DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
23,826
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
As with everyone else, I get that wider aspect ratios than 1.77 result in smaller image on my TV and screen. And it’s a bit weird to me that “TV shows” are being made in wider widescreen formats.

On the other hand...it’s interesting. It serves as another data point that “TV” is an art form with its own dignity. It’s no longer the lesser, inferior medium to the One True venue of The Cinema. TV is getting new material with creators exploring formats, as they’ve long done for movies. And it affects the viewing experience. And if the results are good, then good. Higher quality, more intentional art meant for the home viewer.

And who knows...if there is a massive shift to 2.40 aspect ratio content, the industry may consolidate around it and in a decade we’re all replacing our displays with new 16K 12:5 displays. And we’ll grumble about letterboxing or zooming all the 16:9 shows from the 2000’s :)
 
Last edited:

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,273
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
No, but I wouldn’t object if they were. If the showrunners or studio feel they have a worthwhile reason for picking that ratio I wouldn’t complain. I watch a variety of television content from all eras on a regular basis, often daily - I see 4x3 material all the time and have no issue whatsoever with viewing it on my display.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
23,826
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
i don’t object to the loss of 4:3 shows. But I wouldn’t object to them. If it was shot in 4:3, that’s how I’ll watch it, given the choice. (Waiting for Disney to get The Simpsons in OAR.)

The iPad screen is basically 4:3 and watching Futurama on it better uses its pixels than all the 16:9 content I download from Netflix. :)

Watching the Disney+ show “Imagineering” (which is great), it has a lot of archival footage on 1.33 aspect ratio, and it reminded me how that format is just as interesting as widescreen. It’s a different feel. And having a show use widescreen and square is neat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josh Steinberg

Dave Upton

Audiophile
Owner
Moderator
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
3,713
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
Curious though, does anyone have an issue with the fact that TV shows are no longer produced in 4x3?
I personally am not a big fan of the 4:3 aspect ratio - it's just not as immersive. I think the natural human field of vision approximates a 16:9 ratio, (1.87:1), so it's only natural to produce content in an AR that suits our biology.
 

Brian Dobbs

Ambassador
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
Messages
1,166
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Brian Dobbs
What's your point?
The standard changed, and thus no content creator chooses to create in 4x3 anymore. Why can't the same argument be applied to film? I understand it's not exactly the same, as there are still 2.35 screens out there, but home video is more popular than ever, and movie attendance is going down.

Imagine a world with no cinemas. Crazy, I know, but just go with me for a minute. I'm not advocating for it, but it could easily happen. 2.35 would be antiquated, and without a proper place of exhibition. And given my reality of experiencing 99% of movies at home, 2.35 (to me) isn't as immersive as 1.85 or 1.78, so it's less desirable at home.

2.35 was originally used by filmmakers because it was a bigger format, and it still is...in theaters. But not at home. So one could reasonably argue that the filmmakers' intent is not being honored at home. If I had CIH or if home video was set up in a way to do justice to 2.35, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. The reality is that anything wider than 16x9 ends up being a smaller picture, and thus, less immersive. This isn't opinion, it's physics.

Big studio films may skip cinemas altogether in the not too distant future. It's already started with Netflix, and more studios are jumping on the bandwagon.

If home video can change to deliver an easy way to switch between 1.85 and allow for a bigger presentation of 2.35 (not smaller like it currently is), then my opinion would be different.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see the point of shooting television in 'scope. The whole purpose of the format was to provide a bigger, more immersive experience, and you get just the opposite on television - unless you're in the 0.01% who have a constant height front projector set up.
Yes, exactly.

I’ve always thought HTF was a place where we strive to honor the intent of the content creators
We do, and I do. Every 2.35 movie is projected that way. I'm not advocating for modifying the OAR on playback. I'm suggesting content creators examine the reality of the situation. Also, don't forget, this is the HOME theater forum, where display of films is fundamentally different that cinemas (2.35 smaller at home vs. bigger in cinemas), so IMO it's perfectly reasonable for us to advocate for our interests, which are similar to, but not exactly the same as cinemas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Posten

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Supporter
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
13,515
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
Are you familiar with the concept of "motivated reasoning"? In essence, it's backward logic. Deciding what you want for yourself, based on your personal motivations, then trying to come up with reasoning to make it apply to everyone else. A telltale sign of motivated reasoning is often when the argument against your reasoning is extremely simple. aka: "The creative content creators choose to create it that way." Then, the arguments in favor of the motivated reasoning get more and more extensive and elaborate, factually incorrect (cropping the capture image is "fake"), or use extreme, unconventional examples, like Interstellar and Black Panther, and repeatedly direct back to those same examples. Finally, it involves denying the real intent, such as was done in the post above in the response to Josh, by spinning what's actually being said. Forcing content creators to produce everything in the AR you deem acceptable is not really what I'd consider to be "strive to honor the intent of the content creators". It's taking the option away from them entirely. The previous post displays an obsession with the image being "bigger". I know that is denied, but read the post. It's clear. I'm sorry that creativity, composition, storytelling and just the freedom for the filmmaker to make their films the way they want is lost in this argument. There's more to movies than commerce. At least, there should be.

As to your 4:3 question, let's explore that. Let's say there was a TV show in the vein of This Is Us, that takes place in multiple times. Let's say it was a very elaborate sitcom, because that seems to fit more with where I'm going. Let's say parts of it were set in the '50, and those parts were presented in 4:3, and B&W. I can see how that would be extremely effective, and entertaining, for me, at least. Hell, maybe the entire show could be in the '50s and all in 4:3 B&W. Nope! Gotta fill that TV frame! Not if I have anything to say about it.

Anyway, I believe I'm done. This argument is getting mundane. Everyone enjoy their weekend. We still have every bit of the 2' of snow that fell on Tuesday, so I'm going to watch movies that don't fill my TV image, and enjoy not even think about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josh Steinberg

Worth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
3,959
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
For what it’s worth, I don’t really care much either way, and I always watch film and television shows in the manner they were created (if possible), but a couple of points.

There seems to be a belief that the selection of aspect ratios is and always has been a creative choice, but that simply isn’t true. It was often mandated by the studios. There’s an old interview with Spielberg where he talks about wanting to shoot Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1.85, but Paramount insisted on ‘scope.

And with respect to current television shows shooting in widescreen, I can’t help but feel that it’s less a creative choice and more a signal of superiority - a subtle way of suggesting that “this isn’t a tv show, this is cinema.”
 

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
23,826
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Why?
Because, Art. Emotion. Feel. Visual language.


“b&a: This is a film that was made in widescreen – in 2.39:1 – the first time a Toy Story film has been seen like that. How did that come about?

Jonas Rivera: Well I remember years ago, we did a a CinemaScope test that would eventually lead to doing A Bug’s Life that way. They rendered one shot of Buzz walking down the hall. I think he sees Sid’s room. And it always stood out to me. It made them feel even smaller. Just, there was something about the aspect ratio and the dust and the particulate in the air, I think to me, has helped make the scale – Toy Story is all about scale. So it’s helped to amplify that.

Josh Cooley: We were talking about just how to make this movie feel different. So, still Toy Story, but we didn’t want to repeat anything that we’ve done before. So we talked about widescreen and I had never seen that test, Jonas, until you mentioned it. You saw more of the world, which was really cool. And so we were talking about how we could – because we’re leaving the kid’s bedroom, we’re going out into the world – that it would be cooler to make it feel bigger. And even in the beginning, the way we tried to frame it was framing for 1.85, for when Woody is in the bedroom. And then when he gets out into the world, letting it open up. And also when he sees Bo again, just letting the world open up.

Mark Nielsen: Cars was 2:39 because we have horizontal characters. Pete Docter wanted Up in 1.85 because it was about an ascent. So there’s usually some narrative reason. Ours was scale. We said, ‘They’re not in Andy’s room anymore. We are out into the world.’”

https://beforesandafters.com/2019/0...ory-4-made-the-filmmakers-sick-in-a-good-way/
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnRice

Todd Erwin

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
6,267
Location
Hawthorne, NV
Real Name
Todd Erwin
  • Like
Reactions: DaveF

Todd Erwin

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
6,267
Location
Hawthorne, NV
Real Name
Todd Erwin
I believe they just zoomed the image, right? I applaud the effort though.
The big issue with that display was that it either stretched or windowboxed content randomly out of the blue for no reason, often if it detected any change in resolution.
 

Worth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
3,959
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
I think the main reason 1.78:1 was chosen as the de facto HD ratio is that it was the mid way point between 1.33 and 2.35 - so black bars wouldn't be too obtrusive regardless of the content being displayed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jimbo64

Brian Dobbs

Ambassador
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
Messages
1,166
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Brian Dobbs
Just watched Aquaman for the first time (I know, I'm late).

It's safe to say that the majority of the movie was 1.78:1, leaving me perplexed as to why 2.35:1 was even in the mix at all? If they knew this would be released on IMAX screens, which are more similar in ratio to our screens at home, what is the purpose of releasing any of it in 2.35?

Remember, 2.35 was originally meant to offer a bigger picture to audiences, and it still does...in traditional theaters. But the complete opposite is true for movies released in IMAX theaters and at home. It's smaller, and thus less immersive presented that way, simply by its nature.

Big screens at home were once a luxury. Now everyone has them. The bigger the better, so why continue using aspect ratios that present the movie 'smaller?' Filmmakers are cutting off their nose to spite their face. They are kidding themselves if they think 2.35 is bigger, because it's only true for a relatively insignificant portion of a film's lifespan.

If it was shot anamorphically, like Hateful 8, and presented that way in a theater with a film projector, I'm thumbs up all the way!

But how often do we watch movies this way anymore?

To get people into theaters, movies were produced in widescreen. Anamorphic productions actually captured an expanded view. Matting 'cheats' to get the widescreen effect.

I'm now thinking how ripped off I would feel if I were to have originally seen Aquaman in my local theater on a 2.35 screen only.

This movie looked and sounded incredible, up there with Nolan (even though this is fake CGI crap and Nolan's stuff is practical) and I applaud James Wan for giving us the alternating aspect ratios for the home release. I would directly tweet him but apparently he's not on Twitter anymore.

So if the original purpose of 2.35 is being completely negated by how the overwhelming majority of the public views films and TV these days, why do filmmakers still use it?

2.35 is legacy. I get it. Is that a good enough reason to continue using it? I'm not sure I really accept the "for artistic reasons" anymore, simply because the overwhelming majority of movies and tv are presented differently these days than they were originally.

Nothing but love for everyone here. I realize my opinion is in the minority. I'm simply questioning, as I, like you, have lived and breathed home theater for most of my life. My inherent nature is to question why things are still done when my common sense tells me there might be a legitimate reason to change the standard and to not simply go forth simply because that's the way things have been done. I apply this thinking to everything I do in life.

Peace and love.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Posten

YANG

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 10, 1999
Messages
576
It bugs me to sit through a movie with different picture heights.
Hence, the partial IMAX-content DUNKIRK and MI:6 when played at home with the fixed 16:9 screen, i rather played through a player set to 4:3 letterboxed output, zoom the vids to cut off the top and bottom bars such that the picture appears as cropped image to acheive same height as 2.4:1 movies.

Now... I'm just hoping that the "CINEMATIC edition" of the above both to release someday, so that i can buy just a version of what i truly will enjoy!
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,273
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
If you want Dunkirk or any other Christopher Nolan film that’s partially IMAX to view at home in the cropped standard theatrical format of 2.40:1 (or 2.20:1 in the case of Dunkirk), both the DVD editions and the streaming versions (at all resolutions) maintain constant height. The BD and UHD disc releases are specifically intended to have switching ratios to preserve the director’s intent while taking advantage of the extra high quality presentation that discs allow for.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
23,826
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
The Expanse Season 4 is using aspect ratio as part of the visual language.

The Expanse Season 4 (the first under Amazon Prime ownership) is intentionally using aspect ratio as part of the visual language. Everything within our solar system is in the normal 16:9 widescreen. But everything through the Ring Gate is a much narrower aspect ratio, like 2.35:1. It really surprised me when I noticed. And as The Expanse is for streaming, never to be in movie theaters, then it’s certainly done with the intention that 1.78 is the "bigger" image and the 2.4 is the "smaller" image. I can’t imagine this is done for the handful of people with motorized CIH setups to see the 2.40 as "bigger". In any case, it's an interesting attempt to use differing aspect ratios for home viewing.
 
Last edited:

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,273
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
U2’s latest concert film was released on new year’s day on DirecTV in the US and different outlets worldwide. It has a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.

I wish I had screenshots because it’s a good example of choosing a ratio to match the subject material. The tour being captured, the 2018 “Experience and Innocence” tour, had a giant screen as it’s centerpiece which, instead of being located at the end of the arena as is typical for live concerts, actually ran through the middle of the floor, with a catwalk stage underneath it. The band could also enter the screen itself and perform from inside it. The screen itself had to have an aspect ratio at least as wide as 4:1.

U2’s previous tour (“Innocence and Experience” in 2015) used the same layout and was shot as a concert film in the 16x9 ratio. What ended up happening in that film was that either the shots were too tight, or too wide, as the director struggled to frame an object that wide within a much taller frame. To show the complete screen ended up revealing a lot of audience below and scaffolding above, which paradoxically made this record-breakingly large screen seem tiny and unimpressive.

By going with 2.40:1 this time, the framing choices are much cleaner and more visually pleasing. The screen can be properly framed in such a way that the sense of proportion becomes clearer to the home viewer. It conveys the sense of bigness much more accurately, and when the home viewer is meant to focus on the screen visuals, they’re much more captivating from this perspective.

In this case, the wider aspect ratio is simply the better match to the subject material being shown. It maintains the correct proportions between the stage/screen, the band, and the concert audience, rather than allowing the audience or stage rigging to take focus away from the performance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Posten

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,163
Messages
4,732,438
Members
141,394
Latest member
Kirb-dog