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IFC-HD complaint/question

Old 03-09-09, 01:21 PM
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IFC-HD complaint/question

I've started watching films over on IFC-HD and I don't know how this problem occurs, but essentially widescreen movies are incorrectly presented, films like Waiting for Guffman / Return of the Living Dead which are 1.85, when viewed on my 1.78 Samsung TV have borders above and below the image Moulin Rouge's 2.35 looked really bad, as if viewing the movie through a mail slot. Wild Strawberries (1.33) was full screen 1.78. All of them look terribly off balance as a result. Is the fault of how IFC's transmits it's programming ... or what??, has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 03-09-09, 01:33 PM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

It sounds like either:

A) Your TV is set up to compensate for overscan and show the full true image.

B)IFC HD is compensating for overscan.

Properly framed 1.85:1 will not fill up a 1.78 screen. Its mathematically impossible. You will still get thin black bars on the top and bottom when viewing these. Some studios like Paramount and Warner Brothers do open the mattes slightly on 1.85 to fill 1.78. The thinking is that since there is overscan you would not notice the miniscule difference.

As for 2.40:1, yep its a wider frame. When you go to the theaters, watch what happens to curtains in most auditoriums. The projectionist lowers them mush more significantly.

But there could be another isssue and my question is...

Were black borders all around the frame or just above & below the frame. If you got black borders all around the frame, congratulations. The broadcaster is not sending a true 16x9 image. They are sending a 4x3 image upconverted to 720/1080.

CMT HD does this as does MTV HD. In fact, the only MTV HD true 16x9 broadcast I have ever seen was the Music Video awards from last year. VH1 HD has caught on and the first run broadcasts of their major shows are true 16x9.

Last edited by emachine12; 03-09-09 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 03-09-09, 02:18 PM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

it might be B - I know that when other HD channels show 1.85 films they somehow remove the right and left side portions of the image, essentially giving you most of the image, sans the letterboxing. Here though it's the full image, but squashed looking - as if trying to give you all the image, but by pushing the image slightly together. And I don't know Rabbit Proof Fence (a 2.35 film) somehow morphed into a 2.20 presentation but Moulin Rouge! shrunk to nearly 2.89 ?

Originally Posted by emachine12 View Post

Were black borders all around the frame or just above & below the frame. If you got black borders all around the frame, congratulations. The broadcaster is not sending a true 16x9 image. They are sending a 4x3 image upconverted to 720/1080.
if that were the case, the framing would be like how Turner Classic Movies is presented. 1.33 films with black borders on the right and left, widescreen, with borders all around the film.

Last edited by Giles; 03-09-09 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-09-09, 04:09 PM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

Sounds to me like IFC HD isn't a real HD channel -- it's showing standard broadcasts but saying it's HD and your TV is trying to format it like it's 16:9 (which its not). Kind of like watching a non-anamorphic DVD on a 16:9 set. But I don't get the channel so I can't say.

Last edited by RichC2; 03-09-09 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 03-09-09, 04:41 PM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

I didn't even know IFC had an HD channel. I know I don't have it. It sounds like I may not be missing much, though.
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Old 03-10-09, 12:14 AM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

I just found the reason for the broadcast problem:

A 4x3 frame stretched to a 16x9 frame.

This is achieved generally by keeping the center of the frame's proportions at the correct shape but the sides are vertically stretched to fill the 16x9 screen. This is what Cartoon Network/Adult Swim do for a majority of their HD broadcast. There are very few shows on Cartoon Network and none on Adult Swim that are broadcast at their proper true 16x9. The only way to tell if it is is when you see the gold Cartoon Network HD logo.

In fact, re-reading your post, you said that the normally 1.33 Wild Strawberries filled your screen.

Here is an example:



Check out the face on your right hand side of the image. Its fatter than it should be.

Do you want to replicate stretch-o-vision?

Easy peasy. Set your DVD player to 4x3. Next set your tv to wide/full mode (which ever one fills your TV completely). Now check out a 1.85:1 image and then a 2.40:1 image.

Normally, 1.85:1 would either be cropped to fit 1.78:1 or it will have very thin black bars. If you are seeing thick black bars...problem.

2.35:1 should have thick black bars. However, if the image looks squashed. Use a Universal movie and check out the studio logo. If it isn't round but oval from side to side, that's stretch-o-vision.

I was afraid that Comedy Central would do this but thankfully, they are a true HD station like FX. Some of the movies and shows are still 4x3 but they are properly pillarboxed. In fact, I was surprised that they were able to get HD masters for movies like Just Friends and Accepted. I was hoping for an HD broadcast of Team America: World Police but I quess they were not able to obtain the HD master.

To sum up, it does look like IFC HD just is not obtaining true HD masters and simply just broadcasting the 4x3 stretched to fill 16x9. Resolution may be better but the overal geomety is messed up.
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Old 03-10-09, 09:11 AM
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Re: IFC-HD complaint/question

yup, you're right, I did the ol switch to 4:3 mode on my tv, and it fixed the image, but unlike TCM some of the films aspect ratio's seem inconsistent, Rabbit Proof Fence wasn't in it's full original aspect ratio (of 2.35) and a film like Trauma (2004 Colin Firth film) was presented full screen (I assume cropped) and not in it's OAR of 1.85

I think it's very misleading when channels say their HD, but not really broadcasting as such.
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