HDTV Rant - Like the quality, but...

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Keith Paynter, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    I recently upgraded my cable box to a unit with HDTV support, and our cable company has 5 HDTV stations (US networks) to which I subscribed.

    The problem?

    The composition of any of the HDTV programming I've been able to watch (such as The Tonight Show, American Idol, some NASCAR out of curiosity) still favors the 1.33:1 image. Even though info banners can run the entire length of the screen, all the text and visual info is still "standard"-view-safe. To top it off the HDTV versions of shows I may want to watch are on 3 hours later!! (IE HD Leno at 1:30am instead of 10:30pm local time)

    How long do I have to consider this a waste of my viewing time? I do prefer the HDTV broadcast for its resolution and sound quality, but I feel a bit cheated that the additonal screen is wasted space. I realize that in a few years the point will be moot. I'm thankful that the cable box has a hard drive recorder in it, but that's not worth the extra $30 month.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    As long as 4:3 OTA broadcasts are in effect, it's impractical to expect 2 sets of info banners.
     
  3. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Aren't you in central time?

    KING and KIRO, etc... are in Seattle. Pacific. that's two hours, yes?

    I have to agree either way... much nicer to have your choice.

    But I got the Motorola HD PVR box... (single tuner only, unfortunatly)

    Do it! You wont regret it.
     
  4. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I have HDTV on both cable and satellite. I get The Tonight Show at 10:35 p.m. in HDTV on both. Don't know why yours would air three hours later. That is strange. Patrick is correct, and you'll find the same thing with sporting events shot in HDTV as well. In the control room, there is a center monitor that is in widescreen, but has the extra space on the side slightly shaded with the center 4x3 image clear, showing the director both the standard and widescreen image compositions. Until everything is broadcast in HD, you can continue to expect largely wasted space on the sides, and yet I still prefer to watch it that way for the increased resolution and clarity, and even for the extra space I'm seeing. I could never go back to standard TV.
     
  5. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    In some cases, you are getting the right image, though. Several shows broadcast on SD are in widescreen, like The West Wing, ER, Smallville, and maybe a few others.
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As a RP WSTV owner, that "wasted" space is well worth the cost of HD.

    Think of it like this, even though it may seem like 'extra' space that isn't really considered part of the scene...at least it keeps me from having black (or grey) bars on either side of the screen (for 4x3 material), which isn't the greatest for RPTV owners.
     
  7. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Odd that some stations chose grey for the sides and some keep them black. As I said, I don't disagree with the quality - it's fabulous sound and picture. I just hope that the amount of HD product increases.

    I have to make an appointment next week for the display to be calibrated properly, the "Full" mode is not centered L/R, and the "Zoom" mode squeezes some of the picture vertically.
     
  8. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Well, saw an example on tonights HOUSE MD of using the whole 16:9 area effectively. When the brother goes in the hospital room to talk to his brother, the shot was set up with the man in the bed in the foreground. His head was at the extreme left edge of the screen. His brother was farther in the background standing in the doorway talking to him, at the extreme right edge of the screen. They pushed each boundary of the wider image to get this shot off. And quite well too.
     
  9. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    HDTV is still relatively in its infancy and a lot of stations are putting out product that has a lot of flaws. I've been an HDTV user since the beginning (Dish) and it is obvious that we have to put up with a lot of mistakes since many people in the supply chain either don't care or don't have the resources or expertise to correct the situation.

    Some of the growing pains include
    • Forgetting to switch to the HD feed
    • Not adjusting the volume between HD 5.1 sound and "standard" commercials which are far too loud and require one to keep the remote handy
    • Advertising something as "HD" when it is, in reality, just upconverted and not really that good
    • Sending out stuff with the wrong aspect ratio
    There are many other such things going on but the good news is that as people get better at this, most of these flaws will be corrected. Right now everyone is rushing to get on the HD bandwagon and some people are doing this without the proper resources and skills.

    This too shall pass. When HDTV is done right it is spectacular.
     
  10. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    As far as I'm concerned HDTV is worthless as long as they keep putting their logos onscreen through the whole show. This has gone on for more than seven years now, and it must stop!
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't think a small logo in the bottom of the screen makes the whole thing 'worthless'. Annoying, yes. Worthless, no.
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Actually, on my 110" screen (HD projector) the logo is about the size of a 27" TV.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    On the other hand, logos are prominent in regular TV as well. I dislike the whole "logo" deal - especially those that stay on continuously. A few seconds after a commercial break is one thing, but this in perpetuity nonsense is annoying.
     

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