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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I just watched one of my favorite action movies, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen on my new TV and it looked terrible. There were 2 reasons for this. The first reason is that this movie was filmed in 2.40:1 aspect ratio and the second reason is that the TV's Picture Size was set to Screen Fit, rather than 16:9, which I am more accustomed to. Under the 16:9 setting there is still letterboxing, but under the Screen Fit setting, the black bars are so thick that the movie seemed to be nothing more than a sliver.

 

So, I decided to do some measurements and calculations to figure out how much of the screen is being letterboxed under different settings. My TV is a 64'' Samsung F8500 and the movies I tested were When A Stranger Calls, Elektra and Not Another Teen Movie.

 

Aspect Ratio 2.40:1

 

Screen Fit = 25% letterboxing

16:9 = 21% letterboxing

Wide Zoom = 9% letterboxing

 

Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

 

Screen Fit = 24% letterboxing

16:9 = 20% letterboxing

Wide Zoom = 7.5% letterboxing

 

Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

 

Screen Fit = 5% letterboxing

16:9 = no letterboxing

Wide Zoom = no letterboxing

 

No wonder I was annoyed. I was losing a full quarter of my screen that I payed close to $3000 for. While I would use Screen Fit when watching a 1.85:1 movie, I'm not sure what setting to use for the other aspect ratios. 16:9 cuts off a small amount of picture from the sides but I don't really have a problem with this. I grew up with pan and scan VHS in the 90s. I had a lot of fun times and I never even knew I was losing close to 45% of my movies. I'm also tempted to use Wide Zoom. It cuts off the same amount of picture as 16:9, but greatly reduces the black bars at the cost of distorting the picture.

 

Which Picture Size setting do you prefer? Do you change it depending on what aspect ratio you're watching?
 

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Kind of shame to watch a distorted picture (i.e. anything other than Screen Fit) on a $3K TV. Bicycle tires on a Ferrari?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

I've heard movie buffs say that Screen Fit is the way to watch a movie as the director intended. But it's not really true. A director who chooses a 2.35:1 aspect ratio intends their movie to be wider, so that the audience gets a more immersive experience. But when we watch it on TV, it's not wider, just narrower and therefore less immersive.

 

I don't know what American free-to-air TV is like, but here in Australia, free-to-air TV never has letterboxing. Movies look pretty good and I've never noticed any distortion. So it annoys me when I watch the same movies on Blu-ray or DVD and get a narrow strip.

 

I'm going to find a scene with a round object so I can see how bad the distortion is when I switch to Wide Zoom. Maybe the Universal logo will do.
 

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If you zoom, you cut. That's disortion too.
 
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screen fit 100% of the time for me. 1:1 pixel mapping is the best imo. if you want anything different, you need to make that change at the source imo.


ie, if you have 4:3 cable, don't zoom/stretch, find a way to get 16:9 instead. I don't even watch broadcast anymore because most of the 'hd' channels I'm offered are 4:3, or worse yet, they are 16:9 content that has the black bars encoded into the video to make it 4:3, so when I watch it I end up with black border on all 4 sides. thank goodness for downloading/streaming.


as for watching scope movies on a 16:9 display, I still say that IS the way the director intended it, or as close as you're going to get. truth is, unless you're watching it on a 100" + screen, it's never going to be as immersive as they intended. but watching a 'full' 2.35:1 movie with black bars top and bottom is much better than zooming in to make it 16:9 and missing the edges. if you really want to feel better, then sit a few feet closer
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by willieconway  /t/1522783/what-picture-size-zoom-setting-do-you-prefer#post_24491290


If you zoom, you cut. That's disortion too.
Do you know what percentage of the picture is being cut under the 16:9 and Wide Zoom settings? I don't know how to measure it.
 

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Varies by TV manufacturer, but 2-5% roughly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetSpiker  /t/1522783/what-picture-size-zoom-setting-do-you-prefer/0_20#post_24491323



Do you know what percentage of the picture is being cut under the 16:9 and Wide Zoom settings? I don't know how to measure it.
 

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Actually, did you know movie theaters just mask off the portion of the screen not used? That is how they can show different aspects ratios. So you can do like them and cover the portion of the screen not being used with blankets. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetSpiker  /t/1522783/what-picture-size-zoom-setting-do-you-prefer/0_20#post_24491258


I've heard movie buffs say that Screen Fit is the way to watch a movie as the director intended. But it's not really true. A director who chooses a 2.35:1 aspect ratio intends their movie to be wider, so that the audience gets a more immersive experience. But when we watch it on TV, it's not wider, just narrower and therefore less immersive.


I don't know what American free-to-air TV is like, but here in Australia, free-to-air TV never has letterboxing. Movies look pretty good and I've never noticed any distortion. So it annoys me when I watch the same movies on Blu-ray or DVD and get a narrow strip.


I'm going to find a scene with a round object so I can see how bad the distortion is when I switch to Wide Zoom. Maybe the Universal logo will do.
 
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