hbo, starz or cinemax? which one is best

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by allan espinoza, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. allan espinoza

    allan espinoza Stunt Coordinator

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    i just wanted to know what everybody thinks is best for hdtv? i like to watch mostly movies if that helps in deciding.
     
  2. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I dont have a Starz HD option. I wish I did as its the best movie channel out of the 3.

    I went to HD cable about a month ago and have only seen a few things on HBO and ShowT Ive wanted to watch.
     
  3. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    While HBO has some good series and often gets movies first, I have yet to see them show a non-1.78:1 movie in HD that uses the OAR. Cinemax-which HBO owns--has the same problem. Starz! has been really good, most notably they did a good job with the LOTR series, even going so far as to air the Extended Editions on a couple occasions.

    You didn't mention Showtime, which like HBO, has some great shows (Dead Like Me, The L Word, Huff), but IIRC actually shows movies in OAR at least some of the time.
     
  4. allan espinoza

    allan espinoza Stunt Coordinator

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    well showtime wasnt listed as available in my area so i didnt think it was, but i ended up choosing starz because they said that it was the best for movies.
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I'm only a month into this HD thing... while it's rare, I'm sure I've seen a 2.35:1 film on HBO-HD, and I wish I could remember what it was! At first, I thought MAX-HD always showed OAR, and then "The Matrix Reloaded" came on cropped.

    HD Movienet shows OAR films, and though they don't have the catalog of HBO/Cinemax/etc., I'm always impressed by the quality of the HD transfers. I was shocked to see how phenomenal "The Terminator" looks (low-budget and all!), and "The Manchurian Candidate" wasn't bad either. "Bye Bye Birdie" looked phenomenal in all its (Technicolor?) glory.

    I'd suggest you get them all. The only bad thing about HD is that there simply isn't enough programming. One other bad thing, I guess... you'll quickly become dissatisfied with DVD quality!
     
  6. allan espinoza

    allan espinoza Stunt Coordinator

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    well i sure cant wait till wednesday when i get everything installed. im really looking forward to it and best of all, just in time for the holidays so that i can show it off to everyone in my family who keep saying that "whats the big deal with hdtv"
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I've recently subscribed to Showtime and Starz after noticing that both services show some movies in their OAR, but Showtime seems to show more OAR movies than Starz, particularly on the Sundance Channel. Starz seems to show OAR on Starz Cinema than other channels, but some showings will be OAR while others will be P&S even on Starz Cinema. Unfortunately, they seem to display the channel bug constantly when showing widescreen movies, but only intermittently when showing P&S movies. Strange!

    I've e-mailed both Showtime and Starz asking for more OAR presentations, explaining that widescreen is obviously not an alien concept any longer, as widescreen DVDs consistently outsell their P&S counterparts. I doubt that my request will accomplish anything, but hopefully it will at least balance the complaints about widescreen that they probably receive.

    I don't have HDTV, so OAR may be more common on the HD channels than on regular channels.

    Steve K.
     
  8. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    Roger Jason Adams
    Yeah...I was suprised to see School Of Rock in widescreen on Showtime. I'm sorry I overlooked that movie...I enjoyed it. [​IMG]
     
  9. Doug Pyle

    Doug Pyle Second Unit

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    Thanks for this discussion. My condo is going digital, so it costs only the box rental of about $7/mo to get HD. There are some few HD channels free, but I was considering premium packages, but no longer. Not if there are station ID bugs in the corner of the screen, and many movies are cropped. Why do these providers think customers who know about and want HD, would tolerate anything other than a pure OAR image without distracting station ID bugs, is beyond me.
     
  10. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Doug- Starz Cinema seems to be the worst offender for channel bugs, but seemingly only during the showing of widescreen movies. I don't know how they treat their HD channel, as I don't have HDTV. Showtime channels do have an occasional channel bug, but at least it's not on continuously. I also understand that Showtime HD does show OAR movies consistently, rather than cropped movies like HBO HD apparently does. Again, I don't have HDTV so I've never seen any HD channels, so I am not speaking from experience but only from what I've read.

    I agree that premium channel providers should assume that subscribers to HDTV channels would want a pure OAR image without station ID bugs, but somehow that concept never seems to cross their minds.

    Steve K.
     
  11. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    None of the HDTV versions of the premium channels have channel bugs during the actual programming, whether it's shows or movies, although they might have them in the intermission programming (Next On..., Coming this month, etc.). Like I said, the OAR depends on who it is. I'd go with either Starz!HD or ShowtimeHD, or if you could afford it, both. I'm hoping Starz!HD will have a LOTR day like they did earlier this year, with all 3 movies in HD and OAR. Unfortunately, I've only seen one movie ever on any free or premium HD channels that used DD-EX, but that's not a big deal.
     
  12. allan espinoza

    allan espinoza Stunt Coordinator

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    well i got my hd cable today and i have to say that i was not as impressed as i thought i would be. all non hd channels look like crap and looked better on basic cable while the hd channels do look great, i don't see many of them. other than documentarys many movies just look like dvd quality to me, hmmm maybe im not seeing anything good or comcast hd just sucks, any input guys?
     

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