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Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed a trend of praise for HBO-HD

presentations where the film was 1.85:1

Original Aspect Ratio. It would seemt that

this is because 1.85:1 is so close to 16:9

(1.78:1) that HBO doesn't need to do a

zoom (aka Pan/Scan) to get it to fill a 1080i

screen. In fact on many of the 1.85:1 films

I notice that there is a small bit of letterboxing

on the top (only) so they may not be scaling

at all. (My display has no overscan so I may

see something that others are not).


Here are a few films which got extra praise (for PQ)

on HBO-HD that turned out to all be 1.85:1 OAR:


Legend of Bagger Vance

Hollow Man

Stuart Little


I was noticing that "Next Best Thing" on SHO-HD

looked "soft"... It is a 1.85:1 OAR film

so perhaps "their" (SHOHDs) process to do

1080i transfers is actually worse on 1.85:1

and better on 2.35:1


================================================

In summary (general theory here):


1.85:1

HBO-HD=GOOD (OAR)

SHO-HD=POOR (OAR)


2.35:1

HBO-HD=POOR (ZOOM-pan/scan)

SHO-HD=GOOD (OAR)


Of course the quality of the origial film

make a difference.
 

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On Showtime HD in particular, the picture can look soft sometimes because it is too bright, turn down the brightness by eye and if you get it right it can make a big improvement in the picture; and the picture can be soft because it is an upconvert and not true HD. Many of the widescreen presentations on Showtime are only upconverted (but "The Virgin Suicides" yesterday was true HD and video was spectacular).
 

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You cannot just take one movie (Next Best Thing) and make a sweeping generalization like that, especially when the channel is known for high quality HD transfers. I remember watching "Sleepy Hollow" a couple of months ago, and it was the usual Showtime HD transfer (which is to say outstanding) even though it's a 1.85 AR movie.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PVR


I was noticing that "Next Best Thing" on SHO-HD

looked "soft"... It is a 1.85:1 OAR film

so perhaps "their" (SHOHDs) process to do

1080i transfers is actually worse on 1.85:1

and better on 2.35:1


================================================

In summary (general theory here):


1.85:1

HBO-HD=GOOD (OAR)

SHO-HD=POOR (OAR)


2.35:1

HBO-HD=POOR (ZOOM-pan/scan)

SHO-HD=GOOD (OAR)


Of course the quality of the origial film

make a difference.
This based upon one movie? Sorry, but it makes no sense to me at all. It's generally acknowledged that Showtime's HD presentations are better than HBO's, for both 1.85 and 2.35 movies. Any given presentation may be of inferior quality transfer and/or be a widescreen upconvert which could account for a given movie not looking as good as it could. Plus, you have no idea of the quality of the original film. If it's poor, the transfer will not look that good.


As Vic mentioned, Sleepy Hollow is one the very best HD transfers I've seen anywhere and it was a 1.85 movie on Showtime. This would seem to shoot down your theory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK - well - sorry about over generalizing about

Showtime. *but* is there some agreement that

1.85:1 OARs generally look better on HBO than

the 2.35-> 1.78 conversions?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
## (but "The Virgin Suicides" yesterday was true HD and video was spectacular).


Can anyone else confirm this?


All the official SHOWTIME-HD guides list

it as 4x3 upconvert. Was it actually shown

as 16:9 1080i HDTV?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PVR
OK - well - sorry about over generalizing about

Showtime. *but* is there some agreement that

1.85:1 OARs generally look better on HBO than

the 2.35-> 1.78 conversions?
As far as HBO is concerned? Yes, absolutely. It is only logical since zooming a 2.35 movie has to affect the overall resolution. However, they're still not up to the level of a Showtime 1.85 HD transfer like "Sleepy Hollow".


As far as "Virgin Suicides", it was probably a widescreen OAR upconvert. Some people just don't want to believe that most Showtime upconverts do look better than most HBO-HD movies. Some examples of Showtime upconverts that blew me away are "Reindeer Games" and "In The Line of Fire". When I saw these I thought that there was no way these weren't true HD transfers, but they weren't.
 
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