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Aspect Ratio Playback Question

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Kevo, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Kevo

    Kevo
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    With any of the recordable DVD formats, can you.....

    Record a 16:9 programme in 16:9 mode and on the same recorder AND another DVD player (finalised) play it back in scaled down letter box mode or 4:3 like a pre recorded DVD?

    I believe you can do this with HD recordings such as the Pace Twin.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I haven't really experimented with this feature but a recorder will record what it 'sees' - so if you feed it a 16:9 image it will record that. As to whether or not it actually records the auto-switch signal I'm afraid I'm not sure. With regard to output there are certainly options in the HS2 menu to output in Letterbox (but isn't this the case on virtually all DVD players anyway)?

    If there is a specific test you want me to do, e.g. record widescreen Sky TV, copy it to DVD-R and see if it plays back Ok on a player connected to a 4:3 TV then I will. But please state specifically what you want me to do and I'll report back!
     
  3. Kevo

    Kevo
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    OK

    Record a ws programme in 16:9 mode and play it back in letter box mode and 4:3 mode if possible. No need to connect to a different TV, your WS TV will do.

    I just want to know if it'll allow this as I think the DV RW format will not.
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Made a note - will do the test in the morning and report back!
     
  5. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Thanks Rasczak

    I'll be away for the weekend from tomorrow, so i'll read your 'report' on Monday.

    Cheers
     
  6. phelings

    phelings
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    This was one of the first things I tried when I got my recorder.I could not find anyway to record a 16:9 recording from Sky+ and convert to letterbox.It would not even auto switch over to 16:9.Even recording from a commercial dvd would not make it happen.
    Presumably all this is digital information and standard recording is still basically analogue,so all the hidden info is not there.Maybe Rasczak can find a way to use RAM's computer based technology to do this.Although getting the necessary info from a Sky + recording would seem to be a problem
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    With Sky+ set to Serivces/Setup/Picture/TV Type "16:9" I connected Sky+ to my HS2 using TV (RGB) Out on the Sky unit and AV2 in on the recorder. I connected to a Toshiba 25" 4:3 TV using AV1 on the recorder and AV1 (RGB in) on the TV.

    I recorded a widescreen broadcast, News 24, in XP mode on DVD-RAM. When watching the broadcast whilst recording the TV auto-detected the widescreen picture and initiated 16:9 mode (i.e. Letterbox). When I stopped the recording and played back the TV did not recognise that the recording was 16:9 and so did not switch to Letterbox mode.

    I played back the disk on my PC using WinDVD 4. Upon playing the disk was automatically detected as a 16:9 picture and the window automatically resized as necessary.

    I then recorded a widescreen broadcast, again from News 24, in XP Mode on DVD-R. Same effect from the test setup, i.e. it didn't autoswitch. I then tried it on a Toshiba 210, Arcam DV88 and a JVC XV-SA72 - in all cases it didn't autoswitch. Putting it in my PC the same thing happened - WinDVD 4 detected it was widescreen and switched.

    So the answer to your original question Kevo is no but for some reason it works under WinDVD but not under a conventional player :confused:
     
  8. Craig Summers

    Craig Summers
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    I too did some experimenting and these are my results:

    Recorded widescreen broadcast from Sky Movies replayed it on to my widescreen TV it auto switches to wide (16:9). Then I changed the setting to 4x3 and the sub menu to letterbox in the recorders set up menu, replayed the same recording and the TV switches to cinema. I then decided to disabled the WSS in the TV’s menu and play the recording again this time I got black bars top and bottom. Tried pan and scan in the recorders sub menu and got different results again. Whatever setting I tried all screen ratios 14x9, 4x3, subtitle etc were available to me.

    Have no idea whether this has answered any questions, may be one of you guys could try the same settings as I did and would make more sense of it. By the way the recording was on dvd-ram.
     
  9. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    There are also differences between how DVD-RAM/DVD-RW handle wide screen switching with the VR recording mode, and how DVD-RW (Video Mode)/DVD-R handle switching.

    There is some information here how to edit the IFO files on DVD-R in order to get the TV to auto switch. Of course this requires a PC Drive.

    http://www.ghorne.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/vidtest/169frame.htm

    Regards

    Philip
     
  10. Mike Heel

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    Thats a great link, thanks PhilipL :)
     
  11. Rasczak

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    The majority of PC authoring programmes will let you do this 'in programme' these days - in TMPG Author for example from Start/Clip/Settings/Video/Aspect Ratio. It's annoying that it doesn't seem to work for the set top process without PC intervention. Although Craig seems to have got it to work?

    For those with Widescreen TVs it's not that much of a problem - i.e. you just use the TV settings to stretch the picture - but for those with 4:3 TVs without 16:9 setting (there surely can't be many people in this boat these days?) it's going to make life difficult if they want to make the best possible recordings.
     
  12. phelings

    phelings
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    I think the original question was not " how to make a 16:9 recording switch to 16:9 mode on 4:3 tv".I think he wants to know how to make an anamorphic recording,then be able to watch it undistorted in a standard letterbox format on a 4:3 set.Like you can do with Sky+.Record a 16:9 movie,then you can watch it anamorphically on a wide set.Then you can change the Sky+ settings to 4:3,then play back the same film in either letterbox or full screen mode.You cannot do this on a standard dvd recording made at home-it would seem.
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I thought we had answered that - if you record from Sky (with it set to TV type: 16:9) then you can record an anamorphic picture which you can stretch on a widescreen TV or put into letterbox on a 4:3 TV with 16:9 mode. What it will not do, without PC authoring, is auto-switch.

    To be fair you don't normally do this to DVDs so why should you want to for DVD recordings? If your that bothered to be able to watch it in fullscreen or letterbox then many players have a 'zoom' feature!
     
  14. phelings

    phelings
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    No we have not answered the original query.Rasczak,you are telling him how to play back an anamorphic recording on a 4:3 set with 16:9 setting.I think he wants to know how to play an anamorphic recording in a standard letterbox format on a 4:3 set WITHOUT a 16:9 setting.You can do it on official dvd's,but I do not think you can do it on a home recorded one.If you have an anamorphic recording,then if you try to play it on a 4:3 set that does not have 16:9 setting,you will have a squeezed picture.
     
  15. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Phelings is right.

    I'm thinking about purchasing a DVD recorder and am looking for any other useful things that it can do that don't normally get mentioned (to justify it).

    What would be useful is if I could play back a (finalised) DVD recording made in 16:9 mode on someone else's DVD player and 4:3 TV in letterbox mode

    AND/OR...

    Copy the same 16:9 recording to VHS in 4:3 (LB mode).
    i.e play it back in 4:3 LB mode on the same DVD Recorder.

    This would be useful for playing it at a friend's house who doesn't have a DVD player.

    I have run into a similar dilema on several occaisions when I record something in 16:9 SVHS.
    (It's too impractical to constantly change modes for the odd off air recording and plus I want to watch in 16:9 mode on my TV!)

    Obviously here I have no flexibility at all with tape so was hoping a DVD recorder would offer this, which I am still none the wiser, but thanks anyway.
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    That's exactly what we've been answering. Go back and read it again. In my second post in this thread I made it quite clear that the signal that enables auto-switching to widescreen on commercial DVDs is not recorded thus meaning it is not possible thus answering the question! :lesson:

    It is possible to add the required signal when authoring on a PC. Obviously this is only something you would do for stuff you want to archive and not generally timeshifting though.

    But to spell it out for Phelings - NO IT'S NOT POSSIBLE FROM A SET-TOP RECORDER ONLY
     
  17. phelings

    phelings
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    I don't need to reread it Rasczak-you do,as confirmed by the original writer even saying "Phelings is right" in the post just before yours.He asked the question and knows what he wanted to ask.So did I,but you got confused
     
  18. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Basically all I want to know is...

    Will 16:9 material recorded on any of the recordable DVD formats behave in the same way as a pre-recorded DVD where the aspect ratio is concerned.

    i.e. can you chose to play it in 4:3 scaled down letter box mode (by changing the AR setting) in the machine it was recorded on AND another DVD player.
     
  19. phelings

    phelings
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    Actually,re reading it shows that Rasczak has got it completely wrong.You persist in telling him how an anamorphic recording will not be auto detected on a DVDR.That is not what he wants to know.He wanted to know if an anamorphic recording could be changed into a standard 4:3 letterbox picture,just like a non anamorphic dvd,and the same way you can change 16:9 stuff to 4:3 L/B on Sky+.Kevo-please confirm so we can move on.
    Kevo-our posts crossed-and thanks for confirming I was right.And even with the confusion,I think its safe to say that it is not possible to do what you want.A 16:9 recording cannot be changed to ordinary letterbox format like you can on a commercial dvd,and some s-vhs recordings I have DO auto open out into 16:9,although as you also note,changing to standard L/B is not possible on that format either
     
  20. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Right you'll obviously having difficulties understanding Phelings so let me spell this out in really, really, really basic terms.

    1) If you refer to the post where I did a variety of tests you will see that no auto-switching signal was recorded! Got that!?! Agree with that? Good.

    2) If no auto-switching is recorded then a DVD player will NOT RECOGNISE that the disk is anomorphic. Got that!?! Agree with that? Good.

    3) If the disk is not recognised as anomorphic the DVD PLAYER WILL NOT SWITCH TO LETTERBOX MODE MEANING THE ANSWER IS NO. I SAY AGAIN THE ANSWER TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION IS NO IT WON'T ACT AS A COMMERCIAL DVD....Got it!?!?!?!?!?!?

    4) This means then that the only way you can play back an anamorphic recording is to either edit/author it on a PC or use an switch feature on the TV (or in rare cases the DVD player) to overcome this.

    I made this quite clear in the first post and have difficulty appreciating why you don't understand it Phelings.
     
  21. Kevo

    Kevo
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    phelings, yes confirmed.

    OK guys, you've both been very helpful....Now please shake hands :)
    Somehow I feel responsible :(

    So it's safe to say that I cannot MANUALLY change the AR setting to 4:3 LB mode for an off air 16:9 DVD recording like I can with a commercial DVD.
    It remains in it's complete 16:9 just like a 16:9 analog recording.

    I find this really strange and would have thought it possible.

    Are DVD Rs, RWs etc so much different than a pre-recorded DVD?

    Maybe somebody else can answer this.

    This could have been the clincher in me purchasing a DVD recorder but alas I think i'll stick with my good old SVHS VCR.
     
  22. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Kevo,

    Not being funny but your original question which, as specified by Phelings was:

    ...or as specified by you:

    You'll find this was answered quite clearly from the results of the tests I posted. As these issues are linked exclusively as to whether the auto-switching signal is recorded it is therefore THE ONLY FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE with regard to answering your question. The only reason Phelings made such a stink is because he didn't understand how this issue linked with your question. Thus comments like:

    ...and...

    ...are going to be quite inflamatory. I answered your questions Kevo, and did a fairly thorough test as well using both RAM and DVD-R, to answer it. I mean if you look back to my original post you'll see my summary:

    Maybe I should have spelt out how the issue linked with the original question but, in my mind, the link was too obvious and would have been too patronising to specify!
     
  23. phelings

    phelings
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    Thanks Kevo.As the person who asked the question says I am right,I think that says enough.Rasczak, your explanation was not very clear.You STILL give me the impression you are reffering to 16:9 L/B and not 4:3 L/B,but I guess you were.
     
  24. Rasczak

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    Quite how I gave this impression when I clearly stated the tests I conducted for Kevo were done on a 4:3 TV. Besides anyone who followed through the test report I gave could have seen that.
     
  25. phelings

    phelings
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    I have read all your posts again Rasczak.I quote:When I stopped the recording and played back the TV did not recognise that the recording was 16:9 and so did not switch to Letterbox mode."Letterbox is the commonly reffered term for a 4:3 non anamorphic widescreen picture.You persist in referring to 16:9 as letterbox,which it is not.Not once in all your posts is the term he was asking about-4:3 letterbox mentioned
     
  26. phelings

    phelings
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    Regarding Kevo's new request,commercial dvd's are pressed and all the information is digital.DVD recorders are recorded in a linear format that is still basically analogue.
     
  27. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Actually I think you'll find the term for a 4:3 TV with a 16:9 setting is frequently described as 'Letterbox Mode' in that it is a downconverted image and not a high resolution one stretched. In the manual for the 25" Toshiba TV I used it certainly is described this way. The manual should be online - it's page 21 of model number 2577DB.

    Accordingly you'll notice when I was talking about WinDVD I did not mention 'Letterbox' as this involved a resolution change:
    And the bottom line is that in my initial post (after the test) I made the very clear quote:
    I'm slightly confused as to how this or it's meaning could be misunderstood? Clearly the recording had not recorded the switching signal so no DVD player would auto-switch to letterbox mode. How is that ambigious? It's cystal clear.
     
  28. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Actually I think you mean commercial DVDs are authored and the appropriate setting applied in the IFO file that forms part of the DVD-Video structure - the same as PhilipL mentioned on page 1 of this thread. Eventually we could see this same setting applied to set-top DVD recorders without much effort at all - but it's still early days for DVDRs and nobody has implemented it yet!
     
  29. phelings

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    C'mon Rasczak,I was offering a non technical term for people(including myself) that are not familiar with computer terms and jargon.
    I want to let this go but I can't.In your earlier post you said that a 4:3 set with 16:9 mode is referred to as letterbox because it is not a high resolution picture stretched-but it isBefore I had a wide set I had a Panasonic 4:3 with a 16:9 mode.I set my player to 16:9 and then when I watched an anamorphic dvd I switched the tv to 16:9,meaning instead of a normal 4:3 letterbox image,with wasted top and bottom lines,I had the compressed/stretched image resulting in improved resolution.
    We seem to be on different terminology wavelengths here.
     
  30. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    But that depends on the TV - certainly my ancient (8 year old) Toshiba 25" is a bargain basement TV (my Kitchen TV for those interested) and certainly does not benefit from an increase in resolution from the DVD - the 16:9 is merely a compatibility feature when it was thought not all DVD players would have the option of forced Letterbox output. Newer, more expensive, models would rightly be described as 16:9 and would benefit from that action.
     

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