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CBS All Access - glad I had a trial

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by GlennC, Jan 26, 2020.

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  1. GlennC

    GlennC Agent

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    I have just taken out a trial 7 day subscription via Amazon.

    I am really glad I did because I am definitely not impressed.

    I fail to understand why they are streaming series which have HD masters in SD. A prime example is MacGyver (the original series). The picture quality is atrocious; I realize is had always been poor but since season 1 has already been released on BluRay (and the whole series is due on BluRay this year in Germany) I don't understand why CBS are not making use of the HD version.

    I would have thought a good selling point for CBS All Access would be the only place to see the series in HD.

    There must be a lot of old series that could be streamed in that way.

    Jag is advertised on Amazon prime as "season 6" available on CBS All Access. Well this is a joke as there are only four episodes available including part one of a two part story. Most of the other seasons tell a similar story.

    I guess the problem is that "classic TV" is not seen by them to have much value and is used as filler.

    Perhaps it is just as well I bought the DVDs and Season 1 BluRay in the case of MacGyver.

    I will be cancelling my subscription before the trial runs out.
     
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  2. Message #2 of 12 Jan 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I couldn't say why they treat their classic TV the way they do especially considering they have such an extensive library of it.

    I tried watching a couple episodes of The Brady Bunch, and man oh man I'm not sure where they dug those quality episodes from but they are pitiful. I threw in one of my DVD sets to remedy the bad image I witnessed. Their new shows Like Discovery, and Picard look fantastic.
     
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  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think there are a few things going on:

    -A lot of CBS-owned properties have been licensed to other networks and services for fixed periods of time that are still underway. It’s gonna take a little time for the rights to everything to revert back to CBS.

    -For a lot of the older shows, the most available masters are older ones used for DVD, which may have been much older than that to begin with.

    -I’ve noticed that streaming codecs can sometimes have a lot of difficulty with older standard definition masters and they can end up appearing worse than the DVD versions (the MPEG2 codec used on DVD seemed to handle these better).

    -Sometimes there are settings in your streaming device buried deep in the settings menu which can affect how material like this looks, and by default it can be switched to a setting that doesn’t yield the best result. It can be the result of the shows being shot on film at 24 frames a second, but then are transferred to tape converted to 30 frames a second, and then digitized from the tape rather than the film. And I think depending on how that’s encoded and how your settings are adjusted, it can throw off how the streaming boxes are displaying that image.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    MacGyver was shot on film but all effects were composited on standard def video tape, which sadly was standard practice back in the 1980s. I have the full series on DVD, and even they look absolutely horrible on both of my UHD displays.
     
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  5. GlennC

    GlennC Agent

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    Yes I have the DVDs of all of MacGyver and the quality is terrible/

    The season 1 BluRay is a wonder to behold; it is like watching a different show.
     
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  6. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Standard Definition on streaming looks much worse than DVD on every site I have seen so I think its currently the way it looks for streaming. But strangely HD material looks nearly as good or as good as blu ray. The audio through streaming still does not match the lossless quality of Blu Rays due to compression and sounds just a hair better than DVD.
     
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  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Videotaped sitcoms never seem to get the frame rate right on streaming. When I tried CBS All Access not even the HD game shows, soaps or news were shown at the right frame rate- and they did that credit-shrinking nonsense also, but at least there was no logo bug that has plagued their broadcasts for 22 years now.
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Most streaming services are designed for 24fps progressive content. The old 29.97fps interlaced content can cause issues. If they were shot on film and then telecined with 3:2 pulldown, it's fairly easy to get back to 24p. But if they were shot on video tape, and only an interlaced source exists, that can cause problems.
     
  9. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I thought it was simply impossible to do video frame rates online, but YouTube has been able to for a while now. In fact, here's an old show from CBS that I upscaled to HD resolution and 60fps, it should show properly on most equipment:


    I noticed the Making of Nightmare Before Christmas is at the right frame rate on Vudu in standard-def resolution. Since they no longer have the free 2 minutes anymore, I don't know if any of their TV shows are- though I got the first episode of Married With Children there for free a while ago and it's still at the wrong frame rate.
     
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  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I believe all North American TVs have to play 29.97i, and most HDTVs also play 23.976p and 59.94i and 59.94p. The limitation to 24p/23.976p is the streaming platform, not the final display.
     
  11. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Some YouTube apps cannot display videos in high frame rate. The one on my LG TV can show some of them but not others- haven't figured out what I did with the encoding on the ones that do work. The one I linked here will show properly through it but the latest ones I've uploaded don't, hence the caveat that not everyone might actually see them in the proper frame rate. The YouTube app on my 4K Roku seems to get all of them right.
     
  12. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Per TVline: 3/24/2020

    You can now explore space with Jean-Luc Picard for free: CBS All Access is making its service available at no cost for one month, starting today through April 23, with the code “GIFT,” Star Trek: Picard star Sir Patrick Stewart announced on Instagram. That gives you two days to catch up before the show’s Season 1 finale debuts this Thursday. (Note: The offer is only good for U.S. subscribers.)

    The streamer’s other original series include Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, Why Women Kill, Tell Me a Story, The Twilight Zone and Interrogation. CBS All Access also offers access to most current and past CBS shows, as well as select classics such as Beverly Hills, 90210, the original Beauty and the Beast, Family Ties and Twin Peaks.
     

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