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Dvds with double format

Old 08-06-19, 04:11 AM
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Dvds with double format

I recently ran into a Region 2 DVD of Ford’s The Searchers. It is a double-sided disc, one side with the film in 4:3 aspect ratio and the other side in 16:9 format. Never saw other like this and was curious to know if it was frequent practice and if there are other notable titles.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:32 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

They're called flipper discs by us video aficionados (Widescreen on one side, Fullscreen or Standard on the other) and they're quite common (unfortunately). Surprised you hadn't run into them before.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:51 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Flippers were very common back in the day. Unfortunately they were also very error prone and required a lot of manufucturing quality control.

Lots of tv shows and movies which were originally released as double-sided flipper discs, were eventually re-issued as single-sided discs where each flipper side was made into two individual single-sided discs.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:52 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Going back further in time, many laserdiscs were double-side flipper discs too.
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Old 08-06-19, 06:26 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

I knew about that kind of Laserdiscs, but honestly totally ignored about the dvd equivalent sicne now. Thanks a lot for the info and details. That said I noticed both versions are really bad in terms of video (the 16:9 being the worst, kinda of a blow-up of the 4:3 one, even if the film was originally 1.85:1 Vistavision so it should be the most faithful aspect). I presume the bad quality is also due to compression ratio having a double-sided disc has two film encoded on one layer each instead of one movie sized on two layers, right?
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Old 08-06-19, 06:43 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by incomjoe View Post
I presume the bad quality is also due to compression ratio having a double-sided disc has two film encoded on one layer each instead of one movie sized on two layers, right?
This was one big reason.

Another big reason back in the day, was that dvd encoding wasn't quite top notch. There was still a lot of learning to figure out how to fully exploit dvd's capabilities.

For example, the original dvd version of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" was reflective of this time period.
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Old 08-06-19, 06:56 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
For example, the original dvd version of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" was reflective of this time period.
Oh yes, could not agree more.

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Old 08-06-19, 10:35 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

They're pretty common, especially in bargain bins. Although this is the first time I've ever heard the term "flipperdisc."

The practice doesn't apply only to the same film in different aspect ratios, but also to "Double Feature" releases.
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Old 08-06-19, 11:25 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Yep, I knew about “double features” (I still have a couple of dvd box with two dvds containing two films each). I also have few titles who starts on one side and continue on the other but the dual aspect sided dvd really is a surprise to me…Can anyone please list some other examples like The Searchers?
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Old 08-06-19, 12:03 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

These had a flipper releases with FS on one side and WS on the other:

The Producers (1967) (one early release and the FS side is "open matte")
Roxanne (1987)
Mixed Nuts (1994)

Sony had a bunch of these and, for some odd reason, dropped the WS presentation when those titles were re-released on disc - but kept the case artwork indicating they were WS/FS discs. So you'd purchase one thinking you could watch WS only to find a SS disc inside with the FS only movie. That happened to me with Roxanne and Mixed Nuts. There's a thread around here (I think it's on this site) with a huge list of those titles but I can't find it.
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Old 08-06-19, 12:15 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

The first Austin Powers movie was like this. I think BladeRunner’s first release was this also.

The Keaton Batman films, the first release of The Black Hole.

That’s just a few I can think of but it was very popular for the first several years of DVD.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:10 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

There were several versions and purposes for these. I seem to remember titles like Goodfellas and The Wild Bunch were "flippers" but it was only because the whole film could not fit on one side of the disc.

Then you had some discs that were Widescreen on one side and 4:3 on the other or had 2 separate films - one title on each side etc.

The trade names for these were:

DVD-10: single-layer on both sides

DVD-14: one side was dual-layer and one side single-layer

DVD-18: both sides dual-layer
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Old 08-06-19, 02:31 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
These had a flipper releases with FS on one side and WS on the other:

The Producers (1967) (one early release and the FS side is "open matte")
Roxanne (1987)
Mixed Nuts (1994)

Sony had a bunch of these and, for some odd reason, dropped the WS presentation when those titles were re-released on disc - but kept the case artwork indicating they were WS/FS discs. So you'd purchase one thinking you could watch WS only to find a SS disc inside with the FS only movie. That happened to me with Roxanne and Mixed Nuts. There's a thread around here (I think it's on this site) with a huge list of those titles but I can't find it.
Extremely useful. Thanks. Can't believe the repackaging stuff by Sony with only the flat/FS version...it's so nut...
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Old 08-06-19, 02:34 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
There were several versions and purposes for these. I seem to remember titles like Goodfellas and The Wild Bunch were "flippers" but it was only because the whole film could not fit on one side of the disc.

Then you had some discs that were Widescreen on one side and 4:3 on the other or had 2 separate films - one title on each side etc.

The trade names for these were:

DVD-10: single-layer on both sides

DVD-14: one side was dual-layer and one side single-layer

DVD-18: both sides dual-layer
Wow, I was stucked to the dvd5/9 only... this means that the DVD18 practically has 4 layers on one single disc? Was it used for very long titles too?
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Old 08-06-19, 04:08 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by incomjoe View Post
this means that the DVD18 practically has 4 layers on one single disc? Was it used for very long titles too?
DVD18 flippers were used for tv season sets. Unfortunately they were frequently defective and prone to reading errors (ie. freezing, skipping, pixelation, etc ....).

Stuff like (released in america):

the original Knight Rider - seasons 1 to 4
Quantum Leap - seasons 2 to 5
The A-Team - seasons 2 to 4
the original Magnum PI - seasons 1 to 4
Rockford Files - season 1
Emergency! - seasons 1 and 2
Dukes of Hazzard - seasons 1 to 3, and 6
the original Dallas - seasons 1 to 13
Wonder Woman - seasons 1 to 3
Gilligan's Island - seasons 1 to 3
etc ....

These original dvd18 flipper versions are out-of-print now. Most of them were eventually re-released as single-sided discs.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:02 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Wow that's really new to me. thx for the explanation. Quite sure never ran into a DVD18.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:52 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

It was really common to have widescreen and fullscreen versions on the same disc in the early days of DVD before widescreen TVs became ubiquitous.

They were usually on double-sided DVD-10 discs, though occasionally you would find a wide/full movie on a single-sided DVD-9.

It was mostly a studio thing; Columbia/Sony, Warners, and MGM would frequently include both versions. It was rare for studios like Fox, Paramount, and Disney (and their then divisions like Miramax and Dimension) to have both; usually only including widescreen, and often non-anamorphic at that. These were also the last studios to support the DVD format.
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Old 08-07-19, 06:11 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Thanks so much!
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Old 08-07-19, 07:21 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

The few cases of DVD14 flippers I have come across, were some tv shows released by Fox.

Shows like (released in america):

Remington Steele - seasons 1 to 4/5
Reba - seasons 5 and 6
Time Tunnel
NYPD Blue - seasons 3 and 4
Hill Street Blues - seasons 1 and 2
The Pretender - seasons 1 to 4

I'm sure there were a few movies released on DVD14 flipper discs. One DVD14 movie disc I have is Terminator 1, where the film was on the two-layer sideA and the special features were on the one-layer sideB.
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Old 08-07-19, 08:57 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

I'm just hoping that my flippers for the TV seasons of Las Vegas don't fail on me.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:32 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Not with the Hollywood studios but a lot of tourist/travel DVDs also utilized the double-sided discs to allow both NTSC on one side with PAL (European format) on the other side. With travel videos in the VHS days they had to make separate NTSC and PAL versions PLUS they had to create different languages for each as well.

DVD was a huge benefit as one disc would serve the needs of just about any customer in the world.
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Old 08-07-19, 11:33 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
Not with the Hollywood studios but a lot of tourist/travel DVDs also utilized the double-sided discs to allow both NTSC on one side with PAL (European format) on the other side. With travel videos in the VHS days they had to make separate NTSC and PAL versions PLUS they had to create different languages for each as well.

DVD was a huge benefit as one disc would serve the needs of just about any customer in the world.
TravelDVD...do you mean touring guide for travellers or something like that? Intersting solution indeed.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:55 PM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Most major travel destination cities have some kind of commemorative travel videos in their souvenir shops to sell to the tourists.

The DVD format was a perfect solution for the producers of such videos.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:10 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

As luck would have it... someone bumped that thread talking about all those Sony dual format discs that were re-released as either FS or WS only versions.

https://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/4...re-issues.html
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Old 08-09-19, 02:11 AM
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Re: Dvds with double format

Great resource! Thanks!
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