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Why are DVD's still black barred?

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
OK. In reality I think I know why. At least the reason given starting in 1996 when folks first started complaining about black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. It is the directors choice and he wants the material available in the wide shots on screen to be forwarded to the TV screen. It interfered with his creative whatever. Many at the time blamed it on the directors ego actually. For the first 5 or 6 years many releases were made available in both 4x3 and either 2:35tx1 or 1:85x1 or a few in 1:78x1 (mostly Disney). Now we fast forward to 2013 and still the majority of major releases are in 2:35. 2-40, and 2:20. A nice exception is Rise of the Guardians (1:78x1). It's quite easy to find out how much a movie makes $$$ wise in the theaters compared to DVD sales, and in most cases the $$$ is much larger in the DVD sales. So, now that you can;t even buy a 4X3 TV and every single new set is 16x9, and every single major network is broadcasting HD TV in 16x9, why do the studios not demand that all releases are in 16x9? It certainly seems that the vast majority of viewers would prefer that their entire screen be filled with beautiful video, especially blu-ray. The only TV out there that actually has a 2:35x1 screen is on single brand new model from Vizio, which almost nobody is buying.
post #2 of 84
The issue is how the movie was filmed. I want my blu-rays & DVDs to contain all of the filmed material. If that results in black bars top/bottom or left/right, so be it. I do not want anything cropped (left/right or top/bottom) just for the sake of the remaining image completely filling a 1.78:1 space on my screen.
post #3 of 84
Sounds like you need a larger tv - or projector!
post #4 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

why do the studios not demand that all releases are in 16x9? It certainly seems that the vast majority of viewers would prefer that their entire screen be filled with beautiful video, especially blu-ray.


God...no.
post #5 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

God...no.

+1 -- let's hope the mods lock this thread before we pull out all our collective hairs, yikes eek.gif
Edited by ambientcafe - 3/23/13 at 8:35pm
post #6 of 84
Seriously? On this forum??
post #7 of 84
i think the real question is why do certain HD broadcasts, HBO, not show the films in proper aspect ratio and put it in 16 x 9?
post #8 of 84
Stop feeding the troll.
post #9 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Stop feeding the troll.
Troll? What am I exactly trolling about? You don't think people ask this question? Or are you so impressed with yourself that answering somebody's question is beneath your almighty expertise? Sometimes the dismissive attitudes of some of the people here make me wonder why you even bother to read posts. This particular question is asked of me all the time, especially from seniors (where I live) that are just getting into the world of wide screen TV's and DVD's. You guys need to be a bit more tolerant and actually add something. I've been here for over 8 years if you think I'm a troll please feel free to not partake.
post #10 of 84
Most TVs and DVD/Blu Ray players have the ability to zoom or scale the image. If you don't want the black bars simply access the appropriate function on you equipment. That way those of use who want to view the entire image as it was originally intened may do so.

Stace
post #11 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

Troll? What am I exactly trolling about? You don't think people ask this question? Or are you so impressed with yourself that answering somebody's question is beneath your almighty expertise? Sometimes the dismissive attitudes of some of the people here make me wonder why you even bother to read posts. This particular question is asked of me all the time, especially from seniors (where I live) that are just getting into the world of wide screen TV's and DVD's. You guys need to be a bit more tolerant and actually add something. I've been here for over 8 years if you think I'm a troll please feel free to not partake.
Eight years, and apparently no effort to learn these things on your own from the existing resources...

Here, let me google that for you...


/thread
post #12 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

This particular question is asked of me all the time, especially from seniors (where I live) that are just getting into the world of wide screen TV's and DVD's.

Well, seniors aren't necessarily the largest market for DVDs.

Most people who buy DVDs (or stream nowadays) are younger, and have lived with black bars most if not all their lives, and so have no beef with them. In fact, I don't think the majority of the movie watching public has ever really cared enough to stop buying DVDs.
Quote:
It certainly seems that the vast majority of viewers would prefer that their entire screen be filled with beautiful video, especially blu-ray.

No, it certainly does not seem that way. You're projecting what you want on the entire market and assuming everyone thinks like you do.

Yes, the people you talk to might find them annoying, but that's hardly a definitive sample. And, of the people you talked to, have they STOPPED buying DVDs? Probably not, so there's no incentive to go to one aspect ratio.

For me, that's a good thing, as I don't have a problem with black bars. I have a MAJOR problem with telling a director he can only film in 16x9.
post #13 of 84
Y'lnow...I wish as many people would complain about the lack of black bars when widescreen movies are broadcast.with picture information missing. Not THAT would be a more perfect world! wink.gif.
post #14 of 84
What do we need this Blue Ray and DVDV stuff for anyway? Why don't they make videocassettes anymore? Everybody knows those were good enough. Everything else is a buncha malarkey!
Edited by Josh Z - 3/24/13 at 12:43pm
post #15 of 84
Solution:
Go CIH in your HT! look here http://www.avsforum.com/f/117/2-35-1-constant-image-height-chat

Scope ratio, 2.35 no black bars biggrin.gif


Manual masks in place for 16:9 viewing, no black bars biggrin.gif



I'm actually starting to see more and more movies shown in scope on Comcast cable than even 2 years ago, so I watch them and put my AR correct for that, then the commercial are not and they get cut off, but I don't complain.
Ha, I've seen a few recent commercials actually shot in scope, I think purely for the cinematic visual they want to imply...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

Y'lnow...I wish as many people would complain about the lack of black bars when widescreen movies are broadcast.with picture information missing. Not THAT would be a more perfect world! wink.gif.
post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

Troll? What am I exactly trolling about?
This thread and the previous, where you ask why Blu-Rays are still so expensive. I'm sure had the HD DVD won, all these black bars would be gone by now, am I right?
post #17 of 84
I do wonder what's going through the heads of some of the people making commercials these days that are in aspect ratios approaching 3:1.

Nothing like throwing away two third of the screen real estate and confining your product pitch to a narrow strip in the center of the display. confused.gif
post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Solution:
Go CIH in your HT! look here http://www.avsforum.com/f/117/2-35-1-constant-image-height-chat

Scope ratio, 2.35 no black bars biggrin.gif


Manual masks in place for 16:9 viewing, no black bars biggrin.gif


I'm going to buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.
post #19 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post


I'm going to buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.

Not needed, this is all DIY, see my signature for links.
Everything you need to know can be learned here.....have fun and save $$$ doing it yourself!
post #20 of 84
Agree with Rich86.
The 16x9 screen is, close to an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.
If you research the history of motion pictures, you will learn that in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 was chosen by the Academy of Arts and Sciences for film makers as the standard. It just happens that the 1:33:1 is close to the aspect ratio of all televisions, prior to the arrival of HD widescreen. The popularity of television took a toll on the motion picture industry, so new widescreen films were born around 1954 in order to regain public interest.
Google: aspect ratios, widescreen films, etc to learn everything....it us quite interesting.
When the television folks introduced HD screens/monitors, the 16x9 size was chosen, without any input from the motion picture industry.
As noted, network shows are all 16x9....but older programs, prior to this new technology, were shot in the 4x3
Edited by JSUL - 3/24/13 at 6:56pm
post #21 of 84
More: 4x3 is the television standard equal to the 1:33:1 film standard....as of about 1954 all motion pictures were shot in one of the widescreen formats.
We older folks can remember seeing widescreen movies on our 4x3 screens...google 'pan and scan' for more info. Many movies on VHS were either 4x3, but could be pan and scan, or for the movie purist (me) the widescreen versions, with the black bars, maintaining the original film presentation, were the ones of choice.....same now for DV
post #22 of 84
Sorry for this...am typing via cell phone keyboard.

....same now for DVD and Bluray

Thanks for your patience with me on this matter.
post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUL View Post

.

When the television folks introduced HD screens/monitors, the 16x9 size was chosen, without any input from the motion picture industry.

I can't recall the details, but there WAS protest about the 16X9 ratio. I remember cinematographer John Hora was one, maybe Spielberg too. But they were ignored...the 16X9 had been chosen and they didn't care what the creative
community thought. For me, having movies in OAR was one of the primary reasons I went for laserdisc instead of VHS. And even on a 25" screen at the time, I was thrilled to have the black bars. (It's why I shake my head when I read things from people with much larger sets than we could have hoped for years earlier, who think movies should be cropped or shot specifically for a TV ratio.)
post #24 of 84
Most TVs have 'zoom' modes where you can zoom a 2.35 film and eliminate the black bars. Not my thing, but it will fill your screen with image.
post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Most TVs have 'zoom' modes where you can zoom a 2.35 film and eliminate the black bars. Not my thing, but it will fill your screen with image.

Tell that to HBO
post #26 of 84
I do not support HBO for that very reason.
Folks should write to them and voice their displeasure.
post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUL

.

When the television folks introduced HD screens/monitors, the 16x9 size was chosen, without any input from the motion picture industry.
I can't recall the details, but there WAS protest about the 16X9 ratio. I remember cinematographer John Hora was one, maybe Spielberg too. But they were ignored...the 16X9 had been chosen and they didn't care what the creative
community thought. For me, having movies in OAR was one of the primary reasons I went for laserdisc instead of VHS. And even on a 25" screen at the time, I was thrilled to have the black bars. (It's why I shake my head when I read things from people with much larger sets than we could have hoped for years earlier, who think movies should be cropped or shot specifically for a TV ratio.)

Yes, that is my recollection of it, too. I was shocked to discover the television industry didn't even ask the American Society of Cinematographers for their input on the matter. I remember reading that, had they been asked, most members of the ASC probably would have recommended 2.35:1 for the aspect ratio for the new HD televisions from the get-go. That way, Constant Image Height presentations would have been the norm for almost every movie aspect ratio option up to 2.35:1, leaving black bars on the sides of the screen for narrower aspect ratios (far less noticeable and annoying, easier to mask) rather than black bars at the top and bottom (far more noticeable and annoying, much more complicated to mask). That would have been a much better way to go, imo, from the consumer's point of view.

It is also likely some brilliant incremental marketing boys and girls in the industry conjured up the 1.78:1 choice precisely because it didn't match any popular theatrical aspect ratio in existence; 1.33:1, 1.37:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.65:1, none of them. The idea being they could monkey with every incremental adjustment from both ends of the sale, from the software to the hardware, for all eternity, never getting it exactly right for anyone but always having another "improvement" to sell to the masses that almost gets it right but never does.
Edited by hitchfan - 3/25/13 at 9:06am
post #28 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUL View Post

I do not support HBO for that very reason.
Folks should write to them and voice their displeasure.

"Kickstarter" perhaps?
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

OK. In reality I think I know why. At least the reason given starting in 1996 when folks first started complaining about black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. It is the directors choice and he wants the material available in the wide shots on screen to be forwarded to the TV screen. It interfered with his creative whatever. Many at the time blamed it on the directors ego actually. For the first 5 or 6 years many releases were made available in both 4x3 and either 2:35tx1 or 1:85x1 or a few in 1:78x1 (mostly Disney). Now we fast forward to 2013 and still the majority of major releases are in 2:35. 2-40, and 2:20. A nice exception is Rise of the Guardians (1:78x1). It's quite easy to find out how much a movie makes $$$ wise in the theaters compared to DVD sales, and in most cases the $$$ is much larger in the DVD sales. So, now that you can;t even buy a 4X3 TV and every single new set is 16x9, and every single major network is broadcasting HD TV in 16x9, why do the studios not demand that all releases are in 16x9? It certainly seems that the vast majority of viewers would prefer that their entire screen be filled with beautiful video, especially blu-ray. The only TV out there that actually has a 2:35x1 screen is on single brand new model from Vizio, which almost nobody is buying.

Hmm. Despite the flack you're getting about this, I do believe there is an "Emperor's New Clothes" element to your question that hasn't been dealt with by theatrical filmmakers who still choose an aspect ratio dramatically wider than 1.78:1 and the scant few Home Theater enthusiasts on the planet who pony up for a 2.35:1 Constant Image Height Home Theater set-up.

As much as I recoil in horror at your insinuation that theatrical filmmakers ought to just forget about choosing an aspect ratio other than the established HD 1.78:1 for whatever personal statement they want to make and merely choose the ratio that fits the prevailing television ratio...the fact is there is less value in a filmmaker choosing, say, 2.35:1 over 1.78:1 today than ever before. In many cases, I submit it is even counterproductive to their most likely goal in choosing the wider aspect ratio.

As you point out, the greater money in the long run is the home video/television market, not the theatrical market. I would add that in the majority of cases, many more people will also view a movie on home video/television than will see it in a theater on its initial or subsequent (if any) releases. That wasn't the case when William Wyler made BEN-HUR. Wyler's movie made tons more in theatrical sales vs what was expected for it in television sales at the time so he knew he would be getting much more bang for the buck in choosing 2.65:1 for his movie and not even giving much thought to what KCOP Channel 13 was going to do to it 15 years later.

But that just isn't the case today. Spielberg might want his next 2.35:1 blockbuster to really impress audiences with its bigger-and-wider-than-television size at your local multiplex...but the truth is, when it hits the DVD/Blu-ray market with the inevitable black bars at top and bottom, it will look puny compared to any "lesser" production that fits a 1.78:1 flat screen in your sister's living room. And it will do so for many, many more years than it ever will play in theaters and for a much greater percentage of its sales shelf life. So whatever grand statement Spielberg or other filmmakers thought they were making by going bigger (as Wyler did in 1959, Kubrick did in 1968, Spielberg did in the 1970s, etc.), the impact and value of making that decision is necessarily lost the moment the movie is transferred to DVD/Blu-ray and presented on a 1.78:1 flat screen.

When that inevitable day comes when the next Spielberg or Nolan theatrical release hits the DVD/Blu-ray shelves (or streamed) less than a month after its theatrical release, they're going to have to come to grips with why they bothered to frame a movie at 2.35:1 at all in order to, among other things, impress the audience with its sheer size relative to the latest HBO mini-series, if virtually everyone who sees it will only be impressed with how much smaller it looks in its "original theatrical aspect ratio" with thick black bars at the top and bottom vs that HBO mini-series.
Edited by hitchfan - 3/25/13 at 10:00am
post #30 of 84
If you have the fistfull of dollars to buy a HD projector hone theatre set up with large screen, the black bars will become less intrusive to your viewing experience.

For me, with a 40 inch HD, I long for the day I can buy say, a 70-80 HDTV like the Sharp....until then, 40 will have to do.

Being a fan of film from silent era to today, I simply want to see a film presented in its OAR, and go from there.
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