[ELI5] Why do movies always start with a reminder that it has been modified from its original format to fit my screen? Duh…right?

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[ELI5] Why do movies always start with a reminder that it has been modified from its original format to fit my screen? Duh…right?

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I think it’s a disclaimer in case formatting or anything is incorrect. It’s basically saying, “if something isn’t right with the visuals of this movie, it’s the customer’s TV’s fault, not the people who made and sold the movie.”

A lot of effort goes into making a film. Given all the movie ideas, concepts, scripts and such that are out there, the idea that any movie at all gets made is a miracle.

So if you go through all that work and then some broadcasting company alters it, you might not like that. You want people to see *your* vision, *your* work.

In the early 90’s Congress was debating a law that would mandate notices whenever a film was altered, be it cut for time, or cropping the image to fit screens of different aspect ratios.

In anticipation of this, the MPAA recommended broadcasters and such to start displaying these notices voluntarily.

The long and short of it was it used to be more common that the actual movie was “Wider” than most people’s TVs.

This meant when they made the movie for home viewing they *chopped off* the left and right sections of the movie, so you’re missing stuff. There could be important information, scenes, characters, etc, off on the sides you’re missing. So it was just a warning that hey, you might be missing stuff.

In the earliest days of DVDs they were either sold in different formats for different TVs or the DVDs would come double sided.

That phased out after wide-screen TVs become the norm and now we see the whole image properly.

You can still see the effects if you download some classic games, for example I’m playing through FFIX right now via PlayStation Store and the game is boxed in on either side with gray panels.