Not sure what happened during the Broderick Smith hosted episode of June 7 1981.
He introduced Mi-Sex - Falling In And Out. When the clip started it went into letterbox format, then jumped out to full widescreen 16:9 ratio with the ABC logo on the clip and towards the end it reverted back to 4:3 ratio (black bars on the sides) as per the rest of the episode.
I suppose if people recorded it in 4:3 ratio they may not have noticed it although the sides of the clip would have been cut off.
I recorded in 4:3, but am not sure if I noticed it on the Mi-Sex clip (obviously I didn't get the ABC logo). But yes, I noticed the zooming in on Ultravox's 'Vienna' during one of the Countdown episodes, and also it happened on Duran Duran's 'A View To a Kill' I think on an episode last week.
As someone posted on facebook:
"I've been loving the Countdown archives, excellent selection of content. kudos to those who picked out these episodes. However, sorry if I offend anybody but I'm very disappointed that the shows had been edited and that the quality of them suffered terribly. In particular was the sound which was "Loudness war" compressed so much that I had trouble sitting through them. The image quality was also generally dark and poor and they had been de-interlaced to 25p so they also lost their nostalgic TV fluid motion as well as having jagged lines and were noticeably pixeallated due to only using half the frame without even blending this. Some clips zoomed into widescreen which was also inconsistent and bizzare. Most episodes from last year's retro month were in their interlaced glory and sounded and looked fantastic. I've turned them up many times on my PVR and enjoyed them since."
I don't think I have ever sat through the Vienna clip and enjoyed it for all its glory. Rage always f@#ks with it and did so in the Countdown episode.
I've got a letterboxed 4:3 copy of 'Vienna' from rage (which is PAL of course). Yes, I (pre-watermark) used to sit up and change aspect ratios when recording, and still do now occasionally with the ABC3 repeats.
I noticed Vienna and Falling In And Out being changed into 16.9
What I don't understand is how do rage actually mess with the actual original Countdown recording?
Both videos are always ruined when rage play them outside of Countdown but during Countdown is a whole new bizarre take on this!
Obviously they have edited and put their own versions in ?
When rage start doing this business during Countdown it is a big NO!
I noticed that too. It must be some sort of automatic setting that detects the top and bottom black bars and crops them I noticed a few rage videos were also cropped like that too.
As far as deinterlacing goes I checked the raw stream and it's interlaced. God knows why everyone has progressive tvs now.
Can't believe this stuff is happening, was starting to faint upon reading this thread. Decided to take the immediate liberty of ringing up the ABC and asking politely about these concerns. I spoke to Tyson who apparently produces the show, and he noted that he is not aware of the aspect issues. Apparently it could be an issue with the media hub playout centre who most probably auto adjusts aspect ratios on the fly. He did explicitly say that they do not alter the content in any way. That's pretty much all I can find out at this stage.
It wouldn't surprise me if it is the Media Hub's doing... but the ABC has been using them since at least mid 2010 (when the watermark first appeared). If it's an automatic detection thing going on, it didn't affect Countdown until this year, and it zoomed out quite a bit before the 'Vienna' video ended suggesting that was manually done.
As someone who always tries to catch old letterboxed 4:3 videos in their original aspect ratio (or as near to it with the 13:9, 14:9 and 15:9 letterboxed videos they also enlarge) on rage, I've found it puzzling that there a few (standalone) videos I would expect rage to enlarge, but they don't - Annie Lennox's 'Little Bird', The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' 'The Impression That I Get', Grace Jones vs Funkstar DeLuxe 'Pull Up To the Bumper' and LA Style's 'James Brown Is Dead' are 4 that air in their original aspect ratio despite having horizontal black bars top and bottom of the screen (though they used to enlarge 'The Impression That I Get' in 2009-10).
Then there's a couple that they chop off part of the video (because it's not letterboxed throughout, or there's some text in the letterboxed area) by enlarging - Frente! 'Horrible' (has a scene where Angie fills the screen from top to bottom sideways, but they either shrink or chop part of that off) and The Bucketheads 'The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)' (the 'these sound fall into my mind' text 'falls' into the black bar area, but rage either chop it off or squash the text so that it finishes in the normal widescreen picture border).
I wish they would just air the videos in their original aspect ratio.
The aspect ratio change happened again this week, on the 1985 episode (for the Belouis Some & Thompson Twins videos) Looks like it's here to stay.
I noticed it on Belouis Some!
I was watching and then bamm
And then the title on the bottom of the screen was cut!