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Is TCM slipping?


Emertiff
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Recently, I've been noticing a string of movies airing in pan and scan, movies such as Witness for the Prosecution, Inherit the Wind, Judgement at Nuremburg, and right now, Birdman of Alcatraz. I also look at the schedule grids @ tcm.com and those movies that I mentioned were not marked as "Widescreen" formats. What is going on!? Is the programming department slacking off on quality? Has anyone else noticed this problem?

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Recently, I've been noticing a string of movies airing in pan and scan, movies such as Witness for the Prosecution, Inherit the Wind, Judgement at Nuremburg, and right now, Birdman of Alcatraz. I also look at the schedule grids @ tcm.com and those movies that I mentioned were not marked as "Widescreen" formats. What is going on!? Is the programming department slacking off on quality? Has anyone else noticed this problem?

If this is true, they better drop that Letterboxing short from heavy rotation.

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Recently, I've been noticing a string of movies airing in pan and scan, movies such as Witness for the Prosecution, Inherit the Wind, Judgement at Nuremburg, and right now, Birdman of Alcatraz. I also look at the schedule grids @ tcm.com and those movies that I mentioned were not marked as "Widescreen" formats. What is going on!? Is the programming department slacking off on quality? Has anyone else noticed this problem?

I've noticed it. I recorded "I Want to Live" the other night - one of the few I didn't have recorded or on DVD already. I went to examine it and it appears to be a Pan & Scan copy. The aspect ratio should be 1:66:1 but they showed a 1.33:1 copy. The DVD is out of print and I am not going to pay scalpers 50 bucks for a copy on Amazon.

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I have Comcast and in another thread that I opened a week ago.....I've been having distortion problems on several channels (2,4,5,7) where the picture is compressed and people look far away and like string beans.  These are analog channels on my older tv...there is no aspect ratio back then, so you can't even adjust it.    Additionally, channels like TCM and others, have large black bars on top and on sides of picture.....basically, this all happened 1 week ago....and Comcast can't do a thing about it...they don't know how to fix it.   My HD channels on my flat screen are okay....but the analog channels are all distorted in one way or another.    Don't know whether it's a cable issue (but wouldn't all channels have the same distortion), or whether it's the channels putting a new signal out - but wouldn't everyone have the same problem?  I've talked to other with analog sets/channels and they have no issue at all.  I can't figure the whole thing out.

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I have Comcast and in another thread that I opened a week ago.....I've been having distortion problems on several channels (2,4,5,7) where the picture is compressed and people look far away and like string beans.  These are analog channels on my older tv...there is no aspect ratio back then, so you can't even adjust it.    Additionally, channels like TCM and others, have large black bars on top and on sides of picture.....basically, this all happened 1 week ago....and Comcast can't do a thing about it...they don't know how to fix it.   My HD channels on my flat screen are okay....but the analog channels are all distorted in one way or another.    Don't know whether it's a cable issue (but wouldn't all channels have the same distortion), or whether it's the channels putting a new signal out - but wouldn't everyone have the same problem?  I've talked to other with analog sets/channels and they have no issue at all.  I can't figure the whole thing out.

They may have recently shut off the analog channels on those lower numbers.  TW did in our area last summer.  If that's the case,  when you tune in to those channels now, you would be seeing the new normal digital feed.  It sounds as if you might be sending a widescreen 16:9 (but SD video feed) from a digital channel into a  SD device that cannot scale it from 16:9 to 4:3 (your old analog TV).  That can either happen when they don't properly letterbox it at the station.  Or if you are using a Comcast cable box as a tuner, it might also just be the "aspect ratio" setting on the display output selector of the cable box (analog needs 4:3 setting).  If that is the case, also make sure it is sending a 480i size image, under the resolution menu, to your analog tv.

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I'm receiving COOL HAND LUKE letterboxed on regular Directv.... actually "windowboxed" inside my 16 x 9 screen, as if I were viewing an old 4 x 3 TV, just as I usually receive all TCM letterboxed films.

 

You see the whole thing that way, versus either having it stretched out sideways, or else cutting off the top and bottom just so it fills the screen.  Then when they show a widescreen movie, it is in widescreen, right?

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They may have recently shut off the analog channels on those lower numbers.  TW did in our area last summer.  If that's the case,  when you tune in to those channels now, you would be seeing the new normal digital feed.  It sounds as if you might be sending a widescreen 16:9 (but SD video feed) from a digital channel into a  SD device that cannot scale it from 16:9 to 4:3 (your old analog TV).  That can either happen when they don't properly letterbox it at the station.  Or if you are using a Comcast cable box as a tuner, it might also just be the "aspect ratio" setting on the display output selector of the cable box (analog needs 4:3 setting).  If that is the case, also make sure it is sending a 480i size image, under the resolution menu, to your analog tv.

Thank you for your advice.  I'm not into fiddling with my tv set...it's an older analog set...and I've tried to see on the remote for the tv, where there is any adjustment to make, but there isn't any at all.  I've tried everything.  It has an adaptor, which only has a few wires coming out of the back - and a toggle switch that says 3 or 4...since I have it connected to a VCR/DVD combo, I set this to "3".  There is no aspect ratio that can be adjusted on this tv.   What is a cable box used as a tuner mean?   Also, there is no resolution setting on my tv either.   I've had a Comcast tech. come over and he had no idea how to fix it either.

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This is what I'm seeing. My display setting is Zoom 1  - -  not 16 : 9  or  4 : 3  (Samsung LCD)

 

 

That's fine.  It is as close to 16:9 as you will ever get.  Your TV just has a smart setting that expands the inner edges until the sides of the image fill the screen.  Most widescreen movies were projected at 1.85:1, just a bit wider than 16:9 (which would be 1.66:1).

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Movie Collector - you're the only person who seems to know how to fix the distortion, the cable company hasn't a clue.   If the analog channels were shut off to lower channels, wouldn't every Comcast customer experience the same distortion on their analog tvs?  I have a relative in FL who has Comcast and says he has no issue with any distortion on either of his 2 analog sets.  (also Comcast mentioned they only send digital signals, there are no analog signals)

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Thank you for your advice.  I'm not into fiddling with my tv set...it's an older analog set...and I've tried to see on the remote for the tv, where there is any adjustment to make, but there isn't any at all.  I've tried everything.  It has an adaptor, which only has a few wires coming out of the back - and a toggle switch that says 3 or 4...since I have it connected to a VCR/DVD combo, I set this to "3".  There is no aspect ratio that can be adjusted on this tv.   What is a cable box used as a tuner mean?   Also, there is no resolution setting on my tv either.   I've had a Comcast tech. come over and he had no idea how to fix it either.

 

 

Did the cable adapter come with a remote control?

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Movie Collector - you're the only person who seems to know how to fix the distortion, the cable company hasn't a clue.   If the analog channels were shut off to lower channels, wouldn't every Comcast customer experience the same distortion on their analog tvs?  I have a relative in FL who has Comcast and says he has no issue with any distortion on either of his 2 analog sets.  (also Comcast mentioned they only send digital signals, there are no analog signals)

 

Right, well back when it was working for you, it was most likely still analog.  Now that it seems to have changed some, it is all digital.

 

Your problem is most likely between your cable wire coming in and your TV set.  Somewhere there is a conversion from widescreen 16:9 to your tv (4:3) that is not being made. (But needs to be)  Just because the equipment might not have the capability to deal with this doesn't mean there isn't a problem.  You just need to plug your the incoming cable into something that can convert from 16:9 to 4:3.  I am not surprised about the cable technicians not being able to figure it out.

 

P.S. With your friends, either their cable services didn't shut off the analog yet, or else they all have equipment that is capable and/or properly set up.

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Right, well back when it was working for you, it was most likely still analog.  Now that it seems to have changed some, it is all digital.

 

Your problem is most likely between your cable wire coming in and your TV set.  Somewhere there is a conversion from widescreen 16:9 to your tv (4:3) that is not being made. (But needs to be)  Just because the equipment might not have the capability to deal with this doesn't mean there isn't a problem.  You just need to plug your the incoming cable into something that can convert from 16:9 to 4:3.  I am not surprised about the cable technicians not being able to figure it out.

I have to write this down.  Would a friend who knows about tvs be able to fix this or just the cable company?   My analog tv is older and is a secondary tv.....I have a flat screen that uses an HD Box.   My analog tv has an adaptor and it has a basic remote that just has the channels and a yellow button for "mute" and a red button for "power" - but nothing else.   What type of conversion can I get to have the incoming cable convert to something that is 4:3 ratio?  Is this a piece of equipment I can buy?   Cable company doesn't know, or pretends not to know, how to fix it.  (they probably want everyone with analog sets to get frustrated and buy flat screens and pay more money for HD channels)....oddly, they said nobody else has complained about this distortion issue.

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I have to write this down.  Would a friend who knows about tvs be able to fix this or just the cable company?   My analog tv is older and is a secondary tv.....I have a flat screen that uses an HD Box.   My analog tv has an adaptor and it has a basic remote that just has the channels and a yellow button for "mute" and a red button for "power" - but nothing else.   What type of conversion can I get to have the incoming cable convert to something that is 4:3 ratio?  Is this a piece of equipment I can buy?   Cable company doesn't know, or pretends not to know, how to fix it.  (they probably want everyone with analog sets to get frustrated and buy flat screens and pay more money for HD channels)....oddly, they said nobody else has complained about this distortion issue.

Can you post the manufacturer and model number of your adapter for your analog tv?

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Can you post the manufacturer and model number of your adapter for your analog tv?

It is a Comcast adaptor - model number DC50X.  Should I ask Comcast if they have some type of converter for this adaptor that can convert the digital channels as my analog tv can't convert their digital signal when their cable is plugged directly into my tv?

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The DC50X  is fairly limited. Here's the User's Guide:

 

USER'S GUIDE

 

It may be you are now required to upgrade to a digital box.

If so, this is a poor way for a company to conduct business.

 

I believe my provider (Bright House) may have just switched to all digital at the same time as Comcast. Since I have LCD TVs, my difficulties are not as many as yours. I just had to run Autoprogram to get back missing channels - then reset a bunch of screen ratios from 4 : 3 back to 'normal'.

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It is a Comcast adaptor - model number DC50X.  Should I ask Comcast if they have some type of converter for this adaptor that can convert the digital channels as my analog tv can't convert their digital signal when their cable is plugged directly into my tv?

 

Okay, I just read the instructions for that, and it is so basic that it just passes the digital cable to an analog output.  And that is it.  Not enough features for what you would need to do.  That falls into a group of devices known as DTAs, which are basically stripped down bare-bones cable boxes.  A full-featured cable box would allow you to select the output settings as I have mentioned above.  If you are to use this TV, you would either need a DTA which has more features than the one you have - with an output selector (ratio and resolution), or else rent a full-blown cable box from your cable co (much larger than a DTA).

 

I haven't really seen that many options for external equipment that can do this 16:9-to-4:3 conversion, other than the cable boxes and maybe some better DTAs.  If you decide to look into this, ask for their level 2 tech support, or a tech support supervisor.

 

Or else just get a newer LCD tv.

 

 

(I am not a tech support person myself, I have just gone through this myself with Time Warner.  Somehow I ended up with Directv in the end.  :)

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Okay, I just read the instructions for that, and it is so basic that it just passes the digital cable to an analog output.  And that is it.  Not enough features for what you would need to do.  That falls into a group of devices known as DTAs, which are basically stripped down bare-bones cable boxes.  A full-featured cable box would allow you to select the output settings as I have mentioned above.  If you are to use this TV, you would either need a DTA which has more features than the one you have - with an output selector (ratio and resolution), or else rent a full-blown cable box from your cable co (much larger than a DTA).

 

I haven't really seen that many options for external equipment that can do this 16:9-to-4:3 conversion, other than the cable boxes and maybe some better DTAs.  If you decide to look into this, ask for their level 2 tech support, or a tech support supervisor.

 

Or else just get a newer LCD tv.

Thank you so much for your help and advice (and Kidd Dabb too).   I pay enough to Comcast for the 1 HD box I have....don't really won't to pay them another dime for another full featured cable box.  I'll have to think this over......thanks again.

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The DC50X  is fairly limited. Here's the User's Guide:

 

The cable with the plug goes in the socket on the right, and the cord with the jack fits the cube-tap on the left. The wire on the top fits the line on the bottom, and the charger on the side fits the input in the front.

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If your cable provider has just switched everything to digital from their end, this means they are transmitting the aspect ratios - but your analog tv has no way to interpret or modify them to whatever ratios you prefer.

 

The flatscreens (LCD, etc..) receive this data and DO have the capability to translate it into your varied ratios (adjustable via remote).

 

Here is a little info on Comcast's 'digital migration' :

 

http://www.bocsco.com/comcast_goes_digital.php

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Thank you so much for your help and advice (and Kidd Dabb too).   I pay enough to Comcast for the 1 HD box I have....don't really won't to pay them another dime for another full featured cable box.  I'll have to think this over......thanks again.

 

If it's any interest to you, here is a thread I found on another forum which may or may not help.  Good luck to you!

 

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/106-dvd-recorders-standard-def/1174894-can-i-use-new-comcast-dta-my-panasonic-eh50-dvd-recorder.html

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If your cable provider has just switched everything to digital from their end, this means they are transmitting the aspect ratios - but your analog tv has no way to interpret or modify them to whatever ratios you prefer.

 

The flatscreens (LCD, etc..) receive this data and DO have the capability to translate it into your varied ratios (adjustable via remote).

 

Here is a little info on Comcast's 'digital migration' :

 

http://www.bocsco.com/comcast_goes_digital.php

I can't seem to open that link - but Comcast pretends not to know why this happened and then tells me they didn't have any other calls about this issue.   I'm sure it's affecting many other analog tv users.

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