Originally Posted by Frank J Manrique
Can't believe that with all of the pertinent information that is available--and has for a long time--on the Internet regarding film and video transfers aspect ratios that many folks are still confused as to what they should be seeing on display devices. Am glad you make that distinction perfectly clear.
Simply put, the wider the film format a given movie was shot in, the wider the black bars above and below the active video area are going to appear...period. It was true with 4:3 TV sets, and still holds true with 16x9 displays.
Personally, I absolutely abhor TV channels that crop native aspect ratios to "fit the screen," even HD channels; it destroys the original intent of the movie directors' careful framing of their films, the ONLY exception being movies that were shot in Super35 (full aperture framing); these can be modified practically at will under the supervision of Directors for video mastering and subsequent transfers purposes.
Movies like T-2 and other Cameron's movies were shot in Super35 which for theatrical presentation were formatted in a bastard (as I call it being that is not true anamorphic lensing) "scope" format; these can be altered for video transfering without messing up the original framing intent.
True Lies is a good example of this; HBO had a new HD transfer of this movie done for them, which was aired in the 16x9 AR video format some time back--it looks absolutely gorgeous, and its framing suffers very little in the translation when compared to the "scope" version.
Oh, yes...as with SD widescreen transferred movies, the addition of 33% of more vertical lines of resolution also aids 16x9 transfers for after all black bars are ACTIVE video too!
Man, I wish HD was anamorphically "enhanced"!
Anyway, the most extreme widescreen movies to be encountered are those that were filmed in Ultra-Panavision; 1959's Ben-Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Allelujah Trail, The Fall of the Roman Empire, and Mutiny on the Bounty are examples of this (a fairly recent transmission of Ben-Hur by Cinemax finally gave this glorious widescreen Epic its overdue HD treatment, something that can be sampled to a lesser extent in the magnificent DVD box set that Warners put out not long ago. Can't hardly wait Ben-Hur is given the Blu Ray treatment too! Oh, well...HD video tapes of that transmission and 35mm IB Technicolor road show plus S-8mm prints of this movie will keep me at bay until that happens.
But now looks like am going to need a KURO to view it with!