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A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:31 am
by Focus II
The following is worth bearing in mind.

Downstairs we have a Samsung flat TV fed via a Sony HDD/DVD recorder. Both are absolutely faultless in normal use and for watching modern programmes.

I've been recording episodes of A Family At War on TPTV for viewing later on the HDD. The recordings give a "Filmnised" effect on the VT studio scenes while the filmed sequences revealed some blurring. I tried altering the settings on both the TV and HDD recorder to no avail. Apart from the filmnised appearance the picture quality is otherwise good so reluctantly I thought we'd have to live with it.

I recently purchased the Network DVD of, "The Spoils of War", excellent unedited release incidentally. I quickly became irritated by the blurring given on fast moving filmed scenes where the VT studio scenes came over as " filmnised". There was also blurring on the end credit roll making it difficult to read.

I've seen these faults several times before, on programmes originally made on VT now surviving as telerecorded (kinescoped) film due to losing half the frame rate on the film copy. Those who recall the earlier VHS Dr Who tapes of episodes surviving on t/r will be familiar with this. Watching the SoW DVD looked like such telerecordings' albeit in colour!

Now I know Network wouldn't issue a release like this having seen the filmnised effect before on the downstairs equipment. Trying the DVD on a different set and player confirmed this.

So why this? With little optimism I went into settings while playing the DVD and a different menu came up from the expected one in HDD mode.

This revealed the DVD had defaulted onto "Cinema" mode. Turning it off resulted in an instant cure! Trying a VT recording on the HDD also showed the filmnised effect had gone too. Wonderful!"

I've since been told the Cinema mode reduces the frame rate to 24fps. As the European videotape frame rate is 50fps it's no wonder the results were dreadful!

It certainly showed up faults so common on surviving telerecordings of programmes originally made on VT!

Re: A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:56 am
by fatcat
European videotape is 25fps ..if it had been 50fps then there would have been very little room on the analogue VHF/ UHF band for other stations. The other problem early cameras would have had was that more intense light would have been needed for 50fps.

The trick is 'interlace', two fields of low resolution inter weaved to produce a single frame.. and the illusion of 50fps.. Early TR and domestic VT (with only one head) used the 'skip a field' process where only one field was filmed. so movement would look unnatural and something like a circle would look jagged because the other field with the fill in lines was missing.

The reason why you see a filmised look on certain digital set ups is because (like a TR) it is only seeing the complete frame in front of it and not the mechanics/delay etc going on in the background of analogue TVs etc of combining the two fields into the one frame.Obviously digital is clever enough to now separate the fields replicate the old process and the VT 'look' restored.

Well something like that anyway.


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Re: A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:05 pm
by brigham
If 'A Family at War' were to be made now, a deliberate process would be employed to give the high-quality output from the HD video cameras the stuttering movement of mechanical cinematography.
It would be defended as 'an artistic decision'.
They never seem to give the sound that 'optical' feel, though

Re: A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 12:34 am
by Mark
TPTV itself did broadcast some programmes with a filmised look, such as "Noah's Castle", but seemed to have fixed it a while ago, with one exception, "Tell Me Another", I have never seen one with it's proper VT look, I still haven't got around to getting the DVD, but I have heard it's free of that problem, I certainly hope so.

Re: A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:38 am
by Focus II
Fatcat is right of course. Whatever the "Cinema" feature did certainly gave results resembling a t/r.

Conversely I've heard examples of blockbuster films coming over a, "Cheap American Soap Operas" on some equipment which is the reverse problem.

I've seen this myself on the digitally remastered DVD of, "Payroll" (1961).
This came over as a bit of a shock as it appeared Vidfired! Playing the film in "Cinema" mode would have probably restored the correct film look.

Re: A Solution to why my DVD player played VT as Filmnised

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:30 am
by fatcat
I think? 'The Charmer' with Nigel Havers represents the last ITV production produced in the traditional VT studio look way, with unpretentious well lit sharp scenes that concentrated on the drama.
IIRC it all looked rather ghastly elsewhere for a few years during and after this -you had VT pretending to be multi generation 16mm film and ending up looking like it was shot through net curtains with some very odd movement (first 'Heartbeat' etc)- then you had film shows that were edited on VT looking very noisy (Dempsey and Makedo, Cat's Eyes etc).
..I recall a 'Cat's Eyes' ep that played parts of a scene twice...possibly the result of a tired VT editor and quite easy to do with the very nimble (but dull) 1' format?