What's wrong with making P&S-on-the-fly-compatible widescreen discs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eugene Hsieh, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    When I first started reading about DVD one of the biggest features I thought it offered was the ability for machines to extract pan and scan directly off a properly flagged widescreen DVD. This would have solved the OAR issue once and for all, as all DVDs would be widescreen, with the option of extracting P&S on-the-fly.
    However, this type of DVD seems rare and I don't own any of them.
    Why is this feature almost completely ignored? Is it because of crappy implementation in the DVD spec? Is it because of buggy players? Is it because nobody knows how to flag these things properly? Is it because the companies are afraid J6P isn't going to be able to set up his/her DVD player correctly?
    It seems that that we are able to survive other problems such as dual layer discs and seamless branching, so why not on-the-fly P&S?
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  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    It takes time to encode the flags. Time = money. Its easier to use an existing P&S transfer, which needs to be created for other uses anyway, than spending the bucks just for the DVD.
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  3. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    The problem with this idea is 3-fold..
    What happens with P&S on the fly is that the DVD player zooms to a 1.33:1 image without analysing where the black bars are, they just zoom from 1.78 to 1.33. Films with an AR greater than 1.78:1 will still have black bars at the top and bottom.
    People have to understand how to set up their players properly.
    It looks like crap when blown up to a larger TV, since we lose horizontal resolution.
     
  4. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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  5. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    As long as they don't Crop 2.35 movies to 1.78 and then enable the P&S on the fly feature...
    I suspect Ginger Snaps suffers from that compromise, I just watched the trailer and it's in 2.35 and the movie itself appears to be in 1.85 (Or could be 1.78). I'll watch the whole thing in a few minutes...
     
  6. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    quote: As long as they don't Crop 2.35 movies to 1.78 and then enable the P&S on the fly feature...
    I suspect Ginger Snaps suffers from that compromise, I just watched the trailer and it's in 2.35 and the movie itself appears to be in 1.85 (Or could be 1.78). I'll watch the whole thing in a few minutes...[/quote]
    1) Ginger Snaps was shot open matte (1.33:1) and matted (to 1.85:1) for theatrical release. The Canadian DVD keeps the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
    2) If you notice the trailer (that's in 2.35:1), all of the scenes presented have been reformated to fit the 2.35:1 aspect ratio (as I'm guessing TVA only had the scope trailer instead of a flat trailer).
    3) The two DVD players I tried the disc on (JVC Prog. Scan and Pioneer DV-343) did not enable the pan & scan on the fly feature. I'm guessing the DVD has a glitch with a few players and then enables the pan & scan on the fly feature.
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    [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Matthew Chmiel on October 23, 2001 at 06:31 PM]
     
  7. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    Ah, what a relief... I was afraid the movie was severely butchered from 2.35 to 1.78... But in fact, it was from 1.85 to 1.78 which is allright... I probably lose more to overscan anyway...
    As for the movie itself, I can say that I am not totally dissapointed... It was a blind purchase so I was scared not to like it... But it was ok, and it's the kind of movie I'll want to watch a few times so it's a relief on that front... And hopefully it'll grow on me so i'd be happy I bought it...
     
  8. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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  9. MikeSerrano

    MikeSerrano Second Unit

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    I really think that pan & scan on the fly is the solution to everyone's problems. However, as stated previously, it doesn't quite "work" for 2.35:1--there are still "black bars". The solution to this problem is already in the marketplace: namely, zoom. It is abundantly clear that some people do not care about losing picture information or image composition just as long as the picture "fills up their screen".
    On 1.85:1 material, the p&s on the fly will take care of all of the black bars. For 2.35:1 material, p&s-otf will take care of most of the black bars--all Joe has to to is hit the zoom button until they are gone.
    This solution works for everybody:
    * Studios only have to release widescreen
    *The resources previously used to create Pan&Scan transfers can be used to add Pan&Scan-on-the-fly to widescreen releases
    * Joe gets a "cool" new feature that allows him to butcher his nicely framed widescreen picture to fill his screen [​IMG]
    * Retailers only have to stock one version of a title (barring any seperate DD/dts releases)
    * DVD player manufacturers gain a feature that they can market to J6P (via Wal-Mart, chain-stores, supermarkets, etc.)
    * And most importantly, the entire picture is there for anyone who wishes to view it in they way that it was intended to be viewed.
    The only problem I see in this solution are open-matte transfers. The previous method of transferring fullscreen will not be acceptable. While you could effectively obtain the correct framing by using homemade mattes or zooming on widescreen sets, you lose the advantages of anamorphic enhancement. That means that the open-matte film must be transferred in anamorphic widescreen then Pan&Scanned on the fly.
    -Mike
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    God Bless America--and all people who stand for freedom.[​IMG]
     
  10. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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  11. MikeSerrano

    MikeSerrano Second Unit

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  12. Jacob_isham

    Jacob_isham Stunt Coordinator

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    pan and scan on the fly is a real nice idea but they never got there act together ready for DVD. I think that putting extra information on the disc as to where the 1.33 windows needs to move to capture the most onscreen info for a scene would have been great for DVD and solved everyones problem. I also would have meant that studios wouldnt need to release these DVDs with both a OAR and P&S on the same disc, very wastefull of disc space. There is also an issue about the DVD players producing a jerky image if not done right when the 4:3 windows moves (scans). Maybe the next format after DVD could incorporate this. Or even produce discs that have this feature, but require a player that supports it to do the pan scan, otherwise they just play OAR in a regular player. The studios could do some wicked marketting job and give it some cool name.
     
  13. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Maybe the companies should do this:
    1) Ship all DVD players with them set in the P/S-onthefly mode, with instructions to leave them that way if they have a 4:3 TV and they want to make use of all of their screen territory for widescreen movies and don't mind cutting off the edges.
    2) Ship one version of 1.85 movies, with P/S-onthefly flagged. For 2.35 movies, either ship two versions or else widescreen only. Or else include the zoom feature on top of P/S of 2.35:1 as Mike suggests.
    3) Ship DVDs that conform to the DVD spec with regard to flagging P/S-onthefly. Let the crappy players who can't follow the spec weed themselves out. Actually I don't remember hearing a lot of complaints about these types of discs, although that may be due to the fact that they are so rare.
    4) Include a short cheap trailer on widescreen AND P/S discs to educate why widescreen is better.
    [Edited last by Eugene Hsieh on October 24, 2001 at 12:59 PM]
     
  14. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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  15. Richard_Huntington

    Richard_Huntington Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    Well the unthinkable has occurred. I met J6P. Someone I work with, who I wouldn't even think of as a movie watcher, borrowed a dvd from a fellow coworker. "Stir of Echoes" was the movie. He looked at the back cover and was elated to find out that it had a "full screen" option. He then went on to tell me that all dvds should be in "full screen".
    All this happened at the end of the day, so I really didn't have time to discuss the virtues of oar.
    Today he talked to me about the movie and how great it was to watch it "full screen". I then tried to explain to him how he was missing out on the whole movie by watching it that way. I tried to use an analogy to get my point across. I told him to look around. Now, make a box with your hands and put it in front of your face and look around again. That's what pan and scan does to movies. It cuts off a lot of information. Information the director wanted you to see. His response? "Yeah, but at least it doesn't have those black bars, and the picture is big". He went on to say that he "always uses the zoom feature on his dvd player, but that it noticeably degrades the picture quality"
    Is there any hope?
    Jon [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jon_B on October 25, 2001 at 02:07 AM]
     
  17. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Sure, show him the examples over at widescreen.org:
    http://www.widescreen.org/examples.html
    If after viewing those he still thinks that pan&scan is better then he's a hopeless case and you can just forget about it.
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    /Kimmo
     
  18. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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  19. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    Thanks Kimmo for the link. He doesn't have a computer, so I'll just have to print out some examples.
    Jon
     
  20. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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