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What are the zoom options for 4:3 material on a 16:9 screen?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by TonyCains, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. TonyCains

    TonyCains
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    Sorry, newbie question, but I think I've looked in all the obvious places...

    I'm currently thinking very hard about getting/making an MCE machine, but am a bit put off by the "zoom" modes. I have a 16:9 TV and at the moment, when viewing 4:3 material (broadcast or DVD) it automatically switches to a "14:9" zoom - ie, the top and bottom of the picture are slightly cut off, and there are slight black bars to the left and right. This is just how I like it, but it doesn't seem MCE can do this. As I understand, the zoom options are:

    - 4:3 (huge black bars either side)
    - full zoom (cut loads off top and bottom)
    - full stretch (everybody looks fat)
    - "intelligent" stretch (stretches the edges but not the middle; still looks a bit wierd)

    I really don't want any of those; I know the "stretch and zoom" supposedly does a good job, but I have a thing about distorted pictures. Is there really not a "14:9" zoom available?

    Also (sorry!), is MCE clever enough to know it is 4:3 material and switch zoom modes appropriately (I'd be using digital (Freeview) tuners)? In other words, if you pick "zoom 2" (say) when watching 4:3 material, does it automatically go back to that zoom mode again next time you watch 4:3 material?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. sanderton

    sanderton
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    Those are the available zooms. Can your TV not do a 14:9 if that's really what you want? I like undistorted, complete pics so run 4:3 plliarboxed. MCE from a DTT tuner picks this up perfectly with no zooming needed.
     
  3. TonyCains

    TonyCains
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    Well...yes and no. I could set MCE to 4:3 and then use the TV to zoom up to 14:9. It just seems that a £1000 super-dooper fully programmable system ought to be able to do this itself - half the reason I want to ditch my current VHS video is because it is tedious having to keep manually switching aspect ratios all the time (it doesn't record the widescreen "flag").

    Maybe it's back to the PVR after all...
     
  4. Rambles

    Rambles
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    What's one of them then? :confused:
     
  5. sanderton

    sanderton
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    Occasionally pressing the Aspect button on your TV remote seems an odd sticking point on a £00s spending decision. The drawbacks of the Freeview PVRs are much more significant. Learn to love the pillarboxes. :)
     
  6. TonyCains

    TonyCains
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    In some ways, you're quite right. It's just that I can forgive a £200 machine some "defects" - whereas a £1000 machine, in my view, ought to be perfect. :)
     
  7. Duggy

    Duggy
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    Unfortunately, because it's Microsoft, it won't be perfect. It will occasionally do strange things or even crash, features will be inexplicably missing (BBCi "Red Button" for example), it will behave counterintuitively at times, and you will have to fiddle with it and add extra things (like Anti-Virus software) to keep it running smoothly and safely.

    Nonetheless I don't regret spending my £1000 on an MCE machine, because it does so much more than a £200 Freeview PVR. Most recent consumer electronics I've come across has been so buggy and badly put together that Microsoft doesn't look quite so bad against it anyway :suicide:
     

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