Centering the 2.35:1 image

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John H Ross, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Okay, this is going to sound rather anal, but it's been a slow news day! :)

    I recently bought 4 new 2.35:1 films: Crimson Tide SE, Enemy Of The State SE, The Towering Inferno SE and The Poseidon Adventure SE. The image quality on all 4 titles is magnificent but I was slightly (and I do mean only slightly) irked that none of the 4 images are centred on the screen.

    The two Touchstone titles (Crimson Tide and EOTS) are slightly below centre and the two Fox titles (Inferno and Poseidon) are slightly above centre.

    Is there any reason for this other than sloppiness on behalf of the studio?

    There are a couple of other titles that spring to mind as even worse examples of this phenomenon: the R2 Frighteners and Shaun Of The Dead and the R1 Lawrence Of Arabia. Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Can this kinda thing be corrected on state of the art LCD and Plasma displays? I can't do anything to shift anamorphic images up/down on my CRT telly.

    John
     
  2. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    The only time this bothers me is if I am unlucky enough to be playing a non-anamorphic disc that has subtitles. To fill my widescreen TV I have to zoom the image, in order to keep all the subtitles on the screen, I must move the entire image up as high as possible, so I can read text at the bottom.

    You should have a function on your display to move the image up and down. It will probably be in a setup menue somewhere.
     
  3. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    I know exactly what you mean. I used to have this same problem with laserdiscs. The original Star Wars trilogy and Star Trek VI spring to mind.

    Well, there's a function on my display to move a "zoomed" image up and down (obviously because there's picture information at the top and bottom that I might want to get at) but not an anamorphic image (because, I guess, as far as my telly is concerned all the picture information is there already so why would I want to move it around)

    John
     
  4. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King EE also has the same non centered letterboxed image. It's an annoyance to me, since I mask off the black bars with foamboard mattes when watching 2.35:1 material.
     
  5. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Ditto. Though I have enough wiggle room with the velcro to adjust it easily. Richard, amyone ever think you're crazy with those mattes? No one has ever said anything to me, but I suspect they think I have "issues"!
     
  6. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    For some very sad reason I don't feel I'm quite as much a "part" of the film when the image isn't centred. I feel more like an outsider looking in. Is it just me?

    John
     
  7. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I don't feel that at all... especially considering some of the deplorable projection standards when I visit megaplex cinemas.

    I don't think miss-aligning the placement of the image within the letterboxing lowers resolution.

    Window boxing entire films does result in a slight loss of resolution, so I do not like discs that feature that encoding technique.
     
  8. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    I wasn't suggesting that misplacement lowers resolution. It doesn't. It simply makes the film feel less important somehow, like it's been randomly thrown at the screen rather than carefully placed.

    John
     
  9. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    John

    One thing you have to remember is this is not film! Projecting a film back in the cinema is a different ballgame entirely, I honestly don’t know if there is a universal standard worldwide for the framing of motion pictures onto video, but I agree someone needs there arse slapped hard for mucking around, not only is the edges cropped off the framing is mostly botched and very notable to an former cinema projectionist!

    Its not like we can adjust the aperture plate flip over the flat lens to scope and expect a prefect image on Laserdisc DVD or HD-DVD for that matter, I’ll say there’ll keep botching this up time and time again, if we all knew that within a few months we would have 100% framing and sound on DVD, cinema admissions would drop fast!

    So the only true way to see film is in the cinema projected!

    “Film is original TV isn’t!”
    David Lean

    Scope films have very thin rack lines; widescreen films have thicker rack lines!
     
  10. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    This is why some of us use an HTPC and either Theatertek or Zoom Player. Both players allow complete flexibilty in both size and position of the image, and both remember those settings on a per title basis.
    Ted
     
  11. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Ted

    Is there a link to a site, with text and images of this device, thanks.
     
  12. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    It's not a device. It's a Home Theater Personal Computer running some special software that was written just to help those of us with constant height screens and/or masking systems.

    There are tons of links out there, I suggest you start with this one.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Home+Theater+PC

    BTW, an HTPC can also do a fine job of upscaling DVD's to 720P or 1080I/P.

    Ted
     
  13. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Ted

    Thanks mate, I’ll look at it in the morning, and I’m really knackered now, going to get some kip, catch you later and thank you for the link Ted.
     
  14. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    My HD set is not a projector and only 38" measured on the diagnol so perhaps this changes things, but both "Poseidon" and "Inferno" look perfectly centered on my display.
     
  15. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    That's interesting, they're definitely a fraction too high on my set. Mine's a regular 28" cathode ray tube set though, presumably yours is LCD or plasma? Shouldn't make a difference though unless LCD etc automatically tweak images (which is unlikely). When I say a "fraction" we're only talking about 1cm on a 28" set, but enough to notice.

    John
     
  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I'll double check my discs and be careful to mention this sort of think in future HTF reviews.

    Agreed that an off-center 2.35:1 image can be frustrating for viewers with masking or constant-height projection systems unless they have scaling software which can compensate.
     
  17. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    John my set is also CRT. When I get a chance I'll actually measure the black bars on "Poseidon" and "Inferno".
     
  18. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Thanks Steve, I'd appreciate that. I'll do the same. I'm in London tomorrow night but I'll try Wednesday or Thursday.

    John
     
  19. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Well after further examination I'm pretty sure that these Fox titles are, in fact, centred or close to it. However, I'm getting really quite disturbed at how many discs I've spun lately that aren't.

    Tonight I watched MGM's Hour Of The Gun. The image was above centre. Almost all the Disney titles I've watched lately are below centre. These include Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State, Deep Rising (Anamorphic Dutch version), Judge Dredd (Anamorphic German version), Baby: Secret Of The Lost Legend (Anamorphic UK version). Final Destination 3 is also slightly below centre.

    Does ANYBODY know how to centre a film on the screen anymore????

    Question: Do all LCD televisions have a vertical adjustment facility and, if so, can this be used to seamlessly move the widescreen image up and down the screen without it looking ugly?

    John
     
  20. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Slightly off topic but we finally got around to watching the new SE of "The Poseidon..." which looked great but the audio level dipped noticeably as the film progressed. I had my amp at -11dbs. when it started. Comfortable level for the dialog. As it went on I had to boost it about 5 dbs. to have the dialog at the same level. Not huge but annoying to have to "ride the gain" on a recently released DVD, older movie or not.

    [​IMG]
     

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