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The Wire is in HD and Widescreen on Amazon Prime Streaming

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by GoPackGo, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Peter000

    Peter000 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Apr 15, 2002
    Red Wing, MN
    Is there a thread to discuss the Battlestar Galactica BD release?
     
  2. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    Yep. And the wink acknowledges that.

    It's a little odd to me that some of the people who are praising 4:3 shows being converted to 16:9 solely so it will "fill the screen" are the same ones who railed against 16:9 shows being converted to 4:3 so it would fill the screen. But hey, people are odd (and complicated). Why, I wouldn't be surprised if there were one or two of you out there who maybe once in a while think maybe I'm just a little odd! ;)
    Nope. It comes out tomorrow. I won't be getting it unless there's a sensational deal somewhere down the road (on the 4:3 version); I'm not that big a fan of the show.
     
  3. Peter000

    Peter000 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Apr 15, 2002
    Red Wing, MN
    my reasoning is that ideally on a 4:3 to 16:9 conversion there's nothing lost, only picture gained on the edges. Going the other way, there's lots of picture lost on the edges sometimes important stuff, depending on how the original shot was framed.

    If the 4:3 to 16:9 is simply a top/bottom crop, then of course I'd rather watch it in 4:3.

    If you're REALLY a purist, you'd watch it on a CRT TV in standard definition from a DVD. :) Oh, and on a TV manufactured around the time the Program was aired.

    Fair enough. I'm hoping it's remastered so the PQ is better... I have a DVD set that's pretty grainy.
     
  4. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
    In this case, some is cropped from the top and bottom, and some is added to the sides (which wasn't meant to be there in the first place). It was shot open matte (1.66:1), which is roughly halfway between 4:3 and 16:9.

    I have to admit, I'm unusually sensitive to this kind of thing. There have been times in theaters where movies are ruined for me because they overdid the overscan (there's always a little, so there won't be bright strips around the picture; a good projectionist will size it so there's only a tiny little bit of overscan, but when there's too much it really throws off the composition for me). I stopped going to one theater when it happened one time too many there. So I have a feeling that watching The Wire when it's cropped and expanded away from the originally-designed image would probably look like driving spikes through my eyeballs. Babylon 5 has similar effect on me; they did what the Wire people did in trying to protect the open matte image for both 4:3 and 16:9. But they ended up either with a soft, vague composition, or one that was designed for 4:3 and ended up with faces cropped at the chin, etc, when shown 16:9. I suffer through the B5 DVDs because they're all that there is, but I think JMS's forward-thinking experiment was an abject failure.

    I admit to being a bit unusual in that regard. ;)
    Apparently it is.
     
  5. markb

    markb Member

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    Jul 24, 2002
    San Diego
    That doesn't completely describe what was done to The Wire. They evaluated each shot separately, when deciding what to do. This link has been posted before, but it's a much better description of how the The Wire was altered:

    http://davidsimon.com/the-wire-hd-with-videos/
     
  6. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Nevertheless, something is lost somewhere, and it takes it away from the way the shot was composed.

    Now, there are places where by serendipity they end up with a better frame. But for the most part, I'm willing to bet that The Wire was filmed by highly-skilled directors who new exactly what they were doing when they framed their shots, and what they were doing is necessarily reduced when that shot is altered.
     

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