Why not just make 2:40:1 Aspect TV's? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Sinc most modern movies are 2:40:1 these days, and so many people are disappointed the first time they view their new FP TV's why dont manufacturers just make TV's that will accommodate the screen as intended by 99.99999% of filmakers today?
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post #2 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 11:21 AM
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Let's look at what people are likely to watch on their TVs:

- SD broadcasts and much more often SD shows on DVD. These are 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio. You would have massive black bars on the sides.

- HD broadcasts and eventually HD shows on DVD. These are 16:9 (1.66:1) and fit perfectly on current HDTVs. With a 2.35:1 TV you would have black bars on the sides for all TV broadcasts.

- Movies. According to this link on imdb:

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/DVDs/AspectRatios/

the most common DVD format is 1.33:1. This is probably due to TV shows. In standard movie formats, though 1.85:1 outnumbers 2.35:1 by more than 2 to 1. This ratio is far closer to 16:9 on HDTVs than it is to 2.35:1 so you would get black bars on the side for those movies whereas now you just get very thin black bars on top and bottom.

- Computer games. These are currently either 4:3 or 16:9. I don't know of any computer games that are designed with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio in mind.

So I would say the amount of viewing that includes 2.35:1 ends up being fairly small percent. Even if all you do is watch movies it probably accounts for about 33% of your movie viewing rather than 99.99999%. Unless you are a person who only watches fantasies and epics, which tend to use the larger aspect ratio, a TV made for that aspect ratio would be impractical for most viewers. For those who do watch mostly that sort of movie, rather than building a TV like that, it would probably make more sense to use a front projector and screen that is a constant width.
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post #3 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marv800 View Post

Sinc most modern movies are 2:40:1 these days, and so many people are disappointed the first time they view their new FP TV's why dont manufacturers just make TV's that will accommodate the screen as intended by 99.99999% of filmakers today?

Where do you come up with silly numbers like "99.99999% of filmakers today". I just went to imdb.com and looked up the aspect ratio of the top 6 movies for box office for last weekend. Three of the movies are 1.85:1, three are 2.35:1 scope movies. I expect the current statistics of the OAR of recent movie titles probably would have more 2.35:1 (including 2.39:1, 2.40:1) scope movies than the other aspect ratios, but it is not 99.99999%. Not even close.

16:9 is a good compromise for all the aspect ratios from 1.33:1 to 2.76:1 that can be found for movie and TV productions. When the 16:9 aspect ratio was selected, the dominant TV technology was CRT. Try to imagine how heavy the glass would have to be for a 34" 2.35:1 wide tube.

The proper solution for smaller display area for a 2.35:1 movie is to get a bigger TV! Embrace the letterbox view!
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post #4 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess i should not have said 99.9999% of movies, but I would say that almost every one of my DVD's is 2:35:1 or 2:40:1

The only DVD's I seem to have that are 1:85:1 are animations or The Last Samurai.

The important ones like the Star Was 6-pak, Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and almost every Nicholas Cage movie is viewed with awful black bars
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post #5 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 06:26 PM
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The real question is why are directors so arrogant as to shoot in 2.40:1 when most movie theaters, let alone televisions, are 1.85:1? For your information, 1.85:1 is in fact the US theatrical standard.

If you look at the issue in more detail, you will discover that the "widescreen" (really should be called "shortscreen") ratios were developed to differentiate the movie industry from television largely for financial purposes. You will also find that 1.85:1 or 16:9 were finally selected as standards as they are closest to natural peripheral vision.

Why do so many people think that a bigger ratio has to be better? Why not then 40:1? Or better yet, just one row of pixels!

Read all about image aspect ratios here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_(image)

DelJ





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Originally Posted by marv800 View Post

I guess i should not have said 99.9999% of movies, but I would say that almost every one of my DVD's is 2:35:1 or 2:40:1

The only DVD's I seem to have that are 1:85:1 are animations or The Last Samurai.

The important ones like the Star Was 6-pak, Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and almost every Nicholas Cage movie is viewed with awful black bars

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post #6 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 08:28 PM
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Just as "Widescreen" was once a novelty for the enthusiast, I believe "ultra-widescreen" will eventually end up the same.

I predict native 2.35:1 products (panels, projectors, monitors, etc) eventually showing up to fill the niche market.

Right now some of the super wide stuff is done optically with lenses for projection systems, but it is far from an "Easy" solution.

Once 1080p is cheap, instead of enticing us with higher and higher resolutions, perhaps one of the makers (Sony maybe?) will give us an ultrawide native aspect ratio display.

They'll call it Sony Vide-Ray or something

8 years?

-Allen

It's hard to love Martin Logans and 2.35:1 CIH at the same time...
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post #7 of 38 Old 01-04-2007, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

The real question is why are directors so arrogant as to shoot in 2.40:1 when most movie theaters, let alone televisions, are 1.85:1? For your information, 1.85:1 is in fact the US theatrical standard.

If you look at the issue in more detail, you will discover that the "widescreen" (really should be called "shortscreen") ratios were developed to differentiate the movie industry from television largely for financial purposes. You will also find that 1.85:1 or 16:9 were finally selected as standards as they are closest to natural peripheral vision.

Why do so many people think that a bigger ratio has to be better? Why not then 40:1? Or better yet, just one row of pixels!

Read all about image aspect ratios here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_(image)

DelJ

16x9 wasn't chosen because it is closest to peripheral vision, it was chosen as the "halfway" compromise between 2.35:1 and 4:3

-Allen

It's hard to love Martin Logans and 2.35:1 CIH at the same time...
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post #8 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 01:25 AM
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u guys do reliaze that there are like over 10 used aspects right?

personally..i think 16:9 is just fine
anything thinner and it would extremely weird in my tv cabinet and/or wall
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post #9 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marv800 View Post

Sinc most modern movies are 2:40:1 these days, and so many people are disappointed the first time they view their new FP TV's why dont manufacturers just make TV's that will accommodate the screen as intended by 99.99999% of filmakers today?

The most efficient way to help this cause would be to get the people to EDUCATE themselves and get them to actually UNDERSTAND what 'aspect ratio' means. Then maybe they will stop complaining about "those black bars". What's better: the entire movie image or a butchered one ?
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post #10 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 09:10 AM
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Sorry, not true at all. 16:9 is closer to an ideal than a halfway compromise. If you trace your peripheral vision with your hands, you will get something close to 16:9 and not 2.40:1.

Most movies are about people, which means that you need to clearly see an actor's face. This is the downfall of extra wide aspect ratios as their shorter images badly degrade the definition of the actor's face. In fact, the shorter images of 2.40:1 badly degrade the overall definition of the total picture. You don't see more at 2.40:1, rather, you see less total picture information. Count the pixels if you don't believe me.

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Originally Posted by akm3 View Post

16x9 wasn't chosen because it is closest to peripheral vision, it was chosen as the "halfway" compromise between 2.35:1 and 4:3

-Allen

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post #11 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 10:26 AM
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Buy a front projection system with an anamorphic lens- best of all worlds. There is even a forum for that here on AVS !
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post #12 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

This is the downfall of extra wide aspect ratios as their shorter images badly degrade the definition of the actor's face

I get that you will get a lower pixel count since a portion of the screen is 'wasted' on black bars. Flat panels have a fixed rez so if you aren't filling the screen you are using less pixels. But why would the use of a wider aspect ratio alone degrade the quality of the image? Not quite following that. Seems to me that the encoding process would be what would determine the potential picture quality, not the aspect ratio.
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post #13 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

The real question is why are directors so arrogant as to shoot in 2.40:1 when most movie theaters, let alone televisions, are 1.85:1? For your information, 1.85:1 is in fact the US theatrical standard.

Another silly incorrect statement in this thread. Almost all commercial movie theaters will present a 2.35:1 (or 2.40:1) scope movie in the correct aspect ratio. Next time you are at a movie theater watching a scope movie, LOOK at the screen ratio. Your modern movie theater may occasionally butcher the aspect ratio because of incompetence or neglect on the part of the theater operator, but scope movies are almost always shown at the correct aspect ratio in any decently run theater.
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post #14 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

The real question is why are directors so arrogant as to shoot in 2.40:1 when most movie theaters, let alone televisions, are 1.85:1? For your information, 1.85:1 is in fact the US theatrical standard.

What does this have to do with 'arrogance' ?

Quote:


Why do so many people think that a bigger ratio has to be better? Why not then 40:1? Or better yet, just one row of pixels!

The issue is not 'bigger is better', but watching movies in their proper format, that's it. Unfortunately there are still people who don't get it. I've always been a movie fan, and the ORIGINAL aspect ratio has always been important to me (sorry for my arrogance here ). It was already hard to witness the apparition of full frame dvds a few years ago, thanks to the 'popularization' of the format, and now people are still unhappy because they spend thousands of dollars on a widescreen TV, wihtout having a single clue about the different ARs, they just want the image to fill their entire screen, just like they did with their old 4:3 TV, when P&S was the best.
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post #15 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

The real question is why are directors so arrogant as to shoot in 2.40:1 when most movie theaters, let alone televisions, are 1.85:1? For your information, 1.85:1 is in fact the US theatrical standard.

I'd like your source on this. Where does it specifically say in the MPAA, DGA, SAG, SMPTE or any other film-related organization's guidelines that 1.85:1 is the "USA standard." They don't. There is no hard and fast standard, period. Most theaters I've been in are set up for Panavision, which is the de facto anamorphic 2.35:1 format today. If theaters were to limit themselves with a 1.85:1 screen, they would be cropping off the sides of anamorphic films which the movie-going public would not stand for, or they would have to letterbox the image which I've never seen a theater do before. Since they run in constant-image height mode, they must be able to accomodate the widest (common) AR which is 2.35:1.

Also, TVs are 16:9 but that does not equal 1.85:1, it's actually 1.78:1. So even at 1.85:1 there will be small letterbox bars on a 16:9 display.

Quote:


If you look at the issue in more detail, you will discover that the "widescreen" (really should be called "shortscreen") ratios were developed to differentiate the movie industry from television largely for financial purposes.

Largely for financial purposes? Duh, it was all for money! The studios wanted to survive another day against the increasing onslaught of television. It's no surprise that movie attendance peaked the same year (1949) TV was introduced to the public and has been on a decline ever since. The studios had to adapt to simply survive.

Widescreen is the proper term because they did not shorten the frames on the print to reshape the image, but instead used horizontal compression/expansion (ie. anamorphic) to widen it beyond the old 1.33:1 which TV was fixed on. Cinemascope was the first such format, introduced in 1953 with the film The Robe. Today, Panavision rules anamorphic due to improvements in the lenses (faster, lighter, more stop ranges, less expensive to rent, etc.).

Quote:


You will also find that 1.85:1 or 16:9 were finally selected as standards as they are closest to natural peripheral vision.

Again, I'd like to see your reference on this from a reputable psychovisual group or organization because I don't believe it. I may not have eagle eyes but my peripheral ability is wider than that. And again, saying "1.85:1 or 16:9" implies they are equal, and they're not.

Quote:


Why do so many people think that a bigger ratio has to be better?

Because we live in a world that, for all intents and purposes, is laid out before us horizontally. Just look at the horizon. Looking up goes into uninteresting sky pretty quicky, looking down does the same with the ground. Scanning across the horizon is much more interesting with the variations in the land, buildings, etc. and conveys much more information.
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post #16 of 38 Old 01-05-2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

Sorry, not true at all. 16:9 is closer to an ideal than a halfway compromise.

Some may not believe this, but I've read in more than one source that 16:9 was the magic number the industry settled on because

1.33:1 (old shape) = 4:3

4 squared : 3 squared = 16:9 (new shape)

I'm not sure I fully believe this myself but sometimes the most simple explanation is usually the case. I know when they were narrowing down the choices for the new shape of TVs to come, there was a lot of fighting over 1.85:1 versus 1.78:1. The latter doesn't really match anything in the film world, but the former is obviously a good compromise for going between 1.33:1, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 (the three most common film ARs). The broadcasting industry lobbied for 1.78:1 and it wasn't for a technical reason. It was the "feel" of 1.78:1 (16:9) they wanted.

Quote:
Most movies are about people, which means that you need to clearly see an actor's face.

For comedies, heavy dramas and rom-coms, that's true. For sci-fi's, westerns, wars and actions, not so true. I can't imagine looking at Ah-nold's face close-up!

Quote:
This is the downfall of extra wide aspect ratios as their shorter images badly degrade the definition of the actor's face. In fact, the shorter images of 2.40:1 badly degrade the overall definition of the total picture. You don't see more at 2.40:1, rather, you see less total picture information. Count the pixels if you don't believe me.

Only because a 4:3 (or even 16:9 when beyond its native AR) display must run in constant-image width (CIW) to adjust for wider ARs. If displays were 2.35:1 (like the OP asked why they're not), they could run in constant-image height (CIH) in which case going from 1.33:1 out to 2.35:1 would not decrease the resolution of a displayed image such as an actor's face, it would simply allow for a wider background. This is why theaters run in CIH.

Some people with projectors run in constant-image area (CIA) mode. So regardless of the shape, the total surface area of the displayed image is always the same. This is to maximize resolution for any shape but I can't imagine how much noodling must be done to switch between the different ARs.
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post #17 of 38 Old 01-06-2007, 08:24 AM
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One cannot inject 'extra' definition into a given pixel. A pixel can only present one color at one brightness level at a given time. It is a use it or lose it situation. If you have black bars, especially top and bottom black bars, then you now have less than high definition television.

For example, a plasma with 768 rows of pixels will only use about 572 rows when watching a 2.40:1 image. About a 26% degradation in image definition and size. This is not compensated by seeing the wider extents as the pixel count remains the same. You just end up seeing less total picture information at 2.40:1. I am not willing to sacrifice so much in image size and clarity just to see the far right and left edges of the frame.

It would best for all concerned if movies were filmed at the standard 1.85:1. Then we could enjoy the full benefit of HDTV with an insignificant cropping down to 16:9 (which is 1.78:1).

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Originally Posted by sievers View Post

I get that you will get a lower pixel count since a portion of the screen is 'wasted' on black bars. Flat panels have a fixed rez so if you aren't filling the screen you are using less pixels. But why would the use of a wider aspect ratio alone degrade the quality of the image? Not quite following that. Seems to me that the encoding process would be what would determine the potential picture quality, not the aspect ratio.

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post #18 of 38 Old 01-06-2007, 08:37 AM
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It you were a true movie aficionado, then you would watch movies as the director really intended: in a movie theater.

Believe it or not, those of us who appreciate the full benefit of HDTV (filled screens) really do understand the situation.

DelJ




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Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

.... I've always been a movie fan, and the ORIGINAL aspect ratio has always been important to me (sorry for my arrogance here ). It was already hard to witness the apparition of full frame dvds a few years ago, thanks to the 'popularization' of the format, and now people are still unhappy because they spend thousands of dollars on a widescreen TV, wihtout having a single clue about the different ARs, they just want the image to fill their entire screen....

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post #19 of 38 Old 01-06-2007, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marv800 View Post

Sinc most modern movies are 2:40:1 these days, and so many people are disappointed the first time they view their new FP TV's why dont manufacturers just make TV's that will accommodate the screen as intended by 99.99999% of filmakers today?

Since you want an answer, why don't you contact the manufacturers of TVs, and ask them.
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post #20 of 38 Old 01-06-2007, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

One cannot inject 'extra' definition into a given pixel. A pixel can only present one color at one brightness level at a given time. It is a use it or lose it situation. If you have black bars, especially top and bottom black bars, then you now have less than high definition television.

For example, a plasma with 768 rows of pixels will only use about 572 rows when watching a 2.40:1 image. About a 26% degradation in image definition and size. This is not compensated by seeing the wider extents as the pixel count remains the same. You just end up seeing less total picture information at 2.40:1. I am not willing to sacrifice so much in image size and clarity just to see the far right and left edges of the frame.

It would best for all concerned if movies were filmed at the standard 1.85:1. Then we could enjoy the full benefit of HDTV with an insignificant cropping down to 16:9 (which is 1.78:1).

DelJ

Hmmm, I guess the way I see it, you still are watching HD (assuming it's HD content not DVD) but you just aren't using the whole screen. If I cover up a portion of the screen with my hand, does that make it not HD? I guess by a strict definition it does, but I think that's taking the specs a little too far. You're saying that if the movie had been originally transfered from film to use the whole height of the screen then you'll get 26% more resolution. But what about the % of the original frame that you aren't even seeing anymore? Doesn't seem like a good trade off IMO. Plus directors are never going to agree to some standard just to please people that feel like a portion of their tv screen is being wasted. You may not be willing to sacrifice the rez, but I don't think you have a choice!
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post #21 of 38 Old 01-06-2007, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

It you were a true movie aficionado, then you would watch movies as the director really intended: in a movie theater.

hehe...yeah, well... actually I do, thanks. That's also why I don't mind the different aspect ratios. And that's why I appreciate the OAR when I watch movies at home.
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post #22 of 38 Old 01-07-2007, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marv800 View Post

Sinc most modern movies are 2:40:1 these days, and so many people are disappointed the first time they view their new FP TV's why dont manufacturers just make TV's that will accommodate the screen as intended by 99.99999% of filmakers today?

Another newbie genius spouting nonsense.

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post #23 of 38 Old 01-08-2007, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusm750 View Post

...Most theaters I've been in are set up for Panavision... If theaters were to limit themselves with a 1.85:1 screen, they would be cropping off the sides of anamorphic films which the movie-going public would not stand for, or they would have to letterbox the image which I've never seen a theater do before.

Uh oh, I'm quoting myself again. This can't be good...

So we went to see "Children of Men" this weekend at our local Marcus theater, which I had not been to for some time (I usually go to another Marcus location). First thing I notice is that the screen was definitely 1.85:1 in AR. Sure enough, during the previews they were letterboxing some films that were 2.35:1, otherwise everything was framed for the native AR of the screen. After the film, I asked the manager how they adjusted for 2.35:1 films. He told me they simply crop off the sides with hard mattes in the projection booth. He further stated that the audience doesn't know any better and no one had complained yet. I was speechless with disbelief! The Marcus theater I usually go to only has large, wide screens so I was unaware they were cheating at other locations. Needless to say I will not be patronizing the other one! I cannot believe they would pull this on the public.

BTW, the movie was down right awful. Save your money and skip this one altogether. It's boring and goes no where in the end.
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post #24 of 38 Old 01-08-2007, 07:10 PM
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Also, interestingly enough, all of the flat panels in the movie looked like they were about 2.35:1. So guess what guys... we'll be going that way by 2027!
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post #25 of 38 Old 01-09-2007, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Shade00 View Post

Also, interestingly enough, all of the flat panels in the movie looked like they were about 2.35:1. So guess what guys... we'll be going that way by 2027!

Ha ha! Actually, the FCC will get weak knees as the date approaches and will keep pushing back the cut over.
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post #26 of 38 Old 01-17-2007, 03:03 PM
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That is absolutely correct. HDTV has a strict minimum of 720 lines/rows, and that minimum is quickly being redefined as 1080 lines/rows. You are only getting real HDTV if you naturally fill the entire screen without having to zoom.

Let's put it another way. A full screen recording requires more data storage space and a higher data transfer rate than a letterbox recording.

DelJ



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Originally Posted by sievers View Post

... If I cover up a portion of the screen with my hand, does that make it not HD? I guess by a strict definition it does, but I think that's taking the specs a little too far. You're saying that if the movie had been originally transfered from film to use the whole height of the screen then you'll get 26% more resolution. ....

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post #27 of 38 Old 01-17-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelJ View Post

You are only getting real HDTV if you naturally fill the entire screen without having to zoom.
DelJ

Clearly, the only acceptable choice is a shape-shifting TV. Perhaps entirely made from liquid crystals
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post #28 of 38 Old 01-18-2007, 09:50 AM
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post #29 of 38 Old 01-18-2007, 12:52 PM
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Question on why they don't make the displays @ 2.35:1

If you had a 36" 4:3 CRT...........the 2.35:1 display would have to be how wide to get the same image height? Buying public would like that - had a 36".....bought a 50".....and it looks smaller???

It's just my opinion & it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
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post #30 of 38 Old 01-18-2007, 05:26 PM
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All they can do is chop off the upper and lower portions of the usual HDTV display. This is similiar to buying a 1280x800 pixel PC monitor instead of the full 1280x1024 PC display. The reduced definition of the letterbox source material remains as diminished as before, even if they cram in more lines of bogus display resolution. There will be of course be no shortage of fools who will think that a 2:35 TV display shows more total content.

You can effectively have an extra "wide aspect ratio" TV display by hanging a towel over the upper portion of your TV display. No news here.

DelJ





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Ask and you shall receive:

http://blog.hometheatermag.com/ces2007/011707jvc/

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