Aspect Ratios and LCD TVs

Marcos

Active Member
I'm going to buy an LCD TV or maybe Plasma soon. And for the past few years i've been using a brilliant 21" 4:3 sony CRT tv that has the best feature i've ever seen on a tv and now cant live without. Its got a button on the remote that i press and it switched from 16:9 to 4:3, i can't believe the sheer number of 4:3 tvs that dont include this simple function, its essential.

my question is, if i get a widescreen LCD TV, whats it like at letting me choose the aspect ratio etc? I hate it when widescreen tvs cut off the top and bottom of a 4:3 picture, i prefer black borders on the sides and getting the whole picture in.
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
i've never had a widescreen tv which wouldn't let you choose the aspect ratio!

normally you get things like

Wide (stretches 4:3 to 16:9, not losing any picture but making everything oblong)
4:3 (leaves 4:3 alone with side borders)
14:9 (stretches 4:3 but not as much, still has small side borders)
ZOOM (zooms 4:3 to 16:9 losing the top and bottom of the image)
SMART (zooms but not as much as ZOOM)

The only thing i've noticed is that when upscaling a DVD using my Denon 1920 dvd player, the options to change screen mode are disabled and i have to use WIDE, which i've read is because you cant resize a 720i/p or 1080i/p source over HDMI
 

Tinderbox (UK)

Active Member
Hi.

buy a Panasonic and you will not lose any picture.

It has a mode called "auto", sometimes called "just".

It keeps the center of the screen at normal aspect and streches the edges to fill the screen.

regard

John.
 

961

Well-known Member
Well I don't like "just" on Panasonic. I've got them all over the house and the aspect ratio of their software is the thing I don't like

However, you can adjust them via the remote to suit the material being transmitted. The only problem is you need to know if the original is 4 x 3 or widescreen, and that's not easy, especially when the channel may, or may not, decide to fiddle with the aspect ratio itself before transmission

I have to say that, despite my addiction for Panasonic picture quality, I have a Sony W2000 LCD that unfailingly manages to decide if the transmission is 4x3 or widescreen and adjusts my picture accordingly without any intervention on my part. If you need a set that produces what the transmission is sending with no stretching/overscanning or whatever, that is the one that does it for me
 

Marcos

Active Member
i've never had a widescreen tv which wouldn't let you choose the aspect ratio!

normally you get things like

Wide (stretches 4:3 to 16:9, not losing any picture but making everything oblong)
4:3 (leaves 4:3 alone with side borders)
14:9 (stretches 4:3 but not as much, still has small side borders)
ZOOM (zooms 4:3 to 16:9 losing the top and bottom of the image)
SMART (zooms but not as much as ZOOM)

The only thing i've noticed is that when upscaling a DVD using my Denon 1920 dvd player, the options to change screen mode are disabled and i have to use WIDE, which i've read is because you cant resize a 720i/p or 1080i/p source over HDMI
Well as long as the tv has that 4:3 mode i'll be happy, its the only i use outside of 16:9 for proper WS material.

i just have a huge pet hate for stretched images, dont know how people put up with squashed people on screen
 
J

j3000

Guest
Sony TV's do have a button so that you can manually select. Mine does great on widescreen vs 4:3. For 14:9 you have to manually intervene and then turn it back when you have a full 4:3.

It does have a "Smart" mode that does some stretching to fill the screen but once you put it in 4:3 it will use that each time unless switched back.
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
Well as long as the tv has that 4:3 mode i'll be happy, its the only i use outside of 16:9 for proper WS material.

i just have a huge pet hate for stretched images, dont know how people put up with squashed people on screen

i don't mind the stretching as much as the pixelation and interlacing, i watched angel series 1 on dvd the other week and due to the problem i mentioned in my previous post, i was watching a 4:3 show in 16:9 and the pixelation/interlacing was horrific at times.. of course my girlfriend didn't notice a thing!

Still, worse is the "cinema" mode my parents have on their TV, it frames the centre third of the image in 4:3 and stretches the two outer thirds to fill the 16:9 screen, meaning that objects actually change their dimensions depending on their position on the screen! Cannot imagine how they've been happy using that for all these years!
 

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