A classic sitcom from the 90s Seinfeld he just landed on Netflix after six years of working on Hulu. Since the show was recorded years before HD, it was originally shown in a 4: 3 ratio on TV (and DVD sets that came years later). But on Netflix, the show was cut into a 16: 9 widescreen format to fit modern TVs. As Rolling Stone stated, that means that some visual delays have been literally erased.
Twitter users @boriskarkov and @ Thatoneguy64 succinctly pointed to the problem with a specific episode called “The Pothole”. In the episode, George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld try to find George’s lost keys, which are thrown into a hole that is then paved. In a crop where George screams wildly at the hole, the Netflix crop completely removes the hole. The 16: 9 aspect ratio probably removes some of the other flaws in the series – or at the very least it could be a disturbing experience for people accustomed to what the show originally looked like.
Of course, this is not a new problem. Crops from Seinfeld have been on cable television for years, and Hulu also aired the series at 16: 9. Given the popularity of Netflix, Seinfeld it’s currently getting extra attention, so a bunch of new viewers are probably checking it out without perhaps seeing it on Hulu. A similar controversy occurred in late 2019 when the whole series The Simpsons hit Disney +. After many complaints of missed visual delays, Disney eventually released seasons that aired 4: 3 in their original width-to-height ratio. Let’s hope Netflix does the same thing with Seinfeld – but in the meantime, as with many classic shows, the most authentic way to watch is probably on DVD.
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