1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

4X3 Widescreen

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Kenkong586, May 9, 2009.

  1. May 9, 2009 #1 of 11
    Kenkong586

    Kenkong586 Legend

    160
    0
    Apr 3, 2007
    What is the benefit of shooting something in widescreen if it is just going to be broadcast in 4x3? Just curious.
     
  2. May 9, 2009 #2 of 11
    durl

    durl Hall Of Fame

    1,743
    0
    Mar 27, 2003
    Got a specific example in mind?

    The director may simply prefer the aspect ratio.
     
  3. May 9, 2009 #3 of 11
    Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    1,006
    0
    Oct 11, 2007
    I have noticed that HD shows like Planet Earth look better than your standard 4x3 shows, The great cams show through even with the 4:3 down grade.
     
  4. May 9, 2009 #4 of 11
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,881
    196
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    Now that HD has taken hold, it may seem incongruous that a broadcaster would do that, but the television industry as a whole is still not 100% HD yet, and there are valid reasons why not all HD programming is broadcast in HD. Most of those reasons have to do with either downlink (signal transport) or local affiliate broadcast (equipment) limitations

    Even if a local network affiliate can receive HD downlinks, not all can pass through the HD signal, and many of those that can, still cannot yet transmit originate locally-originated content.

    For example, the other night while watching a network-originated program in 16:9 HD, the local affiliate kept switching to SD so they could super a slate teasing their upcoming local news broadcast. To me, the switching back-and-forth was amateurish and very distracting.
     
  5. May 9, 2009 #5 of 11
    BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    IMO, the benefit is that the content is likely to be used in ways other than being broadcast on TV. It may be released on DVD/Blu-Ray. It may be sold to another company, or put in archives to be used on other programs.

    Widescreen (16x9 or 1.77:1) is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard for television programming, so it makes little sense to shoot anything in 4x3 anymore, except that there's a ton of good 4x3 equipment that's already paid for. That's the main reason that ANYTHING is still shot in 4x3 today.
     
  6. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

    2,050
    0
    Jul 4, 2006
    In addition to providing flexibility for other formats (DVD, BluRay, movie theaters), widescreen provides the flexibility for future television broadcasts (even if the network currently only broadcasts in 4:3).
     
  7. Kenkong586

    Kenkong586 Legend

    160
    0
    Apr 3, 2007
    Mainly new programs on MTV. The Phone is a good example. It's a brand new program shot in widescreen and broadcast in 4X3 on MTVHD. I don't watch this program, but while flipping through the other day I noticed it and wondered why they'd do that. Actaully, a majority of their new programs are shot in widescreen and broadcast 4X3. A program like The Real World started out only airing in HD in it's first run timeslot, but have since began to show it in HD during all rebroadcasts. So they would seem to have HD up and running with no problem. It just made me wonder why you'd shoot 4X3 programs in widescreen; Why not just shoot it in 4X3? It's almost backwards of what they used to do (shoot widescreen, chop into 4X3 for TV).
     
  8. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    MTV only went HD fairly recently, but even then, they hadn't replaced all of their equipment, so they aren't fully HD capable yet. They are wisely shooting everything in HD/widescreen, but until they get all of their new equipment in place, establish workflows, and get everyone trained, a lot of stuff is still going to be non-HD and 4x3.

    For a TV network, going HD can be a $50-100,000,000 expense that takes years to finish. I'm sure the economy has slowed their conversion as well. It's been the same story at many other networks. If MTV just played videos and shot VJs in their original 5-set NY studio, it would be much simpler, but MTV is HUGE and deals with a lot of raw original content coming from many sources that has to be edited and archived, plus all of their live feeds from all over the world. It's a big operation, and they must do this changeover while maintaining 24/7/365 production. That's not easy, and certainly not cheap.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,881
    196
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    Just for the record, aspect ratios are correctly expressed as 16:9 or 4:3, not 16x9 or 4x3.
     
  10. timmmaaayyy2003

    timmmaaayyy2003 Hall Of Fame

    1,452
    0
    Jan 27, 2008
    I can understand why stuff is now being shot in widescreen, but why, for God's sake does a channel like SciFi broadcast widescreen content with pillar boxes on their HD feed!?:nono:
     
  11. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    4,343
    57
    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Because they're too lazy to use the HD masters of a show like "Enterprise". Alternately, it could be that HDNet has an exclusive on that version of the show but I doubt it.
     

Share This Page