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Anamorphic movies being Pan & Scan on broadcast TV? (2 Viewers)

Sully

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Luke
Hello! New member, long time reader.

In Australia, the movie "Air Force One" (1997) action starring Harrison Ford was re-run on free-to-air commercial broadcast terrestrial TV. It is a print from the mid-2000s (as I could tell by the end-tag): "Distributed by Buena Vista International Television. Copyright Disney" with the Disney castle logo and a purple glossy transition background (you can look up this on YouTube).

Yes, Disney handles this movie outside the USA (Sony there). But was "Buena Vista International" in the opening and closing credits, as was the case with dual-studio movies back then, weren't allowed to use the "Touchstone" banner for some reason. Recently seen again with the film "Glass".

Anyway, on TV, the movie is full-screen (on a modern flatscreen), AKA 16:9 and looks like 1:77.1.

But the original aspect was anamorphic 2:35.1 (approx).

So, did the TV network edit (crop/ pan & scan) this and make their master tape? Still being used today obviously, as to appear better for back in 2006 or 2007 I'm guessing they first played this file (would've been re-mastered digital/HD/widescreen for those that had digital tuner and flatscreen's back then) as most people still had analogue 4:3 TVs. The network previously had an older 4:3 SD print in 2000 when they premiered it after the Sydney Olympics. The Seven Network had the Buena Vista (Disney) output licencing deal.

Or would this full-screen/ ~1.77:1 non-anamorphic 16:9 file have been made by Disney themselves, knowing global broadcasters were only on the cusp of digital TV transmission in the mid-2000s and many people still had 4:3 analogue TVs - so as to fill the screen (cropped 4:3 full screen or 16:9 widescreen full screen).

Otherwise the letterboxing or matting with the large black bars, especially if 4:3, would've looked optically bad for back then?

--

Just quickly, another example: "Joe Kidd" (1972) western starring Clint Eastwood. It's on Pay TV network Foxtel's svod service BINGE. It is also full screen (or non-anamorphic) in 16:9/ flatscreen... Yet it's original aspect is anamorphic 2.35:1 approx as well! It could also be a ~15+ year old master tape.

In both cases I'm not sure whether genuine 1080p full or an upscaled high-def. But both are optically HD.

But yeah, so bizarre, not sure why in 2024 TV networks (be it broadcast, Pay or their avod or svod streaming services) would be changing the picture format from how they were originally intended, given everybody has very large, smart, flatscreen (4K LED), wireless screens and can easily accommodate almost IMAX-level stuff today. Whether it's the distributor or the network who knows.

But it means if the picture looks a bit off, it is. Something is being distorted.

Thank you guys :)
 
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Mark-P

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The studios create and distribute those modified aspect ratio versions for broadcast. While it is becoming a rare practice today, those modified versions are still available to TV stations and streamers to this day.
 

Sully

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Luke
The studios create and distribute those modified aspect ratio versions for broadcast. While it is becoming a rare practice today, those modified versions are still available to TV stations and streamers to this day.
Thank you. Interesting. Yeah, it's pretty bad for today, given a significant amount of the left and right of a scene would be missing, depending on if it was matted or not and from what negative source. And I can appreciate a network will get fees for cheaper when re-licencing if it's just rights vs needing a whole new copy of a title, which is why even today networks globally probably keep using old master tapes as long as quality is still fine (digital/widescreen/HD of some sort) and only get new files when it's new to them or a first run. But it's pretty poor, especially if the studios aren't re-mastering them for their TV/streaming arms given full HD/BluRay/4K/HDR scans and HD Master Audio/Dolby Atmos with 80 inch 4K LED Smart TV screens in 2024! Especially Netflix, Disney Plus, etc!! If they're going to provide *some* titles that are originally anamorphic as non-anamorphic 16:9, give us an option button, like Disney+ did with The Simpsons when Fox re-mastered them in later years (though in this case they couldn't restore them from the original source so became widescreen for pre-digital era seasons as 'zoomed' or stretched' and looked awful for purists).
 

YANG

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...Anyway, on TV, the movie is full-screen (on a modern flatscreen), AKA 16:9 and looks like 1:77.1.

But the original aspect was anamorphic 2:35.1 (approx).

So, did the TV network edit (crop/ pan & scan) this and make their master tape?...
first thing first, on your thread title...
Anamorphic is a photography process to capture wide image details into a film where it's frame is commonly 4:3 or 3:2 sort of by squeezing. then when after processing and development of film for screening, the image will expand back to the respective desired aspect ratio of 1.77:1 or 2.35:1 depending on the projection lens used.

TV networks don't do the "mastering" themselves. in the beginning of digital broadcast perhaps, when both analogue signals and digital signals were broadcast during the transition period, lots of analogue broadcast receiving population would often receive window framed broadcast of 1.85:1 contents... such as TV serials, in Singapore's case LOST, Desperate Housewives, as well as others like CSI series.

anyway, back to cropped content. those were sourced/bought from copyright owners, not TV networks' "mastering/transfers". these cropped movies, especially 16:9 zoomed in to remove thick black bars from wider scope contents such as 2.35/2.55/2.76:1 aspect ratio origin movies main purpose was to make it "one size fits all" for different consumer devices as well as different sizes.

picture this... if a kid's room TV is setup with a 24inch small room TV, will they have to squint their eyes to look at the widescreen presentation of SONIC the HEDGEHOG in ws2.35:1, or would they be comfortable with Zoomed In/Cropped Out fill screen images?
these cropped public broadcast contents are not for OAR aficionados like us, but rather just a short glance or people with smaller sized displays.
 

KPmusmag

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Back in the 1970s channel 7 in Los Angeles had their 3:30 afternoon movie, and it was not even pan and scan. It was just the middle of the frame, no matter what. They showed Gypsy (1962) fairly often, and there is a scene in a restaurant where Rosalind Russell and Karl Malden are having a conversation at a table in a restaurant. All you could see was their two chins and a beautiful closeup of the lamp on the table. Seeing the full 2.35 frame, you hardly notice the lamp. I also recall a scene in The King and I (1956), which was 2.55 I believe, and you could hear Yul and Deborah talking but could not see either of them as they were in the extreme edges of the Cinemascope 55 frame.
 

JimJasper

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Strange, seems like it can be a careless, tragic "get the job done" process sometimes. I'll never forget seeing "Jaws" on DVD widescreen for the first time, and was totally astounded at what I'd missed from TV broadcasts.
 

Jeffrey D

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Strange, seems like it can be a careless, tragic "get the job done" process sometimes. I'll never forget seeing "Jaws" on DVD widescreen for the first time, and was totally astounded at what I'd missed from TV broadcasts.
On this subject, the film It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World immediately comes to mind. It’s only worth watching in its proper aspect ratio- the old 4X3 TV and VHS format made this an atrocity to watch.
 

Sully

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Luke
first thing first, on your thread title...
Anamorphic is a photography process to capture wide image details into a film where it's frame is commonly 4:3 or 3:2 sort of by squeezing. then when after processing and development of film for screening, the image will expand back to the respective desired aspect ratio of 1.77:1 or 2.35:1 depending on the projection lens used.

TV networks don't do the "mastering" themselves. in the beginning of digital broadcast perhaps, when both analogue signals and digital signals were broadcast during the transition period, lots of analogue broadcast receiving population would often receive window framed broadcast of 1.85:1 contents... such as TV serials, in Singapore's case LOST, Desperate Housewives, as well as others like CSI series.

anyway, back to cropped content. those were sourced/bought from copyright owners, not TV networks' "mastering/transfers". these cropped movies, especially 16:9 zoomed in to remove thick black bars from wider scope contents such as 2.35/2.55/2.76:1 aspect ratio origin movies main purpose was to make it "one size fits all" for different consumer devices as well as different sizes.

picture this... if a kid's room TV is setup with a 24inch small room TV, will they have to squint their eyes to look at the widescreen presentation of SONIC the HEDGEHOG in ws2.35:1, or would they be comfortable with Zoomed In/Cropped Out fill screen images?
these cropped public broadcast contents are not for OAR aficionados like us, but rather just a short glance or people with smaller sized displays.
Fascinating, thank you for the insight!

--

In Australia today (and has been the case for many years now), newer films or prints, if originally in this format, are being distributed to TV/streaming in anamorphic ~2.35:1 aspect. So in the case of the oldest TVs or smaller screens or devices, I don't think there'd be an option button nor encoding to automatically detect device/player/screen like the old days with DVDs for example, I guess they'd just have to put up with it.

Anyone know how the Airline in-flight distribution works today, surely those size screens would be an issue with such formats? As for kids/family films, doesn't the production usually choose ~1.85:1 aspects instead?

:)
 

Lord Dalek

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Joel Henderson
That's interesting. So what exactly does Super 35 do in regards to 16:9 full screen (pan & scan) of anamorphic films?
The Super 35 negative is full frame spherical with no printed on soundtrack, NOT anamorphic. It actually reveals more on the top and bottom while losing some information of the side. Whether that information includes things that should be visible is up to the transfer supervisor.
 

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