Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in HDTV! - Page 39 - AVS Forum
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post #1141 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

But, I am skeptical that they are yet getting anything in true HD. Otherwise, why don't they show it in HD, on TCMHD?

Trust me, they have at least some HD masters. Think of The Wizard Of Oz & Gone With The Wind, at a bare minimum; both of which are Turner properties.

Why they don't distribute in native HD is another question. For example, for years CBS could have shown reality and news programs in widescreen SD, like FOX did. They chose not to do so. A primary reason given was it may have confused viewers not understanding the difference between HD & SD, and thus devalue their HD product.

Speculation On:
In other words, TMC may be waiting until they can go all all HD, or almost all HD, or a large percentage of HD. Remember their film library is huge and was built over decades. It won't turn HD overnight, or even in a few years.

It also may have to do with technical issues, like how their automation system works, and how it handles switching between SD & HD.

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post #1142 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I watched more of my recording from TCM HD of Fanny and Alexander last night. .....Anyway, like so many other posters here, I was disappointed by TCM HD's PQ.

You just answered your own question. Another piece of evidence that TCM does have at least some HD masters is the vast difference between some of their films. Some look like HD downcoverted (very good) and some look like SD upconverted (poor).

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I am coming around to the notion what it wasn't even upconverted DVD quality. It looked like upconverted 480i, to my eyes at least.

480i = DVD.

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post #1143 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 09:52 AM
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Also keep in mind that film has gone through 100 years of technological improvements as well. Older film stocks did not have the resolution and grain patterns of the modern stuff, that is say the 1990s vintage. So many of the old movies will look a bit disappointing HD or not. The only way to fix this is detailed frame by frame restoration which is extremely expensive and only done on re-sellable masterpieces like "The God Father" for example.

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post #1144 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Older film stocks did not have the resolution and grain patterns of the modern stuff, that is say the 1990s vintage. So many of the old movies will look a bit disappointing HD or not.

The only way to fix this is detailed frame by frame restoration which is extremely expensive and only done on re-sellable masterpieces like "The God Father" for example.

The first part of this is over simplifying a technical topic and is a bit misleading.

The second part of your post is basically correct, regarding older films need TLC. Old prints do degrade over time and require restorations. And there are organizations involved with providing this to a variety of movies regardless of their saleability. It's more about preserving the art.

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post #1145 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Trust me, they have at least some HD masters. Think of The Wizard Of Oz & Gone With The Wind, at a bare minimum; both of which are Turner properties.

Why they don't distribute in native HD is another question. For example, for years CBS could have shown reality and news programs in widescreen SD, like FOX did. They chose not to do so. A primary reason given was it may have confused viewers not understanding the difference between HD & SD, and thus devalue their HD product.

Speculation On:
In other words, TMC may be waiting until they can go all all HD, or almost all HD, or a large percentage of HD. Remember their film library is huge and was built over decades. It won't turn HD overnight, or even in a few years.

It also may have to do with technical issues, like how their automation system works, and how it handles switching between SD & HD.

My guess-the decision comes from the top. Warner has been outspoken against the subscription model of Netflix and the like. It wouldn't surprise me if Warner sees TCM as not much different from subscription models, "devaluing" their product. Because TCM is not a premium channel, it cannot generate the kind of revenue to justify making available those many HD masters that we know that TCM should have access to. Thus the decision to keep TCM low quality, so far.

One solution would be to make TCM HD a premium channel. Would people pay $6-$8 a month for this channel? I believe that they would. This would also solve the problem where some people (like myself) are essentially paying $20 more a month for a higher tier that contains TCM, mostly just for TCM.
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post #1146 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Also keep in mind that film has gone through 100 years of technological improvements as well. Older film stocks did not have the resolution and grain patterns of the modern stuff, that is say the 1990s vintage. So many of the old movies will look a bit disappointing HD or not.

That's not true at all.

1) Film (once they stopped using nitrate-based materials) has been pretty much the same for almost 100 years. The only differences are the quality of the dye later and how fine the grain is on low light stocks. Early stocks needed much more light to get the same image a modern stock can yield with flashlights. That's why older movies employed arc lights the size of a Volkswagen to provide ample light. The same goes for 35mm still picture film. I sometimes shoot pictures with a black and white stock that hasn't changed since the 60's when it was first made. It looks beautiful.

2) Many older movies were shot on larger film stocks that have much finer grain than modern ones.

3) With plenty of light, any film stock - even 16mm - can look excellent when transferred to HD. The problem is, there was a trend in the 70's and 80's to shoot horror movies practically in the dark with low light stocks that would get all thick and clumpy when there wasn't enough light.

4) Before digital compositing, effects were made in one of 3 ways:

- The first method was to shoot through glass plates that a matte painter had painted part of the scene on. While this prevented the need for layering up film, it was slow and expensive.

- The second method was to shoot a scene with the effects portion masked off, wind the film back through the camera and shoot the effects portion with the live action portion masked off. While they worked with dupes later, when they started this method, the master camera neg was used for both passes. That meant if you screwed either pass up, you had to re-shoot both. By using a dupe, it meant some loss of quality from the duping process.

- The latest method, prior to digital compositing was by shooting the live action and effects on separate film elements, then sandwich them together to combine them. While this was the cheapest way (at the time), it meant you layered grain on grain. That's why films with a lot of visual effects in the 70's and 80's tended to be very grainy during effects sequences.


The later two methods of effects shots tended to make images look worse than straight uneffected shots.

5 - Black and white stocks have a trendmendous amount of visual clarity - far more than color. The reason is, the lack of a dye layer. That yields far more contrast and sharpness than you can get shooting through the necessary color chemistry.

6 - Early color (real color, not tinting) using the 3 color technicolor process was bright vivid and more than capable of producing a measly HD image. The problem is, sometime in the 60's, studios started growing leery of the costs of it and began using Kodak's single strip color film. The problem is, they used the cheap stuff that tended to fade and turn greenish. That means that stuff from that era does often need extensive color restoration.

The point here is, it's not the age of the film. It's how it was shot, how effects-heavy it was and whether they used quality stock or not. Even then, there's plenty of resolution.

Resolution of film doesn't always equate to how clean the image is.
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post #1147 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

The point here is, it's not the age of the film. It's how it was shot, how effects-heavy it was and whether they used quality stock or not. Even then, there's plenty of resolution.

Resolution of film doesn't always equate to how clean the image is.

As I said, this is a technical topic-- it deserves an extensive discussion. What you’re saying is accurate but it skirts around the most significant characteristics to a good picture, which is our main concern here.

These are--
  1. The condition of the negative regardless of the age or size.
  2. The quality of the “transfer” from film to digital. (2K, 4K 6K 8k...etc.)

Of course your points are valid regarding the overall outcome but these two points are the most important and basic.

Before we get into increased contrast ratios of film stock or super speed lenses, or Arc lights, incandescent, tungsten, HMI, Fluorescent, LED or now Plasma lighting, and how these advancements affects the image-- we need to address points 1 and 2.

If the negative is poor or the digital transfer is captured at less than what pixels are available then everything else is moot.

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post #1148 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M View Post

.....Warner has been outspoken against the subscription model of Netflix and the like. It wouldn't surprise me if Warner sees TCM as not much different from subscription models, "devaluing" their product. Because TCM is not a premium channel, it cannot generate the kind of revenue to justify making available those many HD masters that we know that TCM should have access to. Thus the decision to keep TCM low quality, so far......

You're over-thinking it.

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post #1149 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

As I said, this is a technical topic-- it deserves an extensive discussion. What you're saying is accurate but it skirts around the most significant characteristics to a good picture, which is our main concern here.

You're missing their point. Your two points are valid only after taking into consideration their point; the original film quality.

Then quality of the negative used and how good the transfer is, comes next.

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post #1150 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

That's not true at all.

1) Film (once they stopped using nitrate-based materials) has been pretty much the same for almost 100 years. The only differences are the quality of the dye later and how fine the grain is on low light stocks. Early stocks needed much more light to get the same image a modern stock can yield with flashlights. That's why older movies employed arc lights the size of a Volkswagen to provide ample light. The same goes for 35mm still picture film. I sometimes shoot pictures with a black and white stock that hasn't changed since the 60's when it was first made. It looks beautiful.

2) Many older movies were shot on larger film stocks that have much finer grain than modern ones.

3) With plenty of light, any film stock - even 16mm - can look excellent when transferred to HD. The problem is, there was a trend in the 70's and 80's to shoot horror movies practically in the dark with low light stocks that would get all thick and clumpy when there wasn't enough light.

4) Before digital compositing, effects were made in one of 3 ways:

- The first method was to shoot through glass plates that a matte painter had painted part of the scene on. While this prevented the need for layering up film, it was slow and expensive.

- The second method was to shoot a scene with the effects portion masked off, wind the film back through the camera and shoot the effects portion with the live action portion masked off. While they worked with dupes later, when they started this method, the master camera neg was used for both passes. That meant if you screwed either pass up, you had to re-shoot both. By using a dupe, it meant some loss of quality from the duping process.

- The latest method, prior to digital compositing was by shooting the live action and effects on separate film elements, then sandwich them together to combine them. While this was the cheapest way (at the time), it meant you layered grain on grain. That's why films with a lot of visual effects in the 70's and 80's tended to be very grainy during effects sequences.

The later two methods of effects shots tended to make images look worse than straight uneffected shots.

5 - Black and white stocks have a trendmendous amount of visual clarity - far more than color. The reason is, the lack of a dye layer. That yields far more contrast and sharpness than you can get shooting through the necessary color chemistry.

6 - Early color (real color, not tinting) using the 3 color technicolor process was bright vivid and more than capable of producing a measly HD image. The problem is, sometime in the 60's, studios started growing leery of the costs of it and began using Kodak's single strip color film. The problem is, they used the cheap stuff that tended to fade and turn greenish. That means that stuff from that era does often need extensive color restoration.

The point here is, it's not the age of the film. It's how it was shot, how effects-heavy it was and whether they used quality stock or not. Even then, there's plenty of resolution.

Resolution of film doesn't always equate to how clean the image is.

Ahh, both Kodak and Technicolor are on my resume. While most of what you say is correct, I can tell you film stock grain size has always been a continuing improvement. So has the dye stability. Only quite recently has film R&D dropped off.

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post #1151 of 1770 Old 12-21-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

The first part of this is over simplifying a technical topic and is a bit misleading.

The second part of your post is basically correct, regarding older films need TLC. Old prints do degrade over time and require restorations. And there are organizations involved with providing this to a variety of movies regardless of their saleability. It's more about preserving the art.

Restoration is very expensive. I work for a company that does it. And I will tell you, a lot of those films in the Turner library are not going to go through a restoration process anytime soon.

The organizations that "preserve the art" are not the ones I was refering too. Those shops go after the really old stuff -UCLA is one of the organizations that does this. The restoration I speak of is for BluRay release.

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post #1152 of 1770 Old 12-27-2011, 05:48 PM
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I just saw a commercial for TCM's 31 Days of Oscars. I have Fios-- no TCMHD. The spot was in glorious HD with beautiful clips of movies also in gorgeous HD. BTW, there was no mention of HD in the spot, just TCM. It just seemed funny to me since I don't have TCMHD and the general posts here are that TCMHD doesn't show very many movies in pristine HD. So I wonder who will see the beautiful images they just advertised, unless they're getting ready to crank out some new HD broadcasts.

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post #1153 of 1770 Old 12-27-2011, 06:35 PM
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Just because you saw windscreen doesn't mean that they are HD. If you don't have TCM-HD you can't possibly see HD. Now, TCM does have very pristine SD movies, and they show those on their HD channel and they do look good, just not as great as an HD version might be.

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post #1154 of 1770 Old 12-27-2011, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

the general posts here are that TCMHD doesn't show very many movies in pristine HD.

In this case "doesn't show very many" = never has shown ANYTHING in HD.
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post #1155 of 1770 Old 12-28-2011, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bobby94928 View Post

Just because you saw windscreen doesn't mean that they are HD. If you don't have TCM-HD you can't possibly see HD. Now, TCM does have very pristine SD movies, and they show those on their HD channel and they do look good, just not as great as an HD version might be.

You are misunderstanding my post. This commercial was on another HD channel and believe me when I tell you it was in beautiful HD.

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post #1156 of 1770 Old 12-28-2011, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Ahh, both Kodak and Technicolor are on my resume. While most of what you say is correct, I can tell you film stock grain size has always been a continuing improvement. So has the dye stability.

Just one of Kodak's many film improvements over the years has been tabular grain. This and many other developments have greatly increased the resolution and image quality of film. To say it's been pretty much the same stuff for decades ignores millions of dollars of R&D and dozens of of incremental improvements.

This is true however with Kodak's black and white film. While Kodak has applied their developments to their still B&W film (T-MAX has tabular grain for example), they continue to make exactly the same B&W cinema stock they have for decades.

There have been similar improvements in interpositive and internegative stocks that have improved production quality. Around 1970 fades, optical prints and other special effects no longer resulted in increased grain because they were done with extremely fine grain (and extremely slow) stocks.

Quote:


Only quite recently has film R&D dropped off.

But Kodak's torrent of new cinema film stocks has been steady. Vision, Vision2, and now Vision3 are faster and finer grained apparently to compete with digital cinema cameras. This is really the only film business Kodak has left.

NOW: my post on AVS Forum.
NEXT: someone else's post on AVS Forum.
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post #1157 of 1770 Old 12-28-2011, 10:03 AM
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Wow! Great essay on film for the last page of posts. Thanks Ken H, LL3HD, Glimmie, NetworkTV.
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post #1158 of 1770 Old 12-28-2011, 11:28 AM
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Try to catch the short where TCM calls the roll of people who have died in 2011. Not only is it full of people who passed on without at least my noticing (Susannah York? I had no idea), it has the most lovely song as a background score. Probably the most moving one of these Remembrances I have ever seen.

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post #1159 of 1770 Old 12-28-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post

Try to catch the short where TCM calls the roll of people who have died in 2011. Not only is it full of people who passed on without at least my noticing (Susannah York? I had no idea), it has the most lovely song as a background score. Probably the most moving one of these Remembrances I have ever seen.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/4...Original-.html

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post #1160 of 1770 Old 12-29-2011, 05:15 AM
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So nice of you to find the link.

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post #1161 of 1770 Old 01-04-2012, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Official word from Turner:

Quote:


TCM’s programming is currently upconverted. In its upconverted form, TCM is sharper than standard definition. Also, many movies in wider formats are easier to watch in HD, which makes the viewer experience better. We’ve received many positive comments from our viewers about TCM HD. We expect to offer TCM in native HD in the future.


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post #1162 of 1770 Old 01-04-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Official word from Turner:We expect to offer TCM in native HD in the future.

I wonder if they'll roll out any fanfaronnade and/or hoopla for the event (or if one of us will have to be on the lookout to spot it.)
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post #1163 of 1770 Old 01-04-2012, 12:45 PM
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I'm pretty sure TCM has been saying that same thing since they started the "Widescreen SD" channel.

Having said that, I wouldn't complain if D* added it as long as their raising my rate.
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post #1164 of 1770 Old 01-04-2012, 10:49 PM
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We expect to offer TCM in native HD in the future.

So anywhere from tomorrow until doomsday. Thanks for narrowing it down, TCM.
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post #1165 of 1770 Old 01-05-2012, 03:17 AM
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So anywhere from tomorrow until doomsday. Thanks for narrowing it down, TCM.

Well, the good news / bad news-- according to some that's this year, before Dec.21st .

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post #1166 of 1770 Old 01-05-2012, 07:53 AM
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So, you're saying they may not make it?

TCM: now showing glorious full.....kaboom!
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post #1167 of 1770 Old 01-06-2012, 08:26 PM
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Someone explain to me why the Oscars are always reluctant to show length montages for the dead people like they do for silly trivial random themes they like to bore us with? They frequently omit some well known personalities because they have this stupid time limit when everyone knows that it is one of the few montages people like to watch. TCM showed how it is done.
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post #1168 of 1770 Old 01-07-2012, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
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Someone explain to me why the Oscars are always reluctant to show length montages for the dead people like they do for silly trivial random themes they like to bore us with? They frequently omit some well known personalities because they have this stupid time limit when everyone knows that it is one of the few montages people like to watch. TCM showed how it is done.

Because the studios don't seem to have a clue where piracy actually happens and seem to lack an understanding of this "free publicity" thing.

They take their model from the music industry due to its widespread success...

The television industry seems very interested in pursuing the same path:
http://news.yahoo.com/hbo-stops-sell...221440832.html
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post #1169 of 1770 Old 01-07-2012, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Because the studios don't seem to have a clue where piracy actually happens and seem to lack an understanding of this "free publicity" thing.

They take their model from the music industry due to its widespread success...

The television industry seems very interested in pursuing the same path:
http://news.yahoo.com/hbo-stops-sell...221440832.html

I'm not sure what this has to do with the "In Memoriam" segments.
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post #1170 of 1770 Old 01-08-2012, 09:25 PM
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Trust me, they have at least some HD masters. Think of The Wizard Of Oz & Gone With The Wind, at a bare minimum; both of which are Turner properties.

Why they don't distribute in native HD is another question...

Speculation On:
In other words, TMC may be waiting until they can go all all HD, or almost all HD, or a large percentage of HD. Remember their film library is huge and was built over decades. It won't turn HD overnight, or even in a few years.

It also may have to do with technical issues, like how their automation system works, and how it handles switching between SD & HD.

I've speculated the same. I've noticed that the oft-run North by Northwest looks amazingly sharp for SD, so maybe they are downrezzing from HD on it.
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