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Why do premium movie channels alter the widescreen aspect ratio?

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-27-2011

Why do premium movie channels alter the widescreen aspect ratio?

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Why do channels like HBO HD and Cinemax HD change the aspect ratio of movies?  I have seen movies that I own on dvd or blu-ray that are 2:35:1 or 2:40:1 aspect ratio (meaning very wide and you see some thin black bars at the top and bottom of your screen) but when they are broadcast on these movie channels it looks like the films are  partially panned & scanned down to a 1:85:1 ratio (not as wide and the bars are gone). 

 

This is really stupid, and the movies are not being shown in their full widescreen orginal presentation.  What do they have to gain by cutting off parts of the picture?  I have noticed some channels like showtime don't do this, but most do.  Obviously this isn't verizons doing its the channel providers, but it's annoying. 

 

And what's with all the logos all over the premium channels nowadays?  These are paid channels the screen should be clear of any and all logos and any add overlays.  If I want to know the channel and rating I'm watching I'll just press the guide button, it's overkill.

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎08-06-2009

Re: Why do premium movie channels alter the widescreen aspect ratio?

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They do this for the OnDemand movies as well.  I agree...it is VERY annoying.   There is NO reason for it.  Sure,there are some people out there who want their screen filled, but they can always use the ZOOM button to do that.  It's a terrible practice and I never watch movies on channels that crop them (and am cancelling the channels that do it when my contract bundle expires).  The only channels that show movies in the correct ratios are SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL, and HDNet MOVIES. (EPIX shows old movies in OAR but crop newer films.)

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,759
Registered: ‎05-22-2010

Re: Why do premium movie channels alter the widescreen aspect ratio?

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@film11 wrote:

They do this for the OnDemand movies as well.  I agree...it is VERY annoying.   There is NO reason for it.  Sure,there are some people out there who want their screen filled, but they can always use the ZOOM button to do that.  It's a terrible practice and I never watch movies on channels that crop them (and am cancelling the channels that do it when my contract bundle expires).  The only channels that show movies in the correct ratios are SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL, and HDNet MOVIES. (EPIX shows old movies in OAR but crop newer films.)



The others, Notably HBO that started this practice, do occassionally show OAR.  But usually only when the director specifically had in his agreement that his picture would only be so displayed when marked to TV channels.

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎08-06-2009

Re: Why do premium movie channels alter the widescreen aspect ratio?

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The others, Notably HBO that started this practice, do occassionally show OAR.  But usually only when the director specifically had in his agreement that his picture would only be so displayed when marked to TV channels.


Which most directors don't have the power to do.  Steven Soderbergh had to jump through hoops and get others involved just to have OCEANS 13 shown properly.  As far as I know, OCEANS and the STAR WARS  series are the only domestic films that HBO/MAX was forced rto show correctly. (In Director's Guild.Quarterly, Soderbergh wrote that this policy is "...an exercise in stupidirty."  Many viewers who have dropped these premium channels completely agree.)

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