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Why no HD on TCM?


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There is a thread on the Audio Video Science Forum, speculating why TCM doesn't have true HD. I don't know if they're right, but I thought I'd post this:

 

>Originally Posted by Jarod M

>

>It doesn't appear that anyone mentioned the following article, with more quotes from George Feltenstein.

>http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/movies/homevideo/warner-archive-instant-a-streaming-service-for-movies.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

>Apparently Warner sees a lot of promise in the Warner Archive Instant streaming. A fair number of titles are now available in 1080p HD on that service, including 1930s stuff, and they are adding more each week. A list of available titles is available here. It also lists which titles are 1080p.

>

>?That?s the thing I?m most excited about,? Mr. Feltenstein said: ?Hundreds of titles in HD that people haven?t been able to see.?

>

>Seems like a direct competitor to TCM, only without the intros. Could it be that this is the main reason why we haven't seen true HD programming on TMC? The highest profile stuff will be released on Blu ray, and the rest of the HD stuff will be made available on Warner Archive Instant. So much for TCM "HD".

>It's what I've suspected all along: someone else has the HD rights, so TCM does its "HD-SD-HD" path to avoid violating that.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}There is a thread on the Audio Video Science Forum, speculating why TCM doesn't have true HD. I don't know if they're right, but I thought I'd post this:

>

> > Originally Posted by Jarod M

> >

> > It doesn't appear that anyone mentioned the following article, with more quotes from George Feltenstein.

> > http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/movies/homevideo/warner-archive-instant-a-streaming-service-for-movies.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

> > Apparently Warner sees a lot of promise in the Warner Archive Instant streaming. A fair number of titles are now available in 1080p HD on that service, including 1930s stuff, and they are adding more each week. A list of available titles is available here. It also lists which titles are 1080p.

> >

> >

> > Thats the thing Im most excited about, Mr. Feltenstein said: Hundreds of titles in HD that people havent been able to see.

> >

> >

> > Seems like a direct competitor to TCM, only without the intros. Could it be that this is the main reason why we haven't seen true HD programming on TMC? The highest profile stuff will be released on Blu ray, and the rest of the HD stuff will be made available on Warner Archive Instant. So much for TCM "HD".

> > It's what I've suspected all along: someone else has the HD rights, so TCM does its "HD-SD-HD" path to avoid violating that.

> >

My TV is only 720p so I don't care. :D

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since my landlord has a dumbed down cable package, the only stations that i get that are 1080HD are the local cable transmissions of the local TV stations HD airings. any cable HD stuff is converted to 480p to fit my landlord's lowly package selection.

 

since i watch TCM the majority of the time and TCM shows old movies it doesn't bother me.

 

the question in my mind is "does it matter?" if TCM shows old fliks in a modified HD mode? HD is supposed to show the source material clearly. it seems to me if the source material is flawed, then all HD does is accentuate the flaws. now if the print being used came from the master negative/positive and had no blemishes, then HD would be of some value. most prints that i've seen on TCM don't have that kind of lineage. in fact, i've seen some movies which had "C & C Television" leaders shown before the credits. "C & C Television" was a TV distribution company started about 1955 which copied (in their first TV distribution package) RKO movies on 16mm film for local TV airings. if the source material is that old, what good is HD going to do for that material?

 

now something close to the original negative/positive that Criterion or Studio Canal uses has a decent chance (for an old movie) in HD format. i think Warner Archive exaggerates the quality of their older library. studios have been spotlighted for years as poor keepers of the film legacy entrusted to them by virtue of their tightfisted hold on the copyrights to those films, and i sense most films are in only "fair" shape. (and if that's the case, WA will charge top dollar for a "fair" copy. but remember, "it's in 1080 HD.")

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}VV,

>

> How do you think the one year moratorium WA has on their titles before they can be broadcast on TCM plays into all this?

 

Well, the speculation in the article is that TCM doesn't have the HD rights, only the SD ones. The moratorium would definitely delay TCM getting HD (or ANY) rights to the newly restored films, but wouldn't stop it forever. So, I really doubt that the moratorium is the reason TCM doesn't show true HD.

 

Allthumbs, I'd point out that TCM shows a LOT of restored films, from various sources. When you see Janus Films at the beginning, well, I like to call Criterion the third face of Janus, because Janus is Criterion's parent company. We see a substantial number of Janus films on TCM.

 

True, old B&W films in bad condition won't look a lot better in HD, but all the restored stuff, and all the WS stuff would look a LOT better in HD, even if you have a 720p HDTV, like I do.

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