Thursday, November 13, 2014


For those of you who have all the high-definition channels, TCM's HD channel is now apparently broadcasting in true HD. I wouldn't know since I don't have the HD packages, but some of the commenters at the TCM board claim to have noticed a change, which supposedly took place several days ago.

That having been said, I did notice a small change on the low-definition feed. For a few days now, the ends of Robert's and Ben's intros have had a half-second or so of what looks like a change in aspect ratio. It's much the same as what I described when I blogged about the old FMC's faulty broadcast of A High Wind in Jamaica, or the sort of jump you sometimes see when a movie is in wide screen for the opening credits and then jumps to pan-and-scan for the rest of the movie.

Yesterday evening, however, after Our Mother's House, I noticed something different: the screen for the upcoming movies bit was in 16:9 instead of the usual 4:3, with the titles being much smaller, and still centered as if it were for the benefit of people still getting a 4:3 broadcast. The trailer for Show Boat that ran just before 8:00 PM was also now letterboxed, in that there were black bars on top and bottom of the screen, with the pastel-colored bar listing the name of the movie extending down to the bottom of the bar, not to the bottom of the screen, as was the case with the old trailers. The scenes from Show Boat themselves were pillarboxed as well into a fairly tiny 4:3 rectangle.

The intro for "TCM Extras", however, remained in 4:3, which is slightly surprising, as I would have figured all of the intros were changed in part because of the need to have material in 16:9. The short itself, a featurette on Sean Connery's The Hill, was also 4:3, and both of these took up the full screen.

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