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1024 x 1024 resolution, but 16:9 aspect ratio: what software?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by goliath23, May 26, 2003.

  1. goliath23

    goliath23
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    Hi all,

    I currently run my PC on a Plasma screen with a resolution of 852x480 pixels, which is an exact 16:9 aspect ratio (square pixels).

    Now I want to upgrade to a new Plasma dispaly that has a resolution of 1024x1024 of 1024x768, but is still 16:9.

    I assume that movies played on my PC with these settings will look stretched because the PC does not "know" that the pixels are not square but rectangular.

    Is there a software where I can output a 1024x1024 or 1024x786 picture in 16:9 mode, basically telling the graphic card that the pixels on my display will have a format of 16:9 (1024x1024) or 4:3 (1024x768)?
     
  2. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I imagine the Windows Desktop will be stretched, but for DVD playback it will look fine. Player software usually stretches the image to fill the entire screen - whatever the resolution (and pixel shape). You have to tell the player software that you have a 16x9 screen - but that's all (just as you would, with a standalone DVD player).

    I am surprised to hear that there are plasmas with non-square pixels (but I don't know much about plasma screens).
     
  3. Elgaran

    Elgaran
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    The panels with 1024x768 do not have square pixels. As a result if you run a desktop at this res when you feed it to the panel it will be stretched horizontally. Text will be sharp but horizontally stretched.

    You could run at a wide resolution but then you will end up using the in built scalar in the panel.
     
  4. goliath23

    goliath23
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    @ Elgaran
    That is exactly what I want to avoid. The picture will only look crystal clear if I got an exact 1:1 pixel match.

    @MikeTV
    Unfortunately, it will not. A computer display with 1024x768 pixels will usually have a 4:3 aspect ratio (square pixels) and a 1024x768 Plasma display will habe a 16:9 aspect ratio (rectangular pixels) and therefore my graphics card will add black bars to the bottom and top instead of displaying the whole picture over the full screen.

    The picture will look stretched like displaying any 4:3 picture on a 16:9 screen.

    That is the big question:confused: How do you tell the player software (or the craphics card driver) that you have a 16:9 screen? I have tried WinDVD and PowerDVD so far but could not find such a setting.
     
  5. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    It's the DVD player software that you need to know aspect ratios, not your graphics card. Does the well regarded TheaterTek player do this? http://www.theatertek.com/

    If not, you may have to buy a screen with square pixels -- i.e. 1366x768 resolution -- or stick with 852x480.

    1280x768 isn't too far off square and may not be that noticeable for DVD playback via PC, certainly much better than 1024x768. 1024x1024 on 16:9 screen is just plain wrong, what kind of shape are those pixels?

    Square pixels was one of the reasons I went for Panny5 50" plasma screen.

    StooMonster
     
  6. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Interesting thread, got me thinking now. I use Zoomplayer and have the aspect ratio set to anamorphic (seems to look ok to me). I've got the 433MXE with the resolution set to 1024 768, wondering what Zoom player will be doing now to fit it to the 4:3 ratio of the screen resolution...

    Andy
     
  7. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Have you got a DVD with a "THX Optimizer" on it (e.g. Star Wars)? This has geometry tests on it, well a circle at 16:9 anyway.

    It would be interesting to know if this is truly a circle on your screen, i.e. measured height and width are the same. If it is then it means that Zoomplayer Anamorphic is handling this.

    StooMonster
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Yes, its the DVD players function to provide apsect ratio control. TheaterTek and Zoomplayer allow pretty much unlimited control. Other players will usually at least allow you to 'unlock aspect ratio' , this will be OK for anamorphic widescreen DVDs, but no good for 4:3 and letterbox.
     
  9. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    This is an interesting thread. Given that this 16:9 display has 1024x1024 pixels, I would imagine that if you fed it a 1024x768 signal, the display would have to scale in the vertical axis (because 768 is less than 1024). But I wouldn't expect it to scale in the horizontal axis - unless the display's scaler assumed that the pixels needed to be square (ie. that the signal was 4:3 aspect ratio). In this case, the scaler would center the image, and provide black bars on the edges - ie. it would scaler the image *horizontally* to 768 pixels (discarding some information horizontally). It seems unlikely that the designers would make it scale a 1024x768 signal to 768x1024 pixels, but instead would just display it as 1024x1024 (occupying the whole 16:9 screen - and stretching the desktop horizontally).

    So what you want to do, is send it a 1024x1024 resolution image - because then it won't be scaled in either direction. The DVD player software needs to be configured for a 16x9 display. Nowadays most players handle anamorphic/non-anamorphic/ letterboxed/4:3/2.35 material correctly - without any manual intervention needed - the software provides black bars (horizontally or vertically) when needed.

    As to the "square pixels vs. rectangle pixels" discussion, it probably doesn't matter because the plasma has rectangle pixels by design, and an ideal pixel would be round anyway (because the real world isn't comprised of square pixels). Rectangle pixels are quite common on CRT displays (ironically to improve resolution and quality). A more important factor is the resolution, in relation to the source material. A DVD has 480 lines, and so an ideal display resolution might be 480 lines. But the problem with 480 lines is that you may be able to discern the pixels during normal viewing. Using a higher resolution, pixels become less noticeable. When you playback a DVD on a high resolution display (eg. a monitor/plasma), the graphics card will scale the image to the higher resolution - and will use all the available resolution to smooth out the pixel edges. The reason for doing the scaling in the computer (instead of in the plasma display) is that the computer has access to the raw digital information, whereas the display is only receving an analog signal (which it then must convert to digital for scaling and display). As a test, you could try sending the plasma a 720x480p signal, and comparing the results with a computer-scaled 1024x1024 image. In either case 1024x1024 is higher than 720x480, and so the results should look good. But the drawback of scaling upwards is that you will lose some sharpness/clarity. And so it becomes a question of what is most acceptable - the pixel edges, or the clarity/fidelity. The higher the resolution, the better the scaling, and 1024x1024 is pretty much state of the art (I believe).
     
  10. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    What may also prove a challenge with an ALIS plasma screen (i.e. "1024x1024") is that they are the only plasma screens that interlace. ALIS means Alternate LIghting of Surfaces. The native resolution for the "1024x1024" ALIS screen used by Fujitsu and Hitachi is actually 1024x512. Two interlaced fields in the same frame are displayed one after the other, to give the illusion of the vertical resolution being twice the native resolution.

    This could be even more of a problem for your PC based DVD player.

    I (now) know that TheaterTek handles different aspect ratio / pixel shapes precisely for the problem that you have highlighted: square -vs- rectangular pixels on different PC displays. Also taking account of NTSC DVDs at 480 rows or PAL DVDs at 576 rows.

    I don't know what it would do with an ALIS plasma.

    From what I understand, ALIS plasmas are best fed with interlaced signals anyway. This is because the hardware inside the screen will interlace the incoming signal, even an RGBHV one from a PC.

    I suggest that you search the plasma forum for "ALIS", or Google the term.

    StooMonster
     

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