The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio

I love this. It’s a great explanation of why 16:9 became a standard .


41 thoughts on “The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio

      1. Probably should have stated that I can’t open the video for some reason unknown to me.
        Now excuse me while I continue being batman.

    1. MTV VMA Moonman Suit. You can find it when you log into Xbox(dot)com and search for Major Nelson’s GamerTag. There you will see all his attributes.

  1. It’s very interesting, yet even today we still have all these different display aspect ratios outside of the film industry.
    I prefer 16:10 (1920×1200 e.g.) as it gives me room for additional controls under the 16:9 film frame without overlaying the image (and additional tiles in Windows 8).
    It also gives developers a little bit more real estate and overview in Visual Studio (I sometimes put multiple screens in vertical orientation side by side).

  2. Only thing I don’t like about 16:9 becoming a standard is some people stretch 4:3 stuff. There’s no good reason to do that, and I honestly have no idea how anyone could like it unless they grew up watching TV that way. I’ve hated it ever since it was an option when playing Game Boy (Color) games on a Game Boy Advance.

    1. I know several people who do that. They claim that the pillar boxing is actually more distracting that everything being stretched, bizarre.

      I do personally sometimes prefer to get a full 16:9 copy of a movie over a 21:9 one, even if that means seeing things at the top and bottom the director did not intend.

      That is partly because I get annoyed when they zoom in too far on people in 21:9 so it chops their chin or legs off and partly because I like to see what is going in the background sometimes, even if I wasn’t supposed to. 😉

  3. Very interesting stuff, sound is also a major part of movies as well would love to hear more about that as well, 5.1 sound has changed the way we experience movies and games.

  4. really interesting, also watched the one about the progression of colour. I wonder if all these classics like Ben Hur, Laurence of Arabia, Wizard of Oz, Gone with the wind etc are great classics because they are great films (which they are) but because each one was advertised as being the first of a new technical presentation, cinemascope, Technicolor etc

  5. Heres the DOTW

    Movie Tie-ins – 8-Oct to 14-Oct

    Aliens: Colonial Marines – £7.49/$19.99
    Star Trek – £7.49/$14.99
    Aliens vs. Predator – £7.49/$9.99
    Guardians of Middle-earth – £4.99/$7.49
    Pacific Rim – £3.37/$4.99
    Transformers: The Game – £9.99/$14.99
    R.I.P.D. The Game – £3.37/$4.99
    Real Steel – £3.37/$4.99
    X-Men Arcade – £3.37/$4.99

  6. I hate how my Blu-ray player up scales my Scrubs DVDs and messes up the aspect ratio. I have older DVDs which the aspect ratio is fine when my Blu-Ray player up scales them.

      1. Yeah, I had that same problem. It was too smooth for my liking somehow. I didn’t get the motion sickness some people described however.

      2. I didn’t see it but I certainly don’t understand why some people are so susceptible to “soap opera effect”. Even fake 48fps using TV interpolation is much more comfortable to watch than 24fps to me, if only TVs could do it reliably without dropping frames and artifacting.

        The higher the frame rate, the more true to life it is.

        Modern TVs also process the changes from frame to frame much better the closer to 60fps you are, due to generally having a 60Hz refresh rate (or multiple of) internally.

        The problem is too many people have trained their brains to 24fps and are unwilling to adjust to a “better” frame rate that is actually less taxing on your brain and eyes in the long run. Its even more odd when those same people moan about games being “only” 30fps.

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