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post #91 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

Indeed let's hope this is case. I want the OAR for the blu-rays. I never saw any significant amount of it when it initially aired, but watched the DVDs about 5 years back. To my surprise, I greatly enjoyed the show even though I generally don't believe in the mythology of it.

It's not really about believing the central plot, it's about being able to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the story and characters... or not. I don't believe that aliens are trying to infiltrate the government in an effort to colonize the planet either. biggrin.gif

The problem with The X-Files is that they dragged it on too long until it was a mere shell of its once greatness and the mythology kept changing until it was a confusing mess. David Duchovny, one of the two main actors, being fired because he thought they weren't getting a fair slice of the pie (especially syndication) was really the nail in the coffin. The ending was as bad or worse than the conclusion of Seinfeld. They were both just damn highlight clip reel shows!!

The producers should have wrapped the TV show in about five seasons with the X-Files movie being the big budget conclusion, rather than a tie-in cash grab (though, what we got was a pretty darn good stand alone movie... the second film, not so much).

Here's where I thought they should have gone with the new FBI character Monica Reyes if Duchovny had still been playing Mulder: made her his half sister since his other one died; a daughter and a pawn of the Cigarette Smoking Man (also Mulder's real father since it was revealed that his mother had had an affair with him). Reyes is a half-hearted believer in "the cause" and reports to him.

When Reyes was first introduced, I believe Chris Carter was thinking the same thing, as the writers deliberately show her getting a pack of Morley cigarettes out of a vending machine, and she had a mysterious vibe surrounding her character. Morley's are the "Cancer Man's" brand and he's the only one on The X-Files who smoked them. Then that plot line fell away just like most of the other on going loose-end stories that never got tied up

The Blu-ray's should also contain the short lived, but excellent The Lone Gunmen comedy series and place them in the collection in the appropriate season of The X-Files on a couple bonus discs also re-transferred in HD.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #92 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by benes View Post

X-Files bridged the gap between the old and new eras of TV.

If it was made today they would have the plot and ending planned in advance and it would probably be 4 or 5 seasons long.

But this was still the era of pressing the reset button every week and X-Files was one of the first shows to even have a serialized story arc. Along with Babylon 5 much of the current success of TV can be traced back to this show. Its important to note though that the "mythology" episodes weren't really the focus of the show. They were just there so they could continue to tell more standalones.

But it ended up making all the classic TV mistakes:

Continuing past its prime (Seinfeld was smart about this)
Continuing with new actors and characters
Having the main characters hook up
Adding a baby
Ending with a clip show

One of the most clever endings to a TV show was the last episode of the sitcom Newhart. It ends with Bob Newhart awaking from a terrible nightmare in bed with his wife from The Bob Newhart Show from the 70's played by Suzanne Pleshette. They wrapped two shows with one ending!!! Now, that's great TV!

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #93 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by benes View Post

X-Files bridged the gap between the old and new eras of TV.

If it was made today they would have the plot and ending planned in advance and it would probably be 4 or 5 seasons long.
Not likely.

It seems like too many shows get dragged out far too long past their prime, and most of them have been on CBS recently. The CW has also done that on plenty of shows, mainly Smallville and now Supernatural.

The problem is, when a show is successful, the networks want more of it and they'll keep renewing it into the ground. Fox would have been just as likely to run it until the wheels fell off now as they did back then. They'll likely do it with The Simpsons, which is still pulling decent ratings with no end in sight.

Even Newhart, with it's great ending referenced above, was in 48th place by season 8 when it ended. Seasons 1-6 had it no lower than 25th. I can't find numbers for season 7.

The X-Files ended in much more of a whimper, though it had some of its best seasons immediately after the move from Friday to Sunday. Unfortunately, the series finale barely got more viewers than the average rating for season 1, when the show was on Friday and in 105th place.

On the other hand, these same networks will pull a show after just a few episodes if it isn't an instant hit. That is one thing that is didn't used to happen nearly as much as it does now.
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post #94 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Not likely.

It seems like too many shows get dragged out far too long past their prime, and most of them have been on CBS recently. The CW has also done that on plenty of shows, mainly Smallville and now Supernatural.

The problem is, when a show is successful, the networks want more of it and they'll keep renewing it into the ground. Fox would have been just as likely to run it until the wheels fell off now as they did back then. They'll likely do it with The Simpsons, which is still pulling decent ratings with no end in sight.

Even Newhart, with it's great ending referenced above, was in 48th place by season 8 when it ended. Seasons 1-6 had it no lower than 25th. I can't find numbers for season 7.

The X-Files ended in much more of a whimper, though it had some of its best seasons immediately after the move from Friday to Sunday. Unfortunately, the series finale barely got more viewers than the average rating for season 1, when the show was on Friday and in 105th place.

On the other hand, these same networks will pull a show after just a few episodes if it isn't an instant hit. That is one thing that is didn't used to happen nearly as much as it does now.

Can you blame people for bailing on The X-Files? It really started getting absurd. The mythology arc was all over the place and no Mulder and less Scully. It was okay for them to hook up, but the crazy stuff with their baby was poorly done.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #95 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Can you blame people for bailing on The X-Files? It really started getting absurd. The mythology arc was all over the place and no Mulder and less Scully. It was okay for them to hook up, but the crazy stuff with their baby was poorly done.
I never said I blame anyone for bailing. I only stuck with it because I had so many years invested.

My point was that it's just as likely the show would have been run into the ground today as it when it aired. When you get a hit, you keep pounding - right into the ground.
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post #96 of 134 Old 02-15-2014, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by benes View Post

I was thinking more along the lines of Breaking Bad, whose creator not coincidentally was a key force behind The X-Files.

Shows like Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men, and Lost also kept it short and sweet even if they didn't have a master plan to start with.
I disagree about Lost.

That was at least a full season too long. It's another show I stuck with only because I knew it was going to be ending and wanted to see the conclusion. I should have bailed in hindsight.

Lost is also the only one of the 3 that was on broadcast TV. The others were on cable where the writers and producers get a little more freedom to control a show's fate. The cable networks tend to be slower to cancel and more likely to cancel a show at its peak rather than let it languish.

There are obvious exceptions, of course, like Rubicon (which was cancelled too soon) and Monk (which should have ended a season earlier).

Generally, too many shows on the broadcast networks go on far longer than they should. Even when the ratings are good, sometimes it's better to go out on a high note than get to the point where the show isn't up to the same quality.

Unfortunately, there's little money to be made in leaving the audience wanting more.
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post #97 of 134 Old 02-18-2014, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

The problem is, when a show is successful, the networks want more of it and they'll keep renewing it into the ground. Fox would have been just as likely to run it until the wheels fell off now as they did back then.

Case in point: 24. That show should have ended after Season 5, but Fox kept renewing the damn thing until it was a shadow of its former self.

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post #98 of 134 Old 02-18-2014, 10:24 PM
 
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So no X-Files BDs any time soon? I confess, I am an X-Files junkie and saw every episode at least 6-7 times on Netflix and I still go back to it, once in a while, using the most bizarre excuses like "Well, now I have a TV with much deeper blacks, so it will be a new experience for me!" My next excuse is that Netflix quality isn't as good as DVD quality, especially when you can use madVR 3DLUTs with old Rec.601 color gamut, Error Diffusion, and the awesome NNEDI3 chroma upscaler, luma & chroma doubler/quadrupler!  It wouldn't be as good as BD remake, but it would be miles ahead of Netflix quality. Then I will buy a plasma with even deeper blacks, and by then X-Files BDs will come out. After than I'll decide that the 4:3 DVDs had a more original feel to them, making me think of my happy childhood, so I'll re-watch DVDs again. Of course, it would be a sin not to re-watch BDs and DVDs once OLED TVs become affordable. I do plenty of other watching in-between my X-Files watchathons.

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post #99 of 134 Old 02-19-2014, 03:27 AM
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Case in point: 24. That show should have ended after Season 5, but Fox kept renewing the damn thing until it was a shadow of its former self.
And as a mini-series this summer IT'S BACK!!!

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post #100 of 134 Old 02-19-2014, 01:03 PM
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And as a mini-series this summer IT'S BACK!!!

12?
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post #101 of 134 Old 02-21-2014, 12:22 AM
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12?
Think of it as time compression. 2 hours for the price of 1. biggrin.gif
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post #102 of 134 Old 02-21-2014, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

Indeed let's hope this is case. I want the OAR for the blu-rays. I never saw any significant amount of it when it initially aired, but watched the DVDs about 5 years back. To my surprise, I greatly enjoyed the show even though I generally don't believe in the mythology of it.

When it comes to movies I want OAR all the way. TV is different though. If widescreen TV's had been prevalent when most of these shows were recorded then they would have been shot in widescreen. So if it possible to transfer them to a widescreen format without too much cropping and no stretching then I would prefer it that way.
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post #103 of 134 Old 02-21-2014, 12:34 PM
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If widescreen TV's had been prevalent when most of these shows were recorded then they would have been shot in widescreen.

But they weren't...

This is really similar to the argument some people make for colorizing black & white movies: "If they had color film stock in the 1920s and 1930s, they totally would have shot this movie in color." That's a hypothetical that there's no way to prove. In any case, the director didn't shoot the movie in color. He shot it in black & white, and made the best black & white movie out of it he could.

If the early seasons of The X-Files weren't composed for widescreen, then they shouldn't be cropped to widescreen now.

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post #104 of 134 Old 02-22-2014, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

But they weren't...

This is really similar to the argument some people make for colorizing black & white movies: "If they had color film stock in the 1920s and 1930s, they totally would have shot this movie in color." That's a hypothetical that there's no way to prove. In any case, the director didn't shoot the movie in color. He shot it in black & white, and made the best black & white movie out of it he could.

If the early seasons of The X-Files weren't composed for widescreen, then they shouldn't be cropped to widescreen now.

So you're saying even IF there were widescreen TV's prevalent back then they still would have shot it for 4:3? so how many shows today are shot for 4:3?

We don't know that they weren't composed for widescreen. Looking at the examples posted earlier for comparison there is obvious space opened up both left and right despite the cropping at the bottom
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post #105 of 134 Old 02-22-2014, 07:37 AM
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My opinion is that if an entire series is shot widescreen safe, then I want it widescreen, whether it's aired-OAR or not. Stargate SG-1 is the perfect example of this. It aired 4:3 (seasons 1-7, seasons 8-10 were shot and aired HD digital), but it was shot from the pilot on with widescreen in mind. Thus the DVD release is 16:9 without losing top or bottom, but gaining on the sides.

Observe:
http://imgur.com/a/S8qLf#0
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post #106 of 134 Old 02-22-2014, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gnj1958 View Post

So you're saying even IF there were widescreen TV's prevalent back then they still would have shot it for 4:3? so how many shows today are shot for 4:3?

IF IF IF IF IF... If 3D had been prevalent back then, perhaps the creators would have shot the show in 3D too. But it wasn't, and they didn't. Second guessing what the show's creators might have done if they had lived in an alternate timeline where the world was completely different is futile and pointless.

What actually happened is that The X-Files was composed for and broadcast in 4:3 during its first four seasons. The production switched to 16:9 broadcast (on Fox's 480p "Enhanced Definition" channel) in Season 5.
Quote:
We don't know that they weren't composed for widescreen. Looking at the examples posted earlier for comparison there is obvious space opened up both left and right despite the cropping at the bottom

TV shows that shoot on 35mm film usually do so in 3-perf format, rather than the 4-perf feature film standard. This saves a tremendous amount of film stock. 3-perf frames have a shorter height, and an aspect ratio close to 16:9. This is ideal for HD needs, however the practice was used long before HD broadcast was common. Shows that are (were) composed for 4:3 are taken as a center extraction from the middle of the frame.

Famously, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was shot in 3-perf format but composed for 4:3. Foreign DVD editions opened the mattes and exposed extra picture on the sides. In a number of episodes, this revealed lighting and camera equipment that would never have been seen in the 4:3 crop. Some DVD editions of The Shield have a similar problem.

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post #107 of 134 Old 02-24-2014, 02:29 PM
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Does anyone know yet if the Blu-ray's for seasons 1-4 are 4:3 presentations with the proper 16x9 ratio being retained only for the latter seasons?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #108 of 134 Old 02-24-2014, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

If the early seasons of The X-Files weren't composed for widescreen, then they shouldn't be cropped to widescreen now.

Absolutely agree.
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post #109 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 06:19 AM
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so where are those screen caps coming from? the import version?

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post #110 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 06:53 AM
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so where are those screen caps coming from? the import version?

The HD X-Files caps are from the German TV station ProSieben Maxx. Only the original film content has been remastered. All the effects and stock footage are upscaled. The widescreen effect is simply from cropping top and bottom since X-Files was not shot with widescreen in mind (until later seasons).
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post #111 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

What actually happened is that The X-Files was composed for and broadcast in 4:3 during its first four seasons. The production switched to 16:9 broadcast (on Fox's 480p "Enhanced Definition" channel) in Season 5.
Did the 16x9 broadcast run alongside standard 4x3 broadcasts of Season 5-9? The composition in these later seasons appears to be the same as what these HD caps from the earlier seasons suggest, and the fact you get Buffy style goofs at the far edges of the frame in these later seasons (including crew members walking into shot), I believe the whole show was composed 4:3, and should be presented that way. I doubt there was an actual shooting changeover for Season 5, but rather it was your basic Super35 "shoot and protect" 4x3/16x9 for the entire run (there was a changeover a few episodes into season 1, when they changed from standard 35mm to Super35).
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post #112 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 08:12 AM
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Did the 16x9 broadcast run alongside standard 4x3 broadcasts of Season 5-9?

Correct. Starting in Season 5, the show aired simultaneously in 4:3 on Fox's standard-def channel and 16:9 on their 480p ED channel.

The DVD releases switch to 16:9 with Season 5.

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post #113 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by benes View Post

As was common practice with most shows in the early days of HDTV Season 5-9 were shot in 16:9 but all the important action was kept in a 4:3 safe zone in the middle of the frame.
Which means they were composed for 4:3, and protected for 16:9. Meaning they are no different to Seasons 1-4. The only reason they ended up widescreen on the DVDs was because Fox had the precedent of the 16:9 broadcast. It was the broadcasting method that changed, not the shooting method.
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post #114 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by EddieLarkin View Post

Which means they were composed for 4:3, and protected for 16:9. Meaning they are no different to Seasons 1-4. The only reason they ended up widescreen on the DVDs was because Fox had the precedent of the 16:9 broadcast. It was the broadcasting method that changed, not the shooting method.

If they knew that the show would be broadcast in 16:9, they should have been more vigilant about protecting for that framing. In Seasons 1-4, there was no expectation that the show would ever be seen in 16:9, so they felt free to leave lighting and camera equipment sitting around at the edges of the frame.

Although perhaps an anamoly, the DP for Law & Order went on record that he only cared about the 16:9 composition, and framed his shots for that ratio even long before the network aired the show in HD, and that he didn't care how badly cramped it looked when cropped to 4:3.

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post #115 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 10:20 AM
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I see. Are the Season 5 4:3 shots ripped from original broadcast? In that case the later seasons may very well have been proper widescreen (though if that's the case it would be wrong to say the important stuff was kept in the middle; those crops look awful!). I've perhaps let my quick reviewing of my later seasons DVDs, and the "widescreen goofs" found there (and constant cropped scalps) influence my opinion too much. I'll be taking another look.
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post #116 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 12:26 PM
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Perhaps the worst show for the dual 4:3/16:9 framing was Gilmore Girls. Even though later seasons aired in HD, the producers of that show considered the open matte 16:9 version a necessary evil that they made no attempt to compose for. In scene after scene, groups of multiple characters are bunched together awkwardly in the middle of the frame with absolutely nothing happening on the sides around them.

Most other series at least attempted to use the negative space in a way that didn't call too much attention to itself, but not that one.

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post #117 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

But they weren't...

This is really similar to the argument some people make for colorizing black & white movies: "If they had color film stock in the 1920s and 1930s, they totally would have shot this movie in color." That's a hypothetical that there's no way to prove. In any case, the director didn't shoot the movie in color. He shot it in black & white, and made the best black & white movie out of it he could.

If the early seasons of The X-Files weren't composed for widescreen, then they shouldn't be cropped to widescreen now.
...and maybe they wouldn't have shot in color. Sometimes, the production dictates the look, not the technology:

- The opening scenes of the Wizard of Oz were deliberately shot with a sepia look to contrast with the scenes from Oz
- Paper Moon was deliberately shot in Black and White to give it a more convincing depression era look.
- Young Frankenstein was shot in black and white to parody the Frankenstein movies.
- Schindler's List was deliberately shot in black and white to give the feel of the actual black and white war footage we associate with the Holocaust.
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post #118 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 01:43 PM
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The reasons those films were shot in B&W was as an homage or throwback to older films, which were shot in B&W because color film stock wasn't available or practical to use at the time.
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post #119 of 134 Old 02-25-2014, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Osirus23 View Post

The reasons those films were shot in B&W was as an homage or throwback to older films, which were shot in B&W because color film stock wasn't available or practical to use at the time.

Are you arguing in favor of colorization, then?

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post #120 of 134 Old 02-26-2014, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

...and maybe they wouldn't have shot in color. Sometimes, the production dictates the look, not the technology:

- The opening scenes of the Wizard of Oz were deliberately shot with a sepia look to contrast with the scenes from Oz
- Paper Moon was deliberately shot in Black and White to give it a more convincing depression era look.
- Young Frankenstein was shot in black and white to parody the Frankenstein movies.
- Schindler's List was deliberately shot in black and white to give the feel of the actual black and white war footage we associate with the Holocaust.

-The Artist just came out a couple years ago. B&W and 4:3.
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