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AdCon

join:2012-08-21

[CA] Low Priority: Compressed Video Format

Very low priority question but something I've been wondering about:

Why are some films that are shown On Demand "compressed" as to the aspect-ratio? I mean by that, that the films are "squished" from side to side to display a "compressed" visual of the video, while there have been no changes made in my display.

FOR EXAMPLE: the old favorite film, "Red Dawn," which I've seen dozens of times on earlier broadcasts -- as film on, for example, HBO and other networks -- and about which are broadcasted with normal visual in the film (aspect-ratio is fine, normal, nothing looks compressed or squished in the video).

Yet when I watched "Red Dawn" the other day as it is now being broadcast on the On Demand service, the film was abnormally "squished" or compressed (side-to-side, pushed in appearance which distorts the film and makes it look pressed in from both sides, while the display remains filled).

I've seen this happen on other films before and wonder what the issue is. Is it because the broadcast is using a DVD edition that is widescreen and they've compressed it to be "old tv screen adapted"?

By the way, when will films EVER be broadcast in Letterbox? I can't stand the "this film has been modified for your tv screen" edit. Just broadcast the film in Letterbox and stop editing these films to fit tv screens (Letterbox format DOES "fit" on tv screens, it just displays the full, wide-angle visual of the original film and fills-in top/bottom of display with black as needed per the display).

Guzzler

join:2002-09-24
Tempe, AZ
kudos:1

said by AdCon See Profile
By the way, when will films EVER be broadcast in Letterbox? I can't stand the "this film has been modified for your tv screen" edit. Just broadcast the film in Letterbox and stop editing these films to fit tv screens (Letterbox format DOES "fit" on tv screens, it just displays the full, wide-angle visual of the original film and fills-in top/bottom of display with black as needed per the display).

I agree, leave the movies as they were shot by the director. I LIKE seeing movies how they were created.

BUT, the problem is that when the majority of the population sees black bars at the top/bottom of a movie and they FREAK out, and call their provider and complain that there's something wrong.

Every blue moon, I run across a letterboxed movie when flipping through channels, I usually stop and watch it (no matter how bad a movie it was).

AdCon

join:2012-08-21
Agree as to preferring Letterbox film viewing.

HOWEVER, the "compressed" issue I questioned earlier is really annoying to me. It shows poor planning for whoever is selecting what DVD to broadcast.

By "Compressed" I mean that for some unknown reason, the visual (video) of the film is pressed in on both sides which results in an unnatural elongation of the image top to bottom and bottom to top (film image appears distorted with image elongated top to bottom while sides are compressed -- ruins viewing).

What causes this?

AdCon

join:2012-08-21
reply to Guzzler
AS to Letterbox viewing vs. "this film has been edited to fit your screen" issue...

When those "edited to fit your screen" films are edited, what they do is zoom-in unnaturally to the film's visual contents inorder to "fit your screen" and eliminate the full-wide-angel of the original film.

That results in an uncomfortable "zoomed in" viewing of the film's visuals, for example, like taking a photo of a person with the camera six inches from their face instead of standing back and filming their persons from the shoulders up with some glimpses of the background.

So that editing process ruins however the film has been directed as it also ruins most viewing pleasure and viewing of visual information in the original.

Guzzler

join:2002-09-24
Tempe, AZ
kudos:1

1 edit
said by AdCon:

AS to Letterbox viewing vs. "this film has been edited to fit your screen" issue...

When those "edited to fit your screen" films are edited, what they do is zoom-in unnaturally to the film's visual contents inorder to "fit your screen" and eliminate the full-wide-angel of the original film.

That results in an uncomfortable "zoomed in" viewing of the film's visuals, for example, like taking a photo of a person with the camera six inches from their face instead of standing back and filming their persons from the shoulders up with some glimpses of the background.

So that editing process ruins however the film has been directed as it also ruins most viewing pleasure and viewing of visual information in the original.

It's called "Pan & Scan". (»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_and_scan)

They crop the film from left to right, putting the "action" in the center of the crop. When the "action" moves, they scan left or right to bring it back into the center of their crop area.

It's the scan that you are noticing as compression.