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Samurai Jack in widescreen
June 15, 2014 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone bought Samurai Jack on Amazon VOD? I have a kind of complicated question about the formatting.

Some time ago, Season 1 was on Netflix. I watched a couple episodes, and noticed something really cool. They'd been formatted such that when watching it on a 16:9 TV, the widescreen sequences go to full screen. I have Season 1 on DVD, and it does not do that. Season 2 is on Netflix right now, and it doesn't either.

My question is whether the Amazon VOD version does that or not. Slight detail, but it would convince me to buy the full series on VOD rather than DVD.

Thanks.
posted by roll truck roll to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Doesn't reformatting a 4:3 picture to 16:9 basically mean you lose any information which might be contained at the top and bottom edges of the frame? Or is there something else going on here where the 4:3 version actually was a cropped-down version from an original wide-screen production?

If it were me, I'd want to watch it in its original aspect ratio to see it as the creators intended.

A lot of DVD players or widescreen TVs allow you to change the settings to expand the picture to fill the screen horizontally, even if that does mean you can't see part of the frame. That may be an option you want to look into.
posted by hippybear at 7:38 PM on June 15


hippybear, I didn't explain the question very well. This show switches back and forth between different aspect ratios. So if you're watching the DVD version on an HD screen, then for much of the show, you'll have black bars on all four sides.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:11 PM on June 15


i was of the belief that like star trek TNG, babylon 5, and many other 90s shows that there was no widescreen version of samurai jack. the show sometimes crops down to a faux-widescreen, but the actual video is in 4:3 as it often cuts to showing the full square-ish picture.

i too remember what you remember, seeing a version in which the faux-widescreen parts were actually full widescreen. But i think that version had sort of done a reverse pan-and-scan to make the original 4:3 parts cropped down too.

Googling around, as i have in the past, there seems to be quite a bit of evidence that the show was produced in 4:3. So i'm even more sure now the "16:9" version was somehow cheating.
posted by emptythought at 8:21 PM on June 15


Is there a chance that this was a "smart zooming" feature of your TV (or player) and not the content itself?
Are you watching Season 2 on Netflix on the same exact setup you watched Season 1 on?
posted by jozxyqk at 7:09 AM on June 16


Thanks, everyone.

i too remember what you remember, seeing a version in which the faux-widescreen parts were actually full widescreen. But i think that version had sort of done a reverse pan-and-scan to make the original 4:3 parts cropped down too.

You may well be right. The more I think about it, if Cartoon Network were to go back and make an HD version, they probably would have done exactly what you're describing.

Is there a chance that this was a "smart zooming" feature of your TV (or player) and not the content itself?

That hadn't even occurred to me. I'm now remembering that my TV does have a feature like that, but I turned it off because it didn't work with some TV channels. I'll have to try this.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:50 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


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