Connect with us
Seinfeld
Image: Netflix

Blog

Seinfeld on Netflix Draws Aspect-Ratio Controversy

On October 1, Seinfeld made its long-awaited jump to Netflix, with the entire nine seasons and 180 episodes arriving on the streaming service after several years on Hulu. 

Almost immediately, the first big controversy emerged of Seinfeld‘s Netflix era, one involving its aspect ratio. 

An aspect ratio is, of course, the width of an image. Most TVs, for the entirety of Seinfeld‘s run, had a 1:33-1 aspect ratio, while ever since the rise of HDTV, TVs have been much wider. That means when older shows are broadcast or streamed, the producers need to either must place black bars on both sides of the screen or somehow stretch or manipulate the image to make it fit. 

That sort of controversy has now happened with Seinfeld on Netflix. 

Image via The Verge/Netflix

According to The Verge and other outlets, while the show has been upgraded to 4K, Seinfeld is being shown on Netflix in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which in some cases entails cutting out parts of the image, sometimes on the bottom. 

Fans found some particularly egregious examples of places where jokes were lost in the transfer, such as the pothole not being visible in Netflix’s rendering of the episode “The Pothole.” 

There was a similar controversy with The Simpsons landed on Disney+ back in 2019, with Disney eventually making the original aspect ratio of the episodes an option for viewers. 

That Seinfeld was available in that same aspect ratio back when it was on Hulu, the aspect ratio controversy barely made the news, so it’s not like Netflix made the problem worse. But it’s worth knowing for Seinfeld fans that just because they can now watch all of Seinfeld doesn’t mean they’re getting ALL of Seinfeld

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and a Rotten Tomatoes-listed critic since 2008, and his work has appeared in New York Press, Philly Voice, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, The Times of Israel, and RogerEbert.com. In 2009, he became the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Anti-War Anti-War

Three Bestselling Anti-War Novels, Three A-List Film Adaptations…Three Flops:  Castle Keep, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five

Culture

Vesper poster Vesper poster

Vesper: Sci-Fi That Thinks Big With Limited Means

Culture

Unforgiven movie review Unforgiven movie review

Unforgiven Ushered the Western into its Afterlife 

Culture

Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies

A Full List Of Upcoming Marvel Studios Film And TV Releases

Culture

Robocop 1987 Robocop 1987

RoboCop is a Social Satire That Gets More Relevant With Age

Film

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Comics

Nope Nope

Jordan Peele’s Nope Explained: A Spectacle of “Bad Miracles”

Film

Alex's War (2022) Alex's War (2022)

Alex’s War, a Documentary Study of Alex Jones, Misses the Big Picture 

Film

All Out 2022 Predictions All Out 2022 Predictions

Way Too Early Predictions for All Out 2022

Wrestling

Signs movie review Signs movie review

M. Night Shyamalan Signs Finds Comfort at the End of the World

Film

Biography: WWE Legends’ Look at Goldberg is One of the Best Wrestling Documentaries Ever 

TV

Detective vs Sleuths Detective vs Sleuths

Detective vs. Sleuths: Buckle Up for a Bumpy Ride

Culture

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022: A Full Recap

Culture

Bullet Train movie review Bullet Train movie review

Bullet Train Makes All the Wrong Stops

Culture

High Noon at 70: When Time is of the Essence

Features

Sci-Fi And Superheroes Sci-Fi And Superheroes

Buried Treasures, Hidden Gems – Movies Due For a Revisit: Sci-Fi And Superheroes

Film

Connect