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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the exception of Jay Leno most of NBC's HD programming seems zoomed in to me compared to CBS'. It's akin to HBO's cropping of 2.35:1 movies, but not quite as bad. It almost seems like the overscan is about 10% higher than CBS'. I guess the other thing, that is the most obvious [edit: i.e. the thing I might be overlooking], is [the possibility that] most of NBC shows are just not composed for 16:9 but rather 4:3.


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Quote:
Originally posted by DRS
With the exception of Jay Leno most of NBC's HD programming seems zoomed in to me compared to CBS'. It's akin to HBO's cropping of 2.35:1 movies, but not quite as bad. It almost seems like the overscan is about 10% higher than CBS'. I guess the other thing, that is the most obvious, is most of NBC shows are just not composed for 16:9 but rather 4:3.


Opinions?
If anything, NBC has far more shows composed for 16:9 than any other network, primarily because they're the only network (aside from Angel on WB and Enterprise on UPN) that is not afraid to air in letterbox on the analog feed. Because of this, the shows they air this way (West Wing, ER, Crossing Jordan, Boomtown, Third Watch and maybe another one or two I'm overlooking) are composed purely for 16:9, because nobody sees the 4:3. Every show on CBS, ABC, and Fox is composed primarily for 4:3 and protected for 16:9, because at least 95% of the viewing audience seed 4:3 (since that's what's aired on the analog broadcast).


There are absolutely no technical differences between CBS and NBC HD shows. They are posted by the same post facilities using the same equipment and delivered in the same formats. They are then aired as delivered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm, interesting. What I left out above was that I was just suggesting the "not composed for 16:9". I did not mean to imply that this is how things are. Still, I cannot help but feel that the NBC prime-time shows are zoomed or overscanned more etc.


One factor that might be adding to this feeling is the NBC logo is obnoxiously large, but I don't think that's it entirely.
 

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Maybe it has more to do with experience. I agree with DRS that there's just something about the CBS shows that look better than NBC and WB shows. I would say ABC as well but its not really a fair comparison since my tv changes 720p to 1080i. CBS has done it longer and maybe they are just doing something better.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by richardg
I think it's great that their analog broadcasts are in 16:9. Bravo!
I'll second that. Since I have no HD recording capability, if I have a conflict like Crossing Jordan and CSI:Miami, I will record on my PVR the Analog channel that is widescreen and view the other in HD. Granted, it's not HD, but it is widescreen, not Crop-O-Vision.


This really ticks me off about A&E, they are showing reruns of Crossing Jordan in 4:3, :mad: and they just picked up the rights to carry CSI:Miami in syndication. I'm sure they will butcher that show as well. :(
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Marissadad
This really ticks me off about A&E, they are showing reruns of Crossing Jordan in 4:3, :mad: and they just picked up the rights to carry CSI:Miami in syndication. I'm sure they will butcher that show as well. :(
"Butcher????" CSI Miami is shot primarily for 4:3, with protection for 16:9. If anything, the 16:9 version is the "butchered" one, as that is not the primary intended framing. I'm not saying it's not nice to look at, but save your criticism for situations where it's appropriate.
 

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I absolutely love the look of CSI:Miami in HD. It may not have the optimal aspect ratio, but the color pallette and overall feel improve the show to me from it's generally "eh" level to a "very enjoyable" when watched in HD.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think this has come up before but last night I was switching between Frasier and JAG and there was just no contest. Frasier lacked detail and was overly soft, it looked like a bad DVD transfer. Maybe it's my local affiliate but somehow I doubt it considering how good The Tonight Show looks.
 

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Can anyone watch NBC's "Fraiser" chop top without the overwhelming feeling that it's quite cramped and more than a little grainy?
 

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On every time CBS HD program I have seen,

the shadows have had a Green cast compared

to ABC and NBC. Yes, NBC's "Fraiser" is

grainy.


Our CBS station - WIFR - seems to have given

up on HD. So these comparison for me are now

irrelevant !!
 

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Well last night I took the time to compare Law and Order to CSI. I mostly watched Law and Order since CSI was a repeat. I don't know about how they are recorded but CSI looked much better. I could see individual strands of hair and many other subtle details that just weren't visible on Law and Order. Is Law and Order really HDTV?
 

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law & order definately doesn't have that "wow" factor that CSI has, but i'm quite sure it is HD. many times law & order looks like they chopped off the top & bottom of a 4:3 picture to get 16:9 AR, is this accurate? maybe that's why the PQ isn't very detailed for HD; they are zooming in on 4:3 source material?


-Mani
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess a fair comparison would be Boomtown or ER and CSI since they don't crop either of the first two. Even when comparing these shows I still find the NBC shows soft and lacking detail.


I just have the impression that with CBS the HD programming is viewed as something "special" and worth doing right, afterall they do have the most HD programming. But with NBC it just seems more of a checkbox for them, something they do just to say they are doing it. Maybe that's unfair but for the majority of the programming that's my impression.
 

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Is this a function of capture techniques?


Perhaps a difference between film to HD vs HD CAM?


I'm just postulating here, I'm far from expert on the topic.


Anyway, something I chose to throw into the discussion soup!


Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DRS
I guess a fair comparison would be Boomtown or ER and CSI since they don't crop either of the first two. Even when comparing these shows I still find the NBC shows soft and lacking detail.
None of the comparisons made here are "fair" because almost everyone who posts them somehow assumes that all shows should look the same if they're technically similar. This is a completely false assumption. Photography is art, regardless of the level of art you might consider it. No two cameramen are alike, they all see their world through different eyes. The beauty of imaging tools (both film and electronic) is that they are flexible enough to allow those cameramen to present their own interpretations of the world to the viewer in their own way. Some like sharper, more "realistic" images for the stories they're trying to tell. Some like softer, more "dreamlike" images for other stories and settings. Some like bright images, some like dark images. My point is that the visuals are based on the story and setting, and who's photographing it, and the tools used are simply the tools used. They have nothing to do with the human decision making that is the heart of the art of photography.

Quote:


I just have the impression that with CBS the HD programming is viewed as something "special" and worth doing right, afterall they do have the most HD programming. But with NBC it just seems more of a checkbox for them, something they do just to say they are doing it. Maybe that's unfair but for the majority of the programming that's my impression.
Your impression is incorrect. Although I've posted this at least 100 times before, I'll say it again: Networks have absolutely nothing to do with the production or post production of the shows they air, and rarely if ever participate in the creative process of their creation beyond casting and story notes. Shows are posted by the production companies involved and the post work is done almost exclusively by post facilities in Los Angeles. Although there are a few exceptions, about 95% of prime time scripted television is posted in one of about 5 or 6 post facilities. The same facilities turn out shows for all networks. There is technically no difference whatsoever in the way CBS, NBC, WB, or ABC shows are posted, other than the fact that some are shot on film (practically all dramas, and a good number of sitcoms) and some are shot on 24p HD video (a number of other sitcoms, particularly those on ABC, but others as well). Masters are delivered to the networks and are aired without alteration. Any differences you see are creative ones, and if you feel that the CBS shows look a certain way compared to, say, NBC shows, I have to say that the differences are based on the individual shows and their creative teams. Any commonality among shows on any network is pure coincidence.
 

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Quote:
None of the comparisons made here are "fair" because almost everyone who posts them somehow assumes that all shows should look the same if they're technically similar.
Well, I understand artistic license and intent and can grant you that. Without knowing what the intent of the producers/directors/cameramen are we can't make definitive comparisons. However, too many of these "HDTV" programs look sub-par. It just doesn't seem to be artistic license to me unless the disparate artists are on the same wavelength.


I honestly don't know what to think. I just know that I am not really please with a lot of what I see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
mmost,


I understand where you are coming from with the artistic license thing but as Robert points out above there are just too many programs that look sub-par for this to be the case entirely. If I remember correctly the Breeders Cup is coming up on NBC, this should be an even comparison (at least on the semi-static shots) to the Masters that was just televised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These are good points, does anyone have info on how Boomtown & CSI are transferred ?

Quote:
Originally posted by John Kotches
Is this a function of capture techniques?


Perhaps a difference between film to HD vs HD CAM?


I'm just postulating here, I'm far from expert on the topic.


Anyway, something I chose to throw into the discussion soup!


Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DRS
These are good points, does anyone have info on how Boomtown & CSI are transferred ?
I don't understand the question. If you're asking about what type of equipment is used, they are transferred and color corrected on exactly the same type of equipment (Spirit telecine and DaVinci or Pogle color correctors), as are pretty much every film show on television, with the rare exception being those few that are transferred on Cintel C-Reality telecines.
 
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