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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 2 2013, 11:55 AM   #31
Brown-Eyed Ghoul
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
I don't see how that makes sense. If the show was filmed in standard 35mm Academy full frame (1.37:1), there wouldn't be anything to see beyond the 4:3 image (except perhaps for a tiny bit around the edges outside the "TV safe" area). Am I missing something here?
What you can see you on screen is only the 4:3 extraction of a larger 4:3 camera negative area. The essential proposal was to keep the image height of the original 4:3 presentation and reveal the extra negative areas left and right ("title safe area" +) to yield a wider picture.

This would work where it counts (i.e. close-up shots where no studio equipment is cluttering these "undiscovered" areas left and right) but in total shots (e.g. bridge) you'd have to trim the top and bottom of the original 4:3 image (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, IMHO).

A friendly suggestion: Read before you reply
Yes, that's what I get for not reading all the posts and links before replying. Oops.
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Old September 2 2013, 03:22 PM   #32
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

scotpens wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
A friendly suggestion: Read before you reply
Yes, that's what I get for not reading all the posts and links before replying. Oops.
Actually the recipient of my suggestion was Dream (claiming I had said that DS9 and VOY were shot in widescreen).

But since you didn't pay attention to that, you'll now get the same recommendation from me.

Bob
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Old September 2 2013, 04:55 PM   #33
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

scotpens wrote: View Post
jimbotron wrote: View Post
In the VHS/DVD era, people who didn't know any better wanted 16x9 content cropped to fill 4x3 TVs.
Are you referring to "pan-and-scan," in which movies shot in CinemaScope or 70mm widescreen were cropped to fit the old 4x3 TV screens? Yeah, that sucked. But the only alternative back then was "letterboxing," which shrunk the image so small that it was sometimes unwatchable.
That's true, and if you had a small TV like my family did, it made things very small. But the alternative was not seeing all of the movie.
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Old September 2 2013, 04:57 PM   #34
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Relayer1 wrote: View Post
My choice would be 16:9 with minimal cropping. There are a few ways it could be done - CG to remove the lights and stands at the edge of shots, CG inserts to extend the frame where necessary, new SF shots (not too hard with extending the starscape background for space shots), subtly stretching the edges of shots and as a last resort, cropping.

Some of this would be expensive, but as digital tech gets cheaper it will become more viable.
You realize to do CGI stuff would take a lot of time, work and money to do right and even then it'll be limited in what it can accomplish. CGI isn't magic, it's a process that has limitations just like any other effects technique.

And it would, again, change the look and feel of the scene. This may seem like something but it could have big impacts on scenes in there series where a certain look or "feel" was achieved by being shot for 4:3 now being shot for 16:9.

The show was originally produced, shot, directed and presented for 4:3 viewing. That's how it is MEANT to be seen. That is how the original directors want you to see it. Stop trying to change that. I know we're not talking about fine film here or anything, by why not also complain about and demand cinematic classics like Casablanca use CGI or whatever else to make them 16:9? I mean, I need to fill my TV so who cares what it'll look like. Black bars! The scourge of TV-viewing. And colorize it too!

No. 4:3 is the Original Aspect Ratio of the show and it should be maintained.
I simply don't like 4:3 or black bars. Its a personal opinion and I'd like a choice. I was trying to show there are options before you resort to cropping and certainty don't see CG as perfect or a cure all. Just a way some scenes could be done. It even appears that there's a method I was unaware of - borders trimmed from the 4:3 film.

I would think that there would still have to be some cropping and have no problem whatsoever with that. Such minimal changes to the 'original vision' bother me not one jot.

As I said, I'd like the choice - not either/or. If you wouldn't, that's fine. For you.
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Old September 2 2013, 05:37 PM   #35
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I simply don't like 4:3 or black bars. Its a personal opinion and I'd like a choice.
Everyone's entitled to their own taste, of course. But I just don't understand the objection to black bars on the sides of the HDTV screen. All those bars do is make the screen the same shape as the old CRT television screens the show was intended for.

How about this idea: Instead of plain black bars, why not display pictures of TV speaker grilles and old-style control knobs on either side of the 4:3 image?
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Old September 2 2013, 06:07 PM   #36
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I think it may have been short-sighted not to do a 16:9 version while restoring the series. Full-frame TV shows will likely be broadcast rarely in the 16:9 era once the majority of content is 16:9. Much like Black&White content was rarely shown in the Color TV era.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:26 PM   #37
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

BillJ wrote: View Post
I think it may have been short-sighted not to do a 16:9 version while restoring the series. Full-frame TV shows will likely be broadcast rarely in the 16:9 era once the majority of content is 16:9. Much like Black&White content was rarely shown in the Color TV era.
While I'm firmly in the 4:3 camp since that's how it was produced.

We all know people just want things to fill their screen, that's why most movies on cable are cropped to 16:9, and why Friends and Seinfeld when prepared for HD a few years back got 16:9 versions.

We don't know for sure that there aren't 16:9 versions being quietly made, or at least planned for. Back when TOS was remastered in 2006 they made 16:9 versions (live action cropped to 16:9 with new VFX rendered natively 16:9) for potential markets where widescreen TV penetration was higher at the time such as Japan. Apparently it did indeed air in Japan that way.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:49 PM   #38
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I have to admit I find the idea that people actually want to lose part of the image that was intended to be shown kind of mind-boggling, especially if the reason boils down to "I want an image that fills my screen".

Black bars bother you? Turn off the lights. Imagine you're in a movie theater.

Even when I had a 27" 4:3 tv (and a 15" monitor) I still wanted letterboxed movies when possible. I knew sooner or later I'd have a bigger tv, and I don't think anyone thinks we'll be going back to 4:3 at some point.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:53 PM   #39
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

BillJ wrote: View Post
I think it may have been short-sighted not to do a 16:9 version while restoring the series. Full-frame TV shows will likely be broadcast rarely in the 16:9 era once the majority of content is 16:9. Much like Black&White content was rarely shown in the Color TV era.
I've been watching cropped TNG recently on cable. I'd rather some care was taken in the ways I mentioned than the broadcaster just chopping bits off...
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Old September 2 2013, 07:57 PM   #40
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

SpHeRe31459 wrote: View Post
While I'm firmly in the 4:3 camp since that's how it was produced.

We all know people just want things to fill their screen, that's why most movies on cable are cropped to 16:9, and why Friends and Seinfeld when prepared for HD a few years back got 16:9 versions.

We don't know for sure that there aren't 16:9 versions being quietly made, or at least planned for. Back when TOS was remastered in 2006 they made 16:9 versions (live action cropped to 16:9 with new VFX rendered natively 16:9) for potential markets where widescreen TV penetration was higher at the time such as Japan. Apparently it did indeed air in Japan that way.
Its not about my personal preference, its whether content providers will want the shows in five to ten years when pretty much everything is in widescreen?

I'm aware of the cropped TOS episodes in Japan.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:39 PM   #41
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

scotpens wrote: View Post
Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I simply don't like 4:3 or black bars. Its a personal opinion and I'd like a choice.
But I just don't understand the objection to black bars on the sides of the HDTV screen.
16:9 relates to our natural field of wider vision and the horse-blinker-effect on a flat screen is more noticable than the letterbox effect, IMHO.

Stanley Kubrick disliked any form of black bars. He felt these distracted you from the viewing experience and composited accordingly. He shot in 4:3 (for 4:3 TV sets) but anticipated the widescreen crop for theatrical presentations.

Since the vocal majority of TNG fans demanded a 4:3 HD presentation, CBS would have been stupid not to give them what they wanted (allowing CBS to make back some of its remastering investment while that is still possible with 4:3).

TNG in reformatted 16:9 is just a question of time for those who look forward to it, and after the 4:3 aficionados have been pleased.

Bob
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Old September 2 2013, 09:01 PM   #42
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Tomalak: I expected more than an idle threat from you, Picard.
Picard: Then you shall have it. Now, Mister Worf.
Worf: Aye, sir.

[exterior: Enterprise holding station next to two Romulan warbirds. Absolutely nothing else happens] [Klingon fanfare plays, but viewers have no idea why]

Yeah, chopping that to 16:9 is a great idea.
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Old September 2 2013, 09:05 PM   #43
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Dream wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
otomo wrote: View Post
One question still unanswered: Was DS9 shot differently, or VOY? If they were shot the same then I hope they do keep it the same.
I do not recall exactly but IIRC beginning with the 4th season of DS9 (and the 5th of VOY) they started to protect for later 16:9 extraction, i.e. they shot in 4:3 but had a mask inside the viewfinder with a 16:9 frame.
You are wrong. DS9 and VOY were never shot in widescreen. This has been talked about endlessly.
I remember reading years ago (1996?) an interview with a DS9 director in Star Trek Monthly where he stated that they had to frame the image in widescreen. That made me very hopeful that the DVDs would be released in 16:9 but clearly that never happened. I'm all for watching programmes in the aspect ratio they were produced in and I always watch shows in 4:3 setting on my TV where needed (I hate things being stretched sideways). It would be different though if DS9 had been produced in 16:9 but then never aired that way. Who knows. Personally I find it very odd that Voyager especially was still being produced in 4:3 in 2001 when the industry as a whole seemed to have moved on to 16:9 around 1998. Were the Trek producers just stubborn? lol

Converting shows to 16:9 'on the cheap' can have awful consequences. The Babylon 5 DVDs are proof of that; the CGI space scenes are passable but whenever there is CGI in a live action shot it is very telling when the top halves of everyone's heads are missing. If a show is to be upgraded it has to be done perfectly or else it just ends up distracting.
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Old September 2 2013, 09:29 PM   #44
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

The Caretaker wrote: View Post
It would be different though if DS9 had been produced in 16:9 but then never aired that way. Who knows. Personally I find it very odd that Voyager especially was still being produced in 4:3 in 2001 when the industry as a whole seemed to have moved on to 16:9 around 1998.
Eventually DS9 and VOY continued shooting in 4:3 but were "protected" for 16:9 image extraction. That is, that the directors shot in 4:3 but in a fashion to allow a later 16:9 image extraction while keeping a palatable picture composition.
To create a 16:9 image from these 4:3 camera negatives will result in cropping the top and bottom image information but in the 16:9 frame you'll have the image information the director wanted you to have. It's very similar to what Super35 is about.

And begs the question how CBS is going to handle this issue for Blu-ray presentation (I think the ENT release on Blu-ray is a hint concerning future aspect ratio presentations of DS9 and VOY).

The Caretaker wrote: View Post
Converting shows to 16:9 'on the cheap' can have awful consequences. The Babylon 5 DVDs are proof of that; the CGI space scenes are passable but whenever there is CGI in a live action shot it is very telling when the top halves of everyone's heads are missing. If a show is to be upgraded it has to be done perfectly or else it just ends up distracting.
The unfortunate problem here is that the series was shot in widescreen 16:9 but all the CGI compositing was done exclusively in 4:3 including the CGI space scenes. Unfortunately there was a severe screw up in letterboxing the 4:3 material and therefore all native 4:3 material looks like crap in the DVD release (my 4:3 B5 LaserDiscs look like HD in comparison!). I hope the success of TNG-R will motivate Warner to give B5 a similar treatment.

Bob
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Old September 2 2013, 09:36 PM   #45
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I was reading on a B5 forum a while ago about this issue and some were certain that the original film cans were either missing or had been "attacked" by rats, making a TNG-type restoration impossible. Where they got this information from I have no idea. If we are worried about the CGI in DS9 causing a headache for Blu Ray I have no idea how Warners would cope with recreating all the CGI shots for B5.
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