Netflix HD Streaming - The Non-OAR List - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 06-10-2010, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to start, and encourage others to contribute to, a list of movies offered by the Netflix streaming service that are HD but not in the Original Aspect Ratio (cropped, pan-and-scan, etc.). I mostly use IMDB.com as my source for OAR specs.

We can also use this thread to report any time Netflix replaces a non-OAR movie with an OAR version.

So far, I've found the following titles:

A Little Romance (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Cry in the Dark (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
East of Eden (shown 16:9, should be 2.55:1)
Japanese Story (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Far From Heaven (shown in 1.33:1, should be 1.85:1)
Executive Decision (shown in 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Map of the Human Heart (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
A Very Long Engagement (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Hombre (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Vanity Fair (2004) (shown in 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Grand Canyon (1991)(OAR 2.35 through the credits, then cropped to 16:9 for the duration)
The Harmonists (shown 16:9, should be 2.35:1)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)(cropped to 16:9. should be 2.35)

Note: Sometimes the opening credits are OAR, but the film later switches to a cropped 16:9 past the opening credits. East of Eden is an example.
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post #2 of 61 Old 06-29-2010, 05:26 PM
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Good idea for a thread. I'll throw in some if I spot specific movies that are cropped. I think we can say though that all their 2.39:1 titles have been cropped down to 16:9. At least the ones I've seen have been. This is just as bad as having some of the 1.85:1 movies cut down to 4:3. The Starz titles were notorious for this, but lately I've seen some that have been close to the original 1.85.

Edit: After having posted this I am noticing more and more steaming titles that are using 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 OAR.
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post #3 of 61 Old 06-29-2010, 05:41 PM
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I've mostly noticed this with much older encodes and some of the Starz titles that should be 2.35:1 but are 1.85:1 instead. Off the top of my head, both Pineapple Express and Miracle at St. Anna.

This would also be a good start and probably lists most of them: http://netflixcommunity.ning.com/for...hat-are-in-the
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post #4 of 61 Old 06-30-2010, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theslug View Post

I think we can say though that all their 2.35:1 titles have been cropped down to 16:9.

Actually no. Here are a several Netflix IW HD titles in glorious 2.35:1 OAR:

Flame and Citron
Taxidermia
The Chaser
The Negotiator (though the dialogue is missing)
John Rabe
I Hate Luv Storys
Afterschool
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post #5 of 61 Old 07-05-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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So far, every movie I've viewed has been OAR...the most recent, an indie called CASH BACK. Starz, however, crops EVERYTHING. They do it on their HD channel and they do it on Netflix. (They're cropping 2012 next...a movie whose sole saving grace are the visuals!)

Basicly, if you see the name STARZ on any widescreen movie...avoid it. (I'm dropping the channel this week. After seeing cropped versions of ZOMBIELAND, MOON, SURROGATES, and PANDORUM...enough is enough.)
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post #6 of 61 Old 07-09-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Today, Netflix added another 2.35:1 OAR movie for HD streaming:

The Chaser (Korea)

It has good ratings so far, but appears to be very brutal.
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post #7 of 61 Old 07-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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I just wonder if the cropping is trying to fill the screen for 16:9 flat panel displays and is not optimized for cinemascope setups.
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post #8 of 61 Old 07-12-2010, 09:45 AM
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Cable execs seem to believe if "Joe Six Pack" bought a widescreen TV he wants to "see it filled" so they crop the 2:35:1 films and also notoriously take old P&S 4:3 content they have license to and run it over getting a OAR version even if the film was 1:85:1. They are so out of touch in this age where DVDs have been out in OAR for years.
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post #9 of 61 Old 07-12-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post

Cable execs seem to believe if "Joe Six Pack" bought a widescreen TV he wants to "see it filled" so they crop the 2:35:1 films and also notoriously take old P&S 4:3 content they have license to and run it over getting a OAR version even if the film was 1:85:1. They are so out of touch in this age where DVDs have been out in OAR for years.

Agreed. Even TV commercials are run OAR. I've seen commercials for HP, Kraft Macaroni, and others presented in 2.35 HD. Commercials! HBO and STARZ show less respect for the movies than stations do for advertisements!
But...that's why I cancelled them. Thankfully, Netflix offers the non-STARZ movies in OAR.
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post #10 of 61 Old 09-01-2010, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Today, I added Deja Vu (1997) to my Post #1 (non-OAR), and The Negotiator to my Post #4 (2.35:1 OAR).
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post #11 of 61 Old 09-01-2010, 09:10 PM
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I'd like to see a list of any titles (mostly SD, of course) that are 4:3 letterboxed so that I can avoid them (I'm automatically wary of any and all Starz content)... That's much, much worse than a 2.35 cropped to 1.85... Two that I've encountered are The Waterboy and Broken Flowers...
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post #12 of 61 Old 09-02-2010, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogiYahooeys View Post

I'd like to see a list of any titles (mostly SD, of course) that are 4:3 letterboxed so that I can avoid them...

Do you mean pillarboxed; in particular, a widescreen image that's cropped on both sides?
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post #13 of 61 Old 09-02-2010, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dneily View Post

Do you mean pillarboxed; in particular, a widescreen image that's cropped on both sides?

Yes, exactly.
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post #14 of 61 Old 09-02-2010, 01:52 PM
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I think Starz gets a bad-rap because of the older titles that were batch-released. Any newer stuff is mostly ok (I say "Mostly" because some of it is cropped 16:9). I haven't seen any Starz titles released to Watch Instant for a long time cropped to 4:3.

Just went through my queue and only had one Starz Play title in 4:3 (that would be Skills Like This from 2007). The other titles were all at least 16:9. I didn't go look up the OAR for all of them, but did notice some were 2.35:1 (Angels & Demons for example)

The quality has also vastly improved for the new Starz titles being released (compared to the older ones).

Anyways, they don't bother me unless I'm going back and watching an older title...then I'm a bit wary.
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post #15 of 61 Old 09-02-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

I think Starz gets a bad-rap because of the older titles that were batch-released. Any newer stuff is mostly ok (I say "Mostly" because some of it is cropped 16:9). I haven't seen any Starz titles released to Watch Instant for a long time cropped to 4:3.

Just went through my queue and only had one Starz Play title in 4:3 (that would be Skills Like This from 2007). The other titles were all at least 16:9. I didn't go look up the OAR for all of them, but did notice some were 2.35:1 (Angels & Demons for example)

The quality has also vastly improved for the new Starz titles being released (compared to the older ones).

Anyways, they don't bother me unless I'm going back and watching an older title...then I'm a bit wary.

Well, to me that's all the more reason to compile a list, but if I'm alone, please ignore me. I've had a horrible experience with Starz titles, but I'm probably just as likely (if not moreso) to want to watch an older title than a new release. I don't even bother to try anymore after many times getting myself all excited to see something only to find it unwatchable. If there are nice looking Starz titles, I'd love to hear about them, because I really haven't seen one yet (even the 16:9 stuff has been pretty ugly)... Hehe, too bad I have no interest in Angels & Demons, I guess...
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post #16 of 61 Old 09-02-2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogiYahooeys View Post

Well, to me that's all the more reason to compile a list, but if I'm alone, please ignore me. I've had a horrible experience with Starz titles, but I'm probably just as likely (if not moreso) to want to watch an older title than a new release. I don't even bother to try anymore after many times getting myself all excited to see something only to find it unwatchable. If there are nice looking Starz titles, I'd love to hear about them, because I really haven't seen one yet (even the 16:9 stuff has been pretty ugly)... Hehe, too bad I have no interest in Angels & Demons, I guess...

Here's a list someone else is compiling: http://netflixcommunity.ning.com/for...hat-are-in-the

I agree they are hit and miss, but I don't outright dismiss Starz titles. Here are some Starz titles that are currently in my queue that I think look decent (for SD) and are in the correct aspect ratio (or at least 16:9). I haven't watched these, so can't tell you if they're any good or not. I just checked to see what ratio they were in.

Angels & Demons
Ballast
Doubt
Law Abiding Citizen
P2
Passengers
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Session 9
Boondock Saints 2
The Taking of Pelham 123

My point is I'm not sure why you'd just outright dismiss Starz titles. I've seen Non-Starz titles that have looked bad or been cropped as well.

I do wish they'd list the aspect ratio of the Instant Titles though. Netflix only lists them for the discs. It would be nice if instantwatcher.com would list the OAR and the AR for the titles. That would be great and allow a quick at-a-glance decision on if I want to bother with a particular title or not (Starz or not)
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post #17 of 61 Old 09-07-2010, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The following have been added to my Post #4

John Rabe
I Hate Luv Storys
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post #18 of 61 Old 09-14-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Afterschool
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post #19 of 61 Old 09-15-2010, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Clemons View Post

So far, every movie I've viewed has been OAR...the most recent, an indie called CASH BACK. Starz, however, crops EVERYTHING. They do it on their HD channel and they do it on Netflix. (They're cropping 2012 next...a movie whose sole saving grace are the visuals!)

Basicly, if you see the name STARZ on any widescreen movie...avoid it. (I'm dropping the channel this week. After seeing cropped versions of ZOMBIELAND, MOON, SURROGATES, and PANDORUM...enough is enough.)

The Netflix "Starzplay" instant watch version of Far From Heaven is cropped to 1.33:1 from 1.85:1. Added to Post #1.
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post #20 of 61 Old 09-16-2010, 12:23 PM
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I mentioned this on the "gems and find" thread because there were some OAR complaints but it would be nice to see the original "Bangkok Dangerous" in OAR. They have the same P&S version that was released on DVD right before the remake was released. There are foreign versions in OAR.
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post #21 of 61 Old 09-16-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Executive Decision is 16:9 (1.77:1) rather than the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Added to Post #1.
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post #22 of 61 Old 09-23-2010, 09:17 AM
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very frustrating. i want to watch Mall Cop which is relatively new release yet it is a Starz stream so it isnt in HD> Cant watch it if it isnt HD. And how come Spartucus Blood and Sand isnt available to Stream anymore?
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post #23 of 61 Old 09-23-2010, 12:45 PM
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^^ If Starz gave up HD streams to NFM what incentive would anyone have to pay up for Starz? So they must keep something to add value for their service.
As for Spartacus, the dvds came out this week, so I'd imagine they'd (the studio) want to steer potential new viewers into buying them.

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post #24 of 61 Old 09-24-2010, 06:03 AM
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makes sense thanks. Just wish Starz didnt control so many movies on netflix
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post #25 of 61 Old 09-29-2010, 09:14 AM
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I tried watching "(500) Days of Summer" HD on my PS3 via Netflix Canada and quickly found that it had been vertically STRETCHED to 16:9. WTF?

It's 2.35:1 on the website, but only SD. The "Streaming Details" section simply says "Available in HD on your TV"...

Is it like this on the US stream too? Other movies are OAR, "The Game" for example.
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post #26 of 61 Old 09-29-2010, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

I tried watching "(500) Days of Summer" HD on Netflix Canada and quickly found that it had been vertically STRETCHED to 16:9. WTF?

Is it like this on the US stream too? I've watched some other 2.35:1 movies properly so it's not a setup issue (not that there's even anything to set).

I can check later, but I wouldn't be surprised. Until Epix and Starz gets on board with presenting every movie OAR, I suppose we'll have to deal with this crap.

I wish I could get their reasoning why some titles maintain the OAR while others do the 16:9 cropping/stretching. Seems to be just random to me. Starz seems to be getting better at this as time goes on.
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post #27 of 61 Old 11-13-2010, 11:40 AM
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With a recent firmware update, Netflix streaming via Samsung BD players like the 5500 and 6500 squish or stretch EVERYTHING that is not 16:9 to fill the screen.
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post #28 of 61 Old 11-15-2010, 12:21 PM
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"A Call Girl" which is a compelling Slovenian film presented 16:9 horizontally squished. The specs on Netflix even says it is supposed to be 2:35:1. I often wonder if some office person is given the task of preparing a file to send to Netflix and has no clue about aspect ratios doesn't know that the film needed to be remastered letterboxed.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/A-Call-Girl/70125533
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post #29 of 61 Old 11-28-2010, 08:44 PM
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I'll add another one, since we tried to watch this over Thanksgiving:

Auntie Mame (the 1958 version), shown in 16x9, instead of 2.35:1.

I remember watching crappy 4x3 crops that were supposed to be replaced with better versions, but I sure hope that this isn't the `better' version. =(
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post #30 of 61 Old 11-29-2010, 03:34 AM
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Netflix has Babylon 5 in 4:3.

Babylon 5 is an interesting case. Originally the pre-rendered footage was shot in 16:9 (I believe the first tv series to do it, although I believe ER season 1 followed later that year in 16:9) back in 1994. The series was originally aired (like ER) in 4:3. Years later when Sci Fi acquired the series they remastered the entire series in 16:9, although the effects shots were only available in 4:3 since they were rendered in that aspect ratio. Rather than flipping to pillar boxing during the effects shots (like the Imax shots on the Dark Knight DVD) they decided to crop the CG scenes. There are some episodes like "Now for a Word" that have an insane number of effects shots and work better in 4:3, but other episodes (I believe Objects in Motion and Objects in Rest and the tv movies were rendered in 16:9) actually benefit from the 16:9.

Overall I think that the 16:9 transfers work well and can be found on DVD, but it is interesting to compare the two (I did with the laser discs during Sci Fi's initial run) side by side.
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