Why are old movies in Widescreen on UK Network TV but not on DVD :-(

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Matthew Prince, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Matthew Prince

    Matthew Prince Stunt Coordinator

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    This is really for UK readers, but if the American Networks or HDTV stations do the same thing than this applies to you.

    I'm just saying that how come the BBC and Channel 4 stations can show '60s, '70s and '80s films in a basic 1.78:1 (16:9) widescreen format, many of those SAME films are only available in 4:3 full frame on DVD?

    It really pi$$es me off!

    I mean, it's good to watch the films in a basic widescreen format, if you have a widescreen TV, but to know unless you tape or DVD-copy that version, you'll NEVER be able to own it in Widescreen (never mind the OAR [​IMG]) is really galling.

    This especially happens with '70s and '80s movies, many of which we're dying to have on widescreen on DVD... [​IMG]

    ALSO, can anyone explain why late '70s, '80s and '90s movies always showed their opening credits in the OAR on pan n scan broadcasts/video, reverted back to 4:3 for the film, then showed the ending credits in the OAR instead?

    E.G. with Die Hard 1. Opening credits (limousine intro) in widescreen (2.35:1), then 4:3 presentation and widescreen (2.35:1) ending credits (aerial shot). Why? [​IMG] I never took any notice until DVDs came out, but now it feels like the Networks and Studios were teasing us... (like look at what you enjoyed at the cinema/movie theatre... and now we're going to hack it to pieces...) [​IMG]
     
  2. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    US TV also does this, mostly because pan and scan would cut out portions of the credits. (Heaven forbid that the studios don't allow us to read all the credits, but it's OK to throw one third of the movie away through P&S!!!)
     
  3. Matthew Prince

    Matthew Prince Stunt Coordinator

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    They (the BBC and UK Channel 4) do it for various movies including those available in OAR on DVD AND for movies which were NEVER available on DVD/video or seen on Network TV before.

    The films range from British horror movies, low budget action movies, feature-length movies of TV comedies, 'Carry On' films, obscure Westerns and of course modern movies. In fact even Black and white movies can be seen in anamorphic widescreen.

    It then makes you wonder, if a studio can provide new 16:9 masters to the Networks, why don't they do it for DVD?
     
  4. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    You should bear in mind that the only reason they are doing this is to fit 16:9 TVs which is now the norm for digital TVs and not to show films in OAR. Once Eastenders and Countdown went to 16:9 so did everything regardless of its original AR [​IMG] Many of the black and white films they show have an OAR of 4:3 and not 16:9 and I have seen them crop them to fit onto the TV. (not so much on Channel 4 mind you) Also I have never seen a film with an OAR of 2.35:1 on TV - they always reduce it to 16:9. The Hunt For Red October is showing right now on BBC1 at an AR of 1.85:1 when it should be 2.35:1.

    I'd check out to make sure the films in question are actually being shown in the correct AR on TV as well.
     

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