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Does Netflix Crop Movies?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 18, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. A friend told me that Netflix crops movies so you can't see the entire screen. Is that true? -- Yardley, Baltimore, Maryland.

Yardley, that's a very topical question because there's a controversy stirring today regarding allegations that Netflix's streaming service crops movies so you can't view the entire picture as the director intended. reports that the web site Tumblr has found that Netflix has reduced the aspect ratio of such films as Passion of the Christ, Prometheus and Planet of the Apes. The site says the sides of the picture is sometimes cut off. For instance, in a scene where two characters are speaking to each other, you may not see the entire body of each person. 

Tumblr has produced some compelling evidence, complete with pictures. However, Netflix has quickly responded, denying the charges. The online video service says it may sometimes present the wrong version of a title, one that does not display the original aspect ratio. Verge writes that Netflix says that when it discovers such an error, it immediately replaces the incorrect edition of the movie with the right one.

"When we discover this error, we work to replace that title as soon as possible," Netflix says.

I suspect that Netflix is telling the truth, but if you see a movie that appears cropped, send them an e-mail immediately.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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