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Which DVD format?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Jonah, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Jonah

    Jonah
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    A little help please.

    Can someone please shed some light on the best format DVD to buy and view on a 28" widescreen TV. There seems to be so many formats for the same film, I'm not quite sure what's best.

    1:33, 1:85 or 2:35

    Anamorphic, full screen or widescreen

    DD5.1 or DTS

    Region 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6

    Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks
    Jonah.

    By the way, I've got a Sony DVPNS700 hooked up on 5.1 out to an old Kenwood pro logic amp and a Panny 28PL10 TV.
     
  2. Jonah

    Jonah
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    Forgot to mention that my DVD player is multi region
     
  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Your question doesn't really make sense with regard to the widescreen options.
    In 99.9% of cases there are ever only 2 options - the original aspect ratio of the movie - i.e. widescreen - or a full screen pan & scanned version for the plebs. If there are 2 versions availalbe they are often on either side of the DVD. Or sometimes there will be 2 versions released. In most situations the movie is presented on the DVD in widescreen only, but if there is a choice between widescreen of fullscreen, with a widescreen TV, you will always want the widescreen version.
    There are several varieties of widescreen. James Cameron, for example, prefers making movies in 1.85:1. Most directors use 2.35:1. Whichever the director chooses, this is known as the original aspect ratio the movie was made in and most DVD fans prefer to watch their movies this way.
    Some people - usually with small TV's - don't care about losing 1/3 of the picture and prefer it zoomed in fullscreen so that it fills their 4:3 (non-widescreen or 1:33) TVs. Most DVD enthusiasts (like me) look down their noses at these people as they are NOT watching the movie the way the director wanted you to watch it.
    Very few movies are filmed in full screen. Blair Witch is one example of a full screen movie.
    Most DVDs these days are anamorphic. Look on loads of websites to see what 'anamorphic' means and how this works. Take for granted that an anamorphic presentation means a better quality image - but requires widescreen TVs (or projectors) to watch it. Since you have a widescreen TV, then you can enjoy the benefits of anamorphic DVDs.
    Assuming your amplifier is DTS capable as well as Dolby Digital then you will occasionally have the choice between buying a DTS or Dolby Digital version of a movie. Region 1 Saving Private Ryan is an example of this. Quite often, both the DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks are on the same disc. E.g. Region 1 The Fast And The Furious and many other DVDs. Whether you prefer the Dolby Digital or DTS version is up to you. Some people can't tell any difference. Some people prefer Dolby. Usually more people prefer DTS.
    The choice for most people is which region of a DVD to get.
    And as to which region DVD to buy, then it depends on picture quality, the extras included, the sound formats available etc on the DVDs from various regions. Quite often the region 1 DVDs have more extras. Or are not censored by the BBFC. DVD comparison sites can help here.

    To summarise, if you have the choice, get the widescreen DTS version from whichever region is cheaper UNLESS any particular version of the DVD has extras which you want to have and aren't on the cheaper version.
    E.g. Harry Potter in the US is named 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone' which is not the correct name. The UK version is '... The Philosophers Stone'. Now I would normally get the region 1 version of all movies but in this case I wanted the one with the original title. So because both region 1 and 2 versions have the same extras and picture/sound quality, I got the region 2 version.
     
  4. Jonah

    Jonah
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    I must say that was quite a reply.
    That has certainly put me in the picture in deciding which kind of DVD to buy in the future.
    Many thanks for your expert knowledge.

    Jonah.
     
  5. swarrans

    swarrans
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    Spectre,
    On the subject of R1 versions of Harry Potter, you could have got an R1 version with the "correct" title -- the Canadian one has it.
    Not trying to be smart, just in case anyone else faced the same dilemma.

    Simon
     
  6. Lex

    Lex
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    Blimey! That is the most Spectre has said all year! :eek: :D
     

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