Why was Ben Hur ( in High Def) telecast in 1:78 ????

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by widescreenforever, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. widescreenforever

    widescreenforever Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 28, 2004
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    I was on cloud nine when I saw for Canadian Broadcast on Encore Avenue HD was to broadcast Ben Hur on Sunday Jan 17th for 212 min.. The HD telecast colours was great to see....
    BUT.,,, what a major Disappointment to see you only broadcast in 1:78 instead of the OAR of 2:76.1
    WHY did they kept the Overture and Intermission in 2:76?, but not the movie and especially not the Chariot Race..:(
    Even the VHS tapes from the 80's had the intelligent promotion of showing the chariot race in 2:76 instead of 1:33 ., BUT all things aside it has to be one of two things ..
    1. Was IT the studios that short changed us??,, or
    2. was it an eager under-aged technician????

    Now I can see why those idiots over at AMC HD telecast It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 1:78 as well- instead of 2:55 ,, they don't know anything anyway.,
    But Encore Avenue,., come on ., they really dropped the ball on this and I can't trust their telecasts anymore...

    Last month they broadcast MY GIRL (1991) in glorious anamorphic 1:78 and this movie isn't even available in letterbox on any of the sites.. So I know they are trying to get us the best in broadcasting for High Def .. BUT Ben Hur in 1:78 is not nice looking.. A full 25% lopped off the side or sides...For the majority of the regular HD broadcasts they score an 9.0 .. but last nights show which was BTW also in Dolby stereo (2.0) instead of usual 5.1,, the whole thing scored maybe a six or less...
    very very disappointed ...
    I'd like to know what other Cable companies are showing for this example..

  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Dec 19, 1998
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    You seem surprised that this was done, and I don't know why. HBO has been doing it for years, along with most other cable channels. They want to cater to the "I want my screen filled!" philistines.
  3. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer

    Apr 16, 2008
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    Orange County, CA
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    Todd Erwin
    1.78:1 is the new "full screen"
  4. Darcy Hunter

    Darcy Hunter Stunt Coordinator

    May 11, 1999
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    I find Encore Avenue HD to be hit and miss when it comes to presenting 2.35:1 films in their OAR. It seems more often then not they will simply show the "zoomed in" 1.78:1 version. This is especially true if the film was shot in the Super 35 format. I am surprised however that they chose to show Ben Hur this way. Actually, I'm not. They constantly show Blade Runner in a 1.78:1 MAR version.
  5. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

    Nov 1, 1998
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    I really think this is as much a studio issue as it is a station issue. If the pay stations had a policy about cropping all movies to 1.78, why do they occasionally show movies at 2.35? Ratatouille was 2.35, and since it was not "shot" in any format, it could have been recomposited to any AR (or simply cropped). I'm sure some studios don't want to release the proper AR to prevent piracy of the HD broadcasts.

    These stations can only broadcast what the studios give them.

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