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Aspect Ratio on Home Recorded Widescreen Movies

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Anonymous
December 6, 2004 6:52:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Yesterday I went out shopping for a HDTV (50" Samsung HL-P5063W in
particular.) All the reviews seamed to indicate that it would suit me
just fine and would fit my room. I have transferred a lot of my
laserdiscs to DVD and wanted to see how well they looked on a HDTV. I
took along a widescreen (not anamorphic) copy of Timecop.

I went to 2 different stores (Circuit City and a local specialist
store). In both instances, they were unable to demonstrate my Timecop
disc to my satisfaction. I was expecting a picture with black bars on
all four sides to be displayed when the disc was played. That would be
the top/bottom bars that are recorded on the disc, and the side bars
because this is not a 16:9 disc. What I wanted to see, was how quickly
the quality deteriorates as the picture was enlarged to fill the
screen. However, no one was able to demonstrate this mode to me. All
the TV's would immediately expand the picture to fill the screen, and at
the same time, made everyone look short and fat. Yes, they could select
different zoom modes, but none of them seamed to get rid of the
horizontal distortion. The guy at Circuit City told me he had met
Jean-Claude Van Damme and that is what he looked like in real life
(short and squatty).

When I got home, I did some research (that is how I found this
Newsgroup) and the only thing I could find was that they probably had
their DVD players hooked up to the DVI input on the HDTV. This, if I
understand correctly, predetermines how the picture will be displayed on
the screen, and is why I was not ever seeing the 4 sided letterboxed
picture on the screen that I expected.

Since I think I have already worn out my welcome at the above 2 stores,
I would like to be betted educated before I hit the remaining 2 stores
in town (Best Buy and The 'NOT SO' Goodguys)

Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 7:02:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

To display a DVD correctly on an HDTV set like this, the DVD player needs to
be set to 16:9 480p (some might argue to set it at 480i and let the TV tuner
do the progressive change but this is something you can tinker with later).
Then, the TV set should display the DVD picture as the player sends it,
i.e., in the correct aspect with black letter-boxing, as required and no
blow-up distortion. Do this through the DVD player's menu before playing
your DVD.

I suspect that the stores' DVD players were set to 480i and their TV sets'
picture settings were set to WIDE or ZOOM mode, or some such, which takes a
4:3 picture and blows it up to 16:9 with accompanying distortion.

mack
austin


<xeaglecrest@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:41B4803F.7174@worldnet.att.net...
> Yesterday I went out shopping for a HDTV (50" Samsung HL-P5063W in
> particular.) All the reviews seamed to indicate that it would suit me
> just fine and would fit my room. I have transferred a lot of my
> laserdiscs to DVD and wanted to see how well they looked on a HDTV. I
> took along a widescreen (not anamorphic) copy of Timecop.
>
> I went to 2 different stores (Circuit City and a local specialist
> store). In both instances, they were unable to demonstrate my Timecop
> disc to my satisfaction. I was expecting a picture with black bars on
> all four sides to be displayed when the disc was played. That would be
> the top/bottom bars that are recorded on the disc, and the side bars
> because this is not a 16:9 disc. What I wanted to see, was how quickly
> the quality deteriorates as the picture was enlarged to fill the
> screen. However, no one was able to demonstrate this mode to me. All
> the TV's would immediately expand the picture to fill the screen, and at
> the same time, made everyone look short and fat. Yes, they could select
> different zoom modes, but none of them seamed to get rid of the
> horizontal distortion. The guy at Circuit City told me he had met
> Jean-Claude Van Damme and that is what he looked like in real life
> (short and squatty).
>
> When I got home, I did some research (that is how I found this
> Newsgroup) and the only thing I could find was that they probably had
> their DVD players hooked up to the DVI input on the HDTV. This, if I
> understand correctly, predetermines how the picture will be displayed on
> the screen, and is why I was not ever seeing the 4 sided letterboxed
> picture on the screen that I expected.
>
> Since I think I have already worn out my welcome at the above 2 stores,
> I would like to be betted educated before I hit the remaining 2 stores
> in town (Best Buy and The 'NOT SO' Goodguys)
>
> Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 10:32:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 15:52:32 GMT, xeaglecrest@worldnet.att.net wrote:

>The guy at Circuit City told me he had met
>Jean-Claude Van Damme and that is what he looked like in real life
>(short and squatty).

Disappointing to hear you couldn't get the (reasonable) results you
wanted, but this is hysterical!
Related resources
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 1:29:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

> <xeaglecrest@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:41B4803F.7174@worldnet.att.net...
>
>>Yesterday I went out shopping for a HDTV (50" Samsung HL-P5063W in
>>particular.) All the reviews seamed to indicate that it would suit me
>>just fine and would fit my room. I have transferred a lot of my
>>laserdiscs to DVD and wanted to see how well they looked on a HDTV. I
>>took along a widescreen (not anamorphic) copy of Timecop.
>>
>>I went to 2 different stores (Circuit City and a local specialist
>>store). In both instances, they were unable to demonstrate my Timecop
>>disc to my satisfaction. I was expecting a picture with black bars on
>>all four sides to be displayed when the disc was played. That would be
>>the top/bottom bars that are recorded on the disc, and the side bars
>>because this is not a 16:9 disc. What I wanted to see, was how quickly
>>the quality deteriorates as the picture was enlarged to fill the
>>screen. However, no one was able to demonstrate this mode to me. All
>>the TV's would immediately expand the picture to fill the screen, and at
>>the same time, made everyone look short and fat. Yes, they could select
>>different zoom modes, but none of them seamed to get rid of the
>>horizontal distortion. The guy at Circuit City told me he had met
>>Jean-Claude Van Damme and that is what he looked like in real life
>>(short and squatty).
>>
>>When I got home, I did some research (that is how I found this
>>Newsgroup) and the only thing I could find was that they probably had
>>their DVD players hooked up to the DVI input on the HDTV. This, if I
>>understand correctly, predetermines how the picture will be displayed on
>>the screen, and is why I was not ever seeing the 4 sided letterboxed
>>picture on the screen that I expected.
>>
>>Since I think I have already worn out my welcome at the above 2 stores,
>>I would like to be betted educated before I hit the remaining 2 stores
>>in town (Best Buy and The 'NOT SO' Goodguys)
>>
>>Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
>

Mack McKinnon wrote:
> To display a DVD correctly on an HDTV set like this, the DVD player
needs to
> be set to 16:9 480p (some might argue to set it at 480i and let the
TV tuner
> do the progressive change but this is something you can tinker with
later).
> Then, the TV set should display the DVD picture as the player sends it,
> i.e., in the correct aspect with black letter-boxing, as required and no
> blow-up distortion. Do this through the DVD player's menu before playing
> your DVD.
>
> I suspect that the stores' DVD players were set to 480i and their TV
sets'
> picture settings were set to WIDE or ZOOM mode, or some such, which
takes a
> 4:3 picture and blows it up to 16:9 with accompanying distortion.
>
> mack
> austin
>
>

Sounds like the opposite to me. I think if you want to view a 4:3 DVD
(which is what you made, it's just letterboxed) you need to set the DVD
player to 4:3 or use something like S-video. The the image should look
right on the HDTV because then it's just receiving a standard signal.
No fuss, no muss. Then you could always zoom in using the features
available on the TV.

My HDTV is very much like this. As soon as it receives a 16x9
progressive signal through the component jacks, it locks to 16x9 no
matter what. So it makes it tough when viewing 4:3 material. My
solution was to simply run another set of wires from the DVD player that
use the S-Video jacks. When watching 4:3 material I switch inputs and
all is well. No stretching or distorting and the image still looks
great. Nowhere near the 16x9 progressive image, but just fine for
watching things like old Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes on DVD. I
own only a few letterboxed non anamorphic DVD's and there's just no way
around it. Watch 'em small, or zoom and make 'em chunky. It's shame,
but that's the way it is.

Hope this helps.
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 9:33:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Karyudo wrote:
>> On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 15:52:32 GMT, xeaglecrest@worldnet.att.net wrote:
>>
>>> The guy at Circuit City told me he had met
>>> Jean-Claude Van Damme and that is what he looked like in real life
>>> (short and squatty).
>>
>> Disappointing to hear you couldn't get the (reasonable) results you
>> wanted, but this is hysterical!

I'll say! I just spewed coffee out my nose...

This is what I do do watch letterboxed SVCDs I've made on my 5063: the DVD
player is set to 16:9, but I run it out via component/interlaced so that I
can get the zoom options on the TV (progressive only allows "Wide" or
"4:3"). Use "Zoom 1" which will blow up the image equally
horizontally/vertically so that there is no distortion and the image fills
the screen (of course, black bars on top/bottom with anamorphic).
Anonymous
December 7, 2004 5:34:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Thanks to everyone that responded. I ended up making a test disc that
contained several concentric circles (like a target). I took it to Best
Buy and when first put into the DVD player, it came up on the screen
with oblong circles. The salesman did agree that they should be round,
and after about 10 minutes of fiddling with the settings, he was able to
get the display into the proper ratio.

Also on the same disc, I took the same circular pattern and added black
bars at the top and bottom of the screen to simulate a wide screen
picture. I did this because the salesman at the other 2 stores both
insisted that the TV saw the black bars and automatically stretched (and
distorted) the picture to fill the screen. In this test, the circles
stayed round (disproving what the other salesmen claimed). Also, in
this test, when the zoom function was activated, the black bars (mostly)
disappeared and the circles in the test pattern stayed round.
Unfortunately, I did not include any detailed video on the disc, so I
was not able to determine how much the zooming affected the picture
quality, but at least the distortion problem was answered.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone. Now I just have to decide if I can
live with the relative short picture height of a 50" TV or should I move
up to an larger screen size.
Anonymous
December 19, 2004 1:16:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

In article <41B4803F.7174@worldnet.att.net>,
<xeaglecrest@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

> Yesterday I went out shopping for a HDTV (50" Samsung HL-P5063W in
> particular.) All the reviews seamed to indicate that it would suit me
> just fine and would fit my room. I have transferred a lot of my
> laserdiscs to DVD and wanted to see how well they looked on a HDTV. I
> took along a widescreen (not anamorphic) copy of Timecop.
>

I have a S-VHS deck, that is close to 480i. I record from my DVD
and Directv HD unit via S-Video. When I record either anamorphic DVD's
or HDTV programs, it's stretched to full vertical on the tape, (the
S-video output of both my DVD and HD unit, puts out full frame
unsqueezed anamorphic) When I play back, and choose 16:9 on my HDTV,
the vertical lines are squeezed back into the correct aspect, and with
higher resoultion. I assume a DVD recorder will do the same.
Non-anamorphic will not do the same. Widescreeen/non-anamorphic
video just throws away resolution.
!