Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood
In all fairness the way their films look is not always their fault. They have been involved with a lot of restoration of silent films, to the extent of commissioning new orchestral scores (having several competitions for young composers).
I wish all their stuff was HD, but many prints have obviously been re-sourced from great materials and look superb. I thank my lucky stars almost every day for Turner Classic Movies and the great service they perform for international film scholarship.
I just get frustrated with a number of things totally in their control that seem lazy. I pointed out how they windowbox films for overscan - meaning if you have your television set up for proper pixel mapping that there will be a black border on all four sides. Then take this recording I made of King Kong for example:
The intro (like many of their intros) was shot 16x9 for hdtv. But its inexplicably windowboxed for a 4x3 tv on the hd station
Then the actual movie - one we know has been relatively well preserved - has a ton of noise across the top of the screen that bounces all around. Its a bit hard to see with the white border AVS puts around the image but if you open the full 1080 image you can see it clearly.
Sadly the first problem is somewhat common (16x9 images being windowboxed for 4x3). But I cant think of another hd channel that deliberately underscans the image or allows noise to come through like that.