'Seinfeld' in HD on TBS HD! - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 02:37 PM
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Are you really losing that much for a show like seinfeld to be cropped? I dont think its too big of a deal, and I have to admit, its pretty amazing to be seen like this, maybe the eventual BR release will have both versions?
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post #32 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zEli173 View Post

Amen. It's such a shame that TBS is run by boneheads. Worse, I fear that all the other syndicators will feel the need to 'keep up' with TBS's wide screen offering, and we'll never see HD versions that are faithful to the original framing.

You need to read the existing comments in this topic. Like I've already said, we don't know that TBS was behind this decision. It may well have been Sony Television, who owns Seinfeld.

We probably won't know for sure until it shows up on other stations.

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post #33 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 02:57 PM
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Agreed...almost anything is better than Stretch-O-Vision. It should also be remembered that many movies are shot in aspect ratios that never make the screen. Many times, the DOP and the cameramen still frame with a lot of "safe" area and 20 years from now, this same conversation will reoccur, with 2 sides trying to convince the other that the it's only proper if the entire frame is shown, etc. In as much as there is no absolute rule about AR, I think this discussion will always be with us.

Relax, enjoy, and consider how much better all these alternatives are to S-O-V.
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post #34 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

You need to read the existing comments in this topic. Like I've already said, we don't know that TBS was behind this decision. It may well have been Sony Television, who owns Seinfeld.

We probably won't know for sure until it shows up on other stations.

I've read the thread thanks.

I think this probably is a TBS decision since we know 4:3 versions exist (and it seems improbable that they're not available to TBS).

What we don't know is where the impetus to make a 16:9 version came from. Did Sony decide on its own to make a 16:9 version so broadcasters could have a choice, or did the broadcasters (most likely TBS because it has the most sway) influence Sony? If I had to guess, I'd say it's the latter because the DVD's indicate 4:3 is still Sony's preferred format. But to repeat, all that matters is TBS chose 16:9 over 4:3.

I just caught the 5:00 episode. Not bad really. There are quite a few shots that are off, but there are also definite advantages. Still too early for me to say, but I think I'll end up preferring the 16:9 HD version to the 4:3 SD. But I'm pretty sure I'll still long for 4:3 HD.
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post #35 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 04:06 PM
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Here's the bottom line (I hate that phrase): I've seen every Seinfeld episode at least five times, and haven't watched the reruns for a couple of years. But I will start watching again, and isn't that what it's all about ??? I think it looks like they were framing it for 16:9 all along anyway.
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post #36 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zEli173 View Post

I've read the thread thanks.

I think this probably is a TBS decision since we know 4:3 versions exist (and it seems improbable that they're not available to TBS).

What we don't know is where the impetus to make a 16:9 version came from. Did Sony decide on its own to make a 16:9 version so broadcasters could have a choice, or did the broadcasters (most likely TBS because it has the most sway) influence Sony? If I had to guess, I'd say it's the latter because the DVD's indicate 4:3 is still Sony's preferred format. But to repeat, all that matters is TBS chose 16:9 over 4:3.

I just caught the 5:00 episode. Not bad really. There are quite a few shots that are off, but there are also definite advantages. Still too early for me to say, but I think I'll end up preferring the 16:9 HD version to the 4:3 SD. But I'm pretty sure I'll still long for 4:3 HD.

I bet Sony handles this just like Paramount handled Star Trek. In Japan, Star Trek is airing cropped for 16:9 in HD. Likewise, I suspect Seinfeld will air cropped for 16:9 in HD in all syndication in the U.S. And I'd wager that when syndicated Star Trek shows up in HD, it too will be cropped for widescreen.

I'm not sure the DVDs indicate that Sony prefers 4:3. The cropping process would be entirely different from the restoration process, wouldn't it? In other words, it's less work for Sony to create 4:3 HD because they don't have to reframe all the shots. Plus, they'd have to deal with backlash from long time fans who would absolutely lambast them for destroying the original 4:3 image in favor of a widescreen presentation.

I wonder, does this portend Seinfeld: Volume 1 on Blu Ray by Christmas? If it's a good crop, I hope they include both in the Blu Ray sets.
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post #37 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copwill View Post

Are you really losing that much for a show like seinfeld to be cropped?

The other side to that question is... are you really gaining that much by zooming and cropping just to fill the screen?

I just realized, though, that this is a Seinfeld thread so we should be in character...

Jerry: What's the deal with TBS and HD? Even the word "cropping" sounds bad... and stretching just seems painful. Whatever happened to just watching a TV show?

Kramer: But Jerry, I bought a widescreen TV.. I don't want all that extra space to just be sitting there wasted. What if you could only sit in the middle of your couch? No, can't sit on the sides that's not right.. just sit cramped there tiny in the middle and don't disturb anyone. I want everrrrrrrrrrything to be Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiidescreen!

George: I don't even have a TV. I wish I had a TV.
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post #38 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

Jerry: What's the deal with TBS and HD? Even the word "cropping" sounds bad... and stretching just seems painful. Whatever happened to just watching a TV show?

Kramer: But Jerry, I bought a widescreen TV.. I don't want all that extra space to just be sitting there wasted. What if you could only sit in the middle of your couch? No, can't sit on the sides that's not right.. just sit cramped there tiny in the middle and don't disturb anyone. I want everrrrrrrrrrything to be Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiidescreen!

George: I don't even have a TV. I wish I had a TV.

That should be on TBS. That's funny.

They should make that into a promo!

I don't care how remastered something is, if it's not shot for 16:9 and shown in 16:9, it's not HD. It's just press release buzz word use.


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post #39 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zEli173 View Post

I've read the thread thanks.

I think this probably is a TBS decision since we know 4:3 versions exist (and it seems improbable that they're not available to TBS).

Ok, back to basics.

The previously seen 4:3 versions have no bearing on the HD film transfer. When a HD film transfer is done, it goes back to the original 35mm film. Sony had to specify what AR to use for the DVD's. They also had to specify the AR for the syndicated masters. Two different issues.

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What we don't know is where the impetus to make a 16:9 version came from. Did Sony decide on its own to make a 16:9 version so broadcasters could have a choice, or did the broadcasters (most likely TBS because it has the most sway) influence Sony?

It's unlikely TBS has more sway, since the revenue from the local stations that syndicate Seinfeld is much greater than what TBS pays. With the recent ability for local stations to air syndicated HD, Sony may have decided that Seinfeld in 16:9 would give the long running sitcom even more 'legs'.

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If I had to guess, I'd say it's the latter because the DVD's indicate 4:3 is still Sony's preferred format.

Again, completely irrelevant. The DVD's are SD.


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But to repeat, all that matters is TBS chose 16:9 over 4:3.

It's very unlikely TBS had a choice. In general, TBS has to take what Sony gives them.

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post #40 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 05:35 PM
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According to the box, the DVDs were produced using the new HD transfers, Ken. My guess is the cropping was a task taken up separately.
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post #41 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

According to the box, the DVDs were produced using the new HD transfers, Ken. My guess is the cropping was a task taken up separately.

Thanks for the info, I updated my post. Nevertheless, the DVD's were SD, and since the series was SD 4:3, it would be expected 4:3.

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post #42 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 06:58 PM
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Recently got TBS HD and saw Seinfeld. It looked great.

(Would prefer the top and bottom not to be cropped for the Blu-Ray though, but I'll be greedy and say I'd like to keep the additional information on the sides...)
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post #43 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 08:02 PM
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I have to agree with some of the previous responses in that a cropped 16x9 HD picture is far and away better than 4x3 HD. As an HDTV owner for the last 3 years, anything that's 4x3 and has side bars toward the left and right just doesn't bode well for the tv set. I know some are complaining that part of the picture is eliminated. But just how much of a picture are people missing. I saw the screenshots that differentiated a 4x3 screen from a cropped 16x9. It didn't seem to make a monumental difference. It's also another plus for a TBS station that has been rightfully maligned in the past for stretching much of their programming. I'd like to see shows such as Friends, Sex And The City, King Of Queens and Family Guy go that route in the near future. COme to think of it, I'd like to see classic TV shows that were filmed,not taped, in 16x9.
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post #44 of 213 Old 09-03-2008, 09:08 PM
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"The Merv Griffin Show" looked great today. Was this episode a chop job or an actual 16:9? I noticed the credits were 4:3 safe at the beginning. There's an older episode on before the 1997 episode tomorrow. I think I'll have to check that one out as well.
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post #45 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 07:57 AM
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I also thought it looked great. Kudo's to whoever decided what. Great improvement.
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post #46 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Thanks for the info, I updated my post. Nevertheless, the DVD's were SD, and since the series was SD 4:3, it would be expected 4:3.

You're not making much sense. As you now understand, the DVD release is tied in with the HD version because that is the point where they went back to remaster from the original film (I doubt they went back a second time for the TBS version). DVD is no less a widescreen format than HDTV so it is no more expected that the series would be done 4:3 for HDTV than for DVD. I don't see how the limited resolution of DVD is relevant. The contemplation of 16:9 vs. 4:3 was the same (at least in some respects) for the DVD's as it was for TV and Sony chose the latter. It seems stange, although certainly not inconceivable, that Sony chose to go one way for the DVD's (where the product was totally under its control) but chose all on it's own to go the other way for the syndication.

And as for the magnitude of TBS's influence, I have no data, only conjecture. I imagine you're right that local syndication accounts for, in aggregate, a larger chunk of revnue than TBS. But I have to think the TBS deal provides much more revenue than any single local syndicate does on its own.

-----

By the way, I recall reading in another thread from some time ago that "Friends" and most other sitcoms since the 80's were shot on video so we'll never see them in HD. As I understand it, Seindfeld was an anomoly in its day (a fact which lend some credence to the theory that 16:9 framing was always contemplated by the makers).
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post #47 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nickdawg View Post

"The Merv Griffin Show" looked great today. Was this episode a chop job or an actual 16:9?

Cropped.

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post #48 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:27 PM
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On the 16x9 vs 4x3 HD issue, there's one thing that hasn't yet been brought up, which very likely could explain everything.

First, we know the DVDs were made from 4x3 HD masters. However, the versions of the show on the DVDs are not the same as what is being broadcast -- the TV versions are EDITED FOR TIME to make them shorter. So, it would seem that a completely different set of HD "syndication versions" now exist.

They could have taken the same HD masters used for the DVDs and cut them, but my guess (and I emphasize, it's just a guess) is that they created the 16x9 cropped versions at the same time as the 4x3, feeling that the syndication market was likely going to prefer 16x9. If a station promotes the show as being in "HD" and it comes on in 4x3, J6P is going to be quite confused.

So likely (but again, just guessing), there aren't any 4x3 syndication masters.

For what it's worth, our station airs SEINFELD, but we have not received any notification from Sony that they are going to begin syndicating the show to local stations in HD. Hopefully, that will change soon.
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post #49 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zEli173 View Post

You're not making much sense.

?

The whole point is you, and others, have commented that TBS is responsible for the zoom approach used for Seinfeld in HD.

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And as for the magnitude of TBS's influence, I have no data, only conjecture.

Exactally. Thank you for making my point.

I'm not saying I know for sure one way or the other. All I know is, we really don't know.

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post #50 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

On the 16x9 vs 4x3 HD issue, there's one thing that hasn't yet been brought up, which very likely could explain everything.

First, we know the DVDs were made from 4x3 HD masters. However, the versions of the show on the DVDs are not the same as what is being broadcast -- the TV versions are EDITED FOR TIME to make them shorter. So, it would seem that a completely different set of HD "syndication versions" now exist.

They could have taken the same HD masters used for the DVDs and cut them, but my guess (and I emphasize, it's just a guess) is that they created the 16x9 cropped versions at the same time as the 4x3, feeling that the syndication market was likely going to prefer 16x9. If a station promotes the show as being in "HD" and it comes on in 4x3, J6P is going to be quite confused.

So likely (but again, just guessing), there aren't any 4x3 syndication masters.

This is part of what I was alluding to. DVD masters and syndication masters are two different things.

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post #51 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Cropped.


Ahhh, I see the cropping between the two pictures. Their feet and the top of the set are missing. I only had the HD recorded, no SD to compare to. That episode really looked great for a cropped show. They fooled me with the beginning since the credits were 4:3 safe.
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post #52 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 12:56 PM
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That episode really looked great for a cropped show.

This is what the issue really is. Does the new HD look OK? Is anything of importance really missing?

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post #53 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

This is what the issue really is. Does the new HD look OK? Is anything of importance really missing?

That's really a tough question. The entire episode looked like it was real HD. Other than feet or the extreme tops of the set, nothing looked "cut out". I'd say we might see more of this conversion in the future on shows from the 90s and older, if it goes over well with Seinfeld. I actually don't mind this one as much(and I really care about OAR on HDTV). If the networks like TBS and TNT insist on full screen, I'd rather see cropping than stretching. But when it comes to DVDs, I'd like to see two versions included: one in OAR 4:3 and one in cropped 16:9. That way we're not forced to watch either a cropped/altered picture or a 4:3 only picture that viewers may stretch on their own.
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post #54 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Cropped.

Someone should measure how much is being lost vertically. A straight crop from 4:3 to 16:9 will crop off 25% of the picture. There is a smidgen of extra stuff to the side, so maybe the crop is about 20%? Which is a lot to lose just to fill the 16:9 screen. The crop may be ok in that shot - though you lose the glass table. However it is very likely that there will be scenes & episodes where important parts of the joke or scene are cropped off. A compromise crop to 1.6:1 or 14:9 would probably be better, but the studios will do 16:9 crop because many people think HD => 16:9 widescreen or letterboxed cinemascope.

I would lay good odds on any future Blu-Ray season sets will be 16:9 - and 16:9 only. The DVDs are SD, so they stayed with 4:3 mastering for those. But for HD Blu-Ray season sets, the show will be in cropped 16:9 because then the studios can use that as an extra lure to get people to buy the season sets all over again. George: "Look, Jerry, it's in widescreen! Let's buy it!"
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post #55 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

This is part of what I was alluding to. DVD masters and syndication masters are two different things.

Indeed. Just for yuks, I just ran the TBS and DVD versions of the "Merv Griffin" episode to see what was different, content wise. Not as much as I thought -- there was 45 seconds missing from the TBS airing. The opening was completely different though -- they dropped the real opening sequence, replaced it with the start of segment 2, then forced a break between two other scenes.

The one thing that really struck me though was the difference in AUDIO. The DVD sound was much better -- crisp, clean and good dynamics. The TBS airing on the other hand was very compressed and dull. No peaks at all.
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post #56 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

What I never understand is why they can't just leave it in the 4:3 aspect it was originally shown but deliver the program in HD resolution. I don't need all of my HD to be 16x9, just want the higher resolution.

I think you represent the minority.

I bought a 50" TV and I want to watch my TV using all 50".

I'd take cropping over a 4:3 aspect ratio any day.

And Seinfeld being in HD is awesome!

I never thought I'd see this show in HD and I can't wait till 5 o'clock to see it in action.
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post #57 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 01:56 PM
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Not to be overly antagonistic...

but I wonder, if folks who "demand" their widescreen TV always be completely filled treat other things in life the same way?

Do they always carpool with all seats in the car filled? Or do they drive with empty seats? Why buy a car that seats 4 if you don't always seat 4 passengers?

Do you have more phones in your house than you have people? I happen to have 4 cordless phones (came as a set that way) but I'm the only one in the home... I could just use one, but I don't. I also happen to own 2 vehicles (car and truck) but again I can only drive one at a time.

I'm just wondering where the "my TV screen must always be 100% utilized" gene comes from?
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post #58 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

I'm just wondering where the "my TV screen must always be 100% utilized" gene comes from?

From people who aren't totally obsessed with HDTV and technology like we are. In other words uneducated J6Ps.
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post #59 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 07:43 PM
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Did a little comparison here.

4x3 Broadcast version


16x9 HD version.


4X3 with new 16x9 HD version overlaid.


I wouldn't mind if they just used the entire negative image and have it pillar boxed on the sides. Less then the 4x3 version would be. But black bars are evil. In 4x3 or 16x9 .
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post #60 of 213 Old 09-04-2008, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMan View Post

I think you represent the minority.

You are badly mistaken, at least around here.

At AVS you will find OAR is highly preferred.

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