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September 16, 2014

Why can't MTV air music videos in HD?

by Michael Pascua, posted Jun 23rd 2009 6:00PM
AMTV Logo.For a few months now, MTV has been showing AMTV, morning music videos with a range of old and new. Let's ignore the repetitive nature for a second. The biggest flaw is that MTV HD shows the videos in the same quality as its non-HD entity, leaving those annoying black side bars. Why aren't any of the music videos on MTV or VH1 in HD?

In a weaker economy where even television programs get budget cuts, music videos are a great alternative to showing programming since the station doesn't pay for them. It's shameless advertising for the musician and a cheap way to put things in HD.

MTV has been finicky with their HD programs before. I've had many instances where MTV forgot to switch to full HD when airing HD programs, leaving the show in a really small box on my television. The biggest example was when MTV continuously forgot to air the Brooklyn season of The Real World in HD. You knew someone forgot to press the HD button because once in a while after the first commercial, the button was pressed and the show was in HD again.

MTV sister station Palladia HD shows full HD videos; many of which aren't new. Sure, Palladia plays Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" at any time they can squeeze her in, but it shows that any old widescreen music video can fit. I don't even care about the audio quality, as long as those black bars go away.

Older television programs like Family Guy are adjusted for HD when it's on TBS. Commercials that aren't HD have the TBS logo in the black bars. Why can't MTV quickly stretch a music video? Fuse does that already. There are several artists out there that make amazing visual music videos and get ignored, but even some of the mainstream artists, like Kanye West, make music videos in widescreen that can stretch without distortion. The lack of care for the music videos basically shows that MTV has no interest in the "M" in MTV.

Here's another suggestion: look at cable news or The Weather Channel. They manage to plop a lot of crap on my television and it's interesting to see a channel attempt to create HD effects with flashy graphics. For maps with green and yellow blotches, The Weather Channel is beautiful with it's frames and glass-like flips. MTV shouldn't have a problem getting a college graphic artist to make something. Then they can scroll music related news on the bottom and plop Billboard/Amazon/iTunes charts on the side. How about crappy shameless photos of the artist at an MTV party or plopping random facts about the artist on the side? What about crappy text message shout outs? An hour of that has to cost less than two episodes of Room Raiders.

MTV has only embraced HD programming for their reality shows and award shows when many current music videos are already HD friendly. I understand that AMTV is cheap early morning programming, but Palladia shows music videos in HD in the morning as well. MTV is wasting a golden opportunity.

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17 Comments

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Praveen

First of all, while I agree that MTV doesn't care about HD, the writer is offbase in taking the higher ground when he is just as guilty as dumbing HD down by wishing for stretch-o-vision and saying that audio doesn't matter for a music channel.

Now if the program or music video is a 16x9 or 2.35:1 image letterboxed in a 4:3 shape embedded in a 16x9 HD signal, I understand the frustration and the HD channel should have the presence of mind to ZOOM proportionally the image to fit widthwise the entire TV while keeping the OAR intact. This solution gives a full screen or a near full screen on an hD tv without the horrible stretchy image.

But if you are advocating stretching everything 4x3 image blindly to a 16x9 full screen, this is idiotic.

You want to make use of the screen? Why not put in pop up video like jokes or straight facts in the side bars?
ANything, but stretchovision.

July 01 2009 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

I agree. Stretchy vision is BS. And the only Seinfeld episodes that I have seen in HD actually don't stretch to fit, but increase the size of the pic, CROPPING off the top and bottom of the picture - so you go to 16*9 and see LESS than the original 4*3. It's ridiculous. They're not remastered... they're butchered!

June 29 2009 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

Just say NO to stretchy-vision!

June 29 2009 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

Because MTV/CMT/VH1 (or Viacom in general) is sucking retards?

And yeah, this author is a "black bar hater" who helps contribute to non-OAR broadcasting! Stretching 4:3 and P&S/cropping of "super widescreen" stuff... So-called premiums like HBO/Max claim "uncut," except half the picture has been CUT with 2.35 movies... Well, the A/V quality would be inferior to BD anyway.

June 29 2009 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

Because MTV/CMT/VH1 (or Viacom in general) is sucking retards?

And yeah, this author is a "black bar hater" who helps contribute to non-OAR broadcasting! Stretching 4:3 and P&S/cropping of "super widescreen" stuff... So-called premiums like HBO/Max claim "uncut," except half the picture has been CUT with 2.35 movies... Well, the A/V quality would be inferior to BD anyway.

June 29 2009 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ES_Trader

My nieces and nephews are all part of the MTV core demographic and they could care less if something they want to watch is in HD... That demographic couldn't tell the difference anyway... so... as much as I would love to see the Real World in HD; why would MTV waste money making sure it happens on their simulcast channel.

June 28 2009 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ES_Trader's comment
Kyle

ES_Trader, the correct term is "could NOT care less."

June 29 2009 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Wha? MTV plays videos!!??

June 24 2009 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Han Solo


Wait......you think MTV plays videos!

HAHAHA!

The hell you say!

June 24 2009 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Han Solo's comment
Michael Pascua

Yeah, apparently they do. Sometime between 3AM and 9AM when no one is awake. Apparently it makes up one day (24 hours) of music videos in a week.

June 24 2009 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lance

MTV plays music videos??

June 24 2009 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steve

This guy seems to be confusing HD for widescreen. Just because something is widescreen does not make it HD and just because something is HD, does not make it widescreen. Those Family Guy episodes on TBS HD are distorted. Who wants to watch a distorted show? I would rather see it in the original aspect ratio without distortion. I would ask him to do a little research before writing about something but the fact that he is obssessed with MTV may be asking too much.

June 24 2009 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to steve's comment

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