Movies in 1.66 to 1 ratio

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd K, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    Hello all,

    I am just wondering, what happens when a movie shot in the 1.66:1 ratio are put onto a 16x9 television? Isn't that a 1.78:1 ratio? I personally have a Wega that can do the 16x9 squeeze, so I'm wondering what the picture would look like on this or a regular 16x9 television. Would there be black bars on the sides?

    Todd
     
  2. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    There would be bars on the sides as it is not as wide as a 16x9 set.

    I am one who thinks all 1.66 films should be anamorphic. The added resolution for 16x9 viewers is beneficial, and the windowboxing is UNNOTICEABLE - at least on televisions 32" and smaller. I have not tested it on larger sets.
     
  3. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    A 1.66:1 film that is anamorphically enhanced is windowboxed, which will have thin black bars on the sides. However, the side bars are usually covered by overscan.
     
  4. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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    It depends on whether the film is broadcast/transferred to DVD anamorphically.
    If it is anamorphic - then you'll get narrow bars left and right of the picture. With overscan, you'll probably not notice them at all.
    If it is not anamorphic - the non-anamorphic picture will have narrow bars top-and-bottom. If you view in 4:3 mode on your 16:9 TV, you will get a window-boxed image - that is, large bars left-and-right, and smaller black bars top-and-bottom. If you use the 16:9 zoom function, the picture will fill the screen, but you'll lose a little image top-and-bottom (you'll effectively be soft-matting the film to 1.78:1 [​IMG] )
    Barry Lyndon is an example of one film transferred to DVD at 1.66:1 non-anamorphic. Whatever you do, don't 16:9 zoom it - Stanley Kubrick was obsessive about cinemas not matting it to 1.85:1, and he'd turn in his grave if you cropped his masterpiece [​IMG]
    -- John
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Which is one of the reasons (aside from the obvious benefits of more resolution) tht 1.66:1 titles should be 16x9 anamorphic.

    That way 16x9 displays won't *have* to crop the image to 1.78:1. Watching an silly little image windowboxed (down to the 4x3 area) *and* letterboxed in the middle of a 16x9 screen is not, IMO, a realistic way to watch anything.

    -dave
     
  6. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    See my sig for a representation of 1.66:1 on a w/s display (all dimensions are accurate). This is with *no overscan*. The windowboxing in anamorphic mode really is negligable compared to the massive borders you have to put up with if you want to see a non-anamorphic 1.66:1 picture in its OAR.
     
  7. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    It is worth noting that a few 1.66:1 films put out by Criterion (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeiosie, Coup de Torchon, etc.) have been formatted to fit your 16x9 TV.

    Unacceptable!
     
  8. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    MGM Home Entertainment cropped Dr. No from 1.66:1 to 1.85:1 for anamorphic widescreen presentation. They also present Robocop at the U.S. AR of 1.85:1 for anamorphic widescreen versus Paul Verhoeven's preferred AR of 1.66:1.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The first three Bond films were all cropped to 1.78:1 for their anamorphic DVDs.

    I worked out the math one time, and the trade-offs against windowboxing to conventional 4:3 TV owners don't really start to become significant until you get ratios smaller than 1.60:1. At that point, 4:3 set owners lose over 10% of their horizontal resolution and an additional 8% of their vertical resolution versus non-anamorphic letterboxing.

    By contrast, for 1.66:1, 4:3 set owners only lose 6.6% of their horizontal resolution and an additional 5% of their vertical resolution versus non-anamorphic letterboxing.

    Regards,
     
  10. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    The Criterion version of Robocop is the director's cut with deleted footage, and is presented 1.66:1. However, it was shown theatrically in 1.85:1.
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A good bit of the non-anamorphic 1.66:1 transfers on DVD are simply laserdisc transfers (MGM especially). Disney, Anchor Bay, and Universal, though, use the 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen formatting often.

    I think the reason why WB's remastered transfers of Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, and Barry Lyndon were presented without anamorphic enhancment is because the ratio fluctuates under the 1.66:1 frame to 1.55:1 (Can someone confirm this with a DVD-ROM to show 100% of the image?)

    A few 1.66:1 films on DVD revealing the entire frame are around. For example, MPI's now OOP DVD of "Help!" is 1.33:1, but simply has the 1.66:1 mattes missing.

    We should be seeing the first 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer from WB by the end of the year since they're releasing Giant. I doubt they're having the LDI treatment given to it without it being anamorphic (like North By Northwest.)
     
  12. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Of the most recently remastered Kubrick DVDs, A Clockwork Orange was a spot-on 1.66:1, Lolita was 1.63:1, and Barry Lyndon was 1.58:1 by my cursor measurements. The only one where the aspect ratio varied was Dr. Strangelove. Personally, I think A Clockwork Orange should have been anamorphic. For some reason, the Lolita DVD was not presented in a variable ratio like Dr. Strangelove even though the Kubrick-approved Criterion laserdisc of Lolita was. Given how they chose to present it, however, I think they should have gone anamorphic with that one as well.

    Regards,
     
  14. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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    My TV (a 28" WS JVC set) has a 14:9 zoom mode in addition to the 16:9 zoom mode used for regular non-anamorphic films and the max mode used to unsqueeze anamorphic films. Very handy [​IMG]
    I believe other JVCs as well as Philips (and maybe others) also have this. So, anamorphic or not, 1,66:1 films can be diplayed just fine on my set...
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Mikael,

    that's cool. I keep writing 16x9 display manufactuers telling them that we need a special zoom just for 4x3 encoded 1.66:1 sources. Most of them seem to think this is a waste of time. Glad to hear at least *some* manufacturer out there "gets it".
     
  17. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    The 14x9 zoom is 1.56:1. It's still not ideal. There are slight black bars above and below, as well as thicker bars on the sides.
    But that's not really the point, which is that at 1.66:1 you get significantly more overall resolution if the picture is windowboxed anamorphic.
     
  18. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    I also had a question on this, if someone would be so kind as to answer. I have a Toshiba 50" 4x3 that does not squeeze 480i/p sources. When I watch a 1.66 anamorphically coded disc (ie The Emperor's New Groove or Rear Window), the image appears closer to 1.85. If I watch a 1.66 non-anamorphic disc (ie 12 Angry Men) the AR appears more correct. The bars at the top and bottom are a good deal thinner. Can anyone explain that?

    Thanks!

    Scott
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Overscan causes aspect ratios to look different.

    Some Like It Hot looked a LOT like 1.55:1 until I saw it on my DVD-ROM...it's close to 1.78:1.

    EVERY film should be windowboxed somewhat to avoid the picture getting cropped by TV's. I thought the claim that The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator were windowboxed was false...until I saw the image on my DVD-ROM. There it is, windowboxed (you can see near 100% of the frame, too.)
     
  20. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Scott, your TV is making the height of the image lock at 1.78:1, however the anamorphic output should then place black bars to either side. Essentially you are getting a smaller but more detailed image. Your call. [​IMG]
    I have one movie that claims 1.66:1 and that's The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It fills my Sony 24" widescreen TV. Hmmm... [​IMG]
     

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