4x3 is better than 16x9 !

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by def456, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. def456

    def456 Guest

    I've done some comparisons between the 4x3 and 16x9 versions when both are
    offered on the same DVD, usually on the flip side, sometimes on the same
    side via a menu selection. For example Annie Hall and Rocky 3. Look at
    Woody's monolog at the start of the film. You can see 2-3 buttons on his
    shirt with the 4x3 version, but barely 1 button with the 16x9 version. You
    don't lose anything significant with the 4x3 version, which is slightly
    cropped on the sides, but very little. Maybe only about 5-10% of the width
    of the 4x3 version is cropped off. However the tops of people's heads are
    typically cut off with the 16x9 versions. I estimate that at least 25% of
    the vertical heighth is cropped to make it into a 16x9 image.

    So the old adage and complaint about the blank/black areas at the top and
    bottom of widescreen versions is a good one, because it's true. Those areas
    were indeed cropped and removed from the film. You get a lot more real
    content, and the picture looks more normal, with 4x3.

    I think that what we have here is a big promotion to buy the new expensive
    16x9 televisions that cost over $1,000. To provide them with something to
    watch in the same size, films are being hacked to death to fit that size
    artificially. It is actually the 16x9 version which is modified most to fit
    the screen, not the 4x3 versions - contrary to the announcement at the
    beginning of 4x3 films to that effect.

    The 7:3 versions (usually called 2.35:1) are another ballgame entirely.
    def456, Jul 26, 2007
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  2. I believe you are referring to 4x3 movies that have
    been "matted" (or whatever the phrase is) to 16x9
    in which case you are probably correct.

    Video that was shot widescreen is what the whole move
    to 16x9 tvs and having more than 4:3 is all about.

    Just my 2 cents...

    drc :)

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    Darrel Christenson, Jul 26, 2007
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  3. def456

    Stuart Guest

    What you need to do is look at a DVD that has the notation anamorphic on it
    and then do a comparison to a 4;3 release. Sometimes so called 16:9 releases
    are either cropped 4:3 or the original film was deliberately framed for
    cinema cropping, so called widescreen releases in the 1950's and later.
    There is a full description and historical account of this sorry state at
    Stuart, Jul 27, 2007
  4. def456

    Impmon Guest

    Yes. Most of the recent movies (past 30 years or so I think) were
    shot in 16x9 format and for those movies, often time the sides were
    chopped off to fit a 4x3 TV. A few movies were done both with release
    to TV in mind. A good example is Harry Potter movies.

    In the first movie, in 4x3 mode you can see the whole letter Harry was
    reading about acceptance to Hogswart. in 16x9 (which appeared in
    movie theater) you can't see the bottom part of the letter. But there
    are a lot of scenes where 16x9 would be better than 4x3 like showing
    more of the crowd and landscape

    It's a matter of preference but considering 4x3 TV are about to be
    extinct when NTSC standard is discontinued next year, chances are
    people would be forced to get wide screen TV for their next purchase.
    By then, basic wide screen TV should be much cheaper.

    I do pity those who invested a lot in 4x3 only DVDs, it won't look
    good on wide screen TV. The picture could be centered with black bars
    on the sides, the picture could be stretched and look ugly, there
    could be "smart" stretching where the center area is correct
    proportion but edges are pulled. People with sharp eyes would notice
    distortion. Finally the TV could enlarge the picture to eliminate
    blank side by chopping off top and bottom and you'd lose a lot of
    viewing area compared to actual wide screen movies.

    When possible I bought the wide screen version so I can view it as it
    appeared in movie theaters.
    Impmon, Jul 27, 2007
  5. def456

    Richard C. Guest



    Richard C., Jul 27, 2007
  6. def456

    Richard C. Guest



    So wrong, I do not know where to start.
    Anamorphic DVDs and Anamorphic lenses for filming
    are similar in concept, but are not the same thing.

    Richard C., Jul 27, 2007
  7. You are talking about the "open matte" transfers to home video of films
    that were shot full frame but intended to be matted (have the top and
    bottom blocked) to widescreen dimensions for exhibition. The most famous
    example is Pee Wee's Big Adventure, where the open matte transfer
    absolutely ruins some shots.

    See also

    Of course, there are a few films that actually look better in open matte
    transfers. The Secret of NIMH comes to mind. And I haven't seen the 4:3 DVD
    of the Monkees' movie "Head", but the letterboxed version on TCM looked
    very wrong in many scenes.
    Kimba W. Lion, Jul 27, 2007
  8. def456

    Jordan Guest

    Really? Here are some screen grabs from "Pink Panther Strikes Again",
    one of my favorite flicks.

    16:9 - A Psychiatrist offers a cigar to his newly "cured" patient:

    4:3 - A Psychiatrist offers a cigar to a black patent leather shoe:

    16:9 - Detail of the Psychiatrist's office:

    4:3 - 1/3rd less detail!

    16:9 - Clouseau collapses in bed:

    4:3 - Clouseau and... um, something kind of blue. I guess it's a bed:

    Get the picture? Actually you aren't if you insist on that 4:3 crap...

    - Jordan
    Jordan, Jul 27, 2007
  9. def456

    Stuart Guest

    Read and view the examples on this page

    Stuart, Jul 27, 2007
  10. def456

    def456 Guest

    That's an interesting link. I waded through it, but it's a bit too
    complicated and technical for my wee old brain.

    I just look at the picture and if the tops of their heads are cut off,
    then I know it should have been burned onto the DVD in 4x3 instead of 16x9.
    This happens frequently. I don't know exactly what percentage to put on it -
    but maybe 50% of the time. In other words, I believe that about half of the
    16x9 movies out there are artificial hack jobs, and should really be 4x3.

    Again I won't comment on the 7x3 (2.35:1) format, which is an entirely
    different situation. However they can occasionally be hack jobs too, really
    artificially cropped down to a horizontal sliver. You can call it matting or
    matte process, if you want, but I call it cropping. The edges are cut off
    and discarded.

    Will I ever have a widescreen TV, or a HD TV? Maybe, but they'll have to get
    a lot cheaper! I've never spent more than $200 for a TV and don't expect
    to, in the future. Yes, I archive the widescreen versions of films too, when
    available, considering that possible eventuality. In the meantime my Curtis
    Mathis 25" 4x3 TV still works fine and might continue for many more years.
    def456, Jul 27, 2007
  11. def456

    Richard C. Guest

    Don't worry - be happy -
    Watch much TV?
    Do you know about February 2009?
    Richard C., Jul 27, 2007
  12. 2009, when digital broadcasts are mandated, just like they were
    mandated in 2006?

    Or are you trying to say that the 4:3 aspect ratio will soon
    become illegal or something?
    Walter Traprock, Jul 27, 2007
  13. That may be the case, tho I reserve the right to grumpily proceed.

    On the other hand, widescreen tvs may flop and become extinct.
    I much prefer watching 4:3, 1.85 and 2.35 material on a 4:3 tv
    than a widescreen tv.
    i hate this distortion of image: widescreen tvs ought nought to be
    even *capable* of "stretch".
    I do to, it irked me to accidentally rent the fullscreen version of
    the motorcycle diaries, because the widescreen (1.85?) would probably
    have nicely displayed the subtitles on the lower black bar on my
    4.3 tv; i'd have been rather pissed if i had actually bought it, and
    wound up with fullscreen rather than widescreen. 4.3 tvs are
    *ideal* for subtitled 1.85 movies!
    Walter Traprock, Jul 27, 2007
  14. def456

    GMAN Guest

    I very much doubt that. Its the other way around, it will be the 4x3 TV's
    that are destined to extinction.

    Its not HDTV if its not 720p or 1081i/p and those two are Widescreen formats.
    Any other ATSC mode is considered EDTV
    GMAN, Jul 27, 2007
  15. def456

    Mark W Guest

    Perhaps you can see the microphone at the top of the picture too in some
    shots. Just as the director intended but wasn't able to bring you in the
    widescreen version.
    Mark W, Jul 27, 2007
  16. I assume as fact that the fullscreen versions of School of Rock and Bad
    Santa are not fully full frame because there were microphones on the top
    of the screen in some scenes in the theater I saw them at, and
    presumably they zoomed it out when they issued 4.3 versions of the
    Walter Traprock, Jul 27, 2007
  17. def456

    Mutley Guest

    No.. On Feb 17. 2009 analog OTA gets turned off.. Though I suspect
    in allot of areas it will happen before that date..
    Mutley, Jul 28, 2007

  18. You're an idiot.
    Spurious Response, Jul 28, 2007

  19. If you were anymore full of shit, they would have to order a superfund
    cleanup on you.
    Spurious Response, Jul 28, 2007
  20. Well just don't judge that by any of the Sergio Leone spaghettie
    westerns - tops of the heads are cut off along with the bottoms
    of their heads. :)

    Bill Vermillion, Jul 29, 2007
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