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 Posted:   Jun 13, 2021 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

Reading this thread, the image of Carl Reiner's character from "The Jerk" kept coming to mind.
I watch a lot of 4:3 content on my 65" widescreen TV, and I never even notice the bars on the side. I do wish they made TVs with a wider aspect ratio. I'd like to be able to have all my content at the same height on the screen. Movies like "2001" or "Ben-Hur" look somewhat less epic when they are in a narrow band. But I still don't fixate on the bars.


Here you actually have a better argument - Scope movies like 2001 or Ben-Hur were INTENDED to be viewed larger than any other content. You can do this with a projection system, if you like. Most of the better home theater projectors have a zoom mode that allows you to pair them with a Scope screen, where Scope material is bigger than 4:3 or 16:9.

As my friend Josh Zyber likes to say - "Wheel of Fortune" should NEVER be bigger than "Star Wars."

That said, 16:9 was developed as an "equal pain" format, essentially splitting the difference between 4:3 (or 1.33:1) and Scope (2.39:1).

For anyone looking for an insomnia cure, I did a whole hour on the history of film aspect ratios and how they relate to home theater here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLgag4MQ16o

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2021 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

Thanks for those posts John!

Reading through all of this conversation, there are basically three key factors to consider:

-screen size
-viewing distance
-frame information

If you have a 60" 16:9 TV but you're viewing 21:9 content on it which takes up the equivalent of it being a 50" screen, congratulations - your TV screen effectively got smaller, but it's still a reasonable screen size. It's not like trying to scale it down on a 13" CRT.

Considering that many people watch movies on laptops, computer monitors and even phones, I don't think screen size is a worthwhile nitpick in this day and age, especially since the average home TV is of a size that makes scale-reduction for different formats pretty much negligible.

For the peripheral vision immersion, that is all relative based on the VIEWING DISTANCE. If you go to a movie theater and watch a Cinemascope movie on a properly-sized Cinemascope projection screen, you could be sitting too close to benefit, and too far away to benefit.

The average household does not have a screen large enough and/or a viewing distance optimal enough to replicate the peripheral vision immersion. Additionally, it is likely a rarity that people's home viewing experience has the ambient lighting and sound optimized to be an uninterrupted, fully-immersive experience as intended in a theater.

Finally, the vast majority of consumers do not even have televisions / projection screens that even come close to the ACTUAL real-world dimensions of what a frame of 4K would be blown up to, relative to their viewing distance. You'd have to be talking about GIANT screens to even begin to scratch the surface of whether you're really benefitting from 1080p vs. 4K, and even with 4K your TV is too small - you'd really be fine with just 2K.

Ultimately, viewing distance makes all the difference. I've had crummy seats in theaters to the point where the screen size took up no more of an optimal percentage of my field of view than if I had been sitting at home watching a film on my computer monitor.

These are A LOT of factors that chip away at any argument to shift from the median standard, aka 16:9.

The last point, frame information, is quite simple - if any television or movie theater screen setup does NOT physically hide information that is supposed to be in the frame, there is NOTHING lost.

So it all comes down to personal preference and levels of tolerance.

I described this in a different post, but I grew up watching movies in pan & scan on CRT TVs.
DVDs were an amazing innovation because for the first time you had access to the full FRAME INFORMATION.
1080p was amazing because for the first time you could watch a movie in near-theater-level-detail in the comfort of your own home on a modestly-sized 40"-50" TV screen.

Anything above that like 4K is just an incrementally better experience, but already pretty much at the ceiling of quality.

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2021 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

All good points, but a few caveats:

"4K" is only 1/3 of the UHD format. The other two improvements are in the area of color and contrast - WCG (Wide Color Gamut) and HDR (High Dynamic Range). As you point out, the benefits of 4K resolution can only be seen if you are seated less than 3X the picture height from the screen.

However, the benefits of WCG and HDR can be seen at any seating distance. They are arguably more important than "4K," but almost never get mentioned when discussing new video standards.

We're famous for doing projector shootouts almost every year; in the most recent one an $8K JVC projector handily beat a $35K Sony projector because it simply had better contrast and color. Obvious to everyone in the room. Resolution was the least important element in the comparison.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2021 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

All good points, but a few caveats:

"4K" is only 1/3 of the UHD format. The other two improvements are in the area of color and contrast - WCG (Wide Color Gamut) and HDR (High Dynamic Range). As you point out, the benefits of 4K resolution can only be seen if you are seated less than 3X the picture height from the screen.

However, the benefits of WCG and HDR can be seen at any seating distance. They are arguably more important than "4K," but almost never get mentioned when discussing new video standards.

We're famous for doing projector shootouts almost every year; in the most recent one an $8K JVC projector handily beat a $35K Sony projector because it simply had better contrast and color. Obvious to everyone in the room. Resolution was the least important element in the comparison.


Oh yeah, 1000% yes.

Just the fact that “black” is not even true black on most computer monitors and TVs is a huge issue, as is compression. There was that controversy with the latter episode of the Game of Thrones finale with a battle that took place mostly at night. Granted the on-set lighting was not great to begin with, but the streaming compression and lack of dynamic range rendered everything a muddy dark grey.

There’s also the issue of color correction too, with the original Star Wars trilogy having it pretty tough where the film file on Blu-ray itself is color timed differently than the original film. When it comes to color reproduction, I’m always iffy because it opens that can of worms of whether the film source itself is even being accurately presented in the first place.

There are clearly a lot of points here, but I do think the WCG and HDR could be available on any future tv, regardless of the aspect ratio.

Btw, I remember you from other conversations here and I really appreciate your grounded and friendly approach, especially on topics that end up more like debates.

Thanks John!

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2021 - 6:11 PM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

All good points, but a few caveats:

"4K" is only 1/3 of the UHD format. The other two improvements are in the area of color and contrast - WCG (Wide Color Gamut) and HDR (High Dynamic Range). As you point out, the benefits of 4K resolution can only be seen if you are seated less than 3X the picture height from the screen.

However, the benefits of WCG and HDR can be seen at any seating distance. They are arguably more important than "4K," but almost never get mentioned when discussing new video standards.

We're famous for doing projector shootouts almost every year; in the most recent one an $8K JVC projector handily beat a $35K Sony projector because it simply had better contrast and color. Obvious to everyone in the room. Resolution was the least important element in the comparison.


The other two are especially important to consider when you factor in the fact that most people are getting 4k from streaming services and the majority of Americans don't have the bandwith to reach full 2160p if said service even offers it (as far as I know Netflix "4K" is just 1440 or less with HDR applied).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2021 - 12:10 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Forgot to mention - Samsung's marketing efforts around their 21:9 TV even included a press event and personal endorsement from Michael Bay. Went nowhere. A 4:3 set would go nowhere even faster smile

Thanks for your excellent and sane posts.

 
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