Vudu Aspect Ratio Question

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Tom Logan, May 3, 2014.

  1. Tom Logan

    Tom Logan Stunt Coordinator

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    New Vudu customer here, and so far I've been pleased that the films I've rented have been in OAR...

    ...Until last night, when I tried to watch The Year of Living Dangerously. The credits were in the correct ratio of 2.35, but after credits the image shifted to 1.85. :(

    My questions:

    [*]Is there any way to tell PRE-PURCHASE whether a Vudu title will be in the original aspect ratio?

    [*]What are my chances of getting a refund? When this has happened with Comcast On-Demand, they have refunded my rental charge.
    [/list]

    Thanks for any help. :)
     
  2. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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    You can watch a 2 minute free preview before ordering a title. That should usually tell you if it's been modified, though sometimes the credits - which can exceed 2 minutes - are letterboxed while the rest of the film is cropped.
     
  3. revgen

    revgen Supporting Actor

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    1) There is a 2-minute preview option for each movie. But as you've indicated, sometimes the opening credits will have a different aspect ratio than the main movie.

    2) There is nothing in the Vudu Terms of Service that indicates that you can or can't receive a refund for a stream that you're not satisfied with. I suppose you can contact them and see if they will do it. Don't be surprised if they say no.

    3) The Vudu forums has a thread listing AR affected films. It may not be entirely accurate.

    https://forum.vudu.com/showthread.php?913191-The-quot-Incorrect-Aspect-Ratio-quot-Thread
     
  4. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    Sometimes if you complain loudly enough they will fix it. It may take a while though, they have to wait for the studio to deliver a new transfer. They have been known to give refunds before when things don't work.
     
  5. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    I won't buy from Vudu out of my steadfast refusal to support Walmart, but I've redeemed several UV codes through them, and the one which hasn't been OAR is Refn's Drive, cropped from 2.35 to 1.78. I tried contacting UV and Vudu via email and sort of got the "ask your mother/ask your father" routine. My understanding is that the best way to deal with such issues is through their forums, however.
     
  6. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    One trick I've noticed is that while watching the free 2 minute preview, click the fast forward button once on your remote. You will be able to fast forward thru the entire film. At least this works on my Roku 2.

    While you won't be able to watch anything past 2 minutes at normal speed, you'll at least be able to see if the film is in the proper aspect ratio or not, as well as get an idea of picture quality.

    I wish Vudu would give at least 3 minutes free, because the credits of so many films last over 2 minutes. It really helps being able to see a part of the film before deciding if you want to buy it or not.

    The Warner Bros owned films, of which THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY is one, are prime culprits for CinemaScope films being blown up to 1.78 pan and scan. Some that come to mind are RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, HEARTBREAK RIDGE and THE IRON GIANT. There are also some 20th Century Fox titles that are shown this way. THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS is one of the Fox titles that's been re-formatted. They should only offer films in their original aspect ratios, or possibly offer both versions, especially since they're offering the films for sale.
     
  7. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Screenwriter

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    I'm pretty sure that VUDU provides the film in whatever aspect ratio the studio gives it to them in.
     
  8. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    That's true, but I also think they need to improve their relationship with the studio's, because other UV providers offer some of the same films in their correct ratios when vudu does not. For example, Ben-Hur and Bewitched.
     
  9. RJ992

    RJ992 Second Unit

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    The VUDU version of THE HOBBIT: DESOLATION OF SMAUG in 3D has been cropped to 1.78. Pretty severely too.
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I wish somebody would make a database listing the aspect ratio of every title from each of the streaming services. Sometimes all the streaming services have an incorrect aspect ratio and other times it is limited to just one. For instance 12 years a Slave is correct on Vudu but modified on Flixter. It would be nice to be able to know exactly what you are getting before purchasing.
    Great tip! I tried it on the Vudu app on my Sony Blu-ray player and it worked like a charm. Next time I am considering buying a download I will do this just to make sure they don't pull a fast one with an aspect ratio switch.
     
  11. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    What would be nice is if the director chose an aspect ratio in which to shoot and then the film distributed that way everywhere going forward. I assume cropped presentations like this are prepped for HDTV broadcasts? If streaming is the future and they want me on board, this is an issue they're going to have to solve.
     
  12. dochsal

    dochsal Auditioning

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    yeah I usually do not count on the reviews till I see myself
     

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