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Widescreen T.V question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keith_R, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I'm still kinda new to HT and by posting this I don't mean to start a fight but I do have a serious question so please don't flame me [​IMG] I was at Bestbuy over the weekend and I saw some of the widescreen 16:9 tv sets. I have yet to upgrade to a 16:9 set and for now I am still using a 27' 4:3 set. Anyways, what do we gain by converting the shape of a T.V to a widescreen rectangular shape? sure it works great for DVD movies but what makes it that much better for normal T.V? in short, DVDs aside, what makes normal T.V watching on a 16:9 set that much better, why it necessary we start moving away from 4:3 sets? thanks.
    -Keith-
     
  2. Matt Heebner

    Matt Heebner Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, supposedly with the advent of full-time high def programming, not only are the broadcasts gonna be HD, but also OAR for movies, and 16:9 for regular TV.....and lets not forget dolby digital for sound as well. HD programming is pretty much just starting out so there isn't alot of it, and some of it isn't even 16:9 ratio.
    Hopefully it will eventually happen, and 16:9 sets might eventually become the "norm", even small sets like a 13" widescreen for example. But, as I said eventually...if ever.
    There are quite a few major hurdles before this will happen though.
    Matt
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    ....Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die....--DMB
     
  3. JohnHN

    JohnHN Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure what is being asked. It might be: are there advantages to getting a 16:9 set to watch 4:3 material? The answer is no (although many like the shape of the 16:9 and are very happy with the stretch modes when viewing 4:3 TV -- but not 4:3 movies, I hope!). For me, and I imagine many others, the attraction of a 16:9 set comes from the fact that what I really care about is how movies look. For me, it's OK if regular NTSC TV is merely acceptable. Yes, I want sports to look good, but that's where HDTV comes in, which brings me to ...
    The question might be, why is the HDTV standard 16:9 rather than 4:3? That's a long story but the bottom line is that it is an aesthetic compromise, a good one, I think.
    Just my opinion, of course.
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  4. Butch Smith

    Butch Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    There are alot of TV shows that are being shown in Widescreen, and aren't HD.
    Pretty much anything on PBS, Discovery, TLC, A&E..
    Sopranos, E.R., Band of Brothers, and commercials.
    WS is really catching on. Some people don't like it, but now that TV producers realize they can use this for their artistic expression, it really doesn't matter if "most" people don't like Widescreen. they will keep doing it, to fit more into a shot, ect...
     
  5. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I'm sorry if I wasn't specific on the question, but it appears that it kinda got answered for me on the first reply. I'm wondering why 16:9 T.V sets are necessary, I can understand the push for HD but why is it necessary that 16:9 sets take over rather than stick with 4:3? I mean in the future when 16:9 becomes the norm for T.V watching, is there really going to be that big a difference in watching a 16:9 T.V show rather than watching it in the standard 4:3? I understand the need for HD broadcasts but is 16:9 necessary for normal T.V what noticeable difference does a 16:9 program make that a 4:3 program doesn't? I like WS sets but I don't really understand what would makes them a necessity for standard OTA TV. I hope this is more understandable. thanks.
    -Keith-
     
  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    16:9 televisions free the director's a lot. Look at the difference in composition of the shots in E.R. before and after they went widescreen. They found out that people didn't mind too much, and everything looks MUCH more cinematic. The West Wing and Angel are going widescreen this year as well. I really hope that UPN suprises us and airs Enterprise widescreen as well
    Jeff Kleist
     
  7. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    For the past couple of years, just about all primetime series are shoot widescreen and framed for 4.3....
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  8. JohnHN

    JohnHN Stunt Coordinator

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    If the question is, "Is 16:9 a better aspect ratio than 4:3 for regular TV programming?" then I think the answer is yes on balance but it's a mixed bag.
    I think that 16:9 will be better than 4:3 for drama, much better, in fact. Among other things, 16:9 allows directors to put two actors who are conversing into the same frame at more or less natural distances. 4:3 really struggles with that. Either the figures become small or you have to jump from one talking head to the other or you have to put the actors practically nose to nose.
    We'll see how 16:9 fares with comedy; fine probably but it may be more of a compromise. There is an in-your-face feel to 4:3 that's good for comedy and this may be diluted.
    Sports will probably be better in 16:9 but cameramen will have to learn to use it. I expect some teething pains here.
    Variety (e.g. Leno) looks fine in 16:9 but I don't view this is as a big deal either way.
    I expect news shows and, especially, talking heads shows to look worse, overall, in 16:9. (Some of the footage that accompanies news stories may be more compelling, however.) There may be lots of dead space or framing may look arty. Maybe the shows can be reengineered to avoid these problems. But, really, who cares how Face the Nation looks?
    Again, just my opinion.
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  9. Brian Mello

    Brian Mello Stunt Coordinator

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    I mean in the future when 16:9 becomes the norm for T.V watching, is there really going to be that big a difference in watching a 16:9 T.V show rather than watching it in the standard 4:3?
    Have you ever sat down and watched a HD broadcast of CSI, Leno, Y&R or a Sporting Event on a 16:9 set? Once you do, you will not be asking this question. [​IMG]
    For upcoming HD offerings, check out the following links:
    http://www.hd.net/
    [Edited last by Brian Mello on September 07, 2001 at 06:54 AM]
    [Edited last by Brian Mello on September 07, 2001 at 08:31 PM]
     

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