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HDTV Programming > Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in HDTV!
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV 02:03 AM 12-11-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3193 View Post

Don't get me wrong; I love TCM - one of the most worthwhile channels on cable. But they have set their own very high standards for showing films the right way, and it's always a shock when they get it wrong. I wouldn't bother commenting if it were IFC or any of a number of other channels that just don't seem to care.

The problem is, most of their SD stuff is probably on digital betacam or standard DVC tape. Prior to the upgrade, they only had to pop in the tape, set up to the bars and roll it at the appropriate time. Letterboxed stuff was letterboxed already on the tape - they don't do anything to make it that way.

Now, they have an HD switcher. The naitve aspect/resolution is 16x9 HD. So, it either needs an HD signal, or someone to tell it the signal is SD and how to handle it. If they do nothing, the switcher is going to stretch it, like you would an anamorphic signal. If you have it set up to upconvert a letterboxed movie, it's going to crop 4x3 content on an SD tape. If you have it set to display the source natively, 4x3 content will look normal, but letterboxed stuff off the SD tape will be a postage stamp in the middle of the HD screen. If the paperwork isn't correct for the movie, the operator may set it one way when it needs to be another. Likewise, with multiple settings that need to be recalled, it's possible to do it wrong.

That doesn't even account for technical issues, requiring them to switch the HD feed over to show the SD feed, which is likely to stretch it unless the reconfigure the output - which would be side to widescreen mode in order to display HD.

The point here is, the operators never had to anything at all to display everything OAR. They just rolled the tape, which had the film at the proper aspect already. Now, they have an odd mix of old 4x3 SD, letterboxed SD, 4x3 HD, letterboxed HD and a bunch of new equipment that is always going to have bugs that don't show up until you go on the air with it.

For that reason, I'll cut them a ton of slack. If they still make these mistakes in 6 months, then I'd gripe.

Quote:


The WB library is indeed one of the largest, but a surprising number of their films already have HD transfers. However I understood that they were not set up to air any true HD yet, that everything would be upconverts for a while. Do you have info to the contrary?

They likely don't have very many of those new transfers on tape yet (or ingested on the server, if they're using a tapeless playback system). In some cases, it's just a matter of getting them in. In other cases, they just have to renew the rights and include HD. Finally, in other cases, they're still waiting for the transfer to be completed.

Joseph Dubin's Avatar Joseph Dubin 09:30 AM 12-14-2009
Anyone watching last night's Ben Hur notice audio distortation? Trying to determine if it's TCM or New York Cablevision.
Joseph Dubin's Avatar Joseph Dubin 08:23 PM 12-14-2009
UPDATE ON BEN-HUR:

My brother who does not have HD had no audio distoration on standard definition. So the problem, if TCM's, would be with the HD soundtrack.
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 02:57 PM 01-02-2010
Has anyone had trouble recording TCM, SD or HD, to a DVDR lately? Several people on the TCM site forum were unable to record The Scarlet Claw, during the Sherlock Holmes marathon, and some can no longer record TCM at all, because of copy protection issues.

If anyone has had this problem, please state your service provider, and other details. Thanks!
bruin95's Avatar bruin95 12:28 AM 01-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Has anyone had trouble recording TCM, SD or HD, to a DVDR lately? Several people on the TCM site forum were unable to record The Scarlet Claw, during the Sherlock Holmes marathon, and some can no longer record TCM at all, because of copy protection issues.

If anyone has had this problem, please state your service provider, and other details. Thanks!

No problems recording TCM via Dish Network or Cox Cable in Vegas.
dsinger's Avatar dsinger 07:42 AM 01-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Has anyone had trouble recording TCM, SD or HD, to a DVDR lately? Several people on the TCM site forum were unable to record The Scarlet Claw, during the Sherlock Holmes marathon, and some can no longer record TCM at all, because of copy protection issues.

If anyone has had this problem, please state your service provider, and other details. Thanks!

No trouble with Bright House in the Orlando area.
nathan_h's Avatar nathan_h 11:42 AM 01-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Has anyone had trouble recording TCM, SD or HD, to a DVDR lately? Several people on the TCM site forum were unable to record The Scarlet Claw, during the Sherlock Holmes marathon, and some can no longer record TCM at all, because of copy protection issues.

If anyone has had this problem, please state your service provider, and other details. Thanks!

I see you are using a stand alone DVD-R SD recorder. What connection do you use from your cable box to the DVD recorder?
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 12:04 PM 01-03-2010
Well, I didn't have a problem. I have Comcast, and have a non-DVR HD box dedicated to my DVDR as a tuner, using S-Video and R/L audio connections. But, a lot of people on the TCM website forums had trouble. It seems to have started with the broadcast of The Scarlet Claw, on Dec. 26th. Some had no problems after that title, but others still get a 'copy-protected' message, when trying to record to their DVDRs from TCM. It seems that most, possibly all, with the problem have U-verse. But, some with U-verse had no problem.

So, I'm looking for clues. It is my understanding that the service provider would insert the anti-copy signal, or at least deliberately pass it on from the channel, out the head end. So, maybe U-verse made a mistake? And, yes, I know some DVDRs are finicky, and see copy protection where there is none.
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 01:36 PM 01-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Well, I didn't have a problem. I have Comcast, and have a non-DVR HD box dedicated to my DVDR as a tuner, using S-Video and R/L audio connections. But, a lot of people on the TCM website forums had trouble. It seems to have started with the broadcast of The Scarlet Claw, on Dec. 26th. Some had no problems after that title, but others still get a 'copy-protected' message, when trying to record to their DVDRs from TCM. It seems that most, possibly all, with the problem have U-verse. But, some with U-verse had no problem.

Just in passing, it's worth making the following comment...

If you have Comcast or TWC which has a working firewire port on the STB/DVR boxes from Motorola, or FIOS (I have now learned that they too use Motorola equipment with working firewire interfaces), then you do have another option other than SD DVD-R recording from S-video and analog 2-channel stereo: D-VHS tape, to record the true 1080i HD content with DD5.1 audio, exactly as it aired on TCM-HD.

Don't put it down, if you haven't tried it. I know... VCRs are so yesterday, and there are aspects of sequential tape that you'll have to put up with. But (a) it records 1080i HD with DD5.1 in its original digital form as it aired on TCM-HD, (b) it's not going to have a problem with macro-vision or anything like that as apparently you're currently discussing, and (c) you can collect tapes just like you can collect DVDs.

The JVC DVHS machines (both new and refurb) are available at B&H Photo, if you're interested. Yes, you'll also have to buy blank DVHS tape to record on (though you can use high-quality S-VHS tapes as well).

I'm just saying... why record 480i SD (even down-converted from the 1080i that aired) when you can record the 1080i original??? Why live with 2-channel analog stereo when you can record the DD5.1 digital audio?
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 02:48 PM 01-03-2010
I still have two working SVHS machines. As soon as BluRay recorders become available, and I can afford one, I'll get one. Right now, little is available on TCM in true HD. I do have a converter that converts component out from the STB to S-Vid, so I can at least make anamorphic DVDs of WS films.

Most of what I record is in 4x3, and very little is in DD5.1. If things were different, I'd be more likely to go DVHS. I did consider it at one point. I am surprised to find that new DVHS machines are still available. I should probably pick one up, just to have to play the huge SVHS collection I have, should my other players die. Not too fond of JVC, though. One of my current SVHS machines is JVC, and it is junk. My Philips is far better.
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 08:52 PM 01-03-2010
I have a question. I watched "Blue Skies" this afternoon, and thought the transfer of this 1946 film was terrific.

However the color was a bit odd, and I wonder if anybody else noticed the anomaly and/or can explain why it looked the way it did.

Perhaps it was the film print they worked with, or maybe they processed/restored it in such a way as to "enhance" the color, but I would describe what I saw as "color pumping". Fleshtones seemed to oscillate slightly between rosy skin color and kind of jaundiced skin color, in a regular frequency.

Just as the old DBX noise-reduction "companders" would exhibit a kind of pumping sound on playback of a DBX-processed recording, if you played it back too loudly. You had to be careful not to overload it on output.

I bring up this analogy because I kept thinking about this, in trying to come up with an explanation as to why I would see this "color pumping" on the film. I can only think it has something to do with how they made the digital transfer, and/or some special technique they applied in trying to boost the colors.

Anybody else notice? Was it just me?

(P.S. - Fred Astaire's fantastic "Puttin' On The Ritz" trick photography number was wonderful)
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 08:58 PM 01-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

As soon as BluRay recorders become available, and I can afford one, I'll get one.

You'll probably see 3D TV in your home long before you'll see a BluRay recorder for the home.

I had read something about such a product being available in Japan last year, but it never made it over here. Somehow I think "the Industry" would not stand for it, just as they put the kibosh on the automatic commercial-advance feature which JVC had implemented in their high-end S-VHS machines for a while (before getting big-footed, I'm sure).

There's just not a lot of enthusiasm from The Suits about making a device available that can make digitally perfect copies of their content (one of the reasons D-VHS machines with firewire interfaces are also no longer made).

Nevertheless, if a BluRay recorder (via firewire or USB) actually does come to market, I'll be glad to go to that technology instead of D-VHS tape. In the meantime...
bruin95's Avatar bruin95 01:53 AM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

You'll probably see 3D TV in your home long before you'll see a BluRay recorder for the home.

Well, since 3D-TV is already a reality, I'd say you're right.
d3193's Avatar d3193 10:39 AM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

I have a question. I watched "Blue Skies" this afternoon, and thought the transfer of this 1946 film was terrific.

However the color was a bit odd, and I wonder if anybody else noticed the anomaly and/or can explain why it looked the way it did.

Perhaps it was the film print they worked with, or maybe they processed/restored it in such a way as to "enhance" the color, but I would describe what I saw as "color pumping". Fleshtones seemed to oscillate slightly between rosy skin color and kind of jaundiced skin color, in a regular frequency.

Just as the old DBX noise-reduction "companders" would exhibit a kind of pumping sound on playback of a DBX-processed recording, if you played it back too loudly. You had to be careful not to overload it on output.

I bring up this analogy because I kept thinking about this, in trying to come up with an explanation as to why I would see this "color pumping" on the film. I can only think it has something to do with how they made the digital transfer, and/or some special technique they applied in trying to boost the colors.

Anybody else notice? Was it just me?

(P.S. - Fred Astaire's fantastic "Puttin' On The Ritz" trick photography number was wonderful)

"Puttin'On The Ritz" is indeed a knockout number, and the highlight of "Blue Skies".

I didn't see the TCM broadcast, but the color pumping you are refering to is not unusual in three-strip Technicolor films (although it's only the critical viewer who usually spots it). If Universal were to give the film the treatment that WB has to its classic 3-strip films (e.g. Robin Hood, Wizard of Oz), the pumping would be gone. But "Blue Skies" is unlikely to ever get that expensive process.
BTW, I'm not certain what causes the pumping, but I'm sure there are Technicolor experts out there who can explain it.
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 10:52 AM 01-04-2010
Topic title changed.
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 04:49 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

You'll probably see 3D TV in your home long before you'll see a BluRay recorder for the home.

I had read something about such a product being available in Japan last year, but it never made it over here...


Nevertheless, if a BluRay recorder (via firewire or USB) actually does come to market, I'll be glad to go to that technology instead of D-VHS tape. In the meantime...

BluRay recorders are available in Japan, Europe, and Australia, to name a few. With prices in the thousands, they are more than most would pay in the US, and far more of us have HD-DVRs, too. Eventually, they will make it here. This is a continuing topic on the DVDR forum. But, if you are into HTPC, BluRay recording is available right now.
dm145's Avatar dm145 05:24 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Topic title changed.

Does this mean they are now showing all HD transfers?
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 05:25 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145 View Post

Does this mean they are now showing all HD transfers?

No, all it means is I changed the topic title.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 05:44 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

You'll probably see 3D TV in your home long before you'll see a BluRay recorder for the home.

There is still a thing such as DVHS and it does work over Firewire. It might be an option. You should check out the recorders forum for this and other cable recording options.
Joseph Dubin's Avatar Joseph Dubin 06:53 PM 01-04-2010
No problem with "Sherlock Holmes" (silent) Midnight of Monday, the 28th and "The Matinee Idol", Tuesday morning, December 29th that were stored on DVR-HD and subsequently recorded onto DVD. Same with"Ice Station Zebra (aired Wednesday the 30th at 2:15 AM) but that was messed up not by any copy protection problem but by the audio distortion I've been writing about (which might be due to Cablevision, New York City).

Have no qualms with recordings downconverted from 1080i using S-Video cable. With upconversion via HDMI and prints in pristine condition the differences are subtle. On good quality but less than pristine films (i.e., "Pocketful Of Miracles") one can hardly tell them apart. Of course, much depends on the recorder, amount being stored onto disc and monitor.
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 07:20 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

There is still a thing such as DVHS and it does work over Firewire. It might be an option. You should check out the recorders forum for this and other cable recording options.

Preaching to the choir.

Surely you recognize my name and numerous posts on the subject in this forum, as being a longtime advocate of DVHS.

I own THREE of these JVC machines (two DT100U and one 40K) that I use actively, and a Panny combo (DST50/PVHD1000) that's up in the closet, and have been recording HD to DVHS since 2001 (with Dish 5000 and HDTV Converter, replaced about six years ago with TWC Motorola DVRs).

In fact, if you just look back two posts, at #279 on this very page in this very thread, you'll see me making the very same point that you have... namely that DVHS is a currently available perfectly acceptable alternative to the non-available BluRay recorders in this country, with numerous advantages over SD recording.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 07:30 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Preaching to the choir.

Surely you recognize my name and numerous posts on the subject in this forum, as being a longtime advocate of DVHS.

I own THREE of these JVC machines (two DT100U and one 40K) that I use actively, and a Panny combo (DST50/PVHD1000) that's up in the closet, and have been recording HD to DVHS since 2001 (with Dish 5000 and HDTV Converter, replaced about six years ago with TWC Motorola DVRs).

In fact, if you just look back two posts, at #279 on this very page in this very thread, you'll see me making the very same point that you have... namely that DVHS is a currently available perfectly acceptable alternative to the non-available BluRay recorders in this country, with numerous advantages over SD recording.

Ah, sorry, I didn't look at the name before I responded, and I don't really post in the recorders forum much anymore. (to be honest I haven't even hooked up my 30k in over a year anyways). But it does still work perfectly last time I checked, and as you say, it's a viable option for those who need it.
d3193's Avatar d3193 10:23 PM 01-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3193 View Post

"Puttin'On The Ritz" is indeed a knockout number, and the highlight of "Blue Skies".

I didn't see the TCM broadcast, but the color pumping you are refering to is not unusual in three-strip Technicolor films (although it's only the critical viewer who usually spots it). If Universal were to give the film the treatment that WB has to its classic 3-strip films (e.g. Robin Hood, Wizard of Oz), the pumping would be gone. But "Blue Skies" is unlikely to ever get that expensive process.
BTW, I'm not certain what causes the pumping, but I'm sure there are Technicolor experts out there who can explain it.

I've found the answer: "a slight fluctuation of color that occurs when one of the matrices has faded unevenly".
I guess it's pretty obvious that density fluctuations in one of the three strips will cause color fluctuations, and in some cases these seem to have a periodic 'breathing' effect. It used to be very obvious in prints of The African Queen, which I understand is currently being restored.
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 05:17 AM 01-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3193 View Post

I've found the answer: "a slight fluctuation of color that occurs when one of the matrices has faded unevenly".
I guess it's pretty obvious that density fluctuations in one of the three strips will cause color fluctuations, and in some cases these seem to have a periodic 'breathing' effect.

Thank you very much for this explanation.

It is perfectly appropriate that you use the word "breathing" to describe this effect, as that is the very word I thought of also using instead of "pumping" in my original color anomaly problem description. Both words really do provide a very accurate characterization of what you're seeing onscreen as you watch a steady closeup, say, of Fred Astaire.

And in fact I used to use that very same "breathing" word to describe the audio anomaly when years ago listening too loudly in my old car (which had a DBX noise-reduction unit built into its Fosgate EQ) to a cassette tape that had been produced with DBX noise-reduction.

Anyway, thanks again for the technical explanation.
Tybee's Avatar Tybee 09:28 AM 01-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

You'll probably see 3D TV in your home long before you'll see a BluRay recorder for the home.

Right on cue!

NY Times: Discovery, Imax and Sony Form 3-D Television Channel

and

USA Today: ESPN to launch 3D network in June

Watch for TCM to follow with a channel featuring all the crappy 3D movies from the 50s and 60s.
DSperber's Avatar DSperber 10:17 AM 01-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tybee View Post

Right on cue!

NY Times: Discovery, Imax and Sony Form 3-D Television Channel

and

USA Today: ESPN to launch 3D network in June

Watch for TCM to follow with a channel featuring all the crappy 3D movies from the 50s and 60s.

Right. Actually, truth be told, I had already seen some early reports on 3D TV showing at CES the other day when I crafted my original response regarding the home BluRay recorder (from firewire, like DVHS does) device which apparently is available in other countries but not cheaply and not here in the US.

The "industry" has no reason to push for a home BluRay replacement product for any VCR (much less a HD-capable VCR) to give home users super-high-quality recordings from cable/sat/OTA content that (a) provides no income for them, and (b) poses a potential threat to future sales of actual commercial BluRay discs.

In contrast, the would sure like to have the next gee-whiz content that they could sell to you (e.g. forcing you to pay extra each month for the 3D capability). They're already over-sold on mass-marketed and selling-like-crazy flat-screens whose profit margin has sunk like an anchor with the advent of real competition in the past year or two from low-end manufacturers.

Plus DVD and BluRay sales are tapering off, and that hurts them as well. Why get behind a product that competes with commercial discs even more? Probably not going to happen in this country any time soon.

But coming out with new "content that MUST be paid for" every month? Dream come true for them.
dsinger's Avatar dsinger 02:28 PM 01-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Right. Actually, truth be told, I had already seen some early reports on 3D TV showing at CES the other day when I crafted my original response regarding the home BluRay recorder (from firewire, like DVHS does) device which apparently is available in other countries but not cheaply and not here in the US.

The "industry" has no reason to push for a home BluRay replacement product for any VCR (much less a HD-capable VCR) to give home users super-high-quality recordings from cable/sat/OTA content that (a) provides no income for them, and (b) poses a potential threat to future sales of actual commercial BluRay discs.

In contrast, the would sure like to have the next gee-whiz content that they could sell to you (e.g. forcing you to pay extra each month for the 3D capability). They're already over-sold on mass-marketed and selling-like-crazy flat-screens whose profit margin has sunk like an anchor with the advent of real competition in the past year or two from low-end manufacturers.

Plus DVD and BluRay sales are tapering off, and that hurts them as well. Why get behind a product that competes with commercial discs even more? Probably not going to happen in this country any time soon.

But coming out with new "content that MUST be paid for" every month? Dream come true for them.

My Hauppauge HD PVR allows me to capture anything I want from my cable provider. Over 1 TB to date most in HD and looks very good played back over wired ethernet thru my PS3. Check the HDPC section. Two long threads.
Joseph Dubin's Avatar Joseph Dubin 09:49 PM 01-26-2010
Noticed yesterday that TCM again had windowbox problems. at least on "Sweet Bird Of Youth". When it was aired a few months back it was fine.

BTW - will be recording "Blue Skies" onto DVD next week - missed it earlier this month. Know it was a favorite for many.
DeadFormatLover's Avatar DeadFormatLover 04:55 PM 01-30-2010
And the continuing audio problems are just sickening. 3/4 of not so Great Expectations last night, and it continues off and on again today.
Ken H's Avatar Ken H 05:13 PM 01-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadFormatLover View Post

And the continuing audio problems are just sickening. 3/4 of not so Great Expectations last night, and it continues off and on again today.

No such issues with TCM HD in my area; audio was fine last night for Great Expectations, and a look National Velvet now also has no issues.

You must have a provider issue. Check with others in the local topic for your area.
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