Response from District Manager of BlockBuster on OAR!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Kim, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    (copy/paste email, no edit, with exception to edit out of name):
    "Mr. Kim:
    My name is xxxxxx xxxxx. I am a District Manager for Blockbuster Video in the Twin Cities area. I am writing today in reply to your complaint about our company carrying only the full screen version of "The Mummy Returns" for rent, versus the same film in a wide screen format. I attempted to contact you via phone this morning, but was unable to do so.
    First, let me assure you that our company has no designs on attacking your or anyone else's intelligence, as stated in your complaint. We certainly don't engage in practices that are intended to "pull the wool over the eyes of the consumer". Many people do indeed know about the difference between wide screen and full screen formatting, and we understand that. Full screen
    VHS tapes, for example, are formatted for a 4x3 television screen and often carry the disclaimer that the film has been modified to fit your TV. Wide screen versions on VHS are formatted for a larger 16x9 screen.
    Second, let me explain why the issue of wide screen format versus full screen format is less of a concern on DVD. As you no doubt know, most DVD players have a set up function that allows you to change your settings to adjust your DVD rental for either wide screen or full screen. That simple set up change will in turn allow you to watch your DVD in whichever format you choose. Obviously, this may not be available on every single type of DVD player. However, I have yet to personally come across a player on which that option is not present. It is my sincere hope that this information
    will help ease your concerns regarding the issue. If I can be of help in any other way, please feel free to reply to this message or contact me at a later date with future concerns.
    Best-"
    I think that we may have a discovered part of the problem with why OAR may be endangered. If I'm not mistaken, contrary to the District Manager's belief, you cannot switch from fullscreen to widescreen.
    Can anyone confirm who is right here? Am I completely in the dark about newer generation of dvd players that can play OAR from a fullscreen/P&S dvd?
    If I'm not wrong, perhaps this may be the chink in the armor we need in order to combat the ignorance. Wouldn't it just be ridiculous to lose OAR because those uninformed think that technology can cure everything? I'm not sure if this guy is high up the BB chain of command, but he's definitely not a peon. So,...if those in command possess errant beliefs, this could be the place where we converge and attack.
     
  2. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Hey, something interesting...the district manager copied in someone else on the email to me. Perhaps some bigwig high up the command?
    Apparently, my email pricked some ears.
     
  3. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    Oh my...
    This is bad. [​IMG]
     
  4. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    This guy is completely & totally misinformed. I assume he's talking about the setting where you tell your player if it's attached to a regular or 16:9 set. But no DVD player will turn a P&S DVD into widescreen.
    That someone so clueless could rise so high in the BB organization speaks volumes about that company. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Too many DVDs, too little time...
    AFI 100 Challenge - 36 to go!
    [Edited last by Craig S on October 18, 2001 at 11:36 AM]
     
  5. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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  6. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    This is just not true. Yes there is the setup mode on all players but that doesn't magically change the format of the film. The setup only configures the player to properly display the image on whatever type of hardware you happen to be using. The only way you could go between the two formats is if the disc contains both a P&S and WS version of the film some discs have this but most don't.
    Unfortunately this is a common misconception, I think do to that feature being touted when DVD first hit the market. I can happen, but only if the software supports it, which many discs rarely do.
    Please e-mail this guy back and set him straight. It's scary that this is the type of ignorance we're up against.
    -EJ
     
  7. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Oh my. This is truly shocking.
    Now, there are a few discs floating around, like Bride of Reanimator, which Blockbuster probably wouldn't carry anyway, that allow one to watch the movie with or without player generated mattes, but there's just no way to recover the full picture when it's been encoded in a chopped up manner to begin with!
    I hope you send him back a new letter with the facts quickly.
    ------------------
    My DVDs
    "Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
     
  8. andrew steven wells

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    here's a good question for that response from the blockbusster guy.Why would they even make a widescreen version of a movie for release if you could "change" the full frame version to widescreen?Unbelieveable.
     
  9. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Huh? What a weird answer.
    However, he could be theoretically correct (in reverse). Although I have never had such a disc (test disc or otherwise), you can theoretically have the DVD player produce automatic on-the-fly P/S from a widescreen disc that has been coded with this function.
    But yes, otherwise it seems quite clear that this guy is out-to-lunch.
    [Edited last by Eugene Hsieh on October 18, 2001 at 11:47 AM]
     
  10. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter, have you responded to him? Tried to call him? I am in complete shock. Now I know why my local Blockbusters have the Pan & Scan version. This is truly incredible. Perhaps I should email them as well.
    ------------------
    "My wife actually prefers widescreen"
     
  11. Chris Xolotl

    Chris Xolotl Second Unit

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    I have at least 2 discs that you must go into your DVD Player setup and choose LBX instead of 4:3.
    These are Shaolin Soccer (defaults to P&S unless you instruct your player to go lbx (widescreen))
    Also, a movie called Ring Virus. I watched the darn thing P&S until I read somewhere that I had to change my players settings. Now I can watch it OAR.
    I bet BB thinks all Discs are like these [​IMG]
     
  12. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Yes, I just sent a message back, in a clear, calm tone. One that is meant to educate.
    The first message I sent was pretty scathing, without being vulgar (I was just pissed off for driving around for an hour looking for the damn movie in OAR, to no avail).
    I also copied in the guy that the district manager copied in. Perhaps he's a director or v.p.? Hopefully, he's witnessed his employee's response and is shamed. Otherwise, if not, and he doesn't see the error of the response, whoaa...what now?
    I've got the phone # left on my caller id, but I'm not so aggressive to call back, yet. We'll see how far this journey takes me.
    By the way, this site is really running quite smoothly now.
     
  13. Ricky f

    Ricky f Supporting Actor

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    I E-mailed BB and told them about the lack of Widescreen DVD's for sale and this is the response I got.
    " Thank you for contacting Best Buy in regard to the DVD selection at our Moline store.
    I can certainly understand it is frustrating when you are unable to locate a movie in the DVD format you are interested in purchasing. We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration that you have described in your email.
    Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I will take this opportunity to inform the appropriate individuals and departments so that action can be taken to ensure that appropriate quantities, if available, of
    all DVD formats are available in our Moline location.
    Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy. Please do not hesitate
    to contact us if you have any further questions or comments.
    Best wishes from Best Buy, "
    Well this was a helpful E-mail and they say they will inform the important people, I am not sure if they will or not.
    Regards,
    Ricky
     
  14. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Sorry for the confusion Ricky. I should have made it clear in the topic header that I was referring to Blockbuster, not Best Buy.
    However, it is heartening that you received a response from Best Buy. I wasn't aware that they had problems in stocking both formats of a movie.
     
  15. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor
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    quote: Full screen VHS tapes, for example, are formatted for a 4x3 television screen and often carry the disclaimer that the film has been modified to fit your TV. Wide screen versions on VHS are formatted for a larger 16x9 screen.[/quote]
    [​IMG] Since when?!?
    [Edited last by Brett_B on October 18, 2001 at 12:28 PM]
    [Edited last by Brett_B on October 18, 2001 at 01:48 PM]
     
  16. Ricky f

    Ricky f Supporting Actor

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    I always order online but I have been reading some threads about the lack of widescreen and more Fullscreen at BB so I was just making sure that I was helping out my fellow HTF friends.
    Just thought since The E-mail was along the lines you were talking about, Everyone would like to know what Best Buy had to say on the matter
    Regards
    Ricky
     
  17. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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  18. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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  19. Edwin_M

    Edwin_M Agent

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    Actually, every DVD player can make a widescreen movie out of a pan & scan disc. Just tape two pieces of cardboard across the top and bottom of the screen and you've got a instant widescreen image. This all comes from Blockbuster's new deal. "Rent a DVD, get free cardboard" [​IMG]
     
  20. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Although incorrect for the most part he does have something just reversed.
    On newer players (some, not all) there is a zoom button which allows you to blow up the center of a widescreen image to fill the screen. It blows the quality right along with it, but it is possible. My brother's Toshiba has this option, however my Panasonic doesn't (and my player is 2 years older). This may be what he's thinking about when he says every layer he sees can interchange the two formats.
    However, he is very wrong if he thinks we can extract the widescreen image from the full frame discs.
    What a dope.
     

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