Older Film Technology Allows HD Remastering of Old Reruns

The growing demand for High Definition Television sets creates some difficulties in regards to finding programming to see on them. Some tv suppliers have taken the initiative to create new programming in High Definition. This is apparent in several recently offered High Definition stations like HDNet which supplies accessibility to traveling programs, and special occasions, concerts, documentaries, news all in High Def. As do Ultra HD, Gallery HD, and Rush HD Equator HD and Discovery HD Theatre both create initial content in High Definition. Several other stations like Kung Fu HD feature and Creatures HD remastered older films for their content. Although most of these films likely were not intentionally filmed in the High Definition format, the fact that they’ve the wide screen 16:9 aspect ratio needed for High Definition and were filmed in a high resolution so that the pictures would be kept on a big display, makes them perfect for High Definition programming.

We see a possible issue though when folks begin to discuss remastering old television shows, like Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island, to satisfy with High Definition conditions. The fact they have a lesser resolution than High Def needs is not much of a trouble- presumably it’d not be impossible to go in and add more detail to the image on the pixel by pixel amount. The difficulty comes from the fact that all those old shows had a 4:3 aspect ratio designed to fit regular standard televisions. that are definition It is simple to turn a 16:9 aspect ratio into a 4:3 aspect ratio. It is done on a regular basis and that is what is meant by the statement you frequently see when you view a video cassette of a picture: “This picture was altered from it’s first variant. It’s been reformatted to fit your display.” When a 16:9 film is reformatted, that means that the 16:9 image has been compressed so that everything and everyone in the image seems unnaturally tall and lanky, or the left and right side of the image have been chopped off so that it’ll fit on the display. The latter is more common, although some DVD players will do the former mechanically. The other option would be to show the whole 16:9 image on the 4:3 screen and black out the top and the underside so that it keeps it’s original format and all the pictures keep their correct percentages.

The thought that someone might try to make a 4:3 picture to fill up a 16:9 display is even more troubling. Possibly it’d be possible to digitally stretch the image to take up the whole display, but that would make everything seem even more foolish than the same procedure described previously. It’d also be possible to show the picture with 4:3 proportions on a 16:9 screen and black out the fresh left and right of the screen, but that would defeat the purpose of High Definition. Why not chop off the top and or the underparts of the the 4:3 picture and have what is left over take up the whole 16:9 display? This answer is of course unacceptable because it wouldn’t permit us to see Gilligan’s hallmark hat or Mr. Spock’s pointy ears!