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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for the comprehensive note on 1.85:1 vs. 2.35:1 vs. 1.33:1 aspect ratios and why certain films do not fill widescreen televisions. Now this might seem like a dumb question but perhaps there are others like me who also may have thought about it.


When you buy a DVD, you usually have the option of getting a wide or full screen version of the film - the widescreen version is usually in 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 as you noted. Since I just started buying DVD's this year because I purchased my first widesreen TV as well, I've often wondered what a full screen version of a DVD would look like on a widescreen TV - seems logical to assume that there would be black bars on the sides rather than top and bottom. Nevertheless, I have avoided going down this road.


Is there any way to make a DVD so you can view it in multiple aspect ratios depending on what sort of TV you are watching? That would be nice, but it doesn't seem possible.
 

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Full screen DVDs are chopped/edited so that only a portion of the original scene are used to create a 4:3 full screen content. You will not see black bars on top and bottom. You will see bars on side on 16x9 screens unless you stretch them. Some DVDs do contain both full-screen and wide-screen versions in a signle disc, usually full-screen on one side and wide-screen on the otherside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I thought - I just wish that distributors would make it abundantly clear what the aspect ratio of the film is on the front cover, rather than burying it in the microscopic fine print on the back.
 

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There are many databases on the web that will list the aspect ratio for you, so if your buying over the web, you can look it up first. If your in the store buying, then most will list this on the back of the DVD.


A good database for this info is
http://us.imdb.com/


Just search for the title you want, and then page down to 'Other Info' on the left side, and click on 'DVD details'


They also list whether the DVD is Anamorphic or just normal letterboxed.
 

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Thank you for appreciating the info I had posted. I felt that it'd be best to have a sticky that would explain things once and for all before we got anymore questions about 2.35:1 movies having black bars on a 16x9 TV. So far, everybody's been appreciating this sticky. I was confused about aspect ratios too a while back. But I got the hang of it.


When I'm thinking about buying a certain DVD, I look all over the place on it to make sure it is widescreen if that's the OAR. I will not put it in the shopping cart until I find that info. It would be nice if all DVDs had it printed on the front that it says Widescreen or Fullscreen. And even if it DOES say widescreen on the front, I still look on the back. I'm just that paranoid.
 
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