I've recently started rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and one common thing I've noticed throughout most of the episodes is that there's an unusual amount of headroom on a lot of the shots, often times subjects are a tad more centered than what you typically see in what's considered to be "good" composition. I got to thinking, could this be due to the fact that the show is older and was broadcast primarily in a time before widescreen and HD TV's became available or at least in wide use? This is purely conjecture and curiosity, but I was wondering if anyone knows if older TV shows were shot with overscan in mind, so the composition would appear to be more correct on a TV that chops the edges of the frame?
Thread: Shooting For Overscan?
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08-02-2012 09:18 PM
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- Jun 2010
08-02-2012 11:30 PM
Certainly 4:3 gave more opportunity for headroom, either deliberately or simply because they had to fill the frame with something when there's more than a few actors on screen at once and thus filling the horizontal frame.
I presume you're watching it as 4:3, i.e. with big black bars on the sides? Some old TV stuff is cropped to supposedly suit 16:9 for modern audiences, with varying results
08-03-2012 02:48 PM
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- Jun 2010
I'm not sure if these are cropped or not, I'm streaming them via Netflix. There are the ugly black bars on the sides, though. The shots I was more specifically referencing are a lot of the MCU shots with one or two actors, there's often times quite a good deal of headroom, but it's not showing anything specific, it just appears to be dead space. The only reason for this I could come up with was either the DP's of the show liked that, or it was shot that way because most TV's from the time have overscan issues. As I said earlier, just conjecture.
08-04-2012 12:43 AM
That means you're watching it in 4:3, as it was shot originally. It's entirely possible it is as you speak. This is from the Blu-Rays of TNG, but I think it could be relevant:
It speaks about "Broadcast safe" framing, which as you say was to frame with consideration for overscan.