Framing ĞRougeğ: Mega Star vs. IVL DVDs

DVDs compared: Mega Star released in 1998 (MS/DVD/027/098), 4:3 transfer letterboxed at approximately 1.66:1;
Fortune Star/IVL released in 2004, 16:9/anamorphic transfer with 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

Since quality of transfers is not the issue here, but only the framing, all captures were resized for a width of 400 pixels and saved as .jpg 6/10 quality.

Image ID:
(1) Top left: Mega Star; (2) Top right: IVL;
(3) Bottom right: this is a simulation of the area that is actually seen on my TV (a Panasonic Tau TX-32PK1F). This is as scientific as looking at a TV screen and marking a red rectangle on an image can be.

The last group of images includes, on the bottom left, a simulation of how the same overscan would affect a 1.66:1 transfer, i.e., not altering the framing on the Mega Star transfer, which I'd say should be the intended by the director. This was obtained by simply overlapping the red rectangle on the simulated 1.66:1 / 16:9 image (sligthly windowboxed).

The last couple of images are very relevant to this comparison. The one on the bottom left shows what I could be getting on my TV, that is, a relatively balanced composition; the one on the bottom right shows the ugly compositions I'm actually getting with this transfer.

One can argue that this is not constant during the film (well, if it was it would be unwatchable!), but this is still unjustifyed, since these sorts of "adjustments" don't take into account that a regular TV already zooms out a good amount of screen all around. Even with zero overscan, the framing is too obviously lacking headroom. In this case, the person that supervised the transfer didn't seem to know what he or she was doing since the adjustment on the framing was not centered but basically covering area on the top of the frame only.

Since IVL seems to be using HKL subtitles and doing HKL style supplements. One can wonder if they also signed the person that crops films for the British company.