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Not a mock thread ... Is it time to drop the 4:3 safe zones

(April 2008)

JO
Joe
Brekkie posted:
Is much being made in 4:3 now?


The occasional sports event from abroad, but can't think of anything else now that's being made in 4:3 - ITV News was probably the last major thing to catch up.

This isn't a dig at you, but can I ask why you double space your posts?
MS
Mr-Stabby London London
Are the occasional 'TOTP2' programmes made these days in 4:3? You'd think they would be considering that 99% of the material shown on it would be 4:3 anyway.
NG
noggin Founding member
DVB Cornwall posted:
Examples from Melodifestivalen of 4:3 graphics cropping.


Yep - as I remember the important graphics are JUST in 4:3 safe. The cropped leading digit of the left hand phone number is probably a mistake... There is no other reason to range them in as far as they are.

The song strap is more 4:3 friendly than I remember (don't have my MF DVDs to hand at the mo)
NG
noggin Founding member
Brekkie posted:
Is much being made in 4:3 now?


Very little in the UK - apart from the low budget channels. Talking Movies was the last non-archive BBC show in production in 4:3 last time I checked. Parkinson was probably the last high-profile BBC show made in 4:3 (it switched to 16:9 when he switched channels)
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Jugalug posted:
Brekkie posted:
Is much being made in 4:3 now?


The occasional sports event from abroad, but can't think of anything else now that's being made in 4:3 - ITV News was probably the last major thing to catch up.

This isn't a dig at you, but can I ask why you double space your posts?


Habit - that's all.
JO
Joe
Brekkie posted:
Jugalug posted:
Brekkie posted:
Is much being made in 4:3 now? The occasional sports event from abroad, but can't think of anything else now that's being made in 4:3 - ITV News was probably the last major thing to catch up.

This isn't a dig at you, but can I ask why you double space your posts?

Habit - that's all.

Fair enough.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
We were on holiday in Italy last week. One of the channels on the hotel TV was Germany's ARD. This was being sourced from satellite (Hotbird I think). The hotel room TV was 4:3, and the receiver at the head end had been set to 4:3 CCO. It was quite evident that ARD's actual transmissions were 16:9, and there was no 4:3 safe zone. All captions were cropped on the TV, and at one point half of a presenter's face was missing. Also, I don't recall seeing a DOG at all.

Compare with BBC World on the same satellite, in 14:9 letterbox.

I think it's a about time we (the UK) dragged ourselves in the 21st Century. Dropping the 4:3 /14:9 safe zones will cause the same problems that I observed, but it might force the public to go and understand (and therefore set correctly) the AR settings on TV displays and STBs.

At the moment we are simply not taking advantage of the full 16:9 'canvas' and wasting it.

By the way, RAI's weather forcasters exude much more authority than UK ones Smile

http://www.markyboy.net/raiweather.JPG
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
> I think it's a about time we (the UK) dragged ourselves in the 21st Century. Dropping the 4:3 /14:9 safe zones will cause the same problems that I observed, but it might force the public to go and understand (and therefore set correctly) the AR settings on TV displays and STBs.

Indeed.

Fact is that 4:3 viewers are now in the minority.

4:3 viewers whose TVs are so small that letterboxing the picture will result in the picture becoming unwatchable are in a tiny minority.

Far more viewers are simply too lazy to set up their 16:9 TVs correctly and resort to whinging and phoning the BBC when graphics are set up "wrong".

I have set the two 4:3 TVs (one 28", one 21") in our house to 16:9 letterbox from the outset. If it's good enough for my household it's good enough for anyone else.

It's time the foot was put down. If people don't like it, tough.

I also feel that all new Freeview, Digicable and Sky boxes should be factory-set to 16:9 mode by default. All these boxes are hooked up by SCART, and 95% of all existing TVs -- both 16:9 and 4:3 -- can autoswitch between the two modes. This will lead to a gradual phasing out of lazy viewers with badly set up TVs, as they'll be correctly configured by default. If viewers want the alternative, they'll have to get off their backsides and RTFM -- so at least they'll know what the alternatives are.
R2
r2ro
Why get rid of the safe areas? What problem is there? The fact that 4:3 televisions are still on sale and that 4:3 in some form (Eg. Centre Cut-Out) seems to be the default installed on new channels suggests that it can't be that much of a problem. Admittedly, I don't always watch in 16:9 when I have a 16:9 television but on the occasions I do I don't see what harm there is in the graphics being 4:3 safe and leaving graphic-blank areas at the side.

Also as another poster said, there are many people who have a main widescreen possibly HD television and then have smaller portables around the rest of the house. If you think I'm changing all the portable 4:3s then you can think again. Why pay for new televisions when the ones I've got already do the job?

So in answer to the original question - no, it's not time to get rid of the safe zones.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
r2ro posted:
Why get rid of the safe areas? What problem is there?


Spend sometime watching European or American 16:9 broadcasts and you'll see a world of difference. The entire picture width is used for action. In the UK the nothing happens on the sides, because of the safe area requirements, so why bother at all with 16:9 ?

Forget about captions, I'm talking about scenes in drama and sport that are composed and shot in 16:9.

In fact some US material has to be shown on analogue here as 16:9 letterbox because of just that. We're falling behind the rest of the world clinging as we do to 4:3 and 14:9 safe zones.
TO
Tom0
jason posted:
> I've seen some HD mocks where the graphics are very close to the edge, and I'm not sure I like it. I actually prefer graphics to be in safe areas, it just looks better.

That's just because it's what you are used to. I do know what you mean, but I think we'd all get over that within the first half-hour if exposed to proper graphics on a regular basis.

Here's one to think about -- by the same token, there will be some widescreen viewers out there who watch 4:3 programmes in 16:9 zoom mode, cuttting off the top and bottom of the screen. Even more people -- myself included -- tend to watch in 14:9 zoom as a decent compromise without having to distort the picture.

If it's good enough for the 4:3 viewers, surely all 4:3 programming should be made 16:9 safe? Twisted Evil


I wouldn't because I just generally don't like graphics being close to the edge. I don't like the screen looking full. Its like when I've watched 4:3 programmes on a 4:3 TV, graphics being so close to the edge of the screen really annoys me.
GS
Gavin Scott Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
Markymark posted:
r2ro posted:
Why get rid of the safe areas? What problem is there?


Spend sometime watching European or American 16:9 broadcasts and you'll see a world of difference. The entire picture width is used for action. In the UK the nothing happens on the sides, because of the safe area requirements, so why bother at all with 16:9 ?

Forget about captions, I'm talking about scenes in drama and sport that are composed and shot in 16:9.

In fact some US material has to be shown on analogue here as 16:9 letterbox because of just that. We're falling behind the rest of the world clinging as we do to 4:3 and 14:9 safe zones.


I think we're in danger of overstating the matter just a touch.

Composition of shots and graphics to allow for safe areas *doesn't* indicate the UK is "falling behind the rest of the world".

It indicates that UK broadcasters are mindful of the millions upon millions of CCO 4:3 viewers in the country.

Let's not have an organ recital over it.

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