16:9 or 4:3 - Help Please

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by AVFan7667, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. AVFan7667

    AVFan7667
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    Just about to record some films from Telewest Digital onto my Toshiba XS32 to watch another day.

    My STB is set to RGB 4:3LB in it's settings. I can set it to 16:9, 4:3 or 4:3LB.

    Should I set the aspect ratio for my recordings on my XS32 to 4:3 also?

    The XS32 is connected to a 4:3 TV but I want to burn to DVD to watch on a 16:9 TV in the future.

    What is best for future - I will replace this 4:3 TV with 16:9 when it needs replacing so would prefer everything I archive to DVD to be fully compatible on 16:9 and can live with black bands on the 4:3 if necessary.

    I don't understand the implications of setting the aspect ratios entirely.

    Thanks
     
  2. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    i dont know the XS32 - but my philips had zoom facility, so i recorded in 16:9 & watched it zoooomed on 4:3 (i dont know of another machine that can do this) until i got a wide tv
     
  3. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    As I understand it the XS32 allows you to choose whether to set the widescreen flag for each recording.

    While the set top box is in 4:3 you cannot make true widescreen recordings so the DVD flag setting must always be 4:3

    If you decide to change the set top box to output 16:9 and record a true 16:9 programme, you must set the widescreen flag for that DVD to 16:9 otherwise on playback the DVD player will not automatically switch a widescreen TV to Wide, and even worse for a 4:3 TV it will fail to letterbox and play back squashed .
     
  4. AVFan7667

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    So setting the STB to 16:9 and making sure every recording I make on the XS32 is set to 16:9 will ensure all my recordings are going to play back perfectly and in true 16:9 on a widescreen TV and in letterbox style on a 4:3 TV?

    Is that right?
     
  5. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Yes, but not absolutely every recording as some will not actually be transmitted in 16:9. in which case you would set such programmes to 4:3 :)
     
  6. eddyad

    eddyad
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    The Pioneer 420/520/720 manual has this table about different program source and TV set aspect ratios.
    (The periods are to maintain column spacing)

    Recorded . Playback. . . . . . . . Effect
    format. . . setting

    1. 4:3 TV
    16:9. . . . .4:3 Letterbox. . . . . .Full image, black bars top and bottom
    . . . . . . . .4:3 Pan and Scan. . .Full screen, sides of image chopped off
    4:3. . . . . 16:9. . . . . . . . . . . .Image is squashed vertically
    . . . . . . . .4:3 both options. . . .Image displayed correctly

    2. 16:9 TV
    16:9. . . . .16:9. . . . . . . . . . . .Full image displayed correctly
    4:3. . . . . .16:9. . . . . . . . . . . .Depends on TV setting

    Note that there is no control over recorded format - the image is recorded as transmitted. 16:9 images are recorded 'squashed' horizontally. With a 4:3 TV you use the Playback option to unsquash as you wish.
    4:3 images go wrong is played back as if they were 16:9.
    The recorded WS flag (if present) is only there to trigger WS TVs.
    The playback setting would be selected on any DVD player.
     
  7. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Just to add that it also tells DVD players which are set up for 4:3 televisions, to letterbox the programme.
     
  8. AVFan7667

    AVFan7667
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    Now I'm confused.

    So does setting the aspect ratio on my Telewest Digital STB have any effect at all over how the programe(s) are recorded or is it just for the display on the screen?

    And does setting the aspect ratio of the recording on the XS32 have any effect other than telling the TV what mode to play back in?
     
  9. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Setting the Telewest STB to 16:9 is vital if you want to record any widescreen material for later viewing on a widescreen televsion.
    Otherwise widescreen programmes will actually be physically converted to 4:3 and there will be a loss of quality when they are displayed on a 16:9 TV.

    Setting the aspect ratio flag on the DVD recorder doesn't physically change the shape of the recorded pictures. They are recorded as supplied by the Telewest box. The flag does supply important information for the DVD playback machine enabling it to either (depending on the DVD player menu setup)
    a) Tell a 16:9 Television when to switch to Wide Mode
    OR
    b) Letterbox the picture when necessary for a 4:3 TV.
     
  10. AVFan7667

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    Thank you

    It make sense now.
     
  11. eddyad

    eddyad
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    1. If you are recording from the Recorder Out (sometimes called VCR out) then the STB setting for the TV A/R will have no effect.
    If you are recording from the TV out, it will make a difference because the STB will pre-adjust the signal for the (expected) TV as described below. As I have a WS TV I can't tell you what will happen on a 4:3 TV.

    2. It doesn't tell the TV what A/R mode to display in. It 'pre-conditions' the signal for 4:3 TVs because the TV has no means of doing it. So it horizontally unsquashes a 16:9 pic (which restores the correct proportions), then either adds a border top and bottom to give the letterbox result, of chops of the sides for 'Pan and Scan' (sometimes called Full Screen), finishing up with a 4:3 image for the TV.

    I'm aware that the XS32 has some recording flexibility, but frankly the manual confused me as it goes into bitstream speeds. Normal TV pictures are always in 4:3 shape, but 16:9 images are squashed to fit the shape ("anamorphic" images).
     
  12. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I have a slight disagreement with this, as you can view a WS progarm recorded without the flag in letterbox or fullscreen mode on a 4:3 TV by setting the playback of the DVD player accordingly, as in the table I posted earlier.
    On a 16:9 TV you just choose the WS mode on the TV's options as it won't switch automatically.
     
  13. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    On my Panasonic and Sony DVD players, once a widescreen DVD is flagged as 4:3, there is no way of altering the playback aspect ratio for an older 4:3 TV (One which is not equipped to reduce vertical scan on 16:9 material).

    Whatever I do the pictures remain anamorphically squashed. :(
     
  14. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Hmmmm.
    I'll have to connect a 4:3 TV to the 420 sometime and play a 16:9 un-flagged DVD through it. I assumed the DVD machine does what you tell it rather than what the DVD flag says in this case.
    May try this evening...
     
  15. eddyad

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    Right. I've tried the 420 with a Sanyo 4:3 TV.
    Everything plays OK except LP WS video mode DVDs, but the TV has a 'squash' facility which converts the pic to letterbox. This is purely a button on the remote and works regardless of input.
    I think WS LP VR mode DVD is OK but I got a bit muddled as my VR test DVD has a mixture of stuff on it
     
  16. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Unfortunately my Panasonic DVD recorders (E55 & E60) never record the widescreen flag correctly onto DVD-Rs.
    However they do get it right with -RAM recordings so I generally use this format and go via the PC to burn DVD-Rs that work as they should.
     
  17. eddyad

    eddyad
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    It's not connected to the recording mode of the E55 is it?
    Pioneer's don't record the flag in LP modes but are OK in SP and better.
     
  18. Neville Street

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    Resurrecting an old thread. YES I have read it, no I can't see my answer!!!

    I copied out 7 hours of Sky+ onto my Tosh XS32 HDD two days ago. C4 Bill Bailey (hilarious, saw it live in London but still laughed out loud!), BBC1 Rugby Union (Gloucester v Bristol), BBC2 Tsunami relief concert. Sky+ AV1 is used, video setting for 16:9 TV. Tosh set to record in 16:9 default.

    The Rugby, when watched from the Sky+, played back fine. When I playback the Tosh recording the top and bottom of the picture are missing. I know this because the graphics are partly gone and there are actually narrow black bars on the left and right.

    The other progs look fine.

    Help!! I realise I cannot rescue this recording (deleted it from Sky+), but for future how can I ensure it doesn't happen again?
     
  19. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Is it possible that at the start of this particular recording the Sky+ was outputting a transmission in 4:3 and the XS32 set the aspect ratio flag at this point and held it for the duration of the rugby?
     

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