Alien 3 - Correct aspect ratio ?

bibooo

Active Member
I have the region 1 release of this movie. Watching the beginning section when Ripley is placed on the gurney ( 005.50 - 006.48), I noticed that the computer read-out displaying Newt's, Hicks' and Bishop's demise was cropped at either side of the screen; the screen cuts the first and last letter of each computer read-out.

I didn't pay much attention at the time, until I watched the "Making of Alien3 Featurette". At one point in the documentary (003.58 - 004.14) we see the same scene played again, but this time there is more than enough room to fit the computer read-out across the screen; no letters are missing or cut in half, in fact there is a considerable gap between the text and the edge of the screen.

The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1, and looks exactly like my other films in this format. Why am I missing a small section of the image either side? It makes me think that this film should be in a wider aspect ratio.

This problem has nothing to do with set-up (DVD, TV etc), everything is as it should be; this problem is only evident on this disc.

Any comments?
 

BadAss

Banned
I noticed this at the cinema, the words overlap the edges of the screen. Now if your TV/Display has too much overscan then you will loose bits at the sides. If youve got a widescreen didplay switch to 4:3 to see if the info is actually there. More likely it will be your displays fault.
 

bibooo

Active Member
Interesting that you noticed the same effect at the cinema.

Yes, I have a widescreen TV. I think I have already tried setting the DVD to output "letterboxed 4:3" and set the TV to display 4:3, I'm pretty sure I was still missing the same amount of image.

I have managed to make the problem less obvious by adjusting the width of the screen in the TV's service menu; however to get the TV to display the entire image, would have caused too much distortion.

The whole image is definitely there (although not as much as the documentary), but there is no way you can display it without ruining the geometry.

Has anyone watched the R2 version, is it the same?
 

Zone

Moderator
I've got the R2 version and I've just had a look.
I'm missing the first letter on the left of the screen where the persons name is highlighted but the right side where the picture is shown is spot on
When I shrink the picture the whole image is there though.:confused:
 

Garrett

Moderator
Funnily I found on one of the Alien DVD’s (Alien or Aliens) that some info was lost of the side of the screen, I altered the settings on the TV to bring it in, but on Alien 3 I still noticed some things where just of the screen.
I also noticed whilst switching from 16:9 to 4:3 and the other way. I can spot things on the side whilst it is changing but not when it has stopped
 

BadAss

Banned
You probably dont realise how much picture your missing on most TV's due to overscan and Alien3 is a good example. On my TV I can see almost all the writing but on other displays ive seen the first and last letters missing. Have you ever seen a film on TV shown in 4:3 which has to switch back to a 16:9 image in order to get subtitles or the movie title in. I think the original Alien was one of these, where the titles stretch from left to right across the top of the screen. Must be where Fincher got his inparation from.
 

bibooo

Active Member
I just used the dvd player to zoom out, and there is definitely more of the image than I can see when the TV is in Wide mode.

I know that it could be affected by the TV's overscan, but could it also be affected by the dvd player's pixel cropping?

It seems strange that on both TVs I have watched it on, there is the same amount of the image missing. Going into the TV's service menu was the only way I could get the text in full, but even then I am not seeing the whole image.

Surely there must be more than 2 people out there who have this film. Please check this section out and let me know your results.

I realise that there may be no solution, but I would like to know how other equipment performs with this troublesome scene. There must be display devices and dvd players that can show the entire image without cropping each side.
 

groundy

Standard Member
Just checked the R2 version for you.

All text is there and accounted for on my set. 32" Widescreen Loewe Aconda. In fact the text is displayed comfortably with room either side.

However, I think I have tweaked my TV's geometry more than any other human being :D. It's now as perfect as anyone could hope for.

How much adjustment do you need to make to get it right? Distortion shouldn't be introduced in the horizontal plane unless you need to make significant adjustment. A few notches less should make no difference and is probably more correct than the overscan you are experiencing now.
 

bibooo

Active Member
Hello groundy,

I'm not sure I should be pleased you are seeing the whole image or not. This means I might have a problem, unless of course the R2 differs from the R1.

I have adjusted the width as low as I can without causing the image to distort; the kind of distortion I experience (when the width is decreased further) is a discolouration on the right side of the screen also a slight "bend".

I came to a compromise by decreasing the width until the text was all there, then increasing it on a different scene (with more colour) until the discolouration disappeared.

I am convinced that it could be the dvd player's pixel cropping that could cause this apparent loss of image. By pixel cropping I mean the amount of image the dvd player crops; all dvd players to a greater or lesser extent produce a cropped image, it varies from one player to another, but we are talking pixels here, not huge areas of an image.

May I ask what make your dvd player is?
 

groundy

Standard Member
Originally posted by bibooo

May I ask what make your dvd player is?

Sony S735D. Currently up for sale if you're interested ;).

It may be down to the DVD player but it's more likely an overscan/geometry TV issue. The discolouration could be a convergence issue. No TV is perfect in these areas though but some are better than others.

As I said though, I have tweaked my geometry extensively. At it's default setting of H Amp 37, the text would have been at the very edges or maybe even cut off slightly. At it's current value of 34, this is not as issue. You can see that I did not need to adjust H Amp much on my set though, only 3 notches less so there would be no distortion introduced.
 

bibooo

Active Member
Thanks for that Groundy.

I had to adjust the H Amp (WID on my Tosh) by 4 notches from 18 to 14, this is the compromised setting.

Funnily enough this TV does suffer from convergence issues and is the main reason I am replacing it; but surely I would see the discolouration at the side of the screen all the time, not just when I decrease the width.

I will have another "tweak" and see what I come up with before the TV goes back. Tomorrow I'm expecting a 36", needless to say one of the first things I test will be Alien3.
 

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