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DVD Talk review of 'Somersault'

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DVD Talk review of 'Somersault'

Old 07-26-06, 05:17 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Somersault'

I read Svet Atanasov's DVD review of Somersault at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=22903 and...

From my experience, 1.85:1 films that are presented at 1.78:1 typically have the mattes opened up slightly rather than cropped. (I say "typically" just to cover myself, but I'm not aware of any exceptions.) The amount of overscan on the overwhelming majority of displays affects a far greater area of the image. In fact, because of overscan, there is no perceptible difference between a properly matted 1.85:1 presentation and a slightly-opened 1.78:1 version. It's not really a new trend either; Warner and Paramount have been doing the same for many years, possibly even since day one.

I'm not arguing that Magnolia is correct in altering the aspect ratio or that a 1.78:1 presentation is somehow superior to a 1.85:1 version, but it's a matter of a few scanlines, and theatrical exhibitions are going to be more variable in their presentations than that.

Here's an example posted from another forum:

A movie at 1.85:1:


A movie at 1.78:1


The way both presentations look with 5% overscan:
Old 07-26-06, 07:09 PM
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While I agree complaining about the difference between 1.78 and 1.85 is a bit silly, I do have to say, there's little excuse to have any overscan these days. I fix overscan on every TV I come in contact with, and it's definitely not difficult to do. Find out how to throw your TV into service mode and fix that sucker up
Old 07-26-06, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred
While I agree complaining about the difference between 1.78 and 1.85 is a bit silly, I do have to say, there's little excuse to have any overscan these days.
Reduce, maybe, but how frequently can you completely eliminate overscan? I seem to remember reading that some CRT-based displays needed it, at least to some extent.

(I'm asking in a genuinely curious way, not as some sort of "what do you know?" attack, so don't take that the wrong way. )
Old 07-26-06, 07:53 PM
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The combing effects sound like they could be the result of a botched PAL->NTSC transfer.
Old 07-26-06, 11:12 PM
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The combing effect mentioned leaves me pacified, as I didn't care to wait for a stateside release and picked up the R2.
Old 07-26-06, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Reduce, maybe, but how frequently can you completely eliminate overscan? I seem to remember reading that some CRT-based displays needed it, at least to some extent.
Fixed pixel displays such as plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, most projectors other than CRT, don't need overscan for most material sources and only require its use when projecting broadcast TV and tape.

CRT doesn't really need it for DVD sourced material but you might see a bit of distortion right at the edge of the image. I have just about 0 overscan set on my CRT RPTV for DVD sourced material and rarely see anything on the extreme edges.
Old 07-26-06, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Fixed pixel displays such as plasma
The lack of overscan (or at least, greatly, greatly reduced overscan) was one of the first things I noticed when I moved away from a CRT-based HDTV to plasma. I'd never seen the pillar bars on 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen DVDs, for instance. Makes me cringe thinking about how much of the image was being lopped off in the movies I'd been watching on DVD for the five years prior.
Old 07-27-06, 01:16 AM
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You really didn't have to have overscan with your CRT-based HDTV either, it just takes calibration. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it requires adjustment through the service menu.

I was lucky since I use an HTPC and could adjust it by only having to work with the HTPC's video properties. Using Avia's overscan pattern I could set it for no overscan which worked for most DVDs. Since different inputs were able to be adjusted individually I could keep overscan for TV, but it didn't matter since I never watched TV on the RPTV anyway.
Old 07-27-06, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by X
You really didn't have to have overscan with your CRT-based HDTV either, it just takes calibration.
I know. I'm just (1) a wuss and (2) kinda lazy. It was one of those things I always meant to do but never actually got around to knocking out.
Old 07-27-06, 01:31 AM
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I understand. I never got to adjusting the geometry of my RPTV either. The overscan was just very easy to handle with a computer.
Old 07-27-06, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Fixed pixel displays such as plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, most projectors other than CRT, don't need overscan for most material sources and only require its use when projecting broadcast TV and tape.

CRT doesn't really need it for DVD sourced material but you might see a bit of distortion right at the edge of the image. I have just about 0 overscan set on my CRT RPTV for DVD sourced material and rarely see anything on the extreme edges.
A am bit late into this discussion...

Adam, I think that the above post by X pretty much sums up where I stand on the issue…with some of your comments I agree, with some of them I do not. Maybe for some the difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 is just a "silly" issue to discuss but I wanted to place a harsher tone in my review because I sense that Magnolia is veering off in a dangerous direction. A quick look at their latest DVD for the Scandinavian production Ondskan a.k.a Evil also reveals an "adjusted" ratio of 1.78:1 when the original aspect ratio is 1.85:1. The disc also appears to be PAL-sourced (with plenty of “ghosting” and “combing”). I am unsure how this and the aspect ratio “adjustment” are not reasons to be concerned with especially for us DVD reviewers and especially given the fact how impressive Magnolia were with their early output.

This being said I also sense a much larger "testing" of the market (cropping aspect ratios to 1.78:1). A quick look at the recently released German production Soundless by Koch Lorber whose original aspect ratio is 2.35:1 reveals plenty. While here the difference is much bigger and not just a "silly" alteration I have decided, regardless of how miniature the "adjustment" might seem on the Somersault disc, to let our viewers know when such alterations have been made by the company producer. Particularly when overseas versions with the proper aspect ratio are available on the market). For me it is a matter of principle...

I do understand what you are trying to point out above yet such is the direction I have chosen to follow. If this would make my reviews look silly so be it......I'd rather live with the idea that DVD-TALKERS or anyone else for that matter know how and on what they are spending their money.


Ciao,
Pro-B

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