2008-09-22

Fullscreen DVDs: When more is not necessarily better

On the 1462002th day (approximately), God created the Digital Versatile Disc format, and saw that it was good. And he created standards therein, whereby his children could publish feature-length movies upon this format, and profit greatly.

And there was great rejoicing.

God in his great wisdom had optimized his most holy of consumer video standards (until many days later, when He created the Blu-ray and HD formats, which were more holy, and there was a holy standards war - but many days are to God but a tiny moment of time, probably only several milliseconds) for widescreen display. And, in the beginning, there came upon the market many discs of great quality, bearing naught but the movies in their original aspect ratio, as their directors had intended them to be seen. And God smiled upon his people, and there was peace throughout the land.

But there in the city of Los Angeles there were many movie studio executives. "Why doth our discs only contain wide-screen versions?" they cried. "What of the poor, the meek, those that only possess small, pathetic, cathode-ray tube televisions, unlike my 72 inch plasma display? The one in my bedroom? What of them? When they buy our discs, they shall see bands of black at the top and bottom of the screen, and confusion and sadness shall reign." And they smote their breasts, and gnashed their teeth.

And with great sadness the engineers did adjust their presses, and cut glass masters of the movies with much of the good bits cut out, so the lowly could watch movies on their pathetic televisions. And the movie studios did distribute these discs to grocery stores, and department stores, and sold them for less money than the wide-screen versions.

Then God became very angry. "Why do you mock me so?" saith the Lord. "I create standards, and verily I say unto thee, thou shalt follow them. In a few short years of your time, I shall phase out all analog television programming. Then only digital programming will prevail, and wide-screen televisions shall cover the earth."

"What then?" pondered the Lord (aloud). "Shall these poor people, who bought this abomination, not notice the degradation of their picture as their television stretches the image in 4:3 compatibility mode?"

And God's wrath was a terrible thing to behold.

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Note to the Lord: most people are probably using their new widescreen television in 4:3 compatibility mode, because that's how their nephew left it, and they can't tell how to change it, and wouldn't notice if they did.

Note to Safeway: stop carrying those crappy versions of movies, or I see some smiting in your future.

1 comment:

walter said...

funniest one yet!