• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Sky reply about Armageddon cropping.

`BK

Established Member
Here's what I sent to them via the Sky Movies website;

Hi,

Armageddon has recently started playing on Sky Anytime in HD and is due
to be on HD2 in the next few days. When I checked this out however, it
appears the version you're running is cropped from it's original aspect
ratio of 2.35 to 1.78. The same thing happened on BBC HD a few months
back when they showed it, and I believe on some USA HD channels too.

I realized that Sky can only show what they're handed, but it's a shame
to sit down and see a movie ruined by the cropping. Even more bizarre is
how on the Sky Movies Sci-Fi channel a few days ago the movie was
2.35/OAR. I believe in the past (Indepedence Day for example) the
original showings were cropped and later an OAR version was broadcast.
Is it possible the same can happen with Armageddon for future
Anytime/HD2 showings? I know I won't be alone in wanting an unaltered
version of the movie broadcast in HD.

Thanks in advance.

Here's the reply I got just now;

Hi ben,

I must admit, I have HD, a decent knowledge of the broadcast systems and
no idea what you are talking - despite watching the very same movie
(thus I thought ruined was slightly strong!)- but I will certainly send
your email on to the relevant department.

I am sure there is a good explanation for this, and I'll be keen to
share it with you. Likewise, if they are able to make such changes to
future broadcasts to suit you and your fellow HD fans, I will let you
know about that too! My immediate reaction is that we simply don't have
the choice in terms of how the movie is cropped - the studios prepare
the movies and we simply show them. But I do hope to find out if there
is anything we have done or can do!

Thanks for mailing in,



Rich Phippen
Editor
www.skymovies.com

I know people kicked up a fuss about the Sky Sports score banner recently, OAR on movies is just a big a deal IMO - if Sky get enough feedback over it, and thus pass it on to the studio, they can get a new OAR master (has happened before in the States - studios simply hand broadcasters what they have lying around and they simply play it without checking).

I know it's an odd choice for a movie to complain about (it's not exactly Oscar material) but I was looking forward to an OAR copy since Sky are usually very good about it, and have run OAR copies of movies in the past that were cropped or open matte in the States. There were a few people who gave the thumbs down too in the Anytime thread about it, I'd appreciate it if you could perhaps mail in expressing the same thoughts, then they know there's demand.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
I had the movie via Anytime and at first I couldn't see what the problem was since it remained OAR past the credits and then it went to 16:9 and well it was a bit of a shock and just didn't look right, deleted right there and then.
I dug out the HD copy I had obtained from the usual sources well before SKY HD started and that US HD broadcast did a similar thing (right after the director credit) which does seem to indicate that the distributor is the culprit or at least broadcasters are not specify a full OAR copy.
 

Comer

Established Member
I found the ocasional stuttering and the sound drop-outs far more annoying.

I watched it recorded from yesterday (Thurs) afternoon.
 

`BK

Established Member
Drop-outs are definatly an issue too. If they ever fix that (although it seems to get passed on to the technical team then never heard from again...) they should be using higher bitrate audio too. Bandwidth isn't an issue for 384 vs 448/640. Also fix the encoders so there isn't so much krayzie blocking on high motion or light flashes, and turn deblocking down. And and and... :D
 

WATTS

Established Member
Touchstone Pictures was the production company that did Armageddon.
Not sure which studio would handle mastering the film into HD and i certainly dont think they will whip off another HD master just because we say so.

I wish they would but i don't see it happening myself... :(
 

`BK

Established Member
It's not a case of creating a new master, chances are they already have an OAR one ready for BD (or used for DVD) and that the cropped one was simply passed on because it'd been used before on other channels, hence being the easier thing to do. I don't know how it works at Sky, but I guess when they get a hold of a film they're allowed to show it x number of times over a period of y for whatever costly sum they paid. I imagine they're within their rights to request another copy of the movie for whatever reason to justify the cost (I know I keep saying it, but it happened with ID4 before; was broadcast cropped then switched to OAR in later showings - what happened there? Someone complain too?).

Even if you don't think we can change anything now, it's important to point it out so maybe it doesn't happen to future movies (although saying that the Anytime preview of Superman Returns was cropped last night... :/).
 
You'll get the "it's what the studio provided" answer with Superman Returns...I did when I complained about V for Vendetta and they're both Warner releases.
 

pob

Prominent Member
I also get annoyed at 2.35:1 films being cropped to 1.85:1. I wanted to watch the Baz Luhrman Romeo & Juliet a couple of months ago, but was really annoyed to find the 2.35 has been cropped. What made matters worse for me was when the film appeared in 'Anytime', the 30 second preview window was 2.35, but the film was still cropped!
 

WATTS

Established Member
If this is going to be norm from sky with its HD service then maybe just maybe its Petition time?
 

adspence

Established Member
I also get annoyed at 2.35:1 films being cropped to 1.85:1. I wanted to watch the Baz Luhrman Romeo & Juliet a couple of months ago, but was really annoyed to find the 2.35 has been cropped. What made matters worse for me was when the film appeared in 'Anytime', the 30 second preview window was 2.35, but the film was still cropped!

TBH its threads like this that make me thankful that I haven't wasted my money on Sky Movies, or HD for that matter. It would have cost another £16 to "upgrade" to Movies/HD from my current package just to ensure that I would have got all the HD available...only to find the content was butchered in this way. What with BBC showing programs without 5.1 sound tracks, the limited content on Sky, and these technical abominations. I think I'll hang fire, or plump for a BD or HD player (and stick with my upscaled DVDs with proper OAR content) - at least I'll get what I pay for rather than some random decision on the part of Sky or the studios providing them with the content.
 

WATTS

Established Member
TBH its threads like this that make me thankful that I haven't wasted my money on Sky Movies, or HD for that matter. It would have cost another £16 to "upgrade" to Movies/HD from my current package just to ensure that I would have got all the HD available...only to find the content was butchered in this way. What with BBC showing programs without 5.1 sound tracks, the limited content on Sky, and these technical abominations. I think I'll hang fire, or plump for a BD or HD player (and stick with my upscaled DVDs with proper OAR content) - at least I'll get what I pay for rather than some random decision on the part of Sky or the studios providing them with the content.

You have a point but don't forget that BBC HD is a trial service at present so at least they have an excuse... :D

As for Sky, they should have a dedicated team in place that can deal with sub standard material like this and others that don't have a DD5.1 track when a rematered version available.

They should have a team that verify and certify the showing for sky air time and if it does not pass this verification they send it back to the studios to demand a proper uncropped and pristine version without any flaws.

I suspect Sky have paid the movie indusrt giants big money for the rights to air some stuff so they should have the right to complain as we would do if something wasnt right.

Sky need to act otherwise they just annoy people and the public will think its down to Sky why they have a bad copy of a film when in fact its what they have been given by the movie company.
 

adspence

Established Member
You have a point but don't forget that BBC HD is a trial service at present so at least they have an excuse... :D

As for Sky, they should have a dedicated team in place that can deal with sub standard material like this and others that don't have a DD5.1 track when a rematered version available.

They should have a team that verify and certify the showing for sky air time and if it does not pass this verification they send it back to the studios to demand a proper uncropped and pristine version without any flaws.

I suspect Sky have paid the movie indusrt giants big money for the rights to air some stuff so they should have the right to complain as we would do if something wasnt right.

Sky need to act otherwise they just annoy people and the public will think its down to Sky why they have a bad copy of a film when in fact its what they have been given by the movie company.

Agreed. Though I'm not sure why BBC should be using this argument for the 5.1 issue - surely the content they are sourcing has the 5.1 soundtrack. Where would they be getting an AC3-2.0 Heroes from? It was in glorious 5.1 on NBC (as is the DVD set). Shouldn't they be tiralling a complete service? I don't want to knock the Beeb too much though, ITV are the worst kid on the block...and we have to suffer their dodgy quality broadcasts throughout the upcoming Rugby World Cup :(

I guess its up to us to complain to Sky first to show them that it matters to us. I ditched Sky Movies years ago in the days when they didn't even bother to show films in widescreen AT ALL!! I haven't found a good reason to go back yet, even with SkyHD now available. I've sent them feedback on this a few times. Basically its their loss - £16/mth in fact.

Not sure how we can get a larger body of people to complain - there are still poor misguided creatures out there who object to any black bars on their lovely widescreen tellys, they'd prefer stretchyvision or cropovision. Ho hum.
 

p9ul

Distinguished Member
I copied both Armageddon & Dead Mans Chest off Anytime (both Touchstone) and the PQ of Armageddon was what bothered me the most. I personally didn't see any improvement over the DVD version, the cropping was also disappointing.

Started watching Dead Man Chest yesterday and its probably one of the best films for PQ I've seen on Sky HD.
 

Comer

Established Member
I personally didn't see any improvement over the DVD version, the cropping was also disappointing.

I thought that the picture quality was alot better than the upscaled DVD. What size display are you using? Obviously the bigger the image, the more noticable the pq difference.
 

961

Prominent Member
The trouble is that the powers that be are in a total mess about aspect ratio on British Tv.

We all started with 4 x 3

Then we moved to widescreen (16 x 9) but it's not quite the widescreen aspect ratio that the movie industry uses, so if you want to see your fave actress as she really is you need black bars top and bottom most of the time

And in the meanwhile some channels moved their normal programming to 14 x 3

Who plans all this guff?
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
The trouble is that the powers that be are in a total mess about aspect ratio on British Tv.

We all started with 4 x 3

Then we moved to widescreen (16 x 9) but it's not quite the widescreen aspect ratio that the movie industry uses, so if you want to see your fave actress as she really is you need black bars top and bottom most of the time

And in the meanwhile some channels moved their normal programming to 14 x 3

Who plans all this guff?



A lot of movies are made in 16:9 or at least close enough not to be an issue and it was simply economically and technically impractical to adopt the 2.35:1 ratio many theatrical releases use for domestic TV's.

The 16:9 ratio has turned out to be an excellent compromise with it's widespread adoption for TV production and broadcasting and it is the standard ratio for HD television production as well.

As for 14:9 well that's just half baked and can annoy both the 4:3 and 16:9 viewer:)
 

p9ul

Distinguished Member
I thought that the picture quality was alot better than the upscaled DVD. What size display are you using? Obviously the bigger the image, the more noticable the pq difference.

40" Telly.

Most films I've seen on sky HD have been pretty good but Armageddon was a bit of a let down PQ wise, pity as its one of my favourites, maybe an uncropped version would improve it though.
 

Kevo

Prominent Member
The trouble is that the powers that be are in a total mess about aspect ratio on British Tv.

We all started with 4 x 3

Then we moved to widescreen (16 x 9) but it's not quite the widescreen aspect ratio that the movie industry uses, so if you want to see your fave actress as she really is you need black bars top and bottom most of the time

And in the meanwhile some channels moved their normal programming to 14 x 3

Who plans all this guff?

In case you didn't realise there is more to the television industry than simply showing Hollywood movies and actresses' faces. :rolleyes:

TV and cinema, two different industries for two different markets and each have their own history, competitors (as well as with each other) hardware and technical constraints.

All this has a bearing on the aspect ratio.
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
Not sure how we can get a larger body of people to complain - there are still poor misguided creatures out there who object to any black bars on their lovely widescreen tellys, they'd prefer stretchyvision or cropovision. Ho hum.

id rather you not insult us with your "misguided" views on OAR. I do not like being called a "creature" like your reffering to something off the bottom of your shoe

its that kind of elitest attitude that really :censored: me off and drives others away.

and just to clarify, i dont mind OAR, but prefer open matte when available, cropping/stretching is a no no. but i dont criticise others for how they like to view their material thats upto them. like you said, you would struggle to get more people to pitch in to your problem so maybe its you with the problem!

i do hope we get armageddon in OAR soon on sky or blu-ray tho :thumbsup:
 

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom