Best site for "decoding" DVD labeling on format?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by lasitter, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. lasitter

    lasitter Guest

    After visiting a few web pages like this one:

    it would seem that knowing how the film was originally shot is just the
    beginning of figuring out what has been sliced, diced, windowed and
    crammed onto any given DVD ...

    Add to that all the particulars on the quality of the transfer, (how
    many layers?), errors and artifacts, lipsync ...

    Then top it all off with the really confusing descriptive of the format
    as provided on the DVD packaging, and I'm left really puzzled most of
    the time.

    What's the easiest way to tell whether the DVD shows you:

    At least as much of the image as you might have expected to see in a

    What the director / cinematographer might have WISHED that you had
    seen, without regard to theatre shape or other playback limitations?
    (Basically, is it possible that there's more "good stuff" on the film
    that never makes it onto the screen?)

    How can you tell if "WideScreen 1.85:1" == "1.85:1 Pan & Scan",
    Hacked down from 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 original theatrical?

    (While I'm at it:)

    How are these two Warner Brothers movies different?

    "Presented in a 'letterbox' widescreen format preserving the 'scope'
    aspect ratio of its original theatrical exhibition"

    "Presented in a 'matted' widescreen format preserving the aspect ratio
    of its original theatrical exhibition. Enhanced for widescreen TVs."

    When Paramount says:

    "Widescreen Version. Enhanced for 16x9

    -and on the same box-

    "This film is presented in 'widescreen' format. The black bars on the
    top and bottom of the screen are normal."

    What should I expect? 1.85x1 P&S? Original theatrical?

    Perhaps there's a web site I can visit, plug in an ISBN / UPC number,
    and get a clear analysis of what's in the package?

    Many thanks.
    lasitter, Aug 6, 2005
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  2. lasitter

    Baz Guest

    Internet Movie Database often has DVD details.

    Usually you just wait for the screams of despair of the buyers after they
    find their favourite film has been butchered.
    Different region versions are often butchered in different ways, just to add
    to the confusion.
    Baz, Aug 7, 2005
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  3. lasitter

    lasitter Guest

    OK, so I went to IMDB:

    And if you check out the first two entries, both are 1.85:1

    The first is "anamorphic widescreen"
    The second is simply "widescreen"

    Since both are 1.85:1, what does this mean for my 16:9 (non-HD) set?

    Won't both fill the screen the same way?
    lasitter, Aug 7, 2005
  4. lasitter

    Alpha Guest

    Alpha, Aug 7, 2005
  5. lasitter

    Alpha Guest

    Alpha, Aug 7, 2005
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