Yup. Watched the last hour of it. I was thinking the same thing as I watched. Just superb picture quality. Great sound in perfect sync. And OAR. This is how a movie in HD should look and this is why I keep Showtime.
This is highly debatable since HBO does not dynamically reassign the bandwidth, what little would be saved by the theoretical transmission of single pixel values in a portion of the image. A much bigger argument is the fact that they would save thousands of dollars by avoiding the tedious process of zooming and panning and scanning each scene of a film during the transfer process rather than just doing a straight film AR to HDTV tape AR. The cost savings could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars by just satisfying their customers. On the other hand, HBO employees do not want to do it this way because they do their own transfers and the employees have voted in the past to do this extra expensive work to make jobs.(my opinion)
Ever think that the majority of HBO customers want their screen filled? Hell, Blockbuster is filled with fullscreen DVDs and VHS tapes for a reason: That's what the majority want.
That said, let it be understood that I don't agree with the majority.
BTW, how much panning and scanning does HBO do? Most of their 2:35 - 1:78 showings look simply zoomed to me.
Everyone keeps screaming at Blockbuster and HBO for abadoning OAR. But one thing I've learned in business is that the majority of customers are always right. If 90% of my customers prefer something one way, and 10% another, guess which way I'm going to make it?
The key to winning the OAR battle is educating the public that black bars are not evil. This should be a MUCH EASIER battle to win with HDTV since the consumer can simply zoom in on the image at home, if they so choose.
IMO, all the screaming and threatening directed at HBO and Blockbuster will be fruitless until you have a majority of customers behind you.
Glad to read that this is worth my time. About eight minutes into the film a huge thunderstorm took out my sat signal. Hopefully, I can watch another airing. What I saw of it looked and sounded great.
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