ATV2 & Letterbox

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ZipZap, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Is every HD 720 movie on itunes letterbox (which is not HD)?

    I cant recall renting one that was not.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    that's a hard question to answer, you'll have to ask one of the lucky few who've won the $10,000 itunes gift cards, they could rent every movie and check for you.

    most movies are now released digitally in the format they were released in the cinema. a lot of movies are 1.85:1, so on your 16:9 (1.77:1) television there will be black bars at the top and bottom. some movies, and most current television shows are 16:9, so no black bars.
    some movies are in even wider screen so even bigger black bars.

    if you don't like the bars, the only option would be trying the zoom settings in your television and cutting off part of the image.
  3. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    What is comcast doing then as I rarely have this issue when I rent a movie with them.
  4. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    They are "zooming" the movie for you before they broadcast it. This changes the aspect ratio of the film, and cuts content off each side of the screen in order to make it fit the height of your TV.
  5. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  6. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    It does not look like any zoom I've ever seen. It looks like HD 720 filling the entire screen.

    Isn't that how 720 is suppose to be?

    Letterbox seems like a cheat for HD. Compress the picture and it looks better.

    I have a plasma and its at least 5 years old so it may not be using current HD formats (I think it is), but HD movies from comcast, that fill the entire screen look terrific.

    Everything I play on ATV is compressed. I should not have to buy a new TV to get full screen 720 from ATV, nor should I need to go to 1080.
  7. chenks macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    you are misunderstanding what is going on.

    movie makers use various different aspect ratios when making the movie.
    depending on how it was shot, you may or may not get black bars top and bottom. they are still 720p or 1080p though.

    the appletv is displaying the content correctly.
  8. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    They zoom it before they send the picture keeping the quality 720 or 1080, unlike when you hit the zoom button on your remote
  9. laurim macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2003
    Minnesota USA
    So, actually, Comcast is the one you should be angry with. Like I am. I want to see the entire movie the way it was intended, not a cropped movie to make people who don't understand aspect ratio happy.
  10. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Exactly. I am always amused by posters complaining about the black bars and their need to get rid of them. They nearly always fail to understand that doing so yields either a dramatically distorted picture (stretching) or actually shows less of the movie because part of the picture is being cropped on each end by zooming in.

    OP, think of it this way. The only reason you're not seeing the black bars at the movie theatre is because they can adjust the screen size to fit the movie, not the other way around. Develop a television that is also capable of changing its screen dimensions on the fly and you'll never have to deal with those pesky black bars again :rolleyes:.
  11. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    just make some small curtains, and put them on the top and bottom of the screen, that's all they do in the theatres.
  12. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    LOL thats gold
  13. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    First of all the HDTV is letterboxing, adding the black bars, not apple or the AppleTV. Apple is selling or renting movies in the format that the directors and studios feel/choose the video should be watched in order to preserve the original artist intention/vision.

    Who's ripping you off, the people who crop and upscale the image or the people who created the image?

    The fact is that most feature films (TV shows are different) will only have around 544 not 720p, and 816 not 1080p, in order to display the movie as it was shown in theaters and how the director intended.

    What's even worse than zoomed tv is poorly made pan and scan for 4x3 TV. I remember a specific scene in "Speed" that was broadcast on TNT for 4x3 around the late 90's or early 2000's. Since I saw the film on DVD and in the theater on the original release ( the trailer and premise of the film actually were great so don't knock me for it ;) ) it looked very odd when the camera/scan panned between Jeff and Keanu who were actually on the very extremes of the frame.

    These two characters could not be shown in the same frame on a 4x3 TV without letterboxing. So the broadcasters pan and scan, essentially changing the scene from both characters in the frame talking to each other, to what looked like a close up on one character to a close up of the other character. While it didn't ruin the movie, bc there are many other criticisms ;) , it was one of the weirdest technical video effects that I have ever seen, and film was one of my Uni majors, so I saw many crazy things /rant

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