Widescreen display still has Bars! Why?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by John DeSantis, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    My Brother recently purchased a Panasonic 42" 16X9 Plasma TV. When playing a 2:35.1 DVD he still gets the Black Bars top and bottom. They are as big as what you would see on a regular TV. Why is that? The 1:85.1 DVDs fill out the screen nicely. Shouldn't the 2:35.1 DVD be at least better on his set than a normal 4X3 set?

    I was thinking about getting a 16X9 untill I found out that Widescreen really isn't Widescreen for all DVDs. Why on earth put out 2:35.1 DVDs if there are no Displays on the market than can view them full screen?

    Also, would a Front projection set up display a 2:35.1 full screen?
     
  2. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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  3. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  4. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I understand it but STILL, In my opinion, 2.35:1 should be called "wide & short screen "

    Thanks
     
  5. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Well, they haven't figured out how to make a CRT/Plasma a that auto-magically becomes wider when you send a 2.35 movie to it. What they could do is build 2.35-ratio Plasmas (which would be darned hard to do) but then 1.85-ratio movies would have bars on the sides.

    Some people use front projectors and really wide screens with something like a 2.35 aspect ratio. Then 2.35 movies fill the whole screen. For 1.85 movies they zoom out to make the picture smaller so the screen is tall enough for the whole image. Then they just put curtains on the sides of the screen just like in a old-fashioned movie theater.

    They don't make CRTs/Plasmas big enough to do that trick effectively.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Then there's something wrong with the equipment settings. Simple geometry tells you that, when you place a 2.35:1 shape in the middle of a 16:9 screen, the black bars will be smaller than you'd get on a 4:3 screen.

    M.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    It should be called widescreen, or original aspect ratio. Do anything to change the aspect ratio to fit your screen, you either distort the image, or you lose part of the image. Because movies come in a variety of aspect ratios, you will never be able to have a display that will be native to each. The only way to mimick a native display at each is with variable masking on a front-projection system.
     
  8. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    What you have to remember is that directors make films for theaters, not for our TV screens.

    I agree with Michael, if the black bars are as big as they were with a 4x3 TV, somethings not right.
     
  9. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    It's said that Directors and film makers aren't concerned with Aspect Ratios for DVD but don't they get a piece of the pie from DVD sales? You would think they care a little if sales are affected.

    Also, when the networks eventually show these films on TV they Pan and Scan them right? My point is that there should be some attempt to market the 2.35:1 Films to satisfy the mass market. That's where the money is.

    I know for most people here changing the original aspect is
    sacrilegious! And I myself would prefer to see the original or at least most of it. I just think they could do better with the transfers. The fact is most people I know won't buy any 2.35:1 Films and even my Brother with his 19X9 says won't. He would rather watch a tape of it!

    Guess it's all personal preference.
     
  10. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    He should check into his display's zoom mode. At least then, he gets to chose what gets cut off.
     
  11. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    John, my friend ... you've come to the wrong place to make this point. Though we're not permitted to discussion religion or politics here, HTF has it's own religion , and OAR is HTF dogma!

    ... and a few points to add:

    First, the 16:9 AR of HDTV actually is quite a good compromise. This AR allows conventional NTSC TV (4:3) to be shown with balck bars on the side (75% of screen area active); and 2.35:1 (Panavision or "Scope" AR) movies to be shown with black bars at the top & bottom (also, 75% of the screen active). Of course, as you've observed, movies shot at 1.85:1 virtually fill a 16:9 screen considering a little overscan, which is normal.

    I must say, your comments re most people won't buy 2.35:1 movies is flat out wrong. Actually most 2.35:1 movies are released to DVD only in 2.35:1 anamorphic video (a few exceptions also offer 4:3 P&S) & people buy it. Best Buy does not even sell VHS any longer. "Most" people who want P&S have to go to Wal-Mart or BlockBuster for VHS. Even this situation will be very short lived ... when we get to the point where the majority of viewers have a 16:9 set, virtually everything will be OAR. IIRC... the recent Star Wars films, when released to DVD were offered in both 2.35:1 OAR and 4:3 P&S ... facts are that the 2.35:1 versions outsold P&S by approx 10-to-1.

    In the meantime, You might be interested to hear about Disney's recent release of "Brother Bear". The DVD provides 2 versions of the animated film. 1st is OAR at 2.35:1 anamorphic. The 2nd version is P&S'd to 1.66:1 anamorphic video. Disney calls this "Family-Friendly".

    read more here --> Widescreen mini-FAQ
     
  12. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    Scott,

    I think you're being very optimistic. When 'most everyone has a 16:9 television I think there will be every bit as much temptation to pan&scan 2.35 movies as there is now (after all, there will be even less cut off the sides) and it will also become near-universal to chop the top and bottom off of 4:3 material.

    Never underestimate the power of black bar hatred out there.
     
  13. oryan_dunn

    oryan_dunn Agent

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    I think as time goes on, the black bar situation will go away. I am a college student and I don't mind the black bars. I also work at a walmart, and most of the people that I talk to that don't like the black bars are older people. Most of my friends don't care if it fills their whole screen or not. From my experience the younger generation has grown up with black bars and it doesn't bother them as much as older people who grew up with everything filling the entier screen. So as the younger generation buys 16:9 tv's, a 2.35:1 movie wont bother them. Just my opinion from my experiences.

    Ryan
     
  14. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    Black bars? I've never seen black bars, all I've seen is the movie. *shrug*
     
  15. JimMAC

    JimMAC Agent

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    Next couple of year's, once everyone has the 16x9 format the movie mogul's will start filming in 4.7:1 format, how else can they get people to the theaters and also to buy new equipment ? :>)

    Boy those theaters will be looooong.
     
  16. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

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    Going to have my Bro measure just what is viewable on his 16X9 when Playing a 2.35:1 Movie. I felt that there was too little height and maybe a setting was wrong. But, his 1.85:1 fills the screen so maybe not. He can zoom but it really degrades the Pic!
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    John, really, pay attention to the film and not to the dead space on the screen. And that's what it actually is: dead space (those are not "black bars" that have been added to the data by sadistic DVD authorers; it's just the area left unused because of a film's widescreen aspect ratio).

    And even if this knowledge does not dissuade you from obsessing about that dead space, watch your films in a darkened room.

    Until technology allows for an elastic display, the 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen monitors is a general-purpose compromise.
     
  18. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    I don't think it's "the black bars", per se, that get people upset. But rather the fact that here you have this 58" or 60" or whatever widescreen RPTV or Plasma, you really want the picture to be as big as possible on that. So the fact that the movie appears with very big black bars (in the case of a 2.35:1 non-anamorphic), makes people feel cheated. They feel like, hey I upgraded from a 27" 4:3 to a 58" 16:9, but I really don't have that much bigger of a picture (again, for the 2.35 non-ana).
     
  19. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    I love it when this happens. what a suprise for newbies! [​IMG]

    the only way to really avoid the black bars bothering you is to get a front projector. the image is so big who cares? my 36" Sony Wega XBR800 tv bothers me when watching 2.35 movies but when watching the front projector(which is native 4:3 and has 16:9 comatibility) it does not bother me one bit. once an image gets to a point of being so big it wont matter about those 2.35 black bars.

    frustrating I know as we are not all movie buff artists inside. [​IMG]
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Whether or not it's an anamorphic disc, 2.35:1 is 2.35:1. The letterbox bars on a 16:9 TV should be relatively small. If they're not, something's wrong with the setup.

    M.
     

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