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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I must admit, I am an escapee of the CSI: X series. I don't have a lot of time to watch shows

outside of news, which is of course, not HD and will likely be last to join the party.


I have found that ER is one of the few shows I feel like sitting through each week. I thought they

deserved a pat on the back for an amazing job of HDTV work.


ER is transmitted in 1080i with full 5:1 channel sound, and they use it. The back channels are

full of cars going by, noises from the operating room and other things. Even the introduction

is both wide screen and 5:1 sound.


The shows normal set of the hospital interior yields frequently to the street outside and the roof,

with snow, traffic, EL trains and other features of the city. That would be unusual for many HD

shows, but ER goes further. Zooming outdoors to the Congo or, of late, Iraq, the show moves to

production values more likely to be found in the movies. The Iraq scenes were excellent, with

enough special effects for anyone. The show they did on a car chase that ended up in the river

was truly movie quality, and must have cost them a bundle to do. In addition, if they are "dumbing

down" the scenes for 4:3 presentation, it does not show.


Sure, ER is a soap opera. But ER has a lot of brainwork and stories taken from true life to make

it interesting. The show does not insult my intelligence as CSI did (which sunk to trying to

show that all GPS receivers in an area could somehow be presented on a color map at

CSI headquarters).


Most HDTV shows are inside, with clear TV production values. You get the feeling that outdoor

shots cost more money, and the 16:9 aspect is secondary to the 4:3 aspect that pays the bills.

CSI and ER stand out, but now ER is my choice for a show with a believable plot and minus

the gross out contest.


The ER guys and girls deserve a lot of credit for bringing us a movie quality show to HDTV.
 

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I have always been a fan of ER, now with my HD Tivo coming, I can actually watch it in HD. I've watched it in HD but never the entire show (life is busy)
 

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ER is great, I'd never watched it until i got my HDTV now I get to catch new eps on NBC and also see it (almost) from the beginning thanks to TNT-HD. TNT should be commended for getting HD transfers for the early seasons(back to season 3 afaik).


The comparison to CSI and other procedural shows (Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace) is dead-on. ER has much better writing, acting, it's more engaging because it's focused on the characters, not on the far-fetched storylines(Cold Case solves a murder from the 1930's : 90 year-olds with flawless memories plus physical evidence that's intact 70 years later ).
 

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while i love 'E.R.' and it has my fav actrees on tv, it's HD quality seems very subpar to me, along with the so-so 5.1; the low quality actually has me considering a switch.

the interior shots just look blah, my 720p upconverts from local syndication almost compete with those scenes. i will say the exteriors, like the action in Iraq do generally look like good HD wise, but i can't think of a single HD show that looks worse interior wise and the outdoor scenes are good but not near reference. the 5.1 mix is generally empty of any action, although it has improved during the last season and does have some discrete touches, few and far between though. CBS and ABC dramas, even some FOX dramas, are better in general sound wise; some of those 'CSI:Miami' mixes are just amazing. 'E.R.' reminds me of the first season of 'NCIS' quality wise, both looking like Super-16 shot.


even the girlfriend asked me once, "why aren't we watching this on the digital channel?" and i was like, "we are." there is a huge difference quality wise in both sound and picture going from 'CSI' to 'E.R.'; NBC has a horrendous track record as far as HD goes so it is not surprising...


watching 'Without a Trace' reruns on CBS has me itching to switch as it looks fantastic in HD and is surprisingly well written and acted - doesn't go CSI overboard - and knowing CBS's 5.1 quality, if 5.1 turns on this upcoming year it should be excellent.
 

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I've been an E.R. fans since the first episode and haven't missed one yet. It's excelllent tv entertainment. :)
 

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Compared to something like CSI, ER has pretty flat looking HD to me. Maybe it's just not a very colorful or flashy show. Most hospitals are pretty drab. I don't have surround sound so I can't really enjoy the 5.1.


I've always found the dialogue hard to follow on ER because it's drowned out by all the other noise in the soundtrack. I wish they'd dial up the dialogue and tone down all the ambient noise.
 

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Has anyone noticed a trail in the motion of ER lately? It's as if the number of transmitted frames per second are less than what the human eye can detect. It's mildly headache-inducing. Still images are great, but when somebody moves - especially in the ER, there is a huge motion artifcat - almost like a mouse trail. It's only this show as far as I can tell.


It may be for dramatic effect, but it's quickly making the show unwatchable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by samiam95124
In addition, if they are "dumbing

down" the scenes for 4:3 presentation, it does not show.


Most HDTV shows are inside, with clear TV production values. You get the feeling that outdoor

shots cost more money, and the 16:9 aspect is secondary to the 4:3 aspect that pays the bills.
E.R. is presented letterboxed during 4:3 (SD) presentation, fyi.
 

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I haven't watched ER much the past few years, but if it hadn't been nominated for so many Emmys including Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series, I wonder what you are listening to. ER is constantly nominated for numerous awards for it's production values. As far as accuracy is concerned in medical procedures, GE Medical contributes consultants and new equipment to keep the show relevent.

Here's hoping the new cast members can generate some spark.

GT
 

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ER remains the best show on TV and separates itself by pushing new boundries and exploring controversial topics on a regular basis.


What other show could pull off a scene of a nurse exhaling pot smoke into the mouth of a terminally ill patient inside a hospital...?


As for yesterday's arrival of John Leguizamo, loved every minute of it.
 

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I wasn't that impressed with the HD quality of ER last season, but for some reason this season "looks better" to me. And NBC seems to be making progress with their audio problems.


As far as the show itself, I mainly watch out of habit--I was a big fan when it first came out (1994?!), and for the first several years, but the last few seasons I find it harder to maintain interest as key cast members left. The first couple of years, each trauma or medical case seemed interesting and important. I don't feel any sense of drama when I watch it now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh, man, can nothing be better than seeing one of the hippest comedians show up for ER. I recognized him

instantly, but thought to myself "he's going to be another patent walk on". They let him run wild and steal

the show. "Get laid and get out of my face", ROTFLMAO. Is he coming back next week ? The title said

"guest appearance" but the part sounded like a regular. They need some new talent.


Last weeks show stank, this was much better. We are supposed to believe their highest level doctor must

stoop to asking for sex from one of the nurses ? Come on.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by samiam95124
Oh, man, can nothing be better than seeing one of the hippest comedians show up for ER. I recognized him

instantly, but thought to myself "he's going to be another patent walk on". They let him run wild and steal

the show. "Get laid and get out of my face", ROTFLMAO. Is he coming back next week ? The title said

"guest appearance" but the part sounded like a regular. They need some new talent.

.
John Leguizamo signed up for a 12-episode guest spot. If both sides are happy with the result, it could turn out to be a more permanent agreement.

http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,...ml?newsrellink
 

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The "soap opera" comparison is very true, for me in a negative way. Just like a soap opera, you can stop watching the show for years or even decades at a time and then later tune in for a random episode and discover that nothing has changed but the faces and they're still recycling the same storylines we saw 8 times in the first season.


I honestly didn't realize people still watched. It just seemed like one of those shows that the networks tell you still get good ratings but no one you know in life actually watches.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
The "soap opera" comparison is very true, for me in a negative way. Just like a soap opera, you can stop watching the show for years or even decades at a time and then later tune in for a random episode and discover that nothing has changed but the faces and they're still recycling the same storylines we saw 8 times in the first season.


I honestly didn't realize people still watched. It just seemed like one of those shows that the networks tell you still get good ratings but no one you know in life actually watches.


Yes Josh, storylines get recycled, that is TV. From your harsh critique above, I wonder if you watch the show on a regular basis. Obviously you don't, otherwise you woudn't have written your second paragraph.


I don't watch shows because I watched the week before. ER's reputation as a quality show speaks for itself. The fan base is still there 10 years later. Shows don't get picked up year after year if they are crap. I wish you would give this show a chance, because I bet you would really enjoy the smart writing, great acting, and envelope pushing.


edit: My God, the episodes in Africa spanning last season and this season...shame on anyone that missed those. (meant to say S10-S11)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree about the soap thing, but wasn't that the deal from day one ? What made ER, ER, was that it

presented the subject from a Doctor's point of view, that of Crichton, who was a doctor turned writer,

and needed something better to do than write about dinosaurs.


I'm sure that the TV execs have required that the show include soap elements, repeated shots

of an Indian girls breasts and other neat touches, but I don't believe the show has become so

far fetched from its doctor origins that Crichton has a problem with it. It always had these kinds

of elements, I think the truth is we are getting a little weary of the subject.


PS John Leguizamo has an interview about the part on the NBC web site, which I can't get

right now because my work computer is braindead.


PS PS. What the hell happened to Shane West's big moment ? All of his friends, and his new love

interest, die or are seriously injured, and we never see a follow up to that.


PS PS PS. They can show Parminder's breasts again, I'm ok with it. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCrawn
ER remains the best show on TV and separates itself by pushing new boundries and exploring controversial topics on a regular basis.
I guess it all depends on your point of view; I love CSI but can barely stomach new episodes of ER, and then only with judicious use of the fast forward button.

ER long ago stopped being good drama for me and started being an L.A. Law-style soap mixed with a "soapbox of the week" show. Stunt casting like adding John Leguizamo just makes it worse.

Hint: When NBC has to continously tell you how good the show is from week to week ("ER is better than ever"), that means it's not.


I don't care about Sam's stupid kid, I care about the cases. I guess that's why I like CSI, but even they are starting to add too much personal background to the show. (I don't care about Warrick's new wife, thank you very much.)


Watch "Love's Labor Lost" from season one to see how good ER used to be, when it was about the doctors and their cases, not the soapbox of the week and Luka and Sam going to Colorado to find her runaway child…
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCrawn
edit: My God, the episodes in Africa spanning last season and this season...shame on anyone that missed those. (meant to say S10-S11)
Speak for yourself; my reaction was "Oh, another Africa episode" followed by Stop and Erase on the HD recorder…
 

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Hadn't watched ER regularly until a year or so back. Sorry I missed so many episodes, it's so good most of the time. Wonder how much is attributable to the producers these days, including executive producer and ER creator Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg. Maybe they just initial scripts okay these days. Whatever, it works. Both are heavy hitters in the creativity dept.


Don't really regard it as a soap, but understand the comparison. Wish the producers would adopt one 'soapish' aspect, though: video taping ER at 1080/60i (30i), just as CBS's weekday soap, "The Young and the Restless," is taped. Such taping would reasult in about the same quality as the recent 'live' show--if that's what it was--because live programs are direct 1080/60i. If they really must have 24 fps capture for further international marketing (format conversion), they should go back a few decades to a process of dual film/tape capture; that is, shooting film and tape simultaneously.


Oh yes, for the wow-effect, ultracrisp, smooth-motion HDCAM taping (like HDNet, INHD, etc.), they should leave out all the gothic lighting, heavy electronic filtering, and cramped-set limitations placed on CBS's Y&R. (Okay, mandatory admission: Not a regular Y&R viewer, but did use it once to compare the resolution of weaving in clothing with instant A-Bing between OTA and cable delivery. :) ) -- John
 
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