why widescreen hdtv???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kurt Wasson, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. Kurt Wasson

    Kurt Wasson Auditioning

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    My wife and I have been shopping for a widescreen hdtv. In our searching, we noticed that when a dvd is played in widescreen mode, the screen still has the black bars at the top and bottom like our regular tv. Our question is, why buy a widescreen tv vs a regular tv? Another question. We were in H H Gregg and were testing out tvs trying to watch A Bug's Life. You can choose under setup to watch the movie normal screen or widescreen. Watching it widescreen, you get the black bars on the top and bottom of the widescreen tv. If we chose normal screen, the picture is formatted to fit the tv. Will we lose info on the sides as you would trying to watch it on a regular tv?
     
  2. Brad Bissell

    Brad Bissell Extra

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    The only time you have bars on the top and bottom of a movie is when it is 2.35:1. On a regular (square) tv these movies have thicker bars on the top and bottom. Many movies are 16:9 which on a 16:9 widescreen tv will not have any bars on the top and bottom. So, it all depends on what movie you are watching and what format it is in. Basically, the bars mean that you are seeing the entire movie as the director intended you to see it, so it is a good thing to have bars at the top and bottom.
     
  3. Todd_R

    Todd_R Extra

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    Just to add to what was said in the previous post, there are many movies that do fill the entire screen of a 16x9 TV. In fact it seems more & more movies are this way. Dinosaur is one movie that comes to mind that is just awesome & will fit perfectly on a widescreen TV & that is just one of many. For the movies that are 2:35:1 you will see black bars, but you are still seeing it widescreen which is great because you don't lose any of the picture. Plus when compared to watching letterbox on a 4:3 TV (which is just a rectangle put inside a square), even with the black bars, they won't bother you like they might on a 4:3 TV. On a 4:3 TV, the black bars might take up 1/2 of the screen while on a 16x9 TV they don't take up nearly that much. Widescreen TV's will have several viewing modes that will allow you to zoom the picture so that it fits your screen should you want to do so (I don't). You wouldn't want to use the DVD player setup as you mentioned to perform this formating since the TV does it with less hassle. You DO lose a very small bit on the sides when you do this as well as losing resolution since you are blowing the picture up. Don't confuse this type of formating with Pan & Scan which is quite different. This is the type of formatting when you see the phrase 'formatted to fit your TV', refering to a 4:3 TV. In basic terms, this entails taking a widescreen production & for each frame of the movie, they take a square & moving it to where the most action is, then scanning it in. So this square floats right & left depending on where it's deemed the most action is, totally cutting out the rest. With this type of processing you are losing quite a bit of the movie. With the widescreen formatting that the TV does on it's own, you are just losing a small bit on each side; far less than pan & scan where a character can actually be totaly out of the picture even though in the widescreen version they were visable. I watched The Game with Michael Douglas & it was a two sided DVD with Pan & Scan on one, widescreen (with bars) on the other. In one scene in the Pan & Scan version, he is driving his car into a driveway & all you can see is the hood of the car & a fraction of a house. In the widescreen version you could see this HUGE mansion in it's full glory. You really don't even realize how much you miss out on with Pan & Scan. It was important to see how rich he was & how big his home was, but if you didn't watch the widescreen, you missed it.
    Aside from viewing HDTV which is amazing & a whole other subject, there is nothing better than watching DVD's on a widescreen TV. No comparison to watching them on 4:3. The experience of watching The Matrix, Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Almost Famous, etc.. on a 16x9 can't be duplicated on a 4:3. I have a Mitsubishi 55" 16x9. I watch about 60% 4:3 material on it streached out which I don't mind & the rest DVD's & HDTV. I couldn't be happier with my set. Watching CSI & NYPD Blue in HD is a treat for me every week!! I haven't even mentioned how much fun XBOX & PS2 games are in 16x9 as well!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Kurt:

    Some movies are more widescreen than others. Meaning that some widescreen movies have thicker or fatter black bars (on top & bottom) than other movies. There isn't a "standard" for making movies so they come in different "sizes."

    A widescreen set minimizes the size of the bars, and on certain films, will eliminate them entirely.

    Basically:

    Widescreen Movies on regular shaped TV = bigger bars.

    Widescreen Movies on widescreen shaped TV = smaller (or no) bars.

    P.S.

    Get a Toshiba DVD player with 4 level zoom and you can have smaller/no bars on a regular shaped TV as well, at the expense of cutting off the right & left parts of the movie.

    Rich B.
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    It should be noted that LARGE portions of A Bug's Life have been reanimated and framed for the 1.33:1 ratio by the original staff. Instead of compromising on a P&S, they realized that with a CG movie you have the power to please both sides. There's a whole documentary on the disc on the process.
     

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