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TV Guide Letter Disparages Widescreen Content

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Andy W, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Andy W

    Andy W Well-Known Member

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    Although some discussion of this has appeared on page 2 of this HTF thread, I thought this was relevant enough to have its own thread so more members would be likely to see it. (I’m not sure if this topic belongs here in the Software forum or the TV and HDTV Programming forum.)

    Here is the full text of the anti-widescreen letter published in the July 12-18, 2003, issue of TV Guide. The letter is titled “Feeling Boxed In”.

    (Begin letter) “Jeers to the networks for using the letterbox format on some of my favorite shows, including ER and The West Wing. The public buys larger TVs and the programs are cut almost in half. Let’s get back to full-screen viewing.” (End letter)

    I say jeers [​IMG] to TV Guide for publishing this letter and giving credibility to the author’s anti-widescreen notions. It’s time to write a well crafted, polite, concise, yet strong rebuttal letter, and see if TV Guide publishes it.

    Although I am not a journalist, I understand that a good editor will cover multiple sides of an issue to encourage thought and debate. Let’s see if TV Guide responds accordingly.

    Any others willing to write TV Guide?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Even with major magazines, you'd be surprised at just how few letters to the editor come in each month. If they are remotely reasonable, and not written by a crackpot, the magazine will print nearly every single one of 'em.

    So, it's simply a letter-writer voicing his displeasure. No big deal. But TV Guide itself, as I said in the linked thread, issued one of its weekly "jeers" to the increasing practice of showing original television programming in widescreen.

    Remember, it's not an A/V-enthusiasts' publication.

    But it has never editorially condemned the showing of widescreen films in a letterboxed format.

    Also, the magazine issued one of its most bluntly worded weekly "jeers" to the now-universal practice of displaying "station-bug" logos continuously.
     
  3. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    Why does anyone even bother with TV Guide any more when you can get TV listings free online or in the newspaper?
     
  4. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly. I doubt that I've bought one or even used one in 7+ years. I do subscribe to the TCM newsletter so that I get advance notice of classic films and to help support the greatest channel known to man.
     
  5. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Well-Known Member

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    First of all, printing a letter from a reader is the editorially responsible thing to do at any publication -- no matter what side the writer takes on an issue.

    Secondly, I have a problem with the whole argument that widescreen is better than fullscreen no matter what. Widescreen has no intrisically better value than fullscreen, or vice versa. It's an artistic choice made by the director or, in the case of TV, the show's creator. Let the director or the creator use the format he/she chooses, and then give it to me in that format. I no more want to see a widescreen presentation of a full-screen production than I want to see a full-screen version of a movie shot in widescreen.

    I have lost all respect for the folks at DVD File for that very reason. They call themselves OAR advocates, yet they editorially condone widescreen releases of Buffy seasons.
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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    I don't see what the huge problem is with the reader's comments. Considering that the vast, vast, vast majority of televisions in the U.S. are 4x3, it's natural that that should be the ratio of choice when composing shots. This isn't like pan and scanning widescreen movies for home video. This is a question of how shows are composed to begin with.
    That said, if a show's showrunners decide to compose 16x9 for their HDTV audience, I think it should be matted as such for the NTSC broadcasts.
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Well-Known Member

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  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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  9. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    > Newspaper listings aren't as detailed. You can't see what's playing during the week ahead.

    You've never seen a Sunday paper TV book? Pretty similar to TV Guide, & the whole paper is cheaper than the mag.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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  12. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but you're a nice crackpot!
     
  14. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Well-Known Member

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    Not that debating the significance of TV Guide is the subject of this thread, but I have yet to see a newspaper TV suppliment that lists all 300 channels I get on Digital Cable like the TV Guide Ultimate Cable edition does. For $3.99 a month (more at newsstands) it can't be beat.
     
  15. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Well-Known Member

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