Widescreen Question

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Omard., Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    I own a Sony KP-46WT500 which is a widescreen set. Will all movies I see have the black bars on the top and bottom? It's not that big of a deal but want to know if there is anyway to avoid it. Also are there any tv's out there that does not have the black bars when you watch a movie?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Omard, this comes up seemingly endlessly here. Check the Beginner's FAQ primer in Basics. Movies come in several aspect ratios, some of them almost three times as wide as they are tall. TVs, however, come only in two aspect ratios. Neither one can accommodate all the film aspect ratios perfectly. Simple as that. If you want to see all of the picture as the filmmaker intended, you will experience a letterboxing effect even on widescreen TVs.
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Please read the FAQ for HT beginners about widescreen and black bars.

    WE need to make this a sticky since someone is asking this every second or third day ...

    Only if you watch 1.85:1 films will you generally not have any bars on the TV. It means no big budget widescreen extravaganza films like lord of the rings, Matrix ... star wars ... star trek ...

    Regards
     
  4. victor-eyd

    victor-eyd Extra

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    Unfortunately, you'll never get rid of it because most movies are filmed with various aspects ratios (ie 1:85, 2:05, 2:35, etc.), as determined by the film's creator. Even enhanced for 16:9 movies will not totally remove the black bars entirely. 16:9 screens translate into 1.77 aspect ratio, so if you look on the back of most DVD movies they usually tell you the aspect ratio specifically. But as I've said, very few are filmed at 1.77 aspect. Most of the time, the biggest hit movies are filmed at 2:05-2:35 scope, which means black bars. Since you have a ws tv, the bars won't be as noticeable as on a 4:4 tv.

    Now if you have a zoom capability you could blow-up the film and fill out the bars, but you might (or will) lose information and possibly some screen resolution. Otherwise, that's all I can suggest.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You did not say how many different movies you have watched, but there should be some that will come very close to filling your screen.

    To begin a 16:9 set has a ratio of 1.78:1 and most movies made in the States today are either 1.85:1 or 2.35:1. On most displays the 1.85:1 movies fill the screen because most TVs have enough overscan to eliminate the very small difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1. At best when watching a 1.85:1 film you would see very thin ‘black bars’.

    2.35:1 movies would display ‘black bars’. 1.37:1 (the older, classic) movies will have black bars on the sides.

    So the 1.85:1 movies will probably not have black bars anywhere, 1.66:1 (a lot of European films) may have some thin black bars on the side, but the overscan might take care of that. The really widescreen (Cinemascope and the like) will always have black bars on the top and bottom and the older films will have bars on the sides.

    In these last two cases you can only fill the screen by distorting the picture or cropping parts of the picture or both.
     
  6. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry I did not search I have to start using that more often. I'm just confused with my tv's different zooms. And as to why they dont just make tv's the size of the majority of the movies out.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As long as you have artists making films you will have different looks to different films. The 1.78:1 (16:9) widescreen TV aspect ratio is a compromise. (Classic fullscreen films will result in dead space — i.e., "bars" — to the sides of the active picture area.)
     
  8. Omard.

    Omard. Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for clearing this up. Now I can explain this to my girlfriend when she asks me why the bars are there I can tell her.
     
  9. Sam R. Aucoin

    Sam R. Aucoin Stunt Coordinator

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but don't PROJECTORS "solve" this "black bar thing"?

    In other words, don't projectors project onto a screen only that which is portrayed as the film itself, and nothing else?

    I suppose that you can call that part of the screen itself that will not have anything showing on it a "black bar", but that is true at cinemas. I have yet to see one movie where the ENTIRE screen was filled, both on top and the on the bottom. There was ALWAYS some "black" area somewhere.
     

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