Display: old non anamorphic versus new anamorpic

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ryan Peddle, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Ok, I notice from time to time that companies will redo (over and over in some cases) dvd releases of old releases from like 5 years ago, with brand new anamorphic transfers.

    Now I have yet to buy a 16:9 display so I cannot reap the rewards of a new anamorphic transfer.

    Basically I would like to know what picture upgrades you see/experience on your 16:9 display when a dvd is re-released with an anamorphic transfer.

    (example: Deep Impact - Special edition vs Original edition)
     
  2. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson Second Unit

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    Ryan:


    From what I understand, anamorphic titles will offer about 33 percent more resolution than standard, non-anamorhpic editions. I haven't done the math on this, but in order for 16x9 enhanced titles to be displayed on standard televisions, dvd players remove about every third line of resolution.

    Non-enhanced dvds display their full resolution on standard sets.


    Some televisions allow for a "squeeze" trick: the dvd player is set for "16x9" playback while connected to a standard 4x3 set. Then, the image of an anamorphic dvd is vertically scrunched using the tv's vertical size setting so that it's at the proper height. I can do this with my new JVC set, and I can tell you that it results in a significantly more detailed image on some titles. I haven't had much experience with widescreen televisions. Many sets either won't allow this trick, or result significant distortion and/or junk lines of resolution at the top of the screen which are very distracting...making the effort more trouble than it's worth. I haven't had that trouble, so I guess I'm a fortunate 4x3 television owner. Another warning: the squeeze trick usually necessitates going into your set's service mode, which can be very difficult to navigate and lead to unintentional settings changes that can be very difficult to undo, so caution is advised there. Big Time.

    Possibly the quickest means to compare dvd resolution would be to find a PC with a decent sized monitor and a dvd drive somewhere, then sample playback from non-anamorphic and anamorphic titles to see if you can spot the improvement; the PC monitor will utilize the added resolution of anamorphic dvds.


    --Jack
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Ryan,
    this obviously varies from title to title- in some (rare) cases, the new anamorphic disc ends up not being the better looking one because of other factors (the color timing or saturation, contrast, etc).

    some titles that i have upgraded have offered substantial improvements when viewed on a larger display
    like The Great Escape or Planet Of The Apes (which was already a good looking non-anamorphic disc)
    part of the reason to upgrade also comes from simply better compression currently being used as opposed to the 5 year old previous versions.
    the old Blade Runner is anamorphic but it looks considerably worse than the non-a POTA disc.


    in general, the improvment i see is akin to having a projector and (with the non-a image) unfocusing it so that the image is still readable, but lacking in fine textures and detail.
    especially when you have a 2.35 AR film, there just isn't enough lines in the 4:3 letterbox area to resolve the finer details in the picture.
    and when you do blow-up a picture like this to watch on a bigger screen, you see the harsher, edgier aliasing.
    anamorphic enhancement will spread that information out over more scan lines which will smoothe out that aliasing, and provides more definition, and resolve more fine detail and texture.
     
  4. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    And just think!
    You'll be getting rid of some of those "annoying black lines"! ;-)
     
  5. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Thnkas guys. I completely answered my question. I now my fair share about 16:9 projection tv's, and flat displays as well as projectors.

    But since I am still viewing my dvds off my old faithful Toshiba 32" 4:3 tv, in my apartment, I have never actually had the experience of watch two versions of the same movie (one ana, one not) on a display made for them.

    You have given me a better outlook on anamorphic transfers of dvds.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ryan, older Toshibas of five-six years vintage can do the "squeeze" from the service menu. I have a five-year-old 27-inch Toshiba in my bedroom system that "squeezes" easily, and the results are worth it.
     

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