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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The term OAR (original aspect ratio) is often used as a synonym for 2.35 in this forum. This confuses the issue considerably.


The position that most of us hold is that a film should be shown in its "original aspect ratio" whatever that may be, as it was shown in the theatre. For practical purposes, the choices are 133, 178 (16X9) and 235. (A few films are different but that is a detail.)


Sometimes, I find people complaining that a film was not shown in "OAR" when, in fact, the film was photographed in 178 and was being shown in its OAR.


I suggest that the term OAR-235 be used to refer to those films whose original aspect ratio was 235 (Panavision, CinemaScope etc.).


Other thoughts?
 

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OAR means what it says. I see few people misusing the term, although there

is a fair bit of misunderstanding of the fact that many films HAVE NO

OAR -- they were inherently modified from their shooting format.


Sure, I agree OAR is a term that is going to be abused more and more, but

OAR is a good concept, and its going to be like frequency response for

Hi-fi, you get it or you don't.
 

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Quote:
The term OAR (original aspect ratio) is often used as a synonym for 2.35 in this forum. This confuses the issue considerably.


The position that most of us hold is that a film should be shown in its "original aspect ratio" whatever that may be, as it was shown in the theatre. For practical purposes, the choices are 133, 178 (16X9) and 235. (A few films are different but that is a detail.)


Sometimes, I find people complaining that a film was not shown in "OAR" when, in fact, the film was photographed in 178 and was being shown in its OAR.


I suggest that the term OAR-235 be used to refer to those films whose original aspect ratio was 235 (Panavision, CinemaScope etc.).
Before chastising others, you really should get your facts straight. Almost nothing is shot 1.78 with the exception of HDTV video. American Standard Widescreen is 1.85 while British Standard Widescreen is 1.66. American flat is 1.37. and most anamorphic processes in use today (including Panavision) are 2.39 (or 2.4).

Cinemascope on the other hand is 2.55, true Cinemascope hasn't been used in quite a while.

So, while I definitely agree that OAR shouldn't mean just 2.35 (and I've not seen that problem often here), you just aren't informed enough to call others on it.

Scott
 

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So are we asking industry to identify (such as wrt DVD's) the "original" OAR and specify the aspect ratio? Make it an industry standard - I would think the Directors/Cinamatographers would appreciate recognition of their choices. Videophiles would notice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
S Varney,


I said "for practical purposes" there are 3 aspect ratios.


I am well aware that there are variations on all of these aspect ratios. Yes, I am aware of the facts that you mentioned. I also could have mentioned the aspect ratios of various 70mm processes, including the anamorphic Ultra Panavision 70 (= Camera 65), Cinerama 70, 3-panel Cinerama, etc.


All I am asking is that we not equate "OAR" to "235", which often happens in this forum.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rlsmith
S Varney,



All I am asking is that we not equate "OAR" to "235", which often happens in this forum.
I doubt anyone is equating OAR with 2.35. In discussion about HBO's brand of HD (Horrendous Disfigurement) of 2.35 movies, OAR is often used to imply that it's those movies other than 1.78/1.85 that HBO is butchering.
 

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Jerry, has anyone taken HBO to task over this? Perhaps they haven't had enough feeback about what they are doing.


HDTV is really a medium for the purists at the moment so why not get started on the right path? It sounds like 16:9 butchering is going to replace the 4:3 pan&scan that we are currently dealing with. That really sucks.
 

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mlomker, welcome to the forum. The answer to your question is: Ever since they started butchering, this has been a hot issue. A ridiculous number of communications have been made with HBO, but they are fixed in cement and uninterested in the majority of the HDTV population's view.


To the thread topic I'd like to add that there may be some members who are less familiar with the issue that have equated OAR and 235. I don't remember seeing any such references, but I don't read every thread. The vast majority of times when the OAR issue surfaces it is in relation to a 235 movie - or worse when it is not a 235 movie and someone thought that it was. This generally involves responses that the movie was not 235 and so it was presented in OAR. This could confuse someone who has not received the basics.
 

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How exactly does HBO-HD butcher the 2.35:1 aspect ratio? Do they chop off the edges or what? You'll have to forgive me, I'm not a subscriber yet, but I'd like to know because my cable company should be carrying HBO-HD soon so I want to know if it's even worth getting.


But since a lot of movies (probably close to half?) are originally released as 1.85:1, the difference between that and HDTV 1.78:1 shouldn't be that significant, right?
 

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begbie,


Sometimes they chop off the sides. Sometimes they "open up the matte" at the top and bottom to show stuff that shouldn't be seen. Either way it reeks.


As you say it's not really an issue with 1.85:1 movies, only 2.35:1.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by begbie100
How exactly does HBO-HD butcher the 2.35:1 aspect ratio? Do they chop off the edges or what? You'll have to forgive me, I'm not a subscriber yet, but I'd like to know because my cable company should be carrying HBO-HD soon so I want to know if it's even worth getting.
The following is an excerpt from an older post of mine, originally from this thread . I hope it helps clarify the issue for you:

Quote:
When HBO alters the aspect ratio of a film to fit the 1.78 screen, it doesn't always involve cropping. That's because most movies are shot using one of two cinematographic processes: Super35 or anamorphic Panavision. Super35 involves shooting standard (1.33) 35mm film frames and then masking the top and bottom (matting) to achieve the aspect ratio that the shots were composed for. Anamorphic Panavision involves the use of anamorphic lenses that record a tall, skinny image on the film (stretched vertically on the 1.33 film frame) that is un-distorted by another anamorphic lens on the projector.


Since an anamorphic Panavision master contains only the 2.35 area, in order to make it fit a 1.78 screen it needs to be zoomed and cropped i.e. pan-n-scanned, resulting in loss of resolution and shot composition. This is an example of a Panavision movie modified to 1.78:

What Lies Beneath


DVD version (OAR):

http://www.net1.net/~fstearns/main/h...es/WLB_DVD.jpg



HBO version (MAR):

http://www.net1.net/~fstearns/main/h...es/WLB_HBO.jpg



Super35 movies do not need to be cropped. The modified aspect ratio can be achieved by simply removing part of the masking (matting) from the 35mm print. This preserves resolution, but exposes areas of the frame that were not meant to be seen, also altering shot composition. Here's an example of a Super35 movie modified to 1.78:

Gladiator


DVD version (OAR):

http://www.net1.net/~fstearns/main/h...ator%20DVD.jpg


HBO version (MAR):

http://www.net1.net/~fstearns/main/h...ator%20HBO.jpg


That's what I meant with my previous comments about "Charlie's Angels" and "Gladiator" not being cropped. They are both Super35 films. Other 2.35 Super35 films that have been shown on HBO as 1.78 are "The Patriot", "Any Given Sunday", "American Beauty", "The Beach", "Fight Club", "Deep Blue Sea", "The Matrix", and "Proof of Life". Not surprisingly, most of these films have been touted by forum members as reference quality. This is largely because they did not have to be zoomed and cropped, preserving most of the original resolution.


Examples of 2.35 anamorphic Panavision films that were zoomed and cropped to 1.78 by HBO are "What Lies Beneath", "Anna and the King", "The Perfect Storm", "Entrapment", "Galaxy Quest", "The Haunting", "Medicine Man", "Red Planet", "Soldier", and "The Wedding Planner". All of these transfers were mediocre, at best.


The 2.35 anamorphic Panavision process, when presented in OAR, has offered the most stunning HDTV presentations to date. That is because by capturing the image using most of the 35mm frame, and later compressing it vertically, the resulting image has more resolution than the standard Super35 frame. Some of the anamorphic Panavision movies that have been shown in OAR on HBO are "Les Miserables", "Geronimo: An American Legend", "Star Trek: Generations", "Tootsie", "Event Horizon", "Switchback", and "Braveheart".



P.S. Thanks to Frank again for his great screenshots. They make any demonstration pathetically simple. :)
Quote:
But since a lot of movies (probably close to half?) are originally released as 1.85:1, the difference between that and HDTV 1.78:1 shouldn't be that significant, right?
10-15 years ago that may have been the case. Today, most new releases are in the 2.35 aspect ratio.
 

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Why can't HBO-HD just set up a hotline for those complaining about the bars with a recording informing them that if they are bothered by the bars, they should switch to SD HBO and watch in 4:3? Problem solved.


JR
 

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Because the viewer wants to watch HD, that's why!


I have a front PJ and a variety of blanking settings to deal with various formats so I'm not too familiar with other HDTVs. Don't most of them have a zoom control, or does that only work for SD material? If not , they should have and it should be labeled "Black bar eliminator"
 

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The other thing that gets forgotten in the super35/open matte issue is that while regular scenes are just opened, generally if a film is produced for 2.35, the special effects are only produced for that space. So they require panning and scanning. I remember a debate that ensued at a video store where fox had sent a representative to promote their new (at the time) widescreen series on tape. The guy apparently wasn't happy about his job as he was poo-pooing the widescreen tapes to us employees. He said there was NO p+s in the abyss and only open matteing, which proved false. as we were playing the entire movie synced up for demo that day and clearly noticed p+s in the sfx. That's something else to keep in mind.
 
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