Is Netflix Dramatically Cropping Videos It Rents? See the Side-by-Side Comparisons

If you’re an avid Netflix movie watcher, you might be missing a significant part of the field of view for some videos, according to reports.

A Tumblr site called “What Netflix Does” has compiled several movie screenshots showing scenes in the original format and the same scene via a Netflix movie, which looks significantly cropped.

Here are a few examples:

What Netflix Does
Planet of the Apes (Images: What Netflix Does)


What Netflix Does
Man on the moon (Images: What Netflix Does)
What Netflix Does
Passion of Christ (Images: What Netflix Does)

Now, Venture Beat reported Netflix’s statement on the issue:

“We do not crop. We want to offer the best picture and provide the original aspect ratio of any title on Netflix,” Netflix director of corporate communications told VentureBeat. “However, unfortunately our quality controls sometimes fail and we end up offering the wrong version of a title. When we discover this error, we replace that title as soon as possible.”

Venture Beat then cites a possible explanation for how this drastic difference in what movie watchers see could be happening:

VentureBeat national editor and huge movie buff Devindra Hardawar points out that studios often release cropped versions of these movies for viewing in special scenarios, like tiny screens on airplanes.

Fortunately, Netflix is trying to do something about it whenever it realizes it has a cropped movie. Others have complained for years that premium TV channels like HBO also feature cropped versions of films — so it’s not as if Netflix is the only video service where you’ll find this happening.

Check out the What Netflix Does Tumblr site for more examples of what it purports are the cropped video screenshots compared to the original.

(H/T: Gizmodo)