We called for Blu-ray screenshot and Jetlag over-delivered! He went above and beyond by providing some fascinating comparisons of many of the various international editions of the Wing Commander movie DVD in addition to the Blu-ray. First up is a screenshot from the hangar deck scene when Blair and Marshall first arrive on the Tiger Claw.
The next two shots show give you a side by side comparison of the 1999 R1 non-anamorphic DVD with the newest anamorphic release. The second shot is more or less the exact same comparison but it's been scaled so that the shots have the correct aspect ratio. I'll let Jetlag explain what you're seeing:
The maximum image size, in pixels, on a DVD is fixed. On a non-anamorphic DVD the aspect ratio of the picture is 4:3, which means on a widescreen movie like Wing Commander a lot of those pixels end up in the black border on the top and bottom. On an anamorphic DVD the aspect ratio is 16:9, which is a lot closer to Wing Commander's 2.35:1, so more pixels are available to the actual picture, and less to the border.
The next comparison nicely shows off the difference in resolution between the DVD releases and the Blu-ray. That's a lot of extra screen real estate!
<LOAF> Now that's what I'm talking about.
Finally here are the shots of many of the DVD editions all together in one place. Note that the last two images are JPGs so if you're tired of waiting for screenshots to download then try those out. Jetlag also pointed out - for the technically inclined - that the actual matting on the transfer isn't vertically centered. There's 58 black lines of pixels above the image and 54 below.
<jetlag> Ok, this took way too long but check out the crop on the US releases.
We'll have even more image comparisons in a future update!