Incorrect Aspect Ratios: A Huge Pet Peeve

The scary thing is, after about 20 minutes you can't tell if it's stretched anymore.  It scares the crap out of me.  I hate it.
Look, you have a new 16×9 high definition television. I get it. So do I. There is something in us that WANTS to have every single, beautiful pixel filled with entertainment awesomeness. But here’s the deal — your 4×3 footage was never meant to be displayed like that. It’s just wrong. Picard did not have a head that fat.

I’ve had this discussion in real life, and people say they are annoyed by the black bars on the side of the television if they watch it in the native aspect ratio. These are (ironically) the same people that bought “fullscreen” DVDs because they didn’t like the black bars on the top and bottom of their old 4×3 televisions. Fullscreen DVDs are wrong. Stretched 4×3 video is even wronger. Just don’t do it, you make big screen TV people everywhere look bad.

Now go rent Star Trek the Next Generation, and watch it like it’s supposed to look. You won’t be sorry. πŸ™‚

UPDATE: OMG, I see THIS on Engadget today. Can you imagine the insanity?!?!?!

14 thoughts on “Incorrect Aspect Ratios: A Huge Pet Peeve

  1. You know how some folks are color blind? I think some folks are aspect blind. That there’s something wrong with the way their brains interpret the images they are seeing and their brain says, “yup, looks good!” even when we cringe. My dad is like that. He doesn’t even notice when images are distorted. And when I point it out, he gets huffy, “Why’s it such a big deal, I don’t even notice it until you say something about it.”

  2. Lol d-rock, my dad is the same. He just bought himself his first wide screen TV 2 weeks ago and I was watching it in the wrong aspect, but I didn’t say anything lest I cop the “I didn’t notice, I don’t care, Now I do, You shit me” spiel. After about 45 mins he says to me, “I think the aspect on this is wrong” to which I replied that yes it was and I showed him how to change it. He went through the diferent aspect ratio, put it back to ‘Stretched’, shrugged and said he was used to it. It’s still set to ‘Stretched’ and I think about kittens when I’m round there πŸ˜›

  3. So here is a bit of irony for your morning. Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” was filmed in fullscreen. His reason for doing this was that he filmed “2001 A Space Odyssey” in widescreen, and when it was released to VHS they butchered it and made it fullscreen. So when he went to make The Shining, he filmed it in fullscreen, so nobody would mess it up. Well guess what. The Blu-Ray release of The Shining is WIDESCEREN!. Granted they preserved the aspect ratio, but the cut the top and the bottom off of the entire movie. It changes the whole look and feel of the movie. When I was watching it, I knew it ‘felt’ different, but after popping in my DVD, I realized how terrible it looks.

    Way to ruin one of my favorite movies of all time. If Kubrick was alive would be irate, he was a perfectionist in every sense of the word with his movies. Also because of how anal he was with his movies, I doubt he would have allowed this.

    As my friend Chuck said concerning this incident “Is nothing sacred anymore?!”

  4. Some people get their car washed and detailed every week. I only care if my car gets me home tonight.

    If you don’t care about something it’s almost like your brain ignores it even though your paying attention to it.

  5. Mom: No, that’s another issue. Very annoying though.

    Ryder: Cropping movies is another pet peeve. πŸ™‚

    Brad: But wouldn’t you notice if your car suddenly took up two lanes…

  6. Now go rent Star Trek the Next Generation, and watch it like it’s supposed to look. You won’t be sorry.

    Won’t be sorry? Depends on which season you rented. πŸ˜›

  7. So, you take a dvd, copy the vob file to your hard drive, transcode to mpeg4 with ffmpeg, burn to a dvd with MythVideo, and the aspect ratio is wrong … start over again …

    Yes, I know it sounds insane, but …

  8. I’ve read in the news only recently, that somebody(Phillips maybe) has created a 16×9 only television set.

    I don’t want to see Diana Troy headless.

  9. I don’t (yet) have this problem, because I have a perfectly good non-hidef tv that’s only about 3 years old. I always buy widescreen DVDs unless I have no choice (there’s some pretty obscure movies released by specialty houses that only have a fullscreen version).

  10. I agree completely! I fear that we are a minority: most people, it seems, don’t care or notice the stretched image. It drives me crazy when the wrong aspect ratio is displayed.

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