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Discussion Starter #1
I was just curious as to what people prefer viewing older (TV) shows on, given the option of HD and SD channels. Personally, I've often found older shows more presentable on SD in 4:3 format, as opposed to viewing it in a box on the HD channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Even on a 50", DSgamby? That's two of us then, and I watch on a smaller LCD. Right now, I'm watching All Creatures Great and Small on SD, because it's unwatchable on HD. Well, not unwatchable, but just... wrong.
 

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Image retention is one problem (present in LCD as well). Over-sharpening and over-resolution is another problem with older files. Artifacts appear - wrong pixels trying to display something that is missing in the signal, and it's better not to see them, i.e. watch it in lower resolution and smaller screen.

If we are talking about resizing very old 3/4 shows into 16/9 - may be I'm missing something but this is impossible without distorting the original 3/4 image. You either have to put up with black strips on the left and right and risk of getting image retention (burning the strips into LCD pixels memory), or over-zoom 3/4 picture so that black sides disappear, and then top and bottom of the picture will be cut off. It's like re-sizing 4/6 photo on 16/9 screen - you can't make it match without losses or black strips.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's not the display ratio I'm referring to, because at 16:9 it's boxed anyways, and at 4:3 on HD, it's squished. It's more the overall picture quality for older shows shot for 480i tv. It just doesn't turn out as well as on an SD channel. Perhaps it's subjective, or my own tv, but I prefer many older shows in their 4:3 ratio on an SD channel, and was wondering how others feel about it in general.

Cheers.
 

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I prefer the HD channels. I can't stand horizontally stretching the image (expanding 4:3 to fit a 16:9 tv). It looks pretty bad to me. I usually watch things with the original aspect ratio.

Most cable companies compress SD and it really shows on an HD tv. SD on an HD channel generally looks better because its not being compressed as much.
 

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What I'm trying to say is, doesn't HD just intensify the flaws in older production film/videotape quality? For an example of what I mean, look at the difference between the same graphic for a desktop made for 640x480, and tell me it doesn't look odd on a higher resolution desktop, compared to that graphic designed for the higher resolution. The higher resolution only intensifies the lower res graphic's flaws, just as a show made for 480, will look shoddy when shown in 720 or 1080.
 

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Although what you say is true about them perhaps looking odd, the picture on the HD channel does look better than the one on the SD channel, so your computer analogy doesn't actually hold water. The fact that you have a good display, doesn't make the graphics look worse, it just makes them "stand out" since you can become used to the higher resolution, but the graphics are "worse" if they're not upconverted.

Think of the upconverts as 800 x 600 say, instead of 640 x480. On some material, although the programming is 4:3, the upconverts can look darn near "HD" (with black bars of course).
 

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Generally, I will watch the HD channel when watching SD content.

One exception is when the HD channel is using "stretch-o-rama" to horizontally stretch the picture. However, I don't find this to be happening very often anymore.

The other exception is when the upconversion on the HD channel leaves a row of flashing dots along the top edge of the picture. This, also, doesn't seem to happen very often anymore.
 

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^^^^
Ummm....

Digital TV doesn't have a Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI), as that is something used in analog TV to signal the start of the field. The only time you're likely to see VBI info is when an analog signal is received and then converted to digital. There is also horziontal blanking, used to indicate the start of a line. In both cases, the signal is "super black" and data can be added to the VBI, but the levels are supposed to be such that the data is still within the superblack range. Colour phasing info is added to the HBI. Blanking is not used in digital TV, as the syncing required by analog signals is not required with digital. Those white bits at the top of the screen are likely caused by something else, and I have even seen them on a HD show.


Vertical Blanking Interval
 

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57 explained it just fine. He's talking about how some upconversions unfortunately display the original analogue VBI lines with the programming, not about whether 100% digital TV signals could be responsible for such lines appearing. In a letterboxed format it can be quite distracting and annoying.
 

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I cant see how ANYONE would prefer to watch a SD channel over an HD for ANY type of show. I have my box to always display correct aspect ratio(as everyone should), 1:33:1 in this case, so I'm not stretching SD content on SD channels. The SD shows are upconverted to 720p on HD channels and most also have DD5.1 opposed to 2.0 on SD channels.
 

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Yes JamesK the VBI from the original programming does sometimes appear on the HD channels because it's not been removed by the affiliate, or because the image has not been properly centered vertically by the affiliate. It happens all the time on upconverts if the person has 0% overscan.

This includes mostly 4:3 programming on HD channels, but as mentioned by stampeder, it's particularly annoying if the upconvert is of a WS programme with the VBI clearly in view, rather than at the top of the screen.

This is getting off-topic, so let's get back to the OP's topic.

The SD shows are upconverted to 720p on HD channels
True for affiliates that broadcast 720P, but most actually broadcast 1080i.

See: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76129 HD Formats

The 5.1 may also be an "upmix".

See: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=64024 on DD5.1
 

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One of the shows I completely missed growing up was Kojak.

Thanks to RTV 2.3 Buffalo WGRZ, I'm catching up.

I've been considering hooking up one of my old CRT TVs to watch it. It looks completely fine on an old-style TV. I don't really like the way it looks on my LCD - stretched or in 4:3.

Universal Sports Network looks bad on LCD, too. It looks perfectly normal on a CRT TV.

Interestingly, qubo and ION Life look quite fine on my LCD - both non-hd sub-channels.
 

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I watched Cheers on HDNET yesterday. The show is presented 16X9 and looks terrific. I didn't notice any obvious cropping or stretching and no black bars anywhere. It is possible Cheers was shot with a 16X9 safe area on the 4X3 frame but who knows? I just wish all older 4X3 SD shows could be "transformed" to 16X9 HD as well as this one.
 

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4/3

One of the shows I completely missed growing up was Kojak.

Thanks to RTV 2.3 Buffalo WGRZ, I'm catching up.

I've been considering hooking up one of my old CRT TVs to watch it. It looks completely fine on an old-style TV. I don't really like the way it looks on my LCD - stretched or in 4:3.
When I wanted Kojak, Untouchables and other classic, I just ordered it from public library (set of 4 DVD, total 15 movies or so). Most municipalities have these videos, you order online, specify at which branch you wish to pick it up, and in a week or so (depending on popularity) you get automated telephone message. Doesn't cost a cent. Though, some municipalities here in BC charge $0.50 when you order video that is not on the shelf right now. Without distracting commercials and better quality than on cable TV - it is not HD-remastered, so even on HD LCD you have SD picture with minor improvements due to upconverting by DVD player or upconverting chip in LCD TV. Give your old CRT to somebody via Craig's "Free" section (I did). The only thing to consider with HD LCD hooked to SD signal of DVD player (doesn't matter, upcoverted or not) is to use component RGB cable or HDMI - not a single yellow composite cable that you used with old CRT, so this one you can give away too.

I don't remember whether Kojak DVD was 4/3 or wide-screen (which is not the same as 16/9), - I decided not to rip it onto my HDD, too much nostalgia.

Again, there is no way to convert 4/3 video into a wider aspect without stretching (this usually people don't like), so cable and OTA stations don't normally do it. May be Moderator is right and the station can improve/upconvert the quality TAD better than DVD or TV set can, but I'm satisfied with upconverted signal from DVD. And there is no way to convert widescreen movie, not to mention 16/9 movie to make it fit into 4/3 CRT screen without pan-and-scan (which is zooming and cropping, less annoying than stretching but you lose parts of the picture), or without horizontal black bars.
 
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