Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thoughts on Video Quality & Aspect Ratio

Whenever a DVD or Blu-ray comes out, no matter if it's live action or animation, the reviewer will generally look at video quality. Usually, the less pixels there are, the happier they'll be. And it's not just reviewers, either. A lot of people on forums I go on will argue about video quality. The people on the Anime News Network forums in particular appear to absolutely hate DVDs with a passion, only buying Blu-ray anime, whether or not the release includes a dub. I had a Digital Video class in my high school during the first half of my Junior year, and my teacher was going on about how video quality should be as high as possible. My point is this: what's the big idea?

Well, to be honest, actual video quality doesn't concern me. Honestly, most people can't actually tell image quality unless they sit very close to the TV. My main concern is, well, preserving the aspect ratio.

I hate to sound like a stubborn purist, but displays like the above really bother me. The top image is fine, but the bottom image makes the poor bastard look like a hippo! And the next image is even worse; at least the one above keeps the whole image.

Now, for context, the cleaner-looking part is from the recent Blu-Ray release sets of Dragon Ball Z. As you can see, part of Nappa's been cut off. It's even worse with the old trend of pan-and-scan releases, where sides of the image would be cut off, costing us even more of the image. I won't give an image, but I will show you a Turner Classic Movies promo detailing this bullshit, and why the network prefers to air movies letterboxed and/or pillarboxed.
See what I mean.

So, in short, I have no problem with actual video quality, just with aspect ratio. And thankfully, aspect ratio usually isn't a problem anymore.

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