How are non-widescreen movies viewed on widescreen TVs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I don't mean pan and scan/MAR movies, but movies like Casablanca, Wizard of Oz, Snow White, Nosferatu, Frankenstein, Dracula, Citizen Kane, and Gone With the Wind. How can they be seen on widescreen TVs when they are more attuned to 4x3 TVs?
     
  2. TyC

    TyC Stunt Coordinator

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    4:3 material is viewed on a 16:9 display with gray vertical bars to the left and right of the picture.
     
  3. James Pfann

    James Pfann Stunt Coordinator

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    My JVC player puts black bars on the sides, which I find less distracting.
     
  4. HankM

    HankM Second Unit

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    same here

    Panasonic RP-91
    Mitsubishi WT-46805
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Yep, it's sometimes called "piller-boxing". I'm watching The Wizard Of Oz right this second on my Panasonic TAU 16x9 HDTV. [​IMG]
     
  6. Daniel J

    Daniel J Stunt Coordinator

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    don't 4:3 movies get better resolution than anamorphic dvds on a widescreen TV? (since you're not stretching them horizontally?)
     
  7. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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    Strictly speaking yes, but I doubt whether anyone could tell the difference...
    I agree that the correct way to watch 4:3 material on a 16:9 display is centered in the screen with grey (but preferably black) bars on the sides.
    Stretching/distorting 4:3 pictures to fill the whole screen goes against the whole OAR ethic that this forum stands for! [​IMG]
    -- J.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I prefer the black side bars that my Panasonic RP-91 generates over the gray side bars that my Toshiba 16x9 TV uses when I watch 4x3 material. With the lights off, the black bars disappear, just as they do with 2.35:1 ratio material.
     
  9. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

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    I usually stretch the 4x3 image to fit the wide-screen screen. Since the tele is only 28inch, it works better for me. Of course you lose a little on the top and bottom, and things look slightly fatter, but works surprisingly well.
     
  10. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    Damn, we need to complain about those black bars keeping us from seeing the whole movie! [​IMG] I can't wait until widescreen tv's become 30, then 50, then 70 % of the market. That will be a great day... all the reg'lar people will demand widescreen!
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    FWIW, my side bars are black, too. Is it my Panasonic player generating those, or my Panasonic TAU widescreen? Even when I'm watching non-DVD material, like broadcast TV, they are always black. I've never had a grey pillarbox bar.

    I agree that black is aesthetically better, in that it disappears with the lights off. Also, isn't is better for burn-in purposes? The TAU is a tube WS, by-the-way.
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I think grey is better for TV life, since the phosphors in the bars are getting excited just like the ones in the picture.
    I watch with the grey bars at the side, but I have black curtains that I drop to hide them since they're distracting from the picture. [​IMG]
     
  13. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

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    Again, I always have the grey bars up on my TV when watching 4:3 material. It's way too unnatural to watch 4:3 material stretched horizontally. I'm hoping to get a scaling DVD player sometime to eliminate the grey and replace it with black.

    And yes, as far as I was told, the grey is used to keep an even burn-in with the video. Since there is NO burn-in with black bars it becomes uneven with prolonged 4:3 useage.

    Chris.
     
  14. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I watch 4:3 movies with the gray bars, but use a stretch mode for 4:3 TV. When I get a DVD player that will put up the black bars, I'll use that instead of the TV's gray bars. Since 4:3 movies are a small percentage of my viewing (mostly widescreen movies or stretched TV), I'm not too worried about burn-in.
     
  15. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Wait, so if there are black bars on the sides burn in becomes less of a problem? because this was one of my fears of getting a widescreen set.
     
  16. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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  17. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    I've tried watching 4:3 material with the gray bars but I find the gray is too bright and distracting (especially with black & white movies--it tends to wash out the black & white shades next to it.) I know it's blasphemous but I prefer to watch them in Theater Wide mode.

    If my TV had black bars I'd watch it like that with the lights down. But the gray is just too bright and draws my eyes away from the movies.

    Maybe I ought to just watch my 4:3 movies upstairs on my standard 27 inch.

    I have a Toshiba 16x9 TV and a Pioneer DVD player. I sthere a way to get my DVD player to generate black bars or would I need to recalibarte my TV?
     
  18. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>Damn, we need to complain about those black bars keeping us from seeing the whole movie! I can't wait until widescreen tv's become 30, then 50, then 70 % of the market. That will be a great day... all the reg'lar people will demand widescreen!
    >>

    There's a great Steve Martin Quote about the People of Springfield that would fit this moment, but I don't want to butcher it...
     
  19. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Burn in is just as much a factor on the top on bottom bars on a 2.35:1 movie as they are with a 4x3 movie on a 16x9 set. Sure the side bars are a little more distracting but some people seem to think that side bars will burn in faster than top/bottom bars. I find this funny. Let's not worry about burn in on the sides shall we? As long as we bring down the contrast and brightness to the levels they should be, especially on RPTV's, I don't think burn in will be a problem at all, even with extensive hours of viewing.
     
  20. Chris M

    Chris M Second Unit

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    Jodee, if you have a Toshiba 16:9 Theater Wide TV, there is a way to change the grey bars to black, not sure how, or where to find the info, but I do believe you need an All-For-One remote with a "magic" button. I would do this, but the grey doesn't affect me anymore.

    Chris.
     

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