'Saturday Night Live' '08-'09 on NBC HD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I recorded it in high def, it was kind of hard to tell if it was still being composed in 16x9, or if it was 4x3 safe.
Did anyone happen to see if it was letterboxed on the SD feed?
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post #2 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 11:40 AM
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Yes it was letterboxed on WNBC SD.
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post #3 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 12:03 PM
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for me here in nyc it was full screen no letterboxing and it did look hd to me.
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post #4 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 12:48 PM
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I had no issues with the HD on my recorded broadcast (KGET-HD via BHN cable), but I did have an issue with the audio. Throughout the entire episode, there was a reverb in the audio, as if there was a duplicate audio track playing beneath the main one that was a split second fast. It was very annoying and detracted from the entire episode (which was mostly a rehash of previous sketches updated as sequels).

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post #5 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 01:01 PM
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Center-cut for SD on WSAZ via E*. I didn't check the analog broadcast so E* could be responsible for the center-cutting. SNL seems to be 4:3 safe now. Will Conan be next?
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post #6 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 01:16 PM
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It was 4:3 here on analog cable (WCSH) and I thought it looked like crap. The audio sounded similar to what tighr is talking about with weird reverb.
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post #7 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 02:20 PM
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It was 4:3 on WKYC Cleveland. Appeared to be a network thing since network promos were still shown letterbox. I only got to see the beginning of SNL in SD and it was refreshing to see it 4:3 again. Last week's show looked awful with that 4:3 safe bug in the middle of the letterbox area. Also, the opening credits and Weekend Update graphics were all 4:3 safe. This appears to be how this season will run. I hope Conan is next!

Also, I should add that WKYC SD via TWC showed Chuck and both Law & Orders letterboxed earlier in the night.
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post #8 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 02:58 PM
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least funny season premier ever for SNL? Man was that bad. Opening was OK.
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post #9 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 03:05 PM
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The opening was great. One of the best ever with Tina Fey. Monologue was better because of the show regulars. I loved the Mrs. Phelps impersonator and then the real Mrs. Phelps was there too. And it's always great to see William Shatner there too! Didn't get to see the rest of it though. Had to hurry home to see what was coming up in HD syndication at the same time.

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post #10 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellbm View Post

I recorded it in high def, it was kind of hard to tell if it was still being composed in 16x9, or if it was 4x3 safe.

It was clearly 4:3 safe. The Weekend Update graphics have been moved into the center of the screen.

Pretty soon people with SD televisions will no longer have to be tormented by NBC's letterboxing experiment.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
NEXT: someone else's post on AVS Forum.
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post #11 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Pretty soon people with SD televisions will no longer have to be tormented by NBC's letterboxing experiment.

So instead of people with SD being tormented, the rest of us get tormented? What a waste of 16x9 if they wont even use it.

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post #12 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tighr View Post

So instead of people with SD being tormented, the rest of us get tormented? What a waste of 16x9 if they wont even use it.

I don't feel 'tormented'. Most shows on TV are filmed with 4:3 in mind and they look fine. Last night's SNL looked fine too. Saying it is a 'waste' can be compared to proponents of stretchovision since part of the screen is wasted. The screen really isn't wasted. When you see the sets and scenery used, it does a great job of filling the 16:9 screen even though the action is towards the middle. I actually find I prefer that. Scenes have always looked awkward to me when one actor is to the extreme left and one is to the extreme right. Utilizing the entire 16:9 frame for a two shot looks unnatural. I've experimented with my TV's aspect ratio settings ever since NBC began using the '4:3 safe' bug and most of the shots already transfered to 4:3 with minimal cut off. The only real problem areas were the opening credits(fixed this season) and the over the shoulders on Weekend Update(also fixed this year). Plus various graphics, like spoofing CNN, were cut off as well. I'd assume those will be adjusted for AR this year as well.

Plus the end result is better for the remainder of the 4:3 screen viewers. To make all of the 16:9 picture fit on a 4:3 screen, the overall picture is reduced in size. Not a big deal on larger screens but on a 19 or even 27 inch CRT, it makes a huge difference. My pre-HDTV set was a 27 inch CRT and I still have a 19 inch CRT in the bedroom. I was always disappointed in NBC's presentation(even after I knew I was seeing more) and I stand by center cut because it really doesn't matter for small TVs. It's already an awful viewing experience. And with a screen that small, it helps to maximize the viewing area.
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post #13 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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It was posted here a while back that NBC wants everything 4x3 safe this season, which is a major step backwards for broadcast tv. If the entire 16x9 isn't going to be used, than why was HD tv created using that aspect ratio?
Filmakers don't make their films 4x3 safe, and try and keep the action in the center. They use the entire screen, and tv should as well.
NBC was the only network that pretty much composed everything in 16x9, and while people with 4x3 sets might not like the letterboxing, they shouldn't be the ones that NBC is trying to please.
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post #14 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bellbm View Post

Filmakers don't make their films 4x3 safe, and try and keep the action in the center. They use the entire screen, and tv should as well.

Not quite. Note that on movie channels like Starz, the movies are always presented in pan-and-scan, even those movies that are made in native 2.35x1 aspect ratio. Indeed, movie directors must protect for 4x3 SD audiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellbm View Post

It was posted here a while back that NBC wants everything 4x3 safe this season, which is a major step backwards for broadcast tv. If the entire 16x9 isn't going to be used, than why was HD tv created using that aspect ratio?

The full 16x9 aspect ratio of HDTV will be more embraced when most, if not all, TV producers move exclusively to 16x9 production, whether via HD or SD widescreen. At that point, people will be able to watch everything in widescreen mode without seeing pillar bars on all sides when 4x3 SD programming comes on. AFD fixes the issue by auto-switching between 16x9 and 4x3 as needed, but few DTV receivers support it. The transition to 16x9-safe graphics production will, unfortunately, take many years. I hope it's less than five, and it should be, but I doubt it.

Currently, more people with SDTV sets would complain to NBC for not being 4x3-safe than people with HDTV's being 4x3-safe. Networks like NBC must serve the least common denominator if they want the most viewers, and therefore the most ad revenue potential. At this time, the least common denominator is the approach now taken by all four major networks. Do I like it? Not really, but it is what it is.

In the past, I have suggested a cross-network 1/1/2010 deadline that all submitted material for broadcast must be in 16x9 HD or SD format, so graphics can be formatted as such for HDTV's (those with DTV converter boxes can switch over to 16x9 mode). I again suggest it here.
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post #15 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 08:04 PM
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I like the idea about the 1/1/2010 deadline. Eventually there will have to be some deadline/regulation about widescreen, since it wasn't included in the original ATSC. But I think 2010 may be a bit too soon. With current HDTV penetration around 33%, will it be enough by 2010 to make such a big move? I'd say the number of widescreen sets would have to be at least 60 to 75% before networks would start designing for widescreen. When most of the viewers(and most of the revenue potential) have widescreen sets, then I think we'll see changes. Depending on TV prices, that could be in the next five years. Then, maybe my thoughts on 4:3 downconversion will be more realistic: crop whether it's 4;3 safe or not!!!
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post #16 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 09:19 PM
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I haven't watch this show in years, decades maybe, and tuned in to see Tina Fey and Obama, didn't hear he canceled, and I gotta say this was bad. Not just bad but awful. Every bit was lame and telegraphed.

I watched the show when it was called "Saturday Night" because Howard Cosell had a show called "Saturday Night Live", maybe it was because I was younger then but it certainly seemed to be a lot more original and innovative.
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post #17 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellbm View Post

It was posted here a while back that NBC wants everything 4x3 safe this season, which is a major step backwards for broadcast tv.

The problem is the millions of cable and satellite viewers and the impending analog shutoff. For instance, in my market DirecTV has already converted their SD-LiL capture from the analog to the local digital transmitters ... and they are center cutting from the HD signal.

I have a feeling that "4:3 safe" is going to be with us for a while. Blame the luddites that refuse to buy proper HDTV's
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post #18 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 11:11 PM
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The bit with Michael Phelps and the swim team, with Michael and Will Forte dancing to the cassette tape was 99% of a ripoff from the Peyton Manning basketball team skit. I think they were going for repeat laughs since that skit was so popular, but if you go back and watch the Peyton Manning one, you'll realize why that one was so damn funny: The cast members in the background, all trying to keep a straight face, and failing miserably. The best and funniest sketches are the ones where the cast can't even stop themselves from laughing. The core premise itself (dancing in the face of adversity) is incredibly stupid. I didn't find myself laughing to this one at all.

The bit with Kristen Wiig and Michael Phelps as the cousins who annoy the houseguests was 99% of a ripoff from the Seth Rogen episode. That one was barely funny the first time around, so I'm surprised they went for it again.

I laughed at the fake commercial for the Michael Phelps Diet, and maybe one or two others, but that was about it. Phelps for the most part is completely uncharismatic on screen.

The best athlete episodes were Peyton Manning's (the United Way commercial and the above basketball skit) and Tom Brady's (the sexual harrasment video was classic) because those guys knew how to convey emotion.

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post #19 of 776 Old 09-14-2008, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tighr View Post

The bit with Michael Phelps and the swim team, with Michael and Will Forte dancing to the cassette tape was 99% of a ripoff from the Peyton Manning basketball team skit. I think they were going for repeat laughs since that skit was so popular, but if you go back and watch the Peyton Manning one, you'll realize why that one was so damn funny: The cast members in the background, all trying to keep a straight face, and failing miserably. The best and funniest sketches are the ones where the cast can't even stop themselves from laughing. The core premise itself (dancing in the face of adversity) is incredibly stupid. I didn't find myself laughing to this one at all.

The bit with Kristen Wiig and Michael Phelps as the cousins who annoy the houseguests was 99% of a ripoff from the Seth Rogen episode. That one was barely funny the first time around, so I'm surprised they went for it again.

I laughed at the fake commercial for the Michael Phelps Diet, and maybe one or two others, but that was about it. Phelps for the most part is completely uncharismatic on screen.

The best athlete episodes were Peyton Manning's (the United Way commercial and the above basketball skit) and Tom Brady's (the sexual harrasment video was classic) because those guys knew how to convey emotion.

During the swim team thing, my wife pleaded up and down that it was a repeat skit. Now that you mention Peyton, I kind of remember it.

I'm just shocked that the writers can't come up with original material. Even then, this episode was atrocious, and it has nothing to do with the hosts. We know they can't act.

Problem is that the writers can't write. The opener with Tina Fey was pretty decent, but the rest was crap, especially the unfunny "Peppa" waiter guy.
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post #20 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 03:02 AM
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The only thing I laughed at was during the Swim Meet skit (hated the skit) that Michael Phelps' character was named Michael Phillips. Just gave me a chuckle.

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post #21 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 04:54 AM
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The opening skit is one of the funniest things I have ever seen! I say Tina Fey should run for VP! Heck if Sarah Palin can get the nomination then why can't Tina Fey get it acting like her?

The rest of the show was dismal. The only other funny thing was Phelps skit about how much he eats. That commercial skit was really funny.

There are HD captures of the Sarah Palin Skit in case anyone missed it.
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post #22 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 05:03 AM
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The Palin skit was hilarious, though I found the Hillary caricature to be the heart of the skit moreso than Palin. Probably because the Palin impersonation wasn't really a caricature at all.

The rest of the show was awful. The T-Mobile skit was passable. I liked the pepper skit with the new featured player as the waiter. Other than that: awful, awful, awful. You know you're going to have a big audience because of the Fey/Palin thing, and you squander it with that? Maybe they were written into a corner with Phelps. I'd wager NBC forced that appearance. His performance was horrible. He barely made it through the opening monologue, mostly on Poehler and Shatner's coattails. After that, it was just a disaster.

Worst athlete performance on SNL? Probably. Most of them are highly memorable. Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Lebron James--even Charles Barkley had his moments.
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post #23 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellbm View Post

It was posted here a while back that NBC wants everything 4x3 safe this season, which is a major step backwards for broadcast tv. If the entire 16x9 isn't going to be used, than why was HD tv created using that aspect ratio?

That's depressing. I am still in 4:3 world but I liked it that NBC was doing 16:9 letterbox for virtually all of their programs for the last few seasons, including SNL. "4:3 safe" in 16:9 doesn't look good in either aspect ratio in my opinion. If it's going to be this annoying to watch TV then I should just cancel cable and put the money towards some DVD sets at the end of the season. If SNL does something really good it will be plastered all over the internet anyway.
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post #24 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdawg View Post

I like the idea about the 1/1/2010 deadline. Eventually there will have to be some deadline/regulation about widescreen, since it wasn't included in the original ATSC. But I think 2010 may be a bit too soon. With current HDTV penetration around 33%, will it be enough by 2010 to make such a big move? I'd say the number of widescreen sets would have to be at least 60 to 75% before networks would start designing for widescreen.

For all those with standard-def TV's, conversion to widescreen mode would be easy:

Via cable and satellite, the headends will do all the work for the consumer, making the picture widescreen.

Via a CECB, the user need only change the aspect ratio selection from "Zoom" to "16:9". That's it.

What you and others (including HDTVChallenged) may not understand is that the problem isn't on the end of the consumer, but that of the producers who create and air 4x3 SD material. As long as most, if not all, TV production is in widescreen SD or HD, the HDTV penetration could be 0% and the networks could still produce 16x9-native graphics and framing without issues.
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post #25 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 05:25 AM
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John Belushi and Gilda Radner must be rolling in their graves about how pathetic and irrelevant SNL has become. I am so glad I didn't stay up to watch it live and just TiVoed it. Out of the 90 mins, I watched 10 mins of it and FF the rest. The Palin skit was the best. It was funny and well done. The Phelps diet was mildly funny (he needs to swim and stay off the TV, he sucks). I couldn't believe the amount of cue card usage. Even my wife asked do they not learn their lines anymore? These people are NOT funny. They ARE mean spirited and that isn't comedy. The rest of the show was a waste of electricity at the stations and people's homes. Won't be watching again. I can't believe how far this show has fallen from the days in the 70's and 80's when I watched it LIVE every week.

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post #26 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 06:38 AM
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john belushi and gilda radner must be rolling in their graves about how pathetic and irrelevant snl has become. I am so glad i didn't stay up to watch it live and just tivoed it. Out of the 90 mins, i watched 10 mins of it and ff the rest. The palin skit was the best. It was funny and well done. The phelps diet was mildly funny (he needs to swim and stay off the tv, he sucks). I couldn't believe the amount of cue card usage. Even my wife asked do they not learn their lines anymore? These people are not funny. They are mean spirited and that isn't comedy. The rest of the show was a waste of electricity at the stations and people's homes. Won't be watching again. I can't believe how far this show has fallen from the days in the 70's and 80's when i watched it live every week.

+1

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post #27 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

Via cable and satellite, the headends will do all the work for the consumer, making the picture widescreen.

But that's *not* what they are doing ... they are just center cutting. Joe-6pack still wants all of his 4:3 screen filled. As long as there was access to a separate SD analog feed, there was no problem. Unfortunately, Cable and Satellite are going to be forced to feed both SD and HD locals from a single HD feed.
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post #28 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 09:50 AM
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We all have different opinions. I thought it was a good opener. Highlights being the Palin/Hilary sketch and the Space Olympics video
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post #29 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 10:14 AM
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Opening Palin-Hillary Skit great. Rest of show was one of the worst in recent years. Has show finally run its course?
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post #30 of 776 Old 09-15-2008, 10:25 AM
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I thought that I've actually seen a lot worse in recent years from SNL.

And ofcourse Michael Phelps hosting was a complete publicity stunt for a ratings bump.

Michael Phelps is a good guy, unbelievably amazing swimmer, and an Olympic American althete hero...

But he's no actor.

The big problem I had with Phelps' performance was that he seemed to refuse to look at any of the other actors directly when he was in any of his skits.

Most notably the "Pepper Waiter Guy" skit.

He was looking in a completely different direction than the other actors on screen.

Kinda awkward while watching.
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