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Classic 4:3 movies zoomed to fit 16x9 - Why?


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Keith Paynter

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Posted May 12 2009 - 12:51 PM

I can forgive WHV for keeping their cards close to their vest in terms of home video marketing, it's a very uncertain business. HOWEVER...

Once again, WHV or Warner Television has taken a 4:3 classic and zoomed and chopped it for 16:9 screen filling...I've ranted on their doing this to Treasure of The Sierra Madre in the past, and now they've hit their holy grail: GONE WITH THE WIND aired today in Canada on EQUATOR HD in zoomed 16:9 HD.

Of course MGM reissued the film in Cinemascope during the influx of that new technology, but this is another reason I cannot stand to watch broadcast classic movies on television. Too much censorship, time-compression (do you hear me AMC?), and commercials. Gentlemen, this is the last straw! ("Where's my Stradivarius?")

It is deja vu all over again. I just hope that when TCM goes HD, they don't use 16:9 masters of 4:3 films. Shame on you!!
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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted May 12 2009 - 01:07 PM

Warner Home Video has nothing to do with TV broadcasts.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Keith Paynter

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Posted May 12 2009 - 01:12 PM

(I did say Warner Television)
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted May 12 2009 - 01:17 PM

what does it have to do with warner at all.
isn't it the choice of the chanel to air it that way.
How does any division of warner have any say in this?



you're pointing the finger in the wrong place.

If Equator is a Warner run channel that that maybe you're right.
Universal HD airs some of it's older shows wide when they were originally 4x3, I could be wroong
so don't quote me on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Paynter
(I did say Warner Television)

Title says WHV, that's what people reading this will see.
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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Keith Paynter

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Posted May 12 2009 - 02:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
Title says WHV, that's what people reading this will see.

Mods, if need be, change the title of this thread.

Broadcasters show the materials as they are presented by the content provider. Lots of SD 16:9 commercials air within the 4x3 frame on HD channels. The content provider is responsible. It has been this way even since 16mm rental prints were shown on television or on airplanes. I've already had an e-mail sent to Equator HD regarding this, and I expect their answer will be the same if they feel like replying.
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#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted May 12 2009 - 11:16 PM

Equator HD is a minor Canadian high definition "eye candy" channel. It's not a movie channel. It's doubtful they have a clue that what they're doing is wrong.

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted May 13 2009 - 03:02 AM

As we all know, TNT and TBS are notorious for stretching 4:3 movies. At least they have the decency to keep classics like Gone With The Wind and The Wizard Of Oz in their OAR. But for other movies it boils down to appeasing the lowest common denominator. The people who used to complain about the black bars at the top and bottom on their CRT's are now complaining about the bars on the side of their HDTV's.
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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted May 13 2009 - 04:09 AM

Quote:
Broadcasters show the materials as they are presented by the content provider. Lots of SD 16:9 commercials air within the 4x3 frame on HD channels. The content provider is responsible.

Not necessarily, especially given that commercials, movies and TV shows are all different. (And 16mm film prints are irrelevant. TV stations can electronically alter, crop, zoom and stretch whatever source material they're sent nowadays, and they often do.)

Quite apart from all of this, Warner Bros. (and other studios) may simply be responding to the demands of the marketplace. Just as certain channels would only run colorized movies (and therefore forced studios to offer colorized films as an alternative), and others would only run 4:3 movies (thereby forcing filmmakers to abandon hard-matting 1.85:1 films in favor of open mattes and protecting the entire frame) so some HD channels will probably only air 16:9 movies because they don't want a lot of complaints from people about those "black side bars". They have leverage with the studios, because they are the customer. They don't have similar leverage when it comes to 4:3 commercials because in that case the content provider is their customer.

Regards,

Joe





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