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post #1 of 14 Old 01-14-2015, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Question 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 cropping to 16x9 by Netflix and Amazon

I'm pretty sure Netflix is the worse offender in cropping films wider than 1.78:1 so they fit full screen on 16x9 displays. But how bad are they? I know there's a thread here about non-OAR (i.e. cropped) films on Netlfix but is there a general sense of how often they are doing this? Is it a majority of films? Mostly 1.85:1 films getting cropped or many 2.35/2.40:1 also?

On Amazon, which is what I mostly use, I find that 2.35:1 (or 2.40:1) movies seem to not be cropped (of course I watch movies only 1-2 times a month) as often. 1.85:1 movies seem to be mostly cropped to 1.78:1, although Zero Dark Thirty on Amazon (paid rental) was full 1.85:1 and not cropped. How does Amazon compare?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-14-2015, 12:49 PM
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I've been told by distributors it depends on what the studio gives them. I think in some of these cases they are getting masters or encodes that were made for HBO. There was this idea that Joe Six Packs like their new 16:9 TV screens filled and "none of them black bars." This may be particularly disappointing with directors like Clint Eastwood and John Carpenter who favored the 2:35:1 aspect ratio.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-15-2015, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Conrad View Post
I've been told by distributors it depends on what the studio gives them. I think in some of these cases they are getting masters or encodes that were made for HBO. There was this idea that Joe Six Packs like their new 16:9 TV screens filled and "none of them black bars." This may be particularly disappointing with directors like Clint Eastwood and John Carpenter who favored the 2:35:1 aspect ratio.
That is interesting, although Netflix at least definitely plays an active role in cropping films wider than 16x9. I'm not sure if Amazon crops 2.35/2.40:1 films but Netflix apparently has no qualms about doing just that. Both seem to crop 1.85:1 movies, but Netflix probably worse as I know at least some recent movies from Amazon (Zero Dark Thirty for example) are shown in their original 1.85:1 ratio.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-15-2015, 04:53 PM
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2.35:1 and 1.85:1 cropping to 16x9 by Netflix and Amazon

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Originally Posted by impetigo View Post
That is interesting, although Netflix at least definitely plays an active role in cropping films wider than 16x9. I'm not sure if Amazon crops 2.35/2.40:1 films but Netflix apparently has no qualms about doing just that. Both seem to crop 1.85:1 movies, but Netflix probably worse as I know at least some recent movies from Amazon (Zero Dark Thirty for example) are shown in their original 1.85:1 ratio.

The previous answer is the correct answer Netflix,Amazon and etc do not crop they just send what is provided to them. With so many complaints from those that do not want or understand letterbox OAR we have to suffer with cropping. So your gripe is with the studios not Netflix etc.


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post #5 of 14 Old 01-16-2015, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impetigo View Post
That is interesting, although Netflix at least definitely plays an active role in cropping films wider than 16x9. I'm not sure if Amazon crops 2.35/2.40:1 films but Netflix apparently has no qualms about doing just that. Both seem to crop 1.85:1 movies, but Netflix probably worse as I know at least some recent movies from Amazon (Zero Dark Thirty for example) are shown in their original 1.85:1 ratio.
I've seen a number of films on Netflix in 1:85:1. I've turned off overscan on my TV so I get the full thing. Definitely there are some films shown with the slight black bars at top and bottom indicating 1:85:1. Again this may depend on whether Netflix does the encoding or the distributor/studio does.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-16-2015, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gomo657 View Post
The previous answer is the correct answer Netflix,Amazon and etc do not crop they just send what is provided to them. With so many complaints from those that do not want or understand letterbox OAR we have to suffer with cropping. So your gripe is with the studios not Netflix etc.
Yeah, a lot of the small distributors probably tell some intern to grab an encode archive that may have been encoded for TV and cropped. Also a talk by a distributor I watched a while back says that NF will encode but it costs around $10K and there are cheaper options like encoding it yourself by NF specs.

The public has the idea that even the big studios are very sophisticated about this but under the hood it is often not so.
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post #7 of 14 Old Yesterday, 02:52 PM
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I just tried to watch two different movies in a row that I quickly quit, as they were meant to be 2.35 Scope films but were cropped to 16X9 by Netflix streaming. Frustrating. It'd be nice if they at least gave you a warning card at the head, so you could make a decision whether you care enough to not watch the show.
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post #8 of 14 Old Yesterday, 03:07 PM
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What movies were they?

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post #9 of 14 Old Yesterday, 07:00 PM
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Equilibrium and I, Frankenstein. Since I also have a Netflix disc queue I will watch them in the future off DVD or Blu Ray (if available).
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post #10 of 14 Old Yesterday, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomo657 View Post
The previous answer is the correct answer Netflix,Amazon and etc do not crop they just send what is provided to them. With so many complaints from those that do not want or understand letterbox OAR we have to suffer with cropping. So your gripe is with the studios not Netflix etc.
My gripe is still with Netflix - they should reject the deliverable if it is a 'Scope movie and comes in from the studio cropped. Fine to make an exception if no correct element was ever made (like a movie that was transferred pan & scan for DVD back when), but for movies that have letterboxed home video transfers, Netflix should insist on having a letterboxed delivery for streaming.
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post #11 of 14 Old Yesterday, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
Equilibrium and I, Frankenstein. Since I also have a Netflix disc queue I will watch them in the future off DVD or Blu Ray (if available).
I Frankenstein comes to Netflix via their deal with the Epix Pay TV channel, which sells a package of movies that they control internet streaming rights to, to both Netflix and Amazon. Equilibrium may also be an Epix controlled title, but I'm not certain.

Netflix most likely received Epix titles from the pay channel itself, rather than from the studios themselves, as was the case during their association with Starz. Netflix would have no control over the video file provided to them.

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post #12 of 14 Old Yesterday, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post
I Frankenstein comes to Netflix via their deal with the Epix Pay TV channel, which sells a package of movies that they control internet streaming rights to, to both Netflix and Amazon. Equilibrium may also be an Epix controlled title, but I'm not certain.

Netflix most likely received Epix titles from the pay channel itself, rather than from the studios themselves, as was the case during their association with Starz. Netflix would have no control over the video file provided to them.
I take your point, but I still think that Netflix should make it part of their terms of licensing that they receive a correct file. If I ran Post at Netflix and received a cropped deliverable I'd reject it (just as I would if I received a B&W picture instead of color, or a 2-channel soundtrack instead of the 5.1) and tell the responsible party to deliver what was paid for.
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post #13 of 14 Old Today, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
I take your point, but I still think that Netflix should make it part of their terms of licensing that they receive a correct file. If I ran Post at Netflix and received a cropped deliverable I'd reject it (just as I would if I received a B&W picture instead of color, or a 2-channel soundtrack instead of the 5.1) and tell the responsible party to deliver what was paid for.
While this may not be an option for you I can find both of these films in the correct OAR on Amazon Prime. Here are snapshots of these movies and accounting for some error in my screen grabs - I, Frankenstein measured at 2.40:1 and Equilibrium was 2.34:1. Both films are listed as 2.35:1 on IMDB. So whoever the source is that is providing Netflix with its movies is evidently not the same for Amazon.
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post #14 of 14 Old Today, 08:15 AM
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Thanks! Amazon is also an option, so good to know they have it right.
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