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Super Widescreen 2.76:1 Ratio HDTVs


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#1 of 18 Neil McCaulley

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Posted February 17 2005 - 04:45 AM

I have been doing some reading and I came across this little tidbit of information that I found interesting:

Quote:
Vistavision had a ratio of 1.66:1 with both Cinemascope and Panavision being 2.35:1. The widest popular movie was “Ben Hur” (1959) with an aspect-ratio of 2.76:1. Most movies today are around 1.85:1 with some wider at 2.35:1 and very few narrower than 1.66:1.


Source Material

Note that the widest theatrical aspect ratio was 2.76:1. This being the case, I wonder if we will see in the next year or two a 2.76:1 Super Widescreen High-Definition Television for sale in the market? I find it rather odd that the current 'Widescreen' HDTVs out there can't accommodate a true widescreen picture with its current 1.77:1 (16 x 9) format. I wonder why companies like Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba did not begin producing the correct 2.76:1 aspect ratio sets from the beginning? The way it is now, I STILL get black bars on the top and bottom of some of my Widescreen movies on my current 46" Widescreen Hitachi. Would it not have made sense to make the wider aspect ratio sets that could accommodate ALL of the picture data when you are watching a movie? I look at it this way, you can always watch movies smaller than Ben Hur on this type of set. But if you happened to be in the mood to watch Mr. Heston in this epic, then you could watch it the way it was meant to be—in a screen-filled, resolution rich format that fills your entire viewing area.

Thoughts?

Mr. McCaulley

#2 of 18 chris_everett

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Posted February 17 2005 - 04:57 AM

1.77:1 was chosen largly because it is what HDTV is in, not because of movies. Besides, there are some films that are as high as (IIRC) 3.2:1. There are a couple of dozen aspect ratios that are fairly commen, and probably dozens more that have only been used rarely. You have to compromise somewhere, and it's been shown that letterboxing is less distracting than pillarboxing.
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#3 of 18 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 17 2005 - 04:59 AM

16:9 is used by television manufacturers because it is the spec used for HDTV and because it's a good compromise for the varying aspect ratio of hollywood films. You may have black bars at the bottom of your current set on some films, but with a wider aspect ratio screen you would have black columns on the sides of much more of the content you watch. I own around 450 DVDs and over half of my DVDs have an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 or lower. This along with the growth of HDTV makes it clear that the 16:9 ratio is the correct one for set manufacturers to use.

#4 of 18 John S

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Posted February 17 2005 - 05:26 AM

Most DVD players have zoom, that will at least in part take care of this for you. The real crime, would be attempting to watch a 1.78:1 movie on a 2.35:1 screen in my opinion.

I think they did well on the spec as the best compromise for handling all the different aspect ratios out there.

#5 of 18 John S

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Posted February 17 2005 - 05:28 AM

PS: Can you even imagine how small 1.33:1 material would be if they went any wider on the spec?

#6 of 18 Neil McCaulley

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Posted February 17 2005 - 06:37 AM

I am starting to understand now. You guys are saying that a televised broadcast that is optimized for HDTV AND Widescreen, is originally produced for display on a 16:9 aspect ratio TV. DVDs were not considered when this 'standard' was invented?

What about those who don't bother with HDTV programming and just want their TVs for watching DVD movies? Would it not make sense to offer this new type of aspect ratio TV?

Mr. McCaulley

#7 of 18 John S

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Posted February 17 2005 - 07:59 AM

You have more DVD movies that are wider than 1.85:1 than otherwise? I can't say for sure, but I'd venture at the most only half of mine would be, if that many of them.

#8 of 18 Neil McCaulley

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Posted February 17 2005 - 08:42 AM

All I know is that I do own some movies on DVD where I get the balck bars on the top and bottom of the screen because I don't have enough horizontal screen to accomodate such a large picture.
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#9 of 18 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 17 2005 - 09:04 AM

The niche for wider aspect ratio screens would be so minor that there's no profit in it for the display companies. It's been extremely hard to get the public on board for widescreen displays (mainly sue to a lack of knowledge about the format), so trying to sell an even wider format that isn't native for HDTV and is only native for extremely wide films would be pretty futile.

If you want a completely variable aspect ratio your best bet is front projection with a fixed height screen and variable side masking (curtains) like theaters use. Also, DVDs with wider than 16:9 aspect are still encoded in 16:9 with black bars hard-encoded at the top and bottom of the picture, so you're not going to get any more picture resolution by having a wider display.


#10 of 18 chris_everett

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Posted February 17 2005 - 10:09 AM

About half of my DVD's are 16X9, the rest being a hodgepodge of everything from 1.33:1, 2.35:1, 2.4:1, and so on. I suppose they could have picked any aspect ration they wanted when they were making the HDTV/Widescreen TV specs, but as John pointed out, to get really wide would have made 1.33:1 very small, even on a large set. Given the difficulty of selling "black bars" to the public, I can only imagine the trouble of selling a 2.X:1 Display. The final problem is that most of us are limited by width when we decide what TV to buy or how wide to make a screen; to get the largest image possible, a taller aspect ratio makes more sense. Some guys put 1.33:1 screens in their theaters for this reason. I went with 1.77:1 for a more movie theater like experience (and I have little 1.33:1 material)
--Chris Everett

#11 of 18 Rolando

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Posted February 17 2005 - 12:00 PM

Well when I will go for a Front Projector I will try to get a 2.35:1 screen.

2.35 is only about 25% of my DVDs but I always though wider fims needed to be bigger too. to me going from a 1.85 movie to a 2.35 movie meant a bigger, wider picture not less picture.

just me...
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#12 of 18 Brian_cyberbri

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Posted February 17 2005 - 05:24 PM

I could be wrong, but people with fp's mask their screens to accomodate different ARs, moving fabric, etc. up and down. You can even do this on a ws TV, with velcro taped to the four corners on the back, and some stretchy black fabric to cover the black bars in 1.85:1 and wider movies. This would help if you have anything but a CRT-RPTV and want to hide the non-true-black letterbox bars.

#13 of 18 Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 18 2005 - 01:24 AM

Quote:
I find it rather odd that the current 'Widescreen' HDTVs out there can't accommodate a true widescreen picture with its current 1.77:1 (16 x 9) format


Mine accomodates it just fine. I find if you keep your eyes on the picture and not the black bars it makes it much easier to follow the movie. YMMV!

#14 of 18 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 18 2005 - 02:28 AM

You can use masking at the top and bottom w/ FP or any other display type. This is called a constant width masking setup. But FP allows you to use variable masking on the sides in combination with the projector's zoom for a constant height setup.

#15 of 18 Brian_cyberbri

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Posted February 18 2005 - 09:17 AM

You can mask 16x9 TVs too, with black fabric and some velcro on the back side of the TV at the four corners. This helps if you're not on a CRT and don't have true-black letterbox bars.

#16 of 18 GregK

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Posted February 18 2005 - 11:04 AM

Actually there is a true 2.35:1 'jury-rig' option available for 16x9 projection sets. I haven't tried it myself, but it makes sense and does provide constant height for standard 1.33:1, HDTV 1.78:1, and Scope 2.35:1 features. It has been tried by others, who often give it glowing results if you want to go through the expense and trouble.

Here's how it works-

For standard 1.33:1 features, set your projector to 4x3 (normal set-up).

For 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced features, set your projector for 16x9 (again normal set-up).

For 16x9 enhanced scope (2.35:1 aspect ratio) features, one would set their 16x9 projector to the letterboxed mode. This would crop most of the unused black bars of the still squeezed scope image, but does not crop the sides. Then, by using an add-on 16x9 anamorphic lens, the still squeezed image is unsqueezed to a full 2.35:1 image. This somewhat expensive option (the cost of the 16x9 anamorphic lens attachment) has it's advantages over the variable zoom approach. The scope image uses all of the DMD, LCD, or Plasma's pixels vs them reproducing black bars, and also should provide more light to the resulting outputted image for the same reasons.

Constant height is also maintained, although 1.85:1 features (shown in the normal fashion) may have a tad of black at the top and bottom. A few of the in-between or modified aspect ratios (like the 1.95:1 Apocalypse Now, or the 2.20:1 70mm features) would need to be shown in the normal fashion as well, again resulting in the minor black bars. How minor would depend on the given aspect ratio.

#17 of 18 Allan Jayne

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Posted February 19 2005 - 12:30 AM

Currently there is no source material optimized for 2.35:1 screens. If you did nothing more than mask the 16:9 screen to 2.35:1 you are still getting all of the picture quality available.

All DVD's today are optimized for either 4:3 or 16:9 regardless of the aspect ratio of the movie.

The projector should not be set to a letterbox mode whereby fewer than 480 scan lines or rows of pixels are used for the entire video frame including any pre-recorded black bar material. Otherwise quality is lost.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.c...ynejr/video.htm
.

#18 of 18 Mark Techer

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Posted January 31 2006 - 09:20 PM

Quote:
Here's how it works-

For standard 1.33:1 features, set your projector to 4x3 (normal set-up).

For 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced features, set your projector for 16x9 (again normal set-up).

For 16x9 enhanced scope (2.35:1 aspect ratio) features, one would set their 16x9 projector to the letterboxed mode. This would crop most of the unused black bars of the still squeezed scope image, but does not crop the sides. Then, by using an add-on 16x9 anamorphic lens, the still squeezed image is unsqueezed to a full 2.35:1 image. This somewhat expensive option (the cost of the 16x9 anamorphic lens attachment) has it's advantages over the variable zoom approach. The scope image uses all of the DMD, LCD, or Plasma's pixels vs them reproducing black bars, and also should provide more light to the resulting outputted image for the same reasons.

Constant height is also maintained, although 1.85:1 features (shown in the normal fashion) may have a tad of black at the top and bottom. A few of the in-between or modified aspect ratios (like the 1.95:1 Apocalypse Now, or the 2.20:1 70mm features) would need to be shown in the normal fashion as well, again resulting in the minor black bars. How minor would depend on the given aspect ratio.
And THIS is what it looks like. The bigger picture is actually bigger on my 2.35:1 Constant Image Height Set-Up...

2.35:1 = 100%
1.78:1 = 75%
1.33:1 = 56%

Mark





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