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'Seinfeld' in HD on TBS HD!

post #1 of 206
Thread Starter 
Moderators Note:

I've split off the current posts from the older Seinfeld topic, since HD started showing up, into this new topic.




Has anyone noticed that on Seinfeld on TBS HD has been cropped so now it is the proper aspect ratio? Before TBS would strech the 4:3 image to 16:9 so everyone appeared "fatter" or wider, now TBS just cropped the top and the bottom on the imaged to fit widescreen tvs. Even though Seinfeld was produced in SD the picture quality is near HD and looks great with the correct aspect ratio!!
post #2 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastzipperus View Post

Has anyone noticed that on Seinfeld on TBS HD has been cropped so now it is the proper aspect ratio? Before TBS would strech the 4:3 image to 16:9 so everyone appeared "fatter" or wider, now TBS just cropped the top and the bottom on the imaged to fit widescreen tvs. Even though Seinfeld was produced in SD the picture quality is near HD and looks great with the correct aspect ratio!!

There is an HD version of Seinfeld.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6308571.html
post #3 of 206
Uh, look closer -- this the HD version! Not the sharpest thing in the world, but way too much detailed for zoomed-in SD. Plus all the graphics are 4x3 safe.
post #4 of 206
A number of shows were originally shot 16:9, and 4:3 "safe". That was the case with many of the original Law & Order episodes that were never shown in HD on NBC. It is possible that Seinfeld is one of these shows. Depending upon how the original producers handled their post production. It could require entirely new HD film transfers and edits or...as with most of the L&O episodes, the production company "conformed" a 35mm film master to the electronically edited 4:3 show, then only had to transfer the edited film version to an HD tape master. (Hope this makes sense to everyone.)
post #5 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdguru View Post

It could require entirely new HD film transfers and edits

That's what they did in this case -- there have been numerous articles written about what was involved. This is the first time the HD versions have been seen though -- previously, they were only available as downconverted versions on the DVDs (though those are 4:3). I need to compare the framing (which I will do later tonight) to see exactly what they did to make the 16:9 versions.
post #6 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well if this is the actual remastered HD verison then TBS just started using it today becuase last week Seinfeld was still stretched.
post #7 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

That's what they did in this case -- there have been numerous articles written about what was involved. This is the first time the HD versions have been seen though -- previously, they were only available as downconverted versions on the DVDs (though those are 4:3). I need to compare the framing (which I will do later tonight) to see exactly what they did to make the 16:9 versions.

How many seinfeld episodes does TBS show in a day? If they are finally truly showing them in HD I gotta get to recording them
post #8 of 206
September 2 would make sense, from a syndication point of view.
post #9 of 206
im surprised there wasnt an add campaign for this....this is big to me !!!
post #10 of 206
Of course TBS didn't advertise that "Seinfeld" would be shown in real HD. That would make it harder for them to trick viewers into thinking Family Guy and Friends are HD. Plus any of their other stretched programming. TBS has shown no interest in true HD, proper aspect ratios or truthful advertising. Back before I stopped watching FG on TBS I actually saw a "TBS in HD" bug on a stretched Family Guy.

Of course now that TBS is taking two steps forward here, they're gonna take another three back somewhere else.
post #11 of 206
i hope it is....dvr alert....the 5:30pm episode is a classic....kramer drags the merv griifin set into his apt and he is like the host with newman as the sidekick.
post #12 of 206
It may not be TBS that picked the zoom approach to the HD transfer. Could have been Sony that made the decision.

We'll know when it starts showing up on local stations.
post #13 of 206
OK, checked it out a little closer tonight -- definitely a crop job. Below is a capture from the DVD, followed by the HD version on TBS (note that I've scaled down the size of the HD capture as this did not require a full-size image):



For anybody looking for some full-size images, here are a few. Disclaimer for these as well: Captured via analog component with a Hauppauge HD PVR, which does not retain the full image quality of the source. Thus, these are a little softer than the real thing. Still, you get the idea. I'm no fan of the crop, but it's otherwise quite nice.

post #14 of 206
Score a big one for fastzipperous! Thanks for the heads up!
post #15 of 206
I agree, this is great! I hope we see more and more older filmed TV shows upgraded to HD.
post #16 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

OK, checked it out a little closer tonight -- definitely a crop job. Below is a capture from the DVD, followed by the HD version on TBS (note that I've scaled down the size of the HD capture as this did not require a full-size image):


Definitely. But to me, it looks like there is also a bit of material in the widescreen version that is cropped out in the 4x3...check out the microwave and the bathtub on the sides of the picture; you see (slightly) more of them in the widescreen version.
post #17 of 206
yea looks like u gain a little on left and right but lose some on top and alot on the bottom....i thought it would be the 4x3 plus added extra on left & right sides with nothing lost....as george said in the "frogger" episode "Why must there always be a problem? You'd think just once I could get a break."
post #18 of 206
Seems evident from the screen grabs that the original production was shot both 4:3 and 16:9 safe; however, not in the way that ABC/CBS and some others programs are...in that they simply "center cut" the 4:3. It's obvious that Seinfeld was shot so that the 4:3 was the primary picture, with enough over shoot to allow a 16:9 transfer to be made. Some of the very old shows...such as "Hogan's Heros" has been running on HDNet, and it's @ 14:9...with a little black on the outer edges. I don't think they had any intention of shooting for 16:9, but left enough safe area that some kind widescreen format could be produced.

If we could see some of the first Frazier's that NBC ran in HD, you'd see that the director of photography had never intended for those first shows to be shown in 16:9, as the "headroom" was a constant, uncomfortable issue. Beginning later that season, or maybe the next, things straightened out and the HD masters were properly formatted.
post #19 of 206
What I never understand is why they can't just leave it in the 4:3 aspect it was originally shown but deliver the program in HD resolution. I don't need all of my HD to be 16x9, just want the higher resolution.
post #20 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

What I never understand is why they can't just leave it in the 4:3 aspect it was originally shown but deliver the program in HD resolution. I don't need all of my HD to be 16x9, just want the higher resolution.

Well, those versions DO exist -- but my guess is that TBS requested the 16x9 versions because they want the screen filled. If they got the 4x3 versions, they'd likely run them through their "stretch-o-vision" process, which would not be good ...
post #21 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyelton View Post

But to me, it looks like there is also a bit of material in the widescreen version that is cropped out in the 4x3...check out the microwave and the bathtub on the sides of the picture; you see (slightly) more of them in the widescreen version.

Indeed, but I doubt that was a conscious decision. These could have been done by different people at different times, so it's just a matter how the telecine operator framed the shot. There's some latitude on a 35mm film frame, as it is not exactly 4x3. For the 16x9 version, it's likely they zoomed out as far as possible to include everything on the sides, thus making the cropped image as un-cramped as it can be.
post #22 of 206
I hope this "cropping" doesn't become a new trend. There's alot of old material out there and everyone's competing to show the most HD. I say it's just as bad as stretching, they're still messing with the picture. The only thing that saves this is the fact the image is not distorted or out of shape. But those points are canceled by the fact they still cut part of the image off. Why is it so hard for them to show a 4:3 picture?
post #23 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdawg View Post

Why is it so hard for them to show a 4:3 picture?

Because it's TBS! 4x3 doesn't exist as far as they are concerned. While I will take the cropping over stretching, I still don't like it. Sadly, this is likely to be the norm, at least on cable channels, as the prevailing wisdom seems to be that people don't equate 4x3 with HD. It has been proven even around here several times that when 4x3 HD material is presented, the vast majority believe it to be SD.
post #24 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by videojanitor View Post

Because it's TBS! 4x3 doesn't exist as far as they are concerned. While I will take the cropping over stretching, I still don't like it. Sadly, this is likely to be the norm, at least on cable channels, as the prevailing wisdom seems to be that people don't equate 4x3 with HD. It has been proven even around here several times that when 4x3 HD material is presented, the vast majority believe it to be SD.

(and when material is 16:9 - too many believe its automatically HD)
post #25 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berk32 View Post

(and when material is 16:9 - too many believe its automatically HD)

Exactly right.
post #26 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

What I never understand is why they can't just leave it in the 4:3 aspect it was originally shown but deliver the program in HD resolution. I don't need all of my HD to be 16x9, just want the higher resolution.

Amen. It's such a shame that TBS is run by boneheads. Worse, I fear that all the other syndicators will feel the need to 'keep up' with TBS's wide screen offering, and we'll never see HD versions that are faithful to the original framing. (Although I haven't actually seen one of these episodes yet so I'll reserve judgment -- maybe they look great, but I think we can be pretty sure that all the artistic decisions were made for 4:3 purposes.)

I will say, however, that I do think this is much different (and better) than stretch-ovision. Yes, neither format preserves the original presentation, but that's where the comparisons end. Stretching is inherently bad. Re-framing the picture is not necessarily as bad and comes with the definitive benefit of HD resolution.

Speaking of, does anyone have info on local syndication in HD? My guide is not showing the airings on Fox 5 here in New York as being in HD.
post #27 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdawg View Post

I hope this "cropping" doesn't become a new trend. There's alot of old material out there and everyone's competing to show the most HD.

I think "cropping" to 16:9 for old TV shows is already established, more than a trend. If they have to go "widescreen" to satisfy the masses, why not a industry compromise of 1.66:1 or 1.5 or 1.6:1? The cropping on Hogan Heroes to around ~1.6:1 works pretty well because of the overscan protection zones that were in use when the scenes were shot. You get a wider screen than 4:3 so people "realize" it is HD albeit with narrower sidebars but don't change the framing so much that you chop off the top of heads all the time.

Unfortunately, I'm still 3 weeks away from getting TBS-HD (the long wait for Verizon Fios HD expansion), so I can't see the episodes myself. Idiot (geeky) suggestion for a new HD conversion drinking game: take a drink every time the top of Kramer's head is obviously cut off because of the cropping.
post #28 of 206
You can see the film grain!!!!
post #29 of 206
Oh noooooo!!!
post #30 of 206
That's a good thing. It doesn't look as good a "Everybody Loves Raymond" or even Hogan, but it's 1000 times better than stretchovision.
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