PBS DVDs - Widescreen or Fullscreen?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by danak, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. danak

    danak Second Unit

    Sep 25, 2002
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    Hi all,
    Some PBS documentaries I've watched on DVD, "Lost Boys of Sudan" being a recent example, appear to have been filmed widescreen even though they are shown fullscreen. One of the biggest problem I have in watching these DVDs is that the subtitles are difficult to read because they are cut off on the sides. Does anyone know what the correct OAR should be?

  2. John Whittle

    John Whittle Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 22, 2004
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    Recent productions that are done in Hi-Def are 16:9. Older productions which were broadcast letterboxed were not. This is a title by title case at present.

    At least in Los Angeles, the local station runs the DT and SD and the SD version is letterboxed inside the 4:3. You might check the listings for the DVD of your title and see if it's 16:9. You might also complain to your local station and have them run letterboxed so the titles wouldn't be cut off on the sides. Sounds like they're running a down the middle blow up for SD.

  3. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 11, 2003
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    Does it bother anyone else that most if not all of these documentaries produced in 16x9 crop 4:3 or 1.37:1 footage to fit in the 16x9 format? This is especially noticeable (to me, anyway) when material originally broadcast on TV from the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. is cropped, since it's pretty definite that the OAR was 4:3. It seems that this "stealth MAR" of archival footage in documentaries has not been much commented upon (or perhaps I've just missed it). I would prefer that such material be windowboxed in the 16x9 frame. Admittedly this would look a bit strange on a 4x3 tv set, with two sets of black bars, however I would prefer the preservation of the OAR if at all possible.

    Am I completely alone with this observation?

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