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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on upgrading to DirecTV HD package soon and was wondering what source material is used for movies broadcast on the HBO, Showtime, or PPV HD channels. Will a movie shown on HBO HD look better than the same movie on DVD? Just curious, as the upgrade cost to HD is a little high for me, and I'm hesitant to take the plunge when there's still not that much HD programming out there yet that I would watch regularly.
 

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No offense simontan, there is a discussion forum for this topic:

HDTV Programming. But to answer your question, yes, the HD movie

will usually look a little better than DVD up to much better than DVD.


larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sorry if I'm beating a dead horse on the wrong forum, but a lot of people on this forum seem pretty knowledgeable about this sort of thing, and this is the forum I regularly follow. I think the question is somewhat relevant to plasmas, as I have an ED Fujitsu and was just wondering how or why movies broadcast on HD will look better than off of DVD as has been well established in previous posts. I know HD programs which were made specifically for HD broadcast will have more information and therefore look better than what's on DVD, but what I'm wondering about is when were talking about the same movie being transferred from film to video, why is HBO able to present it in HD. Do studios provide them with a higher quality film to video transfer to use for HD programming? That is, do movies that come out on DVD generally have a higher quality counterpart that is used for HD networks? I apologize again if this is really off topic for this forum, but I really didn't find anything that specifically addresses the question elsewhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by simontan
I'm sorry if I'm beating a dead horse on the wrong forum, . . . I'm wondering about is when were talking about the same movie being transferred from film to video, why is HBO able to present it in HD. Do studios provide them with a higher quality film to video transfer to use for HD programming? That is, do movies that come out on DVD generally have a higher quality counterpart that is used for HD networks?
Simon,


I agree it's a legitimate question. While it may have been addressed on the HDTV forum, I - like you - haven't been able to find it answered there.


Perhaps someone reading this thread can ping a forum member who works on the b'cast / cablecast side. That person, in turn, might suggest links.


Here's my guess: sources for HD broadcasts may indeed be DVD-level quality - or worse - for some run-of-the-mill catalogue movies. It may often make no business sense to pull a film reel out of storage just to make an HD telecine transfer.
 

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There are a couple people who frequent the DVD discussion forum

who "appear" to work in the industry. At least that's where I see

them. Simon, you aren't the first person to post an OT question here

or any other forum. However, think of it this way: If you did get your

question answered here and then somebody else came to AVS

"asking" the same question, do you think they would look in the

Plasma and LCD panel forum? These forums have a TON of correct

information (and not so correct :) ), but the search engine is just not

up to the task of making it easy to find things.


Yesterday, two new channels came on cable, INHD1 and INHD2. They

both played older movies (1979, 1987, and 1980ish). The PQ on one was

inferior to that of recent DVDs. I have a few DVDs of "old" movies where

the PQ is not so hot. The quality of the "master" definitely affects the PQ

of the next incarnation of the film. However, like you said, I've never

seen a movie on a HD channel that is as good as some of the HD recorded

TV shows I've seen, eg. PBS loops, "Chronicles" - a local Boston area

HD show. After 7 months of watching HDTV, my jaw still drops on some

of the material I see. INHD had some pretty amazing footage shot from

a space shuttle. Well, I'm starting to ramble, coffee is kicking in, better stop. :)


larry
 

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I also have the Fujitsu ED but have yet to watch a movie on HBO HD that I have on DVD so I can't give a definitive answer. The HD channel may look marginally better but not a whole lot. I do, however, notice a big improvement in quality on a live feed HD broadcast (such as an ESPN live HD broadcast--not their usual upconverted stuff). As a matter of fact, I was so impressed when I saw The Fifth Element Superbit DVD on my plasma that I thought, there is no way High Def could be better than this. I was wrong. Live feed HD is breathtaking. (To make me actually watch a football game, it would have to be.:) )
 

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You will get a much better answer than this if you post your question in the HDTV programming section, but here goes. Movies on, say HBO-HD are broadcast from a 16:9 HD transfer of the film. I believe it is a tape transfer. If the program is pillarboxed it is an upconvert of the SD feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. What I'm really trying to do is justify the cost of upgrading to an HD satellite receiver, dish , and DirecTV HD subscription. I know it would be nice to be able to switch to Discovery HD, PBS, or HDNet to marvel at the PQ every now and then, but I am mainly interested in movies. I am extremely happy with movies on DVD now, but was hoping I would get even better from HD, although I guess HD movies are always going to be scaled to 16:9.


Linda's reply really has me wondering though - with HD I guess I may find myself watching programs I normally wouldn't because the PQ is just that good.
 

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Quote:
I am extremely happy with movies on DVD now, but was hoping I would get even better from HD, although I guess HD movies are always going to be scaled to 16:9.
From what I've seen, HBO-HD and Showtime-HD show the movies

in OAR. I've seen 2.35:1 movies on the HD channels. I don't think

the 4:3 movies they show are "HD". eg. Pretty in Pink was on one

of the HBO-HD or SHO-HD and it was 4:3 and not HD.


larry
 

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I have the D* HD package. We spend a surprising amount of time on the HD channels, just because they are so good. Generally speaking, the HD movies on HBO HD and HDNET Movies are of higher quality than DVD. Not all, but most.


Jeff
 

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Most comments here are correct: There are a lot of film transfers (great) and some upconverts, especially on Showtime (not as good).


Much on HBO is *not* OAR.


There have been endless discussions about this in the HDTV Programming area and you can always post a new thread if you can't find them.


I tend to agree this is not the right place.
 
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