Yes, again, another question about this, to me - very interesting topic.
You can discuss PQ/AQ, bitrates, HDR, luminance, colours, calibration, screen gains, whatever, really!
For me, personally, it all comes down to the aspect ratio and the aspect ratio alone when deciding where to place my purchases for physical media.
Be it 1K or 4K, 8K, or 64K, aspect ratios is the king of presentation and it rules all odds of being able to present a feature correctly and as intended.
Some may argue that certain aspect ratios can be safely cropped, adjusted, zoomed, or by whichever means - a necessity to present the feature on your screen.
The latter is something I want to discuss in this thread, and you might very well think - why on earth would you ever want to alter with the directors intent?
The simple answer to that question would be - I want to watch the feature to the extent that my equipment and setup allows for, and add to that a personal touch of taste.
Basically, most of us in this part of the forum is talking about Constant Image Height, and 2.35:1, 2.37:1, 2.39:1 and 2.40:1 cinemascope screens and presentations.
For the sake of it, I will refer to having a 2.40:1 screen, based on the current cinemascope standard, and discuss around that aspect ratio below.
Right, to the point, I'm currently performing a clean up in my catalogue of films, ruling out all the narrower aspect ratios than 2.20:1, simply because they don't fit my entire screen.
I would rather have the screen competely filled, from left to right, to fill as much of the width of our human vision as possible, for the single purpose of creating more immursion.
More immersion to me is the better experience, of course debatable vs. having the directors intent completely intact and properly presented.
I would just want to add, that zooming down an image to fit a cinemascope screen, is not the directors intent, right - at least that is settled, further on...
I have seen a number of features having an open matte, 1.78:1 or 1.90:1 aspect ratio when the feature eventually hits television, or streaming services.
In cinema, these features was presented in cinemascope 2.35:1, 2.39:1 or 2.40:1.
See the below pictures for some examples.
Titanic (1997) Blu-Ray
In this particular case, my Swedish Blu-Ray is 1.78:1
, while the US/UK Blu-Ray is 2.35:1
Personally I have never seen Titanic in 2.35:1, Titanic to me has always been 1.78:1, my point here is that to me - seeing this 2.35:1 is just as chocking as when somebody crops a 1.78:1 movie at home.
By whichever means, masking in projector, scaling in a scaler, pretty much any function that can acommodate the purpose.
But instead, now the distributor and the feature studio decided to crop the picture, leaving the US/UK spectators with the inferior presentation, or is it really inferior?
What's right, what's wrong?
Both versions seem to have the exact same width, they have just added the letterboxing on the 2.35:1 version.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
I have not seen the feature personally, but I imagine the same phenomenon is happening here, although this time the 1.78:1 presentation was made for iTunes.
Blu-Ray on your left side of the comparison.
The question that arises in my head are as follows:
1) Throwing away 1.78:1 features in my catalogue seems rather stupid when studios themselves decide to crop, much like just about any enthusiast on here would strongly advice against doing?
2) There might be a marginal difference in picture width between the comparisons, but the basic idea behind cropping a 1.78:1 feature down to 2.40:1 should be safe, or is it dependant on the feature itself?
3) Is there a list some group of enthusiasts have gathered and compiled for features safe to crop to 2.40:1 down from a narrower aspect ratio? By safe to crop, I don't mean the obvious IMAX titles.
4) Some features must surely of been filmed with the cropping in mind, maybe a proper 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 would not be suitable to crop due to the director using the full frame when filming?
I understand that IMAX titles can be safely cropped, but perhaps that there are many other titles that could be presented the very same way as the titles in the comparisons above.
Is it a trial and error method?