Originally Posted by widescreenery
I suppose it's not surprising to hear that they don't understand or dismiss the recent change in the aspect ratio setting when they're transmitting 4:3 programming. At least they didn't do a stretch or squeeze with the resulting distorted proportionality of objects in the image.
It seems to me the biggest concern wrt to the recent aspect ratio issue would be the interests of their advertisers: Suppose an advertiser is paying for a commercial that contains important information (phone number, website URL, disclaimer etc) that is being cropped (in the upper or lower portions of the original 4:3 image area) by the 'HALF ZOOM' aspect ratio manipulation currently in effect. In such a case, the advertiser would seemingly not be getting their full value.
That's a great concept - however we only allow spots that are 4x3 compliant.
We are the only station that airs local HD spots ( if someone else has done it - my bad - I haven't seen it.. I have enough to watch with my own challenges) and we have made sure any HD spot needs to be 4x3 safe.
We did the same for HD news - every super, every video clip needs to be able to be viewed on a downconverted SD 4x3 set. EAS, legal ID's etc. When we went HD news, weather graphics contained all the important information in a 4x3 downconverted area. The HD viewers got "extra's".
Just like NFL. I don't care if it is FOX or CBS, NBC, etc. every shot, super, graphic is 4x3 aware with the rest being extras. Nascar is the same.
A lot of the local commercial producers just do NOT understand what 4x3 safe means. All the major networks get it, and do a nice job. We have had some "fumbles" along the way but it is a learning process. The content providers (us) have got to realize 4x3 is not going away anytime soon and must take the effort to insure people like my grandma watching on a 13" set see all the characters and content that was meant to be seen. Letterboxing a 16x9 and squishing it is not the ideal way to get the product delivered.
A true story - after about a 20 minute phone call with a local production house - I had been trying to get this person to understand this. And then he finally said to me - is this why when I watch CBS and they do the "snipes" they are only in the middle of the screen?? BINGO.
It's not really rocket science but we had some challenges when we started shooting news in 16x9 .vs 4x3. Some got it. Some didn't.