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Wide mode on 4:3 sets

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Donald, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. Donald

    Donald
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    Does anyone understand what's the purpose of wide mode on 4:3 sets?

    I thought it was to allow you to set your DVD player to 16:9 so that when you play an anamorphic disc you will get the largest widescreen image possible. In other words, larger than if you leave your player set to 4:3/letterbox and view a "normal" w/s image.

    Comments, please.
     
  2. LV426

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    The benefit of an anamorphic DVD is that, for a given picture shape, more of the horizontal lines that make up the image are used and this gives more detail, better definition.

    Lets consider a film which was shot with an aspect ratio of 1.77:1. And let's consider a PAL TV picture which has 576 active horizontal lines.

    If this film were placed on the DVD as a 4:3 image, letterboxed, then only 432 of these lines would contain picture, and the rest would contain black padding to fill out the screen up to 576. So, the vertical definition of the important part of the picture would be 432 lines.

    Mainly for the benefit of widescreen TV users, DVDs contain anamorphic signals. In the example, the same film, on an anamorphic disc, would be spread out, vertically, over all 576 lines. Hence the vertical definition is 576 lines.

    But, because of this vertical spread, the picture is now the wrong shape if viewed on a regular 4:3 TV. It is too tall.

    So, some 4:3 TVs have a 16:9 mode, which still displays all 576 lines, but puts them closer together. You get the film the correct shape, plus an unscanned (black) area above and below the picture. You get the full 576 lines-worth of definition in the important bit of the picture.

    (Widescreen TV users get the same restoration of the proper shape by showing the image wider, rather than shorter.)

    If you set the DVD player to 4:3, the DVD player converts the 576 line image into a 432 line one, and adds black lines of its own to bring it back up to 576. You leave your TV in its 4:3 mode.

    The result is a picture the same shape and size, but with only 432 lines of vertical definition.

    So, briefly, it's not about size or shape - its about the definition ie level of detail in the picture.
     
  3. Doubledoom

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    My main television is a 16:9 set, so all sources are set to output anamorphic widescreen where appropriate. This means that all the televisions in the house, including the 4:3 models get the 16:9 feed and need to be put into 16:9 mode to watch the anamorphic widescreen transmissions correctly.
     
  4. Donald

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    Thanks Nigel,

    Very interesting, but my last television had a 16:9 mode and when my DVD was set to 16:9 displayed a slightly larger widescreen image than when the player was set to 4:3. Surely , in order for the television to display more lines of resolution, it requires more vertical area, hence them widescreen image displayed will be larger, ie smaller black bars top and bottom.

    It's my current set which doesn't seem to want to behave correctly.
     
  5. LV426

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    If properly adjusted (yes, I should have qualified by earlier post with this) there should be no difference in shape between the two. You DO NOT need more height to obtain more vertical resolution.

    As I said before, the 16x9 mode on a 4x3 TV causes the TV to scan the 576 (PAL) horizontal lines closer together. In a sense, you might say it's like using a widescreen TV which is the same WIDTH (but smaller height) than your 4x3.
     

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