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I'm planning on upgrading to DirecTV HD package soon and was wondering what source material is used for movies broadcast on the HBO, Showtime, or PPV HD channels. Will a movie shown on HBO HD look better than the same movie on DVD? Do HBO, Showtime, etc. use the same film transfers used for DVD and simply upconvert or do they have HD specific film transfers used for broadcast? Also is the aspect ratio scaled to 16:9? Just curious, as the upgrade cost to HD is a little high for me, and I'm hesitant to take the plunge when there's still not that much HD programming out there yet that I would watch regularly.
 

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1080i for HBO. 480p for DVD HBO wins


OAR most of the time for DVD, rarely on HBO. DVD wins


DD5.1 most of the time on DVD, frequent on HBO. Draw


Usually HBO-HD does look much better than DVD.
 

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But do you know if HBO is going off the same film transfer as what's on DVD and upconverting to 1080i or is it a whole different transfer from what's put on DVD?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by simontan
I'm planning on upgrading to DirecTV HD package soon and was wondering what source material is used for movies broadcast on the HBO, Showtime, or PPV HD channels. Will a movie shown on HBO HD look better than the same movie on DVD? Do HBO, Showtime, etc. use the same film transfers used for DVD and simply upconvert or do they have HD specific film transfers used for broadcast? Also is the aspect ratio scaled to 16:9? Just curious, as the upgrade cost to HD is a little high for me, and I'm hesitant to take the plunge when there's still not that much HD programming out there yet that I would watch regularly.
are you into sports too?

if so, i would take the plunge, especially if you are planning on upgrading because you need to like I did. (had a 20 year old tv and, for me, if I have to buy another tv, might as well get what I want, plus I don't think $2400 for an HDTV widescreen is all that much)

If you upgrade, I bet HBO and SHO would be the bottom of your choices for HD programming (just because what are the chances they are playing a movie you wanna watch)
 

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There are several ways of doing a transfer. Most likely the telecine will copy to a 1080i MJPEG or MPEG file on a server. These files are then converted to whatever standard and media is needed be it DVD, D5, etc.

There is no need to upconvert from DVD.....

GT
 

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DD5.1 most of the time on DVD, frequent on HBO. Draw
DVD movies are DD5.1 all of the time, for all practical purposes. (I havent rented a new release that didnt have DD5.1 in years). Ok sure, you can find oldies that were later put on DVD's that wont have DD 5.1, but we're not counting the old stuff are we? In fact, when i go to blockbuster and rent a new release, the issue is never if it has DD 5.1.... that's a given. The only question is does it also have DTS.


BTW, what's OAR?
 

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The source material for HBO HDTV films, is the actual film itself, not a DVD. Film has a much higher native resolution than HDTV, so an HDTV film transfer more than qualifies as native HDTV.
 

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Ken H,


On the HBO website, specifically the HBOHD listings, not all films are labeled as "True HDTV." Are films not labeled as such merely upconverted?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tmila
Ken H,


On the HBO website, specifically the HBOHD listings, not all films are labeled as "True HDTV." Are films not labeled as such merely upconverted?
Yes, and you will find them in 4:3 aspect ratio. Unless the HBO web site is mistaken, which does happen. Any HBO theatrical presentation that fills the 16:9 screen area is an HDTV film transfer.


A much more contested issue is the decision by HBO to pan & scan or zoom in on 2.35:1 AR movies. This fills the 16:9 screen, but prevents viewers from watching these movies in original aspect ratio (OAR), which is vastly preferred by members of this forum and film fans everywhere.
 

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To answer the original post: HD movies are not DVD upconverts, they are HD movies. DVD's are usually movies that have been transferred to HD specs and downconverted to 480i to fit on a disc. When watching movies on HBO or Showtime, you can clearly see the difference between upconverted movies and true HD movies (HDNET movies are all HD transfers all the time).
 
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