HAS the OAR battle been lost? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 276 Old 08-28-2004, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobColby
...The one that's relevant to this thread is that some "widescreen" movies aren't just cropped in the usual way, but that they actually take the 4:3 pan & scan version you see on the non-HD channel, matte that and call it widescreen!
I haven't seen the comparison that you have, but is it possible that the 4:3 presentation was open-matte? That would explain the widescreen being a matted version of the 4:3. I have Mighty Aphrodite on DVD. Next time it's on HBOHD, I'll do a comparison.
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post #182 of 276 Old 08-28-2004, 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by chroma601
Either we are seeing the film as it was shot or we aren't. Yes, I want to see every bit of a film, including the edges of the frame. And I feel that I deserve this when I am paying for the right to see the film.

Viewing a film and missing a significant portion of it certainly seems "wrong" to me. At the very least, it makes me uncomfortable.

Simply put, I respect the film more than I respect the monitor. If you don't care about the film and just want your monitor filled at the expense of compositional accuracy and in some cases, plot, that is your perogative. All I want (here I am wanting again!) is a choice. HBO isn't giving us that choice. As I wrote before, they could do this. They could show their films cropped and OAR on different nights. I like HBO's original programming so I won't drop them, but they really can afford to be more flexible.

This is a lot like a political discussion! We'll never change each others minds. Knowing that, would it be too much for us to ask for your support in asking HBO to air their films both ways? It's not like they only play a given film once a month!
What really bothers me is that on most sets it is very easy for someone who wants to fill their entire screen to do so with a zoom. They can very easily choose not to see the sides of a movie so they can fill their screen if that is what turns them on. It is not possible for me to get back the information that is cut out when someone else arbitrarily chooses to hack up the OAR and show something in 4:3. Before somebody starts flaming I know that there isn't a zoom on most 4:3 sets but there is no excuse for the HD channels to EVER hack change the OAR when almost everyone receiving HD signal can zoom in if they want to.
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post #183 of 276 Old 08-29-2004, 12:44 AM
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I think we all agree that we want the choice. The problem programmers have is how this will confuse people that are less tech-savvy. Fooling with Zoom modes is not something that comes as easy to most people as flipping channels.

If you think about it, we've been extremely lucky with how much OAR stuff there is on DVD. I have no reason to think HD-DVD will not live up to the same standard. But for now at least, with HD-broadcast, we'll have to take what we can get. ?
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post #184 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chroma601
Either we are seeing the film as it was shot or we aren't. Yes, I want to see every bit of a film, including the edges of the frame. And I feel that I deserve this when I am paying for the right to see the film.
Your "preference" (and mine by the way) is to see the film in the exact aspect ratio it was presented in at the theater. Your "feeling" is that you "deserve" that, which you qualify by the fact that your "paying" for that right.

What you deserve is the right to prefer something but not necessarily get it, just as the person that spends all that money on his TV has the right to prefer seeing every inch the screen filled.


Quote:
Viewing a film and missing a significant portion of it certainly seems "wrong" to me. At the very least, it makes me uncomfortable.
There you go with that "right / wrong" thing again. Let go of that and focus on convincing people that your preference may be a better way instead of putting them on the defensive by saying their way is "wrong"


Quote:
All I want (here I am wanting again!) is a choice. HBO isn't giving us that choice. As I wrote before, they could do this. They could show their films cropped and OAR on different nights. I like HBO's original programming so I won't drop them, but they really can afford to be more flexible.
I know for a while HBO was doing that. I remember a few years back when they were running their original "Band of Brothers", one HBO channel ran it in letterbox and the other didn't. I would prefer they get back to offering that kind of choice. Also when they offered it on DVD is was available in both ARs. I bought the wide-screen version and love it.

Quote:
This is a lot like a political discussion! We'll never change each others minds. Knowing that, would it be too much for us to ask for your support in asking HBO to air their films both ways? It's not like they only play a given film once a month!
I'm not trying to change your mind about what you like and want - we actually prefer and want to see the same thing in terms of OAR and more choice. I originally jumped into this thread because of the WAY people were flaming and chastising each other for different points of view.

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post #185 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 08:31 AM
 
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Originally posted by waltinvt

There you go with that "right / wrong" thing again. Let go of that and focus on convincing people that your preference may be a better way instead of putting them on the defensive by saying their way is "wrong"

NO!. Sometimes there is a right/wrong thing. Although there are some exceptions, the people who created a movie created it to be seen in a certain way. That's how it was presented in the theater. Again, with only a few exceptions, that's the "right" way to show the film. And that's how it should be shown on our HD sets. It can be and is a right/wrong thing. It's simply wrong for HBO or anyone else to alter the content of a movie. It's wrong. It's not correct. Showing the movie as it was intended to be seen is the true way to show a movie. Everything else is the false way. And it's wrong. It's a simple, basic, and elementary truth and concept.

Those who worship their TVs and want their money's worth by filling their screens at the expense of being true to the movie are simply wrong. If they prefer it that way, fine, but they are wrong. The are untrue to the movie. End of story.
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post #186 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 11:24 AM
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Movie makers need to start framing/shooting in 16:9 instead of 2.35:1.

End of problem. Everyone wins.

Why is it that the easiest solution is rarely implemented?

If ignorance is bliss, going to Clemson must be orgasmic...
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post #187 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by uscboy
Movie makers need to start framing/shooting in 16:9 instead of 2.35:1.

End of problem. Everyone wins.

Why is it that the easiest solution is rarely implemented?
I wouldn't win. I like the panoramic view of 2.35


why?
because it's like a form of censorship
a director should be able to use any format he/she wants, not what will fit somebody's tv!!

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post #188 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 11:42 AM
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It isn't wrong unless the director expressly says the movie shouldn't be seen any other way than OAR. You can argue opinions all day long but when you start throwing around right or wrong it starts to sound silly. Almost every director today either shoots open matte or frames for a 4:3 safe area. Even the once "rebel" filmmakers like spielberg and lucas shoot this way. The fact that they do this shows that not only do they know there film will be shown non-OAR eventually, but that they accept it and choose to accomodate it.

Hardly sounds like they think it's wrong. You can certainly have an opinion on whether it's right or wrong, but they are the only ones who can categorically and objectively say if it in fact is.

uscboy - that is a HORRIBLE idea.. take a look at the theater you are in next time. While 2.35:1 is always the same width on your TV and just shrinks in height, in theaters it is generally the exact opposite. 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 are the same height, but the one is much wider. To realize I am no longer able to go to the theater and see movies in a wider aspect ratio, that is awful.

Remember, aspect ratios occur outside of just television. Take a look at the screen of the next movie you go to. chances are you will be able to tell which of the two ratios the screen is.. and you will know what ratio the movie you are watching is as well.
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post #189 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 12:53 PM
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Then they should make TVs that are 2.35:1.

My point wasn't to argue which is better... personally I like movies to fill my
TV also but don't want to crop them, so that puts me in the group of those
that just wish the stupid thing would have been shot in 16:9 in the first place.

My point was just that obviously the simplest thing (having the same
standard everywhere) wasn't chosen or else there wouldn't be so much
bitching about it on the Internet. :)

The biggest problem is that no one would agree to one aspect ratio for
everything. Picture your evening news in 2.35:1. :)

However, most people for some reason would rather the director change
their ratio than their TV display a non-native one.

If ignorance is bliss, going to Clemson must be orgasmic...
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post #190 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 01:38 PM
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the problem is that you have to understand where the aspect ratios came from. Movies were originally shot 4:3. Then with the advent of television movies wanted a way to distinguish themselves from TV so they decided to use 2.35:1/CinemScope/derivative. Eventually the cropping process was devised to show more narrow movies on the screens without the cost of additional hardware for theaters that couldn't afford .top upgrade screens or lenses.

Hollywood didn't have to worry about this. Most of their screens were ~2.66:1 so as long as the movie was more narrow than that it was fine. It came down to the directors decision.

IMHO possibly one of the move beautiful recent uses of this system was Disney's Brother Bear. Unfortunately when you watch it on DVD it pretty much loses the effect, but in the theater it was awesome. The movie started out at 1.85:1. Then after he transformed into a bear the movie opened up to 2.35:1. Absolutely brilliant and really impressive to see.

To take that kind of ability away from movie makers simply to make the TV people happy.. screw that. I would rather see three versions of a film released (Full, HDFull, Wide) than see that happen.
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post #191 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by uscboy
Then they should make TVs that are 2.35:1.

My point wasn't to argue which is better... personally I like movies to fill my
TV also but don't want to crop them, so that puts me in the group of those
that just wish the stupid thing would have been shot in 16:9 in the first place.

My point was just that obviously the simplest thing (having the same
standard everywhere) wasn't chosen or else there wouldn't be so much
bitching about it on the Internet. :)

The biggest problem is that no one would agree to one aspect ratio for
everything. Picture your evening news in 2.35:1. :)

However, most people for some reason would rather the director change
their ratio than their TV display a non-native one.
Picture Lawrence of Arabia in 4:3? It isn't that simple. The evening news works great in 4:3 or 16:9. For film, 2:35 or even Super Panavision 70mm is wonderful.

I am certain the director of Lawrence of Arabia wasn't concerned with how the film would look on a Sampo 13" TV/VCR Combo. Different aspect ratios are required for artistic reasons and the director is not concerned about filling the screen on J6P's TV. But Target and Wal-Mart certainly are. They have even had stickers placed on P&S copies of DVDs that say in big block lettering, "NO BLACK BARS". These mega-retailers are forcing FOX and others to make P&S copies of DVDs.
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post #192 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 06:31 PM
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If I had a 96" screen, I'd prefer OAR without question. But I have a 50" plasma, and, for me, the choice is not so obvious.

A 16:9 presentation offers more envelopment, and hence, emphasizes one of the inportant things that one gets out of seeing a film projected in a theatre. OTOH, a letterboxed 2.35:1 presentation shows the entire frame but, on the 50" plasma it looks...(errrrm...cough...diverts gaze)...

small.

There -- I've said it. Just...plain...small. Less enveloping. Same width (not "wider screen"). Just less height.

So, for those of us with intermediate-size displays, I don't think that the choice is cut-and-dried at all. We have to trade off loss of edge information against loss of envelopment.

I would like to see two things happen:

1. That directors who shoot in 2.35:1 protect to 16:9 so that important picture elements are not lost in cropping, yet people with large displays (and people who see the film in theatres) can get full envelopment by viewing in 2.35:1.

2. That two separate anamorphic ratios are defined, so that 16:9 and 2.35:1 films both use all available scan lines.
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post #193 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 09:15 PM
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small???

hmmm. widescreen off of my laserdisc player was small on my 27" set. but 2.35:1 on a 50" set ? you are losing less than 3.5 inches on the top and bottom of a 24.5 inch tall picture... I guess small was never one of the words I would have thought to describe that..

now losing 50% on a 4:3 or 27" or even 32".. THAT is small.
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post #194 of 276 Old 08-30-2004, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by borghe
small???

hmmm. widescreen off of my laserdisc player was small on my 27" set. but 2.35:1 on a 50" set ? you are losing less than 3.5 inches on the top and bottom of a 24.5 inch tall picture... I guess small was never one of the words I would have thought to describe that..

now losing 50% on a 4:3 or 27" or even 32".. THAT is small.
I watch the 50" plasma from about 13 feet. For me, this is the perfect distance to completely eliminate any hint of screendoor or "texture" in the picture to get that "open window" effect that plasma does so well. But, at that viewing distance, the sense of envelopment depends rather critically on the size of the picture, and I find that, for me, there is a larger subjective change in the sense of envelopment than one might expect when one just considers the numbers. YMMV.
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post #195 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert2413
1. That directors who shoot in 2.35:1 protect to 16:9 so that important picture elements are not lost in cropping, yet people with large displays (and people who see the film in theatres) can get full envelopment by viewing in 2.35:1.
Uh, what then would be the point of shooting in 2.35:1 in the first place? Just to get more pretty scenery at the edges of the frame? :confused: :confused:
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post #196 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 06:46 AM
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hmmm.. no offense, but that is REALLY far to be sitting away from that TV. This page recommends that a 50" screen be viewed at about 5.6' for THX standards and a maximum of 6.8' for viewing at a 30° angle (which would be true envelopment).

I understand what you are saying about screen door effects on plasma, but you are blaming black bars and reduced size when in reality you are sitting about double the distance you should be sitting from a TV that size. Your viewing angle is currently around half of what it should be. From your distance you should have a 95.9" widescreen set..
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post #197 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 07:13 AM
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I have to agree with uscboy here... we really need a standard in the Home Theater Buisness. Just look at DVD's today and how many people stretch them on their 4x3 TV's just so they will "fill the screen", even with all the OAR campagins people spread throughout the internet, a good chuck of people dont care and want the movie to fill their screens (this will never change), its better to fix the problem now and not be "dealing" with it for the next 50 years.

Home Theater is already confusing enough to n00b's as it is. Between the HDTV format stuff, HDTV sets, Prog DVD players, Format wars, 1080i vs 720p vs 480p prog dvd, Its a miracle that people even buy Home Theater Stuff. You shouldnt have to take a friend "in the know" with you to buy a HDTV (I have done this about 25 times for friends) and shouldnt have to spend hours researching things such as OAR before making a purchase. If there was one video standard there wouldnt be a need for half of the research that is now required to buy any new HT equipment/media. (I know I ventured a little off topic here but its quite relevant IMO with the whole format war)
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post #198 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jagouar
I have to agree with uscboy here... we really need a standard in the Home Theater Buisness. Just look at DVD's today and how many people stretch them on their 4x3 TV's just so they will "fill the screen", even with all the OAR campagins people spread throughout the internet, a good chuck of people dont care and want the movie to fill their screens (this will never change), its better to fix the problem now and not be "dealing" with it for the next 50 years.

Home Theater is already confusing enough to n00b's as it is. Between the HDTV format stuff, HDTV sets, Prog DVD players, Format wars, 1080i vs 720p vs 480p prog dvd, Its a miracle that people even buy Home Theater Stuff. You shouldnt have to take a friend "in the know" with you to buy a HDTV (I have done this about 25 times for friends) and shouldnt have to spend hours researching things such as OAR before making a purchase. If there was one video standard there wouldnt be a need for half of the research that is now required to buy any new HT equipment/media. (I know I ventured a little off topic here but its quite relevant IMO with the whole format war)
I couldn't disagree more. I think what you are saying is you want ONE standard? Because we already have standards...just too many in your opinion?

If this is what you are saying, I disagree. One standard would kill innovation. Remember NTSC? It has taken 50 years and an act of congress to overcome this one standard. Meanwhile we were stuck with crap analog while the rest of the world was experiencing HiDef decades ago. To foster innovation we should not limit ourselves to ONE standard. There is stuff coming in video that we cannot even imagine and if we are not in a position to adapt, we will be stuck 40 years from now with the same technology we have today.
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post #199 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jagouar
I have to agree with uscboy here... we really need a standard in the Home Theater Buisness. Just look at DVD's today and how many people stretch them on their 4x3 TV's just so they will "fill the screen", even with all the OAR campagins people spread throughout the internet, a good chuck of people dont care and want the movie to fill their screens (this will never change), its better to fix the problem now and not be "dealing" with it for the next 50 years.

Home Theater is already confusing enough to n00b's as it is. Between the HDTV format stuff, HDTV sets, Prog DVD players, Format wars, 1080i vs 720p vs 480p prog dvd, Its a miracle that people even buy Home Theater Stuff. You shouldnt have to take a friend "in the know" with you to buy a HDTV (I have done this about 25 times for friends) and shouldnt have to spend hours researching things such as OAR before making a purchase. If there was one video standard there wouldnt be a need for half of the research that is now required to buy any new HT equipment/media. (I know I ventured a little off topic here but its quite relevant IMO with the whole format war)
why do people buy buy different refrigerators? stoves? houses? Why not just create every product out there as the exact same product so we never have to decide what to buy again?

Sound facetious? Well, that's essentially what this is saying. Why have options to accomodate different needs when we can just use one standard and cram everything into that standard whether it works or not?

People get confused because insecure wannabe know-it-alls make it seem more confusing than it is. DLP, LCOS, LCD, CRT, who cares. By the TV that is the right fit at the right price with the picture you like. Doesn't sound too complicated to me....

1080i, 480p, 480i, 720p, who cares. Get your TV and get a satellite/cable/OTA box and you will get all channels regardless of resolution. How is that difficult?

1.78:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, 1.33:1, 1.85:1, who cares. Just make sure the words Full Screen aren't printed across the top or bottom of the DVD cover and you are good to go.

Typical consumers become worried because people who either don't know how to dumb down explanations or insecure people who want to seem smart make it confusing for these consumers.

I just had a buddy go out with his brother and buy an HDTV. He didn't sit there for hours and try to learn about it, he bought the one he liked. When he got home he called the cable company and asked them if they had a DVR for HD and he went down to the station and got it. About the ONLY thing he needed help with was to set his DVD player to 16:9 mode. He also asked me about the black bars on some movies and I just told him "some will have the black bars, some won't". Seemed good enough for him. Didn't need to go into aspect ratios and OAR or anything.
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post #200 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 08:42 AM
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borghe, your analogy is flawed... if it were true there would only be one type of TV that you could buy and Im not saying that. There should be different types of TV's just like stoves and such but once you get that TV home you shouldnt have to mess with different formats. My "standard" only applies to the picture format.

But really the point as uscboy made and this is the big point, there is only ONE way to ever solve this issue, no amount of education could ever be enough to inform every single person out there about the different formats. There is one solution but people dont want to hear of it because it might give the directors a slight inconvience.

IMO, there has not been a movie ever made nor will there be one for a long time that actually NEEDS 2.35:1 vs 1.78:1, its just a slight preference of the director. A slight realingment of the directors viewfinder means half of the issues with DVD and future HD-DVD go away.... well complaints I should say.

For me OAR doesnt matter too much (I have a plenty big screen for how small they make the picture) but Ive seen way too many people who stretch OAR 2.35:1 DVD to full screen totally destroying whatever the director intended anyways and were going to have these EXACT same problems with future tech unless its fixed now.

Im all for OAR and most of us know all the quirks of it but we dont represent enough of the general population to matter... our problems/bitching dont mean sh1t in the real world... its all about how the general consumer preceives DVD and HDTV will drive its sucess or failure. The guys who show up at best buy one day and get a new TV right then and there (like your friend)... he had a good experince but for every one good experince there are 10x bad ones.
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post #201 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jagouar
The guys who show up at best buy one day and get a new TV right then and there (like your friend)... he had a good experince but for every one good experince there are 10x bad ones.
Ahhh, we don't know that :)
Quote:
Originally posted by jagouar
IMO, there has not been a movie ever made nor will there be one for a long time that actually NEEDS 2.35:1 vs 1.78:1, its just a slight preference of the director. A slight realingment of the directors viewfinder means half of the issues with DVD and future HD-DVD go away.... well complaints I should say.
This article was published in my local paper last summer. I think John Carpenter would disagree that it is a "slight preference" to frame a movie the way you are suggesting. I will go with the director's opinion on this debate.

DVDs refuel the widescreen vs. full-screen debate

By RANDY A. SALAS
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL STAR TRIBUNE

It's an important scene in the 1998 film "The Mask of Zorro": Caught stealing a crucial map, Zorro squares off against his smarmy nemesis, Capt. Harrison Love. The adversaries brandish their swords and prepare to duel.

Well, they do in the widescreen presentation of the movie. In the version that has been modified to fit a regular TV screen, Capt. Love (Matt Letscher) faces the disembodied tip of the vigilante's sword. Zorro (Antonio Banderas) is no longer in the picture.

Ever since widescreen movies became popular in the early 1950s, watching them on a regular TV set has involved a compromise. Theater screens have different proportions than do TV screens.

POLL
Which format do you prefer for movies on DVD?

23.3%
Full-screen (pan & scan)

76.7%
Widescreen

Total Votes: 1572

It's an issue that has become more visible as DVDs, most of which have widescreen presentations, spread to the masses.

Full-screen-only DVDs have begun to proliferate, with stores such as Wal-Mart catering to uninformed consumers by using stickers on the package that proclaim "No black bars!"

Basically, when a widescreen movie is transferred for viewing on a regular TV screen, it's presented one of two ways :

The image retains its theatrical proportions, leaving black space (not "bars") above and below but showing the movie the way it was intended to be seen. This is sometimes called a "letterbox" presentation.

Or, the image is modified from its original presentation to fit the screen from top to bottom and side to side, losing part of the picture in the process. This is called a pan-and-scan presentation.

"If you don't see a widescreen movie in a widescreen format, you're missing a chunk of the movie. It's as simple as that," said Leonard Maltin, film historian, critic and DVD producer. "That particular chunk might be an actor or a group of actors; it could be the second participant in a two-person conversation; it could be a significant piece of action.

"There are really creative directors and cinematographers, and even art directors, who like to use the widescreen frame; otherwise, why bother shooting it that way?" he added. "When they carefully compose those shots, any variation on that is going to destroy what they did."

John Carpenter is one of those filmmakers. The director of films such as "Halloween" and "Starman" says he spent extra money for the widest presentations on even his lowest-budget movies because he thinks it makes a difference.

Asked what he thought of pan-and-scan home versions of movies, he said, "It makes me sick to my stomach."

He cited one of his favorite films, "Once Upon a Time in the West," as an example.

"You can't watch that thing in a pan-and-scan version," he said. "It's an atrocity."

Robert Harris, a leading film preservationist who has restored such classics as "Lawrence of Arabia" and "My Fair Lady" sums up the issue: "The message here is that the filmmakers know that a pan-and-scan version is no longer the film, so you do what you have to do to satisfy Everyman, the audience out there that wants to see pan-and-scan."

Even though watching a movie in widescreen format is preferable, it's not perfect on a regular TV set. Maltin tells of watching a widescreen VHS of "Lawrence of Arabia" long before the advent of DVDs.

"I put it in my machine and immediately moved 6 feet closer to the television, because it was hard to take it all in at a distance," he said, because the image was so small.

Even the director of the film, David Lean, expressed similar concerns, Harris said.

"When we were preparing 'Lawrence of Arabia' for home video in 1989, I sat down with David Lean," Harris recalled. "He looked at it in (its original widescreen) ratio on a monitor, and he said exactly what Alfred Hitchcock once said: 'It looks like a boa constrictor going across the screen. We're not using the real estate.'

" ... The filmmakers are aware of the fact that widescreen, especially on smaller TVs, can be really problematic, because you're using only half the pixels on the TV. So where do you go? A 27-inch TV, by today's standards, is tiny," he said. "It's always a tradeoff."

(The newer widescreen TV sets handle widescreen movies better. But they have the opposite problem from older movies and most TV programming: Those differently proportioned images leave blank space on the sides of the screen.)

Harris also pointed out that elderly viewers and those with poor vision might need full-screen presentations.

"They can't look at a boa constrictor running across the screen," he said, "and it's unfair to make them do it."

Then there are people who understand that they're losing part of the movie when watching a pan-and-scan presentation. They just don't care; the image must fill their screen.

"You're never going to convince those people," Maltin said. "It's as simple as that."

Maltin, Harris and Carpenter all agreed that educated viewers deserve a choice, but they didn't refrain from being blunt about those who opt for pan-and-scan.

"If you really want to watch some recent film that way, you get what you deserve," Maltin said.

"They have a right to watch something upside down and backward if they want to," Harris said, "although I won't give them a choice in anything that I do for home video."

"If I had my druthers, I'd give the option," Carpenter said. "Just put an extra disc in there and give the original (widescreen) version ... and then give the idiots their pan-and-scan version."

Ensuring that viewers know enough to make an informed decision is the key and remains the biggest hurdle.
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post #202 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 09:25 AM
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sigh... this is really what it has come to.

you do get how cinemascope works, right? You do understand that when you see a 2.35:1 movie in the theater that you are in fact getting a bigger picture, more picture, right? That the movie screens in the theater are the same general height and that they open the screen up wider for 2.35:1 movies.

but it would be better for us somehow to stop doing this. It would be better to give us the smaller picture in the movie theater. to not let us have the wider, larger picture.. And how is this?

and to the comment that a 2.35:1 movie has never been made that requires it. check out movies by David Lean, John Carpenter, George Lucas, early(good) spielberg, Billy Wilder, Sergio Leone, Fox's Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, man.. the list of classic movies just goes on....

sigh.. this is just as ridiculous as saying all movies should be shot at 1.33:1 before HDTV came along.. how freaking retarded.
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post #203 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by borghe
hmmm.. no offense, but that is REALLY far to be sitting away from that TV. This page recommends that a 50" screen be viewed at about 5.6' for THX standards and a maximum of 6.8' for viewing at a 30° angle (which would be true envelopment).

I understand what you are saying about screen door effects on plasma, but you are blaming black bars and reduced size when in reality you are sitting about double the distance you should be sitting from a TV that size. Your viewing angle is currently around half of what it should be. From your distance you should have a 95.9" widescreen set..
'Tis a matter of preference once again. But there have been a lot of posts about this issue over on the plasma forum, and the general consensus over there is that the optimum viewing distance for a 50" plasma is in the neighborhood of 11-13 feet. At six feet, the picture fall apart for me because I can easily see the texture caused by the RGB cells, and you will find virtually no one on the plasma forum willing to recommend such a close viewing distance with this technology.

I have been considering for some time getting a high quality front projector and a roll-down screen the would go in front of the plasma (for evening viewing) and make a much larger picture. However, given my viewing preferences (I usually sit about 2/3 of the way to the back in a movie theater to avoid seeing grain and other film artifacts), I suspect that I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a 1080p picture. The price of admission for this technology, combined with excellent contrast ratio, is VERY high right now, so I think that I can afford to wait another couple of years for prices to descend from the stratosphere. At that point, I would be comfortably in the OAR camp.
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post #204 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by archiguy
Uh, what then would be the point of shooting in 2.35:1 in the first place? Just to get more pretty scenery at the edges of the frame? :confused: :confused:
Our old friend, envelopment. The original purpose of extreme widescreen aspect ratios like Cinerama and the original Cinemascope was to create picture elements that were in the perpheral vision of most theatergoers, creating a more involving presentation on the big, _wide_ screen. But the peripheral elements did not have to be significant to the telling of the story; they just had to make the presentation "big."

Film is frequently shot "protected" -- a prime example is current television episodic filmed drama that is shot 1.78:1, protected 1.33:1 so that the picture is compatible with both HD broadcasts and SD broadcasts (which is where the money still is). I haven't compared the broadcasts of shows like "CSI" to determine if the 4:3 is open matte or if it is created by removing the sides of the 1.78:1 image. But, if cinematographers can successfuly compose for a 1.78:1/1.33:1 dual presentation, it should be easier to compose for 2.35:1/1.78:1, which is a slightly smaller ratio.
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post #205 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 07:33 PM
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Well, there's the key to it. You say "Successfully compose". Ask any DP, they dislike the consraints of protecting the center. Seeing a show that does this on a widescreen set makes you aware of how they have to sacrifice the side real estate. "Hack" used to do this. CBS won't do letterbox, like NBC did with ER. It may be widescreen when they shooy that way, but compositionally it's a waste.

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post #206 of 276 Old 08-31-2004, 08:04 PM
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robert - any current show that I have ever compared has been protected, it's not open matte. there are some exceptions but the rule is generally shoot for widescreen and protect for full screen.

as for your plasma, we are stepping into two separate areas here. you are talking about at which distance is plasma acceptable, I am talking about what distance your field of vision is majority comprised of the screen. whether plasma images fall apart at less than 13' or not, that really doesn't change the fact that a 50" plasma at 13' viewing distance is only giving you about a 15° viewing angle. Also you have to remember that our eyes are horizontally aligned, not vertically. changing the height of the picture (by at most 28%) in fact does not change how much of our field of vision is taken up by the image. Technically a 2.35:1 image viewed at a 30° viewing angle will have the same effect on our field of vision as viewing a 1.78:1 image at a 30° angle. This is also why THX recommeds a 36° angle as the image will actually be wider than our field of vision bringing us even that much further into the movie.

You have to make a compormise, but your compromise is only 5' short of the maximum recommended viewing distance from a TV of your size.. that seems pretty extreme to me...
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post #207 of 276 Old 09-29-2004, 08:53 AM
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I recently re-read this thread and after having done some research and thinking I return to it to comment. It does appear to me that the battle to have films shot in 2:35:1 widescreen shown in OAR rather than 16:9 (1.78:1) has been lost and more's the pity.

I agree with the program providers' decision to show 1.85 movies in 16:9. Such cropping eliminates less than 4% of the horizontal aspect of the picture, which is probably a worthwhile trade off to get rid of black bars and produce a slightly bigger image.

I suggest that anybody, I say again, anybody, who says that showing a 2.35:1 movie in 16:9 format is all right simply does not understand the facts. Such cropping eliminates nearly 25% of the horizontal aspect of the picture. Thus, doing so keeps us from seeing a LOT of what the director and cinematographer intended that we see. Nevertheless, such butchery has become routine. HBO did it to "Gods and Generals," which I watched again yesterday, although the movie is a sprawling outdoor epic that cries out for 2.35:1. Interestingly, the opening credits WERE shown in 2.35:1 and I noted that the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen were narrow and relatively unobtrusive. Those bars would have been a small price to pay to keep from losing a fourth of what was filmed for the rest of the movie, it seems to me.
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post #208 of 276 Old 09-29-2004, 01:43 PM
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Exactly right gwsat. The whole division seems to come down to two points of view. Those who support OAR respect the film. Those who support fullscreen respect their TV set. I think that's it in a nutshell...

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post #209 of 276 Old 09-29-2004, 02:11 PM
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File this debate with digital vs. analog, tubes vs. transistors, ED vs. HD, zip cord vs. "cable of the month", Coke vs. Pepsi. Endless, though sometimes entertaining, debate then both sides crawl off, lick their wounds, and then battle again sometime later.

;)
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post #210 of 276 Old 09-29-2004, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Paul, this is not an all or nothing debate.
This is a debate about something that doesn't have to be that way.

That said, there's Showtime, and even though they don't have much, what they have is OAR and should be applauded for their efforts.

There is also hope for channels like TCM-HD in the future.

Now if only Comcast picked up HDNet Movies...

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