To answer your question, what is HD anyway? If the PQ is good to great and the picture fills the screen on 16x9 content, then how do we know if they are using good upscales or HD transfers?
It's because I'm not blind.
It's obvious when something has HD detail and when it is upscaled crap. The problem with TCM is that HD transfers for many of their films have been made but they're still broadcasting them in standard definition. It makes no sense.
I've seen TCM HD on the systems it is on because I have Time Warner Cable. When I first saw TCM HD in the guide I thought it would be neat. When I actually tuned to the channel... wow, what a disappointment.
TCM HD does not qualify as "much better" picture. It is the SAME as TCM SD. There is no additional detail. You already have the equivalent of TCM HD. It's called TCM. Watch it on your HDTV and it will upscale it for you and it will look the same as TCM HD. My PC does a better job of upscaling than Turner's equipment.
The biggest problem with this is that it sets a bad precedent. Providers should be boycotting this channel until they start actually airing content in high definition. Right now it's false advertising to call the channel TCM HD.
If everyone pulled this **** at the start of the HD era nothing would be in native HD today. We'd all be dealing with 16:9 SD garbage like the Australians. The networks there realized that most people were incompetent and didn't notice the benefits of HD so as long as they made their signals "fill the screen" of everyone's HDTVs they could trick people into thinking they were watching HD. This is the same thing Turner is doing with TCM HD in the U.S. only they take it a step further and set it to output as 1080i instead of 576i 16:9 so they can claim to be "HD" since technically the resolution of the signal is higher than SD. 16:9 SD channels are abundant in Australia but you can count on one hand the number of native high definition channels down under.
I just don't understand how you can be happy with this. There is no excuse for this. Turner's catalog of films has many which have already had HD transfers made and this is evident because they actually air them in HD on the international TCM HD channel. It's now 3 years after TCM HD's launch in America and we're still getting the shaft for some reason. You're not getting this channel for free, a little bit more of your monthly bill to DirecTV now goes to Turner for their upscale channel and they sure as hell don't seem to be investing that money in some proper HD broadcasting equipment for the States. If all the hundreds of other HD networks no matter how small or obscure can afford the equipment for broadcasting their material in native HD I don't see why Turner gets to be the lone wolf here that everyone makes excuses for. If anything I'd expect fans of TCM to be more upset than I am that their channel is getting mismanaged this way but it seems to be the other way around.