Feb 1, 2007  •  Post A Comment

TNT Stretched the Truth
Thanks so much for the story about “Stretch -O-Vision” on TNT. Personally for me, I can’t watch anything on TNT/HD on this format. It does not look right. They have so little respect for the films they are “altering.” I am surprised that the Directors Guild and many others have not yet complained. This is a terrible and very annoying solution.
Chuck Braverman
Braverman Productions, Inc.
Santa Monica, CA
In your recent article: “Clyde D. Smith, TNT’s senior VP of broadcast engineering, research and development, quality assurance and metrics, said TNT first tried presenting standard-definition content with ‘pillar box’ bars, just like ESPN HD.”
I believe Mr. Smith is quite incorrect. I had TNT HD since it first came into the air through both Dish Network and Voom DBS (now gone from the scene). TNT HD never approached the “pillar box” and from day one of their first simulcast “stretch-o-vision” was the norm. Despite various attempts of contacting TNT HD through their Web sites contact information, they never responded to anyone about the problem. Not only was this the biggest problem but also that while simulcasting the “stretch-o-vision” TNT HD uses the description “simulcast in HD” to confuse the entire matter. I hope you can get back to Mr. Smith and let him know how wrong he is about trying “pillar box” on TNT HD. He never did.
Sean Mota
Regarding your TNT article … I very much enjoyed the article, very good read. However … I have been an avid HD enthusiast for more than five years and have been watching TNT HD since it debuted on the now defunct VOOM HD Network, and subsequently on Dish Network and Cable. With confidence, I can state that I have never seen TNTHD present standard-definition content with “pillar box” bars long enough for anyone to take notice. All my video friends complain about their Stretch-O-Vision, and not a single one of them can recall a single broadcast made by TNT HD in native 4:3. The picture was always stretched.
Just wanted to point this out.
James Riffenburg
TNT Responds:
What may be causing the confusion is that we were speaking about both TNT and the Turner networks in general. Turner operates several services besides TNT. One of these, TBS, also has a local station in Atlanta. As part of the federally mandated DTV conversion, Turner launched WTBS DTV channel 20 in Atlanta. For that service Turner launched with simple 4×3 upconversion which results in the pillar box effect with black bars on the sides. Partially based on the experience gained with consumers in this venue, Turner decided NOT to launch TNT with the black bars and developed, in conjunction with Teranex, the Flex View method of upconverting 4×3 into 16×9. The viewers comments are exactly correct in asserting that we NEVER transmitted TNT with pillar boxed video.
What About Free HD?
Editors note: A few readers took issue with “About Half of HDTV Owners Watching True HD”, which neglected to point out that some viewers get their HD signals by an over-the-air antenna. About 3 percent of HD viewers use an OTA signal, according to a study conducted last year by Leichtman Research Group.
I enjoyed your article on the number of consumers who have bought HD TV’s but still do not have HD pictures. Although you did mention in the article that HD was available with an antenna over-the-air, potential for consumers is much simpler than most of them realize.
Today’s consumer does not need a roof-top antenna but simply a small antenna inside that will deliver to them the best HD content there is to offer which is located on broadcast television. The consumer will also receive all the multi-cast signals the broadcasters are transmitting including 24 hour music and weather channels that many of the cable/ads systems don’t supply.
The simple choice for a consumer today is to use free over-the-air television for all their HD needs and not worry about an increased bill from their local cable company.
Vince Giannini
VP, General Manager
Home of MyNetworkTV
Philadelphia, PA
Mr. Hibberd,
I just wanted to comment about an apparent omission in your story’s comment that around 52 percent of HDTV owners receive HD programming by subscribing to cable or satellite services.
This neglects those of us who are receiving our HD programming using a good old-fashioned antenna. I don’t subscribe to any HD programming services, have never subscribed to any HD programming services, but have
been enjoying broadcast HD programs like “Lost,” “Smallville,” “Reba,” and many others for over five years. Judging from comments that have appeared in the AVS Forum over the past several years, I am part of a sizeable minority of HDTV owners who have chosen this option.
Yet another option to consider, albeit one that few are currently taking advantage of, is a device like the Avel IO Linkplayer, which allows an HDTV to display high definition content from a variety of sources-home videos from an HD camcorder, broadcasts captured and recorded using an HD tuner card, or even HD video downloaded from the Internet.
The point is that there are more ways to get HD programming to my HDTV than just paying up for an expensive cable or satellite subscription.
Tom Desmond
Plano, TX
This article is part of TVWeek.com’s High Definition newsletter, a weekly source of breaking HD news, articles and interviews written by Senior Reporter James Hibberd.


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