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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know how the HBO and Showtime HD signals are originated? I am wondering if the material is telecined from 35mm direct to 1080i for broadcast or upconverted from 480i signals on SD channels.


I can clearly see the 1080i original material on Discovery HD Theatre is 1080i original, but sometimes it is not so apparent on HBO or Showtime.


Also, is the HD signal re-transmitted from C-Band to DBS (Directv/Dish) like the NTSC signals?


I use C-Band 4DTV HD through the Motorola HDD 200.
 

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I can se this being a common newbie question... I looked in the FAQ but did not see it....


Can I be so bold as to suggest we add the answer to the FAQ?
 

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HDTV on HBO & Showtime are film transfered from 35mm prints to an HD video format.


Anything you see on HBO that fills the 16:9 screen area is HDTV.


Showtime has both upconverted 16:9 (or 2.35:1) films, and HDTV films. See their web site for determining which programs are HDTV, upconverted widescreen, or upconverted 4:3.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by zumadog
Also, is the HD signal re-transmitted from C-Band to DBS (Directv/Dish) like the NTSC signals?


I use C-Band 4DTV HD through the Motorola HDD 200.
Yes, the originating uplink is on C-band.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by cwood
Yes, the originating uplink is on C-band.
Is there a compression concatenation artifact in that uplink transfer? I have seen 4DTV HD and DBS HD side by side and this seems to be what the difference in image quality is possibly attributable to.


BTW, I did search the FAQ before I posted this original question.
 

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if you are comparing hdnet , discovery, and hbo and the differing image quality , the main differences are likely from the fact movies are shot on film and transfer from film to hd video, and most of the stuff on discovery and hdnet originates in hd 108o video.. a hd transfer of filmed content will not look as sharp as native hd video.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tonyb100
a hd transfer of filmed content will not look as sharp as native hd video.
That is not a blanket truth. It all depends on the material. How it was lit and depth of field for example. Also it could be from camera negative in TV shows or IP or print for features.


I have seen camera negative transfers that will blow video away. It's not all just sharpness. Video tends to look flat versus properly lit and timed film.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I work as a DP in Holllywood and I know the differences in image quality pretty well having worked in both 35mm and HDCAM. What I am specifically referring to in this thread is whether the HBO/Showtime feeds are upconverted from their normal 480i feeds at BOC or do they have a separate HD tape machine or telecine dedicated to only serving up the HD feeds on G9. This question was raised to me by a famous special effects supervisor who was questioning whether it was worth the expense if that was all that was being done. I told him that it was my experience that the image quality - especially of the newer films was exceptional compared to the Standard Def feeds, I cited a recent airing of "Showtime" with Bobby Di Nero and Eddie Murphy which was so clear it sparkled on my set. He was intrigued by the C-Band system but wanted to know about the DBS HD aspect which I told him probably was a re-feed of the C-Band feeds. Hence my second question in the original post.


Both questions seem to have been answered in this thread, namely that there is a separate HD uplink, and that it is re-transmitted to the Directv and Dish DBS satellites. This as I said also would seem to explain the noticible difference in image quality between C-Band and DBS in HD because it certainly explains the lower quality images on the SDTV transmissions.


35mm is considered High Definition in the film community. This is why most episodic series on TV are still shot on 35mm. 35mm archives well and transfers to HD beautifully. Most DP's are comfortable with their Panavision lenses and don't want to switch - besides they feel along with many directors that the organic nature of film is revealed best in drama. Sitcoms on the other hand benefit from the lowered costs of multi-camera HD production, and to my knowledge just about all except the real old timers like Friends and Frasier are now shot exclusively on HD.
 

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DIRECTV recompresses (and sometimes scales) the HD programs that they receive.


DISH passes through the HD program streams exactly as they receive them from C-band.
 

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DIRECTV recompresses (and sometimes scales) the HD programs that they receive.


DISH passes through the HD program streams exactly as they receive them from C-band




Does that mean that Dish has better PQ then direct ?
 

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Quote:
Showtime has both upconverted 16:9 (or 2.35:1) films, and HDTV films. See their web site for determining which programs are HDTV, upconverted widescreen, or upconverted 4:3.
The SHO website is often inaccurate.
 
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