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Wow---TCM HD is now really HD!!!


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I noticed over the last week or so that TCM showing more things in full HD.  Now the "bumpers" between movies fill the full screen and many of the movies you are showing are clearly the HD versions, not upconverted SD.  Also the window boxing of wide screen films with black on all sides of the image seems to be gone.  Recent showings of GYPSY, PILLOW TALK, KISMET, and tonight THE TIME MACHINE have been blu ray quality... along with improved sound.  Very impressive.  I am surprised that TCM is not promoting this... it is a significant improvement.  I know all of the films on this channel cannot be shown at this level of quality, but this is still incredible. Good job.

 

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Good. Not a big help to those of us who live for programmers, as those will never be upgraded.

 

Still, they should show what they can in HD.

 

I noticed this morning that The Broadway Melody of 1938 filled my screen, on the TCM/HD channel -- but was regular aspect ratio on the TCM non-HD channel. No part of the image was lost -- so what what they doing that they didn't do before? Since we got the TCM-HD channel, relevant movies from 50s onward were shown properly, and impressively for the most part. But today for the first time -- I saw an oldie converted.

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I noticed over the last week or so that TCM showing more things in full HD.  Now the "bumpers" between movies fill the full screen and many of the movies you are showing are clearly the HD versions, not upconverted SD.  Also the window boxing of wide screen films with black on all sides of the image seems to be gone.  Recent showings of GYPSY, PILLOW TALK, KISMET, and tonight THE TIME MACHINE have been blu ray quality... along with improved sound.  Very impressive.  I am surprised that TCM is not promoting this... it is a significant improvement.  I know all of the films on this channel cannot be shown at this level of quality, but this is still incredible. Good job.

 

I watch TCM practically non-stop and trust me, it is still NOT in high definition.  The filler segments have been in full-screen for a long time now, but that doesn't necessarily indicate HD.  The movies you saw, "Gypsy", "The Time Machine", etc., all have HD video masters, so they look better than they did.  But the HD masters were downconverted to standard definition for the broadcasts.  "Gypsy" and "The Time Machine" have been released on Blu-rays and I own both, and trust me, there is no comparison between true HD pictures on those Blu-rays than the broadcast picture of TCM.

 

Not to mention, many HDTVs have the built-in ability of "upconversion", making a non-HD picture look better than it really is.  That may be another reason why you have the impression that TCM is in HD.

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Can you please explain this post to me?  Thanks.

 

I believe she means that films have to be re-master to be 'true' HD and that for "programmers" (i.e. movies made on the cheap and often not the most popular movies),  the studio isn't going to re-master those type of films.   

 

It was my understanding that for 'true' HD a film or T.V. show needs to be shot in a digital format.    i.e there are various quality 'formats' of HD with the highest quality one starting with a HD made production.   i.e. it isn't just in how a film is broadcast but how it was made \ re-master in the first place.    But I'm no expect so I could be all wet here.

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I watch TCM practically non-stop and trust me, it is still NOT in high definition.  The filler segments have been in full-screen for a long time now, but that doesn't necessarily indicate HD.  The movies you saw, "Gypsy", "The Time Machine", etc., all have HD video masters, so they look better than they did.  But the HD masters were downconverted to standard definition for the broadcasts.  "Gypsy" and "The Time Machine" have been released on Blu-rays and I own both, and trust me, there is no comparison between true HD pictures on those Blu-rays than the broadcast picture of TCM.

 

Not to mention, many HDTVs have the built-in ability of "upconversion", making a non-HD picture look better than it really is.  That may be another reason why you have the impression that TCM is in HD.

 

No, those films were shown in genuine HD. The promos and bumpers, like the upscaled films, were zoomed in before but now they are clearly crisp HD and lack the black border surrounding the image. The showing of Gypsy in particular is obvious next to other CInemaScope films on TCMHD that are merely upscales - they look unmistakably different.

 

The reason why the Blu-rays look better is because there's a much greater amount of compression on the TV signal, which degrades the image. This is true of every movie channel's HD offerings next to a Blu-ray, it's the same difference.

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I believe she means that films have to be re-master to be 'true' HD and that for "programmers" (i.e. movies made on the cheap and often not the most popular movies),  the studio isn't going to re-master those type of films.   

 

It was my understanding that for 'true' HD a film or T.V. show needs to be shot in a digital format.    i.e there are various quality 'formats' of HD with the highest quality one starting with a HD made production.   i.e. it isn't just in how a film is broadcast but how it was made \ re-master in the first place.    But I'm no expect so I could be all wet here.

 

Film has a higher capacity than the current 1080p video standard (depending on print generation - something from the negative certainly can produce greater resolution than 1080p, but a 16mm reduction of a 5th generation print...probably not.) It's quite often even superior to the upcoming 4K video, particularly large format film like 70mm.

 

Interestingly, when 4K video content is firmly established on TV and home video, stuff shot in HD video from a decade back, such as the last couple of Star Wars films (shot in 2K resolution), will suffer due to the fact that their maximum video resolution is permanently locked in place. That's as far as they can go. With film, you just have to scan it a higher resolution and it's ready to go. With film, even if you surpass the point of a visible gain in picture information, you are still producting a native image at whatever resolution that may be - let's say a theoretical 12K in the year 2035.

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It's all just a mute point.

 

If Congress had allowed Blue-Ray recorders to come in and be sold in the U.S. then maybe there would be something to make those advancements  with HD televisions worthwhile. They would be able to take that compressed HD signal coming from the cable or satellite providers and improve it. As it stands now that compressed signal is inferior to the uncompressed HD signal that you receive over the air with a digital antenna.

 

Add to that the human factor...

 

How is your eye sight? 

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No, those films were shown in genuine HD. The promos and bumpers, like the upscaled films, were zoomed in before but now they are clearly crisp HD and lack the black border surrounding the image. The showing of Gypsy in particular is obvious next to other CInemaScope films on TCMHD that are merely upscales - they look unmistakably different.

 

The reason why the Blu-rays look better is because there's a much greater amount of compression on the TV signal, which degrades the image. This is true of every movie channel's HD offerings next to a Blu-ray, it's the same difference.

 

For now, I take your word for it, because I didn't see the recent broadcasts of "Gypsy" and "The Time Machine".  Have you seen the Blu-rays?  That would make your comments more credible in terms of whether the broadcasts were actually HD or not compared to the BLu-rays.  Again, the fillers have been in full-screen for a long while now, so that means nothing. 

 

Actually, a true HD broadcast would look CLOSE to a Blu-ray in terms of resolution and detail.  It's only when you see the picture in motion that you notice the compression artifacts.  My point is that all the TCM broadcasts I've seen so far have not been close to a Blu-ray in terms of resolution and detail.

 

Warner Archive has released several Blu-rays of classic movies, including "Gypsy".  I will definitely be sure to catch the next TCM broadcasts of these films so I will be able to determine once and for all if they are true HD or not:

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945, Blu-ray release date: 11/18/14, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 1/28/15)

Possessed (1947, 10/21/14)

The Great Race (1965, 9/9/14, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 12/19/14)

Out of the Past (1947, 8/14/14, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 12/2/14)

The Wind and the Lion (1975, 4/29/14, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 2/1/15)

Kismet (1955, 9/10/14)

The Americanization of Emily (1964, 3/11/14, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 2/25/15)

Performance (1970, 3/25/14)

Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, 10/8/13, NEXT TCM BROADCAST: 12/26/14)

Deathtrap (1982, 11/20/12)

Gypsy (1962, 11/20/12)

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I'm now watching "Night At The Movies: George Lucas And The World Of Fantasy Cinema" on prime-time, and it is indeed true HD.  But then again, this is a new, original program made 2014, so it is sort of expected to be HD. 

 

When "Out of the Past" shows next Tuesday 8pm, we will see if they are really starting to show old movies in HD.  As I said, I've been watching TCM non-stop and I have yet to see that happen.

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So -- I have a question for you all, I still don't entirely understand this. Are you saying that TCM is showing films in HD on their SD channel, or only on their HD channel?  I have both channels, and there have been true HD screenings for some time, on the TCM HD channel, when the film warranted it.  

Please explain. Does the subject of this thread mean that TCM is showing HD even on it's non-HD channel?

 

(This has implications for me, as another cable company option available to me does not offer the TCM HD channel).

 

Or am I just confusing/conflating HD with proper aspect rations, which fill more of the screen on the HD channel?

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So -- I have a question for you all, I still don't entirely understand this. Are you saying that TCM is showing films in HD on their SD channel, or only on their HD channel?  I have both channels, and there have been true HD screenings for some time, on the TCM HD channel, when the film warranted it.  

 

Please explain. Does the subject of this thread mean that TCM is showing HD even on it's non-HD channel?

 

(This has implications for me, as another cable company option available to me does not offer the TCM HD channel).

 

Or am I just confusing/conflating HD with proper aspect rations, which fill more of the screen on the HD channel?

 

The TCM HD channel only broadcasts in HD, and the TCM SD channel only broadcasts in SD; so that hasn't changed. 

 

Some cable providers don't even have separate SD and HD channels for TCM.  My local Time Warner gives me two TCM channels that used to be SD and HD channels, but they now both broadcast in HD.  Still, the HD screenings are just upconversion of SD, and that is not true HD.

 

On its HD channel, TCM does broadcast the filler segments in true HD: promos, intros by the hosts, product ads, etc.  But it rarely broadcasts actual movies in true HD.

 

This thread was started because the original poster claimed she had seen actual movies ("Gypsy", "The Time Machine", etc.) shown in true HD.  I disputed her claim (and others') as you noticed earlier in the thread.

 

Last night, they broadcast the latest "Night at the Movies" documentary in true HD.  But it was a new program made in 2014, so we expected HD.  But afterwards, they went right back to SD (upconverted to false HD) in showing the Danny Kaye's film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".

 

When they actually show old movies in true HD (not upconversion) in greater regularity, then we can finally say that TCM actually broadcasts in true HD

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You can tell by the TCM.COM logo that appears every 20 minutes that you are watching an up-converted signal from TCM SD. Switch back and forth when the logo comes on. If TCM HD was in real HD it would say so in the program guide listings like it does for movies on Sony HD or HDNET Movies. It only says (CC) and not (HD)(CC). 

 

With Dish, 720p is best setting you can select when you go to menu/System Setup/HDTV Setup. 1080p is not an option, it's 1080i. My over the air signal is 1080p and the difference is clear when I compare PBS HD, CBS HD, with the same channels on Dish.

 

Still 720p HD is sharper and clearer than up-converted HD. 

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I've just seen tonight's "Out of the Past" HD broadcast.  Yes, it was in HD, but it looked like 720p, which is a lower-resolution version of HD (the higher resolution is 1080i).  It looked nowhere close to the Blu-ray.  Click here for the screenshot comparison.  Click open the first screenshot, then press the right arrow key on your keyboard.  The first shot is from the Blu-ray, followed by tonight's broadcast, followed by an SD broadcast from 2009.  As they clearly show, TCM HD broadcasts are much improved over SD, but still a distance away from Blu-ray. 

 

But then again, very few networks show movies in the highest quality of 1080i because (1) It requires higher bandwidth to show the higher resolution, and (2) studios want you to pay for the Blu-rays or online videos (from Netflix, Vudu, etc.) with true HD picture.

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On closer examination, tonight's broadcast may not be true HD after all.  In order to see true HD picture, the video SOURCE has to be in true HD as well.  Click here for another comparison.  The first picture is the 1080p Blu-ray shown earlier.  The second one is the 720p version of the same image, which I created by downsizing the 1080p image.  The two shots may look identical on your small computer monitor, but on a large TV screen you would see the difference.  The third shot is from tonight's broadcast, which you can plainly see is not even close in quality to the 720p shot.  In order to be HD, a picture has to be at least 720p.  Therefore, I have to conclude that the underlying video source simply doesn't have enough detail to look HD, and some sort of upconversion was used to broadcast it in 720p.

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Despite the many patient explanations here, I'm still not sure about the nexus between HD and aspect ratio.  When a more contemporary film (i.e. from the 1950s onward) is shown on TCM, it appears either to fill my screen or to appear in much large format, appropriate to its aspect ratio, on my TCM/HD channel but not my "regular" TCM channel.  

 

Can I assume that the whole issue of aspect ratio has NOTHING to do with the HD question?

 

I have a 1080 TV but am not sure when something is shown in 1080.

 

I do know that I watched Ring of Bright Water tonight on TCM/HD, and it looked glorious!

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Despite the many patient explanations here, I'm still not sure about the nexus between HD and aspect ratio.  When a more contemporary film (i.e. from the 1950s onward) is shown on TCM, it appears either to fill my screen or to appear in much large format, appropriate to its aspect ratio, on my TCM/HD channel but not my "regular" TCM channel.  

 

Can I assume that the whole issue of aspect ratio has NOTHING to do with the HD question?

 

I think this is how it works.  On the HD channel, the picture is sized by the signal supplier (cable or satellite company) to fit your wide screen TV.  So old movies with the standard 4:3 ratio will have side bars.  Conventional wide screen movies will fill the screen.  And extra wide, like Cinemascope, will be letterboxed, with bars top and bottom.  The regular, or standard definition (SD) channel only sends pictures in the old 4:3 format.  So old 4:3 movies will show the same as they do on the HD channel.  Wide screen movies will be fit in that same picture area, so they will have bars on both the sides and top.  There are two ways I have of dealing with this.  My signal supplier (TimeWarner) allows me to enlarge the picture with the remote that came with my cable box.  Also, my TV has a zoom feature I can use to similarly enlarge the picture.

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HD channel is a lot like colorizing movies, they are taking original movies and "changing" the appearance of things. In B&W it is obviously not as apparent as going to color but the changes are still very noticeable.

 

Still I am probably the only one here who is not against colorizing movies besides Noah and he died long ago, lol. However, someday I think all B&W will be converted to color just like they are changing things over to HD.

 

This whole HD issue is another way to sell more cable channels. When I have to get more cable channels than I have movies in my collection you know the world is ending.

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HD channel is a lot like colorizing movies, they are taking original movies and "changing" the appearance of things. In B&W it is obviously not as apparent as going to color but the changes are still very noticeable.

 

Still I am probably the only one here who is not against colorizing movies besides Noah and he died long ago, lol. However, someday I think all B&W will be converted to color just like they are changing things over to HD.

 

This whole HD issue is another way to sell more cable channels. When I have to get more cable channels than I have movies in my collection you know the world is ending.

 

While it might be true that in the future all movies will be colorized I predict (or hope?) that there will be movies that are still available in a format that is as close to the original as technically possible.   e.g. take The Beatles albums.   These are available in multiple formats like mono or stereo,  British verses American release etc..    People like me feel the mono versions are more 'true' since George Martin recorded and released the early albums as mono.   Of course some people like the enhanced stereo versions more.    That is fine as long as future generations have the choice. 

 

The issue I would have is if original versions are no longer available because an enhanced version becomes the norm.   But it is common for a DVD to include both the B&W and colorized version.    I hope this type of trend continues.

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Despite the many patient explanations here, I'm still not sure about the nexus between HD and aspect ratio.  When a more contemporary film (i.e. from the 1950s onward) is shown on TCM, it appears either to fill my screen or to appear in much large format, appropriate to its aspect ratio, on my TCM/HD channel but not my "regular" TCM channel.  

 

Can I assume that the whole issue of aspect ratio has NOTHING to do with the HD question?

 

I have a 1080 TV but am not sure when something is shown in 1080.

 

I do know that I watched Ring of Bright Water tonight on TCM/HD, and it looked glorious!

 

HD channels are always shown widescreen, and SD channels are always shown narrow-screen.

 

When something is broadcast in HD, it doesn't mean the actual program content is really in HD. 

 

SD content can be shown in HD also, in a process known as upconversion. This is how TCM HD channel shows all its movies, as far as I know.

 

Did you see "Out of the Past" on Tuesday night?  It might look HD to many, but as my screenshot comparison in my last post shows, it really wasn't HD.

 

What I said in my very first post in this thread still remains true: I have yet to see TCM broadcast an old movie in true, true, true HD.

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