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The war against pan-and-scan is helped along - by Blockbuster!

The war against pan-and-scan is helped along - by Blockbuster!

 
Old 05-07-03, 07:40 AM
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The war against pan-and-scan is helped along - by Blockbuster!

A major change in attitude, and welcome news indeed!

Blockbuster Brings in More Widescreen
Author: ENRIQUE RIVERO

Reversing a previous policy, Blockbuster is giving preference to widescreen editions over full-frame presentations when studios offer them in separate editions on disc.
The policy change, made at the beginning of the year, was due to demand from customers, who are becoming more accustomed to the black bars at the top and bottom of the widescreen image, said Blake Lugash, spokesman for the Dallas-based chain.
"We made a decision to purchase the majority of titles we bring in on DVD in the widescreen format," he said. "We try to follow our customer preferences. As DVD becomes increasingly popular, they become more familiar with the features and with the benefits of letterboxing. They've learned it's a superior format to full-frame."

The entire article is at www.hive4media.com

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Old 05-07-03, 08:02 AM
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Yes, but in the same article:
The chain, however, continues to order family and kids’ titles in full-frame, he said. “We find that families and children still prefer to see those types of movies in full-frame,” he said, adding that chain executives would like the studios regularly to offer both on a single disc rather than in separate SKUs.
Great, are they going to lobby for more flippers now?

Here's the full article:

Blockbuster Brings in More Widescreen
Author: ENRIQUE RIVERO
[email protected]
Posted: May 7, 2003
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Reversing a previous policy, Blockbuster is giving preference to widescreen editions over full-frame presentations when studios offer them in separate editions on disc.

The policy change, made at the beginning of the year, was due to demand from customers, who are becoming more accustomed to the black bars at the top and bottom of the widescreen image, said Blake Lugash, spokesman for the Dallas-based chain.

“We made a decision to purchase the majority of titles we bring in on DVD in the widescreen format,” he said. “We try to follow our customer preferences. As DVD becomes increasingly popular, they become more familiar with the features and with the benefits of letterboxing. They’ve learned it’s a superior format to full-frame.” That familiarity with letterboxing hasn’t come just from DVD, he noted.

“Customers are much more familiar with the letterbox format, even through broadcast television,” he said, citing such popular shows as “The West Wing,” “E.R.” and other network and cable TV shows that are letterboxed.

“It’s not as unfamiliar to our customers as it used to be,” Lugash said.

The chain, however, continues to order family and kids’ titles in full-frame, he said. “We find that families and children still prefer to see those types of movies in full-frame,” he said, adding that chain executives would like the studios regularly to offer both on a single disc rather than in separate SKUs.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment often offer both full-frame and widescreen on one disc. Other studios, such as Universal Studios Home Video, have said they release their extras-laden special editions in separate SKUs because there is not enough room on the disc to include both versions.

Prior to this, Blockbuster gave preference to full-frame editions when both were available. For instance, in 2001 the chain stocked only the full-frame edition of Universal’s The Mummy Returns, citing customer preference for cropped or pan-and-scan movies. DVD gurus, such as the online Home Theater Forum’s Ron Epstein, were none too happy (VSM, Oct. 14-20, 2001).

Epstein, co-founder and co-owner of Forum, was elated with Blockbuster’s change of mind, as were many Forum members who posted comments about the chain’s new policy. Epstein hopes mass merchants such as Wal-Mart will follow suit.

“Overall, I’m ecstatic. This is good news,” he said. “All you need is someone like Blockbuster to say something like that. They’ve got a huge chunk of the rental market, and for them to come out and say that customers are saying they want widescreen over full-frame, that’s a pretty bold statement.”

Epstein took exception with Blockbuster’s contention that youngsters prefer full-frame presentations, saying that the Forum’s own surveys show that kids “don’t mind” letterboxing.

Still, the mass consumer appears to be savvier about the benefits of widescreen.

“It seems like the public is being educated on their own, either reading forums like ours or becoming aware that they’re seeing more of the picture, even if it doesn’t fill up the screen,” Epstein said.
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Old 05-07-03, 08:25 AM
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At the beginning of the year? My BB is predominantly fool screen, that's why I don't rent there.
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Old 05-07-03, 09:01 AM
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War?
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Old 05-07-03, 09:36 AM
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The arguement that kids don't like WS is bull. I have two kids ages 8 & 5. And all they watch is widescreen kid movies(unless they are not available). And they have NEVER complained about the black bars. My oldest one did ask about it. I explained it to her and she understood. And know they ask for Widescreen. I also have had their friends over and none of them have complained either.
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Old 05-07-03, 09:53 AM
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That article is all lies. The 2 BV's I go to buy FS whenever possible, regardless of the type of movie, unless I'm somehow mistaken and Insomnia and Undercover Brother are Kids movies....
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Old 05-07-03, 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by renaldow
That article is all lies. The 2 BV's I go to buy FS whenever possible, regardless of the type of movie, unless I'm somehow mistaken and Insomnia and Undercover Brother are Kids movies....
Insomnia was released in October 2002 and Undercover Brother was in January 2003.

If you look at most of their current releases, such as The Ring, Road to perdition, 8 Mile, etc., they're all in widescreen.
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Old 05-07-03, 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by brombie
Yes, but in the same article:quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The chain, however, continues to order family and kids’ titles in full-frame, he said. “We find that families and children still prefer to see those types of movies in full-frame,” he said, adding that chain executives would like the studios regularly to offer both on a single disc rather than in separate SKUs.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's the full article:
Well ... I imagine that there's always going to be those out there that are never happy.

Sometimes, change is taken in small steps. The simple fact that this is being publicized by Blockbuster is good news for widescreen fans. I would give them the benefit of the doubt until their actions dictate otherwise.

...and this is coming from an Anti-Blockbuster rational. I still refuse to patronize Blockbuster for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the refocusing on widescreen DVD purchases will negate one of those reasons and slowly rebuild my standing. I doubt it .. but, it's still a good step forward.
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Old 05-07-03, 12:09 PM
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I read about this yesterday. Great News!
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Old 05-07-03, 12:58 PM
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Two phrases spring to mind.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth...

... and beware of greeks bearing gifts.

I'm happy that they're finally seeing sense, but for how long? Every week there's a thread that shows a fullscreen title getting an advantage - usually unfairly - over the OAR version of the same title. Blockbuster could start reintroducing fullscreen titles if they use the charts to back up their decision.
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Old 05-07-03, 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by pixyboi
War?
Mods, re-open the War Forum!!
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Old 05-07-03, 01:30 PM
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This is the Gettysburg of the OAR wars.

As far as I know kids are MORE OPEN to the idea of Widescreen than narrow minded adults who have been tainted by decades of P&S foolishness.
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Old 05-07-03, 01:38 PM
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Blockbuster Brings in More Widescreen?
Wow. Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

I hope they're sincere about stocking more widescreen, but so far I've seen no evidence of it in any of my local BBs.
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Old 05-07-03, 02:46 PM
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now they need to cut it with the Bible belt policy and stop stocking censored movies (and offer the unrated or theatrical version).


***
I dont know why....maybe because i live in a college town however lately my BB has been geting quite a few of the International titles and no rated R versions where UNRATED is offered (Sex and Lucia, Killing me softly).

I still dont trust them too much though....too conservative for my taste.
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Old 05-07-03, 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by Dabaomb
Insomnia was released in October 2002 and Undercover Brother was in January 2003.

If you look at most of their current releases, such as The Ring, Road to perdition, 8 Mile, etc., they're all in widescreen.
One Hour Photo -- All copies are FS and it's not exactly a "family" film.
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Old 05-07-03, 04:04 PM
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I'd likewise like to believe this "new policy," yet my local BBr stocks ONLY FS versions of nearly all new releases, so the proof is in the puddin', as they say, and I thus do not rent there any longer...
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Old 05-07-03, 04:16 PM
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8 Mile
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both WIDEscreen at my BB
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Old 05-07-03, 04:29 PM
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If you are willing to believe they meant fiscal year, the start of which was 2 weeks ago, then perhaps this would make more sense and coincide with the date of the article.
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Old 05-07-03, 04:36 PM
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A month ago, my girlfriend and I were in New York to visit my dad. We decided to rent a DVD so we walked down to Blockbuster on 70th and Amsterdam (I think). She wanted to rent "About a Boy," but they only had five pan 'n' scam copies. So we walked another four blocks to Tower Records and happily rented it there.

Back in Atlanta, a couple of weeks ago we went to Blockbuster. We've got gift certificates to burn, a Christmas present from her brother. She noticed they had "About a Boy," previously viewed for $9.99. They ten or so copies they had were all fullscreen. Needless to say, she passed.

If Blockbuster is changing, great. But I have to see it first before I believe it. Instead, I'd rather go to Hollywood (hardly ever have pan 'n' scam over widescreen) or a local mom 'n' pop store.
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Old 05-07-03, 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by uteotw
I'd likewise like to believe this "new policy," yet my local BBr stocks ONLY FS versions of nearly all new releases, so the proof is in the puddin', as they say, and I thus do not rent there any longer...
Like many retail chains, Blockbuster is franchised; not all stores are corporately owned. Individual franchisees have latitude in what they stock.
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Old 05-07-03, 05:39 PM
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My guess is that this is expedited by the slow sales in the Previously Viewed section. I find that it's all full-frame up for grabs there, and the widescreen definately go first, at the Blockbusters I frequent.
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Old 05-07-03, 06:56 PM
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Nature Boy, I think you are right.

BB is moving more towards sales, and selling extra rental copies. The panned and scanned copies haven't been selling from what I hear from those who work there.

Also, as more and more 16X9 sets are sold, they don't want to have a bunch of 4X3 discs on the shelves because eventually people will start complaining about bars on the sides.

In any case, a welcome announcement.
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Old 05-07-03, 07:04 PM
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Why can't they just carry both?
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Old 05-07-03, 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by audrey
Like many retail chains, Blockbuster is franchised; not all stores are corporately owned. Individual franchisees have latitude in what they stock.
I know this is true, and my local BBr, franchised or not, carries 90% P&S, so it's Hollywood for me.
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Old 05-07-03, 07:31 PM
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I'm less excited that BB has finally embraced WS than that they felt that HAD to. The fact that enough people demanded WS is the best news in this announcement. And I'm all for having discs have both copies... it doesn't bother me that the flipside has pan and scan... I just won't watch that side. And we wouldn't have to worry about accidentally picking up the wrong copy, or a store only carrying the fullframe version.
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