TV shows and TV movies gone W I D E

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by HDvision, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. 1 of 424 Dec 17, 2012
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    HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Hi guys, This is the thread to list all TV shows, mini series and TV movies previously square and now gone wide. I mean W I D E. DVDs or Blu-rays. My goal is to provide all the list and links all in one place, for those who enjoy revisiting these past shows and movies in a more up to date format. Feel free to debate this trend also.



    TV movies / Miniseries:



    - Bourne Identity

    - City Beneath Sea *composed for widescreen, protected for 4/3

    - John Carpenter's Elvis. *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - John Carpenter's Someone Watching Me *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - Lonesome Dove *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - The Quick and the Dead

    - V the mini series *creator says originally intended in widescreen/ looks a bit compromised thought

    - V The Final Battle *? probably not intended either but nonetheless issued in WIDE to go along with the first mini-series.



    TV shows



    - Babylon 5 shot in Super 35, so all live footage extend the sides, while all SFX footage is center cropped.

    - Buffy (more on the sides, but detrimental to the framing, the creator says the whole series is intended 4/3)

    - Columbo Mystery Movie Collection 1991/1993 *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - Columbo Mystery Movie Collection 1994/2003 *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - Columbo Japanese Blu-ray box set includes all the "new" (80's on) episodes in glorious widescreen.

    - Dark Angel *aired in 4/3 and US DVDs in 4/3, but european DVDs in widescreen. Looks intended for widescreen. Or rather looks good in widescreen.

    - Dark Shadows 90

    - Friends The Complete Series *extend on the sides. Show was shot in 3 perf 35mm

    - Kung Fu season 1 °not recommended, they are a crop of the already cropped 4/3 masters

    - That 70s Show

    - The SHIELD seasons 1-5 exists in both 4/3 and 16/9 on R1 DVD. Show creators says it's intended for 4/3.

    - Thunderbirds *severely tilt & scanned with little more info on the sides. 1.66:1 instead of 1.77:1 would have worked better.

    - The Wire now going widescreen,


    - Wonder Woman 1975-1979 all three seasons available on iTunes in widescreen format


    - The X-Files now coming to Blu with all the original 4/3 seasons 1-4 reformated in widescreen.
    note : sadly there's been many blunders from the production company in charge of remastering, mostly they didn't check the original fonts to match the new RM ones, guess they didn't google for whatthefont which can match any font in 2mn) see the blunders here http://www.xfilesvault.com/features/Whats-Wrong-With-The-X-Files-On-Blu-ray/




    Shows previously 4/3 but spotted widescreen on HDTV



    - Bewitched °1.66:1 recrops of the 4/3 masters. Some eps looks OK while other totally doesn't.

    - The Equalizer °not recommended, seems to be a crop of the already cropped 4/3 masters

    - Hart to Hart extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping

    - Hogan's Heroes *some reports it looks fine, other it doesn't

    - The Prisoner °1.66:1 recrops of the 4/3 masters. Works really well in a wider format, probably because the 4/3 remasters shows too much of the negative.

    - Space 1999. 1.78:1. Adds a bit to the sides and crops top and bottom with tilt & scan.

    - Wiseguy *extend on the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping
     
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  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Dark Shadows 1990
    Kung Fu season 1
    That 70s Show bluray
     
  3. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    We were debating on the Columbo thread whether the last collection of movies were originally shot for 16x9, since Universal started shooting shows like Law and Order in widescreen with the 1993-1994 season.
    As for my opinion on Tilt and Scan? It's no better than pan and scan. It's just another way of sacrificing information intended to be seen just so people don't have *GASP* black bars on the screen. :rolleyes:
    Oh, and to add to the list... Seasons 5-whatever of Law and Order were shot Widescreen, but broadcast in 4x3, so they did in fact go widescreen for DVD.
     
  4. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    The Irwin Allen TV-movie/pilot CITY BENEATH THE SEA from the early '70s, got a widescreen release on DVD-R from WB Archives. I think it may have been released in widescreen theatrically overseas, but it aired originally on TV in 4x3.

    Harry
     
  5. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    Babylon 5 was released Wide on DVD. According to the creator (JMS), he wanted it wide. It did lead to some problems with the effects though.
    There have been a few Classic Doctor Who episodes that have included 'special versions' that have been re-edited and released wide (to try and simulate if they'd been made today)
    David
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I'm not sure of your intent for this thread. Are we talking about the earliest TV programming that was shot in widescreen processes or old TV programs that have been reformatted to accommodate widescreen in the new era?
     
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  7. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Basically to list any TV show or movie available on DVD/Blu that previously was 4/3 when aired, but gone widescreen on home video.

    Will add Law & Order after some research. Not sure about this one but some shows aired in europe in widescreen in their initial runs there (Europe was a bit ahead of the game on this), like The SHIELD, or were released on DVD straight away in widescreen. We may need to check on those case by case to see which seasons existed in 4/3 before going wide.

    Added Kung Fu season 1. This one seems not to extend the sides with minimal top and bottom cropping, but be a crop of the already cropped masters with nothing added to the sides.

    Most shows of the past shot in Panavision usually had 4/3 masters made as a zoomboxed crop of the 1.37:1 negative. That's why they can get away with minimal reduction of the top and bottom frame, while adding to the sides (mostly on the left side, and a little on the right), as is the case with both John Carpenter TV movies and the Columbos.

    Other are just shot protected for 1.37:1 but composed for widescreen. I think apart from the odd 16mm shot cheap show, you will find that most TV from the 60's on is composed for widescreen.

    The Irvin Allen CITY BENEATH THE SEA looks fantastic. Here's a compare between the VHS and the DVD.
     
  8. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Here is a comparison on a Columbo shot by Patrick McGoohan in 1998 - taken from a Columbo thread here.

    4/3 DVD





    HDTV
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The first 5 seasons of The Shield were originally released in their correct 4x3 aspect ratio by Fox in Region 1. Unfortunately, Sony released the last 2 seasons and re-released the first 5 years using the incorrect 1.78 versions in R1 as well. I guess Sony felt that filling up the screen was more important than respecting the intended photography.
     
  10. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Added. The SHIELD was always widescreen in Europe thought so I wonder if the widescreen ratio is really a compromise, or just an alternative. I think there's a case with Buffy where the producer says it should be 4/3 but appears in widescreen in Europe. If someone can enlighten us that would be great.

    I added Dark Angel to the list.
     
  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Season 1 of CSI was shown widescreen on CBS-HD, but the DVD box set was released 4:3. CBS/Paramount issued a Blu-ray release of Season 1 in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    If I remember correctly, TV Shows On DVD got to go the set & writers room years ago and Shawn Ryan (the showrunner/executive producer/creator) said that the show was shot, edited and intended to be seen at 4:3. The 16:9 version does show more info on the sides (rather than cropping the tops and bottoms of the frame) but none of it is intended to be seen.
     
  13. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Thanks, I think it's the same for Buffy, but I can't find yet if it's for the whole series or just several seasons.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm a Buffy fan but not a hardcore one and my understanding is that there's one episode (Once More With Feeling which I think is from S6) that's supposed to be 1.78 and the rest are 1.33.
    Here's a link to Buffy showrunner Joss Whedon talking about the AR issue here: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Buffy-Vampire-Slayer/414#ixzz2FPm18U5j
    A mild correction to my posts about The Shield is that there is one episode (Back In The Hole from Season 4) that they want to be seen at 1.78 and the rest are intended for 1.33.
     
  15. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    Universal HD had Hogan's Heroes in wide screen. It was zoomed up and cropped and looked like hell. They apprently do that to alot of shows, Charlie's Angels is another. I also prefer a wide screen presentation but if doing so destroys the original composition, forget it.
     
  16. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Yes I've seen episodes of Bewitched zoomed to 1.66:1 savagely also. I just don't understand why the majors don't give them genuinely reframed wider versions. They would look ok with no head cuts and common top perfect if they used the whole exposed negative area from left to right. Some episodes looks OK thought, I suspect it's episodes which were more generously scanned on 4/3, while others that don't look right probably are zoomed in 4/3 scans.

    I think I've read there and there that Hogan's Heroes actually looked good, Gary, could there be alternate wide masters, and maybe Universal just airs cropped 4/3 versions (crops of a crop)? It's a bit of a jungle on TV because stations can do what they want with the 4/3 masters they have, and no one controls it. When Friends was announced going HD, people screamed on forums because they would be watching zoomed in old 4/3 masters and assumed that's how it would be on Blu. It's funny, you can even zap channels, and see showing at the same time, a perfect HD master of Friends in widescreen, and a zoomed in 4/3 savage crop on another channel.

    Actually, I think there should be a kind of law / control so that they can't on their own reframe 4/3 masters. If they want wider, it's up to the copyright holders to deliver wider. That's how it should be.

    Did the X-Files actually used the moment they went widescreen, to do a multi angles episodes? I wonder what they will do with the original seasons when they remaster to HD. My feeling is they should just make them sightly wider (ie 1.37:1 or 1.44:1) so that when that episode comes, the switch still works.
     
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  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I'm no expert on the subject, but I'd have a hard time believing that is true.

    Why would it be so? There was no inkling in the 60s, 70s or 80s that the TVs of the future would be 16:9. And I doubt few would have been expecting that TV series would be projected theatrically. You would think that the creators of the TV series (even those shot on film) would have happily worked within the medium/technology of the time.
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yep. There's two options- they either a). went with what was the normal AR of televisions of the day or b.) they deliberately compromised the presentation of their work in the hopes that if anyone still remembered the show in a few decades that it would be seen correctly then. Which sounds more likely?
     
  19. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Mike & Travis, that's where there's a technical general misconception. You apply the rules we know of cinema (which is shot and framed for a fixed, controled canvas) to old TV (which was shot for shifting (overscans were never the same on any TV model) canvas, and where extractions (zoombox) from within the shot frame were made to adapt for transmission (at the time, shows were sent in foreign countries in 16mm extractions).

    Here let me reproduce my caps from The Avengers thread to explain it more visually.


    This is the original A&E 1998 DVD, from the 1993 Lumiere VHS masters.



    This is the Studio Canal / Optimum restoration



    This is the difference between both framings



    This is what happens when you take the original, 1998 DVD top and bottom framing, and keep the sides of the new HD restoration.


    Here's some more :




    That is the areas of an Academy-width 35 mm spherical film print viewfinder layed over the HD restored frame.

    Note that they don't fit exactly, because Studio Canal did the restoration master on 1.33:1 ratio instead of 1.37:1, but you get the point.

    1. Camera aperture YELLOW
    2. Academy ratio, 1.37-1 BLUE
    3. 1.85-1 Ratio GREEN
    4. 1.66-1 Ratio PINK
    5. Television scanned area
    6. Television "action safe" area
    7. Television "title safe" area

    As you can see, the original, A&E framing is very close to the exact Television "action safe" area, thought it 's a bit adjusted too high vertically.

    I had friends complain when they realised how "cropped" the A&E was, but they miss that in fact, A&E framing is more or less the intended "to be seen" area presentation for old TVs.

    As you can see, 1.66:1(pink) is pretty close to the action safe. It would align if the scan was 1.37:1.

    If you use the sides of the image negative when you scan it, you have the possibility to end up with a widescreen master in 1.66:1 (pink) that faithfully represent the initial, "action safe" intended vertical framing, while adding to the sides.

    That is how many of those TV shows were transformed for the big screen when theatrical showing of some episodes compiled into one movie occured, as was the case for a couples of Avengers episodes in european theaters. Man From Uncle movies also all were in Widescreen in theatrical showings. (I know because I have differents versions of the pilot, all framed differently with for the film version, way more left and right information.)

    If you use the complete left and right negative area, you can even adjust to 1.77:1 without compromising the top and bottom intended information.

    This works for other British shows like The Prisoner and The Persuaders too. Instead of letting TV stations butcher them by reframing them savagely in widescreen, they should control the presentation and send the stations widescreen masters correctly framed.

    By it's very nature and technical limitations, the way old TV shows are shot allow for this kind of reframing, as easy as they allowed square extraction for then current TVs of foreign countries in 16mm.

    Now re the compositions, if you take the "common top" of for example the above The Avengers episode, you'll find it's somewhere near the action safe and the 1.66:1 ratio. By sticking to it when doing a new transfer, you are not only erasing microphones and camera stands that sometimes intrude up and down the picture, you're also find out it works perfectly. My guess is the directors just shot series as they would shot a movie, while keeping most of the action in the action safe, worrying that nothing intrudes left and right but not caring of something intruding up and down, knowing producers and networks could extract whatever shape they wanted from it and it would always work. The only shape not intended is a square reveal of the whole frame. Which is what is done, sadly, on most of those releases today (save for zooming in and out when a blatant technical item appear in the picture).

    Here check this link for a comparison of this same scene:
     
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  20. Guest

    Lonesome Dove looks fantastic in widescreen. More image area on the sides, a bit cropped from the top and more cropped from the bottom. Love the composition.
     

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