Why Is Netflix Secretly Cropping Movies?

Yet another reason why I’ll hang on to my blu-rays for now.


Like a lot of film writers, I spent a good deal of my life working in video stores. Some of that occurred in the time frame (2000-2002, roughly) when DVDs began to replace VHS, and as a result, I was on the receiving end of much anger and confusion over widescreen formatting — “letterboxing,” as we called it, which began on LaserDisc, appeared on a few VHS tapes, and became the standard on DVD (luckily, since widescreen televisions were also becoming ubiquitous). “I’m not seein’ the whole picture!” customers would complain. “It’s got these lines on the top and bottom!” And I would patiently explain that getting a widescreen movie frame into a television was a case of putting a rectangular peg into a square hole, and the black bars actually showed you more of the picture, and preserved the original image. And customers would nod and smile and understand…

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