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. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    I think I just got punched in the stomach (and hard too!) after reading what you think about the widescreen format for this program.
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I find it funny that in the remastering clip they used the term "full frame" to accompany the 1.78:1 re-framing.

    What a horrible choice of terminology.
     
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  3. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Well, the 1.33 original masters are zoomboxed and thus don't use the "full frame" as shot, at least from side to side.

    Thus I think they use the exact term. To me, all the 1.33:1 shots clearly look cropped on the sides with too much dead air top and bottom. They simply are readjusting the framing to a more cinematical feel, and to current TVs. Old masters were zoomed in to fit with then current TVs. The new wider versions are re-adjusted to current TV screens.

    I wouldn't rewatch that series again in 1.33:1, but I would happily dive in it in widescreen as portrayed here. It really injects some new life in the series (as it does for every re-adjustment of old TV show done right).
     
  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I don't think the top of a person's head is "Dead air".
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    By that logic, they should crop 1.78 shows like Lost or Breaking Bad or The Office to 2.35 to make them feel even more cinematic.

    And in addition to losing the information that was intended to be seen, you'll be gaining a little information that was not meant to be seen. It's the worst of both worlds.
     
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  6. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    True, if a person's head is cut off. I looked at the samples and no heads were cut off.

    Granted this is just a sampling, and there have been bad jobs of converting standard to widescreen in the past, but I think each has to be taken on its own merits. It all depends on how it was shot originally with placement and how much is being cut-off the top and bottom. In this case with the additional content added to the sides very little is being removed from the top and bottom. And there is the possibility based on overscanning that the material cut was never seen when originally broadcast. I think we should wait for the results before judging and painting a broad brush based on some bad experiences in the past.
     
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  7. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Again, lets wait for the results. In looking at the samples there is no information added to the sides that caused a problem in my eyes. It was all just additional aspects of the set. And those aspects of the set are shown in other shots, even if not originally part of a given shot in the standard aspect ratio. Now if there was content showing offset information that would be a problem.

    If it is just a philosophical belief that content should only be presented in OAR, that's absolutely fine. But if the argument is that heads will be cut off and content on the sides will be shown that was never meant to be seen, then we have to wait until proof can be provided that one or the other happened. And neither is visible within these samples. Overall, we won't know until a release, but I'm not going to condemn it based on what could happen, I'll wait until someone can show it did happen.
     
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  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, I'm basing my dislike of cropping TV shows solely on the fact that it's altering the original photography. I have no doubt that many images (whether it's a movie, TV show, painting, photography) can still look pleasing or even better when cropped or opened up but that altered image is not what was intended by the people that created it.
     
  9. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Couldn't they just release both versions, or at least give a choice of ratio from the menu. I definitely still prefer the 4:3 picture, it's an old TV show after all this wasn't a movie. Fox should spend their time and money on other things sought by fans of classic programs, than messing around unnecessarily with ratios just to fill screens (that are already sizeable anyway these days).
     
  10. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Resizing using an option on a TV is far different then what they are doing here.

    Based on the samples it seems pretty obvious they first transferred the film to HD before doing any adjustments to the aspect ratio, so that was the main part. Remember, the first samples shown of Star Trek TNG were based on the same approach. Forums lit up with both sides of the argument before Paramount decided to go back to OAR. It could just be they released this sample in similar fashion to see how consumers would respond. based on that, I'm not sure it is set in stone just yet.
     
  11. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I think it's good to re-say it from time to time:

    - Original TV shows, especially from the 60's on, shot on 35mm, were "zoomboxed" from the original negative to produce 16mm 4/3 masters, (seen The Avengers post in this thread for explication). The image was thus, formated to fit the old tube TV screens. That's not "OAR" like a film shown in a cinema would be, that"s TVAR ie adjusted for tube TV.

    - The set ups, as any filmmaker can see, (ie the way the actors are placed in the frame) are similar to widescreen 1.66 or 1.75 set ups, and this is especially true of TV shows in the UK which were shot by filmmakers who, for the last 10 to 15 years, had all been working in widescreen (as 1.37:1 basically died in the summer of 1953).

    - scans of 35mm negs unzoomed shows insane amount of vertical space, top and bottom. Usually, like say Space 1999, the new 4/3 masters are zoomed on all four sides in because it doesn't look right presented the whole frame as shot.

    - As shown in the Avengers demonstration in the first pages here, adjusting to 1.77:1 by using the complete left to right information, in most cases produces the exact, intended to be seen top and bottom information, while adding to the sides giving breathing space to the photography and sets.

    - Irwin Allen productions were, for the most of them, shot in a way that allowed theatrical presentations, and in widescreen (see CITY BENEATH THE SEA comparison page 1).

    - Basically, those series were shot to allow any kind of presentation, be it widescreen in the theaters for foreign releases, or cropped for TV.

    I understand that, having seen those series for years cropped, viewers ask for a reproduction of that same experience on DVD or Blu, but TV have morphed over the years and is now widescreen 1.78:1. It's a reality, as this thread attest, that most shows will be adjusted for widescreen as the years go on (this is just the beginning), because it's also a matter of shelf life ie with TV screens now 1.78:1, you can't expect any show with a small fanbase to go on on cable reruns for new generations, if it doesn't look at least a bit current in it's presentation (hence, HD, widescreen).

    Of course, this doesn't have anything to do with cropping top and bottom of already cropped 4/3 masters (see Kung Fu). It's about going back to the negatives, and adjusting for current TVs Aspect Ratio.

    Regarding 2.35, those shows weren't shot in a way that allows for such reformating. The most you can do is 1.78:1 to 1.85:1 because that's how they were shot. Essentialy, their format was flexible within this boundaries and essentially (take the 4/3 versions of La Femme Nikita show, for that matter), one can see that the 4/3 presentations feel cropped, especially on a widescreen TV where you have black bars on the sides.
     
  12. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    HD it makes sense to me what you say there, about how scenes were set up with any kind of release in mind, I'm just wondering about one thing. Why does it have to fill the screen though, it's a bit like a reversed fullscreen craving situation now, like in the past a lot of then ignorant people wanted their 4:3 screens filled and opposing to those black bars. The fact remains, most TV sets sold these days are bigger in screen size than the old tube sets ever were, meaning the picture isn't that small anymore so why oppose against 4:3 when it'll be a larger image than before. I don't quite get that. Where does it end anyway, what about shot-on-video material or 1930s/40s films, why accept their similar ratios there but somehow not with filmed TV series.
     
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  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    They knew how their work would be seen and would compensate for that. To play devil's advocate, I'll say that they didn't allow for the obvious but they still certainly didn't compose the shots to be seen at 1.78 so at most, they should lose the zoomboxing but still maintain a 1.33 AR that it was composed for.
     
  14. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I saw the most awful thing a couple of weeks ago. Some new TV station on Directv and they were airing Bonanza and The Lone Ranger. It was "widescreen" with the bottom and top nothing but black bars. However, instead of cropping top and bottom info, everything was "smooshed" into the little box. Nothing looked right.....people were short and stocky looking instead of normal. Totally awful.
     
  15. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    But then you are getting both more information on the top and bottom as well as the sides. Why would adding more content to the top and bottom to maintain an aspect ratio be more correct? Is the aspect ratio more important then the amount of extra content included? Based on what you stated before I would assume you would want the zoom-boxed representation since that is closest to what was originally aired.

    To me it is obvious that they are trying to future-proof their product. By moving to HD (and the expense to do so) they are looking to try to syndicate this for many years to come while trying to bring in new audiences. New audiences aren't going to understand the 4:3 aspect ratio when they grew up 16:9. I can't blame them for taking this perspective. I'm just glad they aren't just chopping the top and bottom from a zoom-boxed presentation. Losing at most a little of the top and bottom from the aired presentation by going back to the original full content of the negative, and adding some content to the sides seems like the best compromise, as long as nothing ends up being included that isn't part of the original setting.
     
  16. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Could that possibly have been a combination of what they were doing and your TV settings that might have overly distorted the image?
     
  17. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Lost in Space doesn't bother me a tenth as much as some of these other train wrecks (Dark Shadows, anyone?) At least they went back to the original negatives. I think it's a very positive thing, cleaning up the original negatives for blu-ray. I've never seen that show look better...not even close. And I've only seen the little youtube video so far. I'm going to give them a passing grade if they manage to get this onto blu-ray, wide or not. Now, the only real problem is convincing FOX to release it--
     
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  18. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Nope, TV settings are fine.
     
  19. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Then I guess they just messed up. I asked because it seems like I sometimes have to tweak a setting for a particular show from time to time to fix a stretch issue based on how the content is presented.
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That's why I said I was playing devil's advocate. Like I said, anyone involved with the photography of the show knew how the show would seen and they knew the limitations of what it would be seen on so they would compose their shots with that in mind.
     

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