Question: ShowtimeHD vs Showtime

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carl Gilbert, Feb 5, 2001.

  1. Carl Gilbert

    Carl Gilbert Extra

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    Was flipping between ShowtimeHD and regular showtime the other night, really just out of curiosity to see what is clipped out of the 16x9ish presentation to show it in 4x3 (ie, justifying to myself that this small fortune I've been spending really has value ;-)
    Was amazed to see that it was the HD signal that seemed to be cropped from the 4x3 signal! This was not the case on HBO, but clearly so on Showtime. The movie was definitely being broadcast in HD, but it was very clear that there was significantly more info top and bottom in the normal broadcast, and equal width of info on both channels.
    Anyone have any insight into this? Seems really strange, backwards from what I would expect.
    Thanks!
     
  2. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    It would depend on what you are watching. Was it a movie that was being presented full frame open matte? Was it an original broadcast series? There are a lot of possibilities here. I know that HBO HD will open up movies to be closer to their OAR, but still formats them to 1.78x1 because "people like it that way".
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  3. Carl Gilbert

    Carl Gilbert Extra

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    Not sure of the exact lingo here, so will try to describe what I saw...
    On the HD channel, there was still a small bit of letterboxing. Assuming that meant it was showing the movie on OAR which was even shorter/wider than the 16x9 HD. It was a movie, not original to Showtime (and, of course, now my feeble mind forgets the title, but it had Wynona Rider in a victorian setting, stagecoaches and such).
    Flip to the normal Showtime channel, and the info from side to side is exactly the same, but no letterboxing and significantly much more of the scene top to bottom. Amazingly more content.
     
  4. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    What TV are you using? You may have a lot of overscan on your set. I saw HDTV on a Toshiba 56H80 side-by-side with a Philips 559701, and the Toshiba had a lot more overscan, meaning it was cutting out a lot of the image.
    Alternatively, the movie may have been filmed with the Super 8 process, in which extra picture area is recorded above and below the 16:9 region to improve the 4:3 letterboxed versions. So, both the 4:3 and 16:9 versions wind up letterboxed, both showing picture area that the other cuts out, both cutting out picture area that the other shows.
    -Abdul
     
  5. Carl Gilbert

    Carl Gilbert Extra

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    Am using a Sony 36XBR400. Don't think overscan is the issue, can direct compare HBOHD and HBO and there is clearly a significant difference (ie, the normal is a clipped version of the 16x9).
    I am tempted to follow your other theory, it does seem that they were shoeing a taller version on 4x3 that the HD letterbox verson.
    Will keep checking periodically, is very curious....
     
  6. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    What was the movie?
    If it was 1.85x1 widescreen to begin with, and matted to achieve that original aspect ratio, the 4x3 version might open up the mattes and show the "taller" version as you call it.
    - Steve
     
  7. Frank

    Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the movie he is referring to is 'Age Of Innocence' with Winona Ryder. It was directed by Martin Scorsese. He filmed it using the Super35 process. The correct aspect ratio is 2.35 to 1.
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