Disney+ will stream early episodes of The Simpsons in their original aspect ratio

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

From launch day technical issues to hacked accounts being sold on the dark web, Disney’s stumbles out of the gate with its debut streaming platform have been well documented. But for a select few, the most egregious Disney+ incident has to do with aspect ratios.

Disney+ launched on November 12 with 30 seasons of The Simpsons in tow. Some subscribers had their spirits dashed, however, upon learning that Disney had adopted a 16:9 aspect ratio for all episodes, even those that originally aired in 4:3.

The issue is that the modern aspect ratio crops out some of the visual jokes in earlier episodes. For example, you can’t make out the fact that Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all come from the same dispenser in the 16:9 version of this episode.

Disney in a statement said it went with a 16:9 aspect ratio to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. In early 2020, however, they’ll make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from season 20) available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio.

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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Depends on where they crop it to... most systems just crop right in the center, but other systems can offset the crop to top or bottom or somewhere in between.

Furthermore some of us like the cropping to prevent the black bars on the sides; so it would be nice if all these streaming services would have AR and crop options in their app settings so viewers can pick and choose as they desire. Display manufacturers don't always give us good options and/or the settings take too many menus and sub-menus to get to.
 
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Giving the interested users crop options in the player would be nice though the default option should always be original native aspect ratio. Just because I have a 16:9 TV doesn't mean that I want half of Olivia De Havilland cropped out of an old movie.
 

H3llion

TechSpot Paladin
Depends on where they crop it too...
"available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio." Using original aspect ratio shouldn't crop out anything, hence aspect ratio. If you are converting image to a non native aspect ratio, let say 16:9 and the content is wider and needs to crop in, you will loose the top and bottom.

Same as true 4K (1.89:1) to standard 16:9 UHD, it will crop the sides and top.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
"available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio." Using original aspect ratio shouldn't crop out anything, hence aspect ratio. If you are converting image to a non native aspect ratio, let say 16:9 and the content is wider and needs to crop in, you will loose the top and bottom.

Same as true 4K (1.89:1) to standard 16:9 UHD, it will crop the sides and top.
I was out of context there... I was thinking of their initial cropped to 16:9 episodes.