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Widescreen War Won!


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51 replies to this topic

#1 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 20 2003 - 11:16 AM

Widescreen War Won, but many battles to be fought.

Not uncommon for major network TV shows to now be in HD 16:9, and released on DVD in anamorphic transfers.
Commercials, both for products & networks, are letterboxed.
Direct to Video releases, are anamorphic widescreen (from Disney, no less).
Sales of widescreen DVD titles far out pace P&S of the same title (if not at first release, than in the weeks after initial release). [Exceptions for a 'children only' title.]
A few, not enough, movies on cable are letterboxed.
Pay-per-view movies in HD & SD are in OAR.

So, P&S is finally fading off into the sunset!

However, many battles are still too be won as well;

Disney, releasing catalog title in P&S only.
HBO showing HD movies in non-OAR.
Many more movies on cable still in P&S.
Sell though B&B's, still catering to J6P & the Pan and Scanners [sounds like a bad band]).
Rental, can you say Blockbuster, B&B's still promoting non-OAR releases.
And you can add your rant, to whatever else needs too be addressed in the 'last days of the war' clean-up of the dreaded P&S!

Great to see widescreen monitor/TV sales up, up, up!
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#2 of 52 Ken Seeber

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Posted March 20 2003 - 11:46 AM

If there are many battles still to be fought, then by definition the war has not been won.

#3 of 52 Travis_W

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Posted March 20 2003 - 11:56 AM

I agree but we're at least making a little progress. I think when the studios quit releasing seperate fullscreen versions alongside the superior widescreen versions that will be a major victory.

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#4 of 52 Gary->dee

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:07 PM

I'm an advocate of widescreen but until there aren't any TV's in the world smaller than say, 32 inches, there should at least be a P&S option available. IMO you can't really enjoy or take full advantage of a widescreen presentation on anything smaller than a 32 or 27 inch TV. You get the entire frame but lose a lot of the detail as opposed to P&S which sacrifices the original framing for greater detail.

I'm hoping this will all be a moot point one day when technology allows us to switch between P&S and widescreen versions of a movie at the press of a button.

#5 of 52 Ricardo C

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:09 PM

If all studios finally adopt the "dual versions in one SKU" strategy, then the war will have been won Posted Image Well, not "won" per se, since P&S will still exist, but it'll certainly be a very agreeable compromise Posted Image
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#6 of 52 Malcolm R

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:12 PM

I don't think I'd declare it won just yet.

Paramount, a studio which had been OAR only since DVD started, began to release separate P&S versions last fall.

Artisan continues to release P&S only catalog titles as well.

Quote:
Disney, releasing catalog title in P&S only.

Disney is so schizophrenic when it comes to DVD release aspect ratios. Either the head of BVHV has multiple personality disorder, or there are multiple "little chiefs" making decisions on various titles. You get one release like Snow Dogs that's released P&S only, now we get Tuck Everlasting released in 2.35 widescreen only. Bizarre.
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#7 of 52 RaulR

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:17 PM

But now we have DVDs like "Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live" with a widescreen picture achieved by chopping off the top and bottom of the original 4:3 frame. The studios are getting the wrong message. It's not widescreen we want -- it's OAR.

#8 of 52 Keith Paynter

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Posted March 20 2003 - 05:16 PM

Not unlike the dual LP releases of the 1960's when mono was the norm and stereo was the new kid on the block...mono was eventually phased out.

It will happen.
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#9 of 52 Andy_MT

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Posted March 20 2003 - 10:23 PM

Pan & Scan

#10 of 52 Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:03 AM

What is "SKU"?

#11 of 52 Robert Ringwald

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:05 AM

Why do people say that? I enjoyed watching WIDESCREEN movies on a 13" tv. At the time I was 15, and didn't even notice it was widescreen.

I think no matter what size certain people's TV is they'll think "I paid so much for this large tv, and it's not being used!"

#12 of 52 Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:53 AM

Hei på deg Lars Posted Image

SKU explained @ Amazon

I also agree about television sizes, I watched my widescreen DVD's on a 13" TV as well, before upgrading to a 32" WS - now of course I prefer the 32" and would not go back, but I still prefered widescreen even on my small screen.
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#13 of 52 Glenn Overholt

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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:18 AM

I disagree. It won't be over until the fat lady sings, and the TV manufactures have duct-taped her month closed. So there!

Glenn

#14 of 52 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 21 2003 - 04:04 AM

The war ain't won.
Be an Original Aspect Ratio Advocate

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#15 of 52 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted March 21 2003 - 04:53 AM

TV production in 16:9 vs. 4:3 has nothing to do with it. I don't particularly care how they compose and frame it as long as it is well done. There is nothing inherently better about one versus the other.

The argument occasionally put forth that 16:9 is "more cinematic" is one that I don't get, either. Citizen Kane looks pretty darn cinematic to me at 4:3.

All I want is to be able to see high quality releases of great films and TV shows in their proper aspect ratio whether it fills my 16:9/4:3 screen or not.

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#16 of 52 Matt Rexer

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Posted March 21 2003 - 04:57 AM

Quote:
But now we have DVDs like "Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live" with a widescreen picture achieved by chopping off the top and bottom of the original 4:3 frame. The studios are getting the wrong message. It's not widescreen we want -- it's OAR.
Also the recent It DVD, which forced me to seek out the properly 4:3-framed LD. This type of thing makes me equally as angry as P&S releases, though there seems to be much less concern about the growing "tilt & scan" problem as there is for the someday-non-existant-because-everyone-will-have-16:9-TVs P&S problem.

Sigh. Clearly, the war will never be won. Circa 2010, the new JP6 will be demanding the tops and bottoms chopped off of his HD-DVD version of Snow White so it'll "fill his widescreen."
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#17 of 52 WillG

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Posted March 21 2003 - 05:35 AM

"Also the recent It DVD, which forced me to seek out the properly 4:3-framed LD"

I thought I read somewhere that the AR that was intended by the director was indeed 1.85:1. If fact, I think he originally wanted to do full blown 2.35:1 which would have made it easier to get all the characters in frame at the same time, if the shot necessitated that. ABC did not want that and 1.85:1 was the compromise. Even though it was ultimately shown 4:3 in the US, wasn't there intentions for "IT" to be shown theatrically in foreign countries? So it could have been composed for 1.85:1

I Guess in the US it is technically not OAR, but wouldn't the director's intent with AR supercede how it was originally shown? (I dub this the "Kubrick Effect")
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#18 of 52 Brent Hutto

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Posted March 21 2003 - 05:38 AM

From the point of view of the the content providers, the war won't be won until the market settles on a single resolution, aspect ratio, delivery mechanism (with copy protection so everything can be pay-per-view) and quality (half-way decent) so that any movie or TV show can be delivered interchagably and cheaply to millions of non-discriminating consumers in a standard package. Then they can spend all their marketing resources on meaningless brand differences among otherwise homogeneous "product".

They may never win that war but it won't stop them from whittling away at it a little bit at a time, aided when possibly by the coercive power of the US Government. Us OAR geeks are just clinging to the old order where there are "artists" trying to impose their choices on how the product is packaged. If everything is chopped or padded to the same aspect ratio, the "artists" will just have to learn to adjust. There'll be plenty of money to make it all better in the end.

#19 of 52 Matt Rexer

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:18 AM

Quote:
I thought I read somewhere that the AR that was intended by the director was indeed 1.85:1. If fact, I think he originally wanted to do full blown 2.35:1 which would have made it easier to get all the characters in frame at the same time, if the shot necessitated that. ABC did not want that and 1.85:1 was the compromise.
Director Tommy Lee Wallace mentions something about this on the DVD's commentary, I've read, though I think he was complaining about fitting 7 characters into a small 4:3 frame and wished he could've done it in 1.85:1. I doubt Wallace was delusional enough to ask a 1990 American network to broadcast a show in 2:35:1. ABC's "what's with them black bars?" phone calls would've skyrocketed at the time.
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#20 of 52 Ron-P

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:53 AM

Quote:
IMO you can't really enjoy or take full advantage of a widescreen presentation on anything smaller than a 32 or 27 inch TV.

I disagree, completely. If a WS VHS tape was available, I bought it and watched it on my 27" TV years before DVD.


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