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boss1968

Why are movies now shown with a black bar completely around the picture ?

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Hi Gang.

 

I just recently noticed that a lot of the movies on TCM are now being shown in a smaller picture, with black bars around the entire picture screen, as opposed to the old 'full screen' versions ? And I don't mean the widescreen/letterboxed films with the bars on top and bottom. These films are now encased in a black square. What happened ? Did TCM do a switch on their channel ? Did Time Warner Cable do a switch ? Is this something to do with HD tvs ? I don't have an HD tv and still watch on 'old' tube tvs. So, what is going on ?

 

Any info would be greatly appreciated as to what happened to the old 'full screen' films I used to watch (and enjoy) on TCM ? I really dislike these smaller pictures encased in a black square......

 

Thanks,

Gary

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Have no idea why black bars surround picture boss1968 - my provider is Directv and experiencing the same issue, picture format/cropping changes have become routine on channel 256 (TCM) since July - I am watching far fewer TCM movies and a lot more baseball games because of it - which doesn't appear to be such a bad thing - if Directv and/or TCM can't provide us viewers/subscribers an image which utilizes our HD 16:9 televisions another channel will - maybe they'll figure it all out when no one tunes into channel 256?

 

A friend has been encouraging me to join netflix anyway...life's too short - turn the channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like it's the zoom setting on your tv. Try some different settings (wide, cinema, whatever else you have). Somebody messed with your remote control.

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Hiya. Thanks for the responses. :)

 

I don't think it is the zoom feature, as this is happening on all of my TVs. It seems like TCM (or TWCable), has done something to their outgoing signal, that has changed the way the movies look now. TCM on Demand, still has the 'full screen' picture, however (case in point 'The Awful Truth').

 

This problem only started this month. Last month, things were still normal. So, something went down in August. Sad, really. If I can't rely on TCM anymore for full screen films, what can I do ?

 

 

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If you don't have an HDTV and still have an older "square" tv, it could likely be a compatibility issue between your tv and the digital signal or even the HD signal being sent out by TCM. I have both...one of each type of tv...and I don't have this problem you're describing. What you're describing sounds like what an older 4x3 movie image might end up looking like for an HD signal broadcast. You also may not have the correct type of cable/digital box (all tv went from analog to digital a few years ago) for the type of service you receive or the tv you have.

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Boss should also check with his neighbors to see if any of them are having the same issue. If so...then it's their cable provider's fault and not TCM's, because...as I said below...I don't have this problem, and I have an HDTV and an older CRT television.

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boss1968, there are tons of folks here smarter than I on the topic, but I 'think' it is the cable company.

 

For a bit, all the movies on PBS WNET were framed in that annoying way you describe. Now? Not so much.

 

I know I didn't do anything, and am not seeing the effect you describe on TCM, so I'm guessing it's your cable company?

 

I may well be wrong, I've been so once before.

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I have noticed for some time now that some, but not all, WS films on TCMHD have very thin black bars on the sides, as well as the ones which are often on the top and bottom, for 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 films. If those side bars are present on 16x9 films, there are thin top and bottom bars as well. Also, on 4x3 films, on TCM SD, I have noticed that many of them have thin black bars on all four sides, through the credits. Then, the picture expands to fill the 4x3 image. I have Comcast.

 

I don't know the cause of this, but I suspect, since it happens on some films, but not all, that this thin boxing comes from the film distributor. Perhaps they are doing it to be sure none of the credits are cut off.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}If those side bars are present on 16x9 films, there are thin top and bottom bars as well. Also, on 4x3 films, on TCM SD, I have noticed that many of them have thin black bars on all four sides, through the credits. Then, the picture expands to fill the 4x3 image. I have Comcast.

>

> I don't know the cause of this, but I suspect, since it happens on some films, but not all, that this thin boxing comes from the film distributor. Perhaps they are doing it to be sure none of the credits are cut off.

Exactly so...it's called "safe title area", and that procedure has been in use since the 1980's.

Personally, I find it totally unnecessary, especially with a movie which is in widescreen anyway...then it's not only pointless but also annoying.

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I am not bothered by the black border so much since it gives the illusion of watching a screen in a movie theatre. It is the "gray" border that annoys me when I am recording a film on my dvd recorder. The recorder is about ten years old. Ever since America went digital and abandoned the analog system that is what I get. It was suggested to me it may be my antiquated dvd recorder but I don't know. Does anyone else get that "gray" border too?

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Has to be your old recorder...I've never seen gray borders on anything since Woody Allen's MANHATTAN was released in widescreen in the 80's and had a gray border. The industry standard for a long time has always been black borders.

 

Sometimes an entire movie can also be bordered on all four sides intentionally...it's known as "windowboxing".

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Well, since my original thread, things have gotten weirder with TCM. Now, I am not able to record any of their movies or shows ! I keep getting a 'cannot record copyrighted material' message, which I never had seen before, as a TWCable customer for over 18 years (here in NY). What happened ? Is anyone else getting this message when they try to record a movie off TCM ? I like to set my timer in the morning to record the occasional daytime movie to watch in the evening, when I come home from work, but now I can't. This is awful. And I think this has a connection to the black box 'thingy', I mentioned, as well. Seems to go hand in hand. Is TCM doing this or is it TWCable ? Anyone know ?

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I'm also in New York and a Time Warner Cable customer, and the same thing has happened to me. There are black bars on the sides for the intros and outros and most all of the movies, 4 x 3 frame or widescreen. It started towards the end of August. My Sony DVD recorder no longer records TCM for later viewing, or TCM's on demand movies. I also get "You cannot record copyright material" now for the Cartoon Network -- so apparently it's all the Turner stations (I haven't tried to record Boomerang).

 

It's all very frustrating.

 

Edited by: NewYorkGuy on Sep 4, 2012 12:37 AM

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> And I think this has a connection to the black box 'thingy', I mentioned, as well. Seems to go hand in hand. Is TCM doing this or is it TWCable ? Anyone know ?

 

Sounds like it's your cable provider. I recorded *Black Narcissus* earlier this afternoon and MrCutter and I just finished watching it. No problem with the recording on DirecTV.

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hey newyorkguy,

 

If you had a good old fashioned VCR, you would not be dealing with that 'copyright' bs right now. DVD recorders are expensive and complicated like hell. I don't even bother anymore. Tapes are the way to go. If you want quality , spend $10 - 20 and buy the DVD / Blu-ray online.

 

Where I live , video stores don't exist. I see something I like on TV , I record it (on tape). DVRs are unreliable. And the cable company charges you for using it.

 

DVD recorder/HDD's are expensive and hard to find in stores. Where I live, there's only wal-mart. Best Buy and Circuit City closed down.

 

 

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> {quote:title=TCMfan23 wrote:}{quote}hey newyorkguy,

>

> If you had a good old fashioned VCR, you would not be dealing with that 'copyright' bs right now. DVD recorders are expensive and complicated like hell. I don't even bother anymore. Tapes are the way to go. If you want quality , spend $10 - 20 and buy the DVD / Blu-ray online.

>

>

> Where I live , video stores don't exist. I see something I like on TV , I record it (on tape). DVRs are unreliable. And the cable company charges you for using it.

>

>

> DVD recorder/HDD's are expensive and hard to find in stores. Where I live, there's only wal-mart. Best Buy and Circuit City closed down.

>

The cable company only charges you for a DVR if you get THEIR machine. Buy your own...and you CAN find them reasonably priced at the right store or online.

 

DVD recorders are not expensive if you buy one which is lower-priced. You just haven't shopped around correctly. They're also EASY to use...if you take the time to learn how to use it.

 

DVR's are even easier since they usually have program listings for which you simply go to the program you want to record, and choose Record. It records it. Nothing else to do.

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>I'm also in New York and a Time Warner Cable customer, and the same thing has happened to me. There are black bars on the sides for the intros and outros and most all of the movies, 4 x 3 frame or widescreen. It started towards the end of August. My Sony DVD recorder no longer records TCM for later viewing,

 

The company you use rents DVR recorders and you apparently must subscribe to a DVR service from them. See this:

 

(I'm not sure if these links will work or not)

 

https://www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/site.faqs/DigitalCab/DVR(Digita/Do-I-have-to-buy-any-DVR-equip

 

https://www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/site.faqs/DigitalCab/DVR(Digita/Can-I-use-my-VCRDVD-player-wit

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Sep 4, 2012 1:19 PM

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

> The company you use rents DVR recorders and you apparently must subscribe to a DVR service from them.

So do many DVR companies...I have an older Tivo and have a lifetime/unending subscription from them which...like most DVR companies...is for the programming guide, otherwise your DVR wouldn't have the program info needed for recording.

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> {quote:title=boss1968 wrote:}{quote} Now, I am not able to record any of their movies or shows !.... Is TCM doing this or is it TWCable ? Anyone know ?

 

 

 

 

No doubt it's either your cable company or your equipment. If TCM was doing it, every single subscriber would be affected and NOBODY would be able to record anything and that's not the case. I record just about everyday, including this morning, and have never had a single movie on TCM that I couldn't record. Also, if it was TCM then these boards would be flooded with complaints and that's not happening.

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Absolutely true. It is probably Time Warner that is blocking the channel. Why, suddenly, after all these years, I have no idea. So, what can I do ? I can't just call them up and say 'please unblock TCM, so I can record my movies again' ! Sure, that will go over well. LOL

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*"So, what can I do ? I can't just call them up and say 'please unblock TCM, so I can record my movies again' ! Sure, that will go over well."*

 

Sure you can. And you should.

 

This sudden "anti-recording" change has happened to others in the past. If I remember correctly, it was a mistake on the part of the cable service. The member got the cable system to remove whatever was in place that was blocking the recording process. In fact the cable system wasn't aware of this "anti-recording" problem until someone called. And once they found out, the cable system knew it was their fault.

 

So definitely give them a call. Don't be afraid. Recording TCM is not illegal.

 

And maybe you can get the cable system to explain what is going on that has your picture surrounded with black bars on all sides. I am betting they are at fault with that problem too.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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No cable or tv station should any form of blocking on recording...simply because VCR's and DVR's are meant "for private home use only". You CAN record as long as you only use it in your own home. They should never be preventing recording in your own home.

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The original post -- and mine -- were about what's happened in the New York City area in the past several weeks. Apparently's it's only a local issue since no one else has chimed in to say it's happened elsewhere.

 

I also mentioned that my Sony DVD recorder was no longer recording any of the Turner stations. That had not been the case until the simultaneous recent onscreen, visible changes in the way TCM has been displayed with black bars on all four sides on most movies, regardless of format, plus the intros/outros.

 

I have another DVD recorder from a different manufacturer attached to a TV in another room that continues to record TCM and the Cartoon Network just fine, so suggestions that I go buy another machine (including VHS) are nice but not helpful. Still, there have been many days when I've needed more than one machine to record movies I wanted to see/keep while I was at work and I don't have that option now.

 

I haven't contacted TWC here about it, but I'll do so tonight. At least boss1968 and I know now it's most likely some change that's happened in the New York area and not from the Turner studios in Atlanta.

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NyGuy !

 

I did contact TWC yesterday, and they tried to resolve the prob on the phone by resetting the boxes, etc. None of that worked, so I have an appointment on Thursday with a technician who is coming over to see what is what.

 

I have two DVD recorders, both diff brands, and they both are not recording TCM. It is def a TWC issue. I suggest you do contact them and place another complaint about this. The more they hear about it, the more they may try to resolve the issue faster.

 

I'll see how it goes on Thursday, but for some reason, I don't have my hopes up............

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