Sky - not even widescreen on widescreen

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by pointon, Jan 27, 2002.

  1. pointon

    pointon
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    I'm really getting sick and tired of Sky's mistreatment of widescreen material:

    Last night just took the biscuit (what does that phrase mean anyway?). Watching High Fidelity, given a choice between Sky's favourite fullscreen 4:3 on Premier One, or a nice anamporphic 16:9 picture on Premier Widescreen which I thought would show me the true 1.85:1 picture.

    But no.

    What Sky did, is crop the 1.85:1 picture into 4:3, butchering a large proportion of the picture. But as if it wasn't enough to give viewers this standard mutilation of ratio, they then decided to take that trimmed 4:3 picture and take a bit off the top and bottom, so that they could show it on their 'widescreen' channel. So the cropped 4:3 version actually showed more picture than the widescreen version, which was missing all edges of the picture. Gits.

    How the hell do they justify this?
     
  2. bob007

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    What spoilt it for me was....... there was no LOGO on the screen telling me it was a Movie Premier........!!!
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    No problem at all with High Fidelity last night but there again I watched it on DVD instead.

    Bet none of you youngsters know who sang the Moonbeam Song as featured in the film.
     
  4. bob007

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    I know..... but how old is young..............Maria carey done one of his songs.........;)
     
  5. MartinImber

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    I hired the DVD!
     
  6. lechacal

    lechacal
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    Shoot me down if you like, but...
    Is it just possible that HF was filmed in open matte? And that the 4:3 version was not P&S but the full open matte version? And that the WS version was identical to what was shown theatrically?

    I can't say for sure since I didn't watch it, but even given the lack of respect that Sky usually give to WS I'd be surprised if this wasn't the case.
     
  7. Kevo

    Kevo
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    I'm pretty sure that this was the case.

    It has nothing to do with Sky.

    A lot of films these days are shot in Super 35 open matte.

    Most 1.85:1 films are made this way.
    It's the 2.35:1 Panavision films that IMO offer 'proper WS' and make use of the full resolution of the film frame.

    The 4:3 version does indeed have more 'top & bottom', but it was not intended to be shown this way.

    The matted theatrical version (the one shown on Sky Prem WS) was the way the 'Director intended' and the correct version.
     
  8. carpfisher

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    There have been some interesting cases of differences in framing between analogue terrestrial and Sky digital. BBC used to do this a lot with films. Say a film is broadcast open matte 4:3 on analogue, but is cropped top and bottom for the widescreen digital broadcast. This seems fine, but if you have your digibox set to 4:3, it crops the left and right sides off of the widescreen broadcast to give you 4:3 again, as taken from the 16:9 broadcast. So the digital 4:3 viewer is getting top, bottom, left and right missing, compared to analogue.

    What is a shame is that they also seem to have original 4:3 source, and when the cropping is done, they just interpolate to give you the missing lines for the anamorphic widescreen, so the digital picture is lower resolution than the terrestrial analogue.

    I hope they never take a 4:3 pan+scan videotape, crop it for widescreen, then let 4:3 digibox viewers cut the left and right sides off. If you assume a 2.35:1 source, they'll get 32% of the original print area visible.
     
  9. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I have not seen the film, but it has been sung by Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz, or Steve Forbet, but was probably Harry.
    It should have been in the end credits as well if you look.

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.
     
  10. Mr.D

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    I hear this a lot on this newsgroup : people knocking super35 over scope. Its not as simple as straight forward resolution.

    Anamorphic lenses are inherently less sharp , have distortion at pretty much all focal lengths ( including primes) tend to loose a stop or more compared with spherical lenses which makes it harder to get deep depth of field and they are heavier.

    Super35 uses the full available width of the film frame into the soundtrack area scope doesn't 4096 vs 3656 in the x axis. 2214 vs 3112 in the y in scopes favour.

    Film stocks have improved a heck of a lot in the last 20 years ( even in the last 5) resolution is only part of what makes an image.

    If you are going to knock people for using super35 then you may as well knock people for using scope when 60mm is available. If you are capable of actually describing the benefits of a scope image vs a super35 one then you are going to be equally aware of the beneficial aspects of a super35 image relative to scope.
     
  11. Ian J

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    It was Harry. I knew as I have the record (yes, vinyl) but I didn't think that you youngsters would know.
     
  12. richardr

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    To be fair to Sky, 4:3 viewers would not have been watching the film on the Widescreen channel, but would have watched it on Sky Premier. This is however true for BBC, ITV and C4 widescreen films. I guess though, film lovers would be using the letterbox option if they haven't yet got a widescreen TV.
     
  13. lechacal

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    Exactly.
    If you're going to insist on watching something that was intended to be viewed in WS in a 4:3 frame then you have to accept that the image isn't going to be what it should be - by definition.

    Of course, the question that needs to be asked is why Sky only transmit 1 channel (out of how many??) in WS. Since an anamorphic WS image can look perfectly acceptable on a 4:3 TV the argument that there aren't enough WS TVs yet doesn't hold water.

    Oops. Maybe that's another thread...
     
  14. richardr

    richardr
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    I am sure there are many reasons, but a look at the ratings for the widescreen channel imply that few people use it.

    Looking at December's ratings, the top film on Sky Premier Widescreen was Mission Impossible II, which got 180,000 viewers on Saturday 29th.

    The same film, the same week, on Sky Premier got 850,000 viewers.

    Until the ratio between the film channels improves, and it has stayed at that level for months, then Sky will not provide any more widescreen movie channels.
     
  15. lechacal

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    That argument doesn't stop the terrestrial channels and E4 transmitting widescreen. Where a WS source is available (eg Enterprise) there's simply no excuse for not using it. And the vast majority of original programming in this country is now WS regardless of the number of 16:9 TVs in the market.
     
  16. sraper

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    Yep totally agree with you on that one. which is why I have just emailed sky with that very argument a couple of hours ago. If BCC1 through Ch5 can do it why can't they!!!!
     
  17. LV426

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    What I suspect Sky have failed to do is establish how many people DON'T subscribe to their services because they don't do widescreen. I'm one of them. In other words, quantify their potential market, not their current actual one.

    I have Sky1 as a byproduct of my ITV digital account, which in turn is a byproduct of my use of a DVB STB. As soon as DVB STBs are cheap enough to buy my subscription will end. I won't be resubsribing to Sky, any channel, via any medium until:

    1) They broadcast widescreen material in widescreen
    2) They switch off their freakin' logos
    3) They put the ad breaks in the places the americans design into their programmes and not elsewhere
    4) They stop b*ggering up the end titles with "coming next..." and "meanwhile over on...." voiceovers and text.
     
  18. MartinImber

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    I agree Sky as a broadcaster are a joke.

    BBC are so much better

    Sky 1 - only watch Enterprise - in P&S :mad:
     
  19. pointon

    pointon
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    Glad I started this thread, been quite interesting. Nice to learn new things.

    As for Sky, the most arrogant, blinkered broadcasting company in the world, they better get with it soon or they'll soon end up playing catch up. Customers are soon going to get used to new technology, and if a company supplying such a service won't embrace that technology and attempt to pioneer it, they will be left behind. That won't be very good for their subscriptions.
     

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