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Laserdisc Aspect Ratio question

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by DaveP, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. DaveP

    DaveP
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    This is probably a silly question but I'm confused. I recently bought a shed load of Laserdiscs off this forum and today I sorted them alphabetically (sad I know) anyway, I found I had a couple of what appeared to be duplicates.

    I had two copies of Apollo 13 and two of Jurassic Park. In each case one was marked as Widescreen and the other was Letterbox. I've played bits of them both and the aspect ratio seems identical on both.

    Now if it were DVDs I'd say Widescreen was Anamorphic and Letterbox was, well, letterbox!

    Can anyone explain this please?

    Thanks

    Dave

    Mods: Please move if there is a more appropiate forum!
     
  2. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    Letterbox always used to mean the same as widescreen, ie not 4:3.
    But nowadays some people use it to refer to non-anamorphic (Some EIV dvds)
    and some use it to refer to anamorphic 2.35:1 (some Universal dvds).

    If you picked up the NTSC Forrest Gump check the back for 'Anamorphic version'
     
  3. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Thanks I can see that they mean the same thing but why produce two versions of the same film, one w/s and one letterbox?

    Dave
     
  4. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    You mean just the covers are different? They could be from different countries.
     
  5. DaveP

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    Yes, the covers are different. I'll do some checking on the ISBN numbers. I can't understand why the previous owner would buy two. Maybe they came in a job lot.

    Dave
     
  6. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    One might be the PAL version and one is the NTSC. You can check things like if the laserdisc has Dolby Digital 5.1. Only NTSC has this. I bet the letterbox one is NTSC and the widescreen one is PAL.

    If you have a widesceen TV then use zoom on all laserdiscs. On a 4:3 TV it will just show the correct ratio with borders.
     
  7. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    Looking at all the options on IMDB, I guess you have the original version in Dolby surround and the re-issue in Dolby digital. You would know the UK version for the BBFC cert and the dts version has a huge dts label.

    There also appears to be a Dutch version in PALplus. If this is what you have, then you would need PALplus on your tv to get an anamorphic picture.
     
  8. beecee

    beecee
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    only some Japanese ntsc laserdiscs were anamorphic, no pal or us ntsc laserdiscs were ever produced with an anamorphic pic. so both widescreen and letterbox mean the same in this case.:thumbsup:
     
  9. DaveP

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    Thanks guys, the dates are different so it does sound as though its the re-issue with a different soundtrack.

    Another quick laserdisc question if you will: How do I find out if any of my discs are "collectable"? I think that DTS disks are worth more as are the Japanese ones but is there a reference site that has details on this?

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  10. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    Bigemma.com is an interesting place to check for prices.

    I came to the conclusion that my laserdisc collection (~100) is worthless. But I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
    The artwork can be fantastic though, much nicer than dvds.
     
  11. DaveP

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    Thanks mate, I've had a look and I have to admit I agree with you on all counts!

    Dave
     
  12. anephric

    anephric
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    I got about £250 for my entire collection and Pioneer player: Criterions, Star Wars Def Ed... the lot! And I was lucky to get that at the time, I had to advertise it 5 months in a row etc.

    If I were you I'd hang onto them if they have sentimental value: I certainly miss mine and the memories of poking around sleazy lekky shops off Tottenham Court Road.

    *sigh*

    regards,
    anephric
     

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