Sesame Street Season 46 Episode 4601 - Bedtime Story

Will you watch new Sesame Street episodes on HBO?

  • Yes, I'll see new Sesame Street on HBO.

  • No, I'll see new Sesame Street on PBS.

  • Either way, I won't be watching Sesame Street.


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Drtooth

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I don't get why more don't embrace vertical letterbox. DB Kai's reruns on Toonami are letterboxed to keep the TV aspect ratio for one.

I hate how FXX's Simpsons reruns are crammed into wideframe, as it cuts things off at the bottom and sometimes stretches them. I get that most people with enough money to buy modern television screens only have wideframe, but I don't see why things need to be forced into the format. It's almost as bad as having a low def TV and getting full frame versions of wideframe shows. or WORSE fullframe versions of fullframe shows force formatted to wide frame.

Seriously. If those with crappy televisions can get used to wideframe movie aspect ratios, those with good TV's shouldn't be butthurt by side bars upholding classic TV ratios.

Though, I get why Sesame Street does it. Probably for consistency sake. I've always had a problem with their HD format. Not for the format itself, but the odd insistence of showing nothing but the current stuff done in HD and not using the older segments, unless they do. It's... inconsistent. Kids probably had none of the problems they thought they did.
 

D'Snowth

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SEINFELD's one of the worst offenders (and oddly enough, one of the first fullscreen shows that got permanently cropped for widescreen reruns): the biggest offense is Jerry and George pitching their pilot to Japanese TV, as the bag of oranges they brought for the executives is completely cropped out of the picture, so they had to do this odd edit where they cut to a close-up insert of the oranges when they're actually mentioned. Reruns of AFV on WGN are really bad too: they crop Tom's hosting bits, then they stretch the actual home videos, then they pillarbox the end titles.

I think what they're trying to do is for convenience: I think more people have modern TV sets than older ones, so if everything that appears on TV is consistent (in this case, cropped for widescreen), it saves people the hassle of having to keep playing with the format button on their remote that adjusts the picture to accommodate either 4:3 or 16:9. I wish there was a way to format your screen for when shows are stretched for widescreen, as you say, which truTV has done with older episodes of WORLD'S DUMBEST...

But again, part of the problem too is the myth that people actually believe that you lose more of the picture in fullscreen than widescreen, when it's actually the reverse, as you, I, and this Ninja Pirate article just pointed out.

It's like I said before: up till CBS started coloring I LOVE LUCY (and now black-and-white ANDY GRIFFITH), networks weren't suddenly going back and coloring black-and-white shows when color became mandatory in the mid-60s, so why go back and crop or stretch 4:3 shows into 16:9? Things would be better if we all just leave everything the Elmo alone.
 

Drtooth

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I feel anything shot in widescreen should be in widescreen and things that weren't shouldn't. The one I actually hate the most is when they stretch the sides of the screens. When the camera pans on those bad boys, I get motion sickness.

But as I said years ago, when Between the Lions went HD for its last seasons, they cheated the older, full frame segments by adding CGI stage curtains on the sides. Don't see why Sesame Street didn't bother with an effect like that. I have to admit, it is visually jarring to go from wideframe to smaller screen surrounded by black. So don't surround it by black!
 

Blue Frackle

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This isn't a direct shot at Sesame Street, but does anyone else think some of the magic is lost with HD?
 

D'Snowth

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Ugh, you had to get me started.

My problem with so-called "HD" is that it's not always as great as they make it out to be: like they say it's "high definition" because it gets so many details that were previously unable to achieve, but that's not always the case. Now, with SST, perhaps HD might be an improvement from videotape, but physical film actually has a higher resolution than HD does, and somehow, compression of both doesn't translate the same way on a physical format like DVD and such: for example, if you take a show that was previously filmed on 35mm - properly restored or preserved - on DVD, it actually looks remarkable (HOGAN'S HEROES looks beautiful on DVD - the picture is sharp and the colors are rich), but when you watch something that was shot digitally or in HD on DVD, you get motion blur, pixelation, and there's also a faint fuzziness to the picture. Oddly enough though, digital and HD looks better on computers than it does on TVs, and SST is no exception: their HD stuff looks better on their YT channel than it does on PBS/HBO/DVD. And I also don't really buy this belief that widescreen makes everything better, because it really doesn't: not only do you lose the top and bottom parts of the picture, but it creates a tunnel-vision illusion that isn't really great. They say widescreen is what makes it HD . . . but, I don't think so: I have an HD camera and whenever I shoot something, I setup, frame everything, and edit specific for the 4:3 resolution, and the finished product still comes out in 1080p - the width is just 1440 instead of 1920, but it's still "HD." They say the width of the picture is what makes something HD or SD, but if that were the case, then how come resolutions are identified by the height of the picture and not the width? Wouldn't HD be identified by 1920p rather than 1080p since 1920 is the width and 1080 is the height? But HD is actually on its way out: now they're making way for what they're calling 2K and 4K, which is the next step above HD . . . however, you need humongous monitors to watch them, because 2K and 4K resolutions are so large, standard computer monitors can't physically handle them; there are some 2K and 4K videos on YT, but if you even try to watch them in those resolutions, your browser is guaranteed to crash.

But again, as I said, phyiscal film has a great resolution than HD does; in fact, here's a video someone posted of a filmroll he shot, and he explains that he actually had to compress and downgrade it in order to convert it into his computer because it couldn't handle the film at its original resolution . . . and yet, it still looks great - even at 720p.

That said, SST is HD now simply because it's an industry standard now; they originally shot on videotape because back then, most live shows were shot on tape as opposed to film, so the producers wanted to give the show a live look/feel to it.

And here's Quentin Tarantino's thoughts on digital vs. 35mm film:
 
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D'Snowth

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Oddly enough though, digital and HD looks better on computers than it does on TVs, and SST is no exception: their HD stuff looks better on their YT channel than it does on PBS/HBO/DVD.
Actually, I just now realized how irrelevant that comment was, as the problem has always existed, even back in the days when SD was the norm: if you watched a movie or show on TV and cable, it wasn't always exactly picture perfect - even if you had hi-speed digital cable - but those same shows and movies looked so much better on DVD. So unless you special equipment otherwise, HD and digital aren't going to look so spectacular on TV either.
 

antsamthompson9

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Like Drtooth said, if things were made in widescreen, they should stay widescreen. If things were made in full screen, they should stay in full screen. D'Snowth, listen to 91:56 to 92:40 and 94:37 to 98:20 of this episode of Getting Felt Up, a Puppetry Podcast. Kirk Thatcher and the hosts go into detail on how things that were filmed in widescreen getting cropped into full screen screws stuff up. http://podbay.fm/show/868214404/e/1419492367
 

Drtooth

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I remember one of the members complaining about how his local PBS (or cable provider...I have this problem with mine) didn't show the wideframe episodes in wideframe, he had a strong point about how detrimental that was to the show. Words framed off center couldn't be read, thus hurting the educational content for one.

And as for movies, well... anyone who has seen the pan and scan version of Ghostbusters can attest to the horrific dizziness of the elevator scene. Same deal with the EIG DVD release. I fail to see why full frame is kid friendly.

Now to be clear, some of us have widescreen televisions, some don't. Widescreen stuff on a standard 1:33:1 TV is either letterboxed (a preferred format anyway) or cropped. At the same time, full frame stuff on a widescreen TV is stretched most of the time, but with vertical letterbox some of the other times. And like I said, have fun when your cable provider/local channels get their hands on a stretched wideframe version of a fullframe show. You get the worst of both worlds.
 

antsamthompson9

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Thankfully, I have Comcast and it has a widescreen version of EIG. Rugratskid has a video comparing the wide and full screen version of Make it Mine:
 

Bert fan

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When I saw season 45 I was like geez this show has become different but now season 46 its like its not sesame street anymore with Fran Brill and Maria retired, Ernie's new voice, Oscar has a new understudy, the new look, Elmo lives where Gordon and Susan used to, Big Bird's nest is moved, Cookie lives above and basically owns Hooper's, Oscar's trash can is right in front of Elmo's window and lots more. It's not like Sesame Street before but still entertaining but different.
 
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