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Dvd widescreen Aspect Ratio

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20th June 2005 3:45  #1

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
Dvd widescreen Aspect Ratio
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I couldn't find the answer in the faq.

Why aren't the DVD movie companies making the Widescreen DVD in the aspect ratio of 1.78 instead of 2.35?  With 1.78 it will fill my whole widescreen without any black bars.  The 1.78 movies are just so much more appealing when the whole screen is filled with the movie.  Most of my movies are 2.35 Sad
Were suppose to be fitting the hardware here, not the other way around.  Any help would be appreciated.

20th June 2005 4:51  #2

- - Senior Member Join Date: March 2005 Location: Canada Posts: 594
You can check here

  Easiest way to explain aspect ratio is to say that it means the ratio between the width of the picture and the height of the picture. Normal TV's aspect ratio is 4:3 (1.33:1), HDTV's aspect ratio is 16:9 (1.85:1) and CinemaScope movies' aspect ratio is 2.35:

20th June 2005 5:45  #3

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
anamorphic is good
Thank you for your help Danny Boy Happy

I read something very similar to this before posting the message.

Still I'm left with questions.  This techincal jargon is very confusing, though I get the breast of it.  Take for example two newer movies on DVD.  Van Helsing and Spiderman 2.  Both are anamorphic (Van Helsing 1.85 -Spiderman 2.40) yet Van Helsing fill the whole screen, and Spiderman 2 shrinks to black bars.  Both transfers are from film (originally shot on film), and deny any explanation regarding formatting mentioned in the article you led me to.

The indication on the retail box of the aspect ratio tells all, unbarred. Why then does the movie industry only give us a partial fill?

20th June 2005 6:32  #4

- - Senior Member Join Date: March 2005 Location: Canada Posts: 594
This is another great site to explain
here

20th June 2005 6:50  #5

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
Max'd out :/
this doesn't do it Max Headroom.  
:/

20th June 2005 7:08  #6

- - Senior Member Join Date: March 2005 Location: Canada Posts: 594
If we take your exemple of Van Helsing, it was shot ratio aspect 1:85, it's American Standard for theatres.  Spider-Man 2 was shot ratio aspect 2:40 (sometimes you'll see 2:35 or 2:39..same thing), it's more worldwide friendly.

Not only that, but it's got to do with the aperture (lense) of the camera.  Aspect ratio 2:40 has a bigger aperture to capture more lights.

High Definition Television Widescreen are ratio aspect 1:78
Theatres are ratio aspect 1:85 or 2:40

***Don't take 100% of my words.  This is just a crash course***

20th June 2005 16:13  #7

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
There are only two aspect ratios for the DVD format, 4:3 (1.33:1) and 16:9 (1.78:1) and most films are shot at either 2.35:1 or 1.85:1. The 1.78:1 standard was chosen for HD televisions and most DVDs because it represents a happy medium between all of the widely used, existing aspect ratios.
Assuming you view your films on a 16:9 television, films shot using the 2.40:1 or 2.35:1 aspect ratio, (sometimes referred to as 'scope'Wink and on DVD are enhanced for 16:9 playback, will contain letterboxing since the scope aspect ratio is wider than 1.78:1.
Again, assuming you view your films on a 16:9 television, films shot at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (also known as Academy Standard) will display without letterboxing when enhanced for 16:9 playback, but there is actually a slight loss of picture because of the differences between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratios.
Most television programs anymore are shot at neither of the theatrically used aspect ratios, rather opting for the exact 1.78:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio so that there is no letterboxing or slight loss of picture.

For a great explaination of the differences, check out the articels written by our own Chris Gould on this very subject:

Aspect Ratios Explained: Part One
[url=;s=8&p=info&c=27
]Aspect Ratios Explained: Part Two[/url]

20th June 2005 16:20  #8

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,120 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
I've written three articles on the subject:

Why Widescreen?
Aspect Ratios Explained Part 1
Aspect Ratios Explained Part 2

You're not getting ripped off, screwed over or anything else. The transfers in question are simply preserving the theatrical aspect ratios of the films.

20th June 2005 21:28  #9

Jonny "Me You" Senior Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Canada Posts: 2,863
If you wonder why or how the choice comes about to shoot in a particular shape, its an artistic choice usually made by the director and cinematographer when the movie was originally shot Wink

23rd June 2005 5:34  #10

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
thanks Matt
Thank you Matt.  Good information.  That explains it. Thanks very much.

By the way, the second link you pasted had the wrong link. For the sake of others, here is the correct link for the rest of the article:
;s=8&p=info&c=27

23rd June 2005 5:50  #11

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
thanks Chris
Thats some great information Chris.   My questions answered. Thanks very much.  I was so glad when I finally got my widescreen HDTV.  I started buying widescreen DVDs from my very first one, knowing that sometime in the future I would have a WS TV.  It was somewhat disappointing to find out that the whole screen would not fill with some DVD.  Your article has brought this to peace for me.

23rd June 2005 6:03  #12

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
thank you Danny
Thank you for your help Danny.  I read through all the articles you posted which were helpful.  

Chris put it all in a nutshell with the articles he wrote, I'm sure you've seen by now.  I just hope directors use the 1.85 more often, though he mentioned they use 2.35 for epic type movies.  I'm happy with the best picture I can get with a DVD.  I'm at rest with this issue now that I understand it.  Thanks again Danny Boy.

23rd June 2005 6:05  #13

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
makes perfectly good sense Jonny "Me You"
Understand, I do. :crazy:

23rd June 2005 23:32  #14

Jonny "Me You" Senior Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Canada Posts: 2,863
Our pleasure Keith. Never be afraid to ask a question, it's why we're all here. Very Happy

18th August 2005 19:40  #15

B C Member Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2
Bumped this up to mention Corman DVDs
Hey everybody,
I scrambled to get some Roger Corman stuff, specifically Humanoids From The Deep, on DVD since it's OOP (R1). All the New Horizons/Concorde releases are Full Frame. Death Race, Piranha, Full Frame.

So before I get Humanoids in the mail, it's on IFC... in Letterbox. Piranha on IFC? Letterbox. That stinks.

18th August 2005 20:17  #16

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,475 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Dante perfered the full frame ratio for Piranha. I can't speak for the others.

18th August 2005 20:43  #17

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
I was under the impression that Concorde released a number of titles in full frame, that is to say true full frame and not pan & scan, instead of matted widescreen, but I could be wrong. The only widescreen title that comes to mind from Concorde is Battle Beyond The Stars.

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