4:3 TV for HS2 widescreen recordings


Active Member
Any ideas how to make a widescreen recording play back with two horizintal bars (ie Letterbox) on a 4:3 TV?

In the set up for the HS2, there is a setting for 4:3 TV dubbing aspect, with the options Squeeze or Letterbox. This seems to make absolutely no difference; nor does changing the TV type on the standalone DVD player. The picture always comes out horizontally compressed.

Any help appreciated...


Well-known Member
You can't with DVDR, the AR is fixed to whatever it was recorded in.

Although you should be ok with HDD and RAM recordings.


Active Member

I knew the aspect ratio is fixed to 4:3 for dvd-r discs regardless of their original aspect, but it should be able to squeeze or letterbox any recordings it makes; otherwise what's the point of having the dubbing settings?


Staff member
Isn't there a playback option, as on virtually all (if not all) DVD players whereby you tell the player what shape the screen is. And, if set to 4x3 letterbox, the player re-scales the image to fit into a 4x3 signal/frame (same as with commercial anamorphic discs)?


Active Member
Yep; and this makes no difference to the picture either;
I can't understand why such a seemingly straight forward playback option should be so hard to achieve...


Well-known Member
Unfortunatley it isn't as straight forward as that.

A DVD player and a TV need the ws flag to determine the AR.
Also it cannot scale down a 16:9 recording to letterbox mode without this flag.

I always thought (until recently) the ws flag signal was just to tell the TV to switch to 16:9 mode. It isn't, it is also essential to allow for LB and cut out mode for 4:3 TVs.


Active Member
But it's a pity DVD players don't give you the option to override the flag setting, i.e. display the programme as if it had the flag set to 16:9, when it's set to 4:3.

More to the point, it's a pity DVD recorders (at least my E50) don't give you the option of setting the flag to 16:9 when recording. This could perhaps be done at finalize time, or, if that's impossible, before you start recording to the disk.


When you set the aspect ratio up on the HS2,16:9 will result in a compressed picture that fits perfectly on a 16:9 set.But on -r it will not auto switch.
If you set it to 4:3 it will record an uncompressed image,but if your source material is compressed,the HS2 cannot change it.If you want a l/box picture,you need your source changed to 4:3 l/box(Sky does this in picture settings-you can choose l/box on or off)and the HS2 needs to be set for 4:3 also.


Active Member
You're right Phelings; I recall seeing that in the Sky PIcture setings; and that woudl indeed work for a 4:3 TV to view the recording.

Thanks for that!

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