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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by HDvision, Dec 17, 2012.
Lol.....commercials were perfectly fine, only the TV shows were fouled up!
To those arguing for filling your TV and ruining the OAR, no one doubts the reasons why companies are potentially releasing these shows in widescreen, nor are the technical limitations in place at the time of filming these shows in question either.
Irrespective of all these reasons, the fact remains that TV shows were broadcast in a certain ratio of 4:3 and, whether due to technical limitations or not, shots were composed with this in mind and should be released in this way. There are the odd shows that may have certain doubts but a chat to the filmmakers usually clears that up. The X Files as stated was shot for 4:3 for four seasons, protected or not! Firefly was composed for 16:9. By all means release both versions if you have to but the OAR is the most important. I seem to be having a similar argument on Bluray.com and I suspect some of the same people are here, but I recall the early days of arguing for OAR in films on DVD and being grateful for a forum like this whose members largely advocated OAR. Even bought OAR movies on VHS in the 90s - now they were rare!!! Any argument that deviates beyond the central point of what the show was composed for seems to me to be no different than wanting Star Wars or Lord of the Rings to fill up the screen.
Personally, I did not like the viewpoint of this thread when it first started. I looked at it based on the "Kung Fu" scenario where going widescreen just meant chopping away too much content from the top and bottom (i.e., filling more screen with less content). I assumed that what we originally saw was the entire negative, but now I am coming to understand that there typically has been more content available if one goes back to the original film negative.
Taking that a step further. DVD's produced from transferred video has probably always matched what we saw when originally aired because the video would have already been zoom-boxed. However, it sounds like these DVD's we are getting now that have resulted from new transfers of the original elements may actually have more content all around because they aren't zoom-boxed. I have some captures of Petticoat Junction, I think I will compare them to the latest release. If that is the case, from a purest standpoint this isn't what we expected either. A purest should want the original zoom-boxed effect.
In the end, I agree with you that they would have probably composed based on the known limitations. Those limitations being the concept of zoom-boxing and over-scanning within the old tube TV's at the time. Based on that they probably leaned towards a conservative approach with extra content all around that would neither detract if seen nor take away if removed. With that in mind and what I've seen so far on LIS, I have softened my stance since it looks possible to me (if a conservative approach was taken) to maintain the integrity of the shot while expanding information on the sides to fit a widescreen format (i.e., filling more screen with more content). I will admit I think widescreen is a better overall presentation, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice content to get it. So I'm fine with OAR or conversion to widescreen as long as the integrity is maintained based on what we originally viewed.
I would find it interesting to know how Paramount came to make the decision to keep Star Trek TNG OAR when it originally looked like they were going widescreen. I wonder if it was fan reaction or if they found shots that just couldn't be composed to meet widescreen? Did they open up the full negative or take a zoom-boxed approach?
I just have to say I think your argument is too black and white. I have no need to fill my screen and I've always respected OAR and won't argue against it in any way. However, I'm not such a purest that I can't take things on a case by case basis. I doubt I am the only one here with that perspective. As such I see nothing wrong with the "Lost in Space" samples provided. I see additional content on the sides that in no way detracts and only adds to the overall presentation. And I see nothing trimmed from top or bottom that impacts the integrity of the shot. If the rest can maintain the same I have no problem with this release.
That said, based on your viewpoint what is the preferred content to be shown? After all when someone states OAR they are also traditionally referring to the content presented. But in this case, is it what is on the 4:3 film, or what is left after zoom-boxing of the 4:3, or is it the content viewed from a TV at the time this was originally aired with the amount of over-scanning typical for the day?
just curious, as far as the sample presented, what exactly do you find offensive with it? Is this just a purest perspective or do you actually have a problem with something in the sample to where the widescreen presentation detracts from the original 4:3 formatting?
Before I forget, just to set the record straight I'm not looking to have Star Wars or Lord of the Rings to fill up my screen.
In all honesty, I'm really shocked and confused that there's any kind of debate about this. Members of HTF have always demanded OAR and I don't understand why some people think that the photography of a TV show is somehow of less value or less thought out than that of movies.
Well...I could follow up with, I'm curious why some are so focused on just discussing OAR without pointing out any issues within the samples that were posted. I mean it's really the content we are talking about, isn't it? For me it is about the integrity of the content. Has it been compromised in any way. In the majority of the discussions I've seen about OAR it is pretty clear cut that the integrity has been compromised. In this particular case I don't see it myself. Please tell me within these samples where that has happened, and then we can debate the significance of it?
And to your point between TV and Movies, it's not that I see TV as less thought off, but just that there seems to be more of a gray area within the content shot. What we have typically fought with movies going away from OAR is the obvious loss of content to fill the screen, not the addition of content that in no way detracts from the presentation. Take Lonesome Dove for example, many applaud the widescreen version.
And following up with my previous post, while the TV OAR for "Lost in Space" is 4:3, what is the accepted content, is it what is on the 4:3 film, or what is left after zoom-boxing of the 4:3, or is it the content viewed from a TV at the time this was originally aired with the amount of over-scanning typical for the day? Did everyone approach this the exact same way? Who performs the zoom-boxing and do they know the originators intent? I don't see this type of gray area when it comes to movies.
As a member of HTF I value integrity in content. I think everyone here does. For all the movies I've seen discussed (except Lonesome Dove) I would agree that OAR and content integrity are linked. But I'm also open minded to not put everything neatly in black and white boxes. I believe in the existence of outliers that need to be addressed on their own merits. And, in my mind, HDvision has brought up a scenario related to TV composition that is worth thinking about, on a case by case basis.
So is it really that all HTF members have demanded OAR, or is it about the integrity of the content, and the majority of the time they are one in the same? Because I'm a member and I'm not seeing the harm in this particular case. To be clear, I'm not saying it shouldn't be OAR, I'm just saying in this case the widescreen presentation seems equally acceptable.
So for those that states it is OAR or not at all with no possibility of compromises, all I can say I disagree. But if you want to discuss the merits of how the content has been impacted by the change, I'd like to hear individual opinions. For me, the defining element is integrity of content, not aspect ratio. Now that opens a whole other can of worms in interpretation of "integrity"...but I'm not going there, at least not tonight.
For what it's worth, here are two screen captures from the Youtube demonstration that are approximately the same camera setup and angle. One is the original 1.33:1, the other is the tested 1.78:1.
In the lower "widescreen" frame, we are losing a huge amount of Smith's spacesuit. There's also an additional bit of information to the left that looks like it could be an un-painted part of the set. It's hard to tell.
I'd prefer that they stop trying to make widescreen where none is really present. In 1965-1968, the only wide screens were in theaters. Televisions were 4:3. Shows were filmed and framed with that in mind. The only possibilities that I could see for Irwin Allen shows would be the pilot films. We know that Irwin always had the idea of making his pilot films "big" with the potential of theatrical release abroad, so he *might* have had his DP shoot with that in mind.
But once the shows went to series, the always thrifty Mr. Allen wasn't about to mess with duplicate aspect ratios. He wanted things done quickly - and cheaply. Under budget! And to hell with plots or logic! That was just his way. He surely wasn't thinking ahead to future or theatrical aspect ratios.
Now, it seems that the nature of the film medium is that it's inherently "bigger" in several dimensions than the old "safe" picture area that DP's used for television. It's apparent that some shows (THE AVENGERS - based on the earlier demos) seem to have a lot of extra info outside the safe area we were presented with, while others (STAR TREK: TNG, and now LOST IN SPACE, based on these demos) have a little extra info on the left side of the frame outside the safe area.
Most of us in the HTF are OAR enthusiasts. We want to see things as they were originally meant to be seen, and in the best possible condition. Don't take things away, just to add other things. Don't chop people off at the knees, just to show us a widget on the left of the frame and to fill up someone's TV screen.
If they have to widen up shows for syndication, well that's a business decision. But don't deprive fans who are buying these series from seeing them the way they were meant to be seen.
Please Harry, those scene's aren't even close to being the same to make any argument one way or another. From my recollection of the sample, the scene was continually closing in on the doctor face to the point where only part of Smith's upper head was even showing in the 4:3 view. To even try to use this example in defence of the OAR discussion is completely ridiculous, to the extent of "trying to pull a fast one" to win a point.
I will try when I get home tonight, but at least next time pull the exact same frame from both perspectives, and then we can have a discussion about what is missing and what has been added. Taking it a step further, if some one can pinpoint the episode where this scene comes from, I will also try to capture the same frame from the previous release with and without overscanning. Because in truth to best understand what we saw back when and what we are being presented now we need the same frame from a multitude of perspective, including one that actually emulates what was viewed back then with zoom-boxing and overscanning in place.
To some of your points:
QUOTE "It's apparent that some shows (THE AVENGERS - based on the earlier demos) seem to have a lot of extra info outside the safe area we were presented with, while others (STAR TREK: TNG, and now LOST IN SPACE, based on these demos) have a little extra info on the left side of the frame outside the safe area."
From what I have seen in the sample, this point hasn't been proven at all. We don't even know if the 4:3 images within the sample are part of the full frame or the safe area. If you know for a fact one way or another, please share.
QUOTE "Most of us in the HTF are OAR enthusiasts. We want to see things as they were originally meant to be seen, and in the best possible condition. Don't take things away, just to add other things. Don't chop people off at the knees, just to show us a widget on the left of the frame and to fill up someone's TV screen."
Again, I don't want to see information lost that was meant to be seen. From the 100% OAR camp you haven't proven that yet about the sample, regardless of that silly capture presented. I'm more than happy to be proven wrong in this sample and see the issues with going widescreen for this release. While I'm not from Kansas, I am going to use the state mantra "show me".
Honestly, my defense of this to date is not to sell the concept of taking 4:3 material and converting it to 16:9. I merely stated that it looked acceptable to me based on what I perceive as the integrity of the shots presented in the sample. I would have been more than happy with an OAR release. But this has turned into a discussion on principle from pure OAR folks that deviates in my mind on why we promoted OAR in the first place.
I will ask once again, from a purest view what is the one and only true image for a 4:3 TV release, the full frame, the zoom-boxed frame, or the zoom-boxed with overscanning like viewed on TV's at the time of release? Just stating OAR does not clarify what we should be seeing in the perfect release.
I dont think Harry was trying to pull a fast one at all - its no different than pulling any samples and arguing that one is showing more or less. The point is that in any film or TV episode there will be shots that are compromised and ones that aren't. Proving one sample is a waste of time really, unless you are going to analyse every shot.
But in reality, I dont need to prove anything about the samples provided. I have absolutely no doubt that in some shots widening the frame will showcase more image without distorting the top and bottom of the frame. And its completely irrelevant. It isn't about whether one shows more or less than any other or whether it compromises the shot as you see it (and this will be different for everyone I would suspect) - its about preserving the intent of the filmmakers. One of the many discussions I recall on here was the long discussion over the OAR of The Shining, precisely because there was an argument over Kubrick's preferred OAR against what was shown theatrically.
The argument I see used often is Whedon's composition for his episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in Season 5 called The Body and its probably because it's a good example of intent being compromised. The widescreen release has only added information to the side and I doubt many viewers of this release would have noted any issue with it (presumably considering it to be acceptable based on how they perceived the shot) had not Whedon himself raised it. The merits of the artistic choice can be debated, but what can't be argued is that the widescreen release has compromised Whedon's intent.
Babylon 5 is another example of a show which is unusual for me. From what I can see the show was shot for 4:3 and protected for 16:9 as most of the widescreen image involves dead space. Id argue the show should have been released in 4:3 primarily because of the compromises they have had to make with the effects shots as a result of releasing it in 16:9 and because it seems clear to me it was composed for 4:3. But again I would defer to the filmmakers if their intent was 16:9
The true image for a 4:3 TV release is what the filmmakers intended, whether that be full frame the zoom-bozed frame or the zoom-boxed frame with overscanning. That involves discussion with them and may well be different in individual cases (though I suspect they wont be taking into account overscanning TVs when composing shots in camera). Im sure in some cases this may be difficult if the filmmakers are no longer with us. You say just stating OAR doesn't clarify what we should be seeing - Id argue thats exactly what it does!
I don't want to be anal, but that's Missouri's motto, not Kansas.
For the record, I stated right at the top of my post: "For what it's worth". No "fast one" was intended. My apologies if you misunderstood me.
Personally, I'm with Travis on this issue. Aspects of this thread have befuddled me from the start.
The samples that have been posted are just that: samples. They probably represent just a few minutes out of countless hours of Lost in Space. We could have a discussion of the merits about these samples...but it would seem rather pointless to me. How would we know if the company that produced the sample reel (and is doing this conversion) didn't select specific examples that put their effort in the best possible light? And, unfortunately, the way the samples are presented, there is no way to do an exact side-by-side comparison as the switches (from 1.33 to 1.78 and back) are done on-the-fly...and many of them are done just before significant camera movements and shot changes. But one knee-jerk reaction I had in the 1.78 shot of a scene featuring Jonathan Harris and Robot, is that there was negligible headroom and the composition felt cramped. Of course, other shots looked fine. [But, remember, I believe such opinions are pointless based on what we have to go on. We have no idea what those shots looked like in 1.33 framing.]
I'm afraid I fall in the camp of those who don't see why someone would feel the need to tinker with the original presentation in the first place. A 4:3 image is perfectly fine with me and I am at a loss to understand what the benefits are of re-engineering
With regard to the issue of zoomboxing and the existence of more material on the sides on the original film to allow such a hybrid of "more material combined with tighter cropping", I also fall in the camp of those who would say that the decisions made by the shows creators as to how to frame their material based on the technology of the day should be considered the final word.
The following point was made on the last page by the OP of this thread about the Lost in Space shots:
This thinking just doesn't wash with me as I don't understand (and I hold open the possibility that I might need to be educated about this) why the photographers of the day would have been doing anything else but composing this program for a 4:3 medium--allowing themselves some breathing room to adjust their final presentation if need be (for either technological or aesthetic reasons).
So we could wait until the discs are out to see if those that are re-imagining the Lost in Space release have somehow made this better for the current technology by fiddling with the image and trying to make the determinations about which is the "integrity of content" referred to by Brad in his posts...or we could just figure that fans of the show would be best served by accepting the decisions made by the show's original creators.
I've seen many discussion about the value, or lack thereof, of screen captures when it comes to judging video quality, but not related to basic composition of a shot. When discussing cropping I think these samples provide a perfectly adequate tool for an initial analysis. And when someone tries to argue a point, it just seems two shots of the exact frame should be presentated when it is available. Now it is true this is just a sampling, but you can no more assume that there will be compromised shots than I can that there won't. We will have to wait for the final product.
Just as possible examples for consideration:
Say the filmmaker's intent was the entire frame while ensuring the most critical information was in the center due to the potential ramifications of zoom-boxing (seems plausible). Then what we viewed originally on TV was a compromise to that intent. Say the initial 4:3 DVD is based on zoom-boxed prints, again a compromise. Sure a 4:3 of the entire frame would provide the complete original intent and would be the best release in this case. But the studio decides to give us a widescreen with additional information on the sides and no new content top or bottom. Would this not be a better compromise than the original DVD release by still including more of the intended content regardless of the aspect ratio.
Say the filmmaker was completely aware of the effects of zoom-boxing and prepared for it in how they composed each shot. Then what we viewed originally on TV was the true intent. Now the studio remasters the negative and produces a full frame output for release (no zoom-boxing). The release is still 4:3 but not necessarily the intent of the filmmaker. The composition has been compromised by extra dead space. The best release would be a 4:3 zoom-boxed output. How many releases have we glorified that may actually be incorrect under this scenario. As an OAR purest would you condone such a release even if it may detract from the filmmakers original intent?
My point is just that for TV releases when concepts like zoom-boxing and overscanning are involved. How can we know for sure what the true intent was by the filmmaker. If we can't know that then there is no 100% established answer to cover all scenarios, at least for me.
I admit I am taking the "no harm, no foul" approach here as long as expanding the width of the content available does not detract, and no essential information is removed from top and bottom. As a consumer, my position is not irrelevant when it comes to deciding which releases to support. And I see no valid reason for not supporting this release based on what I have seen to date, even though widescreen, just to get the improved visual quality by going high definition. If that means I'm not an OAR guy 100% of the time, it is what it is.
Funny thing is I'm a fan of "Outlaw Josey Wales" where this thought came from, I should have known better. Thanks for the correction in case I decide to pull that one out again sometime in the future.
I will have to go back to the samples, but my recollection is that each shot was presented in both widescreen and fullscreen, and should allow for capture of matching frames for direct comparison. I will attempt this when time permits.
You are absolutely right this is just a small sampling, I'm not sure I would purchase without reviews about how well it is maintained throughout. It may be the exact reason Star Trek TNG did not continue with this approach.
I'm not "all in" on this thread and what it promotes, but the Avengers captures and now this Lost in Space sample has captured enough of my interest to take a wait and see approach. I've just found that this zoom-boxing concept has made me pause to reconsider how much we actually know about the true intent.
And when some jumped to the "cut-off heads" as an immediate response that i did not see, it lead me to wonder if we weren't jumping the gun a bit before we have seen enough to truely evaluate.
Harry, I apologize if I jumped the gun in my criticism of your captures. I have software that should allow me to download the video and capture frames within at least a frame of each other that will provide a better comparison. If they look bad, i will admit it, but my initial reaction from watching the sample is that they won't be.
Happens to the best of us! I was corrected in the Beverly Hillbillies thread that "penultimate" didn't mean what I thought it did! Lol
I've seen enough on this forum alone to make my head spin!
We disagree. And that's fine. But it is way too small (and controlled) a sample size to get any real sense as to how this release might turn out.
It would help, but I don't think that's possible given this particular sample reel.
And on this, we completely agree.
All this form of supposition makes my head hurt. Which is one of the reasons I believe following the original presentation is the way to go. As Simon Massey noted in his post earlier today:
It takes all that guessing out of the equation and gives us what was enjoyed upon initial viewing of the material...with no re-imaginings or guesses as to what "intent" might have been.
OK, just so no one accuses me of trying to "pull a fast one" or am trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, please know that I have no such intentions. Nor do I seek to convince anyone of either persuasion one way or the other. And I'll add that I realize that any comparisons here based on a YouTube video are at best unreliable, rendering them basically "for what it's worth" status.
Nevertheless, I have taken more time to find an exact frame replica from the LOST IN SPACE DVD. The color episode referenced in the YouTube video is Season Three, Episode One, "Condemned Of Space." Below are what I'm pretty sure are exact frame replicas. The 4x3 capture is from my DVD, and the "widescreen" version is what was presented on YouTube. Frame captures were accomplished as follows: From the DVD, VLC frame capture was used and vertically sized to match the YouTube capture. The YouTube capture was a print screen and crop to show only the YouTube frame (the middle-size, at 1080p). The YouTube scrollbar was left on the bottom, as it uses up a few lines of picture space. Here they are:
Again, this may be apples to oranges, and is provided only as a visual aid to the conversation. In this one example, all I'm witnessing is a loss of a bit of top and bottom information, and a bit more left-right information. In neither case is the loss or addition all that significant - IN THIS ONE EXAMPLE. I'm merely providing it as a point of interest within this discussion. You may draw your own conclusions, or draw none. That's entirely up to the individual.
It's only here "FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH".
My own personal observation is that the DVD image is either squished a little horizontally, or the widescreen image is a little stretched horizontally. They are not presenting the actors' faces in the same aspect ratio. Knowing how wonky the transfers are on those DVDs, I would suspect that they are indeed squeezed a bit. It's obvious that whoever is doing and presenting the test images is taking greater care in doing the best job possible.
And once again, my view is that I like the restoration job a great deal, see little advantage in a widescreen presentation, and would prefer that Blu-rays and DVDs be presented 4x3, and leave any widening aspect ratios to syndication broadcasts.
Oh, I agree with you. My initial inclusion in all this was based on the immediate "heads cut-off". I just meant it provided some examples to show why it might not be the case, definitely not that it proved it would be the case.
I think Harry's latest captures are much closer to showing that the trimming on top and bottom is not the same as what we have seen in the past (e.g., Kung Fu) where the trimming occurred from the zoom-boxed video vs. the full frame. I still plan on taking captures of my own. I would especially like to try and compare what was truly shown on the TV at the time to determine how much additional content is outside the zoom-boxed area.
If this had been announced as a 4:3 you wouldn't have heard a peep out of me. I much prefer the easy way out and just watching from my collection then composing responses. I guess what I will end with (after responding to Harry) is that this wasn't the news I expected about the release, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet and call it a failure either. The HD is a big plus and the formatting just might be acceptable to me, whereas some of the other widescreen attempts have not.