HD cable has ruined me

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric F, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Comcast rolled out their HD service in the Boston area last week and I must say I'm quite impressed. After 2+ years of watching commercial OTA broadcasts I finally get to see my first full unedited/uncensored films. I'm blown away. I watched A Knight's Tale on HBO-HD last night, and while the movie itself wasn't that great, the PQ was just amazing! I read HBO is picking up Spiderman? I can't wait.

    Now I'm having some issues with my DVD purchases. I'm not quite ready to jump on the DVHS bandwagon yet (the future remains unclear), but I'm not quite sure if I want to go back to DVD if I can watch an HD version on cable.

    What I'm thinking of doing is to really narrow down to subject matter that won't generally get carried in HD (at least at this point) like TV series (B5) and things I really want.

    I'm spoiled now, so I really hope HD-DVD comes out soon...
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Is HBO still cropping 2.35 movies?
     
  3. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately yes, so I limit myself to those that aren't cropped, or stuff I wouldn't normally own/rent. They do show an extensive # of films that are still OAR, before they decided to crop everything.
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    SHOWTIME HD channel runs movies in the OAR; HBO tends to crop them.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    There will always be a "bigger, better thing" on the horizon. Enjoy what you can now, it's the movie that you're watching, not the lines of rez (altho it does make it look purtier!). [​IMG]
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    This is what i'll never really understand regarding this issue, why some individuals' first instinct is to give DVD the cold shoulder as soon as they upgrade to HD, or even turn off to DVD altogether. I've seen HD and have an HD set myself, haven't connected to HD yet however (I know, what am I waiting for right?), and yes HD is incredible no doubt about it, however the image quality of DVD is still quite beautiful.

    When I finally do make the call and upgrade to HD, i'll accept both HD and DVD on their own terms and enjoy both equally. IMO it's just not productive to judge and compare the two formats when they both do what they do very well and produce acceptable results. It's apples and oranges really, IMO apples taste better than oranges, but i'll still happily eat an orange without question. That may be a pretty fruity analogy, but their ya go, it's the best I can do.

    Now having said that, before anyone says to me "VHS also does what it does very well so why compare it to DVD? It's the same situation isn't it?", you'll notice that I said ACCEPTABLE results in my above paragraph.

    There does exsist a threshold for acceptable image quality that can reproduce faithfully a film compared to it's theatrical exhibition, both HD and DVD do this and are above this threshold of acceptability, VHS is below it and does not. VHS (standard not D-VHS) does do what it does as good as it can I suppose, it's just not good enough to be a serious contender...DVD is, which is the distinction here.

    I guess it all comes down to the individual and what he/she percieves to be acceptable, I simply stated that dvd is acceptable because, hey, when was the last time you visited a forum that offered VHS image quality reviews on a daily basis? [​IMG]

    Sidenote: If you read this post Jerry, sorry man, had to say what came to mind. [​IMG]
     
  7. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    I think you are reading too much into my post. Where did I say DVD was bad? The reason I purchased alot of DVDs was because they were the best quality of a film I could get, not only because I wanted to own them.

    I just said that now that I have uncut HD movies available I will re-evaluate my DVD purchases.

    Take that for what you will.
     
  8. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Eric,

    sorry if my post sounded like it was aimed at you, it wasn't aimed at anyone particularly. I just have seen individuals here who do feel that DVD doesn't cut it anymore compared to HD and wanted to shed some light on and offer my 2 cents on this particular facet of the HD issue.

    Sorry again. [​IMG]
     
  9. Adam_ME

    Adam_ME Supporting Actor

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    I caught a bit of A Knight's Tale the other night on HBO HD and was very impressed. The detail in the crowd shots was just sick. But once again, HBO panders to the lowest common denominator by cropping the frame to 1.78:1. Over on Showtime HD, I saw the end of Vanilla Sky and the picture was noticably sharper than the DVD.

    I can't wait for HD-DVD either, but it's not like we're stuck with a crappy format for the time being. And personally, I think the audio on my DVDs is a lot better than what I've heard during these HD broadcasts(although that might have more to do with HBO and Showtime).
     
  10. Jerry Dreiss

    Jerry Dreiss Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric F, when you said Boston I jumped straight up in my chair, then I saw Natick and slumped back down again. [​IMG]
    I'm in Brighton, and Comcast has just taken over our AT&T service this month. I can't find any useful information on their site about HD cable service, like what channels are offered, what the pricing is, or even what ports I'll need. Could you fill me in on any of this?
     
  11. Glenn_Jn

    Glenn_Jn Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had HD cable for a couple of months now and have enjoyed watching some new movies in glorious HD. While some films do look really good in HD it is not without it's problems. Firstly not all the films that are shown in HD are true HD a lot are uprezzed versions. As pointed ot earlier the sound on a lot of these films leaves a lot to be desired even tho they're supposed to be DD5.1 (no DTS here sorry). Also I've noticed an extraordinary amount of visual flaws like spots and other anomalies that I didn't see on the DVD versions (and this includes brand new films). As for older films, the version of Beverly Hills Cop they showed Sat after "Showtime" was the worst looking digital display of any movie I've ever seen...terrible.
    Apart from a couple of movies I've watched that have looked and sounded REALLY good, The best advantage I've found with HDTV is being able to watch "Miracles" on Monday night. Great show and great looking too.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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  13. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    What it really comes down to for me is that for around $70-something/month I can get an HDTV feed with Showtime and HBO which will let me watch movies that look way better than a DVD under the following conditions:

    1) It's a movie I want to see
    2) It's on at a time I want to watch a movie (no time-shifting)
    3) It's real HD and not upconverted from a 480-line source
    4) It's not cropped (I don't like non-OAR movies)
    5) It hasn't been MPEG-compressed to hell and back

    Sounds to me like that would work out to one or two movies a month at most. Call it an average of 40 bucks per movie. Ouch!

    For movie-watchers, it's pretty darned expensive. Unless you're a fan of football, network prime-time sitcoms or HBO's "dramas that use the F-word" it doesn't really add up...yet.
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  15. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    Get yourself a scaler, Home Theater PC, or Samsung DVD-HD1000, and watch your DVDs in 1080i. It's not true HD, but it can sure look a lot better than 480p.

    If you are scaling your DVDs to 1080i, then I've got to get HD Cable!
     
  16. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    Is Comcast going to pick up ESPN-HD?
     
  17. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I can scale my DVDs to 1080i, but the scaling/processing introduces this very slight delay and creates a slight lip sync that I tend to notice, so scaling it is not without some drawbacks to it.
     
  19. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  20. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    You have a point. My Dish subscription is $30-something a month so the difference between that and a HD subscription is closer to $40 than $70. So let's call it a nice, round $20 per HD movie.

    On the other hand, if the local UPN station will ever start broadcasting "Enterprise" in stereo I'll be able to do away with that pesky Dish subscription anyway. Right now we have it mainly for the WWOR/WSBK Superstation package.

    On the gripping hand, I think Digital Cable plus Showtime plus HBO plus HD digital box rental plus tax runs a good bit more than $70/month from our local TWC outlet.
     

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