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Discussion Starter #1
I made the upgrade to a plasma TV about a year ago and now when I'm watching DVD movies I have a choice - Full Screen with bars at either side - Wide Screen with bars at top and bottom, or if you're occasionaly lucky something that is actually in 16:9 ratio.

Tried watching some rented BD using one of the kids PS3 and the picture is awsome but.....with BD everything that I have found locally is in widescreen format so that I have the bars at the top and bottom.

If I could reasonably obtain BD material in a 16:9 ratio "HDTV Full Screen" then I would be heading out to get myself a nice shiny new BD player and some movies. Until then, if I have to settle for the bars I'll also settle for just using DVD.

I'm not saying that the format isn't available, it just isn't available where I live.

BD
 

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Be aware that the format is at the discretion of the director and that most BD discs are going to be OAR (original aspect ratio). There are aspects from 1.1:1 all the way to 2.8:1, with 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 being quite common. The action movies are more likely to be 2.35, while the "non-action" movies are more likely to be 1.85, but there are no rules, it's the director who decides.

See the following post on the topic:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76089 Post 2 on aspects and the link to IMDb there.

If the OAR of the movie was 2.35:1, then it's unlikely to be released on DVD at 1.78:1 (16:9). The studios sometimes do this for the networks and HD Master Tapes, however, it's not often done for DVDs (HD or SD)

Since 2.35:1 movies usually represent a small portion of a person's viewing time, burn in is not usually considered a problem.
 

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I like the full 16:9 look with TV shows. Neither my TV (Panasonic) or player (Toshiba A3) let me take a little off the sides and fill the screen. In theory it would be easy to rescale in the player since it knows the original aspect ratio.
 

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Do you not see enough of a benefit from the higher picture resolution to justify buying a Blu ray player? Personally, now that I'm watching Blu ray movies, I find it painful to watch dvd movies and could never go back.

As for the aspect ratio's, like was previously stated, the ratio has nothing to do with Blu ray. Its up to the director to decide what ratio a movie is going to be in. It has nothing to do with the Blu ray format.
 

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Some TVs do have a zoom mode specifically for eliminating the bars on 2.35:1 programmes. Obviously you then lose information from the sides of the programme.

I recently watched "The Good the Bad & The Ugly" on HDNet in OAR. The scenes in the cemetary would have been useless with any pan/scan or cropping - you'd have only seen 1 or 2 of the 3 people involved in the final gambit, as well as missing the panoramic scenes that are a central part to the entire movie.

There are some (rare) movies that are shot so that the studio can produce a 16:9 version without losing information from the sides. These movies have information added from the top/bottom of the original film material. Sometimes though you end up seeing mics, etc that were outside the 2.35:1 masking area of the film but now end up being seen in the 16:9 version.

People should accept the director's intent and watch the movie the way the director intended, or accept the negatives of not doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hmmmmm...... Maybe I wasn't clear. There are people (and lots of them) that are not as hung up on the quality of picture as much as the quanity of picture. Just like the vast numbers that will listen to MP3's over CD's with little concern over the quality loss.

For the ammount of movies that I watch, I was perfectly happy watching my 36" SDTV with full screen movies. If it wouldn't have died I wouldn't have bought a HDTV, but since I had to get a new TV I figured I should future proof.

Now I just rent widescreen DVD's and zoom in to get rid of the bars at the top and bottom. I figgure I'm still getting more movie than I used to at 4:3 and with the HDMI up conversion the picture is improved over my old 36" toshiba.

Is the BD picture better than DVD.... You bet.
Is it $400.00 better...... For many of us no.

If BD is going to make any sort of dent in the market they are going to have to offer more than just a prettier picture at a higher price, as for the extras - I never watch them and don't know many people who do.

And while it's nice watching the movie as the Director intended, my house isn't big enough to fit that theatre screen ;)

PS. Also IMHO if they can crop the picture to 4:3 for DVD they can crop it to 16:9
 

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When DVDs first came out and were purchased mainly by videophiles, due to the high price of about $600+ or about $1000 in todays $, almost all of the DVDs available came out OAR.

When J6P stated to purchase DVD players when they became available for $200 or less, then the studios started to bring out pan/scan DVD because J6P didn't want black bars. (They didn't supply 16:9 versions of 2.35:1 movies as mentioned previously, or they were extremely rare.)

It is possible that studios will start to supply 16:9 versions of 2.35:1 movies for BD, but I thought we'd gone beyond the stage where people were afraid of black bars, or didn't understand them. (not referring to OP) I would suspect that the market demand for 16:9 versions of 2.35:1 movies is rather small, unlike 4:3 versions for 4:3 TVs years ago, when almost everyone still had 4:3 TVs.
 

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BR doesn't just offer a prettier picture it also offers better sound from lossless audio.

Its not really BR players or movies that are an issue. Its the fact that TVs aren't designed to zoom in a native 1080P or 720P signal.

If you care more about quantity than quality why spend all that $ on a BR player and more expensive BR movies when you can buy cheap DVDs and zoom them to fill the screen.
 

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Well, It strikes me as peculiar to wish to lop off some of the picture to avoid some blank (admittedly black) areas. That said, I see that at least the Panasonic 1/2/3000 projector does let one do that by allowing either H-fit or V-fit for 720 or 1080 inputs. There are probably direct view sets that do this as well
 

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My advice: don't think of them as black bars. Think of them, rather, as unused portion of the screen. You want to see what the director filmed, right? You don't want to lose any of the picture, right? Well, just remember that the only way to do this is to have unused areas of your TV screen. Now sit back and enjoy the show!

cheers,
supervij
 

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For years I've argued that the HD spec. folks made a big mistake by thinking that the HD screen had to be 16:9 just to satisfy the movie buffs. Aside from movies shot in wider aspect ratios what other TV programming actually benefits or even uses the widescreen properly? Does House, Does E.R? etc. If you switch rapidly back and forth between same show in HD and SD (e.g. NBC SD and NBC HD) you'll rarely see anything extra on a made for TV program on the HD channel other than extra background. The action remains firmly entrenched in the 4:3 portion of the frame. Few shows take any advantage of the extra real estate. It's been a waste so far. I suspect it will always will be.
 

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For years I've argued that the HD spec. folks made a big mistake by thinking that the HD screen had to be 16:9 just to satisfy the movie buffs.
The movie buffs like it for a reason. It gives the director more "room" to do stuff.

TV shows will, over the course of time, also start to use the extra space. Some already do it now.
 

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You're right, nothing much happens on the sides. But it does make for a nicer image when people's faces aren't half covered. It also makes for great scenery shots and fills in your field of view better. I like it. I don't think they have to make use of the sides--it just looks more natural and less cramped.

One time on HNIC Harry Neale was watching a 4:3 TV showing how one team had too many players on the ice and he only counted 5 skaters. But with a 16:9 set the six skaters could clearly be seen (plus the goalie).
 

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I never thought they'd do it for DVDs since it was a "videophile" format when it came out. If there is a market for P&S BD discs, they will make them, however, the mass market first needs to accept BD and that may never happen - people will use DVDs and then go directly to (legal) downloads/VOD, etc in a few years.
 

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What I don't understand is why they can't make 2.35:1 movies simply fit the entire screen with no picture loss? You get a widescreen 16:9 TV for a reason right? If I watch a move on a SD tv with the 2.35 ratio and then on an HD widescreen tv, you get still OAR no matter what, you just possibly get a smaller picture on the standard def tv right? In a movie theater you don't have black bars on the movie screen and there isn't a picture loss, so why can't there be a similar concept to HDTVs? Anyone get me? :confused:
 

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In a movie theater you don't have black bars on the movie screen and there isn't a picture loss
That's because they have curtains that move so that the aspect on the screen changes without you noticing. If there were a double header with one movie at one ratio and another at another, then you'd see the curtains move - or some other mechanism for taking care of the different aspects - I haven't been to the cinema in years.

I'm from the old days when the curtains used to move all the time. You'd see a preview - the curtains would move - you'd see a commercial for popcorn - the curtains would move - you'd see the main attraction, etc.

What I don't understand is why they can't make 2.35:1 movies simply fit the entire screen with no picture loss?
Because 1.78 does not equal 2.35 - it's basic arithmetic - you either need to cause distortion, or you need to crop the picture. Ever try to fit a litre of water into a 500 ml glass?
 

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Slightly off topic but the most dramatic use of movie theatre curtains I've ever seen was during the opening of the classic movie, Around The World in 80 Days. It began with the curtains in the normal position for a standard 4:3 35 mm movie while the great Edward R. Murrow did a short prologue on Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Then at just the appropriate moment the curtains parted to reveal the huge Todd-AO screen in all its glory as a rocket was launched. The effect was stunning to an audience not used to huge screens. I was delighted that the makers of the DVD tried to approximate the same effect by switching the aspect ratio on the DVD at that point in the movie. Not the same impact of course but still gives me a thrill.
 

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I understand what you're saying about the curtains in a movie theater when the aspect ratio changes and the math behind why one format won't fit in another without distortion. I guess I'm thinking way too outside the box, as in why aren't there any tvs that are made with the 2.35 ratio format? Would that just look weird? I don't mind the bars either way, but I was just thinking about it the other day and found it weird that even with technological advances you can't have a movie simply fit an entire screen.
 
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