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Benefit of Widescreen on TV shows?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett Jason, Nov 8, 2001.

  1. Brett Jason

    Brett Jason Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 1999
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    For someone that doesn't have a widescreen TV there's no real benefit to shows like Buffy, ER etc. being broadcast in widescreen, is there? I was answering the dreaded "what are those black bars" question the other day and answered the movies to TV part of it (rectangle movie screen and square TV screen) but choked on the answer for shows like ER, Buffy. Sorry for letting you guys down [​IMG]
  2. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2000
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    Right. In an attempt to be 16x9-friendly, virtually everything television show shot on film nowadays is shot in widescreen, often on Super16, Super35, or 3-perf 35mm. The vast majority of these are cropped for broadcast, though the OAR in nearly all of these cases would still be considered 4x3. Most of these shows are framed for 4x3 but shot 16x9-safe, so it's not too terribly different than the open-matte debate. Wider isn't necessarily better, though some series do frame more specifically for 16x9 than 4x3.
    I'm just sort of parroting what I've heard elsewhere, so someone with more direct experience (as in, any) in this area may be able to offer more useful information.
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    [Edited last by Adam Tyner on November 08, 2001 at 02:07 PM]
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2001
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    Albany, NY
    Pretty much all shows are shot at 16x9 nowadays. However the vast majority are framed for 4x3 (which means the extra area wasn't intended to be show). These are broadcast in 4x3, with HDTV broadcasts exposing the full image. James' comparison to open matte is a good one... it's basically useless information made availiable to 16x9 TV owners who either don't want the "ugly grey bars" or want to prevent burn-in.
    Some shows however (ER, Angel, Enterprise, etc.) are framed specifically for 16x9 broadcast. Therefore, they are presented in widescreen to preserve their original framing.
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  4. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 1999
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    Things are slightly different here in the UK, where widescreen TVs are much more common. At the moment, the BBC tends to broadcast new programmes in widescreen on digital satellite and 'normal' ratio on the conventional service. Full marks to the makers of these programmes that they are generally well-framed in either format. In such circumstances, whether you prefer the widescreen or conventional screen is a matter of personal choice, but IMHO, things like sports broadcasts are almost inevitably better in widescreen, because you see more of the peripheral action.

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