Amaray - a manufacturer of DVD cases. Typically refers to any standard plastic DVD case.
Anamorphically Enhanced - an anamorphic DVD is one
that is optimised for 16x9 widescreen televisions. In short, it means
that all the image data on the disc is used for the image, not for the
black bars at the top or bottom. For display on standard
televisions it will need converting back to a 4x3 frame, all DVD
players should do this. This is a plus point for a DVD.
Artifacts - digital/compression artifacts
are the result of a poor transfer from the source to the DVD, or a film
poorly shot on a digital medium. They take the form of sections of
image that appear blocky or blurred. Any decent DVD transfer should be
free of these.
- subtitles on a DVD that are part of the print, and therefore cannot
be changed or turned off like 'optional' or 'player generated'
subtitles. Although okay on bonus features, these can be a negative
point on a film as it prevents you watching without the subtitles.
Digi-pack - DVD case comprising cardboard construction with plastic inserts to hold the discs. Typically used for multiple disc sets.
Double-Amaray - A
non-standard plastic DVD case, the same height and depth, but
approximately 1.5 times the width of a standard Amaray DVD case.
- in some DVDs, subtitles will appear by default (although not burnt
into the print) and cannot be turned off on a standard DVD player.
Often DVDs imported from Europe have this 'feature', usually to stop
them from being sold in the UK/USA. Most computer DVD players (eg.
PowerDVD) can switch off these tracks as you watch if you find them too
Hard of Hearing (HOH) - This refers to subtitle tracks that include notes on background sounds - eg. Lone wolf howls.
High Definition Video
(HDV) - DVDs that are encoded at 1080p resolution (compared to
480p of SDV). Playback of HDV requires a suitable player and television
Non-anamorphically enhanced widescreen -
this means that the DVD runs at 4x3, and thus much of the image data is
therefore used up on the black bars. To be shown on a widescreen TV,
this needs to be zoomed and will often appear less detailed than an
anamorphic DVD. This is generally a negative point on a DVD, but can be
NTSC - television
standard used in North America and Japan. Runs at 29.97 frames per
second, video transfers run at correct speed, but image can be inferior
to PAL transfers.
OOP (Out of print)
- If DVD listed as OOP then the company producing the DVD have stopped
releasing new pressings. It may still be possible to find new copies in
shops, but prices on auction/trade websites may rise to stupid levels.
DVDs generally go out of print if the rights to the disc have expired,
or the disc was a limited edition release.
- Some films are shot 4x3, then have the upper and lower portions
removed to create a widescreen image to be shown in the cinema. An open matte DVD shows the whole
image. The uncovered area may often contain boom-mikes as it is not intended to be viewed.
Original Aspect Ratio
- means that the film is shown as it was intended to be shown, by the
director. This is sometimes a contentious issue, as some films were
matted to widescreen for use in the cinema, but planned in
fullscreen. See our DVD review policy for details on how we determine this.
PAL - television standard used in Europe and
Australia. Broadcast at 25 frames per second, standard films are sped
up by 4%. This creates difference in run-time between DVDs.
Pan and Scan
- a process whereby a widescreen film is cropped and enlarged so that
it fills a 4x3 screen. This means image is lost on both sides of the
screen. Often marketed as 'fullscreen'.
- most DVDs, and DVD players are encoded for their region of purchase,
to prevent import of DVDs from overseas. Multi-region DVD players are
Standard Definition Video (SDV) - refers to DVDs that are not in High Definition (see above). Unless specified, all DVDs reviewed at Mondo Esoterica are SD.
For notes on our review policy and a website FAQ, please see here.
Widescreen.org - Guide to widescreen and definitions of all related terms.