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Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Old 08-11-09, 02:58 PM
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Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Think again. Not according to Steven Soderbergh at the DGA Quarterly site.

He writes:

"Television operators, the people who buy and produce things for people to watch on TV, are taking the position that films photographed in the 2.40:1 ratio should be blown up or chopped up to fit a 16:9 (1.78:1) ratio. They are taking the position that the viewers of television do not like watching 2.40 films letterboxed to fit their 16:9 screens, and that a film insisting on this is worth significantly less—or even nothing—to them. They are taking the position that no one will dare challenge them and risk losing revenue."

I think this sentence is the most telling.

"The logic used to make you, the filmmaker, conform to this belief makes a pretzel look like a ruler: you are told you shouldn’t care whether your 2.40 film is turned into a 1.78 film because there really isn’t that much of a difference, while in the same breath you are told viewers notice the difference enough to complain about it."

Will the insanity ever end?

Full article here: http://www.dgaquarterly.org/BACKISSU...0/Default.aspx
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Old 08-11-09, 03:21 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

So the black bars lose.....again.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:26 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

All films should be presented in their original aspect ratio. Any argument against that is pure stupidity or lack of caring.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Once again, the dumbest common denominator rules.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:58 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

There was a war?
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Old 08-11-09, 04:08 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

But then again you have to realize the public don't really see movies as "art" or "creations" but nothing beyond regular entertainment that should fill every inch of their screen.
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Old 08-11-09, 04:22 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
There was a war?
Yeah, I never knew theirwas a war either.
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Old 08-11-09, 04:34 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

I am not surprised at all. I knew this would happen. I don't know why people thought the issue of pan and scan would just go away when we traded in one fixed television shape for another. It didn't change the issue that content has different aspect ratios.

And, it doesn't just affect 2.35:1 movies. As long as there are classic movies and reruns of TV from the 20th century, 4:3 needs to be considered as well. Unfortunately, we've already seen a few 4:3 titles get chopped to 1.78:1.
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Old 08-11-09, 05:23 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

I think the war the OP mentions was the long standing widescreen/fullscreen debacle. I'm not surprised that it still rages.

Almost all TVs nowadays come with a zoom function. If letterbox bars bother you so much, use that function. I don't care if it means you have to crack open the manual and actually read it. (I actually know people that refuse to read manuals of their own stuff and have actually had the nerve to ask me to read it so they wont have to do it themselves.)
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Old 08-11-09, 05:39 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

The proprieter of a used DVD shop near me actually told me he was disappointed in the remastered Star Trek seasons because they weren't remastered in WS. I was a little taken aback since they weren't filmed in WS I wasn't sure how they would make it WS, but I figured with logic like his it was a conversation to nowhere anyway.
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Old 08-11-09, 10:53 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
I think the war the OP mentions was the long standing widescreen/fullscreen debacle. I'm not surprised that it still rages.
You're right. Thank you. Wrong choice of words on my part.

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
Almost all TVs nowadays come with a zoom function. If letterbox bars bother you so much, use that function. I don't care if it means you have to crack open the manual and actually read it. (I actually know people that refuse to read manuals of their own stuff and have actually had the nerve to ask me to read it so they wont have to do it themselves.)
FWIW, It's not just TVs.

My significant other (among others I know) has never (to my knowledge) open and read the manual for any appliance we've owned in 30+ years of marriage. And yet, she will still argue with me about what the instructions actually mean in said manuals. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers and dishwasher all get jam packed full (meaning overloaded) regardless of the consequences. When I point to the exact spot in any manual where it clearly states to avoid overloading, she simply looks at me and tells me that is not what it really means.

OK.... I can't argue with "logic" like that.

It would be funny if it weren't for the fact I keep coming across people of the 40 to 50 something age bracket who behave like otherwise rational adults, who will trot out some line of "reasoning" like that in support of a cause they support. They don't think, they emote and they treat their feelings like an infallible source that can't be defied. And neither should anyone who disagrees with them, if those who do disagree don't want to be labeled as uncaring, inhuman, or just plain mean.
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Old 08-11-09, 11:36 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by Jon2 View Post
It would be funny if it weren't for the fact I keep coming across people of the 40 to 50 something age bracket who behave like otherwise rational adults, who will trot out some line of "reasoning" like that in support of a cause they support. They don't think, they emote and they treat their feelings like an infallible source that can't be defied. And neither should anyone who disagrees with them, if those who do disagree don't want to be labeled as uncaring, inhuman, or just plain mean.
You do realize, I hope, that these are opinions upon which you are casting aspersions. The fact that original aspect ratios are important to you does not imply, in any conceivable way, that someone who holds a different opinion is less intelligent or rational than you are.

If anything, the typical elitist mentality being trotted out in this thread (as it is in every other widescreen/OAR extremist thread) is what I would call uncaring, inhuman, and just plain mean.

I prefer OAR, and given the choice, I watch films and other programming in OAR. But I don't condemn those who prefer to have their screens filled. That is their choice. Whether it is an "informed" choice by your standards is irrelevant.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:14 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

People having choice is fine. But I don't understand why they can't choose to use zoom. It's like it's not good enough to just fill the screen - they must make sure it's ruined for those who want OAR.

In a rational world, discs are OAR, and displays are adjusted to suit taste.

Otherwise, it's like demanding every bag of chips come with triple the amount of salt because someone can't be bothered to salt it themself.

I doubt we'll see the return of dual releases. My fear is studios will jam two different encodes, one OAR and one 1.78 on to a BD50, and both will be bitstarved.

Last edited by bunkaroo; 08-12-09 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 08-12-09, 05:41 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by RoboDad View Post
You do realize, I hope, that these are opinions upon which you are casting aspersions. The fact that original aspect ratios are important to you does not imply, in any conceivable way, that someone who holds a different opinion is less intelligent or rational than you are.

If anything, the typical elitist mentality being trotted out in this thread (as it is in every other widescreen/OAR extremist thread) is what I would call uncaring, inhuman, and just plain mean.

I prefer OAR, and given the choice, I watch films and other programming in OAR. But I don't condemn those who prefer to have their screens filled. That is their choice. Whether it is an "informed" choice by your standards is irrelevant.
The problem is that most people who complain about it aren't informed. Their opinion is based on what they want and not on facts. Hence the argument over overloading appliances. They want to fit in as many clothes as they can into their washers and dryers, but that's just not how it works. It is an ill-informed opinion.

Movies should not have to have their aspects changed because people who are ill-informed don't like it that way. In fact, the aspect shouldn't be changed no matter if they understand it or not. I believe most people would be fine with black boxes if they understood what they were there for. I know not everyone would, but most would. I still get bugged everytime I see someone stretch a 4:3 picture into a 16:9 screen. Most just need educated on it, but I'll admit there's a lot that still wouldn't care. But that doesn't mean all 4:3 images should be stretched to make those people happy. Just as movies shouldn't have their aspect changed just because a select group of viewers want it that way. And instead of having to make separate releases, more money should be put into educating consumers of aspect ratios.

All this could be fixed with the hardware, either through the TV or the blu-ray player. I could see having a zoom button that gave different options based on the aspect ratio (instead of having just a generic zoom) or a blu-ray player that can determine the ratio and change the zoom based on the ratio. I know that will be a debate between hardware mfg's and studios, and people wouldn't want to purchase new equipment nor want to read how to set their zoom, but that is really the only real solution.
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Old 08-12-09, 07:42 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

I often wonder why this only seems to be a problem in the US.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:15 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by RoboDad View Post
You do realize, I hope, that these are opinions upon which you are casting aspersions. The fact that original aspect ratios are important to you does not imply, in any conceivable way, that someone who holds a different opinion is less intelligent or rational than you are.

If anything, the typical elitist mentality being trotted out in this thread (as it is in every other widescreen/OAR extremist thread) is what I would call uncaring, inhuman, and just plain mean.

I prefer OAR, and given the choice, I watch films and other programming in OAR. But I don't condemn those who prefer to have their screens filled. That is their choice. Whether it is an "informed" choice by your standards is irrelevant.
Exactly...
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Old 08-12-09, 08:16 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
There was a war?
I came to post this.
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Old 08-12-09, 09:03 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
Otherwise, it's like demanding every bag of chips come with triple the amount of salt because someone can't be bothered to salt it themself.
Wait, you lost me on this one. Chips are more than salty enough out of the bag. Do other people add salt?
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Old 08-12-09, 09:27 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
Wait, you lost me on this one. Chips are more than salty enough out of the bag. Do other people add salt?
I used to put sugar on my Lucky Charms, so there are plenty of nutty people out there.
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Old 08-12-09, 09:57 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

All movies should be presented in the original ratio, and those who don't care about the art can simply press a button on their remotes and crop, stretch and distort away.

But don't force those of us who know better to watch movies and TV that way.

We simply do not have to cater to the lowest common denominator.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:06 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
I often wonder why this only seems to be a problem in the US.

+1

But I fear we already know the answer to that....
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Old 08-12-09, 11:58 AM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by RoboDad View Post
You do realize, I hope, that these are opinions upon which you are casting aspersions.
No. Just plain no.

I'm reminded of das Monkey's signature (God rest his soul) about how we are not entitled to our opinion, but to our informed opinion.

I could be of the opinion that fire won't burn my skin, but that doesn't mean that I won't get burned if I stick my hand in a fire.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:13 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Now I remember why I have RoboDad on "ignore".
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Old 08-12-09, 12:37 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by Blu Man View Post
All films should be presented in their original aspect ratio.
Absolutely agree !

Show it the way it was original. I may be an extremist but it also bothers me that some movies are cropped from 1.85:1 to 1.78:1... I quit noticing black bars a long time ago.. Even on 4:3 on my 16:9 on the sides... Movie Theaters have it beat... They either bring curtains in from the sides or from the top&bottom... and some just show it and don't fill their screen.. I can see it now... people lining up outside a Theater to riot .... "FILL THE SCREEN"... I do understand that some people think they are losing without every pixel shown... but my opinion is that I am missing if I don't see all that was intended.. Don't get me started on Lord of the Rings... double aspects and all.....

Last edited by b2net; 08-12-09 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:18 PM
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Re: Think the Aspect Ratio War was over?

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
Wait, you lost me on this one. Chips are more than salty enough out of the bag. Do other people add salt?
OK I could have come up with a better analogy.
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