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What size is broadcast widescreen?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by Gwyn, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. Gwyn

    Gwyn
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    Playing around with the picture modes on my new Sony KV32FX66, I got into the habit of switching to 4:3 mode in order to see what is really being broadcast. I can then see the stuff that really is 4:3 and the stuff that has black lines on top and bottom, so must be wide format.

    However, I've found that switching those to 14:9 mode, I still see thin black lines top and bottom, but switchnig to 16:9 mode takes the picture to the left and right screen edges, but loses some of the top and bottom. This suggests to me that the broadcast is somewhere between 14:9 and 16:9 in size. Am I right :confused:

    Seems like a strange choice of size - 4:3 or 16:9 ought to be the two possibilities? Surely stuff that's filmed in wide ought to be broadcast in 16:9 as the size I'm getting is no good to anyone.

    This is just some programmes - others (like movies) are obviously true 16:9, and I've got letterbox DVDs which are 2.33:1. So why this strange broadcast size?
     
  2. CooLix

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    the strange broadcast size is a compromise for people who are still using 4:3 ratio TV's.

    Basically, before the general usage of DTV and 16:9 TV, broadcasters shot stuff in 16:9 which they believed had a long shelf life. But, broadcast the stuff in 14:9 at an attempt to not lose much in the ratio conversion to 4:3. Many items which had a short shelf life was shot it 4:3.

    If you do get a DTV adaptor or a IDTV today, majority of digital progs are broadcast in 16:9 and fill the whole screen. Flick back to the analogue channel and you will have the black bars top and bottom.

    You also have to realise that DVD's and Films are filmed in a 2.35:1 ratio (I think!!) which had to be panned and scanned down to 16:9 for broadcast. Hence you still get top and bottom black lines on some film broadcasts.

    If you look around the web, you will find loads of info about the ratios and the broadcast ratios.
     
  3. Kevo

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    Most, not all are shot in 2.35:1

    More and more these days are shot in open matte super 35mm (1.85:1) which makes life easier when broadcast on 4:3. They simply remove the masks.

    Only sky Prem WS seem to show 2.35:1 films in their entirety, i.e. small borders top & bottom on a 16:9 TV.
    This is MUCH better than cropping it to 16:9, which the BBC and ITV do. I find this worse than trad. 4:3 pan & scan as the image is crudely and obviously cut at the sides.
     
  4. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    Get Freeview and then you can watch in anamorphic widescreen and forget about all this zooming business :)
     
  5. LV426

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    You are probably experiencing overscanning - whereby most TVs actually display the image slightly larger than the actual screen (ie some of the picture is lost at all four sides).
     
  6. Gwyn

    Gwyn
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    I don't think that's it Nigel. The left and right of the image are pretty much at the screen edge, but a noticable amount if image is cropped top and bottom (about 15%).

    In 14:9 mode, the image is closer to the top and bottom than it is at the sides. This suggests to me that the broadcast image is not 16:9 or 14:9 at all.

    I will do some more tests with a proper 16:9 anamorphic DVD image and check the image positioning. If that's off, maybe I can change the image shape in the service menus :)eek: at the thought!)
     
  7. Gwyn

    Gwyn
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    I've played around with screen formats some more, specifically on DVDs. With anamorphic DVDs, the TV automatically correctly switches to "Wide" mode so that 16:9 movies fill the screen properly and 2.35:1 movies fill the width correctly (I'm losing just a touch of image off the left, so need to change the horizontal position and/or size in the service menus).

    However, If I watch a non-anamorphic 16:9 DVD, I get the same problem as with a 16:9 broadcast. I zoom the image to fill the screen as I don't like the distorted look of the "Smart" mode. But in 14:9 mode the remaining black areas are thinner at the top & bottom than at the sides. This suggests a narrower apsect ratio than my 16:9 screen :confused:

    When I then go to 16:9 mode, it zooms too far, so that I lose a small part of the image on all 4 sides. However, because the shape doesn't seem to be the same ratio as the screen, I lose more off the top & bottom than I do on the sides.

    I don't get this, especially since the widescreen mode many DVDs come in as actually 1.85:1 which is slightly wider than 16:9 (1.78:1), so when in 14:9 mode, the black lines on the sides should be narrower than on the top and bottom with a 1.85:1 image.

    Is my KV32FX66 processing 16:9 images wrong? Can I change how much the 16:9 mode zooms in? Or the shape of the zoom?
     

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