Anamorphic WS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnVB, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    I've read the information about anamorphic wide screen in the basics area, and I wanted to check here to make sure I understand it correctly.
    My understanding is that anamorphic is about 2 things:
    1. better resolution - very few or no black bars in the encoded image, so more bits are used to carry the actual image.
    2. correct aspect ratio displayed - on 4:3 and 16:9 TV's the image is displayed in the correct aspect ratio without using a 'zoom' mode.[/list=1]
      Is this right? If so, couldn't they make anamorphic full screen dvds? I know it's weird, but you'd get the right aspect ratio, and the black bars you get on the TV don't cause burn-in, while the gray one's the TV produces do. (I am dumbfounded why TV's will produce gray bars that can cause burn-in, instead of black ones).
      I'm wondering though, maybe with the way they make anamorphic dvds, this isn't possible, and you'd get black bars on your 4:3 TV too.
      FYI, the only full screen movie I have (LOTR) was given to me for free, and I'm thinking of selling that at a local shop that buys back DVDs for $13 a piece. So, I'm not advocating full screen. I'm just wondering.
      Cheers,
      - bones
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well, you would. The 4:3 is windowboxed (given bars on the sides) inside a letterbox-- so on a 4:3 you'd get bars on all sides. Some discs which use this allow "pan and scan on the fly" allowing the player to zoom away the bars on all sides-- but at a sacrifice of resolution.

    -V
     
  3. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  4. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    John:
    Just ignore the word "anamorphic" for now, and understand that these are DVDs which simply have been encoded to output all their 480 lines of resolution into a 16:9 shape. And that no single TV screen, 4:3 or 16:9, can accommodate every film aspect ratio.
    Finally, a fine point: Not all fullscreen releases are panned-and-scanned. Before 1952, all films were 4:3. And many since then have also been 4:3. So it's "okay" to watch those titles! [​IMG]
    JB
     
  7. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince,

    Interesting comment about the burn-in on the black bars. I would have thought that the black bars wouldn't cause burn-in, just like no burn-in occurs when my TV is off.

    So, um is my understanding on anamorphic dvds correct?

    - bones
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    John- see Chris Moe's post above. That was what i was trying to say- above when I said "any fixed image displayed on a set excessive contrast setting can cause uneven burn on the tubes."

    While it is commonly referred to as "burn in"- really the issue is any uneven burning of the tube face. Excessive white will cause that area to burn faster, excessive black will cause it to not burn- so either fixed image can cause problems. Fixed black on a portion of the set while picture is being shown on other areas results in the black area going unused. So as the area with the picture wears down, the black area becomes "uneven" as thus shows a burn pattern from the bars.

    Grey is the best bet for keeping burn even in the fixed are and the picture area.

    -V
     
  10. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, this is great. I'm glad I asked these questions.

     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Actually, anamorphic 1.33:1 won't gain or lose any resolution on a 4:3 TV...if it's encoded to be "centered" which basically means the black bars on the sides would be cropped without the use of a 16x9 TV.

    The only problem...the sides take up space (not a lot), so it would be better on the bit budget to leave it 1.33:1.

    It IS handy, however for discs (as stated before) like Se7en which has an anamorphic presentation with anamorphic supplements.
     
  14. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Lew,

    I'm not worried about black bars. When I say the picture is presented in the right AR, I'm talking about the picture not appearing stretched or compressed (with or without bars).

    For example, I have an older widescreeen VHS of Star Trek: Insurrection. When I view this on my HDTV, the image appears stretched even wider than it is meant, and I have to put the TV on 'Zoom' for it to appear correctly.

    I also have 'The Princess Bride' DVD which is not anamorphic. When I view this in either fullscreen or widescreen, the image still appears stretched horizontally. Yet I cannot switch to 'Zoom' mode when playing back DVDs (I suspect this is due to using progressive scan). So I'm stuck viewing a "wider than normal" picture.

    When I view The Matrix, which is anamorphic widescreen, then the aspect ratio looks right on my 16:9 TV.

    So it would appear that anamorphic dvds often (always?) also show the correct aspect ratio on 16:9 TVs and from what I've read, it appears that the DVD player would also properly display this movie with the correct AR on a 4:3 TV.

     
  15. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  17. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    Ok, I think I got it.

    Anamorphic is mostly about getting more scan-lines onto the TV.

    As far as aspect ratios go, if you get anamorphic widescreen, then it plays correctly on both 4:3 and 16:9 and you can play it with progressive scan on your dvd players. If you get letterbox widescreen, then it plays correctly on 4:3 and 16:9, but on most current dvd players, you have to play it in interlaced mode and switch to 'zoom' on the TV for 16:9.

    Does this sound right to everyone?

    BTW, on most TV's if you switch to 'zoom' mode, do you loose part of the picture on the left and on the right?

    - bones
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    You shouldn't. Some TVs have multiple zoom modes- some zoom in far enough to eliminate bars on 2.35:1 material- in which case they might also crop the sides.
    -V
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  20. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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