16:9 v 2.35:1

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by jrpavel, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. jrpavel

    jrpavel
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    DVDs such as Master and Commander say 2.35:1, and they also say "Widescreen version" 16:9.

    How do I get the 16:9 version out of a Pioneer 868 player? I always seem to get black stripes top and bottom on my on my Panasonic DW6 plasma, suggesting that I am getting the 2.35:1 rather than the 1.76:1.
     
  2. buns

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    there is no 16:9 version..... what it means is that it is enhanced for playback on a 16:9 tv..... ie. it makes use of the anamorphic stretch, you will still get the black bars im afraid

    ad
     
  3. LV426

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    Or to put it another way:

    It means that the video signal recorded on the disc is intended for a 16x9 display.

    Assuming that you have your DVD player correctly set up to output a widescreen signal where present on the disc - it means that the recorded signal on the disc will be correctly displayed when viewed on a 16x9 display.

    BUT: The video signal recorded on the disc contains some plain black parts above and below the image - so as to allow the film, which is WIDER than 16x9, to be shown in full, as opposed to cropped or otherwise damaged.

    So: You have to consider TWO aspect ratios when judging how a film should look, and how to display it -

    1: The aspect ratio of the recorded video signal (including any plain black bits it may contain) which is ALWAYS exactly either 16x9 or 4x3.

    2: The aspect ratio of the film, which may be almost anything between 4x3 and 22x9.

    If the aspect ratio of the recorded video differs from the aspect ratio of the material, then the difference is made up on the disc, in the masterting process with plain black areas.
     
  4. GrahamC

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    :rotfl: now't like making it simple for Joe public :rotfl:

    Its no surprise that Grandma is hostile to change to widescreen.
     
  5. LV426

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    Well, yes, to a point.

    Widescreen TV transmissions are (with few exceptions) such that the material displayed is formatted to exactly match the video signal - i.e. 16x9. So for TV use (such as Freeview or $ky) the situation is a bit simpler. So "Grandma" (who is a TV viewer, rather than a DVD viewer) doesn't really need to concern herself with film ratios.

    For movies, then the "blame" (if that's the right term, and I'm not sure it is) is based in history. Widescreen (by which I mean really wide - wider than 16x9) came along way before DVDs and widescreen TVs.

    You have to accept that the primary medium for films is the cinema; DVDs (or any other home viewing medium) are secondary. It wouldn't be right (IMO) for film producers to narrow their movies just so they will fit TVs. And it would be equally wrong for very wide movies to be cropped to fit a TV.

    There isn't really an issue here; it's just a perception in the minds of people who think that black bars on their TV automatically means they are missing or wasting something. On a properly set up system, they aren't.
     
  6. GrahamC

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    No issue for me and my post was a light hearted aside to the thread, but if I have to explain the black bars on widescreen TV and/or DVD films one more time...... well I'll eat my own foot... :zonked:
     
  7. barnabybear

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    Of course, if anyone's really really bothered about black bars on a widescreen TV, they could always zoom it to fit :rotfl:
     
  8. LV426

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    Wish I had £1 for every time I've tried to explain it, too. Unfortunately, the lack of understanding of what is actually quite a simple concept, extends to the authors of certain magazine articles, too. And this only serves to further complicate the issue in the minds of those who can't cope.
     
  9. mandlebrot

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    :rotfl: So could you please explain why we get black bars then ROFLMO :rotfl: Now lets see you eat your foot:D
     
  10. JurgenNL

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    Thanks Nigel,

    I think I get it. I will print your explanation and read it over once in a while.
    If you just could tell me how 'anamorphic' fits in all of this.

    Jürgen
     
  11. LV426

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    The term Anamorphic is really a misnomer in this context as it is a throwback to the optical techniques used in cinemas to display widescreen material.

    However, in the context of DVD, it quite simply means that:

    The video signal contained on the disc (which may or may not contain some plain black areas depending on the shape of the film itself) is formatted (shaped, in other words) for display on a 16x9 device.

    Other terms used on packaging may include

    > "16x9" - which is misleading, because it may refer either to the video signal format or the shape of the actual image it contains (i.e. excluding any black padding that forms part of the video signal) or both.

    > "enhanced for widescreen TVs" which is probably the most user-friendly and accurate term.

    All three, in the context of video siognal, mean the same thing.

    It's only further complicated, slightly, by a setting in your DVD player setup, which, if set to a given value (terms differ between makes) will actually cause the player to convert a 16x9 video signal into a 4x3 one, e.g. by adding some black of its own at the top and bottom and re-mapping the line structure to fit. So, to properly use a 16x9 display, and a 16x9 (video) disc - it is important to set the DVD player up correctly.
     
  12. Mr.D

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    Actually the video signal isn't 16x9 on 16x9 anamorphic material: its still 4x3 (720x576 for example)

    The image contained within the signal is formatted to look correct when the 4x3 signal is displayed stretched to 16x9 and thats all it is really. The term anamorphic is actually quite apt for 16x9 video.

    I'm still surprised you can't buy anamorphic vhs titles given the poularity of widescreen Tvs now. I suppose the lack of line culling that dvd can manage worries the distributors.

    Whether or not you get black bar padding top and bottom on the image depends on whether the original material was significantly wider than 16x9 ie. 2.35 (actually 2.40 but never mind) and whether or not the distributor has chosen to maintain the original aspect ratio or crop it to 16x9. 1.85 films are quite close to the 1.77 of 16x9 so don't have black bars which are particularly noticable on most displays.
     
  13. LV426

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    Which is more or less what I said.

    Although I would contest your statement: "Actually the video signal is..... still 4x3"

    I don't consider a video signal to have ANY shape at all unless and until it is displayed, where it will acquire a shape that is determined wholly by the display device.

    I understand where you are coming from, in the context of pixel/resolution matrix, but given that, in a CRT setup, the scanlines can be any length the device wants them to be, and in a digital display, the scaling has more or less the same effect, the shape of the pixels is far from defined.

    However, it is my belief (right or wrong) that much of the confusion that arises in peoples' minds over differing aspect ratios in both film sources and more particularly in 16x9 video signals comes from the supposition that all video signals are somehow intrinsically 4x3 and are intentionally distorted by 16x9 devices.

    Indeed, if we were to see anamorphic VHS, then the entire argument about pixel matrix sizes vapourises - this is an analog medium and the contents of each scanline cannot be determined by counting pixels.

    I prefer to think of it more along the lines of intended shape; regardless of the digital makeup of the signal code on the disc - a video signal is either designed to be displayed at 16x9 or at 4x3.
     
  14. LV426

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    ....or, to put it another way:

    The digital matrix size of digital video coded to PAL standards which, as you say, is 720x576 actually suggests an aspect ratio of 1.25:1

    The matrix size of a PAL video CD is 352x288 - 1.222222...:1
    NTSC DVD - 720x480 = 1.5:1
    NTSC VCD - 352x240 = 1.4666666....:1

    None of these standards corresponds to 1.33333...:1 (or 4x3). Or 1.77777...:1 (or 16x9) for that matter.
     
  15. cybersoga

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    The pixels making up the video signal on a dvd arn't square. According to Joe Kane, the pixel aspect ratio of 16:9 anamorphic PAL DVD @ 720x576 is 4238/3105 and the pixel aspect ratio of 4:3 anamorphic PAL DVD @ 720x576 is 1132/1035. The difference between a 4:3 non anamorphic DVD and a 16:9 anamorphic dvd is the pixel aspect ratio, see this thread
     
  16. cybersoga

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    A 16:9 dvd is not really 16:9 unless the film is 1.78:1, if the film is wider than 1.78:1 (1.85:1 and 2.35:1 are) then there should be black borders if it's displayed correctly. Overscan will hide 1.85:1 black borders because they are quite small. It's the aspect ratio of the film that your really interested in, which has to fit within a 4:3 or 16:9 frame.
     
  17. laurie

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    So does this mean we are missing out on resolution because of the black bars!
    cheers laurie
     
  18. LV426

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    Well yes, sort of.....

    Because TV display devices of all types are only capable of dealing with video signal shapes which are exactly either 4x3 or 16x9, then any film which is made for the cinema, wider than this, has to be compromised in some way to fit it to the fixed shape of whatever screen is in use.

    Example: for a 16x9 display, displaying a 16x9 format video signal, which contains a film of 22x9 ratio......

    You fit the film to the screen by one of the following (nothing else is possible):

    a) crop the extreme left and right edges of the film to make it the right shape. In other words, miss part of the film off. This is typically what TV stations do. You don't see the whole film.

    b) stretch it vertically to make it the right shape for the screen. But then you end up distorting things - people end up tall and thin, for example. Nobody in their right mind would contemplate this.

    c) in cases where the film was originally shot on a taller film stock, and matted for cinema use, they can open up the matte and show more picture above and/or below the intended image. This works, but only where the film stock used was of the right shape to do it. And it isn't what the director intended. And it may reveal things that shouldn't be seen - studio equipment etc.

    d) put the whole film on the disc, exactly as it was shown in the theatres. This will use up something like 73% of the height (or scanlines) of the 16x9 video signal. The video signal HAS to have a full set of lines, so you make the rest plain black. This presents the film exactly as it was presented theatrically - or at least - as close as you can get on a video medium.

    So, yes, the film only uses 73% of the possible vertical resolution. But anything else would be at the expense of missing some of the film, showing more of it than was intended, or distorting it. Only the first of these offers more resolution, in fact. And they are all methods of b*gg*ring up the original film.
     

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