How can older shows like Knight Rider and The Equalizer air in HD?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Esten, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Esten

    Esten Supporting Actor

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    How can these older shows be broadcast on HD channels? I've always heard masters of older shows are kept on video. Unless these are upconversions.

    Curious.
     
  2. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    ... or they may have found original film masters.... however unlikely for shows of that era.

    PS remember, HD-DVD/BR can still playback 720x480 resolution as well. not everything content released on these discs will be 1080p HD.
     
  3. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I think he's talking about the HD airings on Universal or HD Net (I forget which), not HDDVD or blu ray.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Your understating is incorrect. Both of these shows were shot on 35mm film. They were framed for 4:3 TV, so if they are being shown in 16:9 format, then the matte has been opened up.

    This is always a problem in that 4:3 framing on a 16:9 frame makes things look bunched up or crowed in the center of the screen. Still, I’m sure that the added picture quality will make up for this (and not everyone even cares).
     
  5. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    I didn't know that 35mm is 16/9! Please correct me if I'm wrong but you can perfectly shoot a 4/3 image on a 35mm!
     
  6. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Yes, say hello to pan/scam's uglier brother: tilt/scam. [​IMG]

    Hopefully though they'll keep the old ratio. Not all US HD is 16:9, right?
     
  7. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I don't believe 35mm is inherently 16x9. In fact, I thought films shot on 35mm were usually matted to 16x9 making the default aspect ratio 4x3.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You are both correct of course—35mm is not 17:9.

    I wrote a bit in haste, when I stated that the matte would be opened up.

    It may be that the telecasts in HD are in 4:3—since I did not see these particular shows, I can’t comment.

    But frequently a normal 4:3 image is cropped for 16:9 or even though shot on film and composed for 4:3, a matte was still used to produce 16:9 (then reduced to 4:3 for TV) and then reopened again. Sort of the worst of all possible worlds.

    Watch some of the shows on an HD channel in 16:9 and on SD TV in 4:3 to get a feel for how 4:3 framing works when placed in a 16:9 frame. Law & Order for example has undergone a couple of changes. First it was all 4:3—and composed for 4:3. Then when NBC put on the HD push, it was presented in 16:9 on HD and 4:3 on SD. Now it is shown in 16:9 on both SD and HD.

    Some of Buffy was shown in the UK in 16:9 even though shot on film. There was a discussion on this some time back, but I can’t find the thread now.
     
  9. Esten

    Esten Supporting Actor

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    ...but was it common practice to render an entire episode COMPLETELY on film? Shot on film, yes, but I'm speaking of post.
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Even (for the sake of argument) that the post-production was all done on 480i quality video tape, the source elements remains intact.

    It is likely true for many TV productions, that some post-production (such as special effects) was done with resolution less than 35mm quality, this still does not mean that the overall picture quality is not quite a bit higher than 480i.

    A whole lot of post for some time has been of much higher quality than broadcast TV—though not necessarily as high as 1080p.
     

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