Pan & Scan

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by akpak, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. akpak

    akpak
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    71
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Lincs
    Ratings:
    +2
    I'm using a Pioneer 420 DVD Recorder with a fairly old CRT TV (standard 4:3 aspect). According to the Pioneer's manual (p.113), when playing a DVD in widescreen, it can be set up so that with a 4:3 TV you can either have the picture letterboxed (black lines top and bottom), or pan and scan (picture fills the screen, but you lose the left and right edges). However, although I can set Pan & Scan on the menu, this has no effect on the output.

    Tech Support at Pioneer thought this may be a software problem, and suggested that since the machine is brand new I should contact the retailer (Richer Sounds). The guy on the RS helpdesk said that in their experience, even though there was a menu setting, they hadn't been able to get Pan & Scan to work on this or any other make of machine.

    So, to help me decide what to do about this - can anyone tell me how to get the Pioneer's Pan & Scan to work, please? Or, if it can't be done on this machine, are there any others that will do it properly?

    Thanks for any help on this. :confused:
     
  2. PhilipL

    PhilipL
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    3,839
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +443
    Hi

    Pan and Scan is DVD specific, it will not be on your own-recorded DVDs and I have not knowingly ever seen it in use on commercial DVDs. Ignore this option in the menu.

    Try telling the DVD Recorder you have a 19:3 (widescreen) TV, this will tell the DVD recorder to send the widescreen switching signal (assuming you are using SCART). Your TV set may be clever enough (you will need to play a commercial DVD that is widescreen) to collapse the raster so that you get the black bars top and bottom and everything is in the correct aspect ration. This gives you the best picture as you get the full resolution possible.

    If what you see takes up the full screen and everything is stretched vertically, your TV is unable to show widescreen material correctly, so you will need to tell the DVD recorder you have a 4:3 aspect TV. The DVD Recorder will then resize the image internally and provide the black bars top and bottom, however you lose some resolution this way on any widescreen material.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  3. akpak

    akpak
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    71
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Lincs
    Ratings:
    +2
    It's pre-recorded that I'm talking about. But if the menu option doesn't do anything, why is it there?

    I'm not sure I follow you here.

    The menu gives me 3 options for the output: Widescreen (16:9), in which case a very widescreen (2.35:1) film expands a bit up and down, but still with some black bars top and bottom, and everything looks tall and thin. A 16:9 film plays at that ratio. Second, I can choose 4:3 Letterbox, which gives me thick black bars top and bottom. There's a third option - 4:3 Pan & Scan - which the manual says will fill the screen by cutting off the sides. This is the one that I want, and which isn't working.

    Having only just migrated from a VCR I'm finding anything on DVD an improvement, so I'm really not too fussed about resolution. But it's a small TV, so losing nearly half the screen to black bars is a major issue.

    If you're saying that Pan & Scan is only possible if a DVD has the necessary coding, and most don't, then presumably the DVD widescreen format is only worth watching if you have either a widescreen TV or a big enough 4:3 for the top and bottom bars not to matter. 4:3 DVDs are almost unobtainable unless they are made-for-TV programmes.
     
  4. PhilipL

    PhilipL
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    3,839
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +443
    Hi

    Pan and Scan isn't really used at all, it is part of the DVD specification and so is included on the recorder, but you will seldom come across it. It requires extra information on the DVD to tell the DVD player what part of the image to zoom into, and how to scan around so as not to cut people in half etc.

    Yes you should still get black bars top and bottom with "very" widescreen material (even on a widescreen TV), however if it is tall and thin the TV isn't able to collapse the picture.

    You simply need to tell the DVD Recorder to play 4:3 Letterbox and everything will be in the right aspect. Forget Pan and Scan for a full 4:3 screen, you will just have to get used to watching DVDs with borders at the top and bottom until such time you have a new TV.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  5. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,854
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    Commercial DVDs generally do not support pan & scam as they assume the viewer wants to watch the WHOLE film and not just the centre section
     
  6. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,398
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +149
    '4:3 Pan & Scan' is aka '4:3 cut out' on DVd players.
    It doesn't always mean lterally 'pan & scan' like they used to do when converting ws films on TV or VHS.

    Phil L is right, 4:3 LB is the way to go as even if you could get 4:3 cut out/P&S working (btw, it should work) it would look terrible on some films. It would looked badly framed with people half on and half off the screen.

    Imagine how your photos would look if you cut out a square in the middle!

    Get used to WS now in LB mode and you'll appreciate it more when you eventually get a WS TV in the future.
     
  7. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    13,441
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5,851
    There are some very few discs that have the necessary code/signal on them. The R2 discs of volume 1 & 2 (and maybe others) of Stargate SG1 are examples (IIRC). This option is in the player setup so that it can display suitably encoded discs in the way you want. Discs without this coding will be letterboxed. So, the issue IS software related.

    As to whether 4x3 cutout is the right way to view widescreen material - that's another question entirely - and a matter of personal choice. I wouldn't do it, but that's my choice.
     
  8. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Northumberland
    Ratings:
    +284
    I'd agree 'centre cutout' isn't the ideal way of viewing widescreen material, but incidentally if you get around to authoring and burning DVDs on a PC this option is very easily enabled by changing a flag in the IFO file using IFOEdit.
     
  9. akpak

    akpak
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    71
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Lincs
    Ratings:
    +2
    Thanks for all the help on this. I've done a bit more research and discovered that, as some of you have said, for Pan and Scan to work there needs to be some kind of coding on the disc which tells the player/recorder where to centre the picture. However, very few DVDs have this, so unless and until it becomes more common, the Pan & Scan feature seems to be a bit of a white elephant.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice