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Author Topic: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot DVD technicalities  (Read 7141 times)
Philo Beddoe Jr
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« on: July 26, 2004, 08:23:43 PM »

Does anybody know if there is an anamorphically enhanced version of this DVD available?
It's just 'letterboxed' here in Aus at the moment...

Thanks,

WKC.
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philo
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2004, 10:40:08 PM »


Hi WKC ,

Welcome back, I have missed our talks.

This is the same old version of Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, as I have said before nothing has been done since the laserdisc release in the early 90's. It is the same with another UA title that I like, The taking of pelham 123.

Maybe MGM/UA might get their finger out for HD .... maybe.  :-\


Philo .

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Coogan
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2004, 06:22:42 AM »

Philo,

Is the U.S version in widescreen or not.

I had a quick look at my copy (UK version) and it says 2.35:1 and then under that it says FULL FRAME VERSION 4:3.

What's the 2.35:1 mean then

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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2004, 08:14:36 AM »

Thanks for the info Philo,

pity about that, because I just won't buy non-anamorpic transfers.  I'll have to find it in a local Video store and tape it as a back up until somebody works out which century we are in and does it properly.

I am wanting to rewatch it in order to refresh my memory before making some comments in the current film discussion section.

I too miss our discussions and look forward to some more quite soon.

Best,

WKC.

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philo
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2004, 03:14:47 PM »


Hi WKC and Coogan,

They could have aspect ratio converted the letterbox version to make it anamorphic but the quality would have suffered. You can't beat the quality of bringing out the film from the archive, (yes everyone film !!! what they are saying is dead) and doing a brand new transfer.

Coogan,

Good to here from you. There are two ways that Thunderbolt and Lightfoot can be presented, both are 2.35:1.
The first is anamorphically squeezed to that shape (with some top and bottom blanking) and is usually called 16:9 Anamorphic.
The second is to just letterbox the image with no squeeze. This is also (wrongly I feel) called widescreen version in 4:3 format. They are correct but it can mislead the buyer. The 4:3 on such releases simply means that it is in widescreen with no squeeze.

Philo .

 
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Coogan
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2004, 05:49:43 AM »

Right... still a bit lost on that one...

Does it mean the first version is squeezed into the picture which would make it look distorted, and the other version is to chop of the top and bottom, to make it look widescreen but it isn't really.

Is that right
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KC
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2004, 06:27:51 AM »

Philo can probably go deeper into the technicalities of this, but an anamorphicaly enhanced DVD (often called "enhanced for widescreen TVs") should not look distorted if the equipment it is played on is operated correctly. It is "squeezed" in the encoding in order to be "stretched" in playback, thus allowing more information to be displayed on a widescreen TV screen, resulting in better resolution.

On the other hand, with an ordinary (non-anamorphically enhanced) DVD, nothing is chopped off; the black bars at the top and bottom are simply there to allow the oblong theatrical film image to fit into the squarish shape of non-widescreen TV screens.

If you don't have a widescreen TV, anamorphical enhancement doesn't help you, though if you play DVDs on your computer, you will notice the difference, because the software DVD player will expand an anamorphically enhanced disc to a large "widescreen" rectangle with either no black bars or vey thin ones, while an "ordinary" letterboxed disc will be opened to a squarish shape with black bars above and below the smaller oblong picture.

All the above is separate from the issue of whether or not the movie was shot by an anamorphic process in the first place. If it was, a widescreen display of some sort is the only way to see all of the picture as it was seen in the theater. If it was not, a "standard" or "full screen" display will actually show you parts of the picture that were masked for theatrical presentation.

There's lots of information about this in the DVD FAQ:
http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html#3.5
« Last Edit: July 28, 2004, 06:32:19 AM by KC » Logged
Coogan
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2004, 08:57:01 AM »

Thanks KC,

It's all very confusing to me, to be honest.

So if you watch  The UK - PAL  Region 2 copy of Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, on a wide screen TV, is there anything missing from the picture... sides, top, bottom or whatever.



« Last Edit: July 28, 2004, 09:00:05 AM by Coogan » Logged

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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2004, 09:04:44 AM »

Thanks KC,

It's all very confusing to me, to be honest.

So in the long run, if you watch  Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, on a wide screen TV, is there anything missing from the picture... sides, top, bottom or whatever.



Coogan,

if you watch a non-anamorphically enhanced DVD on a widescreen tv everything will be flattened and broadened out (in other words it will be unwatchable).  Unless you can set the widescreen up as a 4/3 set with black bars on the side :-\.

WKC.

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KC
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2004, 05:03:26 PM »

Coogan,

if you watch a non-anamorphically enhanced DVD on a widescreen tv everything will be flattened and broadened out (in other words it will be unwatchable).  Unless you can set the widescreen up as a 4/3 set with black bars on the side :-\.

WKC.


That may be true for some widescreen TVs, but mine has three settings:

  • "Standard," which places a 4/3 rectangle in the center of the screen between gray side bars. This is how I watch regular TV and films from the pre-widescreen area.
  • "Theater wide." This allows me to expand the image but does not change the aspect ratio. I can use this to watch non-anamorphically enhanced widescreen (letterboxed) DVDs; the black bars at the top and bottom are entirely (1.85:1) or partly (2.35:1) cut off, while the image expands to fill the width of the screen, without distortion. I also use this setting to watch 1.85:1 films that are not letterboxed, since the amount of the picture that is cut off at the top and bottom is more or less equal to the amount that was masked in theatrical projection.
  • "Full." This is used with anamorphically enhanced DVDs; it "stretches" the image on the sides, only, so that it appears in the correct aspect ratio (not distorted), and either entirely fills the screen (for 1.85:1 films) or has narrow black bars on the top and bottom (for 2.35:1 films).
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philo
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2004, 08:33:20 PM »



If you don't have a widescreen TV, anamorphical enhancement doesn't help you


That is not the case I'm afraid. I choose not to have a widescreen television. I don't like them and I feel the public in the UK at least are conned into thinking some sets are better than they really are.
I have a Panasonic 4:3 television that does have 16:9 built in. This collapses the scan to pure 16:9 as soon as it receives a widescreen signal. Therefore with 4:3 I am still gaining the quality of the squeezed image.
Anyone else who has a 4:3 set please remember to do the squeeze on the set and not in the menu of the DVD player. You are losing quality setting up this way.

Philo .

 
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KC
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2004, 09:14:57 PM »

That is not the case I'm afraid. I choose not to have a widescreen television. I don't like them and I feel the public in the UK at least are conned into thinking some sets are better than they really are.
I have a Panasonic 4:3 television that does have 16:9 built in. This collapses the scan to pure 16:9 as soon as it receives a widescreen signal. Therefore with 4:3 I am still gaining the quality of the squeezed image.
Anyone else who has a 4:3 set please remember to do the squeeze on the set and not in the menu of the DVD player. You are losing quality setting up this way.

Philo .


Interesting, Philo. Do you know whether many 4:3 sets have this capacity?

At any rate, wouldn't the image take up the same screen space as a non-anamorphic image, i.e., it would have wide black bars at the top and bottom? Unless you have a very big screen 4:3 TV, I wouldn't think you would notice that much difference in quality, but I've never had a chance to test this.
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philo
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2004, 09:25:47 PM »


Well I have to be honest KC, I was lucky it had 16:9 it must be one of the first to have it as I have had the set over 12 years and have had a new tube fitted recently, that is how bad I want to hang on to it. Unlike the US it is very hard to find 4:3 sets of a decent size. They have flooded the market here with widescreen sets as we have so much more programmes shown in this format.

My set is 29 inch (big at the time) and you would be surprised at how much you can see the quality difference when in 16:9 format, even from VHS.


philo .

 
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2004, 09:40:32 PM »



Interesting, Philo. Do you know whether many 4:3 sets have this capacity?

At any rate, wouldn't the image take up the same screen space as a non-anamorphic image, i.e., it would have wide black bars at the top and bottom? Unless you have a very big screen 4:3 TV, I wouldn't think you would notice that much difference in quality, but I've never had a chance to test this.


Hi KC,

I've got a 4/3 Loewe.  It's approx 78 cm.  It has the same 16/9 capacity as Philo's set.  I have to say that it is worth doing the 16/9 squeeze, as the image is noticibly sharper with more detail etc (of course this is only valid for an anamorphically enhanced DVD.  eg. if I am watching FAFDM which is not enhanced, I just have my tv set up in 4/3 mode).

Best,

WKC.
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KC
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2004, 09:51:21 PM »

Thanks, that's good to know. I think that when I bought my widescreen set (1997), not many 4:3 TV had that capacity ... that was the year DVDs were introduced. Anyway, I've been very happy with my Toshiba, but someday I'll have to replace it, as it doesn't have HDTV capability.
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philo
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2004, 10:01:19 PM »



That is another good reason why I have held on. HDTV will be the time for me to move over to widescreen shape tv.


Philo .
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KC
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2004, 10:08:26 PM »

By the way, Philo, I find your remark that "They have flooded the market here with widescreen sets" interesting, since when I was shopping for a set here, I had the opposite problem ... it was almost impossible to find a widescreen set on display in a store, and if you could find one ... they probably had it set up so that it showed a distorted picture. And I'm in New York City. I did a LOT of Internet research before I bought my set, and as I said, I've been happy with it.
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philo
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2004, 10:16:04 PM »


Yes when I have been in LA , I have observed the exact same thing.

We in the UK went full head on into 16:9 programme making and now almost every new show , drama , film etc are presented this way. Don't forget these are network stations I am talking about.

You guys went into HDTV ahead of us, we are now looking into producing Hi Def restoration work.

I guess we are all supposed to meet up in the middle.

Philo .

 
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2004, 10:17:55 PM »

I did a LOT of Internet research before I bought my set, and as I said, I've been happy with it.


Is that a Toshiba Rear Projection KC?  
They have a great image.
Won lots of quality awards in recent years.
Can't you get a set top box for it?
I've got one and they make a good improvement.

AS for myself, when the time is right, I will probably be getting a projector.  A few years away probably.  Native 16/9 of course.

WKC.
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2004, 10:40:42 PM »

Yes, it's a Toshiba TheaterWide TW56F80 ... 56 inches. One reason I chose it is because it had component video inputs. At the time it was one of the few sets that could take advantage of the capacity of the newly introduced DVD players to output a component video signal for superior color fidelity.
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