How can I create DVDs for both 4:3 AND 16:9 TVs

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by tinkerbells, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. tinkerbells

    tinkerbells
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    DVD recorder is Panasonic DMR-EZ47V. Commercially available films on DVDs work correctly on 4:3 or 16:9 TVs.

    If I make a recording to DVD with the panasonic settings on 4:3 then for widescreen material, black bars are permanently saved onto the recording top and bottom of the screen. This dislpays correctly on 4:3 TVs, but not on 16:9 TVs where the extra black bars are not needed. The picture is distorted, being very wide and not tall enough.

    If I make a recording to DVD with the panasonic settings on 16:9 then widescreen material displays correctly on widescreen TVs. On 4:3 TVs the picture completely fills the screen and is distorted. People very tall and thin as the widescreen picture is squashed into a 4:3 screen.

    I have tried +RW and -RW. Do I need to make two copies of everything, one for 4:3 and one for 16:9 TVs.
     
  2. Hal_loe

    Hal_loe
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    Hi

    Commerical DVDs work by using the widescreen switching flag, to tell the dvd player on playback what to do with the picture.

    However on Panasonic DVD Recorders when you change the settings for which type of TV you are connected to, it changes the way the recordings are made.

    For 4:3 TV's the recordings are made with black lines top and bottom.

    For 16:9 widescreen material is saved as anamorphic widescreen.

    The only way to get things correct is to record as 16:9 with the widescreen switching flag intact.

    It has been difficult to correctly record the widescreen switching flag for several years on Panasonic DVD Recorders, it might now be possible.

    People have been recording as 16:9 then using a PC to correct the flag if required and record to DVD-R.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. tinkerbells

    tinkerbells
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    Thanks for the help. From further tests, seems that all recordings are made in a 4:3 frame on the DVD. Within this frame there can be 3 formats, full screen, letterbox or anamorphic. The Panasonic does not save any control information about which format is being recorded.

    What are all the options for a solution. Is this the same with all other DVD recorder manufacturers? If I went for the PC solution, what software could I use to add a control signal?
     
  4. Broadz

    Broadz
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    Even the DVD recorders which do successfully pick up and interpret the widescreen signal from source, and then store that widescreen signal on the disc that they are writing, only store it for the first recording on a disc. So, if you happened to record a widescreen movie, then a 4:3 TV programme, then another widescreen programme, the disc would be marked based on whatever the first programme was set to (16:9 in this instance). So you would still be in the same boat where either everything would play in widescreen, including the 4:3 transmissions, or everything would play in 4:3 including the anamorphic widescreen transmissions. Luckily, with a widescreen TV it is easy to manually switch the picture between the two regardless of the status on the disc. It of course is much more difficult on a standard 4:3 TV or computer monitor, where the option to manually stretch the picture out into a widescreen picture does not often exist.
     
  5. Adrian_F

    Adrian_F
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    I have only ever burned titles of the same aspect ratio to disc before and so was intrigued by this statement. I then inserted a blank DVD-R into my EX-77 and proceeded to record a short widescreen programme, then a 4:3 programme, then another widescreen programme to test the above statement. I was then pleasantly surprised to find that the widescreen programme played back in widescreen, and the 4:3 programme played back in 4:3, and the final widescreen played back in widescreen. So the above statement would appear to be untrue for my EX-77.
     
  6. Broadz

    Broadz
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    Good stuff. OP, I suggest you get an EX-77.
     
  7. Adrian_F

    Adrian_F
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    The OP already has a combo-recorder of the same family as the EX-77, so should get the same results as me. What the OP should be aware of is that these machines only record 1 aspect ratio per TITLE and so if you start with a widescreen aspect then you remain with a widescreen aspect through the whole TITLE and vice versa with 4:3, so it is important to "catch" the correct aspect ratio for the main programme in the TITLE and not the aspect ratio of the preceeding advert breaks.
     
  8. Kevo

    Kevo
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    The EX77 is far from perfect when it comes to recording the correct aspect ratio, in fact it's EXTREMELY IRRITATING to say the least.

    You're usually OK if you want to copy 16:9 recordings, as the ws flag will be present at the beginning or just before the start of the original recording.
    But even then it's still not a 'correct' ws flag as it will play squashed in a 4:3 TV and not in letterbox mode liek a commercial DVD (you need to export to a PC and use special software to insert a 'proper' ws flag.
    However for 16:9 TVs it works fine.

    The problem usually kicks in, if like me you like to archive a lot of old 4:3 programmes on the likes of BBC4 or 'The Learning Zone' on BBC2 which I record from time to time. Chances are the preceeding announcement will be in 16:9 so the ws flag will be present and teh 4:3 picture will be stretched on playback. It's almost impossible to avoid teh 16:9 flag unless you set the start of the recording well into the start of the programme.
    For these kind of programmes I usually record them onto my Sky+ and then copy them over to my EX77 and then onto DVDR. A bit more long winded but I can't think of another way.
     
  9. Adrian_F

    Adrian_F
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    Hi Kevo

    If you are recording from Sky and you know that the programme is going to be in 4:3 aspect, then you should start the EX-77 recording before switching the Digibox on as the EX-77 will then default to 4:3 as I have found when trying to use Autoview successfully.
     
  10. Kevo

    Kevo
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    I just use the Sky+ COPY function, as it has a bug and will always copy in 4:3 regardless of the original content being in 16:9 or 4:3 (until they eventually fix it!). At least the bug is good for some things!

    That reminds me, I must reset the sky+ to 16:9 as it remains in 4:3LB after using the COPY feature.
    I copied The Learning Zone over to my EX77 during the night.

    I can't understand why Panasonic don't give us the option of adding or removing the ws flag for each recording.
    Is is that difficult to implement?
     
  11. buckaroo

    buckaroo
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    I do the same thing with my old DMRE55, when it works :rolleyes: I record in 4:3 letterbox, and the TV just zooms into widescreen. I have to future proof my recordings, in case they aren't viewed on a widescreen TV one day. And it's not like off-air recordings are gonna be DVD quality anyway. If the TV doesn't switch within 30 seconds, I just do it manually. No big deal. :D
     
  12. Hal_loe

    Hal_loe
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    No it's not difficult.

    The European versions of the EX77 and EX87 have a setting listed in the manual.
    So this says that they are setting the aspect ratio flag either way.

    Looks like the + media doesn't support 16:9 in the same way - media does.

    A shame it's not on the UK version...
     
  13. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Then why remove it from the UK version :confused:

    It doesn't make sense :mad:
     
  14. Adrian_F

    Adrian_F
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    I think the word "original" is rather ambiguous.
    On page 19 of our manual it states"The original aspect used for the source programme will also be used with the recording". By "original" do they mean the aspect encountered when you start the recording?

    I think someone mentioned previously that it should be possible for an entry to be made on the Edit menu in order to change the aspect ratio of a Title. Is this feasible?
     
  15. Hal_loe

    Hal_loe
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    Probably because the UK machine is quite different, eg no analogue tuner.

    Aspect ratio detection automatic on UK machine, selection on European machines via this setting.

    Also probably the same reasoning why they don't have DivX on UK machines...
     
  16. Hal_loe

    Hal_loe
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    Unlike the DVD-RAM specs aspect ratio change is not allowing in a recording on standard DVD-Video.

    When you set the aspect ratio you have to decide a point to measure the aspect ratio.

    So for ease the probably decided on the begining.

    Yes it is feasible. More things for users to get confused / wrong though.

    Also I don't think + media handles aspectratios in the same way - media does.

    They probably thought they were helping by automatically setting it.
     
  17. PHOTOSHOP KID

    PHOTOSHOP KID
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    Just so it`s clear in my mind, if I do a copy of a prog to dvd and the original format is wide screen it will be correct if I play that disc on a widescreen tv,

    However if I want the same recording to play full screen on a 4.3 tv do I just change the output settings on the recorder to 4.3 before I copy the prog to dvd :confused:
     
  18. Broadz

    Broadz
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    No - if you manage to record the widescreen flag on the disc you are burning then it will play correctly on both 16:9 and 4:3 displays - in effect, the flag tells the DVD player what aspect the programme is in, the DVD player knows what size and aspect screen you are watching on, and adjusts itself accordingly, same as it would for a commercial DVD.

    Where the problems occur is when you can't record a flag at all - because most DVD recorders don't set the flag (so the programme on the DVD doesn't think that it is in widescreen) but the recording itself may well be in anamorphic widescreen - and that is when the fun starts. Because if your DVD player doesn't know that it is playing a widescreen programme it will just output it in standard 4:3 mode, even if it actually contains a compressed anamorphic programme. So the programme plays back with everybody tall and thin.
     
  19. PHOTOSHOP KID

    PHOTOSHOP KID
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    Just recorded a wide screen to dvd, works fine on both widescreen tv and 4.3 :thumbsup:

    When would it be the case that the flag is NOT recorded? by the way my recorder is a Sony 770
     
  20. Broadz

    Broadz
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    If you had a DVD recorder that didn't record the widescreen flag (most don't). Or, if you started recording a 4:3 programme whilst the adverts were still on, and the adverts were in widescreen (so the flag would be wrongly included even though it shouldn't have been). Or if you start recording a widescreen programme early, and the digital receiver is still sending out a 4:3 signal from the previous programme, so the widescreen flag is not recorded.
     
  21. PHOTOSHOP KID

    PHOTOSHOP KID
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    Thanks for all your info, most helpful :thumbsup:
     
  22. Adrian_F

    Adrian_F
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    If you want to make a recording specifically for viewing on a 4:3 TV elsewhere then you should change the settings on the recorder to 4:3 (Centre Cut-out) or 4:3L (Letterbox) before making the recording. This will ensure that you do not have any aspect-ratio problems as the widescreen flag will have been dealt with before the recording stage.
     

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