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Netflix is cropping the movies you are streaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 20 Jul 2013 12:39 User comments (17)

Netflix is cropping the movies you are streaming Netflix has responded to the outcry caused by a Tumblr page.
The page, dubbed "What Netflix Does" shows how the company crops movies, destroying the original aspect ratio and framing while streaming to your TVs and PCs.

Netflix says: We want to offer the best picture and provide the original aspect ratio of any title on Netflix. However, unfortunately our quality controls sometimes fail and we end up offering the wrong version of a title. When we discover this error, we work to replace that title as soon as possible.

Check out the crops here (I've created some examples below), along with screenshots and where these shots were taken (U.S, Canada, Mexico, etc): What Netflix Does Tumblr


Tags: Netflix Tumblr
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17 user comments

120.7.2013 15:35

wow I wonder if they have been cropping the whole time... I dont think it made it any worse or better I mean if you crop a pile if feces its still a pile of feces..you just cant see the peanuts on the edges I guess.

220.7.2013 22:35

Ever consider maybe that they had just streamed a 4x3 fullscreen ratio version of the movie? Not that i'm defending Netflix in any way, just a thought though.

320.7.2013 23:09

As someone with a rather massive collection of digital video, I can forgive them to a point. I've often discovered that a movie I ripped had the wrong ratio due to a poorly compiled DVD structure...if I was ripping thousands of movies that I didn't ever want to watch (like the passion of the psycho mel gibson) I'm sure there would be a lot of issues. That said, NetFlix does let me down on their error correction. Their policy seems to be to ignore complaints except for lesser titles, which they simply remove (in the case of series, they sometimes remove just one episode with an issue rather than fixing it).



422.7.2013 8:11

Netflix is total garbage in the Uk anyway. Showing a movie in the wrong aspect ratio is the least of their problems.

522.7.2013 8:14

This they complain about? What about them stripping discs of the special features, extended editions, and the dtsma/truehd ss and just giving you 5.1? I hate netflix. Its a shame there are no other alternatives. Bb online is even worse.

622.7.2013 11:31

I've never had aspect issues with ripping video, even when taking it from one format to another and I've done tons of video rips.

Netflix shouldn't be letter-boxing or altering the source in anyway without telling us they are doing so. When I pay for streaming I want the original movie/show unedited without commercials.

This is just a prime example of their poor leadership of new, since the decided to split the company.

As to Netflix stripping special features: To be fair they don't do that you can blame Hollywierd for that, just like the fact that Netflix and Redbox don't get New Releases until a month later.

722.7.2013 14:18

Yeah, I have never had aspect problems when ripping. Unless people are transcoding or something.

When I rented from Blockbuster(mail dvds)they had more "real" discs, not the grey "Rental" disks that come straight from Holly"weird", lol.

However, the month waiting period, was an agreement between Redbox/Netflix and (Warner I think) studios. They were threatening to deny selling them their discs unless they agreed to postpone their new releases. The studios were losing money from disc/streaming purchases. Redbox/Netflix could have said F.U. to them but that would have meant getting their movies from another distributor and paying more $ for them. I think they should have said no. I fell that RB/NF lost a lot of their appeal once this happened. Once the (new?) releases eventually get released I forget what they were about!

822.7.2013 15:04

The rental window existed in the VHS world. It was the other way around however, where the rentals were out 60 days before you could BUY the movie. Hollywood got greedy with DVD and made the street date for retail and rental the same, which essentially put most videos chains out of business (or in the case of Blockbuster, severely crippled them.) Why rent a movie for $5 when you could buy it for $10 or $15, right?

Then some geniuses got together and created Netflix and Redbox, and Hollywood started getting paranoid, because with cheap rentals, the industry turned back around on them. So now they put the window on rentals to try to make more of those higher dollars upfront. It's upside down from the VHS rental business model.

As for aspect ratio streaming, I kind of doubt it's done with TV series, as most of those are already formatted for television. I can't vouch much for movies, as I don't watch nearly as many movie releases on the service, but I too have had the occasional hiccup with formatting. It's usually when trying to transcode to a specific file you need to play on a specific device. Can turn out to be a real PITA, so I can forgive Netflix based on my own experience.

922.7.2013 16:01

I'm figuring from cropping all the movies I've watched from Netflix, they owe me let's see, um um, if I deduct the amount of film or picture they cut off from every movie then add up all that film picture space, that comes to um um, wait I'm figurin'.
Well at least a bunch of, yes a bunch of movies they owe me.

1022.7.2013 21:36

Who cares? The ability to stream movies dirt cheap makes up for any cropping.

1123.7.2013 0:04

Originally posted by bardstale:
Who cares? The ability to stream movies dirt cheap makes up for any cropping.
Nope, I don't think so.

1223.7.2013 7:49

Originally posted by bardstale:
Who cares? The ability to stream movies dirt cheap makes up for any cropping.
So you'll buy s**t as long as it's cheap? You wouldn't want to buy a slightly used Geo Metro or a Nokia N-Gage would you.....


They're cheap!!!

1323.7.2013 12:19

Originally posted by Ethrieltd:
Originally posted by bardstale:
Who cares? The ability to stream movies dirt cheap makes up for any cropping.
So you'll buy s**t as long as it's cheap? You wouldn't want to buy a slightly used Geo Metro or a Nokia N-Gage would you.....


They're cheap!!!
I don't see the uproar. Mistakes will happen. How many of these movies are they converting daily?

If you watch any HD channel on TV that shows a series that wasn't made in HD (ie. Friends, Something About Raymond) it's being upscaled and cropped. Yet I hear no one fuss over it?

1423.7.2013 22:41

This isn't a mistake, they are purposely altering the original movies. Sorry but that is a big deal!

1524.7.2013 11:43

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
This isn't a mistake, they are purposely altering the original movies. Sorry but that is a big deal!
I was merely pointing out network TV does it all the time.

1624.7.2013 13:15

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
This isn't a mistake, they are purposely altering the original movies. Sorry but that is a big deal!
I was merely pointing out network TV does it all the time.

It's not the same and is why I don't watch Network TV that does that, and why I use Netflix and others. I use to love AMC over a decade ago but now they show commercials and cut out pieces of scenes so I will not watch them now. Now if I'm paying specifically for a service like Netflix or Hulu I'm not going to be happy if they chop up the programming or letter-box by cropping and will not pay for that service.

1726.7.2013 4:52

I have to side with Mr. Movies on this one. While network television does often adjust the content, they generally do it in a way that's not overly obtrusive, and if they change the format/ratio they tell you beforehand. (i.e. "This program has been modified from it's original version, it has been formatted to fit this screen.)

One thing should have been made more clear in this article, this isn't about conversion from 16x9 to 4x3. This is blatant cropping of the footage.

The methods that netflix uses to change their footage are in many cases rather asinine. The POTC example given above is a perfect example. If you have a 16 by whatever being displayed on a 16x9 screen, you are supposed to see black bars. Simply cutting off a piece of the picture for no other reason than to fill the screen simply isn't done, and can be construed as removing content w/o informing the customer.

Cost isn't even a factor, as I wouldn't even download content for free that does this.

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