Join Date: May 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are 2.35:1 DVD movies that are 'enhanced for widescreen tv's/anamorphic'. Some DVDs say 'anamorphic' and some say 'enhanced for widescreen tvs'. Both terms mean the same thing when refering to DVDs. This whole topic can get confusing because 2.35:1 movies were shot with anamorphic lenses, but that doesn't mean that they are anamorphic on the DVD. I prefer using the term 'enhanced for widescreen TVs' rather than 'anamorphic' when talking about DVDs. As long as everyone understands what 'anamorphic' is refering to, that is all that is really important. When talking about DVDs 'anamorphic' means that the DVD has been encoded in a widescreen format (1.85:1) to keep all of the resolution. It doesn't necesarily mean that the movie is 2.35:1. If the movie is a format wider than 1.85:1 then small black bars will be added to the top and bottom so the movie fits the 1.85:1 format (1.66:1 movies can be done this way as well, but rarely are becasue it means adding small black bars to the left and right instead of top and bottom.) There are no black bars on the left and right, just on the top and bottom for widescreen movies. When these DVDs are played back on a 4:3 tv then the dvd player (If it is set-up for a 4:3 tv) will drop lines of resolution from the movie and add black bars so the movie looks correct on a 4:3 tv. If a DVD is not 'anamorphic' then it is encoded in a 4:3 format on the DVD with black bars already added on the top and bottom of the picture (letterboxed) to all widescreen movies, regardless of format. This makes the DVD no different to a VHS tape or laser disc with a letterboxed movie. The DVD will still look better than the vhs and LD, because the format is better. The DVD will have to be zoomed in on a widescreen TV to fit the screen. You will not see the black bars if it is a 1.85:1 film (if it is a 1.85:1 screen), but you will still see some of the black bars for a DVD with a wider scope(2.20:1, 2.35:1, etc....)
To make a short story long, all this means is that 'anamorphic'/'enhanced for widescreen DVDs' have more resolution than a dvd that is letterboxed. Anamorphic does not refer to the aspect ratio(scope) of the film on the DVD. A way to see the difference is rent the movie only version of the Rock and the Criterion version of the Rock. The movie only version is not anamorphic and the Criterion version is. You will need a widescreen TV for this comparison.
A 2.35:1 film on DVD should look fine on a 2.35:1 screen. I guess it would be set-up so that the small black bars would be just off the screen on the top and bottom. I don't know how a 2.35:1 screen works with 1.85:1 films, or any other films not as wide as 2.35:1. Without some sort of tweak a 1.85:1 film would have some of the picture be higher and lower than the top and bottom of the screen. I think a 1.85:1 or 16:9 screen works fine. I never notice the small black bars from 2.35:1 films on DVD.