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EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎08-02-2009

EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 1 of 7
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News flash: The general public doesn't care about the black bars on the screen when showing a 2.40:1 original aspect ratio film. If they hate them that much, they can use the zoom feature to eliminate the bars. These films, like the latest "Mission Impossible" release, look silly when cropped to 16:9. So much of the original image is missing it is hard to follow the action sometimes.. Get with the program like SHO/TMC does. We want to see the entire image. Anyone who thinks the black bars detract from the viewing experience just doesn't understand aspect ratios. These companies know better, yet insist on doing it like it was 1980. It is a good thing the default size of a display is now 16:9, a film like "Alien" cropped to fit the old 1.33:1 CRT displays was missing over 40% of the original image.                         RJM

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎08-02-2009

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 2 of 7
(5,234 Views)

No replies to this post shows what is wrong. The viewing public is so used to seeing chopped up motion pictures they don't know/care. Wake up people- you are being cheated. You are paying thousands of dollars for UHD displays, and not seeing the whole image. If you watch nothing but sitcoms and cartoons, then I guess you don't care. Ignorance is bliss. If you don't object, you will keep getting fed poor quality programming. You won't complain about that, but you'll buy a 4K UHD capable display, even though 4K native content makes up about 10% of all the available media, and is extremely expensive. Just because the salesperson says your new set can/will upgrade everything to 4K, (in theory that is correct), but HD to 4K upscaled content never looks anywhere near as good as content filmed/broadcast in 4K rez. Which are few and far between.

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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,843
Registered: ‎11-04-2008

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 3 of 7
(5,231 Views)

Nothing Verizon can do about it.
This is a forum to discuss FIOS issues.


If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎08-06-2009

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 4 of 7
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The  cropping of movies is a long-running nightmare for movie fans.  Director Steven Soderbergh has called HBO's policy an "exercise in stupidity."  For his films, he has taken it on himself to make sure thatHBO no longer crops his work (which is why the OVEANS and MAGIC MIKE movies are NOT cropped.

 

While it's true Verizon can't do anything about what the cable channels do, they CAN do something about the PPV OnDemand selections. Many of these are cropped as well.  Other PPV providers like VuDu, CinemaNow...(heck, even Netflix!) avoid showing cropped movie when possible.

 

But good ole Verizon? No way. The worst part is that you don't know that they've cropped a movie until AFTER you purchase!

I try to avoid OnDemand but I recently slipped up and ordered PAN 3D.  Imagine how I felt when this widescreen movie filled with ete-popping 3D visuals had 30% of the picture chopped off!!  And they charged me $7.00 for this neutered version!  

 

Yes, Verizon CAN do something about that, at least. But as has been noted, most people don't know this and some don't care.  I mean, we are talking about people who watch movies on their phones!!! So they alraedy have little interest in a cinematic experience.

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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,843
Registered: ‎11-04-2008

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 5 of 7
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Verizon doesn't control the content of vod. Not sure why streaming services have a different aspect ratio than Verizon, but it is the content providers that control it not the cable providers.


If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎08-06-2009

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

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@CRobGauth wrote:

Verizon doesn't control the content of vod. Not sure why streaming services have a different aspect ratio than Verizon, but it is the content providers that control it not the cable providers.



Verizon certainly does have control when it comes to VOD...all providers do. For example, when Netflix had some movies in the wrong AR, they subsequently removed them (when people let them know) and replaced it with the correct ones. They have stated that it's their goal to show films properly and they encourage people notify them when any slip through the cracks.

 

Showtime has done the same thing in the past. All VZ has to do is inform the content providers to cease sending cropped versions intended for HBO or STARZ and send films in the correct aspect ratio. (Of course, I'm assuming that FIOS has some sort of programming department, even if it doesn't appear that way.)

 

Same goes for the 3D OnDemand selections. I've been in touch with HBO as to why FIOS is not getting the 3D movies but everyone else (Comcast, Time-Warner, etc.) is. HBO verified that they ARE sending the content to Verizon. Why VZ is not making them available to paying subscribers, only VZ knows. HBO has asked VZ to contact their NYC Communication Center if they are having any problem.  I informed VZ of this (way before the strike)...but here we are months later and nothing has been done. So MAD MAX, INSURGENT, PAN, SAN ANDREAS and other movies that people with other providers can watch on HBO 3D are still missing from FIOS (they still have 2 or 3 old titles up)

 

In all these cases, all VZ has to do is...something!  Regarding cropping, if I worked there, I'd be on the phone with the distributors requesting that they only send the correct versions going forward.  Of course, since most people don't see the problem they don't complain. (They've had DECADES of cropped movies from HBO so it's normal to them...unless they see side-by-side comparisons).  Just as HBO tells studios that they'll only accept cropped movies. (And when HBO head Chris Albrecht moved to STARZ, he brought the same policy with him. When he took over, Starz no longer showed Director's Cuts, widescreen movies, etc...because HE put that policy in place).  Currently, it looks like some directors and studios are starting to rebel against that policy...thankfully.  

 

Right now, it seems apparent that VZ really doesn't care much about the TV end.  I just saw a VZ commercial where it was showing how annoying pixelization is and that would NEVER happen if we had Verizon LG5.  OK, that's great for people who watch movies on a 5" screen.   Just a few hours later, I tried to watch a Showtime movie OnDemand (TV) and it was 100% pixelated!  So FIOS seems to concentrate only on the mobile service and apparently little on the TV side.  If they gave even a fraction of that same attention to the TV landscape, there'd be fewer gripes.

 

I hate knocking the FIOS service...they were once the absolute best. I even ignore the Comcast letters offering $400 - $500 to switch. But right now, it does seem like they've forgotten about the TV end of the business...and it shows.

I don't want to switch...if they want to show cropped movies VOD, fine with me...just let consumers know they are offering the movies altered. Me, I just rent the Blu-Ray (always the best option anyway)or try Vudu.

However,  if they are actually blocking the HBO content (as it currently appears), that will be a different story.  I hope VZ will do the right thing and resolve it. I still recommend FIOS to people, when asked. We'll see what happens going forward.

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎08-02-2009

Re: EPIX, HBO, Starz, Cinemax STOP CROPPING

Message 7 of 7
(5,068 Views)

You raise several points I was unaware of because I've only used VOD once, and it was for a 1.85:1 OAR film. I too would be outraged to shell out $7.00 and get a cropped film. The fact that other VOD providers can demand/only accept OAR films is fascinating and shows Vz as indifferent to the problem. I think they make the vast amount of their money on people who can't turn their smart phones off, and rack up big $$ on the data charges. No doubt when people exceed their data limit Vz really loves it. Too true that a public who is willing to watch a film on a phone screen is not  yearning to see "Lawrence Of Arabia" as David Lean decided to have it filmed. If I had the resources I would ditch Vz in a heartbeat for several of these VOD providers. Films, especially the independent, less popular, subtitled, Noir, are my main interest. I have no desire to see "Top Gun", even in OAR. Eye candy with laughable plots do not entice me. There are so many fantastic films that get little/no exposure on HBO and their ilk. You don't need a high end home theater system to appreciate how much more visually appealing a film like "The Martian" appears when displayed in its OAR. Which HBO did, to my amazement. I was ready to turn it off when it became obvious it was in OAR. Perhaps Ridly Scott forbade the showing of a cropped version? Possibly Star Wars VII will be shown in OAR also, but I would not count on it.  I pay a lot of money for my FiOS package, and have supported FiOS since the day it became available. I feel I'm entitled to my opinion, and where is a more logical place to post my comments, except in "Programming"?   RJM

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