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16:9 or not 16:9 ?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Red Baron, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. Red Baron

    Red Baron
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    After buying a 16:9 widescreen TV to get more from watching DVD’s, as we were sick of watching widescreen through the letterbox on our 4:3 telly, I find that there is still a 50-60mm band at the top and bottom of the screen. Is this normal, we thought the screen would be nicely full now with our films.
    I’ve messed with the zoom on the TV, its OK for normal TV and SKY, and I’ve swapped scarts around to see if somehow the scart was configured to do this.
    I’ve tried all menus I can on the DVD player but can't alter the aspect.
    Is a DVD 16:9 different to the TV 16:9?, and why won’t choosing full zoom on the TV trim the edges, or compress so we fill the screen? We bought a 32" er but still only see 28"

    Answers on a postcard please.
     
  2. electrolyte

    electrolyte
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    The reason why you get black bars on the top and bottom is that 16:9 is not the format that most films are recorded in. Most are recorded in 2.35:1 which is even more widecreen than 16:9 (which is only 1.78:1). Therefore you get bars at top and bottom of some widescreen DVDs. If you look at the back of the DVD box it will say what format the picture is.

    I know that it doesn't seem to make sense that you buy an expensive widescreen TV to watch widescreen movies but the screen isn't wide enough!
     
  3. Oblivion

    Oblivion
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    It depends on the aspect ratio of the DVD. Plus make sure that the tv is set to wide and that your DVD player is set to 16:9 rather than 4:3 (same goes for Sky)

    Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 will fill the screen while Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic will have slight black bars top and bottom. If the disc is letterboxed rather than anamorphic then the black bars will be much bigger.

    Paul
     
  4. Red Baron

    Red Baron
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    Ah ha

    I have checked the cases which had a rectangle and said 16:9

    I will have a closer look at the small print.

    Cheers
     
  5. Nike

    Nike
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    Why?
    The aspect ratio of the film determines how big the black bars will be, not whether the disc has anamorphic enhancement.

    i.e. a dvd with an aspect ratio of 1.78/1 should fill a 16:9 screen regardless - assuming the screen is correctly calibrated
     
  6. Squirrel God

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    Red Baron,

    Make sure your DVD player is set to 16:9.

    Then any black bars you see are because the aspect ratio of the movie is 2.35:1 (or thereabouts). Do not worry about what it says on the case of the DVD - they are sometimes wrong or they just say "16:9 enhanced" or just "16:9" and do not give the actual aspect ratio.

    Movies that are 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 will not show with black bars on your TV.

    If the DVD is non-anamorphic, then you can zoom the image and will often get rid of the black bars. But again, you will still have black bars if the aspect ratio is 2.35:1

    Content yourself with the fact that those black bars would be much bigger on a 4:3 set ;)
     
  7. Doubledoom

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    Dont get mixed up with the anamorphic widescreen label. This is often called enhanced for 16:9 or similar. Just because it is anamorphic does not mean it will fit the screen. The full aspect ratio is the important bit.

    Also, dont let the black bars worry you. You soon get used to them being there and you wont even notice them. Concentrate on the film.
     
  8. kev_gordon

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    Can someone explain what Anamorphic is using non technical terms? I can never remember what it is or how it works.

    As I am still, over 8 months later, in the process of trying to decide which 32" widescreen TV to buy, if I really need one, and if I can really afford a grand-plus on one, I really should be up on all the terminology by now!

    I think the 4-disc edition of Lord Of the Rings will be the final push to actually buy the TV.... roll on...

    So, Anamorphic, for us thickies, is....
     
  9. juboy

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    As a very basic guide, which will hopefully make some sense, 'Anamorphic' means that the transfer includes additional lines of resolution on the horizontal plane.

    This means that a suitable widescreen TV can essentially 'expand' those lines to produce a 'taller' image without losing resolution. That means smaller black bars top and bottom with the image still looking sharp and in the correct aspect ratio.

    As for buying a 32" TV, if you watch non-anamorphic 2.35:1 ration DVDs on it, you'll almost certainly feel the picture is too small. I know it may be a few hundred quid more but a 36" TV would really be the way to go.
     
  10. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    anamorphic means a better picture for owners of widescreen TVs.

    With a non-anamorphic (letterboxed) picture, you have to use the TVs zoom controls to zoom horizontally and vertically in order to fill the screen. because of the vertical zoom, you don't get the best picture quality (you are taking around 360 pixels and stretching them to fit the whole height of the screen)

    With an anamorphic picture, you only have to zoom horizontally, so you get more pixels vertically=more detail.
     
  11. Zacabeb

    Zacabeb
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    It is quite easy to grasp once you know the principle of anamorphosis.

    Anamorphosis means that an image does not in itself have the intended proportions, but needs to be distorted to look right. One example is the 'STOP' text painted on the street. When you are driving towards it, seeing it from a very shallow angle you can read it properly, but if you look at it close up you find it extremely oblongated. The text is thus anamorphic.

    Anamorphosis is used in the cinema to squeeze a wider image into the narrow frames on regular film. The projector can then unsqueeze it to normal proportions using an anamorphic lens.

    The same term has been adopted for 16:9 video images. An analog video signal does not have any aspect ratio of its own, and does not care what proportions the image has. But if you assume that 4:3 is the 'normal' proportion of a screen, a 16:9 image is anamorphic.

    In order to make a 16:9 image appear correct on a 4:3 screen, it must be scaled down vertically to a 'letterbox' image and no longer covers all the picture lines. Many of the picture lines are wasted on black bars and the image loses resolution. A 16:9 set can blow the image up to fill the screen, and attempt filling in extra picture lines, but not fully recover the quality of the original 16:9 image. This is why 'anamorphic' 16:9 is preferrable over a letterbox image.

    If you look at the actual image data on DVD, you will find that both 4:3 and 16:9 are anamorphic. In both cases, the image stored has a pixel aspect ratio of 11:9 (PAL discs). Within it is a squeezed 4:3 or 16:9 image, that is stretched back to its normal proportions when displayed.
     

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