Sometime last week - TCM's 3x4 format films started displaying as before; meaning vertically they cover the screen. Again not sure how/why it had changed or how/why it has changed back.
We are also experiencing the same issue and have checked all the settings on our cable box and television. Has any one else had this issue resolved for them with the exception of user "baba.baba"?
4 x 3 movies look right now, but 16 x 9 content is now pillarboxed. Black bars left and right. I would guess that the promos and breaks should be 16 x 9. Some newer widescreen content is windowboxed. Bars left and right, top and bottom. Like they are forcing everything into a 4 x 3 format. Newer movies will almost always be letterboxed as most are shot wider than 16 x 9. But we should only see bars left and right on older 4 x 3 content.
Your video engineers are wrong about this.
TCM makes their money showing old movies in aspect ratios as close as possible to the way they were intended. They are not going to show a widescreen movie not in widescreen with vertical black pillars covering significant portions of the movie thereby making it unwatchable. It’s almost worse than pan and scan. TCM is not going to run 16 x 9 promos for their content where the promotional text information is covered by black pillars at the sides of a picture.
This wasn't the way it was prior to the beginning of April 2019 but it is now. Something has changed with the way the signal from TCM is being provided to its subscribers by Shaw. I was waiting for this to be fixed but after reading this thread I can see Shaw doesn’t believe its own customers.
This problem may be hard to diagnose because all sorts of picture compositions show up on TCM. You need to watch the channel over several programs with someone who knows the channel and knows movies not just ask “video engineers”.
For example, to most people the TCM 4:3 content probably looks fine but since April 2019 it has been cropped at the sides too. It’s just not as noticeable. You can tell this from the opening and closing credits of some 4:3 movies with long titles where the text is truncated on both sides of the film because it is hidden by the black pillars.
TCM is my favorite channel but I can't watch it in its present form. I will look elsewhere for a good cable feed unless this problem is fixed.
I'm quite disappointed in Shaw. When I called the tech line they first said no issues were reported then changed that to a few reports. Stated that their techs looked at the issue and found none at there end and suggested contacting TCM.
First off, we pay Shaw for the service, which for TCM we are not getting what we are paying for.
Second, the service provider should be working with TCM to correct the problem.
To pretend there is no issue or blaming on old movies format is a joke. I have worked as a tech in the industry for 30 years and I know when a station is not being broadcast in HD.
TCM does have HD content both in movies and in there host intros and interviews, all shot in HD. It appears on the HD TCM channel as a 4:3, side graphics are cut off, grainy picture etc. This is the only channel on my lineup that this is happening.
To confirm this I went to my PVR and played an old movie recorded from TCM back in February, the host intro is clear and fills the entire screen. The film has black sides and is full top to bottom. When you go to stretch on the Shaw converter aspect the film fills the whole screen. Today's programming does not do this.
Please fix the problem and stop making excuses.
i am not buying it. Shaw still claims TCM is an HD channel on your channel listings. Please stop with the excuses and fix the problem.
Can you provide me some examples of the movie, time, and date you noticed the specific movie have black bars all around? Please include the equipment model you have from our list here. Images of the issue are also appreciated.
Sorry Tony - don't remember when and what movie I saw that was window boxed. I'll try to take a pic next time I see an issue. I haven't seen that format for a while so maybe that's changed. Everything I see now on TCM is pillar boxed so 16x9 or widescreen content is cut off right and left. Saw a promo break the other day that had text go under the black bars. Some of the older movies are 4 x 3 they look fine pillarboxed as they should be. I'm on the BlueSky TV HDPVR and one portal. Thanks for taking the time to check into this.