View Full Version : widescreen+standard def commercials on HDTV
09-05-2005, 11:10 PM
okay, I don't yet own a HDTV, but my dad has three of them. I was over his house this weekend, getting a good taste of Highdef programming....one thing I noticed is that most of those widescreen commercials which I see in widescreen on my standard-def tv are still broadcast in widescreen, but in STANDARD def - meaning bars on all four sides! Infact, I also saw a number of commercials that were fullscreen on my tv in widescreen there (mmmmm CZJ in highdef), showing that they are cropped for standard def broadcasts. This also proves that broadcasts are fully capable of broadcasting commercials in HDTV.
Why would a commercial bother shooting in widescreen, only to NOT take advantage of the wider aspect ratio of HDTVs? This must piss off people who own a HDTV. I won't even get into the channels that have widescreen programming (FX is a major offender) but not an HDTV channel, giving viewers the 4 bars for the entire hour....
09-06-2005, 09:37 AM
HDTV is about more than the wider aspect ratio. For the ads to truly be in high-def, they would have to be shot with high-def cameras. No doubt the people who shot the commercial shot it with regular cameras, but cropped it into widescreen for some reason. Perhaps they're just "getting ready" for the jump to HDTV, and they want people to get used to the widescreeny goodness, who can say. In any case, as a widescreen owner, it doesn't piss ME off, because I don't give a tinker's cuss about commercials.
As for FX, their programming is probably in widescreen so that, when the show is eventually released on DVD, the show won't look any different from the broadcast version, but it'll look soopa-good on a widescreen TV. Many of the shows that the networks plan to release on DVD are done this way (Battlestar Galactica, ER, Lost, The Sopranos, the list goes on...).
09-06-2005, 10:55 AM
Plus, most widescreen TV's have an option allowing you to to zoom in a bit. This removes the four bars, leaving only the presentation portion of the picture. However, this increases the graininess of the picture, so I never bother with it.
As for commercials, I DVR almost everything I watch, so they get skipped anyway.
09-06-2005, 11:13 AM
It would be nice if his TV had the option to detect black bars and automatically zoom for commericals/tv shows with them, except that the zoom mode is HORRIBLE. I can't even watch anything that's been zoomed.
This commercial thing reminds me a lot of the so-called widescreen mode that many digital camcorders come with. Rather than filming in anamorphic mode, which is where 100% of the picture is used, which is later stretched when viewed on a TV, the cameras just digitally put black bars over the top and bottom, essentially wasting 1/3 of the available resolution. I made sure to get a camcorder with REAL widescreen, and my films are absolutely beautiful when viewed on an HDTV (or even on a standard TV which has the bars added in POST, rather than actual production)
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