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Why is HBO still not broadcasting in OAR for HD?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Dick, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe it! Other than for their own productions, HBO is stubbornly refusing to broadcast in the 16x9 format, thereby creating those "irritating black bars" on the sides, so Joe Six Pack has to zoom in anyway, further ruining the composition. A 1.78:1 ratio, at the very least would seem a no-brainer to me.

    I'll stick with TCM.

    Which brings me to two questions before I subscribe again to a way-y-y overpriced satellite service...

    1. Does TCM broadcast in 1080?

    2. Are these broadcasts recordable? If so, does one record onto standard DVD's only, thereby compromising the resolution? Blu-ray blank discs are way too expensive still for casual recording.
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    On my cable company--and maybe everywhere, if a quick look at wiki is correct--TCM broadcasts only in SD. Even their digital channel. They make sure the movies are OAR, but they are letterboxed within a 4x3 window.

    The channel is definitely recordable. I've recorded movies to my DVR. I can't say what your options would be from there, since I just use it to timeshift and not to save them permanently.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    I never understand why people are surprised that HBO doesn't generally run movies in their OAR. They've spent more than two decades broadcasting MAR so why would an increase in resolution make them change their minds?
     
  4. Ernest

    Ernest Well-Known Member

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    They are broadcasting in what their opinion is of OAR and that is "fill the screen" which is what the majority of their subscribers want. You like many of us are in the minority. We will never win the OAR fight because the majority want their screens filled without those pesky black bars.

    It doesn't help that HDNet movies and others broadcast older movies like Casablanca with pillar bars. That doesn't happen on STD DVD or BluRay Casablanca fills the screen without those awful pillar bars.

    When you see all the different ways to display movies in HD you wonder what is OAR? HDNet broadcast some titles with pillar bars, HBO and others "fill the screen", others just up-convert STD to 720P or 1080i. BluRay gets it right.
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is any conspiracy here. I just think it is a logistical issue. For many of the films they get, they aren't given the 16x9 feeds. They just have the flat versions.

    Since they air most of their own programming 16X9, I think that they know the difference. They are doing the right thing. They were broadcasting widescreen before it was the norm.

    The one problem I've noticed, some of the non-HBO created original programming (like SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH) is aired letterboxed at 1.78 but not in 16x9 mode. It is windowboxed. But again, they didn't produce the show. They are just airing other people's content.

    And yes, TCM isn't high def.

    Oh and as for the OAR fight, it is almost over. Once everyone starts getting HDTVs, the complaints will die out. It is already happening.
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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    Films will just be MARed to 16x9 instead; you'll see 2.39:1 films cropped to 16x9, and 1.37:1 films cropped to 16x9. That still leaves ~half of your movies that will come through intact, but the problem won't go away.
     
  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    I recorded X-Men 3, but it was 1.78:1 instead of the 2.35:1 reported at the IMDb. I deleted it a minute in before checking the AR because it was obviously cropped.

    On the other hand, I recorded More American Graffiti and the titles were 2.35 and it went to 1.85 when the first scene started. A common occurence, and I decided to let it ride. Good thing, since the movie was presented OAR. It just featured a lot of different aspect ratios. I thought it was a pretty admirable experiment, actually. Even Lucas derides the movie, but I liked it a lot.
     
  8. seanOhara

    seanOhara Well-Known Member

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    And yet I've seen quite a few OAR films on Showtime and Cinemax, especially their digital premium channels, while none of HBO's channels do it.
     
  9. seanOhara

    seanOhara Well-Known Member

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    At this point, most of the films TCM shows haven't been mastered in high definition -- no point in having a high def channel if everything's SD except for Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    In all fairness to HBO, I've seen them run a few movies in their OAR (all six Star Wars movies and Titanic for example) but if I turn on HBO, I never expect to see a movie in its OAR.
     
  11. ScottH

    ScottH Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you here, but I think this will be come less of an issue as more people get widescreen TV's. I could be wrong, but I think those "pesky black bars" are the biggest problem for people that still have a 31" 4:3 TV, and have to watch a 2.35:1 movie on it. I'll even admit to the fact that before I got my first widescreen TV, I had a 35" 4:3 CRT and hated watching an OAR 2.35:1 movie on it because it literally cut the screen size of an already small screen in half. With a 16:9 screen, I don't think the black bars are as much of an issue, even for grandma. But I could be wrong.
     
  12. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    Many do not like pillarboxed 4x3 on their new HDs. Fortunately, they can turn on zoom and watch it distorted while the rest of us watch OAR. At least, I hope that's enough of a fix to keep OAR sources coming.
     
  13. Ernest

    Ernest Well-Known Member

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    There is no hiding the fact "pillar boxing" is awful. I am a firm believer in OAR but I must admit I can't watch any movie with pillar boxing.

    Unfortunately, many believed when the 16 x 9 format was accepted by the DVD Forum the black bars would be eliminated. We were wrong and learned the 16 x9 format was a compromise to accommodate widescreen movies and TV 4 x 3 material.

    The widescreen movies, those wider than 1:85 x 1, would be shown in OAR with small horizontal black bars. 4 x 3 material was to be shown filling the screen top to bottom and left to right. Exactly the way 4 x 3 material is displayed on STD DVD and BluRay.

    The question is what is OAR? The studios own the material and should be best at providing the definition. They have the way movies are displayed on BluRay.
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't bother me. I watch 4x3 material all the time and don't even notice anything by this point.
     
  15. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any problem with pillar boxing.

    What other choice is there for 1.33 films, which make up the majority of early films?
     
  16. WillG

    WillG Well-Known Member

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    And I read somewhere that it was because of Lucas's insistance. However, Spike HD shows the Star Wars movies at 1.78. But I suppose maybe because Spike is not a premium network.
     

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