Originally Posted by subavision212
Some pertinent information:
" There also has been objection from cinematographers to the 16:9 aspect ratio contained in the ATSC DTV Standard. They are concerned that the proposed Standard may limit broadcasters' ability to display the full artistic quality of their work. The American Society of Cinematographers has expressed the belief that the 16:9 ratio would leave digital television unable "to properly display a large portion of the largest existing library of programming." It suggests, instead, that HDTV be displayed in a 2:1 aspect ratio. That standard "would allow previous material to be faithfully displayed in its original aspect ratio with insignificant letterboxing" and is attractive to cinematographers for future feature and High Definition production.
In reply, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) states that the 16:9 aspect ratio was established by the SMPTE Working Group on High Definition Electronic Production in 1985 on the basis of studies of the requirement for both motion picture and television production. All meetings of the group, SMPTE notes, were open and well publicized. Moreover, it states that the value of 16:9 for aspect ratio was decided upon only after long debate and that "due consideration was given to the then current practices both in North America and around the world." That aspect ratio, it continues, has been adopted internationally in the International Telecommunications Union for HDTV and for EDTV in Europe and Japan. SMPTE states that it has been demonstrated that there is no difficulty in accommodating program material or motion picture films of any reasonable aspect ratio within the 16:9 format either for production and post-production, distribution or display. Material originally composed for a 2:1 aspect ratio, it continues, could be accommodated by leaving 11% of the vertical space unused."
Thanks for info, subavision212. Where did you find that article? Do you have a link? Hard to tell from the limited context if the ASC objections to 1.78, support for 2.1, and why, was logged early enough in the discussion to matter or if 1.78 was a done deal in every way but a final rubber stamp.
Interesting that most of us on these forums had supported, defended and pushed passionately for letterbox vs pan&scan for years, many in the industry famously so like Siskel & Ebert, others on that still broadcast TCM short with industry biggies like Martin Scorsese and Sidney Pollack defending and explaining how letterboxing preserves the full width of the image intended by the filmmakers and so on, yet none of them or us (as far as I know) also acknowledged at the same time the inevitable downside to getting what we wished for on a narrower canvas than, say, 2.0+. That downside being letterboxing, while sure enough preserving the wider/larger format image horizontally, would on a much narrower canvas also necessarily lose all intended impression of greater size relative to other material projected on that same canvas because it would leave, at least, "11% of the vertical space unused" while material made to better fit that narrower canvas would not.Edited by hitchfan - 3/28/13 at 11:18pm