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Aspect Ratio for Blu Ray version of Movie Different to DVD version. Why?

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Initial post: 31 Jul 2011 04:28:42 BDT
John W Dagg says:
I have the Lord of the Rings Director's Cut set of DVDs and they are presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio (Panavision or Cinemascope) that it was shown in Cinemas in. I wished to upgrade my collection to Blu Ray version only to find out (Thankfully before I bought the set) that the Blu Ray version in the region avaialbe in New Zealand and the UK and from Amazon UK is 1:78:1 Why? Why has some plonker taken away my choice to see it in it's original format. Have the idiots who decide what format to release Blu Ray in not heard of the Zook button on their TV remote which allows one to change for mat from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1 if the viewer wishes? I note that the USA version is in it's original format of 2.35:1 I am now contemplating buying a region free Blu Ray player so I can uy Blu Ray from the USA instead of from the UK or New Zealand; both of which countries are lumbered with the stupid choices of the idtions who chose to remove a viewer's choice in the matter.

Posted on 31 Jul 2011 13:15:09 BDT
Dan says:
Don't believe all the specs you read on Amazon. LOTR extended editions are 2.40:1

Posted on 31 Jul 2011 18:48:06 BDT
J.Yasimoto says:
In the absence of any reliable data, Amazon seems to default BluRays to 1.78:1 (or at least they used to). You can always help them and others by clicking the "update product info" link.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2011 22:26:57 BDT
John W Dagg says:
It is all very well to suggest that Amazon gets it wrong on occasion with respect to the published aspect ratio of Blu Ray products but it is the only information one has to make a decision whether or not to buy on. With respect to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy extended Blu Ray version, I note that we in New Zealand are classified as the same Blu Ray Region as the UKm and I note that on the extended version avaialbe in New Zealand Stores, the Aspect Ratio is indeed printed on the box as 1.78:1 and not the 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 as mentioned by others. I won't buy anything that tells me that it is in 1.78:1, if the original in the cinema was 2.35:1. I am still looking at buying one of the region free Bly Ray Players so I can buy Bly Ray Films from the USA. If the film companies are so bereft of comon sense about releasing their films in the film's orgininal format in all regions, and hence allowing the viewer to chose what format they view it in on their adjustableTelevision sets, then they do not deserve to make any sales to collectors like me period! Finally, as for "Updating" Amazon's information on their web site about any aspect of a film, if they cannot get it right, then they don't deserve to make a sale on that score either. It is their job to publish the truth about the producs they sell, not just to willy nilly make a guess at it.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2011 22:55:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Jul 2011 22:55:49 BDT
J.Yasimoto says:
Well - almost all BluRays have "16:9" on the back - regardless of actual ratio. Are you sure "1.78:1" isn't another way of specifying "16:9"?

Not saying it's right, but film companies often have information on the back that is just plain wrong. eg. "PAL", or "region B" when it's "region free".

I can't believe LotR will be released in 1,78:1 anywhere. Just doesn't make sense. And even if it were, couldn't you send it back for a refund?

Posted on 31 Jul 2011 23:28:14 BDT
16:9 is the image ratio for all Bluray discs. However , to make things clear the boxes should state the ratio of the actual image that will appear.
For example: The Star Trek tv shows are in their original 4:3 ratio and are presented pillarboxed (borders down the side) and films that were made in the 2.35:1 ratio are presented with borders top and bottom . 16:9 is the same as 1.77/1.78:1 so technically any Bluray can be described like that but as we see from the earlier post stating this ratio can be misleading. Extremely unlikely that the Blurays of LOtR will not be in the correct ratio

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Aug 2011 01:12:47 BDT
Dan says:
There are plenty of other places to find out information on blu-ray discs. just typing in "lord of the rings extended new zealand 1.78:1" brings you to a nz retailer where you made this point before - and two people actually confirm that the printed AR is wrong and that it IS 2.40:1

99.99% sure that the video transfer is the same the world over regardless of region, and I see no reason why any distributor would butcher the aspect ratio (and create a needless amount of work for themselves)

Relax and buy it

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Aug 2011 01:36:14 BDT
John W Dagg says:
No! I won't buy them on line from Amazon or other source now unless they can garantee that the film is presented in it's original cinema ratio. I have been bitten by buying a version thinking it was in the correct ratio to find it was in the wrong aspect ratio before. With the first harry Potter Film, it was released on DVD in New Zealand in 4x3 first time around. It was released about 12 months later in the full 2.35:1 and many bought a second copy. I didn't I got the American version which which was Entitled there as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone where it was released on NTSC DVD in 2.35:1 from the start. I suspect they release them like that here to get extra sales later. Anyway, I simply wanted to make the point that the industry needs to get information correct. SOmeome will have them soon for false advertising otherwise...... I hope. It seems Amazon UK don't advertise the aspect ratio on their DVDs or Blu Ray ones now. They did for LOTR extended version when it was on pre order but now they have removed the ratio from their advert. I just wish they would get it right and be consistant. Collectors are fussy folk. We like to buy films that have not being hacked by some plonker who thinks he or she knows best on how a flick should be presented. Clearly they don't know.

Posted on 1 Aug 2011 21:35:12 BDT
Dan says:
Okay - hold on a minute

If by some stretch of the imagination the NZ version was actually 1.78:1, do you think that it wouldn't be known by now? This is one of the biggest blu-ray releases there has ever been - if there were a problem as you're suggesting then it certainly wouldn't be quiet. We were hearing about the green tint issue before the box set was even released - would something as major as cropping the movie go unheard of? not a chance

Amazon are just a retailer and aren't going to know every detail about the products they sell because it's unrealistic. as I said before - don't believe everything you read on Amazon, go to specialist blu-ray sites who're much more reliable

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Aug 2011 22:21:34 BDT
John W Dagg says:
Okay, I am holding on a minute as I ponder the words or letters on the box in the shops of the Films that say,

"Aspect Ratio 1.78:1" - Not 16 x 9 but 1.78:1 But hey, Not my words here. So I have cut and pasted below the specifications as written on a Blu Ray Specialist site here in New Zealand: Scroll down to Aspect Ratio and see for yourself>

Release date
April 14th, 2011
Blu-ray Region
Region B

Andy Serkis
Billy Boyd
Brad Dourif.
Cate Blanchett
Christopher Lee
Dominic Monaghan
David Wenham
Elijah Wood,
Hugo Weaving
Ian McKellen
Ian Holm.
John Rhys Davies
John Noble
Karl Urban
Liv Tyler.
Miranda Otto
Orlando Bloom
Sean Astin
Sean Bean
Viggo Mortensen

Aspect Ratio

1.78 : 1

Supported Audio

DTS Digital Surround 5.1

Lord of the Rings
Jackson, Peter
Boxed Set

Better still,

here is the URL that will take you to the specialist Bly Ray site

Scroll down the specification to the right on that page and you will see for yourself the words and numerals as follows:

Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

I rest my case. It should be noted too that it is advertised on British sites as well as being in 1.78:1 However the USA advertise it as bein g in a 2.35:1 format. It is all avavilable on the various web sites as such.

Now as for Amazon, I assume they emply people who can read and whio can transpose. Local Web Retailers find the information and publish it ok. Again I make the point, to the film companies and retailers, release films in their original format and let us the view decide what format we want to view it in. ie widescreen, 4X3 pan and scan, or cropped from Cinemascope down to the wide screen format of 1.78:1 or 16 x 9 in other words. We have the technology to do that in the form of a remote control for the TV set and some DVD players have aspect ratio choices on their menu as well. Stop taking away our choices. It is as simple as that. Please don't miss the point. I have made my point. Get some consistancy. Amazon can and shouyld give the proper specifications of all the product it sells as should all retailers. The film companies or distribution agencies can also help by making sure that films they release are always released in their original format. That way we all know where we are and don't get duped into buysing something that is not what it seems or is supposed to be.


Posted on 1 Aug 2011 23:36:22 BDT
Dan says:
Proper/complete specs for every product Amazon sells is never going to happen. I'd also point out that when I say "specialist" site I don't mean a retailer, I'm talking about sites which are dedicated to specs/reviews rather than selling them ie:

If you look at the DVD box set ( you can also see that it's listed as 1.78:1 despite the description clearing stating 2.35:1 several times. that site is not a reliable place for info

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2011 00:02:05 BDT
John W Dagg says:
In Some countries the Law requires that vendors provide fulll specification information for items sold by such vendors. It my view it is not a big deal to do so. ALl the promotional material is provided usualy by the originating company and all the vendor has to do is reprint it. However, the URL you provided in return was for a DVD and I have that set and it is in 2.35:1 AR. The URL I provided takes you to the Bly=u Ray graphics and it clearly states 1.78:1m That url was:

Please note the term Blu Ray in the Url. The URL as returned by yourself Dan says DVD and I repeat, it is in 2.35:1 as I bought that originally. The Blu Ray version is not for Region B as stated in the URL. Region A in the USA however is in and is advertises as being in 2.35:1 and that is all I have to say on the matter. I have to say, I have seen part of the Blu Ray version playing and it is indeed in 1.78:1 and besides, for those who have bought a Philips 21 x 9 TV (ie one that is in 2.35:1) they would playing the Region B Blu ray version, have black Bars each side of the screen. Again, It would be no big deal for companies to get it right. ie those who supply Amazon and other retailers with their product.

Posted on 2 Aug 2011 02:00:37 BDT
Dan says:
I'm aware the link is for the DVD set - the point I was making is that the site contains unreliable information, evident by the fact that 2 contradicting aspect ratios are shown next to each other.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2011 04:09:05 BDT
John W Dagg says:
My final word on the matter is that to not provide correct information is incompetance. It is not workmanlike, it is not professional. It is just plain Stupid. Most companies are reliable with the information that they publish about the wares they sell as they repect customer loyalty and rightly so. My advice to all who sell to the public, especially via mail order or internet is to get it right or lose sales period. As for seeing two contradicting aspect ratios being shown next to each other, I can only say DUH!. Exactly what I am griping about. Not consistent. Oh well. 'nuff said!



In reply to an earlier post on 3 Aug 2011 15:22:15 BDT
P. Marck says:
You really shouldn't trust Amazon for technical details, lulz.

Posted on 3 Aug 2011 15:53:19 BDT
DeeJay says:
You've basically griped about something everyone already knows, not to trust Amazon and their tech specs. They list hundreds of thousands of products so errors will occur, or they will just provide default info, like listing Blurays as region 2 and the like. Your initial point was complaining that the aspect ratio of LOTR was butchered - well it isn't, and your next gripe is something that everyone is agreeing with you on. The difference is we know that, but also know to do research on reputable sites - not a mass marker retailer - to get the correct information.

Posted on 4 Aug 2011 12:05:24 BDT
Iain West says:
You do realise that 1:1,78 is what all IMAX cameras shoot in and it's what you see in tron, the dark knight and everything else that has been shot in IMAX was done with an aspect ratio of 1:1,78. So I brought the Blade Trilogy on Bluray having read the retarded comments about aspect ratios, needless to say they've arrived now and the 1080P Image reveals alot more picture resolution than on any of the dvds as I now have the US/Canadian Zone A release and the DVDs to compare and trust me folks THEY ARE ALOT BETTER PICTURE QUALITY THAN THE DVD RELEASES!!!!

Posted on 5 Aug 2011 16:36:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Aug 2011 16:37:52 BDT
hippo says:
You do realise that's wrong :-)
IMAX cameras shoot in 1.44:1.
Of the films you mention, only Dark Knight was PARTIALLY filmed using IMAX camera's. Tron was NOT shot using IMAX cameras. It was just DMR'd (upconverted to fit IMAX) after filming. The Blu-rays of these films are cropped from IMAX 1.44:1 to 1.78:1 to fit on home TV screens.

The Canadian release of Blade 1 is horribly cropped.
See pictures here
Reviews also confirm the same
Watch your Blade 1 disc again. Picture quality may be better than DVD, but at least DVD's don't have a large part of the picture missing.

I would wait for a better release in the future.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2011 19:19:24 BDT
T. CROWE says:
Hi, Tim says: when you watched your blade trilogy, presumably on blu-ray, was it on a region 2 machine ? or region free by chance ? I'm looking to buy a pal version and only have a region 2 blu player!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2011 23:55:55 BDT
John W Dagg says:
First of all I did say in a previous post, that it was my final word. But I do see a lot of BS talked on this forum with respect to so called Aspect Ratios. When the first Harry Potter film came out, I went into a local store and purchased it. Only to find when I got home and played it that it was in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. that is, it was shown in 4:3 and a quick look on the box info confirmed it was indeed in recorded in 1.33:1 plus a small graphic showing a full screen with the numerals 4:3 was printed on the screen graphic. Lesson learned to look at the aspect ratio on the box first before buying.

I looked on the USA Amazon site and they advertised the same film, (albeit with the title of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Strone" as opposed to the version I had bought which was entitled "Harry piotter and the Philosopher's stone:) and the Amazon version was listed as being in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. So I bought that and it was indeed as advertised. I bought a lot of films from there from then on and found their advertised Aspect Ratio to always be correct. I even bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone from the UK Amazon Store and it too was advertised in 2.35:1 and it turned out it was as advertised. Insidentally apart from reference to the stone within the films, all three were identical with respet to content except one was cropped and the actor's verbal reference in each film was as the box said. That shows that those scenes were shot twice. Once fo the USA market and the other for the rest of the world. Later the film was re-released in New Zealand in the correct 2.35:1 format.

On the matter of 2.35.1, I note that on some adverts both for DVDs and Cinema, they are now showing the format Ratio of 2.40:1 which I recall when I was a projectionist, was the shape of the Screen full width when we installed Cinemascope and Panavision etc. This was to eliminate crap that accidentally got into the frame line in splices so the little bits of skin and hair that got trapped didin't show on the screen as they passed the gate. Likewise the cinemas with screen ratios of 2.55:1 showed theirs at about 2.60;1 for the same reason. The 2.60:1 screens usualy were in Cinemas with 4 track magnetic Stereophonic sound which allowed a little more room on the film stock due to narrower sprocket holes and half the optical sound track area becoming avaiable for picture too because the Magnetic stripe that took the optical tracks place was narrower. But I digress.

I just revisited some of the Films I looked at on botthe Amazon USA and the Amazon UK sites and I find they have removed reference to Aspect ratios. Star wars was orriginally advertised as being in 2:35 :1 on the USA site and as 1.78:1 on the UK site. Now neither site has refence to aspect ratios. Hence I for one will not buy from those sources again. I will wait until the film appears on the shelf locally and see what the box says. I do have a couple of films that were in fact shot twice. One in one ratio and the second in another. ie. Seven Brides from Seven Brothers I got two copies. I have in Cinemascope and it says on the box for one copy it is in Cinemascope and 2.55:1 The other DVD says it is in 1.85:1 A description on the box says it was shot with two cameras once scene at a time. First with a camera set up for Cinemascop and secondly with a camera set up for the then standard american wide screen format of 1.85:1 which was based on the Vistavision format. Some UK film companies wne to the slighly narrower 1.78:1 ratio due in tart to the fact that many old cinemas had a large arch as a procenium and they were able to get a slighly larger looking screen into that arch using 1.78:1 instead of the standard 1.85 :1. However for Cinemascope, those cinemas dropped the top mask and widened their screen a little. IT happend in csome cinemas here too.

The second film was shot in 2.20:1 Todd AO and with a different camers at 2.55:1 Cinemascope. IT Again on the two DVDs is a small story on why two differnt format cameras were used. It has to be remembers that Oaklahoma was the forst Todd AO film to be released as such and very few cinemas had 70mm equipment.

Tha above is a good site recoring the development etc of Cinemascope and :
TheURL above is a good site showing TODD AO development and history.

It is my beliefe that what is released in one country doesn't have to be the same as it is released in another. SO have a nice day folks.. That is my last post on the matter. All the info is availabe on the internet.


Posted on 6 Aug 2011 11:58:49 BDT
Shazzerman says:
^Interesting post. I didn't know some films - such as "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" - were shot with two different aspect ratios in mind.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2011 12:59:42 BDT
DeeJay says:
lol @jwd. I really hope that is his "last" post on the matter.

Posted on 6 Aug 2011 21:05:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Aug 2011 21:06:51 BDT
hippo says:
Should someone also mention to JWD, that a lot of sites (including Amazon sometimes) also often quote the DVD running times (which is shorter, due to 4% PAL speedup on PAL DVD's) on their Blu-ray listings, instead of using the proper Blu-ray running times?

Cries of JWD shouting "Why have they edited LOTR's?!?!"

Posted on 7 Aug 2011 17:00:22 BDT
DeeJay says:
He can't shout anything, he's not coming back, remember? lol

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2011 12:54:56 BDT
Al says:
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, it is the BD that has the dvd running time written on the back. Amazon (and others) are expecting this info to be correct.
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Total posts:  30
Initial post:  31 Jul 2011
Latest post:  18 Aug 2011

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