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Aspect ratio question

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Kevin Clark, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Kevin Clark

    Kevin Clark
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    I've just been looking at WSTVs again. The shop was a bit empty so I played with the different aspect ratios. On all the models you seem to either lose some of the picture top and bottom so you can't see captions and titles, or you CAN see them but then peoples heads look a little squashed.

    I looked at a philips 6515 that had about 6 or 7 different picture choices and none showed you everything on the screen in a nice proportion. Same for other makes too.

    What aspect to people typically watch 'normal' TV in or is it better when the signal comes through a digi box rather than conventional aerial like in the shop.

    Thank

    Kev
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I use "panoramic" for stretching 4:3 pictures to fit a widescreen TV unless the picture includes a lot of close ups which can look odd in panoramic.

    Some TV's stretch or panoramic mode is better than others so make sure that you can live with it before parting with your money.
     
  3. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    Dont forget that tv's in shops are usually on an awful quality aerial feed, with consequently no widescreen program material available.

    Quite a lot of the terrestial stations output is now in widescreen via a digital source such as sky, together with the news etc on bbc24.

    You really need to ask for the set you are interested in to be connected to a dvd and play a suitable disk to see if you like the set. On my toshiba I leave it on the super wide mode, which keeps correct aspect ratio in the middle but stretches the sides, and after a while you get used to it. True widescreen, or other formats are used automatically by the set when broadcast with the correct switching info.
     
  4. Kevin Clark

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    So you mean if you watch through a sky box the pictures look fine and 'fit' the screen? But down a normal aerial they're all a bit skewy?

    Kev
     
  5. Garrett

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    Some programs are only transmitted in 4:3 down the aerial, but on digital they can sometimes be seen in anamorphic 16:9. Some digital channels never transmit in 16:9 always in 4:3 such as ITN News and apart from Buffy last week I have never seen anything on Sky in16:9. A good give away if you are watching a terrestrial channel and see a small black bar top and bottom (14:9), it will generally be 16:9 on digital.
     
  6. Doubledoom

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    There are different aspect ratios for the different methods broadcast.

    An anamorphic widescreen broadcast will use the 16:9/Wide mode. A non-anamoprhic widescreen broadcast will need a different zoom mode (Cinema on Toshiba, or Subtitle if the subtitles are burned into the black bars).

    4:3 broadcasts can be viewed in 4:3 (my personal choice) or some people prefer to stretch the picture and crop the top and bottom to fill the whole screen.

    Then there is the 14:9 compromise ratio used on analogue terrestial television and rather stupidly by the UKTV channels.
     
  7. Kevin Clark

    Kevin Clark
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    Do you mean that for every programme you watch you have to fart about with the aspect ratio to make it look 'right'?

    Sorry if these seem like dumb questions :D

    Kev
     
  8. pointon

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    If the picture is anamorphic, a signal is usually sent with the picture to automatically put the TV into 16:9 WS mode. If the picture is letterbox (not anamorphic) widescreen, then WSTV's have an automatic detection mode which recognises a letterbox picture and zooms in on it correctly (something not helped by damn channel logos and DOGS). This automatic detection mode usually has an option for non-widescreen pictures, for you to choose whether to stretch the picture to fill the whole screen, or to have a normal 4:3 picture in the centre of the screen with black bars either side (preferable to really wide malformed pictures).

    Other than this, get the remote.
     
  9. Doubledoom

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    Not on Toshiba widescreen sets. If you have the tv in 4:3 mode, it will remain in 4:3 mode unless an anamorphic widescreen broadcast/recording is present. I don't seem to recall Sony or Panasonic televisions doing that either.

    How does the tv know to go into the different zoom mode on non-anamorphic widescreen or stay in 4:3 if not? With the exception of Pal+ (used by analogue Ch4) i can't see how the television could do it.

    Only if you are in the stretch and crop auto mode would i expect the above to work.
     
  10. Garrett

    Garrett
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    My Loewe auto zooms from Pan mode for W/S movies shown on such as TMC, but not Sky One (could be the dreaded red dot).
     
  11. delta

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    I use digital inputs on my Toshiba all of the time so there is no problem re aspect ratios. However when I have selected and analogue channel, (eg BBC2 or C4), showing a widescreen, letterboxed, programme then the tv does auto switch to 'cinema' mode to display the correct aspect ratio.
     
  12. delta

    delta
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    Kevin,

    Not a dumb question. NO you don't have to constantly select the right picture mode as the tv should do that for you, so don't worry and enjoy your tv.
     
  13. Doubledoom

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    BBC do not use Line 23 WSS so it shouldn't switch to Cinema for non-anamorphic widescreen. Only C4 use line 23 WSS and this would be the only analogue channel you would see this.
     

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