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Author Topic: Can someone help explain why the widescreen on my Lost Boys dvd sucks!
Muffy Tepperman
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I've been wanting to ask people here this for awhile.....because I need it explained in "dumbed down style"

What's the difference in Widescreen DVD formats?

Last year I finally got a HD tv. Slowly i've been upgrading my VHS to DVD when I find them at a good price.

So my example is Lost Boys:

The SE 2 disc set says
"Widescreen Version presented in a letterbox format preserving the scope aspect ration or it's original theatrical exhibition enhanced for widescreen tvs"

Amazon says it's:

Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

There is a black bar on the top and bottom of my 16x9 HD tv

So then we go to the simple Lost Boys DVD release same writeup on the back of the dvd.....but Amazon says this:

Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

why is there still a black bar on my screen? I do notice it's 1.66 and not 1.88?

When I watch Lost Boys on demand in HD no bars at all? on the same tv!

I'd love help explaining and also what should I look for when buying DVD's?

Note: i'm not ready for bluray yet.....ha! [Smile]

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Johnny Roarke is reckless
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Muffy,

the 1.66 framing can't be correct for The Lost Boys. That must be an error.
A correct widesreen version for The Lost Boys (in 2.35 or 2.40) will always have black bars
at the top and bottom of your screen.
When you watch a version of the movie that completely fills your screen, it will be a sort of
'zoomed in' version, which means you're watching only a portion of what's actually a bigger image.

Any widescreen format up to 1.85 will fill your screen completely if anamorphically enhanced.
Widescreen formats in 2.35 or 2.40 will always have black bars, no matter it's video, dvd or blu-ray.

If possible, you should compare the image from your Lost Boys widescreen dvd with that of another
version of the same movie that actually fills your screen.. and you will see that the widescreen version
(with black bars) actually has more information on the left and right side of the image.

I hope it makes some sense. [Smile]

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Johnny Roarke is reckless
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This might help :

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIXM2DF0dEM&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJhM3So4y8

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Muffy Tepperman
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Ok I'm loving it Johnny....I just watched your first clip.....I love that it was very well explained but here's my problem. I have a 16x9 tv....before I saw your youtube clips I did some experimenting....I grabbed 2 dvds from WB's just like Lost Boys with that same writeup on the back:

"Widescreen Version presented in a letterbox format preserving the scope aspect ratio or it's original theatrical exhibition enhanced for widescreen tvs"

National Lampoons Vacation
Goonies

Goonies has the black bars and Vacation fills the whole screen.

Amazon says Goonies is 1:66 and Vacation is 1:85.

Ok so is it these ratios? that i'm not understanding? if they are shot for movie screens why are they different?

also what does the "enhanced for widescreen tvs" mean?

I always understood full screen and widescreen.....i'm just not sure why if I have a widescreen tv.....why would they cut down the picture? it wouldn't need to be zoomed in or out right?

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Muffy Tepperman
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ooooooooooooh scratch that just noticed on Vacation is says "matted" not "letterbox"????
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Johnny Roarke is reckless
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Muffy,

the 1.66 framing for Goonies can't be correct either.
Amazon isn't a very reliable source when it comes to aspect ratio's. Better use a site such
as Dvdbeaver or Blu-ray.com.

I have Goonies and The Lost Boys myself, and they're both in 2.40 : 1 .
Just compare the two, if you will.. and you will see they look pretty much the same, both with
the black bars.

Widescreen exists in different 'sizes'. You can find out what the 'size' of your movie is on the
back of the dvd-sleeve.
The number you will find there tells you how much wider the image is compared to the height of
the image.
For example : the dvd-sleeve says the movie is presented in 1.85 : 1 ,which means the image you're
seeing is about 1.85 times wider than the height (which is indicated by the number 1, but they usually
don't list the height anymore because it's a constant number.. it's always 1).

The most common widescreen ratio's are 1.66 , 1.78 , 1.85 , 2.35 and 2.40.
The higher it goes, the wider the image gets. But it all depends on the way the movie was originally shot.

Without the anamorphic enhancement you can easily see the black bars 'growing' bigger when
you compare a 1.66 movie with a 2.35 movie.

Now here comes the tricky part. With anamorphic enhancement they vertically stretch out the image
to make compostions look more realistically.
Any widescreen format up to 1.85 with anamorphic enhancement will fill the screen of your widescreen TV
completely !
Widescreen formatted movies in 2.35 or 2.40 can never fill your screen completely, because when
they stretch out the image too much, compositions wouldn't look realistic anymore.
So to preserve the original aspect ratio of a 2.35 movie, black bars are needed.

Some movies shot in 2.35 or 2.40 (and thus presented so on its dvd's) are Ferris Bueller's Day Off,
Alien, the Indiana Jones movies, The Goonies, The Lost Boys, the Rambo movies, Tango & Cash,
Lethal Weapon parts 2, 3 and 4, Halloween parts 1, 2 and 3, Year Of The Dragon and many more.
These movies will always have the black bars (if they're presented in their original aspect ratio),
no matter if it's on dvd or blu-ray.

Some movies in 1.85 (or 'smaller') are Lethal Weapon part 1, the Nightmare On Elm Street movies,
the Back To The Future movies, Sixteen Candles, Back To School, Say Anything, Better Off Dead,
Fast Times At Ridgemont High, WarGames, Risky Business and many more.
These movies will definitely fill your TV screen completely when you watch them on dvd.

I hope this information helps you out a bit. [Smile]

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Muffy Tepperman
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Thanks Johnny! i'm understanding it better now.....I found this website widescreen.org yesterday too that talks about the aspect ratios.....your technical explanations are very much appreciated....it's hard to understand that stuff [Big Grin]
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