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Help Explain Anamorphic...?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Firefox, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. Firefox

    Firefox
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    Hi , I own a Toshiba SD100E DVD player , and a Philps 32PW9616 Widescreen TV ,
    Am i right in thinking that if I play a anamorphic dvd Film in my player it should fill the whole screen..?
    Whenever i watch a anamorphic dvd i still have black bars at the top and bottom of the picture , is this normal...?
    I have my dvd connected to my tv through RGB Scart ,
    I must admit I am fairly new to Home cinema and still dont quite understand exactly what anamorphic discs do , from the info i have read it has lead me to believe it should fill the whole screen on my tv , Am i correct in thinking this way , and if so can anyone think of any reason why the image is not being displayed full screen , I have set up the dvd player to let it know i have a Widescreen TV ,I even went out and brought a expensive scart lead , still no joy
    Thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    There are two "aspect ratios" you need to be aware of.

    The first is the VIDEO SIGNAL ASPECT RATIO. This can be only one of two - either 4:3 or 16:9. This matches exactly with the two shapes of TV screen available. An anamorphic DVD has a VIDEO aspect ratio of 16:9 (assuming, of course, that you have your DVD player set correctly to output 16:9 where available on the disc).

    The second is the FILM ASPECT RATIO. Films can be made in any one of a number of ratios varying from 4:3 (rare nowadays) right up to about 22:9 (very wide). In the cinema, they have very wide screens (usually) with masking at the sides that can be moved. So, the wider the aspect ratio, the wider the visible part of the screen.

    On TVs and other video devies, we don't have the ability to vary the wideness of the screen. It is fixed by the tube size.

    So, if a film maker makes a film in a 22:9 ratio, the only way to get the entire width of the picture onto a TV screen, is to reduce its height. This is done by adding a plain black area to the top and bottom of the picture - the black bands you are seeing.

    The only alternative a DVD manufacturer might have would be to crop off the left and/or right edges of the (too wide) picture to fit your screen. It seems that most people (?) (including me) would prefer to see the entire picture, albeit slightly less tall, than to have an image cropped left and right.

    In certain cases, the original film is shot using a taller shaped negative in the camera but then masked down to the director's chosen ratio before distribution to cinemas. Just occasionally, video makers can obtain the negatives and open up this masking a little to put a taller version of the film onto video. However, this means that the video is not as the director intended it (in cinemas) and may reveal studio artefacts (like boom microphones, lights, reflections, etc) that were hidden in cinemas. So, it's not done all that often, and, I'd argue, doesn't add any value anyway.

    So, to put it briefly, the shape of your TV is fixed. The shape of the film will vary from film to film. Only films that were shot in 16:9 will exactly fill your screen. Any other shape of film can only be fitted in by having a black part at the top and bottom, or, indeed, left and right.

    NB. 4:3 is also known as 1.33:1
    16:9 is also known as 1.77:1
    22:9 is also known as 2.44:1
     
  3. General Skanky

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  4. VINNY

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    Thanks LV426, the best explanation I have read.
     
  5. Firefox

    Firefox
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    Ok thanks a lot guys , I appreciate it
     
  6. TJSMANGINA

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    i have read a lot of home cinema mags an not described it aswell as you.i now fully understand anamorphic lol cheers :)
     
  7. TJSMANGINA

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    i have read a lot of home cinema mags an not 1 described it aswell as you.i now fully understand anamorphic lol cheers :)
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    LV426's description is about aspect ratio's not really about what an anamorphic disc is.

    Anamorphic means "pre-distorted". The link in the General's thread goes to a nice flash animation that explains what anamorphic is quite well.

    I think LV's point is that anamorphic discs can be many aspect ratio's. The link in the General's explains what benefit anamorphic is and why it was designed and implimented.

    Gordon
     
  9. TJSMANGINA

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    JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE SOMETHING SORTED SOME ONE COMES ALONG AN RUINS THE PARTY LOL NOW IM CONFUSED AGAIN :) LOL
     
  10. LV426

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    Gordon, (and others who are now confused....):

    I think I did cover it - sufficiently to answer the question being asked which was, effectively, "why do I get black bands on my anamorphic discs?".

    In my first paragraph, I said...

    The first is the VIDEO SIGNAL ASPECT RATIO. This can be only one of two - either 4:3 or 16:9. This matches exactly with the two shapes of TV screen available. An anamorphic DVD has a VIDEO aspect ratio of 16:9 (assuming, of course, that you have your DVD player set correctly to output 16:9 where available on the disc).

    That is actually all there is to it.

    Any more information is only expansion of this simple theory and, I would suggest, probably only serves to unnecessarily complicate the issue in the minds of those who really don't need to know more.

    To those who enjoyed my explanation - thanks for the comments/compliments, and please don't be concerned that there is any more mystery to this "anamorphic" thing.
     
  11. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  12. LV426

    LV426
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    Gordon,

    Never thought you were. Sorry. I should have said, "Gordon, and those others who are now confused......".
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Thanks LV,,,,

    There are a few folk I work with who still need convincing :D

    Gordon
     

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