Television OAR Question

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Nicholas Martin, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    Owning a 4X3 standard TV, It's a little easier to notice the difference between a film's OAR of 1.85:1 and a series'
    (such as ANGEL)OAR of 1.78:1, as the"black bars" are a bit thicker for a film.

    My question is, why do TV shows use that ratio? it doesn't make the biggest difference in what you see, compared to a film, which is only slightly wider. Why not just make them the same, if the desire is to look more cinematic?

    Any help in clearing up this little curiosity is much appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    The television industry is using widescreen HDTVs as its basis for aspect ratio. Widescreen HDTVs are 16:9, and when rounded to two decimals, 16 divided by 9 is 1.78.
     
  3. Roger_R

    Roger_R Second Unit

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    But why didn't they make the widescreen TV sets in 1.85:1 since that was more common?
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There are at least two answers, one practical and one aesthetic.

    Taking the latter 16:9 is generally considered a very pleasing ratio by many artists and designers. I have no idea as to wheather this was considered as a factor at all when the aspect ratio was designed.

    From a practical perspective, there are three main screen ratios in use today: 1.85:1 (as you indicate), 2.35:1 (Cinemascope, etc.—there are variations such as 2.40:1) and 1.66:1 (used quite a bit in Europe). 1.78:1 (16:9) fits very nicely between two of these three—and don’t forget that ASTC is an international standard, not just one for North America.

    On most setups, overscan takes care to the black bars of a 1.85:1 movie shown on a 16:9 screen.
     

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