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Winning the Widescreen Battle


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Ernest

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Posted December 18 2001 - 08:08 AM

In the end the marketplace, not Blockbuster or J6P, will dictate how movies are released on DVD, pan and scan or anamorphic 16 x 9. Blockbuster only cares about renting movies not aspect ratio,and right now we have a big problem that will take time to overcome.

DVD's and HD TV was engineered to be viewed on a 16 x 9 HD TV. Therein lies the problem. The majority of the general public is viewing DVD's on 4 x 3 TV's. It just doesn't work DVD's and 4 x 3 TV's are incompatable. Watching 2:35 x 1 DVD's on 4 x 3 TV's is awful with letterbox bars taking up 2/3 of the screen.

We are going to win this fight but to do so we are going to have to do much more than petition Blockbuster and Warner and others. By all means keep the petitions going but this fight has to be fought on several different fronts.

The key to winning this battle is to convert the public to 16 x 9 TV's. It is starting to happen. Recent advertising from Circuit City, Best Buy and others have been centered around 16 x 9 TV's. The prices for these TV's are also dropping with many models selling for less than $2500.00. Even cheaper depending on the sales tax for each state and if you forgo the extended warranty.

Once converted the public is going to demand all DVD's be released anamorphic widescreen. Let me explain the benefits of viewing DVD's on 16 x 9 TV's for those who haven't yet made the purchase.

Besides film like picture quality all movies shot in 1:85 x 1 or less will fill the screen, no letterbox bars. Those movies shot in 2:35 x 1 will have very small letterbox bars on the top and bottom of the screen, approximatley 1 1/12 inches thick. They are by no means intrusive, the picture will fill 85% of the screen.

As I have said we will win this fight because 16 x 9 will eventually become the majority. As it stands now we are going to loose some battles because titles will continue to be released in pan and scan such as the recent Sicilian. Please besides petitioning and boycotting pan and scan try to convince your friends to upgrade to a 16 x 9 TV. This will turn the tide.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   AdrianJ

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Posted December 18 2001 - 08:21 AM

Quote:
It just doesn't work DVD's and 4 x 3 TV's are incompatable. Watching 2:35 x 1 DVD's on 4 x 3 TV's is awful with letterbox bars taking up 2/3 of the screen.

I disagree. I have no problem whatsoever watching 2.35:1 movies on my 4x3 set. The letterbox bars aren't that distracting and the image is still sizeable.

Quote:
The key to winning this battle is to convert the public to 16 x 9 TV's.

Not really. Once everyone has a 16x9 TV, then you will have people complaining about the letterbox on 2.35:1 movies. A lot of HDTV stations crop 2.35:1 movies to fit into the 16x9 TV. There will also be a lot of complaining about those damn vertical black bars on older movies and TV shows.
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted December 18 2001 - 08:26 AM

Far more material will be cropped when 16:9 sets are commonplace, because the 'pack will be screaming even louder! "What, I bought a widescreen TV and now you are telling me that I still see black bars on cinemascope/panavision material, and now I've got black bars on all my 4:3 material too?

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#4 of 22 OFFLINE   JoeDeM

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Posted December 18 2001 - 08:33 AM

Quote:
Far more material will be cropped when 16:9 sets are commonplace, because the 'pack will be screaming even louder! "What, I bought a widescreen TV and now you are telling me that I still see black bars on cinemascope/panavision material, and now I've got black bars on all my 4:3 material too?

I have seen this at a store I was at not to long ago, made me feel bad for the poor sales rep.

I wonder if it was explained to him.
Joe

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike Broadman

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Posted December 18 2001 - 08:53 AM

Now may also not be a good time to push 16x9 TVs. They are very expensive. As much as want to get one, I'm waiting until I either acquire lots of money, or I can get one for $500. Neither will happen for at least 5 years.

Telling people that the best way to enjoy DVDs requires a new, expensive TV will scare them away from OAR, not warm them up to it.

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Barry S

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Posted December 18 2001 - 12:51 PM

Quote:
Telling people that the best way to enjoy DVDs requires a new, expensive TV will scare them away from OAR, not warm them up to it.

Or maybe it would scare them away from DVDs, which would be a good thing.
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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   AdrianJ

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Posted December 18 2001 - 12:53 PM

Quote:
Or maybe it would scare them away from DVDs, which would be a good thing.

Probably not. The studios have supported DVD so well because it is such a popular and fast-growing format. If the common person abandons DVD, the studios will probably reconsider their vast support. Also, do we want to see DVD price reach those of laser discs??
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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted December 18 2001 - 01:30 PM

Quote:
Far more material will be cropped when 16:9 sets are commonplace, because the 'pack will be screaming even louder! "What, I bought a widescreen TV and now you are telling me that I still see black bars on cinemascope/panavision material, and now I've got black bars on all my 4:3 material too?

Cropped Citizen Kane, cropped Wizard of Oz, cropped Snow White, cropped IMAX films. I can hardly wait. Posted Image




Hardly. Since 16:9 TV sets feature the "zoom" and "theaterwide" functions, studios will just release 4:3 features and J6P's who bitch will just simulate the filling up of their screen. No items need be MARred to satisfy those losers who can't figure out what OAR means.

Similarly, 2.35:1 and similar ratio films will be electronically filled up on WS sets. I think it's safe to say that most bitching will be eliminated once widesets come down to a decent price.

Decent will mean under $1000, though...and "good" will be under $500. Otherwise, J6P's will be getting 2nd and 3rd DVD players for their 4:3 TV's in the bedroom, den, kid's room, kitchen, minivan, etc. And those guys will have the same "black bar" problem on those, too.

Sigh.
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#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Luc Labelle

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Posted December 18 2001 - 03:30 PM

David,

You couldn't be more right that our problems will be solved when the majority has switched to 16x9 because those that aren't bothered by the severe cropping of P&S releases definitetly won't mind the distortion of theatrewide/zoom modes no matter the OAR.


#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Mark_wH

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Posted December 18 2001 - 03:46 PM

Luc has a good point.

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#11 of 22 OFFLINE   BillM

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Posted December 18 2001 - 04:46 PM

Sorry, we will never loose the black bars. Even when the nation goes 16X9 (Ha!). As stated earlier 2:35.1 will still have bars and 1:33.1 (most films from the 20's to the 50's) will have bars on the Right and Left. Or people will be using a zoomer and cutting off foreheads.
As long as there is more than 1 stantard screen shape for movies or TV - black bars will be an issue.

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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted December 18 2001 - 04:52 PM

I walked into Walmart today to purposely check the Jurassic Park, Grinch, Cats & Dogs situation. All the JP3 disks were widescreen only, all of the Grinch were widescreen also except for the special collector's edition boxsets which are only P&S anyway. I did not see Cats & Dogs.
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#13 of 22 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted December 18 2001 - 09:07 PM

Quote:
Sorry, we will never loose the black bars. Even when the nation goes 16X9 (Ha!). As stated earlier 2:35.1 will still have bars and 1:33.1 (most films from the 20's to the 50's) will have bars on the Right and Left. Or people will be using a zoomer and cutting off foreheads.


BillM, they will use "Justify" or "Fill" or whatever each WS set calls it that will stretch the 2.35:1 image to the top and bottom, without cutting off heads. I rarely see a WS TV without a similar feature.
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#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Jan Strnad

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Posted December 19 2001 - 03:29 AM

So, what we need are widescreen televisions with built-in, adjustable mattes.
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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted December 19 2001 - 03:45 AM

As much as I hated Circuit City for Divx, they've been doing a fine job with 16x9 televisions. Far better than Best Buy. If you visit CC, their television focus is specifically on 16x9 with 4x3 available. Programming shown side by side is formatted properly rather than stretched and modified.

I think they'll have a big impact on making 16x9 more accepted and affordable. Too bad Best Buy doesn't have the same focus.
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#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted December 19 2001 - 04:50 AM

Ernest wrote: "DVD's and HD TV was engineered to be viewed on a 16 x 9 HD TV. Therein lies the problem. The majority of the general public is viewing DVD's on 4 x 3 TV's. It just doesn't work DVD's and 4 x 3 TV's are incompatable. Watching 2:35 x 1 DVD's on 4 x 3 TV's is awful with letterbox bars taking up 2/3 of the screen."



The math is somewhat flawed here. The bars do not take up 2/3 of the screen. It's more like the movie taking up 2/3 of the screen...

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   JasonKrol

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Posted December 19 2001 - 06:06 AM

i must admit that watching a 2.35:1 movie on a 25" 4x3 tv is rather painful..especially when sitting the normal distance from the set.

but...

You must realize that J6P will not accept having to press 1 more button on his/her remote to "zoom" into a 2.35 movie and have it fill the screen..so..whoever said it first..unfortunately the 2.35 movies will probably be cut to 1.85. which sucks!!

-Jason

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted December 19 2001 - 08:36 AM

I'm with Ernest. It is the TV's that will doom P&S. All the TV manufacturers have to do is to pull all of the 4:3's and replace them with widescreens, available in every size, and that goes all the way down to the 5"

After a few 'forced sales', the word will get around how much better they are, and the P&S will go bye-bye.

Glenn

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted December 19 2001 - 09:37 AM

Quote:
In the end the marketplace, not Blockbuster or J6P, will dictate how movies are released on DVD
BB & J6P are the marketplace!
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#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted December 19 2001 - 09:38 AM

We need widescreen monitors and we need them now.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!


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