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View Full Version : Got the Non-Anamorphic Widescreen Blues


darkside
07-18-05, 05:12 PM
Had to get the harmonica out on this one. On one hand I'm happy because I finally got a 16X9 TV, but on the other hand I'm bummed at all the DVDs I have that are non anamorphic. I knew about some of the Criterions, but I have found a lot more I didn't realize were made this way. Random titles from Warner, MGM and others that for some reason didn't get an anamorphic transfer.

The question is do I keep these and watch them zoomed or sell them? I'm going to try and slowly replace the ones I can. I just ordered the new version of Charade and put the original up for sale. I also sold my current copy of To Kill a Mockingbird since a new version is coming.

How do most of you with 16X9 TVs deal with these DVDs. Sometimes there is just no other option than non anamorphic, but why own something I don't want to watch.

bboisvert
07-18-05, 05:14 PM
I've never gone out of my way to avoid non-anamorphic releases -- with some of my favorite films (like The Abyss) only available that way, I can't! But I honestly don't think I own all that many... they're a pretty small % of the collection.

And, yes, my Toshiba has a specific zoom setting to deal with these little beasties, so I use that when I view.

Johnny Zhivago
07-18-05, 05:31 PM
How do most of you with 16X9 TVs deal with these DVDs.


I've only kept the few absolute, must have, non-anamorphic DVDs (Psycho, Vertigo, Kubrick, etc) and dumped the rest. I also have a few non-anamorphic music DVDs that will never be released again. And, generally, those folks over at MGM (and WB) that pull that 1.66:1 non-anamorphic bullshit... I still have a few of those but I watch em' on my standard 4X3. I have a Panny player in my main gear rack that does a decent job of scaling so I tend to do that on my 16X9.

But yeah, for the most part I've "upgraded" whenever possible and dumped the majority of the non-anamorphic discs... Re-releases are coming, eventually. Films with non-anamorphic transfers that I'm STILL waiting on... The Bruce Lee Fox titles, The Wild Bunch, High Plains Drifter, Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, etc.

(Right about here is where somebody will have the uncontrollable urge to chime in about being region free, yada yada yada, blah blah blah)

chente
07-18-05, 05:54 PM
I keep the essential ones and upgrade the rest. I also own many laserdiscs so I occasionally do the zoom thing with these and non-anamorphic dvds. It also depends on the aspect ratio of the movie.

1.33:1 - Obviously no problem
1.66:1 - I leave these alone, since zooming would crop some of the image
1.85:1 - depends on the quality of the transfer. If it is good, I zoom, otherwise not
2.35:1 - always zoom. The image is way to small otherwise.

JoeyOhhhh
07-18-05, 11:33 PM
My TV has two zoom options, the first is perfect for 1.85 non-anamorphic titles and the second is good for 2.35.

joliom
07-19-05, 01:15 AM
Mostly I avoid non-anamorphic WS titles. Some of my favorite films are currently only available this way in region 1 - Raising Arizona, Big, 48 Hrs., The Poseidon Adventure, etc. - so I've held-off in anticipation of an eventual re-release. There are a few I went ahead and picked up since they aren't big name titles and probably aren't worth holding my breath for such as Slumber Party Massacre. Then there are a handful that I broke down and purchased anyway despite my better judgement, and usually because they were great DVD's despite being non-anamorphic, or were on sale at an extraordinary discount, such as The Abyss, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Phantasm, etc. I tallied them all up in the other thread and determined that I currently have 17 non-anamorphic WS titles (out of 600+).

hifisapien
07-19-05, 01:31 AM
I buy or get the anamorphic whenever possible but to "get rid of" a DVD movie just because its letterboxed 4:3 format is absurd in my opinion. I'd rather have the non-anamorphic DVD of a movie I like than nothing at all of it anyday.

nightmaster
07-19-05, 03:25 AM
I buy or get the anamorphic whenever possible but to "get rid of" a DVD movie just because its letterboxed 4:3 format is absurd in my opinion. I'd rather have the non-anamorphic DVD of a movie I like than nothing at all of it anyday.

Yup, me too sapien. There are a few movies that I will almost NEVER watch because the transfer looks horrible, but if it's a movie I love, I won't get rid of it till there's a better release. I'm betting many will NEVER see a new, anamorphic release.

If the OP is one who started buying DVDs early after their introduction that has alot to do with having a number of non-anamorphic discs....and yeah, lots of them have been replaced with anamorphic ones. I've been picking and choosing replacement discs since buying my 16x9 set, some I'll buy again if the old version looks like crap, but if its non-anamorphic with pretty good PQ I live with it and zoom in. My Hitcahi set does a great job in that regard. I have a pal who's 65 inch Mitsubishi doesn't zoom in enough to get fill the screen entirely so he bought a Samsung player- I have one hooked to my 27 inch flatscreen in my computer room and it also does a great job zooming in, their trade name for it is EZ view.

tool_army
07-19-05, 03:36 AM
I was about to make a thread about this, but to prevent redundancy, I'll make my list here. Overall, most of my non-anamorphic DVDs were bargain bin releases.


My list:

1. Batman (1989)

2. Blade Runner: Director’s Cut

3. The Boondock Saints

4. Dark City

5. The Doors (SE) ?? Box says it's "Enhanced for 16x9 tvs", but sites say it isn't

6. The Edge

7. From Dusk Til Dawn (CE)

8. Godzilla (1998)

9. The Great Escape (Original Release)

10. Instinct

11. Kelly’s Heroes

12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

13. Platoon (Original Release) ?? Box says it's "Enhanced for 16x9 tvs", but sites say it isn't

14. Private Parts

15. The Real Cancun

16. Super Mario Bros.

17. Super Size Me

joliom
07-19-05, 08:51 AM
Batman (1989), Blade Runner, Dark City (1998), Godzilla (1998), Kelly's Heroes, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and The Real Cancun are all anamorphic. IMDb claims Super Mario Bros. is too, though I'm not positive on that one.

Both MGM releases of Platoon are also anamorphic, only the Artisan version is non-anamorphic. Btw, you can usually get the Platoon: SE for well under $10 (I think I've even come across it in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart) so there's really no excuse for not upgrading that one.

renaldow
07-19-05, 09:34 AM
I feel the OP's pain, a large part of my collection was bought when a lot of DVDs weren't being put out as anamorphic.

My DVD player is an Oppo though, and has several zoom options, including a 1.5x zoom that will zoom a non-anamorphic title to the proper aspect ratio. It also has a sweet scaler, so it doesn't look bad at all when I do this.

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 09:39 AM
This just shows that those of us complaining about non-anamorphic titles being released as far back as 5 years ago were not crazy (I had a MITS 55in WS tv back then). Alot of people would tell us to quit whining about it and that it wasnt important.

Alot of people then (and even now) did not understand the issue. But, with the emerging HDTV market, more and more are seeing the light.

I have a few non-anamorphic titles now (like Young Frankenstein, Mission Impossible, From Dusk til Dawn, Giant and so on). Normally, I rebuy them if a new version is released or an international 16x9 version is available.

Luckily, my momitsu DVD player has a pretty good zoom function that doesnt degrade the picture as much as most zooms. But, I use it sparingly.

Randy Miller III
07-19-05, 09:55 AM
It sucks when you don't want to watch a DVD strictly because it's non-anamorphic, but I'm the same way sometimes. Even worse, sometimes I fall for bad movies just because of the pretty anamorphic transfer. :D

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 10:12 AM
It sucks when you don't want to watch a DVD strictly because it's non-anamorphic, but I'm the same way sometimes. Even worse, sometimes I fall for bad movies just because of the pretty anamorphic transfer. :D

Yeah, Ive bought alot of movies that I normally wouldnt have just based on the spectacular transfer.

I,Robot was a decent movie, but after renting it, I LOVED the transfer. Reference quality. I bought it the next day.

Grubert
07-19-05, 10:24 AM
Go multi-region. A large proportion of the non-anamorphic R1 releases are available anamorphic in other regions.

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 10:27 AM
Go multi-region. A large proportion of the non-anamorphic R1 releases are available anamorphic in other regions.

Yep, I did that....it was great to get Con-Air, Armageddon, Home Alone, The Game, True Lies and more. All good 16x9 transfers.

cajun_junky
07-19-05, 11:01 AM
This has been a big concern of mine as well. I have thought that when I do take the HD tv plunge I might build a HTPC with some of the spare parts I have laying around. I have read alot about the wide range of things that can be done with them including upscaling, custom zooming, etc. Regardless, the non-anamorphic problem will always exist until a new (hopefully unified) format emerges that is specifically designed for the HD widescreen tv's.

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 11:16 AM
Regardless, the non-anamorphic problem will always exist until a new (hopefully unified) format emerges that is specifically designed for the HD widescreen tv's.

Not necessarily true. For the most part, the issue is non-existent for new releases. Almost all titles that are released now are anamorphic.

We do not need a unified format for this issue. Its either anamorphic or its not.

Luckily, studios have made the change and are releasing anamorphic titles now. And, they are going back in their catalogs and re-releasing some with new transfers.

tool_army
07-19-05, 01:33 PM
Batman (1989), Blade Runner, Dark City (1998), Godzilla (1998), Kelly's Heroes, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and The Real Cancun are all anamorphic. IMDb claims Super Mario Bros. is too, though I'm not positive on that one.


Okay, I've found where Batman, Blade Runner, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which I forgot to remove from my list previously) are in fact anamorphic. However, Dark City, Godzilla (1998), Kelly's Heroes, The Real Cancun, and Super Mario Bros. appear to be non-anamorphic. Where did you find your info, and do you have an IMDb Pro account? I got this info from dvdtown.com, which is the only site I'm aware of that states it specifically in the details for every DVD...of course, they could be wrong!

Thanks!

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 01:40 PM
Okay, I've found where Batman, Blade Runner, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which I forgot to remove from my list previously) are in fact anamorphic. However, Dark City, Godzilla (1998), Kelly's Heroes, The Real Cancun, and Super Mario Bros. appear to be non-anamorphic. Where did you find your info, and do you have an IMDb Pro account? I got this info from dvdtown.com, which is the only site I'm aware of that states it specifically in the details for every DVD...of course, they could be wrong!

Thanks!

Dark City is anamorphic. I know that.

I thought that Godzilla and The Real Cancun were too.

digitalfreaknyc
07-19-05, 01:56 PM
Could be worse. They could be full screen only ;)

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 01:59 PM
Could be worse. They could be full screen only ;)

Yeah, like Three Amigos.

wordtoyamotha
07-19-05, 02:07 PM
The Edge
Ghost and the Darkness
Phenomenon
Instinct
Yellow Submarine

*sigh* I quickly noticed that these were non-anamorphic when i got my first widescreen tv. I find myself skipping over them and watching something else just because they are non-anamorphic.

Fielding Mellish
07-19-05, 02:50 PM
Yeah, darkside, I got the "blues" too.

As a huge HK movie fan, I'm finding a large percentage of my 2-shelf Hong Kong collection virtually unwatchable on my Infocus 4805. When I blow 'em up, not only does the picture go to shit... the subtitles become distractingly huge.

By the way, I watched Godzilla '98 a few weekends ago and it IS anamorphic. For my own peace of mnind, I think I'll watch Kelly's Heroes this weekend.

cajun_junky
07-19-05, 04:11 PM
Not necessarily true. For the most part, the issue is non-existent for new releases. Almost all titles that are released now are anamorphic.

We do not need a unified format for this issue. Its either anamorphic or its not.

Luckily, studios have made the change and are releasing anamorphic titles now. And, they are going back in their catalogs and re-releasing some with new transfers.

I was just thinking about the numerous older titles that are non-anamorphic and probably will not ever get released that way. However, I can see the studios re-releasing these older movies on HD-DVD/BR (or whatever we end up with). For newer titles, I agree it is not an issue.

RockStrongo
07-19-05, 04:50 PM
I was just thinking about the numerous older titles that are non-anamorphic and probably will not ever get released that way. However, I can see the studios re-releasing these older movies on HD-DVD/BR (or whatever we end up with). For newer titles, I agree it is not an issue.

Ah yes, you are right...now i see what your talking about...once they finally decide on bluray or hd-dvd, then maybe they will begin re-releasing some of the older, non-anamorphic titles.

joliom
07-19-05, 05:13 PM
Okay, I've found where Batman, Blade Runner, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which I forgot to remove from my list previously) are in fact anamorphic. However, Dark City, Godzilla (1998), Kelly's Heroes, The Real Cancun, and Super Mario Bros. appear to be non-anamorphic. Where did you find your info, and do you have an IMDb Pro account? I got this info from dvdtown.com, which is the only site I'm aware of that states it specifically in the details for every DVD...of course, they could be wrong!

Thanks!

I own Dark City and can positively vouch for that being anamorphic. Godzilla, Kelly's Heroes, and The Real Cancun are specifically listed as being anamorphic in numerous reviews at credible sites. I'm not certain about Super Mario Bros., IMDb was the only place I could find the DVD specs, and I've never seen the DVD personally. You can check DVD specs at IMDb by clicking on the 'DVD details' link on the movie's main page. Btw, besides DVDTalk, here are some other good places to check out for quality DVD reviews:

DVD Answers (http://dvdanswers.com/)
DVD File (http://dvdfile.com/)
DVD Authority (http://dvdauthority.com/)
DVD Review (http://dvdreview.com/)
The Cinema Laser (http://thecinemalaser.com/)
The Digital Bits (http://digitalbits.com/)

tool_army
07-19-05, 05:43 PM
^^^^^^^^


Thank you sir! The only problem I've been running into is some sites saying a movie is anamorphic and some saying it isn't. The only way to find out for sure I suppose is by watching the DVD on my HDTV. I'll get around to that.


Most of mine that aren't anamorphic were bargain bin titles so it's not as if American Beauty were non-anamorphic...I'd have to call the studio myself if it were! ;)

With that said, I'm bummed about The Doors being non-anamorphic. I was planning to get the SE of The Great Escape one day anyway. Otherwise, I wish Private Parts and Super Size Me were anamorphic. Although, as I've stated before, non-anamorphic transfers for films in the 1.85:1 ratio don't bother me too much, but films in the scope ratio bother me a great deal (The Edge, The Doors, etc.).

Bill Needle
07-19-05, 05:48 PM
I don't own it, but my information is that Super Mario Bros. is non-anamorphic.

joliom
07-19-05, 06:03 PM
Super Size Me is a strange one indeed. First, because it seemed like Hollywood had ceased making non-anamorphic WS transfers for all new releases, and second, because it inexplicably has the bonus features in anamorphic and not the actual film!

Nickofdoom
07-19-05, 06:32 PM
What I hate is when subtitled DVDs are non anamorphic, so I can't zoom. The killer, Hard Boiled, a few Jet Li movies and Yojimbo are all like this.

Josh Z
07-19-05, 06:53 PM
Super Size Me is a strange one indeed. First, because it seemed like Hollywood had ceased making non-anamorphic WS transfers for all new releases, and second, because it inexplicably has the bonus features in anamorphic and not the actual film!

Super Size Me is a special case. The movie was shot on consumer-grade digital video in 1.78:1 letterbox format. The DV camera that it was shot with added electronic blanking to the top and bottom of the frame for the widescreen ratio. What you see on DVD is all the resolution of the original source. It doesn't get any better than that.

ENDContra
07-19-05, 09:16 PM
^ I watched Super Size Me on Showtime HD, and although it was definitely not true HD, it definitely looked better than a non-anamorphic DVD....leads me to believe an anamorphic DVD would look a bit better. Heck, Id want an anamorphic DVD for no other reason than I dont have to play with the aspect ratio button on my TV (another reason it always bugs me when trailers and deleted scenes are non-anamorphic letterbox; even if the quality sucks, make it anamorphic....I cant imagine this is a process that takes long at all). The Incredibles DVD set is one of the best ones Ive ever seen...everything is anamorphic, even the 4:3 features, which have pillarboxes for 16:9 but are displayed "cropped" for 4:3 sets.

Josh Z
07-19-05, 09:44 PM
^ I watched Super Size Me on Showtime HD, and although it was definitely not true HD, it definitely looked better than a non-anamorphic DVD....leads me to believe an anamorphic DVD would look a bit better. Heck, Id want an anamorphic DVD for no other reason than I dont have to play with the aspect ratio button on my TV

The Showtime airing was upscaled to HD resolution, which can have some benefits if done well.

There is no point in upscaling a non-anamorphic video source to anamorphic widescreen on DVD, however. Think of people who try to watch it on non-widescreen sets. In their cases, the video is upscaled and then downscaled again (introducing artifacts in both cases) just to wind up back at the original resolution it should have been all along.

It doesn't look very good, I agree, but it was never meant to look very good. Picture quality was not something that Spurlock gave a damn about when making it.

Daytona24
07-19-05, 11:14 PM
15 out of my 350 movies are non anamorphic (not counting movies that of course have an original full frame aspect ratio). I tried to make an effort a long time ago to not get movies full frame or non anamorphic since I knew someday I would get a widescreen TV (which I now have). Most I knew of like a few OLD titles (when scene selections was still a SPECIAL feature) But some Like Armagedon Criteria and Dirty Dancing and Bugs Life (but I have the CE also and that is).

Not sure if I would upgrade any? You never know.

For the poster above that mentioned Three Amigos as Full Frame only, it is widescreen just not anamorphic, I am watching now as a matter of fact.

darkside
07-20-05, 01:10 AM
I posted my actual list that I have found in the other thread about this so I won't repost it, but I have over 60 DVDs that are non anamorphic. Granted most of those were bought years ago it still is a bit of a bummer.

However, I did sit and watch Young Frankenstein and it wasn't too bad watching it zoomed. I will still work to replace the ones I can, but there are just too many DVDs I can't let go of non anamorphic or not so I will just have to live with it on those. Oddly enough I have noticed my TV auto zooms some of the non anamorphic DVDs. Not sure if it is something encoded in the DVD or what that makes it do that.

I agree the ones that suck the most are the foreign films. You really can't watch most of those zoomed due to the subtitles.

Grubert
07-20-05, 05:01 AM
Not necessarily true. For the most part, the issue is non-existent for new releases. Almost all titles that are released now are anamorphic.


Almost but not all. Some studios (MGM and Warner come to mind) still release 1.66:1 movies without anamorphic enhancement (e.g., a title as recently released as New York, New York). And yes, it has been proved that 1.66:1 movies benefit from being anamorphic.

Copper Blue
07-20-05, 10:53 AM
Here's my hit list:

48 Hrs
The Abyss
Bound
Boys from Brazil
Brazil
Bronx Tale
Coming to America
Crimson Tide
The Doors
Fish Called Wanda
The Game
History of the World: Part 1
Man With Two Brains
Misery
Private Parts
Three Amigos
True Lies
Young Frankenstein

RockStrongo
07-20-05, 11:01 AM
^^^^

True Lies, Misery, The Game and Crimson Tide are anamorphic with nice transfers in other regions. I have them. Go multi-region!

Bronx Tale should be anamorphic since its an old Warner title.

matome
07-20-05, 12:54 PM
Still trying to find an anamorphic <i>Romy & Michele's High School Reunion.</i> http://smilies.neo101.nl/smilies/739.gif (http://www.maxthon.com/)