Gregory wrote:I can certainly understand why some people would be confused and concerned about "black bars" back in '97, but people these days have no such excuse. They simply don't know how their equipment is supposed to function to present series and films in a variety of formats and they refuse to listen when it's explained that the black bars are normal, so the industry caters to them. And HBO apparently cannot even be honest about what they're doing, claiming that they're carefully preserving the original look and "feel" of The Wire.
Yes, most people even these days are clueless
when it comes to aspect ratios. I've been aware of widescreen & the black bars since the early '90's. Even before TV's were able to present movies in the Anamorphic aspect ratio I knew that when watching LD's in cropped Widescreen, they were non-anamorphic - i.e., some of the picture was still cut off at the sides.
The problem these days with watching full-screen (i.e., 4:3) TV shows is that few people have the old CRT square TV/monitor (my last one died several years back). Most everyone these days only have the widesceen TV sets. So, if you're watching a series like The Wire
on the older DVD sets - on
these newer widescreen TV's - the picture is in the middle of the screen, but there are still those black bars on the left and right of the screen. Conversely, if The Wire
is presented in the widescreen format, it will fill up more of the screen & be more "cinematic" (even though there may be bars on the top & bottom of the screen). I don't know about anyone else here, but aesthetically, I would rather see a widescreen presentation than a full-screen (4:3) presentation on my widescreen set.
I think the '90's & early 200X's were a transitional time period for TV shows & full-screen/widescreen sets. As was mentioned, ER
may have been filmed in 4:3 for at least some seasons (don't know, since I never saw the show on broadcast TV), but all of the DVD sets (which is what I saw) were all widescreen.