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  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2000
    Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
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    This has been bugging me for awhile. When some movies are released on DVD with 1:85 aspect ratios, is that the original AR? If not why dont they release the 16:9 version instead? And if 1:85 is the original is that how it is showed in theaters? Keep in mind I dont know much about AR
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: Red Bank, NJ
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    Not sure I know what you mean. There are many aspect rations, the one shown in theatres is almost always 2.35:1. 16:9 is the same thing as 1:85.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    1st- You know that with DVD you can have 4:3 or 16:9 ARs.

    A 16:9 widescreen source can be encoded as either 4:3 (hard letterboxed)...

    ############
    ############
    ---------------------
    ---------------------
    ---------------------
    ############
    ############

    or encoded as 16:9 (squeezed/anamorphic)...

    \\\\\\//////
    \\\\\\//////
    \\\\\\//////
    //////\\\\\\
    //////\\\\\\
    //////\\\\\\

    Well, the wider widescreen formats (1.85:1, 2.35:1) achieve this by encoding the wider source into 16:9, but incorporating additional hard letterboxing...

    ############
    \\\\\\\\\///////////
    \\\\\\\\\///////////
    /////////\\\\\\\\\\\
    /////////\\\\\\\\\\\
    ############

    (Pardon any non-linearity with the text spacing)


    HTH,
    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  4. Going from memory on this, others correct me if I'm wrong:

    Yes, in general, the aspect ratio on the DVD is the aspect ratio the movie was filmed in. And I think you mean 1.85:1, since 1:85 would mean the movie is 85 times as tall as it is wide (some movie!).

    Movie theatre screens vary slightly depending on which theatre you go to, but on average they're 2:1. This is "close enough" to all the standard filming aspect ratios (usually between 1.75:1 and 2.35:1) so although sometimes you end up losing a little bit off the edges, you don't notice it.

    BTW, 16:9 would be the same as 1.78:1.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2000
    Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
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    So basically all films are shot so that they fit a movie screen? Some are a little wider than others though? Jurassic Park dvd says 1:85:1, and it only has little black bars on the top and bottom, not the big ones. So then it is missing some off the sides I presume? If so why wouldnt they just show the entire image and not cut anything off like most other dvds?
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  6. Ok, there seems to be some confusion about all this works Take a look at:

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/aspectratios/widescreenorama.html

    http://www.doom9.org/aspectratios.htm

    for more info. But here's the basic idea.

    There are several display aspect ratios (DAR) out there. But most people only work with three:

    1:1 PC
    4:3 TV
    16:9 movies and widescreen TVs

    ALL PC video has a DAR of 1:1 (aside - this is why for divx sources you should choose 1:1 VGA in TMPGenc).

    TVs were made to display 4:3 video, and only 4:3 video. Now most (new) movies are shot at 16:9. However, under the 16:9 flag there are several ratios:

    1.85:1 - academy flat
    2.35:1 - anamorphic widescreen
    1.77:1 - widescreen TVs

    To show a 16:9 movie on your 4:3 TV is NOT possible. You're TV can only display 4:3 video. So we need to convert the 16:9 movie, into a 4:3 movie. There are two ways to do this

    Full screen - we cut out part of the video (normally a little from the left and right sides of the screen), so that the remaining video has a DAR of 4:3. This is less than ideal as we lose part of the picture, so along came...

    Letterboxing - we squeeze the picture and add black bars at the top and bottom to fill up the 'unused space' creating a NEW 4:3 video.

    Most 'movie buffs' prefer letterboxing as you perserve the entire movie screen. Some people think it 'looks ugly' and want to 'use the whole screen.' Take a look at the wide screen o-rama link for why this isn't a good idea.

    At any rate, letterboxing worked fine for VHS/LD. But with drop in price of widescreen TVs and HDTV (which is normally widescreen) also being 'the wave of the future' a problem occurred.

    If you display a 4:3 video on a widescreen TV, in order to maintain the original DAR you have to add black bars to the left/right of the screen. But most videos (eg. VHS) on the market are 4:3 letterboxed movies. That means when you play them on a widescreen TV you get black bars on the left/right (as it's a 4:3 video) and the top/bottom (the letterboxing itself). So your movie shows up in a cube. Plus since widescreen TVs have a DAR of 16:9 why box anything.

    So the result was you had to produce two videos. 1) letterboxed 4:3 video for standard TVs. 2) a widescreen edition for widescreen TVs (for the most part only produced in Europe).

    DVD (ie. digital) changed all that. Now movies are encoded at 720x480 and flagged as either 4:3 or 16:9. If you try to play a 16:9 flagged DVD on your standard TV, the DVD player adds the letterboxing on the fly. If you try to play a 16:9 flagged DVD on a widescreen TV, the DVD player does nothing. Hence you have an anamorphic DVD.

    Sorry for the long post but I hope this helps clear up some confusion.
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  7. Member geek rock's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2002
    Location: Norwich, England
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    Originally Posted by Tavz
    This has been bugging me for awhile. When some movies are released on DVD with 1:85 aspect ratios, is that the original AR? If not why dont they release the 16:9 version instead? And if 1:85 is the original is that how it is showed in theaters? Keep in mind I dont know much about AR
    i think you're getting slightly confused somewhere along the line.

    there are only two DVD, and TV, apect ratios:

    1.77:1 (also known as 16:9)
    and 4:3.

    a vast majority of films are filmed in 1.85:1 widescreen. When the film is transferred to DVD, there will be very very small borders at the top and bottom of the picture, so small that you won't even see them if you're watching on a widescreen TV set. these borders are there to make sure the 1.85:1 picture appears correctly on your 1.77:1 / 16:9 TV.

    in most cases, if a film is shown in the cinema in 1.85:1, it will be transferred to DVD in the same ratio, and every part of the picture that was visible in the cinema will be visible on your DVD.

    i hope that made sense!
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