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Letterbox RO intro's for the first time tonight


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Curious if anyone noticed this tonight.

 

I watch TCM on channel 292 from TWCable in Los Angeles.

 

Last night the intros were, as they've always been, in the regular academy size. Tonight, for the first time ever, RO's intro's were letterboxed.

 

Usually they've only been letterboxed on special occasions. BM's intro's have been letterboxed for some time.

 

No cmplaints here. Just wondering why the change.

 

Anyone know?

 

Yancey

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> {quote:title=yanceycravat wrote:}{quote}

>

> Last night the intros were, as they've always been, in the regular academy size. Tonight, for the first time ever, RO's intro's were letterboxed.

>

> Usually they've only been letterboxed on special occasions. BM's intro's have been letterboxed for some time.

Not in all the years I've been watching TCM. They've always been letterboxed when I watch it. Are you watching a regular or HD version of TCM? I've seen the intros letterboxed for YEARS now.

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kriegerg69

 

Thanks for responding. I'm guessing I've been watching the standard broadcast,

 

As I said Ben's intro have been all wide screen for some time now. Any time there's been a guest with RO it's been widescreen. But just RO alone had always been square until last night.

 

Perhaps TCM has gone HD through out Time Warner in my area.

 

Either way is fine. I just found it interesting.

 

Thanks again for writing.

 

Yancey

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I could be wrong...you're probably right. RO by himself, now that I think about it, have been 4x3 full-screen. With RO and a guest, they're letterboxed. If there's a change now, it's likely because they started doing RO's intros in widescreen for HD....if you're watching an SD broadcast, the HD vs. SD compromise is it ends up being letterboxed in SD. It's not really that big a deal...TCM is just starting to do more in 16x9 widescreen.

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I've noticed for the past couple of years that many or most of Mr. Osborne's new intros have been letterboxed in the 16 x 9 format.

 

A year or two ago, several of the cable news channels started doing the same thing.

 

But I've noticed that some of Mr. Osborne's stuff is not letterboxed, maybe they are old intros.

 

I've also noticed that some of his interviews that show film clips or old still photos, switch from letterbox (in-studio) to 4:3 when the clips and stills are shown. This all happens automatically on my TV screen.

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> {quote:title=yanceycravat wrote:}{quote}Point of interest... The intros were back to being 4:3 tonight for Lionel Barrymore.

>

> Curiousier and curiousier...

If you're quoting Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland , you mean "Curioser and curioser". :D

 

They were possibly old intros.

 

150410_ALICE_LAND.jpg

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> Letterboxing doesn't make any sense for the intros, since all they do is cover the top and bottom of the screen with black bars. Why do that? Nobody is going to bother to reach for their TV remote control and change the picture size to 16:9 just for the introduction.

>

> This first film is wide screen, so maybe they do it for the wide screen intros but not for the 4:3 film intros? I don't know.

Wrong...they don't just "cover the top and bottom of the screen", but it's more likely the image area you see in the middle of the screen between those bars IS the actual image area of the intros as they are produced. Same thing would apply to any widescreen movie shown on TCM...the transfers are produced for 16x HD screens, but the SD signal has added black bars to make it fit a 4x3 SD screen. People seem to keep forgetting that TCM has an HD channel, so it's likely they do some things a certain way for the 16x9 HD channel. The non-HD compromise for the SD signal is to have those 16x9 intros letterboxed...that's the common industry compromise for something produced in HD vs. an SD signal. There's PLENTY of network HD programming which is produced in 16x9 widescreen that I always see letterboxed...because I only get an SD signal and that's the compromise for someone who has a 4x3/SD tv...it gets letterboxed with the bars.

 

As to the second point...hard to say if they do it two ways for widescreen vs. full screen movies, but the only way to tell is if someone here who has both the TCM SD and HD versions to compare the two.

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>it's more likely the image area you see in the middle of the screen between those bars IS the actual image area of the intros as they are produced.

 

Yeah, with the top and the bottom of the image masked off with black bars, either done electronically or maybe with black duct tape. :)

 

The intros are exactly the same, photographed on the same sets, but with the top and bottom strips covered up by black bars, so we receive LESS of a picture, not more.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > it's more likely the image area you see in the middle of the screen between those bars IS the actual image area of the intros as they are produced.

> The intros are exactly the same, photographed on the same sets, but with the top and bottom strips covered up by black bars, so we receive LESS of a picture, not more.

Okay, that's a very backwards way of looking at it....you obviously didn't read my other reply thoroughly or something.

 

The "image area you see in the middle" IS THE ACTUAL IMAGE AREA as it's produced. The black bars are added as an SD SIGNAL COMPROMISE to fill the remainder of the 4x3 screen.

 

Theatrically, based on your description, you're describing it as an "open matte" type of widescreen process....and bear in mind that with open matte the VISIBLE image area is what was INTENDED to be seen. There may be more "visible" when seeing the unmatted full frame, but that's NOT what was INTENDED to be seen.

 

Again...the way you're thinking of it with the "less of a picture" comment is backwards thinking which one usually hears from people who don't understand letterboxing or widescreen on home video...they complain about it.

 

ALSO as I said below....someone here who has both the HD and SD versions of TCM would have to do a comparison and possibly even post screen captures here as evidence of what is ACTUALLY done...otherwise, anything you or I may say is just speculation.

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>The "image area you see in the middle" IS THE ACTUAL IMAGE AREA as it's produced. The black bars are added as an SD SIGNAL COMPROMISE to fill the remainder of the 4x3 screen.

 

Right, that's what I meant. I think the black bars are probably created at the time the intros are made.

 

However, they could just as easily be done at the time a 4:3 image is aired. Since the bars are probably done electronically, they can be done with a control board in a broadcast control room, either live or on a recording.

 

Using a HD camera would automatically produce a 16:9 image that is then recorded.

 

However, it is quite possible and equally probable that in years to come, any of Mr. Osborne's old 4:3 intros could be converted to 16:9, in the control room, by an electronic masking of the top and bottom.

 

We had electronic masking capabilities at a TV station I worked at back in the 1980s. In fact, would could enlarge or reduce a studio camera image's size if we needed to for some reason, and we could put video in a box with 4 black bars of any size. We sometimes did that for special effects.

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> However, they could just as easily be done at the time a 4:3 image is aired. Since the bars are probably done electronically, they can be done with a control board in a broadcast control room, either live or on a recording.

 

 

FredC,

 

With non-linear editing equipment like Avid and/or Final Cut (I think TCM uses Avids), mattes can now be added during the editing process as well.

 

It may be that TCM shows 4:3 intros with 4:3 movies and 16x9 intros with widescreen movies. That way the intro/outros match the film screen size and gives a more uniform look to the presentation.

 

The mattes would be added in post with the editor adding the matte when needed.

 

Edited by: lzcutter for clarity

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}When I said "all they do is cover the top and bottom of the screen with black bars", I didn't mean they used masking tape. I meant they do it one way or another, with some modern technological means.

Duh...I understand what you meant perfectly. I didn't think you meant masking tape. :|

I'm not a child (I turned 52 last week)...I understand HOW it works. :P

My comment below regarding how much better lzcutter explained it doesn't mean I didn't UNDERSTAND what you meant. ;)

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}If you understood me, then why did you say:

>

>

>

> > Wrong...they don't just "cover the top and bottom of the screen",

> >

> > If they photographed the intros with an SD camera, then they must be covering up (masking, matting) the top and bottom in some way, electronically.

This is getting to be ridiculous, Fred...I WAS REFERRING TO my understanding of what you said HERE:

> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}When I said "all they do is cover the top and bottom of the screen with black bars", I didn't mean they used masking tape. I meant they do it one way or another, with some modern technological means.

MY COMMENT about "Wrong...they don't just "cover the top and bottom of the screen"," was in reference to if they actually produced the intro IN HD FORMAT, and for SD purposes added the bars for a 4x3 screen. It was NOT in reference to YOUR explanation of the process.

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>MY COMMENT about "Wrong...they don't just "cover the top and bottom of the screen"," was in reference to if they actually produced the intro IN HD FORMAT, and for SD purposes added the bars for a 4x3 screen.

 

If they actually produced the intro IN HD FORMAT, they would have to use an HD studio camera, which would produce the 16:9 format.

 

But since they switch back an forth between 16:9 and 4:3 intros, I suspect they shoot with an SD camera and simply cover up the top and bottom of an SD image with an electronic matte whenever they want to show a 16:9 intro.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> If they actually produced the intro IN HD FORMAT, they would have to use an HD studio camera, which would produce the 16:9 format.

>

> But since they switch back an forth between 16:9 and 4:3 intros, I suspect they shoot with an SD camera and simply cover up the top and bottom of an SD image with an electronic matte whenever they want to show a 16:9 intro.

That's the other possibility I thought of but hadn't mentioned...matting an SD image (and it's also possible, since much of TCM HD is actually upconverted, that they could crop the SD image down to 16x9 and upconvert that....but who knows?).

 

It IS also possible that they CAN take an HD-produced 16x9 image and add matte borders to create an SD 4x3 letterboxed image (did you understand that or do I need to explain further?).

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