Explain this to me about 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Vince Maskeeper

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Ken,

Yep- if you look, you'll see the screens are different sizes (they have adjustable matting that slides in and out-- some matte at the sides, some at the top and bottom).

Also, as you begin to notice this, you'll also often notice something else: You come into a theater with the screen setup for a wide 2.35:1 film, often the trailers attached are 1.85:1 trailers. So, if you watch closely, you'll usually see "black bars" of unused space on either side of the screen during the trailers.

Once you understand the aspect ratios--- you'll start seeing little things related to the technical side of the theater that you might have never noticed before.

-V
 

Andrew Bunk

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A couple of related questions...

Most DVD's seem to be 1.85:1 or 2.35:1.

If the 16x9 TV breaks down to 1.78:1, wouldn't that mean there are very small black bars for 1.85:1 films too?

And on a film that's something like 1.66:1 (I think Pi is that way), do you get small vertical bars?

I don't have a 16x9 Tv yet, but am considering it for the near future.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Andrew:

YES is the answer to both of your questions. Remember, though, that the overscan on most televisions will cut off the top and bottom bars of 1.85 films on a 16 x 9 set, so you may never notice the difference between a 1.78 transfer and a 1.85 transfer.
 

Brian McHale

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In theory, you might see small black bars with a 1.85:1 movie on a 16x9 TV, but there are two things that make this unlikely:

1. A lot of 1.85:1 movies are cropped/matted to 1.78:1, and...

2. The overscan on most TVs will prevent you from seeing the black bars.

As far as 1.66:1 movies go, it depends. If the movie is anamorphic, you should have vertical bars on the side, though your TV overscan might still prevent you from seeing them.

If the disc is 1.66:1 non-anamorphic, there will be small horizontal black bars stored on the disc. You then need to use your TV or your DVD player to scale the movie so that the black bars on the top and bottom disappear and then you should have vertical bars on the side.

Unfortunately, a lot of TVs don't have a good mode for this. My Toshiba 42H81 has a mode that's great for watching non-anamorphic movies if they're 1.78:1 or greater, but there's no good mode for non-anamorphic 1.66:1. Eventually I plan to get a player that will do the scaling for me.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Unfortunately, a lot of TVs don't have a good mode for this. My Toshiba 42H81 has a mode that's great for watching non-anamorphic movies if they're 1.78:1 or greater, but there's no good mode for non-anamorphic 1.66:1. Eventually I plan to get a player that will do the scaling for me.
Brian,

Be aware that not all DVD players with built-in scaling handle 1.66:1 non-anamorphic transfers well. I own a Panasonic RP-91 with scaling, and it has only one zoom/scaling setting, adjusted for 1.85:1 aspect ratios. I still must watch 1.66:1 non-anamorphic discs with bars on all four sides to avoid cropping the top/bottom of the image.
 

Qui-Gon John

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It all can get confusing. When I first bought a 52" 16x9 RPTV I was also upset about still getting black bars on some DVD's. As mentioned, I found if I stick with Anamorphic titles I get no bars on 1.85:1 and small bars on 2.35:1. Non-Anamorphic is a different story. I get small bars on 1.85:1 (though slightly larger than the 2.35 Ana bars). But with a 2.35:1 non-anamorphic I get very large bars, to where the movie is onyl the middle one-third of my screen (vertically). This I really do not like.
 

Brian Kidd

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John,
That's why anamorphic enhancement on dvds is so important. When every television in the US becomes widescreen, any disc that was not "enhanced for 16x9 televisions" will have bars on all sides. The good news is that most widescreen releases from the past couple of years are anamorphically encoded. There are still occasional discs that are not, but they are becoming more and more rare. Just think about the poor shmucks who are demanding fullscreen releases to "fill up their screens." In a few years, they'll have really tiny pictures on their widescreen sets. Boy, won't they be ticked off then! Teehee.
 

DarrenA

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John Co,

Your television needs to be put in a different viewing mode depending on the model of television you have in order to view Non-Anamorphic DVDs in their proper aspect ratio.

A Non-Anamorphic DVD versus an Anamorphic will still have the same geometry and look the same size on your television, albeit the Anamorphic version will have more resolution.

Right now the problem is you are leaving your television in Full (Anamorphic) mode when viewing Non-Anamorphic DVDs so this ends up displaying them improperly.
 

Vince Maskeeper

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John,
As Darren said, you're doing something wrong. 1.85:1 anamorphic vs non-anamorphic material should be shown with the exact same physical demensions...
Your set should have a zoom mode which will format the screen properly- setting the aspect correctly and cropping out the black bars built into the video signal. Granted, this will be at a loss of resolution (or more accurately, same resolution spread over a greater area).
If you have a 16x9 set and you are watching non-anamorphic widescreen discs you should NOT, repeat NOT be using the same display mode you use for anamorphic discs. They will be squashed vertically.
Instead you should either use:
- the 4:3 mode, which will result in black bars on all 4 sides (l/r generated by the TV, top and bottom built into the video signal)
- the zoom mode, which will properly format the widescreen image to your widescreen set, using the available resolution of the disc.
Do not use the same mode as anamorphc DVD- asthe material will be formatted completely incorrectly (as John said in his post above).
-Vince
 

Qui-Gon John

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Of course I check on each movie, for what I like best, but in general here's how I watch on my Pioneer 58".

1.85:1 - ANA Full NON-ANA Nat Wide or Cin Wide

2.35:1 - ANA Cin Wide NON-ANA Zoom
 

John P Grosskopf

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Also, as you begin to notice this, you'll also often notice something else: You come into a theater with the screen setup for a wide 2.35:1 film, often the trailers attached are 1.85:1 trailers. So, if you watch closely, you'll usually see "black bars" of unused space on either side of the screen during the trailers.
Though this does happen (and I refer to mixing spehericaly formatted with scope trailers), it's not as common as it used to be.
Most films now are equipped with trailer packs, meaning one or two trailers from the releasing studio of the movie are spliced onto the head end of the movie on all their prints. These are always in a format compatible with the feature.
All the big studios and chains also have a "gentleman's" agreement to add film trailers from their studios to the prints at the theater level in "quid-pro-quo" manner.
Individual chain theaters get a "trailer list" of what previews are to be spliced onto which films at which location based on the agreement mentioned above and demographic data pertinent to that theater. There can be some leeway at times, but usually the list is pretty rigid, as even some product placement agreements now include footage in trailers & chains have "good friend deals" with concession vendors.
Since movie release and trailers lists are known months in advance, the designated trailers for particular titles are ordered/supplied in the format of the film on which they will be shown. Sometimes this means a 1:85 film is zoomed in on for an anamorphic 2:35 film to fill the left and right of the frame, or simply shown in the middle of the frame with proper A.R. and black to each side (which may actually be what Vince is talking about BTW). 2:35 can either be "paned and scanned" to fill and entire 1.85 presentation (chopping off the sides), or reduced in size with black on the top and bottom to maintain proper A.R. like with 4x3 TV monitors.
Rarely are print formats (speherical & scope) of trailers physically mixed anymore, as most of the projection process is automated, and projectionist (especially in non-union states) often run an entire bay of projectors for half a dozen or more auditoriums. They DO NOT sit and baby the projectors to do such things as change lenses, pull back screen curtains, or change screen mats. These things are now primarily automated. Don't get me worng, they are still very busy people who often go unthanked.
To change the lense on a projector for a mixed film-format presentation, a barrel mechanism with the proper lenses is rotated in front of the camera. This process controlled by macros programmed by applying special strips of foil to the print that are read by a device in the projector chain that triggers the barrel rotaion. To change the lense from one to another and then back again takes up two spots on the macro list. Depending upon the system, some are limited to a dozen or less macro functions. Others are unlimited.
When building up prints, the projectionist applys the foil strips, carefully keeping track of which strip will control what automated function in sequence. These functions include opening curtains, changing mats, lowering light levels (in steps, as the light level for previews is often higher than the feature so people still looking for seats can see), Rotaing lenses, etc. These are then programed into the controller which does its thing while the print is running.
Beyond maintaining focus, aligning framing, building prints, loading platters, fixing film breaks, and maintaing lamps & equipment, the projectionist essentialy runs an automated process. It's not any easier however than the job projections had back in the day when multiple projectors were used to shift between reels. Projectionists today routinely juggle many projectors running simultaneously and ensure all are giving a quality presentation in their various auditoriums.
LET"S HEAR IT FOR THE PROJECTINISTS!!!
 

DarrenA

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John Co,
Certainly you are entitled to watch a movie however you feel like. But I just checked out the different screen modes for Pioneer RPTVs and they are as follows...
Natural Wide is a non-linear stretch that leaves the center of the screen correct but stretches the sides.
Cinema Wide is a non-linear stretch that leaves the center of the screen correct but stretches the top and bottom.
Zoom allow you to zoom a 4:3 image to fit the 16:9 width while cutting off the top and bottom of the image (maintains proper geometry).
Full allows Anamorphic DVDs and HDTV images to display properly.
4:3 Normal for viewing standard television centered in the 16:9 screen.
So, for all Anamorphic widescreen DVDs in any aspect ratio (1.85:1 & 2.35:1) you should have your television set to Full.
For all Non-Anamorphic widescreen DVDs in any aspect ratio (1.85:1 & 2.35:1) you should have your television set to Zoom.
Again, these settings are to produce the proper aspect ratio with the proper geometry and no weird non-linear stretch modes.
Enjoy,
 

Vince Maskeeper

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John,

Good post. I did, btw, mean simply that often 1.85:1 material is formatted purposefully with black bars on the sides for 2.35:1 trailer exhibition. Although, often the 4:3 commercials you see before the trailers are sort of formatted- but often I see odd noise or light spill on the extreme outside edges of the frame.

John,

As Darren said, I won't fault your own decisions in how you watch your films... however if you're seeking an accurate presentation without cropping or geometry distortion, all anamorphic titles should be on FULL, and all non-anamorphic widescreen titles should be on ZOOM.

The two wide modes are unnatural stretching modes which distort the picture and change the shape of the overall image. IMHO, neither stretch mode is desirable.

But, of course, you are free to use whichever mode strikes your fancy--- but it's always best to make informed decisions at the least!

All these modes for stretching, but not a single set has a preset zoom for 1.66:1 films. Thank god for my FP and HTPC!

-Vince
 

Qui-Gon John

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Thanks for all the info guys. One question. I have done this now on several movies. Pause my DVD on a scene with something easy to see changes on the sides, let's say the bank of TV's in the NORAD command Center in Spy who Shagged Me, for example. I then cycle through ther different modes on my TV. I have found that in Nat. Wide I get a little more content on the sides of the screen than in Full. In other words, let's say on the right side, in Full, I could just see the right hand edge of the TV on the right side of the screen. But in Nat. Wide, I see that entire edge and a little of the space beyond that. Why is this? I always thought Full was giving me the entire source material.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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John, I don't have your model set - I use a front projector. But I think what you may be seeing is a result of the alignment and calibration of your set's electronics. In other words, the "Nat. Wide" has been set up with very little overscan while the "Full" mode has been set up with more. A complete ISF calibration - which is recommended for best possible picture quality - of all the different modes on the set may correct these differences. When I calibrated my front projector, I had to set the overscan for each input as well as the two viewing modes I use: "full" and "normal". I'm sure owners of similar Toshiba sets to yours can chime in here with advice on this as well.
 

Michael Reuben

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A complete ISF calibration - which is recommended for best possible picture quality - of all the different modes on the set may correct these differences.
Calibration can help minimize the variations in overscan among the different modes, but it's hard to eliminate them altogether. There can even be variations within a particular mode; on my Toshiba widescreen, for example, even after careful calibration there's slightly less overscan on the interlaced "full" display than on the 480p, and the 480p is shifted slightly to the left. Just the peculiarities of that individual unit.

M.
 
A

Andrew_A_Paul

I'm confused by some of the posts on this thread. I thought that anamorphic widescreen works like this. If there are 480 lines of resolution top to bottom with a widescreen DVD, that includes black bars. With anamorphic the bars are still there but you have all the lines of resolution in just the picture, so you would have something like 30% better res with anamorphic...????
 

Brenton

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Two questions:

1) Why in the world do we have overscan??

2) When they invented widescreen TVs, what goofball decided to make them 16x9? It seems like the only logical choice would be to make it 2.35:1 (like the image I whipped up in Photoshop in my signature).
 

Peter Apruzzese

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2) When they invented widescreen TVs, what goofball decided to make them 16x9? It seems like the only logical choice would be to make it 2.35:1
There are other reasons (such as making the best use of the area of the display - think about how much screen space would be wasted viewing Academy Ratio films on a 2.35 tube!), but the main one is physical. It's difficult enough making 16x9 tubes, making even wider ones would be near impossible on an economical basis, to say nothing of the weight and size of such a television. The 16x9 shape wasn't an arbitrary choice, but a consensus based on many factors.
 

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