Why do most movies only use about 75% of the screen?

  • Thread starter cameron paterson
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cameron paterson

Senior Audioholic
I am always annoyed that i have a 135" screen and the movies are utilizing only 75% of the screen. Usually the top and bottom are just black. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for your time guys!
 
Sef_Makaro

Sef_Makaro

Audioholic
That format is called anamorphic widescreen. It’s a different aspect ratio than the typical widescreen (16:9). There should be a setting either on the player or the display to zoom in. You’ll lose some of the horizontal picture but it’ll fill the screen.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
It's funny how IMAX, which many people consider to be the best theater experience, is in 16:9 ratio just like standard HDTV and most widescreen projector screens. :D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I don't think you are correct on the Imax Ratio.

19:10 (1.9:1) IMAX Digita Most IMAX theaters

https://calculateaspectratio.com/aspect-ratio
Close enough, damn it. :D

1.9:1 vs ~ 1.8:1

Actually a lot of my movies are in 1.85 ratio, which seems to fill up the entire screen. And 1.85 is basically the same as 1.9. :D

All I know is that when I watch an IMAX BluRay it seems to fill up the 16:9 screen, which is greatly appreciated. :D

If only all movies were filmed and sold on BluRay as IMAX.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I am always annoyed that i have a 135" screen and the movies are utilizing only 75% of the screen. Usually the top and bottom are just black. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for your time guys!
If you use Kodi as a media player, it allows you to Zoom in and crop the black bars (set to Zoom, instead of Normal) and set the Zoom amount. Aspect Ratio remains the same.

I haven't tried this, but I will tonight. LOL. :D
 
Paul DS

Paul DS

Audioholic
If you use Kodi as a media player, it allows you to Zoom in and crop the black bars (set to Zoom, instead of Normal) and set the Zoom amount. Aspect Ratio remains the same.

I haven't tried this, but I will tonight. LOL. :D
If you zoom in on a film that was made to be shown in 2.35.1 (Cinemascope) you will most definitely be cropping both sides of the film. Not terribly noticeable on newer films, but definitely not good for older films made in the 50's and 60's. A 50's film such as "Forbidden Planet" does not do very well when cropped. Older films were made to show action on the full width of the screen, newer films are not.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If you use Kodi as a media player, it allows you to Zoom in and crop the black bars (set to Zoom, instead of Normal) and set the Zoom amount. Aspect Ratio remains the same.

I haven't tried this, but I will tonight. LOL. :D
Okay, I tried the zoom function.

While watching a movie (Ip Man 2008, Dracula Untold, Shadow 2018, The Highwaymen, Ant-man and the Wasp, American Assassin), press the “Z” on the keyboard and toggle through the different settings. The Zoom function works great. No black bars on top/bottom.
 
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AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I am always annoyed that i have a 135" screen and the movies are utilizing only 75% of the screen. Usually the top and bottom are just black. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for your time guys!
I just want to give you a BIG THANK YOU for bringing up this topic.

These black bars have been bothering me forever.

But now thanks to you, I am enjoying this ZOOM function on my 150” screen.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I just want to give you a BIG THANK YOU for bringing up this topic.

These black bars have been bothering me forever.

But now thanks to you, I am enjoying this ZOOM function on my 150” screen.
The problem with this is now you are degrading the image that is there. Unless you are watching in 4k, zooming in is going to make the picture substantially worse, especially on a screen that large. What is more, you are losing a lot of the picture. Directors and cinematographers go to great lengths to get the right shot composition. It's crazy that you have gone to great lengths to recreate the fidelity of the sound and picture, but then throw out a chunk of the picture, especially on a large 150" screen which is ideal for letterboxed movies.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
The problem with this is now you are degrading the image that is there. Unless you are watching in 4k, zooming in is going to make the picture substantially worse, especially on a screen that large.
I didn’t notice any picture quality degradation while watching Dracula Untold in DTSX in 1080p on my 150” screen.

It depends on the original picture quality.

If the original picture quality is not superb, then zooming will magnify the bad.

If the original quality is awesome, zooming in a little (2.4:1 to 1.8:1 ratio) isn’t going to to cause any apparent degradation.

If the 4K PQ sucks, zooming a little will still make it suck.

If the 1080p PQ rocks, zooming a little will still make it awesome.

So far, I have seen a few 1080p movies that I mentioned in zoom mode (2.4 to 1.8) on my 150” screen. And I have not noticed any picture quality degradation.
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Senior Audioholic
I have to tell you that an anamorphic lens makes a huge difference. We own a 106" Stewart Cabaret screen that drops down in front of our TV. The screen is 2.39 and It's paired with a JVC 1080P projector and an Oppo Disc player. The main reason for the Oppo is because it has the unique ability to shift subtitles that are in the lower "black bar" into the picture. When you zoom or use an anamorphic lens, subtitles can be cut out completely without this feature.

One other thing to consider. 73% of movies made since the early 1970's are Cinemascope films.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
One way to fix is watch only 16:9 movies;) :)

Another is some compromise, a 1:85 screen.

A no compromise is a 2:39 screen but lose a lot on 16:9 movies.

Yet another is to have a variable height blackout shades for the screen.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Look, I get it... everyone hates the black bars.

What I don't get is that every TV you have owned since about the year 2000 has been a 16:9 TV and when you watch movies from Blu-ray they have always had black bars at the top and bottom.

This is a well established concept. Yes, you can zoom in and fill your screen, but you are changing what the film actually is. How it was shot. I agree that it's absolutely crazy to throw away part of the image because you can't handle 'black bars'. Your choice of course.

But, why not look for solutions?

My theater plan is to use a large 16:9 screen and to put it on a black wall. Then, I will have masks I can add to the screen when I watch 2.35 content. The masks will just be held in place with magnets, or I will use a motorized shading system of some sort. But, the ability to mask a 16:9 screen to 2.35 is not unusual and changing the format of your screen to fit what the director wanted you to see is far more better than changing it to fit your screen.

Everyone can do their own thing, but I certainly don't get why anyone would change it.

You turn this:


Into this:
 
C

cameron paterson

Senior Audioholic
Ya i am just gonna live with the bars. Dont want to mess with original content.
 

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