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Aspect Ratio Documentation

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    Yes a good article with just a few errors.

    "A couple years later, CinemaScope reduced the ratio slightly to 2.35:1 in order to fit an additional audio track onto the film prints for stereophonic sound."

    That was to add a mono track. The four track stereo sound was already on the film when it was 2.55.

    "Other rival formats included VistaVision (designed for flexible projection at either 1.66:1, 1.85:1 or 2.0:1), ToddAO 65mm (2.20:1) and three-strip Cinerama (approximately 2.89:1, projected onto a giant 146º curved screen)."

    Cinerama was 2.59.
     
  2. LeoA

    LeoA Well-Known Member

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    It's aspect ratio related, but why are some older Academy ratio films, cartoon shorts, and such sometimes presented in a window within a 4:3 picture (I'm not talking about pillarboxing to maintain the OAR on a 16:9 screen)?

    I was most recently reminded about this when my local PBS station aired an episode of the Jack Benny Program the other day. While that one was 4:3 which is slightly different than the Academy film ratio, it was shown the same way with a border around the entire picture.
     
  3. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting article. It seems to suggest that Fox and Paramount had already taken steps to ensure sound films were being shot so that they could be shown in the traditional 1.33:1, rather than 1.19:1, and further to that the Academy were recommending that all studios adopt such steps. And this is as early as February 1930. My impression was until 1.37:1 was standardised in 1932, all sound on film pictures were composed 1.19:1.
     
  4. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Well-Known Member

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    RAH states in his recent WB post that WB's Hammer properties are a high priority for them next year. Assuming that Dracula, The Mummy and The Curse of Frankenstein are the most likely candidates, and knowing that WB are more likely than most to consider and follow the documentation, it'd be nice if we could see these mastered in their correct 1.75:1/1.85:1 ratio (I wonder if the members who have access to Kine Weekly issues could advise how they were listed?). The Curse of Frankenstein would obviously be the most interesting, considering how awful the Lionsgate disc looks (AR aside).

    That is, assuming any of these are coming from new transfers.
     
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The short answer is that these were 4x3 monitor overscan safe standards that are still being followed despite being out of date for modern 16x9 monitors with little-to-no overscan.
     
  6. HDvision

    HDvision Well-Known Member

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    Not sure it's still being followed. More like you're watching masters made last century.
     
  7. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    That would be fantastic!

    However, it appears that Kine Weekly - the prominent UK trade journal from the period - does not list specific ratios for the Bray productions. They are simply marked "standard widescreen."

    If that is the case, I suspect they were following the British Film Producers Association standard implemented in 1955 which was a common-top composition for 1.75:1.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    There's a great deal of new information to be harvested from these ancient journals!
     
  9. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I bet they said that because the non-smilebox "flat" version of How the West Was Won on Blu-ray is 2.89 when the curvature is mathematically altered.
     
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  10. LeoA

    LeoA Well-Known Member

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    But it still happens on the rare occasion even on a channel like PBS broadcasting in 4:3 in standard definition on my Sony Trinitron that has a good bit of overscan. This particular episode had a good inch border at least around the entire picture on my 25" Trinitron, way beyond protecting for even the worst offending tv.

    Usually is a B&W movie, B&W tv show, or an cartoon short from the before 1950 or so when it happens. Been noticing it on occasion since I was a little kid several decades ago.
     
  11. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    You've got to hand it to the British.

    During all the confusion over multiple ratios in the early years of transition, they were first to standardize at the aspect ratio of 1.75:1 in 1955.

    I just found out that Elf actually made a variable aperture gate for the 16mm Eiki projector!

    Has anybody ever come across one of these?

    elf_eiki_gate_959.jpg
     
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  12. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The true meaning of ongoing research.

    I've just learned that the Bell and Howell 16mm Filmosound model 641 and 642, introduced in 1961, also had an adjustable aperture plate.

    Bell and Howell Filmosound widescreen 641 and 642.JPG
     
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  13. antoniobiz1

    antoniobiz1 Well-Known Member

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    Bob, very interesting pictures.

    Apparently, there is no mention of common top masking, so maybe center cropping was far more common (unless, of course, projectionists were expected to obtain common top masking by "racking" the picture).

    Either way, there is no mention of it.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I am the farthest thing from an expert in terms of aspect ratio...but whenever I see something like this happen on broadcast television I always take it with a grain of salt because of all the variables involved along the chain that take the original source and deposit it in your home.

    There is the source product>>the originating playback device>>the processing units which push the signal out their door>.the receipt of that signal at the cable company/dish company>>the processing of that signal by the satellite/dish company>.the way they send the signal (SD/HD, for example) over their system>>the settings on your cable box>>the way your cable box is wired to your display>>the settings on your display>>etc.

    And there is any number of other variables that can work their way into the chain which can impact the way the original product appears on your set and result in it being stretched/squashed or even possibly correct. :D
     
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  15. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Well-Known Member

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    I got the following from iTunes.

    Dear iTunes Customer,
    Thank you for downloading the movie Noah. Unfortunately, the movie you received may have had some noticeable quality issues. We have corrected the problem and a new copy is available to download, free of charge. To receive the new version, please re-download the title from your iTunes purchase history.
    For information on how to remove the current version, go to:
    How to delete content you've downloaded from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store
    For information on how to download the new copy, go to:
    Download past purchases
    Regards,
    iTunes Support Team
    http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/ww/

    I checked with my Apple TV and Noah is now correctly at 1.85.
     
  16. Rick Z.

    Rick Z. Well-Known Member

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    The aspect ratio of "Diabolique" was discussed briefly around here like a hundred pages ago.

    I decided to check my Criterion BD and there's a lot of headroom at all times during the film. Even the credits are "widescreen-friendly".

    I wonder if other films like "Eyes Without a Face" and "Judex", which are 1.66:1 on the Criterion BDs are correct or not?
     
  17. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know what the correct aspect ratio for Monty Python and the Holy Grail is? It is an early 70's British film and is on disc at 1.66:1.
     
  18. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Just to keep the documents in one place, these were recently posted in other threads.

    The OAR for the early Allied Artists widescreen films is 1.66:1 and the Universal-International's are 2:1. AA changed to 1.85:1 in mid-September 1953. Their first for 1.85:1 was ARROW IN THE DUST.

    Also, in case you missed my new article on the history and preservation of a lost 3-D film: http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/dragonfly-squadron

    Allied-Artists-wide-7.13.53.gif

    Glenn Miller film Bulletin 5.18.53.gif
     
  19. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    Glenn Miller story just released overseas - full frame.
     
  20. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    That's a shame.
     

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