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TCM showing THE GREAT RACE 1.77:1 instead of 2.35:1


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#1 of 17 RolandL

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Posted April 01 2012 - 05:39 AM

OMG! Is TCM turnig into AMC? What's next? Commercials? This is the first time a scope film is shown in the wrong aspect ratio on TCM that I have seen.

Roland Lataille
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#2 of 17 Stan

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Posted April 01 2012 - 08:16 AM

I still have a "regular" 4x3 television and the majority of channels, even local ones are showing things letterboxed. Not great, but I tolereate them until maybe they switch to HDTV in the futurer. Most cable channels have caught up and I'm pleased with their presentations. The ones I refuse to watch are when nothing is done, or at most the bare minimum. I was looking forawrd to Thor last week as was the previous poster, thinking it would be scope or at least shown in flat format. Wrong, they showed it full screen 4x3 format and I watched about 30 seconds before zapping it. Pan and scan is ridiculous on a 16x9 movie. TCM was always a channel I trusted to show OAR, but if they're taking shortcuts, I'll become very selective about what I vew on their channel. Our local PBS channel has finally begun to join the rest of the world. They run West Side Story about once a year, but always in the 4x3 format, which I refuse to watch. Finally they ran it last night in semi-wide screen mode but being a scope film, I was skeptical. What was originally 16x9 seemed reasonable in the flat production. After thinking about it, I watched a bit and it never did switch to a flat broadcast. If they can't broadcast in OAR, (which they do in the opening credits) I refused to watch. I'll write another letter, possibly helped in the past, so maybe they'll adjust in the fiuture. Network TV is also switching. CBS is by far the worst, but NBC and some PBS seems to show many things widescreen, even for us who haven't made the switch to HDTV yet, many shows are watchable without their 10-40 percent chopped off the edge of the picutre. Switching to HDTV will help, and there are a lot of widescreen movies and TV series shown, I'm in school, so it's a litle far down on my budget list, but will be shopping this summer.
Stan

#3 of 17 Matt Hough

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Posted April 01 2012 - 08:24 AM

That's odd because I know I've seen The Great Race before on TCM in the proper aspect ratio. I didn't check it out this time around, to be fair.


I did check out Gypsy the other night, and it was shown correctly.



#4 of 17 Stan

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Posted April 01 2012 - 09:39 AM

I hope TCM is still showing in OAR. Other channels are taking short cuts, especially showing 16x9 in "semi-widescreen" mode. Don't know if there is a term for that, but it's when they cut of the edges of a 16x9 image and make it look more "presentable'. Hopefully TCM is still OAR, they only bad part is it emphasizes how wide a truly widescren film really is. Maybe like other channels they are starting to rethink things and chop off the edges, making the movie more acceptable for the hillbilly Joe Six Pack crowd. Let's hope they stay OAR and don't bow down the naysayers, show the movie as it was filmed. I've watched TCM for what must be going on decades, let's hope they keep their service the same in the future.
Stan

#5 of 17 RolandL

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Posted April 02 2012 - 05:53 AM

Maybe it was just a mistake. I'll check to see if other movies are not shown in OAR.

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#6 of 17 Charles Smith

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Posted April 02 2012 - 06:01 AM

Don't they still run that "educational short" about widescreen vs. cropped films, with Scorsese etc.?  Probably not as often as they used to, but I think I've seen it fairly recently.



#7 of 17 RolandL

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Posted April 02 2012 - 06:06 AM

Yes they still show the widescreen vs. full screen short.

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#8 of 17 Charles Smith

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Posted April 02 2012 - 06:15 AM

Good.  Hopefully, that presentation you saw was just a fluke.


It's depressing, though, the extent to which "full screen 16x9" has already become the new "full screen 4x3".  Saturday night I turned on PBS-Channel 13's West Side Story.  Not to watch, but just to see how they were presenting it.  I got in on it near the end of the first showing.  So, take a guess.  Yep, 16x9.  For the end title sequence they pulled out to show the full picture.  Just like in the old days.  A couple of hours later I tuned in to see what they did with the Overture, since I'd missed that earlier.  Oh my god.  They started it right at the botched red-to-blue dissolve -- I saw the black and the bit of green -- and in 16x9.  Right then the "TV/PG" (or whatever it is) rating appeared at the top left of the screen and stayed on till the title had dissolved to the lower Manhattan skyline.  Off went the TV.  I could take no more that night.


And yes, I know this is all-pervasive throughout the various "movie channels" (quotation marks deliberate).



#9 of 17 Jim*Tod

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Posted April 02 2012 - 07:02 AM

In the last month or so on TCM has presented SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1.33) at 1.75, and CHARLEY (2.35) and MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (2.35) at 1.75. I sent an e-mail complaining but got no response, but also posted on their message boards. There have been other examples. Not sure what is going on.

#10 of 17 Charles Smith

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Posted April 02 2012 - 07:04 AM

Okay, this is NOT good news.



#11 of 17 RolandL

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Posted April 02 2012 - 07:35 AM

I posted on their Facebook site but no response.

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#12 of 17 Ken Chan

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Posted April 02 2012 - 12:16 PM

I still have a "regular" 4x3 television and the majority of channels, even local ones are showing things letterboxed. Not great, but I tolereate them until maybe they switch to HDTV in the futurer. Most cable channels have caught up and I'm pleased with their presentations.

How do the local, "not great" letterboxed presentations differ from the "caught up" cable ones on your SD 4:3 TV? Aren't they both letterboxed in SD? Many (maybe most) channels are originated/available in HD. When they want to broadcast in SD, like over analog cable, there are really only two choices: chop or letterbox. Letterbox is better not only because of OAR (when it is in fact so), but if you have the cable box hooked up to an HDTV -- which nowadays is just "a TV" -- you can "zoom", which will "fill the screen" in addition to "seeing the whole picture".

Other channels are taking short cuts, especially showing 16x9 in "semi-widescreen" mode. Don't know if there is a term for that, but it's when they cut of the edges of a 16x9 image and make it look more "presentable'.

Yeah, given that 4:3 is equivalent to 12:9, I'd say the "skinny bars" on top and bottom are splitting the difference at maybe 14:9. Never bothered to measure. I see this mostly on SD TNT.

#13 of 17 Stan

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Posted April 02 2012 - 12:56 PM

The most noticeable film I've seen was the previously mentioned West Side Story. They showed it letterboxed, but they still cropped off the edges of the film. A cinemascope film presented full picture does look awfully skinny on a 4:3 television. Maybe they converted it to a 1.85:1 format so people wouldn't complain as much. At least it wasn't pan and scan and fully zoomed in to fill a 4:3 screen, losing 40+ percentage of the picture. Financially I'm not upgrading to a good HDTV until later this summer, that should solve my problem. What I meant by "not great" was a couple of local channels that will show their ads and news shows commercials letterboxed (HDTV for those who have it). The annoying part is for about a tenth of second they switch back to full screen just before resuming network shows. They obviously have the capability to letterbox their shows, why tease us briefly then flip back to full screen.
Stan

#14 of 17 Jim*Tod

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Posted April 02 2012 - 02:04 PM

I have found it interesting that what few responses TCM has given on their site to the complaints have tried to blame things on people not having their HD sets set up correctly or with the proper settings. Since I am pretty savvy about these things, I knew that was not the problem. But I have to wonder if TCM, realizing that many or even most of their viewers are older and are already confused by all the variations in current technology, are tailoring their responses in a somewhat condescending manner thinking that many people will just believe they haven't set up things properly. I hate to be that cynical about how this is being handled. This channel was at one time the only place you could be sure you were going to see movies uncut, commercial free, and in the correct format. Let's hope this is a temporary glitch. Let us hope they don't become another AMC.

#15 of 17 Stan

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Posted April 02 2012 - 03:12 PM

Sounds like they're probably just assuming most people are viewers like my mother. No matter what is shown, she makes sure it fills the screen, so of course you get fat midgets doing the news and commercials. Unbelieveable she doesn't even notice or care. If that's what cable companies are going to do, I'm done and will find true HD channels or patiently wait for the BD/DVD. As is typical, the dumbing down of technology to fit the ignorant masses who know no better.
Stan

#16 of 17 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 03 2012 - 03:56 AM

Usually if TCM shows a movie non-OAR, it's because that's the only master it could get a hold of. That's what makes Singin' in the Rain so scary, because we know a 1.37:1 HD master exists.

#17 of 17 RolandL

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Posted April 03 2012 - 04:10 AM

Usually if TCM shows a movie non-OAR, it's because that's the only master it could get a hold of. That's what makes Singin' in the Rain so scary, because we know a 1.37:1 HD master exists.

I think they have shown THE GREAT RACE before in 2.35:1. The clips on their web site show it as 2.35.1.

Roland Lataille
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