MeTV Airing New HD Widescreen Episodes

20 Comments

Digital specialty network MeTV, which airs M*A*S*H Sunday through Friday from 7-8PM ET, is now airing the new high definition, widescreen transfers of the series that debuted on Hulu last year. These episodes are also available as digital downloads from iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play. They have not been released on Blu-ray.

I don’t get MeTV in my area, so I haven’t been able to see what how the episodes look. Other diginets like Antenna TV and Cozi TV are not available in high definition through my cable provider. Also, aspect ratios for diginets aren’t always correct. Most TV stations affiliated with MeTV broadcast the network in standard definition.

Do you get MeTV? If so, how does M*A*S*H look?

(Thanks to Bob.)

20 Replies to “MeTV Airing New HD Widescreen Episodes”

  1. I have Me-TV at home. It’s one of the about…7 stations we get through the antenna since I refuse to pay for cable. I’ll check it out next time I remember and report back.

  2. I have MeTV, but it’s certainly not high definition broadcast – if anything, its broadcast looks like old-fashioned analog.

    That being said, I hate it when old shows and movies are cropped in widescreen because widescreen is somehow “cool” or something, so I won’t watch M*A*S*H on MeTV; I’ll stick with my DVDs.

    1. Okay, so I glanced out of curiosity, and wow, MeTV must have really improved their signal or frequency in recent years, because their broadcast really doesn’t look like old-fashioned analog anymore.

      That being said, in addition to being cropped in widescreen, it looks like the projection has been up-converted to 60fps instead of the tradition 24fps, because the playback of really, really fluid.

    2. It definitely ISN’T hi-def and I’ve been asking “why not?” INSP is hi-def and programs like Gunsmoke and Little House on the Prairie, which have been reformatted to digital but shown in their regular 4:3 output, are really clear and fresh on my HDTV. If MeTV is going to keep up with other local programming stations broadening out to national viewers, they have to go high definition to become a little more modern.

  3. MASH was shot on 35mm film, which is a higher resolution than HD. So MASH doesn’t need to be “converted” into HD… it can be natively transferred from the film into HD. Which is what I think they did. I’ve watched multiple episodes on iTunes – they are using much more of the image than before and it is much, much clearer than before. There is a little loss of the intimacy on a close-up, because more of the image exists, but I think that’s an acceptable trade-off for the crispness of the image. Also, for iTunes the transfers are the original network versions, not the syndication versions, so it is the whole episode.

    1. …except for the hour long eps, they are still using the chopped-up “split” versions. There probably were never “uncut” split versions created.

  4. I watched the new widescreen transfers of MASH on MeTV. They look brighter, sharper and cleaner. However when they were transferred the frame rate was changed. They now have a ‘Soap Opera’ effect which makes them look like they were shot on video. I really like the new clean look but the ‘Soap Opera’ effect is distracting and they don’t look like film.

  5. I can tell you for a fact that the fps was not changed. You are seeing a fresh transfer from 35mm film to HD. The only thing changed was the aspect ratio, to 16:9, and that started with 35mm, so this is not stretched video. It may look brighter because this is a transfer from the original film elements. But the frame rate is still 30 fps.

      1. You are correct. But I can tell you the frame rate was not change. There is no “soap opera effect” added (this is a TV setting that can be turned on or off on most TVs). These episode look brighter because they are brand new transfers from the film.

      2. Just to clarify, the frame rate issue being discussed throughout is unique to the ME-TV airings, it does not exist on the Hulu or iTunes versions of the new transfers…

    1. The “soap opera effect” or rather “enhanced motion” is turned off my my TV. I don’t like how it adds the “soap opera effect” so I leave it off.

      However the HD MASH episodes on MeTV do seem to have the “soap opera effect”.

  6. Watching the Winchester tapes on the new format….

    I personally like the original MUCH better. It somehow added to the show IMO. I don’t know if I can explain it….it looks like a sitcom shot in front of a live audience almost…slight soap opera effect. The SOE is caused by single lighting placement, so changing the colors is what’s causing that effect I guess.

  7. I just noticed something else, they are full episodes and not TV edits!! In last laugh, the tv cut leaves out Klingers bit with the invisible camel, but these “new” films have it!

  8. I think the new versions look great. I was surprised how quickly I got used to the HD versions when I missed a couple episodes and pulled out my old Martinis and Medicine DVD set to catch up; the DVD versions looked grainy, a little dirty and less colorized. And yet that was my go-to for MASH for years and I never thought twice as to how they looked. The HD episodes are clean, warm and are really a new viewing experience. I get that the HD versions lose a bit of their authenticity in that it’s not how they were originally aired but I’ll take them over the originals any day of the week now…

  9. Not only see it in M.A.S.H, but watching Hogan’s Heroes on MeTVas well has a more fluid motion or framerate. It is certainly weird to see that, especially how I own the entire series on DVD, then tuned in and saw this.

    It doesn’t look bad at all, it’s just very weird and not what I’m used to. In some ways it looks more lifelike, but in others you see them move across the screen and you think “woah, slow down there”

  10. Just finally got around to turning on MeTV to check out the new “HD” format. Dear Comrade on right now. Maybe it’s just my TV, or maybe I just don’t know what to look for but this looks TERRIBLE to me. It is WAY zoomed in. Seriously like 25% of the picture around the edge is cut off because of the zoom. It doesn’t look any better on my 60 inch TV, in fact I’d say the quality is actually worse. It’s really blurry and crappy looking. Basically it’s 100% unwatchable. Good thing I have the DVD’s burned to a flash drive because this is awful.

    The MeTV logo is blurry and kind of crappy looking too so maybe MeTV in my area is just not broadcast in HD, so I’m getting the low quality viewing of an HD format?

    1. It does sound like you aren’t getting HD. On my TV the new HD MASH shows look very sharp and the MeTV logo is clear and crisp.

  11. I have never heard the term “soap opera effect”. But I noticed a few weeks back that the latest airing of MASH on MeTV looks very close to shot-on-video. As a break from 40 years of shabby transfers of this series, I am enjoying the visual quality of these. I’ve never seen them close to this good looking before.

    (On the other hand, episodes of The Jeffersons, which the air before MASH look like blown-up video from youtube. Just awful looking. I guess from this that the one show is considered by MeTV to be filler and the other a jewel in their crown.)

  12. More and more content is being ruined on METV, MOVIES! and other nostalgic tv stations by encoding content with frame rates that produce the “SOAP OPERA EFFECT”. they’ve screwed up the frame rates, and distorted the aspect ratio. It’s horrible! I really hope their ratings decline because of it because then, maybe they’ll stop. I use an antenna, and the effect is very apparent and distracting on my 120hz tv (with all motion enhancement OFF), It is less apparent, but still noticeable on an older 60hz tv. I believe that this is another form of social programming to get the masses used to these higher frame rates. Hollywood usually screams and throws a fit when their content is altered in any way, but crickets on this issue. I’ll pass. I just can’t watch it. They shot old tv episodes on film, at a higher cost, to avoid the dreaded soap opera effect, and now these creeps are intentionally adding it. Sad.

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