Maybe this is more a technical question but why does Videbox distort HD videos rather than just letterbox them or just post them with the 16:9 aspect ratio?
I had to call in a little help from the content encoding team on this one. In a nutshell, they told me that we actually don’t distort the video. Some studios (Sin City, for example) shoot their video in standard definition and then use a post-production filter that makes the video play in 16:9. So when you play it on your HDTV, it looks like widescreen format, but the actual video footage on the DVD is not widescreen.
So when we rip those DVDs and encode them, we rip what is actually on the DVD, which in this case is not a 16:9 video. In order to fix this, we have to crop these titles. The squished ones occasionally slip through, unfortunately. We have, however, decided to pull anything we identify as having the aspect ratio problem out of the queue for the moment until we find a permanent fix for the problem. So hopefully, you won’t be seeing it very often in the future.
If you have any questions for me, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!