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What tv on dvd sets are "fake" widescreen?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    I have an idea that nearly everything I own from ADV(Beastmaster,Earth final Conflict, Andromeda) has been butchered with the tops, and bottoms cut off. I'm not positive, but shows filmed for tv in 1997 I believe were filmed 1:33 and not shot in Widescreen. Also the first two seasons of The Lost World are fine, but season 3 is widescreen. Anyone know if this is true, and also if you know of another fake widescreen show, please list it.
     
  2. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Wow, I'd really like to know if this is true about Andromeda. I own the Slipstream Collection (the entire series consisting of fifty discs housed in twenty-five slim cases). I hope the widescreen for this edition has not been butchered.
     
  3. Arild

    Arild Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. Stargate SG-1 began in 1997 and was shot in 16:9 from the start. I suppose it could be a unique case, but since one TV series was shot that way back then, isn't it possible that others were as well?
     
  4. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    Andromeda looks amazing on dvd. I just picked up the Slipstream collection(really digging it) through Amazon's sale. I don't want to alarm you about the widescreen issue. It's very possible it was filmed 1:85, 1:78 and not 1:33 which is the standard way tv shows(not the current ones) were shot up until a few years ago! I'm just curious. I have been skeptical about tv widescreen ever since the Kung Fu season 1 fiasco.
     
  5. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, very possible. When I used to see all these first run syndicated shows on tv, they weren't widescreen, but that doesn't mean anything, as networks never aired them that way even if they were shot widescreen. That's why this issue is so tough to determine.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Kung Fu season 1 (and I think 2) certainly is. Something I therefore passed on. They did finally fix it for season 3.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    There were other shows (The X-Files and Millennium) that switched over to 1.78 in the 1997-1998 season so at least you know it wasn't completely unheard of at that time.

    I think you're probably OK since it's a sci-fi show so you'd have heard some outcry if they tampered with the AR back when they were released.
     
  8. Mary_P

    Mary_P Well-Known Member

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    "Kung Fu" would not have been filmed with the 16x9 area protected for potential widescreen broadcast. More recent shows would, especially those series sold into foreign markets. I'm under the impression that widescreen television was more widely adopted in Europe than it was in the US by the late 90s. "Buffy" is one example of a show shot primarily for 4:3, but had the 16x9 area protected for European broadcast.

    It's possible that your "Andromeda" (and other) DVDs are not cropping off the top and bottom, but are showing additional image on the sides that may not have been part of the original US broadcast. But I defer to anyone who knows that show better than I do...!
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, George knows that. [​IMG]
     
  10. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    Seasons 2, and 3 are fine. It's just too bad about season 1. I own it, and for a show 35 years old the picture quality is astonishing, but knowing I'm not seeing the whole picture really bugs me!
     
  11. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    I think your correct. The more I looked into it, I realized these shows were most likely filmed widescreen, and just shown on tv in a full screen form. I'm not going to let it bother me anymore!


    Wow, Kung Fu season 1, and the V tv movies are apparently the only fake widescreen shows on dvd. Looks like Warner Brothers needs to start re-issuing these correctly
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    Starting in the early 90s a number of television series began shooting in Super35 to "future proof" them for HDTV. So their original aspect ratios were neither 1.33:1 nor 1.78:1. Instead either frame could be extracted from the oversized Super35 frame. (Just as Terminator 2, Titanic and Apollo 13 had both 1.33:1 TV versions and 2.35:1 theatrical versions extracted from the same original film.)

    So it isn't necessarily a matter of "fake widescreen" and many shows that have the tops and bottom of the frams trimmed for widescreen also show more of the image on the sides than the original broadcast does. (You can see exactly the same thing if you compare many shot-on-film HDTV series broadcasts to their SD broadcast counterparts.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  13. Rick P

    Rick P Well-Known Member

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    Andromeda is neither "fake widesceen" nor "butchered", it was filmed and composed widescreen. Not long after the 1st few eps aired I had an opportunity to ask Robert Hewitt Wolfe in a live chat if the show had been filmed wide, since it had a cramped look, he said that it was, but none of the syndicated stations it was airing on at the time wanted the wide version. Same for EFC and Beastmaster (as you noticed, they started filming wide in season 3).
     
  14. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Bryan^H,

    Agreed about how amazing it looks. It's one of those series that IMO cannot be enjoyed to the fullest on television. I noticed a huge difference in the sound quality between the DVDs and the televised versions. Thanks for the additional info, BTW.
     
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    The broadcast or regular cable showings of the episodes would be limited to analog sound - matrixed Dolby Surround would be the best they could manage. The DVDs are probably mixed in discrete Dolby Digital and thus much better than the original broadcasts. The difference isn't as dramatic between shows broadcast in HDTV and Dolby Digital and their DVD releases.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  17. chas speed

    chas speed Well-Known Member

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    The only other fakes that pop to my mind are the revival Dark Shadows series and Route 66 Season One Volume 2.
     
  18. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Well-Known Member

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    I believe the same is true for "Relic Hunter", which was co-German produced to begin with. Some HBO movies, like "Traveling Man" (1989) is widescreen on DVD and clearly chopping off a great deal of picture. Warner DVD released "The Quick and the Dead" (1987), and "The Bourne Identity" (1988) in widescreen as well, though I don't think they were shot that way.
     
  19. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Well-Known Member

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    Babylon 5 S1 and S2. Although JMS claims they were always shot 'protected for widescreen', it's pretty obvious S1 really wasn't, to the extent that three effects shots show the entire 4:3 frame compressed into 16:9 (rather than cutting off top and bottom, which would have edited out the special effects). And in the series generally close-ups of characters usually show them losing the tops of their heads as well as the tips of their chins.

    Also, West Wing S2 is tilt-and-scanned as well, but I don't know if it was shot protected in the first place, as doesn't look obviously 'wrong'.

    And I believe V has also been tilt-and-scanned.
     
  20. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this would best explain it in detail:

    Letterboxing is the practice of transferring widescreen film to video formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. Since the video display often has a square aspect ratio, the resulting videographic image has mattes (black bars) above and below it; LTBX is the identifying acronym for films and images so formatted.

    Letterboxing is the alternative to the full-screen, pan-and-scan transference of a widescreen film image to videotape or videodisc. In pan-and-scan transfers, the original image is cropped to the 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect ratio of the standard television screen, whereas letterboxing preserves the film's original image composition seen in the cinema.

    Letterboxing was for use in 4:3 television displays when widescreen television was in its technologic infancy. Any Academy ratio (1.33:1) film will appear stretched and distorted to fill the widescreen television display, avoided by pillar boxing the image either via the TV set or the DVD player. Occasionally, an image broadcast at 4:3 appears letterboxed on a 4:3 or a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio television screen. This effect is common on personal video websites and old documentaries, either the original image's top and bottom have been matted or it appears stretched and wider than normal, making the people appear fat.

    In today's changing home video format, the term "letterbox" sometimes is referred to a motion picture or video that is not been anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 screens, thus not taking full advantage of the DVD or HDTV resolution.
     

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