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I just got a copy of the Twilight Time edition of Christine and the colors are a lot more vibrant than the other versions released on DVD. I believe Twilight Time was the first Blu-ray release of Christine. So how do cable channels get a DVD-like transfer and put it in HD? Yes, the aspect ratio is off, but I believe that's the only difference.

  • Adding someting to Paulie_D's comment. Sometimes old(er) shows get remastered in HD, digital remastering can do some improvements to colour and tone. – Vishwa Oct 12 '18 at 7:35
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    Your title and your question do not line up. You ask about how channels obtain a HD version, while you yourself talk about a Blu-ray (from 2013!). What does one thing have to do with another? And then you continue to talk both in general ("how do cable channels get a DVD-like transfer and put it in HD") and yet also specific ("Yes, the aspect ratio is off, but I believe that's the only difference."). – BCdotWEB Oct 12 '18 at 11:28
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    Cable channels don't go out and buy retail copies in order to show movies. – Stop Harming Monica Oct 12 '18 at 12:58
  • I would like to add that I saw it on cable back in 2011, before the TT release was out. – QMan2488 Oct 13 '18 at 6:19
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Taking Christine as an example the original film format was 35mm which is, essentially, better than HD quality.

Film is analog so there are no real "pixels." However, based on converted measures, a 35mm frame has 3 to 12 million pixels, depending on the stock, lens, and shooting conditions. An HD frame has 2 million pixels, measured using 1920 x 1080 scan lines. With this difference, 35mm appears vastly superior to HD.

Source

In this case TT have obtained a newly-mastered transfer of the 35mm film in HD format from Columbia-Sony

Christine is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1. Columbia-Sony continues to provide exceptional looking high definition masters to Twilight Time

Source

Basically, the original release may not have been in HD ( not available in 1983) but with 35mm film a new HD master can be obtained any time.

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    exactly this. people forget how big movie screens are and how good the film quality has to be to look good blown up to that size – DForck42 Oct 12 '18 at 13:36
  • As opposed to television shows from that period, which were often shot in video quality (with exceptions like Star Trek: The Next Generation, shot in 35mm and downscaled for video). – jeffronicus Oct 12 '18 at 16:39

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