Variety notwithstanding, the staple of pay T.V. programming remains the feature film. It is interesting to consider then that most feature film material was never produced for television viewing. Primarily intended for theatrical exhibition, film characteristics such as light transfer function or aspect ratio are not readily compatible with display on the small screen.
Therefore, if we are to maintain fidelity of light and shadow, scene content, and sound that the director intended, the transfer characteristics of the electronic system (camera / tape / transmission / distribution / T.V. receiver) must be considered. Very significant progress has been made in this regard in the recent past through waveform pre-distortion, camera target materials etc.
Engineering efforts in this regard by The Movie Channel, as well as other pay programmers, will be described and augmented by demonstrations of processed, as well as "straight", film to tape transfers.