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Who also gets TCM in "miniature"?


RJMacReady
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I pay for Verizon's most expensive HD/SD FiOS TV programming package. Some 500 active channels, roughly 1/3 in 1080i HD. TCM is on channel #230, but it is a joke. It is in SD, adding to the insult is the fact the complete image takes up only about 40% of a standard 16:9 HD flat panel display. "The Longest Day" was actually shown in OAR- the whole image was there; but it was reduced greatly in size. Even the older 1.33:1 OAR films don't come close to filling most of the entire 16:9 display. I've been an advocate for broadcasting films in their OAR since the advent of HBO/SHO/etc..., but this is ridiculous. This is Verizon, serving the Philadelphia, PA area. As constituted, the present formatting is next to worthless. What is wrong with these providers? They butcher films: They take new 2.40:1 OAR releases and crop them to fill up the entire 16:9 screen, only a bit better than back in the early 80's when providers like Comcast would take a film like "Alien", and pan and scan it until it filled up the entire 1.33:1 display. Now they are "shrinking" films, giving you the entire OAR image, but "in miniature". The general public is so ignorant I see no complaints about it on the Verizon forums. They have no problems with a 2.40:1 sci-fi blockbuster being panned and scanned to eliminate the dreaded "black bars" of letterboxing. I try to explain they are being cheated out of up to 40% of the original image, but once again, there is no public outcry. I am spending way too much on entertainment/internet access to seek out another source of movie content that broadcasts all films in their OAR, which I understand is hit or miss anyway w/ services such as Roku, etc... Is this ridiculous TCM formatting happening anywhere else other than my area?

RJM

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There should be a way of adjusting the aspect ratio in one of the menu selections.  Most remotes I have ever used had an easy way of adjusting it, without having to burrow into the settings options.  As for HD, you have to look to your provider for not offering it.  I don't know if it would make a difference, though.  Most movies TCM airs aren't in HD.

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Does your FIOS set top box have any settings to adjust the SD output? If you haven't already tried, it might be worth going through the options there (SD override?), to see if there's one that will give 16:9 SD output without stretch/crop.

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TCM, depending on the movie, usually fills my whole screen.  The only differences are in the cases of a movie being "letterboxed", due to it's being filmed in Cinemascope, or a "slight" letterboxing( thinner black borders along the top and bottom) if TODD-A-O, or whatever.

 

I don't fool with settings or have any pretense towards OCD over aspect ratios, and just leaving everything be seemed to work out OK for me.

 

Sepiatone

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I'm not OCD about this, but I did try and help someone else get to the bottom of it in other threads.  My conclusion is that it is just a result of all the different combinations of aspect ratio presets and formatting the digital video goes through after the film transfer and before it gets to you.  Every single link in that chain needs to be just right.  Or else.

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xsou0Vb.png

 

I just watched Ice Station Zebra (1968) in this ratio:

 

I think at least part of what RJMacReady was referring to, was displaying a widescreen ratio film in it's original aspect ratio, but constrained by (shrunk to) the 4:3 aspect ratio. Back when the TCM 16:9 HD feed was a straight upconvert of the 4:3 ratio SD one, this was a fairly common thing (and still happens occasionally - Gun Glory was recently aired in this manner on the HD feed).

 

post-55009-0-38548300-1464914082_thumb.jpg

 

Above is a screengrab from a old recording I made back then.

post-55009-0-38548300-1464914082_thumb.jpg

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What RJMacReady needs is to find a zoom feature, either through the cable menu, or the TV.  There should be an option on both.

 

I've given up chasing the picture ratio. I used to constantly move between  16 : 9  and  Zoom 1 on my Samsung. Now, I just leave it on  16 : 9  unless I don't feel it's right. Sometimes it looks as if everything is squashed down, so I have to expand it with  Zoom 1  to make it look normal.

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I've given up chasing the picture ratio. I used to constantly move between  16 : 9  and  Zoom 1 on my Samsung. Now, I just leave it on  16 : 9  unless I don't feel it's right. Sometimes it looks as if everything is squashed down, so I have to expand it with  Zoom 1  to make it look normal.

 

 

Most of the time I find the two are the same, but I use the zoom.

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Many film titles in the TCMDb will have 'Theatrical Aspect Ratio' information available. Just select that from the column on the left side of the screen when you go to a film's Overview page. 

 

Here's the Theatrical Aspect Ratio page for Oceans Eleven (1960), which will indicate the original ratio and what it should look like on your TV.

 

HERE

 

I've gotta say though, my  16 : 9  screen displayed a picture with much thicker horizontal black bars. It looked exactly as I indicated in my previous post - basically, a small center strip filling about 50 % of the screen.

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Many film titles in the TCMDb will have 'Theatrical Aspect Ratio' information available. Just select that from the column on the left side of the screen when you go to a film's Overview page. 

 

Here's the Theatrical Aspect Ratio page for Oceans Eleven (1960), which will indicate the original ratio and what it should look like on your TV.

 

HERE

 

I've gotta say though, my  16 : 9  screen displayed a picture with much thicker horizontal black bars. It looked exactly as I indicated in my previous post - basically, a small center strip filling about 50 % of the screen.

 

 

Well, it was a wide ratio, Panavision, in fact.  And it does say sizes are approx.

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Many film titles in the TCMDb will have 'Theatrical Aspect Ratio' information available. Just select that from the column on the left side of the screen when you go to a film's Overview page. 

 

Here's the Theatrical Aspect Ratio page for Oceans Eleven (1960), which will indicate the original ratio and what it should look like on your TV.

 

HERE

 

I've gotta say though, my  16 : 9  screen displayed a picture with much thicker horizontal black bars. It looked exactly as I indicated in my previous post - basically, a small center strip filling about 50 % of the screen.

 

I think TCM uses the same display template image for all the wide aspect ratios above 16:9 - otherwise they'd up up with something like this for that O'Toole desert flick that TCM never shows very often... :)

 

hqdefault.jpg

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I think TCM uses the same display template image for all the wide aspect ratios above 16:9 - otherwise they'd up up with something like this for that O'Toole desert flick that TCM never shows very often... :)

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

:lol:

 

That would make the oasis well scene about 50 miles across. 

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Kid, since you're getting black bars at the top and bottom of a 16:9 screen on a film with an original 1:66 AR, are you getting black bars on the left and right as well? Is the image itself squashed looking, or in any way distorted? And what screen setting is your TV on, wide/full, normal/4:3, Zoom, etc.? What kind of receiver do you have, a cable box? If so, does it have screen size settings in the menu as well? Is the signal SD or HD? How is your receiver connected, via component cables or HDMI? That can effect the transmission of the anamorphic signal.

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Kid, since you're getting black bars at the top and bottom of a 16:9 screen on a film with an original 1:66 AR, are you getting black bars on the left and right as well? Is the image itself squashed looking, or in any way distorted? And what screen setting is your TV on, wide/full, normal/4:3, Zoom, etc.? What kind of receiver do you have, a cable box? If so, does it have screen size settings in the menu as well? Is the signal SD or HD? How is your receiver connected, via component cables or HDMI? That can effect the transmission of the anamorphic signal.

Thank you, Lawrence.

 

The theatrical ratio is shown here as 1.85 : 1 . My TV is set to  16 : 9 .  I can get full screen as shown below (as 16:9) by setting my TV to Zoom 1.

 

No cable box. I'm getting SD through coaxial cable from my wall outlet. It's full screen side-to-side with bars top and bottom only - just as in the image below. It does appear squashed, slightly.

 

I don't consider this a problem. I'm just illustrating what's going on with various films and comparing the TCMDb info with my actual results.

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Thank you, Lawrence.

 

The theatrical ratio is shown here as 1.85 : 1 . My TV is set to  16 : 9 .  I can get full screen as shown below (as 16:9) by setting my TV to Zoom 1.

 

No cable box. I'm getting SD through coaxial cable from my wall outlet. It's full screen side-to-side with bars top and bottom only - just as in the image below. It does appear squashed, slightly.

 

I don't consider this a problem. I'm just illustrating what's going on with various films and comparing the TCMDb info with my actual results.

 

Without the component cables or an HDMI connection, I don't think anamorphic widescreen works properly. I'm surprised you can get any TV without some sort of box, unless you're using over-the-air digital antennas. Count yourself one of the few. Didn't you mention something about needing a descrambler box soon, and you were thinking of cord-cutting? Your TV itself is a 16:9 widescreen TV, right? Is it HD compatible? Have you considered upgrading, or is it too expensive in your area?  

 

My TV is connected to SD/HD cable via a HD DVR box, via HDMI cable. I don't have any issues with improper screen sizing, with the exception of the FXM channel (Fox Movie Channel, or FXM Retro as I think they're calling it now). I only receive an SD signal of that channel, and it appears "shrunken" like the OP was complaining about. Even the standard 4:3 screen images have black bars on all four sides. That's a problem with the way Comcast is delivering it in my area, though. All other SD channels appear as they would on a normal 4:3 TV, and the HD channels appear in the proper 16:9 for 1:85 films, or letterboxed if the AR is greater (2:35, 2:40, etc).

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Thank you, Lawrence.

 

The theatrical ratio is shown here as 1.85 : 1 . My TV is set to  16 : 9 .  I can get full screen as shown below (as 16:9) by setting my TV to Zoom 1.

 

No cable box. I'm getting SD through coaxial cable from my wall outlet. It's full screen side-to-side with bars top and bottom only - just as in the image below. It does appear squashed, slightly.

 

I don't consider this a problem. I'm just illustrating what's going on with various films and comparing the TCMDb info with my actual results.

 

There may be a couple of things at play with this one.

 

Most places list the A/R of Some Like It Hot as 1.66:1, although some places also mention releases at 1.85:1 (as TCM does) & even 1.63:1 - a 1.66:1 ratio will be slightly narrower in width than the approx 1.78:1 that 16:9 equates to, giving narrow l/r bars - this is what I see for TCM's presentation on my 16:9 setup (with no zoom applied) & matches the blu-ray captures shown at dvdbeaver & the criterion forum.

 

I think that the other ratios mentioned may have been achieved by cropping.

 

I haven't messed with my provider's SD TCM feed in ages, but their on-demand feed for TCM is SD & constrained to the 4:3 ratio, in the manner described by the OP - zoom modes can be used to expand this to better fit a 16:9 display, but sometimes those zoom modes also employ a small amount of ratio distortion/cropping, which is what your display appears to be doing.

 

Just to add to the fun (although not applying to your described setup), some SD feeds may come from a provider box upconverted to HD resolution, which some displays will then refuse to apply zoom settings to.

 

It sounds like you're still getting a good old-fashioned analog signal from your provider - mine is in the process of going all-digital, meaning each wall-coax will need a convertor box & sadly bringing a likely end to the reign of my trusty old series 1 tivo.

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Without the component cables or an HDMI connection, I don't think anamorphic widescreen works properly. I'm surprised you can get any TV without some sort of box, unless you're using over-the-air digital antennas. Count yourself one of the few. Didn't you mention something about needing a descrambler box soon, and you were thinking of cord-cutting? Your TV itself is a 16:9 widescreen TV, right? Is it HD compatible? Have you considered upgrading, or is it too expensive in your area?  

...

 

I will need a converter box if and when my provider goes all digital. It would be at this point I would have to make the cord cutting decision. I would get more channels but I would also have my fees tripled.

 

My TV is a HD 16:9 widescreen with an HDMI connection.

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There may be a couple of things at play with this one.

 

Most places list the A/R of Some Like It Hot as 1.66:1, although some places also mention releases at 1.85:1 (as TCM does) & even 1.63:1 - a 1.66:1 ratio will be slightly narrower in width than the approx 1.78:1 that 16:9 equates to, giving narrow l/r bars - this is what I see for TCM's presentation on my 16:9 setup (with no zoom applied) & matches the blu-ray captures shown at dvdbeaver & the criterion forum.

 

I think that the other ratios mentioned may have been achieved by cropping.

 

...

 

My recent example of Some Like it Hot has no L/R bars - just top/bottom. I'm receiving Spartacus in the same ratio.

 

I looked at your dvdbeaver captures and they have very narrow L/R bars, whereas I do not.

 

Everything looks fine, I just find the different displays interesting.

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