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HDTV Programming > Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in HDTV!
StonesCat's Avatar StonesCat 09:08 PM 07-31-2010
I don't get too worked up by it, really. Even if it's not HD, it's cool to see so many films that are wide scoped, because there's nowhere else they've ever been on in true HD anyway yet. It's not like they're showing them out of aspect anyway, in regards to the black bars on the sides or top.

rrg's Avatar rrg 09:12 PM 07-31-2010
"The Searchers" is available on Blu-Ray.
rebkell's Avatar rebkell 09:27 PM 07-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspector View Post

Check out "The Searchers" playing right now. Black borders on 3 sides, (sort of half assed window boxing)...what's up with that?

I checked it out when you posted this and 'The Searchers' wasn't on, it was showing 'Bad Day at Black Rock' and it was what I'd normally classify as 2.35:1 and had black bars at the top and bottom.
gwsat's Avatar gwsat 07:24 AM 08-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspector View Post

Check out "The Searchers" playing right now. Black borders on 3 sides, (sort of half assed window boxing)...what's up with that?

They were using a non-anamorphic disc. I got Vertigo on DVD from Netflix last week and it was coded the same way. The old Tombstone DVD has the same problem. It really stinks. I sent the Vertigo DVD back to NF without watching it. I didn't pay for a 60 inch display to have to watch a 40 inch image.
dougotte's Avatar dougotte 10:39 AM 08-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

They were using a non-anamorphic disc. I got Vertigo on DVD from Netflix last week and it was coded the same way. The old Tombstone DVD has the same problem. It really stinks. I sent the Vertigo DVD back to NF without watching it. I didn't pay for a 60 inch display to have to watch a 40 inch image.

You must have gotten a VERY old copy of Vertigo. It's been available as a 16:9 enhanced DVD for a few years, at least.

Doug
gwsat's Avatar gwsat 11:39 AM 08-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

You must have gotten a VERY old copy of Vertigo. It's been available as a 16:9 enhanced DVD for a few years, at least.

Doug

I don't know the provenance of the Vertigo DVD that NF sent to me. Unfortunately, it was so old fashioned that the image appeared in a letterbox.
StonesCat's Avatar StonesCat 06:46 PM 08-02-2010
On a somewhat related note to Vertigo, Cinemax has been showing about all the Hitchcock movies in HD from Man Who Knew Too Much thru Frenzy lately. Vertigo looked amazing on there.
bruin95's Avatar bruin95 12:06 AM 08-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by StonesCat View Post

On a somewhat related note to Vertigo, Cinemax has been showing about all the Hitchcock movies in HD from Man Who Knew Too Much thru Frenzy lately. Vertigo looked amazing on there.

It's really amazing how many films TCM shows, on a regular basis, that show up in HD on other channels. TCM really needs to get their head out of their a$$e$ already. It's 2010! Time to start showing actual HD content on your "HD" channel.
DB2's Avatar DB2 10:09 AM 08-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin95 View Post

It's really amazing how many films TCM shows, on a regular basis, that show up in HD on other channels. TCM really needs to get their head out of their a$$e$ already. It's 2010! Time to start showing actual HD content on your "HD" channel.

+1

They could at least start showing HD films that already have completed HD transfers. It would probably only make up 10% of their content but it would be a start.
d3193's Avatar d3193 10:16 AM 08-03-2010
I posted recently about hearing Automatic Gain Control at work on TCM's audio. Then the following night I was watching Beauty And The Beast, a film with many quiet passages where any AGC would have been obvious, and heard none of the noise pumping I thought I'd heard before. So I removed the post.

Then this weekend The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes aired, and the hiss/crackle noise levels on the 'quieter' sequences rose dramatically. It has to be AGC at work, and it's an unpleasant effect.

But why on some films and not on others? I know that the Beauty and the Beast version was recently restored, and I'm guessing that the Sherlock Holmes was not a recent transfer. Was one played on an all-digital system that did not mess with the audio and the other through an older chain that included AGC? I have no idea; just speculating.

Am I the only one hearing this?
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 06:24 PM 08-03-2010
Although I didn't watch either of those, I have them on disc, I have noticed the effect you speak of. I would be tempted to say it is in the source material. However, on a couple of occasions, I have been watching old films on TCMHD, heard all that noise, turned to TCMSD, and the noise was absent. Perhaps this is because TCMHD is always in DD, but TCMSD isn't?
film113's Avatar film113 10:18 PM 08-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by StonesCat View Post

On a somewhat related note to Vertigo, Cinemax has been showing about all the Hitchcock movies in HD from Man Who Knew Too Much thru Frenzy lately. Vertigo looked amazing on there.

AGreed. I've seen SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THE BIRDS, ROPE, and FRENZY. As well as other classics like the original INVISIBLE MAN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, etc. Even more oldies on MGM-HD. Right now, FIOS doesn't carry TCM-HD and some people do request it. But as it is right now...I could care less if they carry it.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 11:04 PM 08-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by film113 View Post

AGreed. I've seen SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THE BIRDS, ROPE, and FRENZY. As well as other classics like the original INVISIBLE MAN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, etc. Even more oldies on MGM-HD. Right now, FIOS doesn't carry TCM-HD and some people do request it. But as it is right now...I could care less if they carry it.

I also caught some of them on Cinemax, and while fine for Hitchcock's 1.85AR movies, there are some that are 1.66 and unfortunately that being the case Cinemax was showing them in 1.33.
sirjonsnow's Avatar sirjonsnow 07:00 AM 08-04-2010
Notorious is on at 11:30pm ET Friday.
DB2's Avatar DB2 08:52 AM 08-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

I also caught some of them on Cinemax, and while fine for Hitchcock's 1.85AR movies, there are some that are 1.66 and unfortunately that being the case Cinemax was showing them in 1.33.

This is the main reason I can't stand Cinemax, Epix, etc. Right now HDNet Movies (and maybe Showtime?) is the only channel to consistanly show HD movies in their OAR. I'm hoping that whenever TCM starts showing HD, they'll do the same.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 12:17 PM 08-04-2010
SHO is OAR (mostly, I've caught a few mistakes) but their movies suck.
StonesCat's Avatar StonesCat 01:39 PM 08-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DB2 View Post

This is the main reason I can't stand Cinemax, Epix, etc. Right now HDNet Movies (and maybe Showtime?) is the only channel to consistanly show HD movies in their OAR. I'm hoping that whenever TCM starts showing HD, they'll do the same.

Epix ain't perfect, but it shows quite a bit of the movies in OAR. Basically besides most of the new Paramount ones, about everything is the way it should be. And even new Star Trek was shown in OAR from Paramount. HDNet Movies is the model, I'm with you, MGM is (aspect-wise) as well. And like DaveFi says, most of Showtime's library consists of garbage that never even saw a theatrical release.
film113's Avatar film113 02:32 PM 08-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by StonesCat View Post

And like DaveFi says, most of Showtime's library consists of garbage that never even saw a theatrical release.

You mean non-theatricals like QUANTUM OF SOLACE, TWILIGHT, W., SAW V1, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, TRANSIBERIAN, THE BANK JOB, VALKYRIE, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, etc? As for the smaller films that they present that didn't get theatrical releases...I applaud them also. Many of the smaller films (LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN, for example) are better than junk like TWILIGHT or THE BOUNTY HUNTER or TRANSFORMERS ...and it's the only way those smaller indies can be seen in HD (as they usually don't get Blu-Ray releases).

ALL premiums have their share of "junk" movies. But out of all the pay channels (HBO/MAX/EPIX/STARZ), SHOWIME is the one I'll probably never drop...because they actually give a s**t.
StonesCat's Avatar StonesCat 05:47 PM 08-04-2010
I know they show some big new releases, but after that it's pretty sparse for older movies. If they knocked about 3 or 4 channels off their platter, they could program a day a little better. I don't think they're showing the "indies" for community service reasons. But, hey, every pay channel has it's pros and cons, that's life. TCM would have very few cons if they ever got the HD rolling.
DB2's Avatar DB2 03:33 PM 08-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by StonesCat View Post

TCM would have very few cons if they ever got the HD rolling.

That's the magic of TCM. OAR, good transfers and very few duds.
inspector's Avatar inspector 04:35 PM 08-05-2010
They just showed a Tarzan this morning in 1.37:1 and it was 1.85:1 on the latest release from WBArchives. The second Tarzan movie was a 2.35:1 and it was windowboxed! Just like upscaling a non-anamorphic DVD to 1080i/p.
Mr Magic's Avatar Mr Magic 11:47 PM 08-06-2010
Autumn Sonata is on now. Not only is it a god awful upconversion but they've zoomed in on the image cutting off part of the subtitles. Pathetic......
rckt24's Avatar rckt24 12:46 AM 08-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3193 View Post

I posted recently about hearing Automatic Gain Control at work on TCM's audio. Then the following night I was watching Beauty And The Beast, a film with many quiet passages where any AGC would have been obvious, and heard none of the noise pumping I thought I'd heard before. So I removed the post.

Then this weekend The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes aired, and the hiss/crackle noise levels on the 'quieter' sequences rose dramatically. It has to be AGC at work, and it's an unpleasant effect.

But why on some films and not on others? I know that the Beauty and the Beast version was recently restored, and I'm guessing that the Sherlock Holmes was not a recent transfer. Was one played on an all-digital system that did not mess with the audio and the other through an older chain that included AGC? I have no idea; just speculating.

Am I the only one hearing this?

I notice it too. I haven't watched TCM lately but I hear it in just about every movie. TCM is the only channel I hear this on.
inspector's Avatar inspector 11:28 AM 08-08-2010
I was switching back and forth between TCM digital and HD and the HD has a sort of low thunder echo. whilst the digital is normal.

All in all, it's a real hit and miss with them.
kjbawc's Avatar kjbawc 06:15 PM 08-08-2010
TCM HD IS digital. Depending on your service provider, TCM SD may be analog, or digital, but their sound isn't Dolby Digital, like TCM HD.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 02:50 PM 09-02-2010
All six of my recorders dedicated to viewing/recording from TCM were used to record the 24 hours of Thelma Todd programming on Monday/Tuesday. The Thelma Todd programming consisted of ten movies from 1931-1936 and twenty shorts, comprised of eighteen two reelers and two three reelers of the 1930-1935 period.

Four Panasonic direct to DVD recorders utilized in a tandem recording strategy made one set of seven DVDs recorded at the Panasonic LP recording mode (four hours per DVD).

One each Philips 3575 and Magnavox 2160 recorders were utilized in a tandem recording strategy where the entire Thelma Todd programming was recorded at SP mostly in recording blocks of around 2.5 hours. Once edited, divided and reorganized the high-speed dubbing session produced the second set of ten (SP) DVDs. The high-speed dubbing strategy involved reorganizing the programming so that one movie and two or three shorts of the same or a near vintage were paired together on each DVD. Certain related interstitials from the day's programming were retained and used to fill out the 2:10:00 per DVD capacity of a few of the discs. These included three one reel shorts, the first from Edgar Bergen, the second from Patsy Kelly and the third from Robert Benchley.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 08:34 PM 09-02-2010
TV Notes
'March of Time' Marathon (TCM)
Time Marches... Backwards!
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - September 2nd, 2010


A re-enactment of a Nazi storm trooper collecting funds from a housewife
in “Inside Nazi Germany — 1938,” from “The March of Time” series. The setting
was actually Hoboken, N.J., and the actors were anti-Nazi German-Americans.


I’ve learned to shrug off some fairly ignominious baggage associated with being a resident of New Jersey: the Burr-Hamilton duel, the Hindenburg disaster, “Jersey Shore,” the Nets’ 2009-10 season. But the news that my state was once part of the Third Reich — that was an unsettling surprise.

It’s one of the odd bits of trivia that emerge from the fresh look being taken at “The March of Time,” a series of short films created from 1935 to 1951, an era when people expected more than just previews and a feature when they settled into their movie theater seats. The Museum of Modern Art is in the midst of a week and a half of screenings of these illuminating curiosities, and on Sunday night TCM (in conjunction with HBO Archives) is showing a four-hour marathon of them, introduced by the film historian Robert Osborne (8 to 11PM ET, 5 to 9PM PT).

It’s hard to know today even what to call these films. (Raymond Fielding, a retired college educator who wrote a book about the series, told me that roughly 290 were made.) “Newsreels” seems inadequate; they are longer, more detailed and much more opinionated than the standard-issue newsreels that preceded them. “Documentaries” is closer, but the blaring orchestrations and outlandish voice-overs sound nothing like a modern documentary.

It’s tempting to give up and label these whats-its a mass-media Neanderthal — an evolutionary dead end; an attempt to merge the tools of newsgathering and filmmaking that had its moment but died out. Except that, once you watch a few and learn about how they were made, you start to see a little “March of Time” in almost everything: Fox News, “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” the History channel, schlocky reality shows of the “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” variety, PBS’s “P.O.V.” “The March of Time” series, a creation of the folks at Time magazine, began as a radio broadcast but made the leap to film in 1935. It often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing — foreign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.

The signature was the narration of Westbrook Van Voorhis: loud and urgent and Godlike, if you think of God’s voice as a cross between an evacuate-immediately announcement and a dentist’s drill. (“Time” — pause — “marches on!” was his ending punctuation.) And the images he was narrating over, though they looked as if they were actual events filmed as they happened, often weren’t: many were re-creations.

Which is how my state became part of the Nazi empire. Perhaps the most galvanizing film the series ever produced was “Inside Nazi Germany,” an examination of Hitler’s Germany that was shown in 1938, a time when isolationist sentiment was strong in the United States. Dr. Fielding explained that Louis de Rochemont, the mastermind of the series in its first decade, had gotten some rare inside-Germany footage from a cameraman named Julien Bryan but was disappointed with it; it looked too promotional and revealed nothing about the harshness of life under Hitler.

And so “The March of Time” crew went to Hoboken, N.J., where, as Dr. Fielding related in his book “The March of Time, 1935-1951” (published in 1978), there was a German-American neighborhood whose residents were strongly anti-Nazi and happy to help raise the alarm about Hitler. Scenes of German censors going through mail, a storm trooper pressuring a housewife for a monetary contribution and so on were staged with the Hoboken residents and cut into the finished film alongside Bryan’s footage.

New Jersey, alas, also had a very real connection to Hitler; the German American Bund, a pro-Nazi group, had a strong presence in the state. But in the “March of Time” instance, at least, New Jersey’s moment as a Nazi colony was for a good cause, because “Inside Nazi Germany” helped force the American public to confront an issue it had been avoiding. “The March of Time” excelled at that. “You would have people yelling in the theaters” during “Inside Nazi Germany” and some of the other more incendiary films in the series, Dr. Fielding told me. “Occasionally you’d get a fistfight.”

As a young Marine just before the United States entered World War II, Maj. Norman Hatch was one of a number of servicemen sent to train as cameramen with “The March of Time” crews, and he shot his share of real footage, including the harrowing landing at Tarawa in the Pacific in 1943. But he saw a lot of sleight of hand as well; for instance the series made frequent use of an actor who bore a resemblance to Winston Churchill.

“You heard Churchill’s voice, but you saw a three-quarter back shot of this guy,” he recalled. “If you tried to do something like that today, you’d be run out of the market.”

But “The March of Time” didn’t always settle for actors: sometimes, Dr. Fielding said, the actual newsmakers involved would recreate their newsmaking moments for de Rochemont’s cameras. One film, about the making of the atomic bomb, showed James Bryant Conant and Vannevar Bush, two figures involved in the Manhattan Project, seemingly shaking hands in the desert after the first successful test.

“That shot was made on the floor of a garage in Boston,” Dr. Fielding said.

Stranger still, some prominent people would participate in these re-enactments even though they almost surely knew they might not be portrayed all that flatteringly; the exposure was too enticing to pass up. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” certainly come to mind here. Early on, perhaps, those shows lured guests they intended to mock simply because the guests didn’t get it; now, though, almost all probably know what they’re in for when they sign up, yet they go on anyway.

Also interesting about “The March of Time” is that none of its tactics were a secret at the time, though whether audiences bothered to distinguish between the genuine and the disingenuous is hard to know. Detractors materialized quickly; the films were being parodied almost from the beginning, with Orson Welles taking that trend to high art in 1941 with the “News on the March” bit in “Citizen Kane.”

So how silly and anachronistic does “The March of Time” seem in our sophisticated present? Let’s review:

¶Passing Hoboken off as Nazi Germany? Outrageous — until you view practically any documentary on History or Animal Planet or numerous other cable channels, where re-creations are a standard tool for bridging gaps in the archival narrative.

¶Delivering information with the Van Voorhis bray rather than Cronkitean dignity? Ridiculous — until you tune in Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, etc. etc. etc.

¶Getting newsmakers to re-enact historic moments? Yeah, O.K., you’re probably not going to see President Obama recreate the meeting at which he settled on Joe Biden as his running mate. But somehow it doesn’t seem so improbable that Eliot Spitzer, say, might perform his phone calls to sex-for-hire establishments. Because notoriety is addictive.

For Dr. Fielding there are two reasons to revisit “The March of Time” today. One is that so many of the people involved in making it went on to careers in the emerging field of television and took the lessons and techniques of “The March of Time” with them. The other is more subtle, yet simpler too.

“You can’t help but say: Wasn’t it interesting that they even photographed that,” Dr. Fielding said. “That they even presented that. That they even talked about that.”

An earlier version of this article misstated a reference in the film "Citizen Kane." The bit in the film was called "News on the March," not "Time on the March."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/mo...sreel.html?hpw
sirjonsnow's Avatar sirjonsnow 06:47 AM 09-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

All six of my recorders dedicated to viewing/recording from TCM were used to record the 24 hours of Thelma Todd programming on Monday/Tuesday. The Thelma Todd programming consisted of ten movies from 1931-1936 and twenty shorts, comprised of eighteen two reelers and two three reelers of the 1930-1935 period.

Four Panasonic direct to DVD recorders utilized in a tandem recording strategy made one set of seven DVDs recorded at the Panasonic LP recording mode (four hours per DVD).

One each Philips 3575 and Magnavox 2160 recorders were utilized in a tandem recording strategy where the entire Thelma Todd programming was recorded at SP mostly in recording blocks of around 2.5 hours. Once edited, divided and reorganized the high-speed dubbing session produced the second set of ten (SP) DVDs. The high-speed dubbing strategy involved reorganizing the programming so that one movie and two or three shorts of the same or a near vintage were paired together on each DVD. Certain related interstitials from the day's programming were retained and used to fill out the 2:10:00 per DVD capacity of a few of the discs. These included three one reel shorts, the first from Edgar Bergen, the second from Patsy Kelly and the third from Robert Benchley.

Um, that's nice. But instead of giving us the technical aspects of how you recorded it, why not give us details about the films themselves?

Have you watched any of it and did you enjoy them? How was the quality of the video and audio? Were they OAR? (though I'm guessing many might have been 4:3 in the first place) Did any of them have to use stills because of lost or damaged footage?
d3193's Avatar d3193 10:06 AM 09-03-2010
This is a fun British WW11 movie made in 1958. I'd heard about it, but not seen it until a recent TCM airing. Unfortunately, not AOR. There is one scene in which two characters sitting on opposite sides of the frame are completely missing! There's just the space between them. Shot in 1.85:1, it aired in 1.33:1.
Time for Canal Plus to remaster this (and maybe fix some of the appallingly mismatched optical dissolves, as well as some 'day for night' shots which still look as though they are in the middle of the day).
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 08:57 AM 09-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjonsnow View Post

Um, that's nice. But instead of giving us the technical aspects of how you recorded it, why not give us details about the films themselves?

Have you watched any of it and did you enjoy them? How was the quality of the video and audio? Were they OAR? (though I'm guessing many might have been 4:3 in the first place) Did any of them have to use stills because of lost or damaged footage?

In recent decades I've enjoyed Thelma Todd's movies and shorts wherever and whenever they've been shown. TCM's recent 24 hour sampling of her work was a special event for me and many others. For details/reviews of that programming I would direct you to the TCM Message Board and the Silver Screen Oasis Forum. There are at least three current Thelma Todd threads at TCM and at least one current Thelma Todd thread at SSO. (SSO has been down since yesterday afternoon. Once SSO has come back up I'll fix the link, if necessary.)

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/index.jspa

www.silverscreenoasis.com
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