LOTR Two Towers AR Problem in HD?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Matt Brighton, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Matt Brighton

    Matt Brighton Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got hooked up with Comcast HD (and digital cable) and was flipping around on my HD channels. I saw that Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was playing and when I saw the picture, it looked great, but it filled the whole screen (thereby making it a 1.78 - 1.85:1 ratio) whereas the movie was filmed in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Anybody know how to explain this?

    I noticed this exact same thing when Dances With Wolves was on today, too.
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    It's just the old black bar syndrome, only on the top and bottom instead of the sides. I guess they figure nobody with a nice, new 16x9 set wants to see those bars. HBO does the same thing with HD AOTC, I believe. I imagine this will be a pretty common thing once HD is the standard.
     
  3. Matt Brighton

    Matt Brighton Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I'd rather see the entire picture, but I suppose it's out of our hands. The sheer picture quality alone is reason to overlook this. Still, it would be nice if they would show movies in thier OAR...

    Thanks for the heads up...
     
  4. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Not in my mind. The DVD looks good enough to me and presented in the correct AR.
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Most, if not all, of the 2.35:1 movies I've seen in HD on the broadcast networks have been in OAR. So I guess it depends on the network.

    //Ken
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Was this HBO? It's their official policy to crop 2.35:1 movies for HD broadcast. They have special masters prepared for this purpose. They claim this is based on the results of a "survey" of user preferences, but the "survey" was done at a time when hardly anyone was able to receive and display HD signals.

    M.
     
  7. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    It wasn't HBO as they don't show the LOTR films. I believe Starz has that exclusive. But I recall seeing part of it on one of the HD pay per view channels and it was cropped, as almost all 2.35 films are.

    Dances With Wolves however is shown OAR on ShowtimeHD.

    Perhaps it's time for HBO to perform a NEW survey![​IMG]
     
  8. Daniel DeLawter

    Daniel DeLawter Stunt Coordinator

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    sorry to piggyback on this...

    but can someone with comcast hd tell me how often the 8 or so channels revert to 4:3?

    i kinda want to get it but my panny locks viewing modes to full only
     
  9. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Well since 1.78:1 is supposed to be the standard of all HDTV presentations. A network showing a film in 1.78:1 is not any great service to OAR presentation. Also why is it that every clip, and trailer of ROTK on TV was at 1.78:1
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    They always do that. I remember when the final AOTC trailer debuted on TV, it was in the proper AR, but then the local news reran it in 1.78. It looked awful, as you would expect. I suspect it has something to do with the "trendiness" of 1.78*. Long before 16x9 sets were mainstream, commercials started to be presented in the 1.85/1.78 range (Maybe it's always 1.78, but I don't know) to stand out. Also, I think they want to letterbox trailers to set it apart as a "movie," but they figure the average viewer won't like the image being too small.

    By the way, I don't have a clue what I meant by:


    I guess I was thinking of 4x3 material on a 16x9 set, which has nothing to do with this discussion at all. [​IMG]

    * - And if it is so trendy, why can't people accept it when it comes to watching DVDs?
     
  11. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I didn't know this was common practice. I was really looking forward to watching movies in HD (coming here on cable in the next few months, finally), but now I don't know... why do they have to do this?? Argh.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    HBO says they're placating the "I hate black bars" crowd (though that's not how they phrase it [​IMG]).

    Showtime is good about respecting OAR, at least to date.

    M.
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Yet they show their biggest show, The Sopranos at 1.78:1 in regular definition.

    I hate MAR, why don't they placate me. Who's more likely to be watching HDTV at this point? enthusiasts or J6P? Ugghhhhh
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    Really?

    By that argument, pan-and-scan DVDs should be overlooked, as they have so much better picture quality than their VHS and laserdisc counterparts...
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Not always. They alternate a 1.78 version with a cropped one (unless they've changed; it's been a while since I watched The Sopranos on HBO).

    M.
     
  16. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Michael

    I believe HBO shows The Sopranos in 1.78 and HBO2 shows it 1.33.
     
  17. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    I did stop and watch a few minutes of Two Towers and Dances with Wolves the other night, and the PQ was beautiful. It made me wish my set was 2.35:1 so they'd show the rest of the picture. HBO HD has shown a few things in the last several months in OAR. I know I saw two films presented OAR, one was Hunt for Red October, but I can't remember what the other was for the life of me.
     
  18. Michael St. Clair

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    Two kinds of 2.35:1 movies shown in OAR on HD-HBO.

    1) Films that were transferred before they changed the policy (2 or 3 years ago).

    2) Films where the studio provides the transfer (HBO does most of their HD transfers themselves at their own expense).

    If HBO does the transfer, currently, it gets cropped. Period.
     
  19. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    HBO showed Monster's Ball in it's full 2.35:1 AR a while back.
     

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