Widescreen tv, still the black areas at top and bottom....

Discussion in 'Gear' started by Bobo, Dec 27, 2007.

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  1. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Maybe this is a very simple question to answer.

    I thought when "widescreen tv's" became the new deal, there would be no more black areas on the screen which made the viewing size even smaller. Now that I have finally picked up a nice 16 x 9 HDTV and HD DVD player, I still have those blacked out areas at top and bottom. Why? Can it be changed?

    I was under the impression that every thing would be in sync with the new technologies, no more wasted space on your tv.
  2. titanbuoy

    titanbuoy medium rare ®

    It all depends on the orginal aspect ratio that the film was released in. I know older films like Lawrence of Arabia, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly etc. which were released in Panavision or Cinemascope or similar widescreen formats still feature significant bars on top and bottom to maintain the original aspect ratio intended by the director. I know the vast majority of current films released on DVD are filmed in or reformated to the 16 X 9 aspect ratio of today's TV's.
  3. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    the ratio is 2.35:1
    Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings (for instance) are presented in this "ultra-wide" format preserving the original theatrical aspect

    next time you go to a theater ,notice that they may show previews in 16x9.. then as the movie starts, they open the curtain another 10 feet ... this would be 2.35:1 ... which calculates to 21x9

    they refer to it as "letterbox widescreen" and it can be a pain in the butt , especially for those folk who still have 4:3 TV's

    the only way I can think of at least minimizing it is to use your aspect keys like Zoom or Full ..... I leave it like it is because I want to watch the actual footage, after awhile I overlook the fact that I'm watching letterboxing

    the only way to fix it is to have TV manufacturers produce TV's in 2.35:1, it doesn't roll of the tongue quite like 16:9 but theatrical aspect presentations will at least fit ..... the problem though is that broadcasts would need to be overscanned and you'd lose a little height to fit it on the screen

    the other solution is for Hollywood to produce consumer DVD's in true 16:9.... but that would require some pan and scanning in mastering and could possibly screw up the flick

    it's a double-edged sword
  4. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    whoa ... wtf....... 12 posts ? no wonder it took so long to re-load
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Thought I'd heard of a 2.4:1, guess that is it. It just seems odd that the wide screen tv is the thing of the future, yet it doesn't match the "theatrical" image. Dammit come up with a standard and stick to it :cuss:

    It's not that I don't get used to it, it's the fact that you spend tons of money on tv's, hd dvd players, hd dvds, stereo, cables, blah blah blah....and you feel a bit shorted because of something like this.
  6. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    they did come up with a standard .... it's 16:9
    but some publishers are reluctant to condense theatrical aspects of 2.35:1 into a smaller 16:9 ... either due to presevation or laziness

    looking at Blade Runner .....
    the new Collector's Edition are presented in 2.35:1 (Theatrical / Anamorphic)
    while the Final Cut 'Special' edition is 1.66:1 (16:9 - sort of)

    so be aware when buying films that have been released in different packages (Director's Cut / Special Edition / Collector's Editions) as they may be in different aspects

    personally, I want to see the movie as it was shot
  7. Puck

    Puck Pro Bowler

    another look ....

    Bourne Ultimatum is 2.40:1 (21.6:9)
    Harry Potter-Order of the Phoenix is 2.35:1 (21.15 : 9)
    Planet Earth is 1.78:1 (16.02:9)
    Lost is 1.78:1
    The Simpsons Movie is 2.40:1
    Serenity is 2.35:1

    Hot Fuzz
    The Mummy
    all check in @ 2.35:1

    did you see a pattern?
    the 2 listed that are TV broadcasts were closest to 16:9
    the majority of theatrical releases were Anamorphic (2.35:1)
    weird huh
  8. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Yeah it's weird, that's what I mean by a standard. Something that everyone abides to. May not be that easy, but sure would be nice.
  9. Laserjock

    Laserjock South Endzone Rocks! Staff

  10. Bobo

    Bobo Guest

    Thanks for the info there.
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