Which home video format was the first to use anamorphic enhancement?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Is this a relatively new thing to do that started with DVD, or was it utilized with laserdiscs or another format?
     
  2. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    There were some laserdiscs produced anamorphically. They were not available in stores, but had to be special ordered. I believe The Fugitive was one of these discs.

    Neil
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Very true.

    Laserdisc should be considered the first format that actually *tried* to offer this feature in any real way. Toshiba cut a deal with Warner...Warner made some anamorphic LDs (the Fugitive was one) and Toshiba had some 16x9 RP TVs they tried to sell using the LDs as demo material.

    It should be interesting to most of you that Toshiba and Warner again joined forces to help launch DVD and were the main supporters of the 16x9 feature of DVD...see the connection?

    Also, in some ways DVD is not really "anamorphic" at all. That term does make sense with an all-analog format like LD that's inherently NTSC in nature (a composite 4x3 video signal in 525I blah blah blah). However DVD is digital and actually is "Standard Definition" digital...which encopasses *both* 4x3 and 16x9 aspect ratios (NTSC is just 4x3). So in a sense DVDs that are 16x9 aren't really "anamorphic"...they're just 16x9 digital images just like 4x3 image are 4x3 digital images. It's more or less a matter of perception and point of view but it's worth considering non-the-less as many of the problems we have with poor-DVD mastering (like using old composite masters or 4x3 lbxed transfers) have stemmed from people looking at DVD through NTSC eyes when they really should have been looking at it through *Standard Defition Digital* eyes.

    In any case, DVD did something with 16x9 images that Laserdisc could NOT easily do...it gave us players that could easily convert 16x9 images to 4x3 lbxed so that 4x3 viewers could purchase and view 16x9 discs. In this way 16x9 discs could be mastered and sold before there was even an established market of 16x9 displays to take advantage of them directly. Laserdisc never had that advantage and even if DVD had not come into the picture, it's doubtful that anamorphic laserdiscs could ever have reached a broad penetration for the lack of back-wards compatibility with anamorphic discs on 4x3 displays.
     
  4. Charlie Essmeier

    Charlie Essmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    There were four titles produced domestically on laserdisc: Grumpy Old Men, The Unforgiven, Free Willy, and The Fugitive. In addition, twelve titles were produced in Japan, including Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

    Charlie
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Yeah,

    I think those Japanese LDs you're referring too were actually Hi-vision (the older Japanese analog hi-def format) in which case they were indeed 16x9 aspect-ratio. (there may have also been NTSC versions...but I've heard lots of talk about the Hi-vision LD of T2 in Japan).

    -dave
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Question: Would it even be possible to make VHS tapes anamorphic? How much extra work would have to be employed to turn this trick for VHS? And if there WERE anamorphic Widescreen VHS tapes, would the picture quality approximate the current quality of NON-Anamorphic WS DVDs? Or would it still be worse? [​IMG]

    Also: When viewing a Widescreen VHS tape today on either a 16:9 TV or a 4:3 with 16:9 Squeeze, is there ANY added benefit whatsoever? (Stupid question, I know, for a HT fan, but I'm technically-challenged and wanted to ask anyway. [​IMG])
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    David (VP),

    It would really be no problem at all.

    The horizontal sweep on a 16:9 TV takes exactly as much time as the sweep on a 4:3 TV, so the horizontal lines could be filled with exactly the same information as they are now.

    The difference would be: all 480 horizontal lines would have to be filled with image content. As it is now, they fill bars above and below the image with black and use only 360 lines to sample a 16x9 picture.

    Don't forget that on a DVD anamorphic means: more vertical resolution (= more horizontal lines to sample the same image). It does not mean: more pixels along the horizontal lines!

    The result would be much better than a standard widescreen tape playing on your 16:9 set (and zoomed to fill the screen, an "anamorphic tape" would play unzoomed). On a squeezed 4:3 it would still slightly be better than a standard ws tape (played unsqueezed of course).

    But the quality (especially of the effective resolution in the horizontal direction) would certainly not be as good as DVD. Not to mention the sound.


    Cees
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    I made an anamorphic widescreen S-VHS once of part of the Indiana Jones HD broadcast on ABC, downconverted to NTSC.

    Looked better than a non-anamorphic DVD.
     
  9. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Always learn new things when I come here. Thanks guys for explaining it.
     
  10. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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  11. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Found one...Cliffhanger.

    LINK TO LIVE EBAY AUCTION REMOVED BY ADMIN. DO NOT POST SUCH AGAIN.
     

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