OAR v. WS : Why isn't this a non-issue for DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaveF, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Put simply, the DVD spec allows for on-the-fly pan-and-scan instructions. Why all the handwringing and gnashing of teeth from the studios, when the answer has been available since the inception of DVD?
    I've been hunting for information about this feature, and why it isn't used. The best I've found so far is a Q&A from the dvdfile:
    http://www.dvdfile.com/news/views/re.../2000/5_16.htm
    Here's a snippet:
    quote: What you are referring to is actually a part of the DVD spec, and is usually referred to as "pan & scan on the fly." Since all DVD players can decode pan & scan coordinates if they are encoded in a piece of software, it is a bit surprising that no one has seriously played with these capabilities of the format yet. But, there are reasons for it...[/quote]
    It goes on to discuss how cost and other factors conspired to keep studios from using this feature. But now, with studios trembling before the might of Blockbuster and Walmart, and others claiming that kids demand P&S videos, why isn't the P&S feature on DVDs utilized?
    This would seem to be a no-brainer, since it solves everything. The original aspect ratio is preserved for all who care, and a fill-yer-tv form is available for those who prefer that.
    Perhaps I totally misunderstand the pan-and-scan feature supported by DVD players, but it boggles my mind that there is this chaotic frenzy about OAR v. P&S, when the solution is at hand.
    So what's the deal?
    [Edited last by DaveF on October 11, 2001 at 07:59 PM]
     
  2. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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  3. Anthony_H

    Anthony_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Part of the issue is that the "on the fly" feature doesn't work exactly the same as a pan-and-scan transfer. This feature simply emphasizes the middle of the screen. If this was used regularly.. JOE SIX PACK would truly realize he is missing something.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Partially answering my own question [​IMG] http://www.dvdfile.com/news/views/re...1999/12_14.htm
     
  5. Joe Schwartz

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  6. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    There is one more drawback (at least I think):

    On transfers with an Aspect Ratio higher than 1.77:1 (maybe 1.85:1 due to overscan) black bars will still be visable. With a 2.35:1 film, Joe will still think he's watching a (1.77:1) widescreen movie.
     
  7. Joe Schwartz

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    That's a good point, Mark -- P&S OTF isn't a good solution for 2.35:1 films. For those films, the only reasonable options are to have separate OAR and P&S discs, or to put both versions on a dual-sided disc.
     
  8. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    The black bars on 2.35:1 discs using P&S on the fly would be the same size as on any 16:9 show on TV right now. People do not complain about this for such shows on TV, so why would they on DVD?

    As for quality issues: It was mentioned in the Disney "interview" that black bars are more of an issue to people in the "non-technical environment" watching on a "19-inch TV or smaller".

    These people don't care about the quality issues. This is not meant as a put-down; it isn't that different from me not caring for the most expesive clothes, for example.

    They will not fuss about a slightly lower horizontal resolution. They also don't care if they are missing anything, and won't care that soft-matted films will be cropped to a greater extent.

    P&S on the fly should have been used from the start to please everyone. If it is true that pans are choppy, that issue would have be resolved and better handled in DVD players by now if they had done this from the get go.

    It is still not too late.
     
  9. Joe Schwartz

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  10. Mark_vdH

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  11. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I think "P&S ON-THE-FLY" would be a good, workable, solution for anamorphic transfers in the aspect ratios of 1.66:1 through 1.85:1.
    For those kinds of transfers only a "centering" code would be needed, IMO, to satisfy the "J6P"'s of the world.
    Yes, there would be times when the framing would be obviously "off", but the question is, would anybody that desires this kind of transfer really care all that much?
    Besides, it might actually help educate people as to the benefits of widescreen when they can simply turn off the "P&S ON-THE-FLY" feature with the touch of a menu option and see the true letterboxed framing.
    Perhaps even encoding 2.35:1 transfers (leaving them with a transfer cropped to about 1.85:1) would be a good way to start weaning the masses off their decades-long mentality of "fill-the-screen-at-any-cost".
    While I agree with Ron's policy statement of NO P&S TRANSFERS ON DVD, it would not bother me if every anamorphic widescreen transfer had this feature enabled.
    Strictly speaking, the DVD would still only contain one actual transfer.
     
  12. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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