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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I notice that much of Showtime's HD program content is upconverted material. Those of you who are receiving SHO HD, how does it compare to HBO H? I'm trying to decide whether to add the other LNB (and third dish in my situation). Your assessment would be appreciated.


Tom
 

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Its true much of it is upconvert stuff, but on the other hand, its all mostly OAR, which pleases many folks that read this group. The quality of their upconverts is generally good.


Personally, I really much prefer HBO's original programming, especially when its available in HD. Also, though I'll probably be hunted like an animal until I cry for mercy, the fact that HBO-HD crops most of their movies to 16:9 really doesn't bother me all that much.


Also, some providers (TimeWarner Cable is one) give you a reduced rate on after the first premium channel. I only pay 6$/Month for Showtime after buying HBO-HD. At a higher price, its value would be questionable I'd say.


Read some of the threads talking about Apocolypse Now Redux recently shown on Sho-HD, and you'll get a flavor for some of the quality debate that goes on with respect to this channel. Its strange, but many people think the upconverts are better than some HD, others think its awful, and its hard to determine why this is.


--Karl
 

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Amen!


Soprano's in HD is great and something more novel. Makes no sense why the DVDs look so bad when they've obviously got something nice to work with.
 

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Put me in the camp of enjoying HD over Showtime and HBO. I watched "Apocalypse Now Redux" last night and it was amazing! Certainly better than when I saw it in the theater, which could be due to any number of factors, bad print, bad projection, etc. If what I saw last night was "upconverted," then I'd eat my hat, if I had one.


I also love HBO-HD and I don't care about the aspect ratios. "Gladiator" was shown 16:9 and it was immeasurably improved from the theatrical version (although I'm told it was "open matte," which means that I saw the entire theatrical picture and more). I recently watched "Forrest Gump" in HD at 2.35:1 on HBO, so I guess they have used OAR as well as full screen in the past. Forrest Gump did not have 5.1 sound, so that was the tradeoff, I guess. The sound is less important to me, as you can tell from the choice of my equipment: very expensive Fujitsu 50" plasma and cheapy Boston Acoustics surround sound. I live in an apartment and I can't really turn up the volume, except maybe on Saturday afternoon.


My only complaint about HD: there isn't enough of it. I've seen all the HBO and Showtime movies, some of them, over and over. I'd like Time Warner cable to provide a Pay-Per-View station in HD, and they'd get my money. I'd also like ABC, PBS, and Fox, and Discovery, to come over my cable. September 11 took its toll on New York's HD market, and we are still waiting for solutions.
 

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I suspect Showtime's true-HD content will gradually build. They seem to be about where HBO HD was about two years ago. (Don Landis has done some exhaustive reasearch on this issue and will hopefully provide some statistics!;) )


We added Showtime to our DirecTV lineup when Queer As Folk debuted and that decision was reinforced by expectations that DirecTV would eventually add Showtime HD, which they did.


I'd suggest going ahead and adding the Sat C kit...if not just to get Showtime HD then in anticipation of more future HD services from the 110-degree satellite, which seems to be supported by word on the street.


Bottom line (addressing your original question) I'd say go ahead and get Showtime and watch their HD content grow. And be sure and email Showtime and DirecTV and tell them that you only picked it up because of Showtime HD!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the info and advice. I have a spare dish and the Sat C Kit should ship next week. Unfortunately, I get DirecTV through Pegasus and am not eligible for the Sat C Kit for shipping only.


Tom
 
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