In the following thread rauschpfeife
stated that the movies on TCM-HD were upconverts from the SD channel. I found that difficult to believe, based on experience from other channels that have both HD and SD movies. (since then, rauschfpfeife has been shown to be correct)
Nevertheless, rauschpfeife and I exchanged some PMs in the past few days and rauschpfeife has indicated that he has information indirectly from TCM that they indeed do upconvert, rather than use HD masters for the HD channel.
Based on these exchanges, today I recorded both the SD and HD version of Dr. Zhivago and can clearly (pardon the pun) state that the version on the HD channel did indeed leave something to be desired in terms of quality.
So, despite there being HD masters available for these movies (as seen on other channels), TCM-HD may not be using the HD masters for their movies.
Since TCM-HD airs a lot of older (and some very
old) movies, especially B&W, it's often difficult to discern if they are HD masters or not, since the original quality may not be that great. Of course, great films, if properly stored and telecined can look great (and HD) since they have more than enough "resolution" as discussed in the following thread/post.
So, we open this thread to comments.
rauschpfeife has indicated that he has some screen captures and I look forward to seeing them.
Edit - See post 10 of this thread for my screen shots.