The TW 4:3 problem

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by cyberheater, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. cyberheater

    cyberheater
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    I'm trying to understand this.

    I'm using hdmi to my hidef tv. When the tv transmission is 16:9 I get a 16:9 picture (bbc etc...). When the transmission is 4:3, I get a centered 4:3 image with pillar box bars down each side.

    This seems to me like normal behaviour but i've seen various posts where folks are complaining. Please explain to me what the behaviour should be.
     
  2. rEVILospud

    rEVILospud
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    They're probably complaining that it isn't stretched horizontally so that the whole screen is used and they want everyone on the screen to look like a fat midget :D

    I agree with you, if it's is 4:3 it should have borders either side, otherwise your viewing a stretched out incorrectly proportioned picture.
    People just don't like borders and I don't blame them, they annoy me too - so I just watch something else.

    EDIT: I would expect it to be fitted vertically to the screen and only have bars at each side (I believe this is what you have said your getting).
     
  3. cyberheater

    cyberheater
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    Yep. That's what i'm getting.
     
  4. GrollySTI

    GrollySTI
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    Personally - it doesn't bother me and I wouldn't want it any other way:)

    I do find it amusing that adopting HD pictures is striving to increase picture quality - but stretching a 4:3 picture to fit a widescreen panel is a huge backward step.:suicide:

    All IMHO of course:D
     
  5. rubberducker

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    the point your missing is that the option to display stuff streached to widescreen is crucial to alot of people. i don't want to be forced to watch content that only uses 2/3's of my screen. and i don't think i am alone.

    you can get the image streached around the edges, so the the centre of screen looks perfectly normal on most TVs.

    and that doesn't even go into having a forced 4:3 image that could cause all sorts of screen burn/retention nightmares for alot of people.

    its a moronic oversight by muppets at telewest's techincal dept.
     
  6. Parmenion62

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    My understanding is that HDMI will only transmit in 16:9 - if the original format is 4:3 it will transmit it as a 16:9 signal but there will be black bars on either side - hence as it is already 16:9 you cannot get rid of the bars on either side by stretching. Not sure why the image should be off centre though.
     
  7. cooldawn

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    :rotfl:

    There isn't any real problem with the transmission at the moment, just peoples preferences.
     
  8. shaithis

    shaithis
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    If you can't use your TVs "just" mode (or whatever its called on the various makes) to stretch the picture, leaving the centre 1/3 unstretched, then IMO there is a technical problem.
     
  9. GrollySTI

    GrollySTI
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    I'm not missing any point - personally I think it looks ridiculous stretched.

    But that is just my opinion.You clearly feel unhappy that you can't distort your picture :D

    Oh - and i have no burn/retention issues and have always watched in the correct aspect ratio.
     
  10. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    This is a similar situation as in the US.

    If Telewests boxes are just outputting 4:3 SD material as a Pillarbox in a 16:9 HD frame, and this is "the problem" then I'm a bit confused. It is exactly what you would expect - the last thing you would want is for the 4:3 broadcasts to be stretched to 16:9 on the HDMI output, as most displays wouldn't allow you to pillarbox back and watch in the correct aspect ratio. (I speak as a viewer who would only zoom 4:3 material if it was actually 14:9 or 16:9 letterbox rather than full height)

    In the US, SD 4:3 broadcasts on HD networks are carried as 4:3 pillarbox within a 16:9 frame (as, indeed, they are on the BBC via Freeview) (*)

    Because the output of most US set top boxes is fixed in either 4:3 or 16:9 (rather than switching as many UK SD boxes do) and because HD delivered via HDMI is square pixel 1920x1080 or 1280x720 16:9 - the 4:3 material appears pillarboxed.

    SOME displays, and SOME set top boxes include some scaling, that will take the 4:3 central portion of a 16:9 image, and then crop / stretch / zoom this to fill the 16:9 frame. However this will reduce picture quality, either by stretching the picture, or filling the screen with less detailed picture.

    (A 4:3 image displayed as 12P16 will look sharper than the same image cropped and zoomed to 16F16)

    Telewest COULD argue that display manufacturers should include 4:3 pillarbox processing modes on their displays - and display manufacturers could argue that Telewst should include it in their set top boxes.

    What you can't say is that Telewest are doing anything wrong - apart possibly from the pillarbox section being mistimed - if indeed it is, rather than the whole HDMI output being mistimed (but this mistiming not being visible on 16:9 full frame material because both edges are overscaned)

    What you can say is that Telewest OR display manufacturers should probably offer some additional modes for display of 4:3 material via HDMI - though I suspect the Telewst box doing it would be more viewer friendly (as the display wouldn't know when the input was 4:3 pillarbox or 16:9 full width)

    (*) The BBC only broadcasts in 16:9 on Freeview - 4:3 material is broadcast pillarboxed (unlike satellite where 4:3 is broadcast 4:3 full width) - BUT a signal is sent with the broadcast (an AFD) which triggers the set top box to crop the pillarbox bars and output the central 4:3 portion as a 4:3 full width output. Some early ONDigital boxes and IDTVs weren't compatible with AFDs, meaning the output was permanently 16:9 - which was a problem if you were a letterbox 4:3 viewer.
     
  11. meltonboy

    meltonboy
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    Conclusion:

    1.You can't blame TW if your screen doesn't allow manipulation of aspect over HDMI (regardless of motive for doing it)

    2. You CAN blame TW if your 4:3 isn't centred and there's a 1 inch black line to the right of your 16:9 picture.

    Agreed ?
     
  12. andythescientis

    andythescientis
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    Correct

    Although

    1. The US version of a box handles this issue fine, so it should be simple for TW to implement a similar solution to keep everyone happy.

    2. Just hope TW don't blame you for getting a TV without the ability to move the image position. (Not that they would).
     
  13. meltonboy

    meltonboy
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    I don't see ow they could expect you to move the position. Since i have had mine centred by an ISF Technician (and the sheer quantity of posts here), it's clearly a TV Drive technical issue.

    IF i moved my position for the TV drive, surely it would be off-centre for all other video sources ???
     
  14. andythescientis

    andythescientis
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    Correct, although my pio lets me adjust screen position for each input seperatly so it does not effect my DVD component input for example. There is definatly a HDMI fault and i'm sure they will fix it soon.
     
  15. O-NO

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    Viewing via Freeview box I sometimes get the black borders (usually on outside news reports) down the sides with one side wider than the other.........is this usual and nothing like the experience people are getting with TVDrive?
     
  16. stammie

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    Instead of blaming Telewest or the tv manufacturers perhaps the blame should lay with the broadcasters who choose to broadcast in 4:3 when a large proprtion of their material was made in widescreen.
    Maybe one day we'll be able to subscribe to just the channels we want rather than these cheapskates automatically getting part of our subs just for them being on the platform we subscribe to.
    If a lot of the tv companies had to rely solely on advertising revenues or people choosing to pay them a subscription I bet we'd soon get a better service.
     
  17. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    This is usual. The black bars on both sides occur when the news reports contain 4:3 material, which has been converted to 16:9 for transmission using 14:9 pillarboxing. (A small amount of the top and bottom is chopped off, and the resulting picture is zoomed to fill the height of the screen, but isn't wide enough to fill the width)

    Sometimes the source picture isn't perfect and doesn't fill the full width of the 4:3 frame (as you'd normally hide the edges in overscan) but when you pillarbox it you often see the full width, including any timing errors on the left and right of the frame. This may look like the black bars are different widths - you can see this sometimes, as you see a change in the brightness of the black bars mid way. Sometimes the conversion isn't properly timed either.

    Those watching via RGB SCART also often suffer from picture shift issues - caused by the way RGB is delivered via SCART. (RGB via SCART was originally designed for teletext overlay, not full frame picture viewing) This means the syncs for RGB are derived from the composite signal. This signal will be delayed relative to the RGB sources because the composite encoder introduces some delay. Therefore the syncs and RGB are not "in sync". Some devices will delay the RGB outputs - but many don't. Some displays will allow you to compensate for this. Many don't.
     
  18. Nivek TT

    Nivek TT
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    The 4:3 is not a problem for me, I'm happy watching 4:3 at its orignally intended ratio with black bars left and right.

    The only time I have been irritated is watching Boston Legal on Living TV. It seems Living is a 4:3 transmission and Boston Legal is shown at 14:9 with small black bars top and bottom. So when I watch Boston Legal on my HD telly from TVDrive via HDMI I get black lines left and right and top and bottom!!!

    I consider this to be more a Living TV issue than a Telewest issue, but Living is one of Telewest's channels!
     
  19. psotfx

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    It's so nice to see some sensible people posting on this topic :D I had an interesting time over on another forum with people constantly refering to the display of 4:3 material as being a "fault" that was a "major problem", hum ho. The only fault I can see is the on-going (though supposedly solved internally) problem with picture alignment over HDMI. Anything else would be a "feature request".
     
  20. Big Jim

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    pillarboxing is a good thing in my book, though I'm glad my TW SD service braodcasts 4:3 as full frame 4:3 rather than going the freeview route.

    Both are better than my local pub which has sky outputting as 4:3 stretched to fill the screen on (rubbish but still widescreen) plasmas! HDTV's widescreen nature at least saves us from that.
     
  21. Stephen Neal

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    This is also an issue on most of the UK TV channels - as much of their content is produced in 16:9, but because the UK TV channels are broadcast in 4:3, most of this widescreen material is letterboxed to 14:9. If you display this in pillarbox you get postage stamp / window box (black bars all the way round)

    The exception to this seems to be The Bill, which seems to be delivered in 4:3 full height (so presumably is heavily cropped left and right)
     
  22. O-NO

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    Stephen Neal......

    Thanks for the informative explanation to my question:smashin:
     
  23. MERC4

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