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Old 04-07-2009, 10:38 AM   #1
MrTaxMan MrTaxMan is offline
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Default How is Hogan's Heroes in HD

I saw an episode of Hogan's Heroes on Universal HD network today and could not get over how good the video quality was. It was full HD. Never saw such an old show (1967) that looked like it was filmed in the past few years. Even though the episode itself was not entertaining, I couldn't switch the channel because of that quality.

And why was it in 16:9 aspect ratio? They didn't make it like that. Did they?

Did the studios back then look 40 years into the future and somehow anticipate people would have wide-screen HD TVs and decide, "We're going to make it in an HD format that people won't be able to appreciate for 40 more years?"
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #2
Afrobean Afrobean is offline
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Plenty of older television shows were shot on film. Film has greater fidelity than SD television can display, so if they take the original film source and rescan at a higher resolution, they have an instant HD version of a very old TV show.

As for the aspect ratio, there are three possibilities:

#1: They cropped. Just chopped off some of the top and bottom to fill the 16:9 screen. Think of what they do with theatrical movies to get them to fit a 4:3 screen. Same idea.

#2: The original material did not fill the entire frame of the film. They could have shot it with mattes, and so, all they'd need to do is go back to the source film and simply look at the additional film that never showed up on the screen before but was still captured. Unless I'm mistaken, this is highly unlikely for a TV show, at least one as old as this. I believe Scrubs has been shot in this way as they planned on changing the aspect ratio later on once 16:9 became more standardized.

#3: A combination of the two above. There is probably some additional material on the sides of the frame which has never been visible before, but yet, not enough to take the 1.33:1 image up to 1.78:1. So they add a little on the sides and crop a little from the top/bottom. They did this with Seinfeld already. I'd guess that this is the most likely of all scenarios.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove is offline
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Wow!
I wanna see Gilligan's Island in HD!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
sonyhomenet sonyhomenet is offline
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I have witnessed this phenomenon!!! The other night I was surfing around (channel,not web!) and ran across a showing of "Gunfight at the OK Corral,from 1957....and it looked like it was shot YESTERDAY!!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:27 PM   #5
mdabb mdabb is offline
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Love Hogan's Heroes !!! Glad to see them in HD, Maybe someday in Blu.........
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
steve_dave steve_dave is offline
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Hogan's Heroes is cropped for the HD presentation. Sorry, it is not like Seinfeld where there was extra informaiton on the sides to help mask the cropping.

HDNet and CBS Television worked together to create these new HD masters. At first, they were cropped to 1.78:1 widescreen (some episodes are still like this) but the framing ruined the composition. The tops of heads were severly cropped which resulted in the edge of the frame being uncomfortably close to the eyes, overscanning would result in the edge literally touching the top of the eye. Same with the bottom of the frame, no there was no artificial panning from top to bottom added to "mask" some of the cropping.

Since this resulted in a non too popular picture, a majority of the episodes were remastered at 1.66:1. This results in side bars but with this AR, the side bars are either very thin or lost altogether with overscan.

The resulting image was also cleaned up and restored to provide that jaw dropping picture.

Becker airs on USA and Universal HD in high-definiton 1.78:1 and JAG was recently added to HDNet. Both are CBS Television properties, however unlike Hogan's Heroes, the producers of these shows composed for 1.33 but shot 1.78:1 safe. So there is more picture information than the SD broadcast on the sides.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdabb View Post
Love Hogan's Heroes !!! Glad to see them in HD, Maybe someday in Blu.........
I want everything in Blu. No matter how good or bad, just to bring the format completely mainstream.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
MrTaxMan MrTaxMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afrobean View Post
Plenty of older television shows were shot on film. Film has greater fidelity than SD television can display, so if they take the original film source and rescan at a higher resolution, they have an instant HD version of a very old TV show.

As for the aspect ratio, there are three possibilities:

#1: They cropped. Just chopped off some of the top and bottom to fill the 16:9 screen. Think of what they do with theatrical movies to get them to fit a 4:3 screen. Same idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_dave View Post
Hogan's Heroes is cropped for the HD presentation. Sorry, it is not like Seinfeld where there was extra informaiton on the sides to help mask the cropping.

Since this resulted in a non too popular picture, a majority of the episodes were remastered at 1.66:1. This results in side bars but with this AR, the side bars are either very thin or lost altogether with overscan.
Okay, those answers make sense because I did notice their heads were very close to the top edge of the screen. But of all the TV shows to spend that time and money re-mastering, why Hogan's Heroes? There must be dozens of old TV shows shot on film that would benefit from this treatment. Shows with better stories and/or scenery: Bonanza, Wagon Train, Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan's Island, Voyage To Bottom Of Sea? I guess the list could go on and on.

I'm not trying to start a war over what shows were better than others, I just can't figure out all the old series to choose from, why Hogan's Heroes?
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #9
steve_dave steve_dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTaxMan View Post
But of all the TV shows to spend that time and money re-mastering, why Hogan's Heroes?
It was a marketing decision by both HDNet and CBS Televisions. I forgot the exact reason why Hogan's Heroes was chosen but it was a test program to see if older television shows could be modified to fit widscreeen HD displays. Obviously, the program was altered when the framing was compromised far too much.

So far, Seinfeld is the only other show to be given this treatment. However, as stated earlier, Seinfeld was shot on film with extra picture information on the sides. When broadcaast on television, the proper 1.33:1 framing was used and the sides matted off. Now Sony Television was invloved with this HD remastering. Thanks to the extra picture information the image could be reframed without completely runining the composition.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:46 PM   #10
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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Virtually every television show from before the early seventies was shot on film. With the proper mastering and access to the original masters, these shows should look very good on Blu-ray. Unfortunately cost will prevent all but the most popular from coming out fully remastered for high-definition.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:36 PM   #11
dmb70 dmb70 is offline
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Call me crazy, but why not just re master these shows for HD in the correct 1.33:1 AR. Then there is no compromise or change in composition to these classic shows.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #12
steve_dave steve_dave is offline
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Simple answer:

The people who prefer the picture fill the whole screen far outweigh the people who prefer the picture the way it was originally.

HDNet took a lot heat for this which is why its never been used again by them. In fact, HDNet Movies has recently been airing 1.33:1 AR movies in true HD at the proper 1.33:1.
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