Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Aspect Ratios

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  • #255603
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I’ve noticed two things I’ve watched recently – the Star Wars Mandalorian Trailer and the music video for Kiss & Tell by Angels & Airwaves – have been in SUPER wide aspect ratios. This looks utterly daft on the webpage and has hideous black bars taking up 1/3rd of the picture in fullscreen. What the fuck is going on? Is this where entertainment is headed in general, or are these just two special cases?

    I remember the latest series of Doctor Who was in wider-than-16:9 as well, but it was only a bit wider, with the black bars being much smaller – it was still annoying as fuck, though. it’s especially annoying for somebody like me who watches everything on a laptop which doesn’t have an incredible amount of screen real estate to begin with.

    Is this an attempt to make things look “more cinematic”, or “like a movie”, is it a genuine artistic thing, is it a marketing strategy for ultrawide monitors and televisions? Will we be seeing more and more entertainment in this absurd aspect ratio? Is your average consumer impressed by ultrawide content, or will they just fiddle with their remote until they can stretch the image to cover the black bars, like some people do when stretching 4:3 content to widescreen?

    #255604
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I am now going to attempt to embed images. Here goes:




    #255605

    Is this an attempt to make things look “more cinematic”, or “like a movie”, is it a genuine artistic thing, is it a marketing strategy for ultrawide monitors and televisions?

    The first feeding into the third (or vice-versa).

    #255606
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Just looks like a film aspect ratio, 2.35:1, and people watch films quite happily.

    Maybe they just want more budget on the screen at once, and they can play into it being a “movie quality” production for the Mandalorian.

    Music video I don’t know, stylistic choice.

    #255608
    Nick R
    Participant

    All your screen captures above show the video about 2.40:1. Not an unusual format for blockbuster films – although TV being shot like that has only started happening recently.

    I agree it seems wider and looks worse on YouTube when not in full screen mode. But I think that’s a side-effect of changes in the way companies tend to upload trailers, and in the way YouTube presents them.

    It used to be common for 2.35/2.39/2.40:1 (I can never remember the difference…) videos on YouTube to have the black letterbox borders baked into the video. For a Star Wars example, this Rogue One trailer:

    View post on imgur.com

    But now it’s more common for official trailer videos to omit those black borders, so that the YouTube viewport is exactly the size of the film footage, no larger:

    View post on imgur.com

    This changes the arrangement of all the other page elements, which I agree looks weird and unbalanced if you’re used to YouTube viewports being 4:3 or 16:9!

    The wider-than-16:9 ratio used for Doctor Who is a 2:1 format called Univisium. Seems to be the trendy new thing to use for anyone aspiring to make prestige TV: https://vashivisuals.com/the-hot-new-filmmaking-aspect-ratio/

    #255617
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Can they stop doing this? Please? Is it too late? Why are films so wide?

    (I know this is a practice that dates back to something like the 1930s and is purely intended to make sure that people can only get a truly “cinematic” experience from actually going to the cinema, so this comes off to me as an attempt to make the home viewing [streaming] experience worse in the hopes of convincing people to keep going to the cinema in an age where you really shouldn’t have to anymore)

    You’re right that it does look 1000x better with the black bars baked in.

    You’re literally not getting “more budget” on the screen at once, the picture is physically smaller. Easily impressed people who don’t think much might think it looks more like a movie, though.

    #255618
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Funny that you say “people happily watch films”, I generally don’t, and the most modern movie I’ve ever watched on home media is I think Revenge of the Sith (2005). So naturally I assumed that was shot in 16:9, because I didn’t notice it having black bars when I watched it a couple of weeks ago, but fuck me, it does. And so does Return of the Jedi. I thought this wideness meme was a recent thing, but it turns out I just didn’t notice.

    #255619
    (deleted)
    Member

    It’s been a valid cinematic aspect ratio for a long time – we’re essentially talking about Cinemascope here, and equivalents of – but you’re absolutely right both about it looking vain and *ridiculous* on TV shows and absolutely stupid when displayed without black bars on YouTube etc outside of a set 16:9 frame.

    #255620
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It does look embarrassing on TV. Like they’re trying so hard. Especially when what you end up presenting to us in this “prestige TV” format is… Doctor Who series 11. No amount of ultrawide pictures and gloomy lighting can distract from shitty writing.

    #255621
    Warbodog
    Member

    When I’m going through directors’ filmographies, they’ll often switch aspect ratios willy-nilly as it goes along, depending on factors like how prestigious the film is, what suits it, how much control they have over it, trends, or whatever.

    Kubrick film screencaps normalised for height (good luck, formatting…):

    It’s always strange when you’re going through a TV series and you hit the movie they made at the end of part-way through, and it goes all narrow and differently shot with different colours and a different atmosphere for just that bit.

    #255622
    (deleted)
    Member

    Dr Strangelove changes aspect ratios continually all the way through of course.

    #255623
    Warbodog
    Member

    Oh… I didn’t notice or just forgot about that inconvenient fact.

    Supplemental: Terry Gilliam films from the 21st century, to show that random width is still ongoing:

    #255627
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    “Real” filmmakers like that are always fucking around with aspect ratios. I’m sure they have some very clever artsy-fartsy explanation for why they shot whatever in a specific one. Kubrick in particular was… very specific about things. I’m sure this makes him a “genius”.

    The Dark Knight changed aspect ratio a few times iirc, but that was because some of it was shot in IMAX and some of it wasn’t, I think it was just an unnecessary side effect of that.

    #255628
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    There was some movie recently that they shot in 4:3 in an attempt to make the viewer feel claustrophobic, or something. I’ve never felt claustrophobic watching… *checks notes* all of television pre-2004

    #255629
    Dave
    Participant

    I don’t really mind what aspect ratio people choose as long as it stays consistent for the duration of what you’re watching.

    Unless there’s a good reason to change, switching ratios partway through is really distracting. Films like The Dark Knight (where they shot a few scenes for Imax in a different ratio) spring to mind. It feels gimmicky in a way that I wouldn’t expect of Nolan.

    #255630
    Warbodog
    Member

    Kubrick in particular was… very specific about things. I’m sure this makes him a “genius”.

    Jon Ronson’s documentary Stanley’s Kubrick’s Boxes leaves no doubt, just the right side of the insanity/genius line. I find some of his films too nasty, but great variety.

    His very wide aspect ratios were just what was done with ‘big’ films of the time (Spartacus was definitely out of his hands, not a characteristic one at all). Looks like he settled on the sensible ratio he liked for everything once he had enough clout to do what he wanted. So probably only Dr Strangelove where he’s consciously fucking about with the ratio, and it’s not a serious film.

    #255631
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    If you can see more of your set/CG background/ environment whatever then it’s more budget on screen.

    If the final fight in Endgame was in 4:3 it’d be wank.

    #255632
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It’s not more than 16:9, is what I meant. Since 16:9 fills the whole screen.

    #255633
    Dave
    Participant

    If you can see more of your set/CG background/ environment whatever then it’s more budget on screen.

    If the final fight in Endgame was in 4:3 it’d be wank.

    It’s not as simple as that though. Sometimes 4:3 actually shows you more than widescreen.

    #255642
    Warbodog
    Member

    4:3 used to fill the whole screen, depends on the screen. I only went 16:9 last year when I replaced my laptop and the cheapest ones in the shop stopped being 4:3. I must have had horizontal bars for all new TV for years, I just really stopped noticing. Now I have vertical bars for older stuff, which I’m getting used to. I hope laptops don’t end up in Cinemascope ratio by 2025, that’d be awkward. Some phones are, and maybe TVs are going that way.

    #255650
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Well yeah by “the screen” I mean almost any laptop or TV made since about 2010. Ultrawide gaming monitors etc have been a thing in the past few years, but they’re hopefully just a fad. Remember VR?

    #255659
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    VR is great. Considering the amount of cheap headsets you can get now, and standalone gaming systems like the Oculus Go, it’s definitely not a fad.

    3D TV, now that was a fad. Doesn’t bring much, unlike VR. Room scale VR is the best gaming experience you can have.

    #255660
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Oculus Quest too.

    #255704
    Nick R
    Participant

    When I’m going through directors’ filmographies, they’ll often switch aspect ratios willy-nilly as it goes along, depending on factors like how prestigious the film is, what suits it, how much control they have over it, trends, or whatever.

    I like how superhero film directors have switched in both directions over the last 20 years:

    Sam Raimi shot Spider-Man in 1.85:1 (DP: Don Burgess), then switched to 2.35:1 for Spider-Man 2 (DP: Bill Pope). IIRC the reason he gave was that because of the it helped the boxy shape made by Dr Octopus’s arms fit better in the frame in shots when he was seen alongside Spider-Man.

    Joss Whedon shot Avengers in 1.78:1 (DP: Seamus McGarvey), then switched to 2.39:1 for Age of Ultron (DP: Ben Davis).

    Zack Snyder shot Man of Steel and Batman v Superman in 2.35:1 (with DPs Amir Mokri and Larry Fong respectively), apart from the IMAX sequences. Then switched to 1.85:1 for Justice League (DP: Fabian Wagner; he’s the only credited cinematographer but I don’t know if he stayed for Joss Whedon’s reshoots). Apparently this switch was because Snyder liked his experiences using the squarer frame on BvS’s IMAX sections.

    All the X-Men, Wolverine and Deadpool films have stuck to 2.35/2.39:1 throughout – except the odd one out is the unreleased The New Mutants. Perhaps that’s why it’s been repeatedly shelved?

    #255715
    (deleted)
    Member

    I’m actually not bothered by feature films using whatever they want – film is an open canvas and 16:9 TVs are the perfect middle ground to display the lot at home, so whatever the director/DOP feel they need is fine. There are also some interesting modern experiments in variable ratio such as The Grand Budapest Hotel which I think are valid.

    But actual telly made only for telly made in anything other than the shape of everybody’s telly? Wank off.

    #255716
    (deleted)
    Member

    On a related tangent, Red Dwarf VIII was really late on to have been made in 4:3. Particularly weird as Re-Mastered went to great effort to pretend it was a 14:9 terrestrial TV blowup of a native 16:9 production.

    #255719
    Warbodog
    Member

    If the Star Wars TV spin-off is in the same/similar ratio as the Star Wars films, at least the home viewing experience is consistent? Ben didn’t mind that the films were letterboxed after all, so should be fine. As long as they go back and do widescreen Blu-rays of ‘Droids’ and everything (that’s more my era).

    #255853
    Dave
    Participant

    Nice to hear that all the old 4:3 episodes of the Simpsons are presented on Disney+ in cropped 16:9, despite assurances to the contrary.

    I think I’ll stick with the DVD boxsets.

    #255856
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, 16:9 Simpsons has been a problem for ages. I guess Fox wanted to present classic episodes as “modern-looking” and therefore wide-screen, even if it required disastrous amounts of cropping.

    Sky insists on using these shittier versions of the episodes for repeats, and they always look and feel wrong. Credit to Channel 4 for not doing that and using the 4:3 versions, last I checked.

    Apparently in the US the 16:9 versions were the only options on FXX and the Simpsons World app, until people complained so much that they put up the 4:3 versions as well. People assumed that this correction would be carried forward to Disney+, but WHOOPS, guess that would have been too much work.

    It’s like Red Dwarf Remastered all over again!

    #255857
    Dave
    Participant

    Yeah, Channel 4 are usually pretty good in terms of aspect ratio for the Simpsons, but they often include quite a lot of clumsy edits too, which is a bit of a pisser.

    #255859
    Nick R
    Participant

    Apparently in the US the 16:9 versions were the only options on FXX and the Simpsons World app, until people complained so much that they put up the 4:3 versions as well. People assumed that this correction would be carried forward to Disney+, but WHOOPS, guess that would have been too much work.

    ILM’s Todd Vaziri did a Twitter thread in September saying that the FXX app on Apple TV used to have the option for 4:3 versions and commentaries, but they were removed in a software update: https://twitter.com/tvaziri/status/1172728527470256129

    He updated the thread with two reports from different people that Disney+ would have the 4:3 versions. But now it turns out the Disney+ versions are cropped even further. :(

    In summary: Hang on to your physical media, people.”

    (At least we got another Steamed Hams out of it.)

    #255863
    (deleted)
    Member

    Also, I’m too used to the sound and rhythm of PAL speedup Simpsons to ever be able to comfortably enjoy it at correct speed now anyway. It’s too burnt in.

    #255893
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Isn’t NTSC a higher FPS than PAL, not the other way around?

    #255894

    Yeah, NTSC is 30 FPS, and PAL is 25 FPS. So things take marginally longer to watch in the UK than the US.

    #255895
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It’s always been my experience that they speed NTSC things up for PAL regions, resulting in them being faster and higher pitched, and taking less time to watch, not more.

    Naughty Dog tried to compensate for the lower framerate of PAL PlayStations by making Crash Bandicoot move faster – thing is, they overcompensated, which means he moves quite a bit faster in Crash Bandicoot 2, making it the best version of the game for speedrunning. Certain enemies are the wrong speed, you jump higher, and various things like that. It seems they also overcompensate when screening NTSC TV shows in the UK, because watching something like Chuck just feels like it’s on fast forward.

    #255896
    Ridley
    Participant

    You sound like Paul Robeson on YouTube.

    #255897
    (deleted)
    Member

    No, PAL conversions are faster. You speed up so its running time is 96% of the original. It works on a 3:2 basis – NTSC you work on a timebase of 24fps>60i, PAL is 25fps>50i.

    PAL>NTSC you slow down.

    #255901
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    So even though NTSC standard is 29.97 fps, American TV shows run at 24 fps?

    Rude.

    #255914
    (deleted)
    Member

    Filmed ones do, yus. NTSC is a monstrosity, although some early US colour experiments from the 60s are incongruously high quality compared to 70s/80s stuff.

    #255923
    Katydid
    Participant

    So even though NTSC standard is 29.97 fps, American TV shows run at 24 fps?

    The standard is set to account for the framerate of video. 24 is the film framerate.

    #256063
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Ohhhh, OK. Somewhat confusing for people to compare the frame rates of PAL and NTSC if the frame rates vary based on format for NTSC but not PAL.

    #256072
    (deleted)
    Member

    They don’t vary, they just don’t have a 30p standard. NTSC takes a 24-frame second and spread it evenly across a 60 field sequence without time alteration.

    #259913
    tombow
    Participant

    Sorry to bump an old thread. But you may like to know the Japanese art film director Ozu hated cinemascope widescreen and refused to film in it, saying it looked like toilet paper. His 50s/60s films are stubbornly in a 1.33.1 which is similar to the 4.3 square shape of pre 2000s tv.

    #259916

    Well this is satisfying

    View post on imgur.com

    #259918
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh, you ruined it.

    #259919
    Dave
    Participant

    Roll on post 169.

    #259920
    Katydid
    Participant

    which is similar to the 4.3 square shape of pre 2000s tv.

    Not to be that guy, but only because I’m a girl so I’m being that girl in exactly the way one might be that guy, but 4:3 TVs were still relatively common into the early 2010s and some long-running shows like The Simpsons didn’t switch over to high definition 16:9 until as late as 2009. In any case, the general switchover from SD to HD seems to have happened more around 2006ish for any show that started out in 4:3, with obvious outliers like Arrested Development in 2003 that were shot on a form of high definition videotape that (based on how it handles low light environments vs. film) looks to be the same shooting medium as the American Office. Malcolm in the Middle also switched to high definition unusually early for a sitcom, but that show was shot on film from Day 1. I remember always seeing “Available in High Definition” across the bottom of the screen at the beginning of episodes in the same way The Simpsons and The X-Files had something like “Presented in Surround Sound (Where Available)” when they aired reruns.

    The X-Files itself is an interesting outlier that began producing in 16:9 with its fifth season (1997-1998 I believe) despite being firmly in the standard def era, but there’s 4:3 versions of all those seasons too because of that. I would assume they’re just crops of the widescreen original, but I don’t know for sure. They could be the full film frame in the way 4:3 releases of movies used to be, which always caught shit like boom mics that wasn’t meant to be seen.

    #259921
    Dave
    Participant

    None of that makes it inaccurate to talk about 4:3 pre-2000s televisions though, surely.

    (In that it was at around that point when widescreen TVs started to become more commonplace – especially for film buffs who wanted to watch movies in the correct format – regardless of when specific TV shows switched to widescreen ratio.)

    #259924
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I just looked it up and apparently Doctor Who was shot and edited in 16:9 from 2005 (but framed so that everything would work in 4:3), but wasn’t HD until 2009. Which is interesting, I guess. No idea if they broadcast it in 16:9, probably?

    #259925
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The first four seasons still look like FUCKING SHIT regardless of what format they were shot in. 2005-2008 Doctor Who feels more dated than stuff from the 60s.

    #259928

    It is a bit nuts that a show filmed in the mid 00s that would very quickly become the flagship show for BBC1 would be shot and broadcast in SD.

    The only benefit it gave them was skimping on effects as you can’t really see them through the pixels you can count on your TV

    #259929
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Looking back at just how god awful RTD Who looked is really nuts to me. Did it look that bad back then and we were just blind?

    Series 1 of Doctor Who was spectacularly low budget, they never leave Earth’s orbit once because they couldn’t afford to. Series 12 feels comparatively low budget too but I don’t have any numbers on that one.

    #259930
    tombow
    Participant

    which is similar to the 4.3 square shape of pre 2000s tv.
    Not to be that guy, but only because I’m a girl so I’m being that girl in exactly the way one might be that guy, but 4:3 TVs were still relatively common into the early 2010s and some long-running shows like The Simpsons didn’t switch over to high definition 16:9 until as late as 2009.

    I didn’t actually buy my own widescreen tv untill 2017 or so. Before then I had my 90s crt tv. I’m a bit behind on tv. I don’t actually have a licence. I just watch dvds and streaming. If I want to watch something like Red Dwarf on dave/uk I go to my parent’s.
    And for some reason I like a soft image. Like if I’m streaming something I often put it down to 360p or 240p even if I’m on fast internet. I find super-HD images too sharp and bright to focus on somehow.

    #259932
    Nick R
    Participant

    I just looked it up and apparently Doctor Who was shot and edited in 16:9 from 2005 (but framed so that everything would work in 4:3), but wasn’t HD until 2009. Which is interesting, I guess. No idea if they broadcast it in 16:9, probably?

    In the UK, I think it was broadcast in 16:9 on digital SD channels, but on analogue SD channels it was in the slightly cropped compromise format of 14:9.

    In my experience, there seems to be a difference between the UK and North America when it comes to how people talk about aspect ratios and resolutions. I often see Americans/Canadians treating “widescreen” and “HD” as interchangeable terms.

    I think this happened because in the UK, 16:9 standard def CRTs (and 14:9 and 16:9 widescreen broadcasts) were common for several years before the switch to HD broadcasts, HD consoles (360/PS3), and flat-panel LCDs/plasmas. So long-running British TV series often made two switches: first to SD widescreen, then to HD widescreen years later. (e.g. HIGNFY, which switched to widescreen in 1999 and to HD in 2009.)

    In America on the other hand, widescreen SD CRTs were not common, and a TV series often switched to widescreen at the same time as it switched to HD. Also, I think pan-and-scan fullscreen 4:3 DVDs continued to be released in Region 1 long after they’d stopped in the UK. So I think that contributed to a perception in America that widescreen TV wasn’t a thing before HDTV.

    #259934
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    if I’m streaming something I often put it down to 360p or 240p even if I’m on fast internet. I find super-HD images too sharp and bright to focus on somehow.

    Do not let Katydid hear this, she’ll go ballistic

    Yeah Nick, also the Xbox 360 and probably the PS3 as well were capable of outputting non-HD, but widescreen images. In fact, a lot of PS2 games had widescreen support, now I mention it.

    #259936
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Series 1 of Doctor Who was spectacularly low budget, they never leave Earth’s orbit once because they couldn’t afford to

    Hello! This actually isn’t true. The reason the first series sticks to Earth or Earth-adjacent stories was to ease a general audience into the premise. The idea that they somehow couldn’t afford to take a disused warehouse and pretend it’s on the planet Zog is a ridiculous one, considering they do exactly that the following year… and recycling a location they’d used for the first series, no less.

    #259937
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Alternatively: “Yeah, the first series had such a shoestring budget they couldn’t afford to film on location in space.”

    #259938
    tombow
    Participant

    I never really thought enough about how much Dr Who’s ’05 series was aimed toward easing “regular people” (ie non sci fi fans) into getting into a sci-fi show.

    #259939

    What is bonkers about that idea is that they seem to think most people will be more comfortable with the time travel aspect of the show than the space travel aspect.

    Whilst rime travel is a core principle of the show, if you can get your audience on board with that in episode 2, then surely by episode 3 you can add in the space travel aspect, which most non sci-fi fans will be more comfortable with

    #259941
    Dave
    Participant

    What is bonkers about that idea is that they seem to think most people will be more comfortable with the time travel aspect of the show than the space travel aspect.

    I don’t think it’s that bonkers. Historical fiction and period dramas are commonplace and considered fairly accessible to audiences, so even with a time-travel device facilitating the story I think people are still able to engage quite easily with ideas that bear close resemblance to human experiences in the real world, even if set in a different era.

    When aliens and other more explicitly fantastical elements are at the heart of the story, I think it’s a harder sell to mainstream audiences, and marks out the show more clearly as sci-fi.

    #259942
    Spaceworm Jim
    Participant

    Logged in to basically post what Dave said, so I guess I just want to say I agree entirely with the previous poster. I don’t think Davies’ Who looks awful though, it just looks “of its time” and I don’t think it’s fair to use that against it.

    #259943
    Spaceworm Jim
    Participant

    That last bit wasn’t aimed at you, Dave, I should’ve made that clearer.

    #259945
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I’d wager that Doctor Who had a relatively high budget in 2005, for a BBC drama series. The budget may have gone up a bit during the RTD era due to its massive success, but I definitely recall Moffat saying that the budget was being squeezed and shrunk throughout his tenure. Blame the Tories for that one.

    Ultimately “how good does the show look” and “how high is the show’s budget” are not directly proportional, because it depends on how the budget is allocated and how the costs of those visuals change over time. It’s plain to see that Doctor Who has a lower budget now than in 2005, because back then they were producing 14 episodes every year, and now they’re producing 11 episodes every 18 months. Making more episodes is far more expensive than making fewer episodes but prettier.

    Also, Series 1 looks good to me! Just make sure you watch it in crisp 576/25i SD, as God intended. Not any of this newfangled, slowed down upconverted HD nonsense.

    #259966
    Nick R
    Participant

    I never really thought enough about how much Dr Who’s ’05 series was aimed toward easing “regular people” (ie non sci fi fans) into getting into a sci-fi show.

    Yeah, I watched the 1996 TV movie for the first time recently, and it’s really interesting to compare it to Rose, and how many the things RTD did differently to make it easier for an unfamiliar audience to get into it:

    • The TV movie begins with an infodump voiceover. Presumably the intention was to reassure old fans that this was a continuation, while doing what the original Star Wars opening crawl did: namedropping several strange SF names in quick succession that new viewers would hopefully find tantalising and intriguing. But in reality, I bet it put off a lot of people who were not already predisposed to like sci-fi.
    • TV movie: presented mainly from the Doctor’s POV. Rose: presented from the companion’s POV.
    • TV movie: starts off with the last Doctor’s last moments. Rose: clean start with a new Doctor.
    #259967
    Dave
    Participant

    TV movie: starts off with the last Doctor’s last moments. Rose: clean start with a new Doctor.

    This was always the big mistake, I think. Even just slightly restructuring the TV movie to start with Eight and then show Seven’s last moments as a flashback later would have helped. As it is, you’re introduced to your hero character who then turns into someone else partway through, which isn’t a great way to get newcomers on board.

    #259968
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    As an eleven year old child, I thought the opening to the TV Movie was incredible. Daleks? The Master? Rassilon? Regeneration limit? Seven’s regeneration? Check, check, check, check. Now, I realise that movie is a total clusterfuck of throwing everything at the wall and hoping it will stick. The person behind it was a total fan and wanted to make a really authentic continuation of the show for fans, since it was fans who had kept the show alive until then, but the studio wanted it to be a normie-friendly reboot. So they tried to do both, and gave us neither.

    #259969
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, introducing the audience to The Doctor, The Master, the Daleks, the TARDIS and regeneration in the first ten minutes probably wasn’t the best idea. Plus the narration by a different Doctor than the one that’s on screen, which is pretty confusing.

    I have a lot of respect for how determined Segal was to get the TV movie made, and how he stuck firm on certain things like casting Paul McGann, keeping it an explicit continuation etc., even if the end result was a mess and he tried flying before he could walk with regards to reinventing The Doctor’s family history. Philip Segal is like the non-dickhead version of Ian Levine.

    And clearly people still have a lot of fondness for the TV movie, if Big Finish are getting Eric Roberts back for ‘Masterful’.

    Swinging back to the actual topic, the TV movie is in 4:3. Even though it was shot on film in the mid 90s, obviously it was edited on video for TV screens of the time. I guess theoretically a wide-screen version could be made, if the original masters (lower case m) still exist and they want to pay for the film to be re-edited from scratch and for visual effects to be recreated.

    Then again, that could lead to a Buffy effect where you ruin the composition of shots and see crew members and filming equipment at the edges of the screen. Maybe they could compromise and do a true HD version, but still in 4:3.

    #259970
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I believe the TV Movie is one of those cases where all of the special effects were done in 4:3, so an HD version is prohibitively expensive. Either that or they lost the master film. Google search doesn’t fucking work anymore, so I can’t find anything from that. If you google anything that has both “Doctor Who” and “resolution”, you’ll just get results about the episode. No matter how many quotes you use. It never used to be like this.

    #259971

    “doctor who” “resolution” “no lower case r” “no not the episode” “picture quality” “pixel numbers” “no I said not the episode”

    #259974
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, I don’t know where to get concrete information about the archive situation for the TV movie, unfortunately. All I know, I learned from a Blu-ray Dot Com forum thread about the announcement and then release of the Blu-ray version.

    The upshot was that folks were not happy that the Blu-ray was just an HD upconversion, and there was much speculation about whether it was lack of the original film reels that was preventing a “true” HD release or just the lack of a Star Trek: The Next Generation-sized budget.

    #259977
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    “This movie was shot on 35mm film, transferred to 525i60 Digital Betacam and edited. The finished master is 525i60 Digital Betacam. The BBC owns 525i60 upconversion of this on Digital Betacam and on D3 Videotape. Universal Pictures only holds film trims in its archive.”
    TARDIS Wikia

    #259979
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Ah, should have known to check there. So Universal only have the film for the parts that didn’t actually end up in the movie. Helpful.

    And the finished master is on Digital Betacam, but it didn’t even get a betamax release? What a waste.

    #259980
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The Blu-Ray is also apparently just an upscale of the 480p -broadcast- version. Not even the higher quality version which exists in the BBC archives. Great

    #259986
    Katydid
    Participant

    Dave is apparently broadcasting BBC-era Dwarf reruns stretched into 16:9. It sucks. The eternal question of course is whether cropping or stretching is worse.

    Stretching is absolutely fucking hideous every second it’s onscreen, but you don’t miss out on any of the picture.

    Cropping tends to be fairly hideous too since every single shot ends up framed so unreasonably tightly it triggers claustrophobia I didn’t even know I had. On top of that sometimes important details end up chopped out of the frame.

    Can we just agree that both suck, and broadcasting 4:3 shows with pillarboxing is the obvious solution that only a complete dipshit would object to?

    #259987
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Wait until AI is advanced enough to stretch things naturally, extrapolating surroundings etc. So, never

    #259988
    Dave
    Participant

    The eternal question of course is whether cropping or stretching is worse.

    At least with stretching you can sometimes alter TV settings and unstretch it.

    #259989
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Wow, I can understand cropping to widescreen for clips in a documentary to some extent, but doing this just for general repeats? Appalling.

    Folks pushed for so long just to get them to stop showing Marooned Remastered. Now it feels like a waste of effort, if they’re just going to do this to all BBC-era episodes anyway.

    It’s frustrating to argue against, because the demographic that will actively complain about this are mostly the ones who have the DVDs/Blu rays on their shelves so don’t exactly need to watch Dave, and the casual viewers will just assume that it always looked like shit.

    #259990
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    Dave is apparently broadcasting BBC-era Dwarf reruns stretched into 16:9. It sucks.

    I watched BTL on Dave and it was 4:3. Actually I don’t remember seeing any stretching of BBC-era Dwarf on Dave in the last few months (except the cropping in the documentary).

    The TVs in our house are set to ‘Auto’ for this reason, to show things in the actual aspect ratio broadcast rather than arbitrarily stretching everything. Yesterday – also part of UKTV – tend to show other old sitcoms in original aspect ratio too (e.g. ‘Allo ‘Allo).

    #259994
    Katydid
    Participant

    This was an online feed. There was no TV involved to set to anything.

    #259996
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    This was an online feed. There was no TV involved to set to anything.

    Ah right. Yes I think someone mentioned on another thread that via UKTV Play it was a different aspect ratio – very odd. I know nothing about the software that goes into this but I do know they had issues in the past with subtitles for on-demand when the broadcast versions were fine (took them a couple of years to sort out), because of technical differences, so maybe there’s also a difference in what aspect ratio it can handle?

    It’s frustrating to argue against, because the demographic that will actively complain about this are mostly the ones who have the DVDs/Blu rays on their shelves so don’t exactly need to watch Dave, and the casual viewers will just assume that it always looked like shit.

    Ugh, yes that’s true :(

    #260001
    tombow
    Participant

    wow. I had no idea the Mandolorian episodes were cinemascope-wide. Is it the first ever tv show made for home viewing to be that super-wide?

    #260004
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    They’re literally trying to make that look like a movie, even moreso than other TV shows which normally do that kind of thing, since it’s Star Wars and everything. I read yesterday that the idea behind the 2:1 ratio of Doctor Who et al is to give television and movie producers a compromise between 16:9 and the ultrawide of cinema, to make the two in exactly the same ratio. Maybe one day everyone will have a 2:1 TV and black bars will be a thing of the past.

    Also, The Mandalorian is rendered with permanent black bars to fit on a 16:9 screen, apparently, rather than leaving that up to the player. Also, is the Mandalorian “a TV show?” Does it ever air on TV?

    #260010
    tombow
    Participant

    Everyone I know who has streaming services like Netflix or Disney Plus watches them through a tv, laptop maybe if they’re a student or something. It’s home viewing anyway I guess, even if it’s not called TV. Maybe I should wonder if it’s the widest ever content made for the home viewer rather than the theater/cinema viewer.

    Anyway …I can’t imagine they’ll ever be a standard one ratio for films, not with rebellious arty directors wanting to use the different varied cameras/film of the past. I can see it maybe being like, the norm, but with exceptions, like Tarantino demanding to use film when most films use digital, etc.

    #260021
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    We need to just accept that “TV show” as a term is now broad enough to include programming that is not necesarily carried on a television signal or watched on a television set, just as films don’t need to be shot on film, video doesn’t need to be on a videotape, and comics aren’t necessarily funny.

    #260023
    tombow
    Participant

    We need to just accept that “TV show” as a term is now broad enough to include programming that is not necesarily carried on a television signal or watched on a television set, just as films don’t need to be shot on film, video doesn’t need to be on a videotape, and comics aren’t necessarily funny.

    are novels still novel?

    #260054

    Also, is the Mandalorian “a TV show?” Does it ever air on TV?

    I saw an article refer to streaming shows as something like “On Demand, Over the Internet Streaming shows” or something ridiculous like that.

    Flap Jack is right, just because the method of delivery has changed, doesn’t make it any less a TV show.

    (also worth remembering television is “pictures sent over a long distance” or however it translates, so the same thing is happening with internet video.)

    An album on Spotify is still a record, even when the primary method for delivery hasn’t been vinyl records since the 80s.

    #260057
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    An album on Spotify is still a record

    ok boomer

    It’s always funny to me when a band from the 90s says they have a new record out. No you don’t.

    I’m going to call them ODOTIS shows now.

    #260058
    Dave
    Participant

    A record doesn’t equal vinyl, it literally means a record of the performance recorded. A CD is a record.

    #260059
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I mean sure if you want to sound 50

    #260062
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh, no debate that it’s an old-fashioned term. I’m just talking about accurate use of language. The word record only became synonymous with vinyl because that was the primary format for records at the time.

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