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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did anyone compare the SD version to the HD version? I didn't think that the HD version showed much more than the SD version, horizontally, but their 720p signal was definitely 16:9. When I compared the two I saw that the HD version showed a LITTLE bit more horizontally, but the HD version had MUCH less headroom in shots than the SD version did.


Looks like they did more than a little bit of cropping to make it "fit your screen."
 

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Did it occur to you that maybe the headroom that you saw on the 4:3 version wasn't intended to be seen?


I'm sure it wasn't seen in the movie theater.


There have been many discussions in other sections of the AVS forum on OAR. 16x9 HDTV and OAR falls into the same realm as DVD and OAR.


I would suggest that you might want to do a search on "OAR" in the DVD forum for more information on this rather complex topic.



Vern Dias
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vern,


Did you see the HD and/or SD versions? Did you also see it in a theatre? How can you be so "sure"?


I'll bet that cut-off heads aren't always a good idea, especially if they're visible on the TV transfer. The 4:3 version framing looked OK, but the cut-off heads and lack of much additional information in the widescreen version made it a ho-hum job. The next time ABC runs framing leader before a movie I'll be sure to check.


I don't want to get into a pissing match with you about this, but I think I'm past the "FAQ" stage on aspect ratio. I've seen enough screwups on transfers (including "major motion pictures") to know that they DO happen.
 

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The Birdcage had a theatical OAR of 1.85:1. HDTV is 1.77:1. NTSC is 1.33:1.


The answer to all your questions is Yes.


Many directors and cinematographers will frame the image to cut off the top of the head to emphasize facial features.


The NTSC version looked to be "open Matte".


Vern Dias
 

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hphase,


Vern is quite correct. The DVD of "The Birdcage" has both the pan and butcher version and the 1.85 widescreen version. I just took a look at both versions and it's a typical scenario. The P&B version has more on the top and bottom and less on the sides. I didn't see the HD version on ABC but I'll bet it looks the same as the widescreen DVD version.


You are of course entitled to your opinion as to which version looks better. While the various newsgroups are full of people who want to fill their 4:3 screens, not see black bars, and don't care about composition, you'll find that most who frequent this forum are more sophisticated and appreciate the concept of seeing the movie as it was intended to be seen by the director. They will judge the movie on that basis.


The 4:3 pan and butcher process has been an evil that has been with us for a long time. It was designed to accommodate 4:3 sets and is what many of us grew up with on TV and then on cable and satellite. Most never even realized that the movies were butchered to accommodate the 4:3 world and the average unsophisticated viewing public. But times have changed and a new generation of home viewers is emerging that appreciate and understand the concept of seeing a movie in it's OAR.


The advice I always give to those who prefer the butchered look is to become a director and make movies that fulfill their 4:3 vision. I'm content to view a movie as it was intended to be seen and evaluate the movie on that basis. If heads are cut off, then I that was intentional and the director had a reason for framing the movie as such. The 4:3 pan and butcher process is an artificial process that while allowing the full head to be seen is also producing a different movie than what the director intended and I have NO desire to see this artificially produced movie.
 
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