si-blog

More things that annoy me

Posted Oct 19, 2004 in Personal.

It has been over a week since I last posted. I've not been in the best of spirits, and my health has been poor of late. It seems fitting, therefore, to spread more of the ill feeling around. Here are more things that annoy me:

“Important document enclosed”
Oh, please! 99 times out of 100, when mail has “important document enclosed” written on it, you can bet that it contains a “preapproved” credit card offer. The only important thing about the document is that you should shred it before throwing it away, to protect against identity theft.
Spam
Okay, this is a pretty obvious one. It just annoys me that the Internet Service Providers have failed to come up with a workable solution.
NASCAR on NBC
NBC's coverage of NASCAR is bad. The proliferation of on-screen graphics is distracting, the commentary team are dull and repetitive, and the technical abilities of the station (with respect to pictures and sound) are completely eclipsed by those of the FOX team. FOX is generally better at covering sporting events than most other networks, but it is with NASCAR that their excellence is really obvious. Darrell Waltrip is 20 times better than Benny Parsons. Crank it up!
Pan and scan
Most movies are filmed with an aspect ratio of between 1.85 and 2.4 to 1; however, normal television has an aspect ratio of only 1.33 to 1. In order to overcome this, a technique called “pan and scan” is used to eliminate about 45% of the image by focusing on the part that best represents the whole. A technique called “letterboxing” places black bars at the top and bottom of the television image so that the full widescreen frame of a movie can be seen - a far better view for movie fans. Although this latter technique results in a smaller image, it means that the movie can be viewed as originally intended by the director, and nothing is missed. Unfortunately, few movies are shown in the letterbox format, so the movie fan must rely on DVD releases to see their films as originally intended. Widescreen television will eventually get rid of pan-and-scan, with a bit of luck.

Comments

  1. Gravatar

    You should move to Denmark. :o)
    Showing movies in letterbox has been a selling point for the tv-channels for a long time now. When a movie is *not* shown in letterbox you can safely assume that it's a made for tv movie (and thus you can switch channel without remorse).

    Posted by Andreas Haugstrup on Oct 19, 2004.

  2. Gravatar

    In regards to pan and scan, I think it's an abomination and can't believe George Lucas released the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set on full screen in addition to widescreen. They even had the audacity to put full screen in the gold package and widescreen (or letterbox) in the Silver packaging. How backwards is that? Letterbox is the only way to watch a movie as far as I'm concerned.

    Posted by kartooner on Oct 20, 2004.

  3. Gravatar

    Another thing that bugs me is that for a long time, it would cost MORE to rent a widescreen VHS from a video store, despite the fact that the transfer process is cheaper than for pan and scan. Price gouging motherfuckers.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Oct 20, 2004.

  4. Gravatar

    It's "special holiday pricing"'s little bastard cousin, Simon. :)

    Posted by J. King on Oct 20, 2004.

  5. Gravatar

    VHS? What's that? ;-)

    Posted by David on Oct 21, 2004.

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    I should also point out that I hate the New York Yankees, so I'm glad that Boston beat them. There is nothing on Earth that I hate more than the Dallas Cowboys.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Oct 21, 2004.

  7. Gravatar

    Comment spam annoys me too. I've been getting a lot recently - mostly business related. I'm glad I built an easy delete into my home-brewed blogging system.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Oct 26, 2004.

  8. Gravatar

    I do not see anything that bad about Pan and Scan, but then again, I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to various television picture types...or something...

    Posted by Parker on Oct 27, 2004.