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bluecortina850 posts since 26 Jul 2012
Even now you sometimes see 24fps material not sped up- when I recently caught the Channel 4 morning showings of Cheers (now using HD masters rather than the poor SD ones they used to use), it wasn't sped up, but with some iffy looking motion.

I've also seen some US 60i content with some incredibly jerky motion over the last few years, almost as if they've treated it as if it was 24p with 3:2 pulldown and removing every 5th field even though it's actually full 60i motion. It's incredibly poor standards conversion whatever causes it, especially as we're now in a digital HD era.

Watching the BBC4 TOTPs, as we're in the era the US version was running and they showed some performances from it, you can see how poor the picture quality is on those performances compared to the rest of the show.

And I seem to remember reading when BBC2 first started showing Laugh-in in the late 60s, it was shown with a black border round the edge, presumably that's how the standards converters they used worked? Must have been one of the earliest US videotaped shows shown over here.


Yes, I remember the first series of ‘Laugh In’ being shown with a black border around it, in fact the continuity announcer would often make a point of saying something along the lines of ‘and now on BBC 2 it’s time for small screen time as we join Dan Rowan and Dick Martin etc etc”. I suppose it was to prevent viewers thinking there was something wrong with their tellies at home, would make perfect sense.
james-20015,076 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Makes me wonder, would an early 525>405 converter have done the reverse and zoomed into the image?


That's what you'd intuitively expect, good question ! I think 525>405 conversion was optical, and all the effort to produce electronic converters didn't start until it was clear that 625 was to be the 'default' standard anyway


I guess before the late 60s there wasn't much need for conversion from 525 anyway, electronic or optical, as the majority of US material would have been on film anyway (were there any videotaped US shows on UK TV before laugh in?). Possibly some news or sport material, though this was the days before satellites would have let us get it direct. Chances are if we did get videotaped material it would likely be telerecordings/kinescopes anyway in the 60s.
Last edited by james-2001 on 11 June 2019 9:41pm
Brekkie31,805 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
I think Cheers was one of the earliest HD remasters to be done that way, that one was done way back in the early 00s (from what I read, the first 4 seasons were edited on film- but they still have recreated end credits even though they could have kept the original optical film ones). I always remember how bad the old versions that Channel 4 and Paramount Comedy used to show, they looked dreadful (and you still see some shots like it in the remastered versions, presumably because they couldn't find the original film and had to use the existing SD material).

Are C4 using these now then?
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
james-20015,076 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Yes, they're using the HD versions of Cheers on their early morning repeats.

Cheers has done the round of channels since Channel 4 previously showed it. FX (I think they were the first to show the remastered ones in the UK), CBS Drama, ITV4, Gold, possibly another I missed.

It's almost hard to forget how poor the old copies looked, and it wasn't just bad standards conversion as I've said the odd original shot appears in the remastered versions and it looks just as bad (even when watching in SD on the DVD release).
Last edited by james-2001 on 11 June 2019 9:52pm
Anthony_19843 posts since 28 May 2019 new member
[quote="noggin" pid="1172633"]
Multicamera film was never really used in the UK (it's very expensive) - though it was trialled in the 60s as a way of shooting in an internationally compatible way (as 50Hz region 25fps film can be run at 24fps film in 60Hz regions without standards conversion)


I think they shot the first two series of Chef! on multi-camera film, didn't they? Albeit probably 16 mm rather than 35 mm. That's the only UK sitcom example I can think of.
TedJrr196 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East

I think they shot the first two series of Chef! on multi-camera film, didn't they? Albeit probably 16 mm rather than 35 mm. That's the only UK sitcom example I can think of.


Ugh....

I recall that horrendous practice of UK (BBC and ITV) drama and sitcom of being partially studio based with tubed cameras,, and then field production with 16mm negative stock. Either was good quality, but the juxtaposition between them was irritating. Shows based around sketches (eg Dave Allen) didn't suffer from this, because the sketches were all filmed inserts.

If you were to remaster some of these, what approach would you take? Possibly to make the multi-camera studio component look more like film?
TedJrr196 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East
....// .... ITV4 are showing an HD remastered version of the 1994 Granada series The Memoirs of Sherlock Homes. It now has a wider aspect ratio than 4:3 but has not been cropped to 16:9, with pillarboxing on either side. ..... // EDIT: and now the second episode has come on which *has* been cropped to 16:9… strange.


Was this not one of the objectives of the 14:9 compromise aspect ratio?

In any event, if the material was originally shown from a 16mm print, surely having access to the camera negatives would enable you to take an aspect ratio that went further out to the left/right edges than the original show print, itself a crop.
VMPhil9,777 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
....// .... ITV4 are showing an HD remastered version of the 1994 Granada series The Memoirs of Sherlock Homes. It now has a wider aspect ratio than 4:3 but has not been cropped to 16:9, with pillarboxing on either side. ..... // EDIT: and now the second episode has come on which *has* been cropped to 16:9… strange.


Was this not one of the objectives of the 14:9 compromise aspect ratio?

In any event, if the material was originally shown from a 16mm print, surely having access to the camera negatives would enable you to take an aspect ratio that went further out to the left/right edges than the original show print, itself a crop.

I wouldn't have thought 14:9 would be a consideration in 1994. I assumed all shots would have been framed for 4:3 only with the expectation that the extra space on the original film negatives would not be seen. It certainly looked that way to me.
TedJrr196 posts since 11 Sep 2005
Anglia (East) Look East
I wouldn't have thought 14:9 would be a consideration in 1994. I assumed all shots would have been framed for 4:3 only with the expectation that the extra space on the original film negatives would not be seen. It certainly looked that way to me.

Yes, indeed. 14:9 wouldn't be heard of 'till the '90s. Is it still a valid too for now if the objective is to show 4:3 material in 16:9?
james-20015,076 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I know it's been a thing with BBC remasteres where they rescan the original film inserts (if they still exist), I know they've done it with Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers, I've seen Hitchiker's Guide on blu-ray, so I'm guessing they've done it there too (with the filmed inserts in HD?). Usually a significant improvement over the original 70s/80s telecine transfers.
davidhorman2,235 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands
I know it's been a thing with BBC remasteres where they rescan the original film inserts (if they still exist), I know they've done it with Doctor Who


They've been doing it for years for the DVD releases. This page has a hoverable comparison between an original scan and the updated scan (pre 2006, SD only I assume).

http://www.impossiblethings.net/restorationteam/NewBeginnings.htm

That episode has since been out on Blu-ray for which they did apparently rescan it in full HD (as well as redoing some of the effects, optionally viewable I think).

I don't suppose they'll ever get around to doing Bergerac Crying or Very sad
UKnews835 posts since 26 Apr 2011

I think they shot the first two series of Chef! on multi-camera film, didn't they? Albeit probably 16 mm rather than 35 mm. That's the only UK sitcom example I can think of.


Ugh....

I recall that horrendous practice of UK (BBC and ITV) drama and sitcom of being partially studio based with tubed cameras,, and then field production with 16mm negative stock. Either was good quality, but the juxtaposition between them was irritating.


2:20 on here.....
https://archive.org/details/MontyPythonRoyalSocietyForPuttingThingsOnTopOfOtherThingsLegendas
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