16:9 switching on VCRs

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by GlennP, Dec 5, 2003.

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  1. GlennP

    GlennP
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    If I play a widescreen video on a VCR which has automatic 16:9 switching how will it display on my 4:3 TV? Someone has told me that the automatic switching will force the display into 4:3 mode, squeezing the widescreen frame into full frame. Is this true or will it play back in letterbox format? If so , is there any other way around the problem? I'm not an electronics expert so don''t want to cut into the scart cable and remove the connection to pin 8. I suppose I could force the VCR into playback via the RF loop rather than scart but then I would loose out on picture quality and stereo sound. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Yes, it will be squeezed into a full frame making everything look unnaturally thin.

    The WS switching signal has nothing to do with it. Whether it's recorded or not, this is how it'll be displayed on a 4:3 TV.
    The WS signal is only of use to WS TVs.

    The only way to play in letter box mode is to record in this mode from the source. i.e. set the stb to letter box mode.
     
  3. GlennP

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    Thanks Kevo but I'm still confused.

    If the WS switching has nothing to do with it and only affects WS TVs how come my old VCR plays back WS videos in letterbox format on my 4:3 TV.
     
  4. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Then you must have an 'anamorphic mode' on your 4:3 TV. This will squash the image down back to it's original shape and produce black bars top and bottom.
     
  5. GlennP

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    I doubt it very much as both my current 4:3 TV and VCR are over 10 years old and the term "anamorphic" hadn't been thought of then and widescreen was still in its infancy
     
  6. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Sorry but there is NO way that a vcr will be able to alter a ws (16:9 anamorphic) into letter box mode. It will ALWAYS look squashed and thin.

    I would desire such a vcr myself as I record a lot in 16:9 but woul like to play it in LB 4:3 on other TVs.

    Are these recordings you speak of recorded in 16:9 in the first place or arew they just 4:3 letter box anyway?
     
  7. ReTrO

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    Some VCR's (hopefully all current decent ones) can 'record' the 16:9 anamorphic switching signal from a source like a Sky/Freeview box or DVD player. It will then output the signal when the tape is played back, obviously this is of no use though if you don't have a 16:9 mode on your TV though, as the VCR won't do anything to the picture it outputs.
     
  8. GlennP

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    I'm not recording anything from a widescreen source - I don't have a decoder. I'm just looking at playing my bought videos which are simply labelled as being in widescreen which display in letterbox format on my 4:3 TV using my current VCR. I just don't want the new VCR to squash them.
     
  9. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Just as i thought (and said in my last reply).

    You are playing back 4:3 letter box material.

    In which case your new vcr (or ANY vcr) will play it back exactly the same way.

    There is NO ws switching signal wih these bought video tapes as they are NOT in anamorphic ws, they are in 4:3.

    So rest assured they will not be squashed.
     
  10. GlennP

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    Thanks for your help Kevo.

    I had thought the switching signal was just hardware based. I didn't realise that this was encoded onto the media. So, the only way I'll get a squashed picture is if I borrow a video cassette from someone who has recorded a ws/anamorphic signal or if I get a decoder installed before I get a new widescreen TV.

    I presume if I record analog TV signals where some programs transmitted are said to be widescreen (but are actually somewhere in between 16:9 and 4:3 and so only have very small black bars rather than full letterbox) they will still play back as they appeared on screen.
     
  11. Kevo

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    YES

    Again YES, it's 14:9 on most analog terrestrial progs but NOT anamorphic.

    Once you get a WS TV and learn more about the process, it will all suddenly click and make sense.

    The problem with WS/Digital TV, anamorphic etc is that there is a learning curve which some people will not bother to get into.
    Well, why should they, they didn't need to before when watching analog 4:3 TV for x number of years.

    But for those who do take the trouble, it pays dividens
     
  12. GlennP

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    Thanks for all your help Kevo. Much appreciated.
     

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