1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Can the Toshiba/Panasonic plasma, 'auto swtich' widescreen modes.

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Jon Weaver, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    With a SCART connection, pin 8 tells the TV which 'wide' mode to go into.

    Is this possible on a Plasma?

    As you scan through the Sky channels, some are 4:3, some are 14:9 and others are 16:9 (anamorphic).

    With my TV right now, it automatically switches between wide and zoom when it sees a true wide picture.

    I am guessing that this isn't possible with a Plasma, but am hoping that perhaps this feature was considered when they designed the VGA input.
     
  2. jmack

    jmack
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    my ntl box is set to 16.9 so it shows the aspect it is supposed to some programs alot on e4 are in 4.3, so they show up in that aspect,
    if some thing is in 4.3 i cant change it to widescreen through the toshiba through vga, 4.3 16.9 zoom, there are other modes with s-video,just auto will be the one that fills the screen. component has 16.9 zoom just, progressive scan component is only 16.9, zoom.

    so if you want your plasma to auto change maybe a rgb to s-video is the way to go?
    some of the tosh/panny have been known to lock to one mode though.

    hope none of this puts you off.
    if richie sounds sell them for £2000 before xmas i will buy another for the other room.
    i doubt they will though £2000 is a great price
     
  3. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Yes and no.

    It can on S-Video input if and only if the source has an offset voltage on the S-Video to tell it to. There are problems though, very few devices in the UK support this offset. And routing S-Video via an A/V amplifier strips this information off anyway. Then you've got the problem with some screens that you can't then adjust the level of zoom afterward - it's "locked" in to one zoom mode.

    I'm not sure if you can do this method on Component video. But you can't auto zoom on the VGA input.

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim,
    J.S. Technology
     
  4. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    So, how do people cope with Sky (or any STB) on a Plasma.

    When you flick through the Sky channels, some are 4:3, others are 16:9 (anamorphically encoded).

    Normally, Pin8 on the SCART would change so that the TV knew whether to be in 'wide' or 'stretch'.

    From what I am reading, it seems that with a Plasma (using the VGA input), you will have to manually change the ratio according to what channel you are watching.

    This is compounded by the fact that in the VGA mode, you can't do 'JUST' which is the best mode to watch 4:3 stuff on.

    It seems to me that the only way to get this working, would be to put the STB into 'letterbox' (As opposed to widescreen) and keep the Plasma in 'zoom'.

    But then again, you won't get the advantages of an 'anamorphic' picture.

    What do most people do??
     
  5. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    You set up the zoom for whatever type of program you're watching, and that's it! Some have it letterboxed, some in anamorphic. 4:3 in normal or just modes.

    All the best,

    John.
     
  6. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    But the output of a digibox could be either 4:3, letterboxed or Anamorphic, depending on what channel you watch.

    So, BBC1, might be running 'true' widescreen (anamorphic).. Discovery might be running 'letterboxed' and MTV 4:3.

    If you had Sky connected to a CRT, Pin8 on the SCART would go 'low' when watching BBC1 so the TV would switch to 'wide'.

    Then you flick to MTV, Pin8 goes 'high' and the TV would switch to 'Normal'...

    Finally you switch to Discovery.. The TV stays in 'normal' mode but 'sees' the back bars and zooms the picture to fit.

    Thats how a CRT works.

    Now, as I understand it, Plasma can't do this.

    If you put the Plamsa in zoom, and watch BBC1, because out is a full 4:3 Anamorphic signal, the screen is zoomed, the picture will go off the top of the screen and the ratio will be wrong.

    Then you switch to MTV and the picture will be the correct ratio, but will still go off the top of the screen (because its zoomed).

    Finally, discovery.. THe picutre will now fit perfectly because its zoomed.

    As I understand it, when you watch BBC1, you would need to MANUALLY select 'WIDE', then when you switch to MTV, you would need to MANUALLY switch to 'JUST' (or whatever) and so on.

    Of course you don't have to do this, but if you don't what you are watching could be in the wrong ratio.

    Pehaps I am just being thick, but as the output of the Digibox changes between Anamorphic and 4:3, depending on the channel, I don't understand how the Plasma can keep up?
     
  7. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Your right - plasmas don't auto switch widescreen. Even if they could, Just mode would never be selected automatically anyway!

    We really don't have any solutions for this. A friend has a 16:9 rear projection TV and he watches 4:3 material in 16:9 mode - not even any Just modes.

    All the best,

    John.
     
  8. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    I am not so worried about the 'JUST' mode.. I could live without that..

    What I am most concerened with is the fact that a STB outputs some channels in 'anamorphic' and others in 4:3.

    If you leave the plasma alone (just leave it in 16:9), then the anamorphics channels will look normal, but the 4:3 channels will be the wrong ratio.

    I am worried that watching Sky on a Plasma will consist of constantly changing channels and changing aspect ratios.
     
  9. jmack

    jmack
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    if its not the program but the channel thats changes the aspect cant you set a macro up on your pronto that when you switch to that channel the aspect changes too?
    just a thought
     
  10. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    True.. That would work, but its not always the channel.

    Some channels run a mixture of 4:3 and Anamorphic s**t..

    Anyway, whilst I would use my Pronto for macros and all that stuff.. You can't beat the Sky remote for general channel 'surfing'.

    I am surprised that other Sky users havn't complained of this before... I am sure that someone is using their Plamsa as a 'normal' TV.
     
  11. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Jon, you're right, there isn't a solution to auto-widescreen switching on plasmas. Eventually, they all will have and it will be through the data burst on line 23, but at the moment you've got to select which you want. Once you start to view a program, there's no need to change the aspect again. And if your watching a DVD, once your system is up and ready for to you view you won't need to touch the settings for the whole film.

    Eventually, everything will work with widescreen switching.

    All the best,

    John.
     
  12. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    Thanks John,

    I realise that I would have to change modes whilst watching a program, but as a user who spends 90% of my TV watching flicking around Sky channels, I would constantly have to change the Aspect everytime I change channel from a normal to widescreen channel.

    I could probably cope with this.. But if I forced my wife down this route, it would end in divorce.

    Already have no tuner, speakers, teletext etc has not impressed her.. Having no auto-wide function is really going to end in disaster!

    Looks like a Plasma is off the cards for a little while. Just as I was starting to convince myself that it was the way to go too!!
     
  13. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hi Jon,

    you get your speakers with an A/V system so you can have 5.1 sound with DVDs - much better! A VCR acts as a tuner, but lets be honest everybody that's got Sky now use the digital feed rather than off-air. Teletext is a problem as I still prefer this to the digital version.

    If you're browsing on particular group of channels, normally the aspect doesn't change much. Documentary channels are all 4:3, as are music and Eurosport. Widescreen channels are mainly the BBC ones only. So, you'll only be changing aspect ratio when on the BBC - ok, that means Easteanders for your wife!

    Plasmas give you an excellent large picture without taking too much space in your viewing room. Like many technologies, until you try it you'll never fully appreciate their worth!

    All the best,

    John.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That no auto switching sounds like a total nightmare.

    I would like to get a plasma as they look great in shops but I wasn't aware they couldn't switch aspects. That really puts me off.

    I, like you Jon, am always changing channels, and with more widescreen programmes being broadast, and the fact that there will always be 4:3 stuff around, makes it worse.

    I have Sky, but I also have ntl which uses line23 for widescreen switching, I'm not clear if someone above said it worked using that or not?

    Either way, majority of viewing is Sky, so until maybe Sky support line23, if it indeed works, that's a big put off for me. My TV at the moment is always changing modes when I flick channels, and also different programmes on the same channels.
     
  15. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    John,

    I understand all the pro's of a Plasma and can live with them. I already have a DD Sound System and was going to use my VCR as a tuner...

    But the point is, whilst I can live with these issues, my other half wants to switch on the TV and watch it..

    I had just about convinced her that I could create some decent Pronto macros to make life easy, but this autoswitching business just insn't going to go down.

    Its not worth the effort.. If you look at what I have now (36" CRT for £1500 with all the bells and whistles) and a £3000+ Plasma which is nothing other than a monitor, its proving hard to justify it to myself let alone my other half.

    If I could make it perform like a TV, then I wouldnt' mind, but if it can't autoswitch, then I just don't see the point!
     
  16. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Jon, I don't see the lack of auto switching to be a major problem, but I do understand your position. It take the step from a 36" to 42" isn't a major leap. If you were looking at it from 32" or less, then yes.

    The biggest advantage I would say is to get a screen which is inches rather than feet deep!

    All the best,

    John.
     
  17. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    Believe me.. In my household it is!

    If when flicking through Sky channels you have to manually change the apect ratio, it won't take many days (hours) before my better half asks why we spent £2000 more than I have already spent and got a device which can't do half the things that the TV did.

    There is no doubt that Plasmas offer a thin, large screen.. But thats about it!
     
  18. sharper

    sharper
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    SW London
    Ratings:
    +11
    I think your are wrong Jon, come around and watch a DVD and then say "There is no doubt that Plasmas offer a thin, large screen.. But that's about it!" even some of the stuff on Sky watching BBC/ITV can be very impressive Oh and the footy looks cool when sky get it right.

    My wife who is very quick to to bend my ear when a new acquisition does not live up to spec and causes grief, said that Lord of the Rings on our Pani 42 was "fantastic" and she did not even like the movie that much.

    The plasmas have there problems but giving a good picture even for the price is not one of them.

    Shame her in doors wont allow you to have one, it would have put a smile on your face. :D
     
  19. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    Sorry.. When I wrote my last comment, I ment to say "Plasmas offer a thin, large screen and a good picture, but little else"

    What it does what its ment to do, very well indeed. Its the little things that it doesn't that I can't live with.

    Its not so much my other half that I am worried about.. I am just having problems justifying the upgrade to myself, when it doesn't so some of the little things that I depend on right now.

    Atleast if I could use the 'JUST' mode when in VGA, I would be happier.. But the fact that when I watch Sky (which I do around 95% of my TV watching time), I will always have to use 'zoom' or 'wide' to get the right picutre.. And I would have to keep changing it depending on the channel.

    Tonight I am tempted to cut out Pin8 from my SCART and see how I get on with it (without Pin8, the TV won't do auto-aspect-switching)..
     
  20. rob@rar.org.uk

    rob@rar.org.uk
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    343
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Hampton, Southwest London
    Ratings:
    +0
    Does the Panasonic tuner box do auto-switching? Although most people think this it is a compromise on quality, it seems to be marketed as "Plasma TV" when accompanied by the tuner, rather than "Plasma Display". As I don't have one I can't answer this, but it might be worth asking the question.

    I have to say that the loss of auto-switching to me is a small price to pay for the increase in picture size and hang-on-the-wall coolness that comes with a plasma screen. I've recently changed my AV setup and my TV is now fed by S-video rather than RGB scart, and the loss of auto-switching is not an issue. Most things I want to watch seem to be broadcast in 16:9 anyway, and neither my girlfriend or I care that sometimes the aspect ratio is wrong.

    Anyway, best of luck with your quest!

    Regards

    Rob
     
  21. sharper

    sharper
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    SW London
    Ratings:
    +11
    I watch Sky all the time and after a while I just don't notice the black bars top and bottom the little time they are there, mainly adds.

    If lets say the footy is 4:3 from Europe like last night ITV2, I fire up the second sony sky box (my kids use this for there viewing)which comes in through Svidio and stick in just mode. But for 98% of the time Sky+ in 16:9 does the job.

    I didn't bother last night just watched the game with the ITV side graphics. But Jon for Sky BBC channels and ITV 1 and 2 and Sky sport it all Widescreen mate then with Sky + you can tape the WS movies in DD5.1 and the look very good and sound great.

    Now im saving for a new DVD with prog scan and a DVD recorder to back up fron Sky +

    and then, the list is endless...........wish the money was

    good luck
     
  22. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Remove pin 8 rather than cutting the wire! Much easier to put back.

    Wides screen switching is very handy, but's it's not the end of the world if you don't have it. My Sony TV has w/s settings burried several menus deep, now that I have a pronto I use it to change the aspect. Also programming it to take the brightness down a bit too - ideal for movie watching.

    All the best,

    John.
     
  23. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Does the new Panny tuner box (TUPTA600) do any of this switching? Has anyone actually got one in their home? I've been trying to find out more info/buy one for some time, but keep coming up blank. I have Panny's new catalogue which gives the specs, but when I phone dealers no one has seen/tried one. Can anyone help as I need the tuner box to keep the wife happy i.e. plasma TV. Ta
     
  24. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    John,

    The Auto settings on your Sony refer to the mode which 'sees' black bars and tries to adjust the accordingly... This feature is cr*p and never works properly as when there are dark areas of a picture, the TV can tend to think that its a letterbox signal and change modes.

    However, Pin8 support is part of the hardware/software and has nothing to do with the 'Auto' settings that can be found in the menus.

    If you put a variable PSU on Pin8 and gradually increase the power, when it gets to around 1volt, the TV swithes to that AV input and goes into 'Wide' mode (i.e its leaves the picture height the same, but stretches the picture left/right (to correct an anamorphic picture))

    As you increase the voltage (I think its to >2v) the TV then goes back into a 'normal' mode.

    This is the feature that I am going to miss the most. Whilst I can live with borders, its the incorrect aspect ratio between anamorphic and non-anamorphic channels which is going to cause the most pain.

    I don't actually have to cut any pins.. I have a SCART break-out box which I can disconnect/cross-patch pins at will.

    I will see how I get on.

    Cheers
     
  25. symanski

    symanski
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +8
    Jon,

    you can download a PDF from the Technical section of my website that tells you most of what you need to know about the SCART connector. I think it's between 6-9V that tells the TV to switch to widescreen material. 12V for 4:3. It's there for anybody that want to know a bit more.

    The Sony's detecting the black bars was a pain in the.... Anyway, a Tony Lamont got a letter published in What Video & TV several years ago to describe how to switch this off. You have to switch off the w/s detection in the A/V input menu as well as another burried options menu! He credidted the solution to myself as I helped him find the option, which wasn't described in any of the manuals.

    Tony is also the person with the very first RGB to S-Video converter, which was used to help him tape Buffy The Vampire Slayer off Sky to his S-VHS recorder. The rest is history....

    All the best,

    John.
     
  26. JamesTapp

    JamesTapp
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    235
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +0
    Guys, I find myself with a similar dilemma. To think that 2 days ago I had never heard of JUST mode! I really want this solution to work!

    From what I have read here, would I be right in saying that if I connect my digibox to the JS RGB to Component box, I would be able to use JUST mode to solve some of these problems. Then I could use RGB to VGA for DVD, as these are almost always Widescreen, and to be honest not watched as often as NTL.

    I know that I am giving up PS, but my player doesn't do it out of the box, and my amp won't give me the audio delay to prevent the lip sync problems, so I am starting to try and get realistic.

    Thanks,

    James
     
  27. markbuffyfan

    markbuffyfan
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have a panasonic PL 10 and set that to auto for the different formats and it works well and makes the image well presented .

    I have in the main room the 50 inch 30b panasonic plasma and it is left permanently on 16:9 through a widescreen setting on the ntl cable box and i never need to come off it irrespective of the source , only football where the side bars are trasmitted looks strange , get a bigger screen it seems to solve all the problems.
     
  28. Jon Weaver

    Jon Weaver
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    6,002
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Born in Bristol but now in Newport, (for my sins)
    Ratings:
    +639
    Can I just confirm that the 16:9 mode, is the mode which just stretches the picture from left-right, but leaves top-bottom the same.

    On my Sony and Philips TV, this is called 'wide'.

    How does this mode look when you put 4:3 material through it?? Surely everything would look short and fat???

    AFter studying my CRT again last night, I am back thinking that perhaps a Plasma is the way to go again...

    Why can't life be simple??
     
  29. geordie

    geordie
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    80
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Enfield, Middlesex
    Ratings:
    +3
    Having myself just moved from a 12-year old 4:3 Sony which didn't do autoswitching to a new 50" Panasonic plasma, I think you are worrying unecessarily. I have set the Sky digibox output to 4:3 letterbox and set the plasma input to zoom. I hardly evver need to change aspect and get a full sceen of correctly proportioned picture no matter what format it's broadcast in. You only get tempted to fiddle with the aspect control when a critical bit of a 4:3 image is cropped eg head going off top of screen or subtitle falling off the bottom. Can't stand Just or any distortion.
     
  30. markbuffyfan

    markbuffyfan
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi
    seems leke our nother easter friend and i have the same thing try the 16:9 on both the sky and screen and it seems to fit everything perfectly. maybe its cos its so bloody big lol
     

Share This Page

Loading...