sacrificing" a very small number of true HD movies (poor things!) by viewing them in SD --heaven forbid!

 

Perhaps in a few years, when there are enough HD movies hanging around to make my current argument tiresome, then your tiresome argument will no longer be necessary.

 

musikone

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Filmlover explained the issue very CLEARLY below and the reason for it....so why do you continue with this frustrating trolling over this issue? His explanation and example was very clear, precise, and HOW to solve the "50% smaller" issue with SD viewing.

 

You're STILL not very clear as to what you mean exactly in your repetitive "50% smaller" argument, anyway.

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Your cable company should allow you to toggle between the 4:3 and 16:9 ratios. Also, your TV should have a striaght zoom feature that merely enlarges the picture without distorting it. But, as filmlover says, you lose something in the quality of the picture.

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Thanks to all of you who provided useful information to my questions & nuts to the one with bad manners. I had done a search of the forums for HD but the original thread did not come up. Filmlover, your pictures show exactly the problem I have. The zoom choice on my LG just lets me enlarge vertically by cropping horizontally. Our first HD TV, a Sony 16x9 tube TV, seemed to zoom proportionately, but our LG flat screen TV does not.

 

 

I don't watch movies as they are shown on HD channels, because it's much more convenient to watch recorded movies. I record them with a DVD recorder that has a hard drive, so I don't see them in HD. However, they are sharper recorded in SD from HD, because, I think, the picture is compressed when viewed in 4x3 & so is not stretched when viewed in 16x9. Of course, old movies in 1.37: 1 display correctly on 16x9 TVs when one chooses 4x3 display.

 

 

I will pester DirecTV to offer TCM HD in our area.

 

 

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Thank you for your for taking the time and trouble to post another message about an issue which continues to cause endless confusion here, and for very good reason :-).

 

After a brief review following your example, I have concluded that there are far too many variables involved here to reach any generalized conclusion. These variables include TCM's manipulations, the type of television set, the cable service provider, the aspect ratio, etc., etc. Putting it simply: what satisfies one viewer will probably not satisfy another viewer.

 

The result which you have displayed in your post is *not* what I am getting with my TV setup. For example, with the letterbox movie that I just checked, I get the *same image size* in both the SD and HD channels. However, with a movie that has a 4:3 aspect ratio and that nicely fills the screen (vertically) in SD, the image size that I get in HD is only 50% of the image size that I get in HD, as I have said many times. That is, the ratio of image sizes in SD vs. HD depends upon the particular aspect ratio, which greatly complicates matters.

 

Regarding TV set image modification, my Samsung TV has various types of image size modifications via the remote; all of these distort the image to some extent if it is not properly set. Unfortunately I do not have a pure zoom image modifier; i.e., which will shrink or enlarge the image *without distorting it.* My cable service remote also has an "HD zoom" button but it does not work; I am told by Cox cable that the cable box whhich I am using does not support this function, etc., etc. The bottom line for me is: I will not accept any image distortion, just for the sake of filling up the screen in either dimension.

 

At the moment, I am not prepared to sort all of these things out. It seems as though each case is different and I suppose that I could devote a lifetime trying to sort out all of these factors. But I have other things to do, the most important at the moment being my ongoing archiving of some great TCM movies, in such a manner that I can devote a few minutes to some other things also :-).

 

musikone

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Muskione, are you sure that you are looking at TCM HD and not a duplicate of the SD TCM channel? My cable operator has TCM SD on two different channels, I don't know why, and has the HD version on a third channel. There is no way you can be seeing a smaller image on the HD channel, under any circumstances, unless your television isn't set up properly.

 

An Academy ratio film should look pretty much the same on either channel. There may be a slight difference in picture quality but the dimensions should be identical. Anything in a widescreen format will stretch from side to side on the HD channel, without pillarboxing, as filmlover's screen shots demonstrate.

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RazorX wrote:Muskione, are you sure that you are looking at TCM HD and not a duplicate of the SD TCM channel? My cable operator has TCM SD on two different channels, I don't know why, and has the HD version on a third channel. There is no way you can be seeing a smaller image on the HD channel, under any circumstances, unless your television isn't set up properly.

 

An Academy ratio film should look pretty much the same on either channel. There may be a slight difference in picture quality but the dimensions should be identical. Anything in a widescreen format will stretch from side to side on the HD channel, without pillarboxing, as filmlover's screen shots demonstrate.

 

To answer your question: I am absitively, posolutely sure :-).

 

I use Cox cable, which has two separate TCM movie channels, identified as SD (channel 58) and HD (channel 1058). I have been through this matter in great detail with Cox, which assures me, with finality, that "this is the way that it is". Furthermore, Cox has verified that, using my present cable box, which is a Scientific Atlanta (Cisco) model 4240HD, the remote control's button marked HD zoom does not work and cannot enlarge the small-size picture I am getting on the HD Cox channel 1058 to fill the screen in the vertical dimension. This being said, it is possible that a newer cable box, recently released as a replacement for the very old 4240HD, may be designed to work properly with the HD zoom on the current Cox remote. This would solve my shrunken-picture dilemma.

 

Your channel setup for SD and HD, with two channels for SD and a third channel for HD, does not match my two-channel setup. At least, +I+ do not have to wonder why there are three channels, when only two should be necessary :-(. But then, with the correct number of channels, I get the 50% picture size on the HD channel. You have the three-channel advantage (or is this a disadvantage?) of getting the same picture size in SD and HD.

 

What a dilemma! What should I do? Ask Cox for three channels, with one being useless as in your setup, or settle for Cox's current two channels, but with the HD channel giving me a 50% picture size? Or perhaps I should simply accept the utter insanity of this whole business, which describes Cox perfectly. This is a cable "service" that never seems to get *anything* right.

 

But then again, perhaps I am just imagining all of these things -- just as in one of those famous TCM horror movies.

 

musikone

(not a Muskione, by the way, although some people think so :-)

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kriegerg69 wrote:Filmlover explained the issue very CLEARLY below and the reason for it....so why do you continue with this frustrating trolling over this issue? His explanation and example was very clear, precise, and HOW to solve the "50% smaller" issue with SD viewing.

 

You're STILL not very clear as to what you mean exactly in your repetitive "50% smaller" argument, anyway.

 

(1) Filmlover's solution does not work for me. Any "solution" which distorts the image (i.e., the relative proportions of objects) is *unacceptable*. With my TV set and the equipment provided to me by my cable "service" provider (the only one in the area in which I live), there is no way that I can enlarge the small image *proportionately* in order to fill up the TV screen in the smaller dimension.

 

(2) Are you saying that you do not understand what I mean when I refer to one picture being 50% the size of another picture? Or is there something else about my "50% smaller" argument that you do not understand? Tell me which it is, so that I might find some way to clarify what I mean.

 

musikone

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An Academy ratio film should look pretty much the same on either channel. There may be a slight difference in picture quality but the dimensions should be identical

 

Yes it should, but recent telecasts of *Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde* and *Joan Of Arc* were actually aired in widescreen on the HD channel but were in the proper ratio on the SD channel.

 

Interesting that one poster claimed to have two SD channels and one HD channel for TCM. On my Time Warner system, I have two HD channels and one SD.

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Yes it should, but recent telecasts of *Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde* and *Joan Of Arc* were actually aired in widescreen on the HD channel but were in the proper ratio on the SD channel.

 

Yes, they did the same thing with State Fair recently.

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>WGL types:

>The zoom choice on my LG just lets me enlarge vertically by cropping horizontally

 

 

Hm? I have an LG, although it is an older one (2008). One zoom feature (Zoom 1) sets the sides of the picture at the edges of the screen, so if I choose that one, sometimes the top and bottom of the picture are cropped a little, depending on the aspect ratio of the film. Is this what you mean?

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kriegerg69 wrote:I give up...get a life and stop wasting so much time worrying about crapola like this, and simply ENJOY a movie instead of this incessant ridiculousness.

 

You stated that it was *STILL* not clear to you what I meant with my repeated reference to picture size. In any possible logical interpretation of this statement, you were expressing frustration and were seeking a clarification of this point.

 

Then when I offered to clarify this point for you, you responded to my offer (even though I have already explained this point several times in past posts) with "I give up"!! Remarkable. Now I know that your statement really meant that you are NEVER going to understand what is meant by picture size, and that any attempt to explain it to you will be futile.

 

Summing up this interesting experience, I have known for a very long time that I missed something very important in my ongoing study of logic and reason. At long last, I have found that missing piece. Thank you.

 

musikone

(one who knows the meaning of ridiculousness!)

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The zoom settings on my Panasonic allows one to adjust what edges get zoomed and how much. As it is, I have it set to keep the left and right edges right where they are at the sides of my 16x9 screen, so when zooming it keeps the image proportionate and ONLY zooms in on the top and bottom edges (without distortion of any kind). Basically, when watching a widescreen movie on TCM (since we only get the SD signal and all widescreen movies have that extra black bordering above and below the image), the resulting image looks CORRECT as it should, just as it should look if one were watching the HD version (maybe certain people who make this discussion difficult will understand this). A movie with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio will then fill my screen (as it should), and a 2.35:1 film will still have the appropriate and necessary black borders above and below the film image area (as it should).

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When I had SD boxes, I used my Samsung similarly. The ZOOM 1 mode would just take any widescreen process and increase the picture proportionately to reach the sides of the screen. No distortion, no need to look at black bars on the side.

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I've tried changing display settings on our satellite dish receiver & on our DVD recorder, but those changes did not help. When I shopped for a TV using Consumer Reports, they didn't discuss this problem.

 

 

Here's the reply I received from DirecTV about TCM HD:

 

 

"Thanks for taking the time to write us.

 

I am sorry to hear that Turner Classic Movies and other standard definition channels do not display correctly on your TV. I also understand your interest on getting Turner Classic Movies in HD. DIRECTV delivers a clear digital-quality signal. Our state-of-the-art equipment is extremely reliable, day and night--may it be on standard or High Definition. I would like to assure you that the trouble you're recently having is isolated and rarely ever happens.

 

Mr. Laine, we don't carry TMC in HD as of yet and I don't have any information that I can share with you right now on when it will be available. While we are unable to comment on upcoming programming decisions, we are always reviewing our programming options to make sure we bring you the best possible TV experience. But I have forwarded your suggestion on to DIRECTV Management for review. While DIRECTV Management can not follow up individually with every customer, rest assured every suggestion and comment is reviewed. We often make changes based on customer feedback like yours.

 

In the future, you can also check updates about TMC in HD on our website. Directv.com is the best place to find the latest news and information about our service. You can also sign up for our newsletter if you don't receive it already. Just sign in at directv.com/mydirectv and click on the “Update Profile” link and select the option to receive the DIRECTV monthly newsletter.

 

Though we don't offer the said channel in HD yet, DIRECTV service continues to be an outstanding value. We have continued to invest in new programming and innovative services in order to provide you the best possible entertainment experience. We assure you that we will continue to invest in the quality of your viewing experience by bringing you more new features and more new programming.

 

On a different note, if you are still having problems about the channels not being displayed correctly on your TV, you can find more help in the Troubleshooting section of our Technical Forums at forums.directv.com, or you can call us at 1-800-531-5000 and select the option for technical assistance. Our highly-trained technical experts are very good at fixing these types of issues and will be able to quickly identify the cause of the problem and provide you with the appropriate resolution."

 

 

 

 

 

I hope TMC was a typo; otherwise the person doesn't understand the difference between Turner Classic Movies & The Movie Channel!

 

 

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That sounds horrible. If anything has to be cropped from a picture due to it not being in the same proportion as the TV, I'd rather have the top and bottom cropped than the sides. Thanks for bringing up this issue. If and when I ever get a new TV, I'll make sure to find out how it zooms.

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