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Letterbox 3D on 16:9 TVs


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   StephenDH

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Posted August 04 2014 - 03:13 AM

I'm all in favour of preserving the director's vision etc. and have no problem with movies shown in letterbox on 16:9 screens (apart from those people who shoot TV material (Utopia etc.) in letterbox: they should be beaten with a stick) but when it comes to 3D it's different.

The best 3D, in the movies I have, is in those which fill the 16:9 screen, e.g. Avatar, Creature from the Black Lagoon or are 4:3.

The vast majority of modern 3D movies are in letterbox and as a result, the 3D effect is diminished.

Zooming in (assuming it's possible) negates the 3D completely.

Surely it's possible to reformat 3D Blu-Rays to 16:9 without causing rioting in the streets.


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#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 04 2014 - 03:49 AM

I have viewed *lots* of 2.35:1 aspect ratio 3D movies on my 3D projector, and they look just fine with very effective 3D.

 

(Of course, the screen size is about 120" :P )


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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 04 2014 - 05:04 AM

But you occasionally get creative folks who use those letterbox bars intriguingly. Check out Disney's G-Force or Oz the Great and Powerful to see what I mean.



#4 of 10 OFFLINE   StephenDH

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Posted August 04 2014 - 08:49 AM

But you occasionally get creative folks who use those letterbox bars intriguingly. Check out Disney's G-Force or Oz the Great and Powerful to see what I mean.

 

True. There's a 3D monster movie called "Amphibious". which has a great over the screen edge joke at the end. It's unfortunate that one has to sit through a truly dire movie to get to it.


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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   StephenDH

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Posted August 04 2014 - 08:53 AM

I have viewed *lots* of 2.35:1 aspect ratio 3D movies on my 3D projector, and they look just fine with very effective 3D.

 

(Of course, the screen size is about 120" :P )

 

I'm guessing that with a projector you don't have two sets of edges to detract from the image. With a conventional TV there's the edge of the image and the edge of the screen, thus everything is smaller than it needs to be, relative to the screen size.

The actual size of the image isn't really the problem.


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#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted August 04 2014 - 12:27 PM

But you occasionally get creative folks who use those letterbox bars intriguingly. Check out Disney's G-Force or Oz the Great and Powerful to see what I mean.

Actually with Oz the Great and Powerful it is the side bars at the beginning of the movie where 3D effects spill out. Thankfully that doesn't happen in the letterbox bars as this would be lost at theaters and home projectors that have 2.35:1 screen setups. I don't know about G-force. But Life of Pi has spillover in the scenes that were shot in 2.35:1, but that's okay because the movie was meant to be projected at 1.85:1.

 

Edit: I just looked up G-force on IMDB. It states that the 3D version of the film was 1.85:1, which means that it was meant to be shown with letterbox bars in the theater, thus spillover would be appropriate. :)



#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted August 04 2014 - 12:32 PM

I'm all in favour of preserving the director's vision etc. and have no problem with movies shown in letterbox on 16:9 screens (apart from those people who shoot TV material (Utopia etc.) in letterbox: they should be beaten with a stick) but when it comes to 3D it's different.

The best 3D, in the movies I have, is in those which fill the 16:9 screen, e.g. Avatar, Creature from the Black Lagoon or are 4:3.

The vast majority of modern 3D movies are in letterbox and as a result, the 3D effect is diminished.

Zooming in (assuming it's possible) negates the 3D completely.

Surely it's possible to reformat 3D Blu-Rays to 16:9 without causing rioting in the streets.

What's wrong with TV material shot in wider aspect ratios? I wish there were more of a variety of shapes in TV shows like there are in movies. Shooting everything a 1.78:1 is B O R I N G ! Kudos to Netflix for shooting House of Cards in 2.00:1.



#8 of 10 OFFLINE   StephenDH

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Posted August 04 2014 - 01:37 PM

What's wrong with TV material shot in wider aspect ratios? I wish there were more of a variety of shapes in TV shows like there are in movies. Shooting everything a 1.78:1 is B O R I N G ! Kudos to Netflix for shooting House of Cards in 2.00:1.

 

For material which isn't meant for the cinema it just seems pretentious It makes everything smaller within the frame than it needs to be and is supremely annoying.

"Whistle and I'll Come to You" was a good BBC production ruined by this silly affectation. "Utopia" is the most recent example and to my horror, the first episode of the current series was in 4:3.

Broadcasters also make the rookie mistake of putting the letterbox dead centre screen which makes it look too low. It's a subtle annoyance but it's quite real. The screen's optical centre isn't the same as the physical one, like the magnetic and geographic North Poles.


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#9 of 10 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted August 04 2014 - 02:47 PM

Kudos to Netflix for shooting House of Cards in 2.00:1.

The Star Wars cartoons (The Clone Wars and the upcoming Rebels) are both 2.35 but on TV, they're cropped to 1.78.



#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted August 04 2014 - 03:02 PM

Escape From Planet Earth is another 3D film in 2.35:1 which makes good use of the letterbox bars for "spillover" effect.


"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert




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