DVD standards question...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dean Cooper, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    Don’t all DVD players come standard with three screen options in the setup menu? (P&S, Letterbox and Widescreen) Well what the heck happened to the P&S feature that is supposed to be in the players? The whole P&S Vs OAR could have been completely avoided if the screen size flag was used properly. Why does no DVD manufacture use the P&S flag? Seriously, if someone is willingly going to watch a modified film just to fill the TV screen what does it matter what details get cut off? If a DVD player can expand the resolution of the picture with anamorphic I don’t see why it couldn’t zoom the picture for P&S.

    Dean
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    This has been discussed before and I think maybe one or two abstract titles actually used this feature called pan&scan on the fly. What happens is there is some code in the widescreen film that tells the DVD player where to "scan" within that widescreen image/film in order to retrieve the pan&scan film. You need only have one version of the film in widescreen and the code for the pan&scan retreival. Problem is it costs money for the studios to do it. How much? I don't know. It also takes a little space but I am again unsure how much, but it must be only a fraction of what a complete pan&scan film would take. Also, there was talk about a slight reduction in resolution for the pan&scan on the fly version (which is fine by me).
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    DVD players do not "expand" the resolution of so-called "anamorphic" discs. Whether a DVD is encoded 4:3, 4:3 letterboxed, or 16:9, it offers the same 480 lines of resolution. With a 16:9-encoded DVD, those 480 lines of resolution are outputting into a 16:9 window.

    Some players have offered zoom functions to expand a letterboxed or 16:9-encoded DVD to fill a 4:3 frame. But why?
     
  4. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    Well I guess the point is, aren’t we barking up the wrong tree here? shouldn't we be encouraging studios to utilize this feature instead of offering two formats of the same DVD. It can't be cheaper to manufacture a completely different set of DVDs to market P&S viewers than to use this part of the DVD standard. There shouldn't be a aspect ratio problem at all, the technology is there to offer both on the same disc with what it looks like a minimal space commitment but isn't being used. P&S on the fly sure sounds like a perfect solution to the aspect ratio problem to me.
    Don't like the black bars? fine with me, set your player to P&S and enjoy to your hearts content (just don't do it where I can see [​IMG] ) The good news is you won't have to buy the DVD again when you get a WS set in the future.
    You want to see the whole picture but you don't have a WS TV yet? Fine with me, set your player to letter box and enjoy the full glory of your OAR movie.
    You have a brand new WS set and you want to take advantage of it? Go right ahead and set your player to Widescreen and hold on, your in for a wonderful ride.
    Seems pretty simple...So why is nobody friggin using or pushing for it [​IMG]
    Dean
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    That is a good question. I have had a player since June 1997 and I remember very well, all of the specifications/features of the DVD format and this was one that they were promoting. It was really never used.
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The way I heard it, not all players support this feature -- chicken-and-egg: it's not used, so it's not tested, so it's not supported. There are enough of these players, perhaps mostly earlier models, to make it a problem.

    //Ken
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I may be wrong but was this not an actual part of the DVD format. As far as I know, every player has the ability to be set to 4x3widescreen, 4x3fullscreen, or 16x9widescreen. Even the first generation players.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I believe you're correct, Neil. It's a part of the DVD spec, so in theory it's available on all players. But the emphasis is on "in theory". There were reports fairly early on that real-world experiments with this feature didn't produce very good results. Given how many problems we see reported whenever there's a disc with seamless branching, that's hardly surprising.

    And that raises another issue: One of the reasons why more discs don't use seamless branching is that most of the authoring software doesn't support it. (The last time Morgan Holly paid us a visit, he said there was only one authoring package that did, and it had other limitations that made it unpopular.) It's one thing to include the feature in the spec as a technical option; quite another for programmers to write authoring software that allows DVD producers to make use of that option. I suspect there isn't much of the latter.

    M.
     
  9. MichaelAW

    MichaelAW Second Unit

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    Has any disc ever been coded for P&S on the fly? I'm curious to check it out.
     
  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Yes although the title was so obscure, I can't remember what it was. I would have to do some real diggint to try to find that out.
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    The Last Temptation of Christ on Criterion has P&S on the fly code flags in it by accident. A lot of people had never really set up their DVD players and were astonished to see a P&S version when they played this disk.
     
  12. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    Well, WE should be pushing to get this feature people! Programming is a fixable problem. The solution to the OAR Vs P&S problem has always been there, we just haven't been asking for it. The only way to win this aspect ratio war is to make both sides happy, this is the way to do it!

    Dean
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  14. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    Last Temptation is the only one I remember that does this, but of course there are some obscure ones too. I remember evangelizing this as a benefit back in March of 97 too!
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  16. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    I don't see why 2.35:1 movies wouldn't work with this. Doesn't P&S work the same no matter what the aspect ratio is? Cut the sides off and zoom until the picture fills the screen.

    Enabling this feature would be a fantastic opportunity to educate the P&S market about the benefits of OAR.

    This disc is enhanced for all viewing aspects! These are the differences between them...yada yada, to enjoy the entire picture that the director intended you to see use the letter box or wide screen settings option of your DVD player. (While a beautiful graphic in the background is displaying how much of the picture is cut off with P&S)

    Dean
     
  17. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  18. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Brand New Day (Sting concert) has P&S on the fly. I was one that never bothered to set this feature until I noticed it on this disc.
     

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