Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in HDTV! - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 1770 Old 02-03-2010, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Now that you mention it, I did notice an audio problem, once. I have Comcast, in Ann Arbor, Mi, not so far from Ken H. A few days ago, I was recording the 1929 film Alibi, from an HD component out of a HD STB, converted to S-Video, and using R/L line audio, on my DVDR. I noticed that the HD version was not in the rare 1.2:1 aspect ratio. So, I switched my display to my DVR, and checked the SD channel. It had the OAR of 1.2:1, and the audio was fine. Then, I switched the DVR to the HD channel. The audio had LOTS of noise, like one might expect from a film that old, and the AVR displayed "Dolby Digital" as the audio. I switched back and forth several times, and the audio was always fine on the SD TCM, and awful on the HD TCM. This is the only time I have noticed an audio problem.

I have "Alibi" stored on my DVR and am going to dub it onto DVD along with "Scarlet Dawn" and "The Green Goddess" from that period. Am sure the Dolby Digital feed brought out the audio limitations of that early talkie unlike the SD which masked it.

"Inherit The Wind" was windowboxed last night, while others weren't. Using a monitor's or cable-box zoom mode does nullify the problem - even if dubbed onto DVD.
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post #362 of 1770 Old 02-03-2010, 07:17 PM
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Good news for the rest of the country but not so for us in New York, New Jersey and Conneticut - As Ken suspected, the root of the audio problem must be with Cablevision and not TCM.

Tonight heard the same audio distortion on ESPN (accompanied by picture breakup) and for a second or so on CNN.

Since this problem is occuring on multiple stations, it would be difficult to believe CV engineers are unaware of it and not trying to determine its probable cause. Is it also possible that we subscribers would have to deal with this problem while they are involved in upgrading or expanding their system?
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post #363 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 12:12 AM
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post #364 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 07:20 AM
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Even that looks better than the audio does sound.
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post #365 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 11:32 AM
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Ha ha,

Would you believe I received a phone message today from a Cablevision rep asking if my problem was still occurring with TCMHD, and if it was they would like to set-up a service call.
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post #366 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadFormatLover View Post

Ha ha,

Would you believe I received a phone message today from a Cablevision rep asking if my problem was still occurring with TCMHD, and if it was they would like to set-up a service call.

Sure, and tell them to come on over to my house after that for tea and cookies.
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post #367 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 02:47 PM
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Sure, and tell them to come on over to my house after that for tea and cookies.

Me?
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post #368 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 03:59 PM
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Me?

OK, you can come over with them!
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post #369 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For example, TCM SD wasn't DD2.0, and isn't DD2.0. It's your HD STB that converts TCM SD 2 channel audio to a Dolby format, for consistent processing by end user audio equipment.

What digital audio format does the cable company send the STB for it to convert it into DD2.0?

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
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post #370 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

What digital audio format does the cable company send the STB for it to convert it into DD2.0?

For 480i digital cable or DBS channels, I think it's PCM. HD channels all have DD.

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post #371 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 05:41 PM
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Also, any idea when next HD showing will be?
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post #372 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Since everyone agrees the audio issue is Cablevision, I'd like to see further CV specific discussion move to the dedicated CV forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=864641

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post #373 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dm145 View Post

Also, any idea when next HD showing will be?

I've asked for specifics.

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post #374 of 1770 Old 02-04-2010, 07:34 PM
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Hey Ken,

Sorry if I hot-linked to something I shouldn't have.
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post #375 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

For 480i digital cable or DBS channels, I think it's PCM.

I think that's very unlikely on any cable system. Stereo PCM would require about 1.4 mbps of bandwidth, almost as much as SD video. That would be a huge waste of bandwidth, taking three or four times as much as a DD5.1 stream for no good reason.

On my Comcast system for example the audio of all unencrypted SD channels comes down the wire in DD2.0 at 192 kbps. The STB passes that bit for bit to my receiver with no conversion.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
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post #376 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 05:48 PM
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As far as how much HD is on TCM HD, all I can go on is what I see, and most of the time it's HD.

Really??! I know you're capable of recognizing HD, but I'm watching on Comcast in Michigan on a large screen (102" diagonal), and I have yet to see anything in HD.
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post #377 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 08:56 PM
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In my opinion regardless of whether or not the studio transfer that gets aired is "true HD" or not, one principle should be depended on:

when broadcasting on a 16:9-capable digital channel the OAR presentation should use 100% of either the horizontal or vertical dimension, whichever is appropriate.

So OAR 4:3 transfers (or 1.37:1, etc.) should always use all vertical real estate and have black bars of appropriate width on left and right.

And OAR 16:9 transfers (including 1.85:1, 2.20:1, 2:35:1, 2:40:1, etc.) should always use all horizontal real estate with black bars of appropriate height on top and bottom.

Period.

No matter what the underlying inherent HD or not-quite-HD quality of the digital transfer itself, there is simply no excuse for broadcasting a 16:9-appropriate film inside of a postage stamp with black bars on all four sides. That is just technical incompetence at the broadcaster's end, and is inexcusable... especially when showing films in OAR is one of the claims-to-fame of the channel.

Not flipping a switch to make sure the film appears as best as it can, using as much of the 16:9 screen as it can on what's defined as an HD channel... either horizontally or vertically... well that's just grounds for firing the technician responsible for supposedly monitoring what's going out over "the air". Don't they have a monitor in the control room to see what's being transmitted?

There is no reasonable explanation for this. There's no explanation I would accept to rationalize why 2.35:1 "The Way We Were" occupies full width of the 16:9 screen (appearing as letterboxed on a 4:3 screen with black bars on top and bottom) as it should look for both screen sizes, but 2.20:1 "Funny Girl" is aired immediately following as a postage stamp letterboxed inside of 4:3 real estate on the 16:9 screen (and further miniaturized postage stamp letterboxed on a 4:3 screen), as it shouldn't look for either screen size. This is plain and simple a technical screwup that has nothing to do with the transfer itself.

To make it worse, when they do present something mis-displayed, as if they were broadcasting a 4:3 SD version on the HD channel, I often see the horizontal white/black additional data crawling from left to right at the top of the frame (is that closed-captioning data, or something? can't recall what it is). This is stuff that is usually overscanned-out on a CRT (at typically 2-4% or higher), though if you reduce overscan to near-zero you will often reveal this stuff. So how does this crap appear on an HD channel, unless they themselves are actually broadcasting the SD channel content by mistake???

All in all, TCM is to blame here, in my opinion. It's not the cable companies doing anything to cause this. They're just retransmitting what TCM sends them.

I spent an hour on the phone (three separate calls, actually) with TCM the other day... never getting past their "first line of defense" customer service people who are trained simply to say NO to anything you suggest. They are NOT helpful or responsive, which is very odd for a Customer Service Department representative at a network. They refused to pass me on to "someone in Engineering" (I was told "there's no one in Engineering I'm allowed to talk to"), and insisted that letterboxing and the transfer comes from the provider studio (isn't that Turner itself??)... seemingly not even listening to me or understanding what I was saying, that my comment didn't have to do with the transfer and whether it was OAR or letterboxed or not (and in fact I WANTED OAR), but rather with the airing of that transfer by their Engineering department that was purely a screwup.

Maybe if more people actually phone them and complain, they'll get the point.
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post #378 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by compson View Post

Really??! I know you're capable of recognizing HD, but I'm watching on Comcast in Michigan on a large screen (102" diagonal), and I have yet to see anything in HD.

Depends on the source material.

So many old films in TCM's library have already been remastered for DVD and therefore look great even if only upconverted to 1080i. Others have only been remastered for standard broadcast before TCM went HD so the picture is good but of lesser quality (similar to Turner's standard DVD releases compared to those in it's "WB Archive Collection"). I also understand that cost is a factor for leasing better quality prints for broadcast.

I don't know if any films shown so far have actually been remastered to 1080p but perhaps the large screen is bringing out more of the limitations of upconverted 480p material compared to the more traditional-sized ones.
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post #379 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 10:09 PM
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DS,

What I don't understand is that the problem first appeared during TCM's switchover to HD and then went away for almost six months before returning again.

I agree, it's virtually impossible for TCM not be be aware that the problem we thought they had resolved has turned up once again. I won't try to contemplate what's causing some films to be broadcast window-boxed and how long it could take to clear it up, but I do wish TCM had the courtesy to at least address the issue on it's webpage and offer an apology for the inconvenience.
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post #380 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin View Post

I agree, it's virtually impossible for TCM not be be aware that the problem we thought they had resolved has turned up once again. I won't try to contemplate what's causing some films to be broadcast window-boxed and how long it could take to clear it up, but I do wish TCM had the courtesy to at least address the issue on it's webpage and offer an apology for the inconvenience.

For them to do that, wouldn't the TCM web site need to first acknowledge TCM HD even exists?
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post #381 of 1770 Old 02-05-2010, 10:42 PM
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Keep up the good fight, friends. I cannot get TCM HD on Dish, otherwise I'd be right there with you, calling and writing and complaining.


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post #382 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 12:01 AM
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For them to do that, wouldn't the TCM web site need to first acknowledge TCM HD even exists?

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
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I almost hesitate to say this, but since 2:45 pm EST yesterday afternoon In Harm's Way (1965), through right now, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), there have been no audio issues and every film in widescreen has been fitting all the real estate.

I received a second call from Cablevision asking me if everything sounded and looked correct, which certainly surprised me.

Who knows why things appear fixed, at least for now, but perhaps someone from TCMHD or from Cablevision saw this thread, or because one of us called these folks.
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post #384 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

In my opinion regardless of whether or not the studio transfer that gets aired is "true HD" or not, one principle should be depended on:

when broadcasting on a 16:9-capable digital channel the OAR presentation should use 100% of either the horizontal or vertical dimension, whichever is appropriate.

So OAR 4:3 transfers (or 1.37:1, etc.) should always use all vertical real estate and have black bars of appropriate width on left and right.

And OAR 16:9 transfers (including 1.85:1, 2.20:1, 2:35:1, 2:40:1, etc.) should always use all horizontal real estate with black bars of appropriate height on top and bottom.

Period.

No matter what the underlying inherent HD or not-quite-HD quality of the digital transfer itself, there is simply no excuse for broadcasting a 16:9-appropriate film inside of a postage stamp with black bars on all four sides. That is just technical incompetence at the broadcaster's end, and is inexcusable... especially when showing films in OAR is one of the claims-to-fame of the channel.

Not flipping a switch to make sure the film appears as best as it can, using as much of the 16:9 screen as it can on what's defined as an HD channel... either horizontally or vertically... well that's just grounds for firing the technician responsible for supposedly monitoring what's going out over "the air". Don't they have a monitor in the control room to see what's being transmitted?

There is no reasonable explanation for this. There's no explanation I would accept to rationalize why 2.35:1 "The Way We Were" occupies full width of the 16:9 screen (appearing as letterboxed on a 4:3 screen with black bars on top and bottom) as it should look for both screen sizes, but 2.20:1 "Funny Girl" is aired immediately following as a postage stamp letterboxed inside of 4:3 real estate on the 16:9 screen (and further miniaturized postage stamp letterboxed on a 4:3 screen), as it shouldn't look for either screen size. This is plain and simple a technical screwup that has nothing to do with the transfer itself.

To make it worse, when they do present something mis-displayed, as if they were broadcasting a 4:3 SD version on the HD channel, I often see the horizontal white/black additional data crawling from left to right at the top of the frame (is that closed-captioning data, or something? can't recall what it is). This is stuff that is usually overscanned-out on a CRT (at typically 2-4% or higher), though if you reduce overscan to near-zero you will often reveal this stuff. So how does this crap appear on an HD channel, unless they themselves are actually broadcasting the SD channel content by mistake???

All in all, TCM is to blame here, in my opinion. It's not the cable companies doing anything to cause this. They're just retransmitting what TCM sends them.

I spent an hour on the phone (three separate calls, actually) with TCM the other day... never getting past their "first line of defense" customer service people who are trained simply to say NO to anything you suggest. They are NOT helpful or responsive, which is very odd for a Customer Service Department representative at a network. They refused to pass me on to "someone in Engineering" (I was told "there's no one in Engineering I'm allowed to talk to"), and insisted that letterboxing and the transfer comes from the provider studio (isn't that Turner itself??)... seemingly not even listening to me or understanding what I was saying, that my comment didn't have to do with the transfer and whether it was OAR or letterboxed or not (and in fact I WANTED OAR), but rather with the airing of that transfer by their Engineering department that was purely a screwup.

Maybe if more people actually phone them and complain, they'll get the point.

What about the times they show a movie with top and bottom bars that appear to be right size and when you look close you can see a sliver of black on the left and right sides. Is this just a sd letterboxed movie blown up?

Like right now 9:30 am - "How the West Was Won" (1962)
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post #385 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145 View Post

What about the times they show a movie with top and bottom bars that appear to be right size and when you look close you can see a sliver of black on the left and right sides. Is this just a sd letterboxed movie blown up?

Like right now 9:30 am - "How the West Was Won" (1962)

Well, I'm not sure why HTWWW is showing that, since it was a Cinerama movie, and should - if anything - be even wider than scope. It also has a relatively new HD transfer, so there's no real reason why you should be seeing what your seeing unless it's on everything. If it were on everything, that would likely be something in the equipment chain. If it were blown up from an SD transfer, you'd really know. With such a wide scope, it would look dreadful blown up from an OAR SD transfer.

However, in the case of other movies that were shot at something like 1.66:1, there should be small bars on the left and right, but with no top or bottom bars.
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post #386 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 11:04 AM
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Lady Sings the Blues' language was totally uncensored last night; is this common for TCM? I mean, anything I'm interested in, I'd prefer to be uncensored. But I was surprised because I get this channel on the lowest basic tier.

"But I didn't do it...!"
"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #387 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145 View Post

What about the times they show a movie with top and bottom bars that appear to be right size and when you look close you can see a sliver of black on the left and right sides. Is this just a sd letterboxed movie blown up?

Like right now 9:30 am - "How the West Was Won" (1962)

No, it could be that the overscan of your monitor might be causing some pictures to not fill the entire screen.

This cropping really has nothing to do with your set than the source material itself. That's why most monitors have various settings to compensate for the percentage of information that is sent out in 16x9. My Samsung has a "screen fit" mode which shows the entire picture uncropped and a "16x9" which slightly enlarges the picture to fill the entire screen. Many of my DVDs look fine using "screen fit", however, there are minute pillars on the sides of "Lawrence of Arabia" which necessitates switching over to 16x9 so the screen is filled properly.

How was the picture quality of "How The West Was Won"? I have it on DVD and it is way below standard. Unless it's since been re-released on DVD and digitally remastered, if the picture quality is bad on TCM it's probably because that was the best print available.
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post #388 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Lady Sings the Blues' language was totally uncensored last night; is this common for TCM? I mean, anything I'm interested in, I'd prefer to be uncensored. But I was surprised because I get this channel on the lowest basic tier.

Yes it is. All films on TCM are presented uncut and unedited and without interruption.

Only when they first began broadcasting did TCM edit out profanity and nudity.
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post #389 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadFormatLover View Post

I almost hesitate to say this, but since 2:45 pm EST yesterday afternoon In Harm's Way (1965), through right now, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), there have been no audio issues and every film in widescreen has been fitting all the real estate.

I received a second call from Cablevision asking me if everything sounded and looked correct, which certainly surprised me.

Who knows why things appear fixed, at least for now, but perhaps someone from TCMHD or from Cablevision saw this thread, or because one of us called these folks.

Great news, but since I'm a Met fan I've learned never to take anything for granted. As Ken H. as requested, let's discuss this more in the local cablevision forum instead.
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post #390 of 1770 Old 02-06-2010, 12:59 PM
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Yes it is. All films on TCM are presented uncut and unedited and without interruption.


Not necessarily. I have seen an "airline print" or old TV print or two on things they show, but it is admittedly rare, and generally on stuff that is rarely seen.

The Strawberry Statement had a lot of language blanked out, for example, and it was 4:3. It was so lame I didn't particularly care.

CW Hinkle
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