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  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
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    Hey All,

    As I just dumped the vhs player and put my new dvd player in its spot. Yes, I think i'm the last one to own a dvd player, lol. Anyway, I just started buying dvd's but I'm a little confused about one thing.

    I was reading up to gain some more knowledge about this dvd stuff and I came across this site.

    http://www.activewin.com/dvd/articles/specials/aspect_ratios.shtml

    While reading, I never realized how much of a difference p&s is vs. widescreen.

    In the article they said you lose up to 40-50% of the picture with p&s. Now, I would rather much prefer widescreen if it gives me the full picture with a smaller resolution.

    I tried to compare the difference with my Phonebooth DVD because its full-screen on one side and widescreen on the other. So after freezing a couple of frames with both formats, I only notice u lose maybe 5-10% of the picture.

    Now, my question is, do you lose 40-50% all the time or in just some scenes?

    Also, what do u guys prefer(people with regular tv's..ex. non-hd,etc.), widescreen or p&s?

    As of right now, I have a regular 27" tv.

    I'm only interested in widescreen so I can see the full picture. Thanks, any help would be appreciated.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: Sweden
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    I prefer the 4:3 letterbox setting which put black borders on top and bottom to view the whole picture of a widescreen DVD on a 4:3 TV.
    Ronny
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: n.y.c.
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    it is a matter of taste...i prefer pan & scan, but have come to appreciate the widescreen mode...so, it is entirely up to you...why not watch a bit of a movie in bothe formats and decide?
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  4. Member FT Shark's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2002
    Location: Land Down Under
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    I would go widescreen. Many dvd players have a setting that will stretch the movie to lessen the black bars, then in the future when you get your widescreen TV you will be happy you bought it (I'm sure you plan on buying a WS TV sometime). 4:3 movies look awful on a WS TV and I will never by a 4:3 movie again.
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  5. Member dwisniski's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2002
    Location: Florence, NJ
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    Widescreen is the way to go. I bought a widescreen TV last year, and love the fact that I can now watch a widescreen movie without losing half the picture on my TV. The picture quality is also better on a widescreen DVD.
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  6. Member adam's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2000
    Location: United States
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    The wider the aspect ratio the film was shot in, the more picture you lose in coverting to P&S. The filming and matting techniques also play a part. Some movies you may lose only 15% or so, and for many you will lose nearly 50% but in my opinion removing any of the movie is unacceptable. I want to see what the director saw when he gave the final print the ok, I don't care to see how much some editor was able to salvage from the orignal print when trying to sqeeze a rectangular image into a square.

    Another nasty side-effect with P&S is that depending on the method of filming, you will sometimes get MORE vertical picture than you are supposed to. This is part of the screen that was not intended to be seen. This means you sometimes see boom mikes, lights, etc... and often framed shots are totally ruined. For instance watch the FS version of LOTR when they are on the boat traveling near those large statutes. In the background you can see power lines. These are not visible in the WS version.

    Its entirely conceivable that one day you will not even be able to buy a 4:3 tv. I think WS is preferable even now, and will certainly be preferable in the future.
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  7. Member MysticE's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: United States
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    On a 27in TV though, widescreen (especially 2.35 to 1) can make for a very small picture (kinda like watching a full screen on a 19in.) But a nice benefit is you can squeeze a widescreen DVD more and still maintain quality. And as was mentioned a lot of movies aren't (this could be changing) shot in widescreen, they are just masked when projected. And full screen movies are rarely pan and scanned these days as most cinematagraphers tend to keep the action centered, knowing video will be a large part of the picture (this is probably starting to change also).

    That said, on my 27in TV, I prefer full screen.
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  8. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: Americas
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    Starting my DVD collection. Whats best, widescreen or p&s
    then

    I'm only interested in widescreen so I can see the full picture. Thanks, any help would be appreciated.
    Didn't you actually answer your own question?

    Here's my take:. If your DVD player supports "zoom" on all disks (mine unfortunately not, it's close to 80%, some DVD discs don't allow zoom for some reason on my JVC (Lord of the Rings Two Towers is the example)) then burn 16:9 and zoom to P&S (or 4:3) when watching. You end up with either exactly the frame of 4:3 ver. or close. If not, go by the character of the movie i.e. does it need 16:9 or looks good on 4:3. I still have regular 4:3 and prefer this to watching a ticker tape.
    How 'bout that?
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
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    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    codewere - I still can't decide which format. I mean, both formats are great. Obviously p&s is better because of the full screen but you lose the picture. Guess you can't have the best of both worlds unless you buy a widescreen tv.

    adam - I'm planning on buying a flat screen tv in a few years one right costs a little over $1000. I don't imagine buying a widescreen tv until 10-15 years as they are crazy expensive right now. By then, I will probably need one for sure. I'm wondering if I will kick myself for buying these p&s but who knows.

    mystic - So your saying these days most movies aren't shot for the theatre format which is widescreen?. That doesn't make much sense, to me at least. How else would they shoot the video so it properly fits on the screen as the directer wanted it.

    proxy - Sorry, I worded that wrong. Instead of the "so" it should be "if".

    I'm only interested in widescreen if I can see the full picture. Thanks, any help would be appreciated.

    I'm still undecided, X2 is coming out in a few days and I want to pick it up on the first day. Oh well, I'll have to think about it. I don't understand why they don't make both versions on a double sided disc, like that phonebooth movie.

    More opnions are welcome, thanks all.
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  10. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: Americas
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    I don't imagine buying a widescreen tv until 10-15 years as they are crazy expensive right now
    By then you will be laughing about your today's dilemmas. The trick is to tackle it now, as it happens.

    Otherwise, we'll wait for your next post.
    So, see'ya in 15 years![/quote]
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  11. Member FT Shark's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2002
    Location: Land Down Under
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    Why not buy a HDTV WS now. You can get a projection for a little over $1000. When you say flat screen, do you mean plasma tv? If so, I'll see you in 5 years. By that time your plasma tv's color will have faded by 50% and you will need a new one anyways. Plasma is nice but I won't buy one untill the technology improves.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2001
    Location: usa
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    I used to prefer P&S. After all, why lose a quarter of my 25" TV screen? This all changed when I got into DVDs and started considering a new widescreen TV. I will have these DVDs for years, and even if I take another year or 2 to get the TV, once I do I'm golden. I would be KICKING myself at that point for any P&S versions I'd bought.

    So, widescreen for me.

    Kudos to Pixar for doing extra work reformatting their movies for P&S. They do a fine job.
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2002
    Location: United States
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    Your TV is plenty big enough to do 16:9 letterboxed. Go witih 16:9 if you can, because the price of HDTV's is going to plummit in the US very shortly. Be a shame to have all 4:3 movies when you finally get a widescreen TV :P
    To Be, Or, Not To Be, That, Is The Gazorgan Plan
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  14. Member dwisniski's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2002
    Location: Florence, NJ
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    I bought a Samsung 30'' widescreen HDTV, flat panel (tube, not plasma) almost a year ago at best buy for $1000. I saw the same TV there last week for $800. The picture with a progressive scan DVD player is awesome. The time for widesceen has come!
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  15. Member adam's Avatar
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    Location: United States
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    I was watching the bonus material on my Die Hard DVD and it reminded me of this thread. If anyone gets a chance, check out the feature titled, "Why Letterbox?" It goes through and shows you what the editor sees when performing a Pan and Scan conversion and it shows how incredibly different the final shots look and explains why the picture is so much lower quality with FS. They have to zoom in by like 300% on wide shots which means that the resolution is like 3 times smaller and the film grain is 3 times more noticable.

    Its funny because its obvious that the commentator's are very pro WS so throughout they are really bashing FS. They keep saying how it ruins the movie and how its really only intended for those people who are still living in the past with VHS.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
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    are you CRAZY! buying pan and scan dvd's is like buying a third of a painting.....Don't forget why you like films....Films ARE art! I don't mean to sound rough, but come on....you want the full picture!
    "We want the finest wines available to humanity, and we want them now!"
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  17. Banned
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    Location: Americas
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    That's your preference. Don't forget TV is around for ca. 50 years and some still cannot adjust to ticker tape (me included). I simply do not see a reason why on my 4:3 I should give up 40% of my screen so that I get full poststamp size picture. You say director... art... Pardon me. At my place I'm the director and editor, and I try to use full sq. footage of my screen if that's OK with you, of course.
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  18. Take a look at:

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

    They explain how anamorphic DVDs work and have screen shots showing the picture that's lost by using full screen.

    I had a 27" TV for years and a 20" TV before that. I tried to ONLY watch letterboxed movies, because you do lose a lot of the picture other wise. The screen is small?? So what, 20" is a small TV I just sat closer.

    But in the end to each his own. I'm one of the few people in the US that own a SVHS deck and LD player, movies (back then anime) mean a lot to me. I want to see what's happening. Plus a lot of full screen movies look wrong, people cut in 1/2 or really zoomed in. That's why they came up with P&S.

    If you're the type of person that 'just hates those stupid black bars' then watch full screen. However, every 'movie fan' is going to push widescreen as it preserves the original picture. It's a matter of opinion as to which you prefer, but widescreen is actually better. No picture lost vs. picture lost, it's that simple.
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  19. Banned
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    I think you should read my post carefully. Seems like you embarked on a personal crusade to save the world and movie industry.
    Did I tell you what to eat and how to dress? Have some respect.
    Big studios and major entertainment equipment manuf. may be proud. Advertising really works. You are the proof. And please let me have my supper my way.

    PS. since as per your post you are loosing so much, not only, I guess, you will see all the movies again for just the viewing pleasure but also to ensure that you undertsood their message correctly ( I suspect that there's must be a hidden message behind those bars...)
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  20. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
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    Vejita-sama - wow, that has to be the most informative thing I've read yet. Thanks, that helped me big time and that site has sold me on widescreen dvd's. now I see why there wasn't much a difference on the phonebooth dvd. it was filmed in 1.85:1. Still, losing any of the picture is not good with me.I am a big movie buff, right now I own a couple hundred vhs's. Sadly, i was a late bloomer to dvd. I only bought a dvd player because the rental stores like blockbuster and such had so little vhs movies. Little did I know how much I was missing out on dvd's.

    I was planning on buying a flat-screen tube tv in a few months but by looking at that, its best to invest in a widescreen tube as its the obvious choice. I dunno, right now my tv doesn't even have an S-video connection, thats how old it is but we'll see. I honestly don't care about the black bars as I rather much watch it full screen. In my original post, I was asking what was the big difference but I see it now. Sadly, half of my dvd collection is P&S.5 P&S and 5 widescreen. I wish I could exchange those dvd's now

    I was only asking this question because of a friend of mine keeps on telling me there's no difference between widescreen and P&S. he prefers P&S. he's also more educated about this stuff than me so I listened to him. now I got some info to educate him on, haha. thanks guys, you have saved me a lot of money and probably being upset in future time knowing i bought some crap format.

    proxy - I don't know if your post is referring to me but its a bunch of blabber. I came her to ask for advice and information. If you don't have any, then so be it.
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  21. Banned
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    No, it was not directed at you.
    My impression was that you have very clearly stated your position in your post and essentially answered your own question. If you were looking for reaffirmation... maybe you got it. All I'm saying is that size matters.
    If I have to choose between watching 16:9 or 4:3 on a 27 inch TV , I choose the latter.
    Look at it this way: I'm used to seeing faces at a certain size. If we are talking watching 16:9 by accepting the fact that we are comfortable with this size, then to maintain this face size on a 27 inch 4:3 equals ca. 40 inch 16:9 (Same size of human face in a given frame). I'm not against 16:9 (although it's not my preferred format), I'm just saying that to enjoy it you would need to go to a much bigger screen size.
    I watched many 16:9's on my friends equipment and decided that anything below 60 inch is not improving (magnifying) important parts of the picture (which is center, and that coincides with roughly 4:3) for me. So praising companies for forcing us to watch religiously 16:9 on a 4:3 average size TV is not for me. That is counterproductive. I'm rewarded by movie studio with what I call a "ticker tape" on my 32 inch just for the pleasure of being politically correct!? I will rather stick to 4:3 until I put something of more appropriate size in my living room (and that is coming soon because I like new DLP and LCD projection for their good picture definition).
    It seems ludicrous to hear all this hype while majority still has 4:3, and of an average size. One more thought: most movies are shot consciously with the action being placed in the center, whether you like it or not. Thatís how movies are made. Adding extra space, is to improve cinematic experience by widening your vision. If you feel that all you need is a small screen with bars, so that you could "enjoy" 16:9, just for the sake of it, be my guest. I do not criticize viewers. I 'm critical of companies creating the hype to force you to adhere and be 16:9 fanatic no matter what screen size.
    Maybe I'm outdated but when I hear the argument that 16:9 is supposed to be an improvement then I need really BIG screen to see this IMPROVEMENT. I hope I was clear enough. I'm also against any viewer imposing his way onto others, by saying that HIS is the ONLY way to watch the movie. Lastly, movies are created for cinemas (yes, believe it or not!) not for 27 inch TV. This is the environment that movie director had in mind in a first place. Otherwise a magnifying glass would be attached to every distributed DVD.
    To me a DVD is shown properly on a 16x9 METERS not inches.
    Home theatre was created only to make your experience resemble (imitate) a movie theatre. That's what it's all about. At least for me. What you do is your business.
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  22. Member
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    Location: Sweden
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    But isn't this just a setting in the DVD player menu that you can change when you buy a WS TV? The DVD itself is anamorphic widescreen but when you set it to Pan&Scan it zooms into the picture to make it 4:3 and if you set it to letterbox then it letterbox it to 4:3. You don't have to buy a new DVD, just change the setting to 16:9 in the setup menu if you connect a widescreen TV.
    Ronny
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  23. Banned
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    Correct.
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  24. Isn't a WS DVD lower horizontal resolution than a FS DVD ?

    720 pixels spread over a longer horizontal scan line? Actually 33% more of a scan line.....

    Just gas for the fire ... :P I don't think you get that extra picture for free.

    I personally prefer WS due to the extra picture, but on a 4:3 TV, it is even worse because you loose 33% of the picture height. I only have 4:3 TVs.


    Edit: proxy - 16x9 meter screen . I didn't do the math, but I'd guess each pixel is getting close to 1 inch square. I hate to be too close to that screen. I guess that's why they don't show DVDs in a theater.
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  25. Originally Posted by adam
    They have to zoom in by like 300% on wide shots which means that the resolution is like 3 times smaller and the film grain is 3 times more noticable.
    But isn't film like 18x higher resolution than DVD? So you could zoom in a lot more than 300% because you are not going to see the results on a DVD. I'd equate this to printing 2x3 photos from a 1 megapixel camera vs a 6 megapixel camera. You're not going to see a difference.

    BTW: I'm guessing that 35MM is like 6 mega pixels and dvd is like 1/3Mp. I may be off, but unless I am way off, the point still holds.
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