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Dad's Army wide screen for modern TVs


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Old 22-07-2013, 09:20
bassebuwa
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The only way it could be shown in widescreen is if Dad's Army was originally shot on film, and the original prints still existed. This is what they did with Friends.
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Old 22-07-2013, 15:25
mark27b
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...Art galleries wouldn't chop the top and bottom off the Mona Lisa to make it fit an oblong frame so why should TV companies?
Totally agree including colourisation where the original was in B&W and not colour e.g. seasons 1 and 2 of Bewitched.
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Old 22-07-2013, 20:32
bart4858
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You have that already - the broadcast is 4:3 inside a 16:9 frame, and your TV will have zoom or stretch controls that will allow you to change the resulting picture to taste.
It seems unlikely the BBC would broadcast 4:3 content inside a 16:9 frame, ie. actually broadcast the left/right bars as part of the picture. That's the sort of dirty trick channels like TCM might use (eg. 2.35:1 inside 4:3 which itself is inside 16:9, with black bars all round!).

I understand that (in SD mode anyway) all content is represented as a nominal 720x576 array of pixels, which is flagged to say whether it should be stretched for 16:9 or not.

I have the TV set to "automatic", so it pretty much sets everything broadcast to wide screen. DVDs, on the other hand, are set in stone. If they come in 4:3 they remain in 4:3 and are unalterable with my TV remote.
Which is at it should be: shown in 'pillarbox' mode on a widescreen TV, with black bars left and right. Any other option means either cropping, or distortion, and the latter is never acceptable. Cropping might be OK for programs with mixed content (eg. a wide-screen documentary that includes 4:3 footage).

Perhaps you can invest in little, cinema-style curtains for your TV which can be adjusted between 4:3 and 16:9 content.

My conclusion is that I've sacrificed the top and bottom of the picture, as no one appears short and fat. Nothing of note appears to be sacrificed, however. There's never an occasion when I'm blatantly missing something I was meant to see.
I once knew someone who had been using a Sky box wrongly set to 4:3 output to a widescreen TV. Titles, captions and subtitles at top and bottom were cut off, but no-one noticed for three years!
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Old 22-07-2013, 21:09
wolfticket
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I once knew someone who had been using a Sky box wrongly set to 4:3 output to a widescreen TV. Titles, captions and subtitles at top and bottom were cut off, but no-one noticed for three years!
The number of people I see that have their TV on zoom or some such image distorting setting even though they mostly have a perfectly good 16:9 signal. I constantly deciding whether it would be considered rude to start fiddling around with the remote.

On my Sky setup at least, SD 4:3 programmes on SD channels seem to be by default stretched to 16:9, whereas SD 4:3 programmes on HD channels seem to be in the original aspect ratio.

Personally, even if I know I'm not really missing anything, I'd much rather watch with no cropping, stretching or (god forbid) colourisation. Black bars aren't ideal but they're better than the alternative.

However, if something was shot on film then going back to the original prints is an exciting prospect. I want to see the outside shots of Monty Python in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f-kf...utu.be&t=2m20s
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Old 22-07-2013, 21:19
James2001
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On my Sky setup at least, SD 4:3 programmes on SD channels seem to be by default stretched to 16:9, whereas SD 4:3 programmes on HD channels seem to be in the original aspect ratio.
If you have a Sky HD box, you need to set the picture setting to "auto" to be able to watch 4:3 content not stretched, 1080i and 720p both stretch it (the problem then is it switches between 1080i and 576i, so you have to wait for the TV to switch when you change channels). God knows why the sky boxes work that way, Virgin Media's HD boxes can be set to insert pillars into 4:3 content in 1080i and 720p.
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Old 22-07-2013, 21:36
wolfticket
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If you have a Sky HD box, you need to set the picture setting to "auto" to be able to watch 4:3 content not stretched, 1080i and 720p both stretch it (the problem then is it switches between 1080i and 576i, so you have to wait for the TV to switch when you change channels). God knows why the sky boxes work that way, Virgin Media's HD boxes can be set to insert pillars into 4:3 content in 1080i and 720p.
Oo, ta. I'd been using the TV to manually change the aspect ratio till now.
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Old 23-07-2013, 21:30
cornishpasty1
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The only way it could be shown in widescreen is if Dad's Army was originally shot on film, and the original prints still existed. This is what they did with Friends.
Not at all.
They can crop any image - it doesn't have to on film .
Many shows made on tape are shown in 16:9 but usually only as clips within other programmes.

The only reason Friends is now in widescreen is because its been reformatted for HD and the broadcasters believe that HD must be 16:9 which is why the HD broadcasts of the 2 Star Trek series are both in widescreen .
Thankfully the Blurays are still in 4:3

Most US shows made from the late 80's onwards for well over a decade were still shot on film as before but all post production was done on video which accounts for the inferior picture quality.
Its also why remastering Star Trek The Next Generation for HD has been a long costly process because all the special effects had to be redone from scratch.
Friends on the other hand was simply a return to the original film elements and putting it together again . It would appear that the film was slighly wider than 4:3 but not quite 16:9 so they were able to compromise a widescreen image for the HD versions without losing much on the top and bottom

It seems unlikely the BBC would broadcast 4:3 content inside a 16:9 frame, ie. actually broadcast the left/right bars as part of the picture. That's the sort of dirty trick channels like TCM might use (eg. 2.35:1 inside 4:3 which itself is inside 16:9, with black bars all round!).

I understand that (in SD mode anyway) all content is represented as a nominal 720x576 array of pixels, which is flagged to say whether it should be stretched for 16:9 or not.

You're right and wrong.
For a very long time the BBC have been picking and choosing what they show as 4:3 and what they show pillarboxed.
Obviously all 4:3 content on all the HD channels IS pillarboxed - that is the bars are part of the broadcast.

A system called APD (IIRC) is used in order for the BBC to show 4: 3 programmes within their 16:9 frame but the 16:9 flag is not sent to tv's or other recorders .
The weekday Only Fools and Horses are a good example of this.
Easiest way to tell is to put your EPG up on the screen and you'll see the 4:3 image with the sidebars .
Conversely on BBC4 they seem to show Top of the Pops absolutely correctly . You often see the ratio change at the start and the EPG image shows a 4:3 picture stretched which shows its not a compromised image like they seem to do with OFAH.

Watch and some of the other channels also show 4:3 programmes pillarboxed within a 16:9 frame
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Old 23-07-2013, 22:51
James2001
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The only reason Friends is now in widescreen is because its been reformatted for HD and the broadcasters believe that HD must be 16:9 which is why the HD broadcasts of the 2 Star Trek series are both in widescreen .
Thankfully the Blurays are still in 4:3
SyFy's showings of the HD version of TNG is shown pillarboxed in 4:3.

One thing about Friends- if you compare the old 4:3 showings with the news 16:9 ones, it looks like you have a bit missing from the top and bottom, but a lot more visible at the sides- which suggests the film used was in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, which I think suggests Super 16 or Super 35 film (where the picture frame is extended into the area where the soundtrack would be- which isn't needed when you're editing on video). Obviously though, that will only count for shows made that way- shows shot on regular 16 & 35mm film will be 4:3.
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Old 23-07-2013, 23:08
cornishpasty1
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SyFy's showings of the HD version of TNG is shown pillarboxed in 4:3.

One thing about Friends- if you compare the old 4:3 showings with the news 16:9 ones, it looks like you have a bit missing from the top and bottom, but a lot more visible at the sides- which suggests the film used was in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, which I think suggests Super 16 or Super 35 film (where the picture frame is extended into the area where the soundtrack would be- which isn't needed when you're editing on video). Obviously though, that will only count for shows made that way- shows shot on regular 16 & 35mm film will be 4:3.
Good on the SCI FI channel for showing TNG correctly.
CBS zoom TOS as do Horror Channel
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Old 24-07-2013, 12:24
Chris_TV
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I had this discussion very recently regarding Dr Who DVD's. A fellow fan pointed out to me that I was watching them in 16:9 when I am supposed to be viewing them in 4:3.

My TV does not have the option to change the ratio automatically, because I only have HDMI connections to my TV these days, and the option appears to be unavailable via this method.

I just never really noticed that much difference to be honest
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Old 24-07-2013, 12:55
AidanLunn
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Have you actually read my post, or did you wade right in without bothering? I'm watching Dad's Army from the 1970s now in wide screen and it looks fine. Dr Who from the same period ought to look fine too.

Who said anything about creating areas that don't exist? Obviously it takes panning and scanning in post production.
And to most of us with taste, cropping looks awful because it looks as though they hired crap camermen (which they were anything but!) and panning and scanning looks totally unnatural and difficult when you have action at both ends of the screen!

Plus, panning and scanning would involve electronically zooming in on the source, thereby degrading the picture quality even further of an SD programme from years ago shown on a HD channel!
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Old 24-07-2013, 12:56
AidanLunn
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It's obviously a matter of taste. But providing "wide screen", albeit ersatz, wouldn't "ruin" the original; it would just provide choice. Personally, I'd welcome that choice. It would be fantastic to have the option to fill my screen with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and many more 1970s idols. The original print need never be touched.
You do have that choice. It's the aspect ratio button on your TV remote.
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Old 24-07-2013, 13:15
cornishpasty1
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You do have that choice. It's the aspect ratio button on your TV remote.
As pointed out earlier some tv's do not allow ratio changes with devices connected via HDMI
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Old 24-07-2013, 14:52
AidanLunn
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The only way it could be shown in widescreen is if Dad's Army was originally shot on film, and the original prints still existed. This is what they did with Friends.
However, I think Friends was originally shot on 16:9 film equipment but framed by the cameraman with 4:3 in mind, just made in 16:9 so it would be compatible for future use.

Dad's Army is different - it was made and shot using 4:3 film - so this would not be possible.


However, if something was shot on film then going back to the original prints is an exciting prospect. I want to see the outside shots of Monty Python in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f-kf...utu.be&t=2m20s
As I say, not possible, because the framing of the original shot is totally wrong, there wouldn't be enough headspace etc if cropped.
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Old 24-07-2013, 14:54
AidanLunn
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I had this discussion very recently regarding Dr Who DVD's. A fellow fan pointed out to me that I was watching them in 16:9 when I am supposed to be viewing them in 4:3.

My TV does not have the option to change the ratio automatically, because I only have HDMI connections to my TV these days, and the option appears to be unavailable via this method.

I just never really noticed that much difference to be honest
Change the output settings on your DVD or blu-ray player.
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Old 24-07-2013, 14:55
AidanLunn
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As pointed out earlier some tv's do not allow ratio changes with devices connected via HDMI
Or . . . you change the settings of the source box, if not coming from Freeview.
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Old 24-07-2013, 16:14
anthony david
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Change the output settings on your DVD or blu-ray player.
Switch off any up scaling on your DVD player as that stops the selection of 4x3 on some TVs. HDMI will auto switch between 16X9 and 4X3 in SD.
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Old 24-07-2013, 16:49
Dr. Otterbland
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I made the mistake [ as many did ] of buying the new re-mastered World At War DVD set.

It was made for 4.3 format TV showing but the silly tossers re-mastered it in 16.9 format, with the resultant tops of heads cut off in the interview segments. That would be tolerable if we had an option in the DVD MENU to change to a 4.3 version.or even have an option for the un re-mastered 4.3 version, but no.
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Old 24-07-2013, 18:01
jenzie
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the secret of knowing this, is to know the VERTICAL length!

kojak is a perfect example of an old program that can easily be viewed cropped, as their head heights is three quarters up the screen!

SAPPHIRE AND STEEL isn't really, as the director uses all the vertical screen ..... same as some of STAR TREK TNG!

if you have the option on your tele to move the screen up or down, when you've zoomed in, you can adjust it to your liking
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Old 24-07-2013, 21:28
cornishpasty1
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Or . . . you change the settings of the source box, if not coming from Freeview.
Makes no difference .
Some tv's will display any device connected via HDMI as 16:9 and there's nothing you can do about it .
MY friend has a Toshiba tv and that won't allow any ratio changes with HDMI devices so when he watches 4:3 dvd's on his Bluray player they are stretched .
On my Panasonic tv it allows ratio switching however the PS3 and Bluray player can be adjusted to display 4:3 correctly - unfortunately my Pioneer dvd recorder cannot so everything is 16:9 so if I want 4:3 from it I use the tv remote .

Not all devices or tv's work using the same logic

BTW Dads Army was made on tape .
The filmed inserts would be transferred to tape for transmission .
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Old 24-07-2013, 22:52
MeicY
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Early Panasonic widescreen CRTs had a mode on them called "Just" which would progressively and organically stretch a 4:3 image from the centre to the edges of the 16:9 frame which gave the illusion of a full 16:9 image without the massive flattening distortion of a straightforward stretched image.
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Old 25-07-2013, 06:25
Sambda
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All this nonsense would be sold if buyers of new TVs purchased so that the 4:3 picture (pillar-boxed) was of a suitably sufficient size for them. Then 16:9 would just be "bonus-sized". Obviously how necessary this is would depend on how much old TV and old film a person watched. I think a lot of the daft stretching and zooming is because people think the 4:3/academy picture is too small when shown full height.
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:45
JeffG1
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I think a lot of the daft stretching and zooming is because people think the 4:3/academy picture is too small when shown full height.
I don't think it's that so much as the shape of the picture. We are so used now to the 16:9 shape, that 4:3 just looks odd to some people. Personally, I can live with it.
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Old 25-07-2013, 12:26
paulschapman
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Have you actually read my post, or did you wade right in without bothering? I'm watching Dad's Army from the 1970s now in wide screen and it looks fine. Dr Who from the same period ought to look fine too.
There are a number of ways - many wide screen TV's have modes which will demonstrate it.

One way is to record the middle of the picture so that it fills 16:9

Another way is to stretch the picture

A third is to stretch the edges but leave the middle in the correct ratio - you get away with that because when shot the action (and hence the viewers eyeline) is looking at the centre.

I think you will find that there is picture unseen - basically overscanning - this is the area that (for example) a small square appears just before the ads - usually you do not see it because TV's are setup not to show it - What you could do is use elements of the picture recorded in this area - but it is not enough to make a 4:3 into 16:9
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Old 25-07-2013, 12:40
AidanLunn
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BTW Dads Army was made on tape .
The filmed inserts would be transferred to tape for transmission .
Being interested in historic broadcast technology, I learnt that a long time ago.
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