1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Wide Screen...?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by phil2415, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. phil2415

    phil2415
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've just received my Infocus X1 projector. I'm confused over aspect ratios... On Saturday, I watched a couple of films on it, both of which were in widescreen (on DVD), 2.35:1 I think. My DVD is set to output in 16:9, but when I set my projector to 16:9 too, the image was definitely squashed, so I had to set the projector to 4:3 to get a true, or truer image. I don't understand that. To add to my confusion, yesterday I watched another film on DVD, and this time I needed to set the projector to 16:9 to get a normal-looking image.

    When I was researching to buy the projector I read that I would have to set it to 16:9 and my DVD player set to 16:9 to watch widescreen films, so why is this not always the case? Is it because 16:9 is only an average ratio of the true cinema screen ratios and some are closer to 4:3 than 16:9? Help!
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,842
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5,076
    There are two aspect ratios you need to consider, and in setting up the display only one of them (arguably, the less obvious) is important.

    First (least important) is the aspect ratio of the original film. This may be pretty much anything between 4x3 and 22x9. Maybe even wider. However, this only determines what the correct shape of the important (coloured and moving) part of the eventual display should be. Not how to get it.

    The second, more important, is the intended aspect ratio of the video signal which contains the image. The video signal may be wholly composed of meaningful image, or it may also contain some plain black areas (typically, above and below). However, the important thing is that this is not necessarily related to the first point.

    Regardess of the original film, the video signal aspect is always exactly 4x3 or 16x9. And it is this and only this that determines what settings to use, to properly display the image. The shape of the film is immaterial.

    A widescreen film (eg 22x9) can still be carried in a 4x3 video signal. Typically DVDs like this are NOT labelled "anamorphic" or "enhanced for widescreen TVs" (etc.) Such a disc will have the film in its correct shape, letterboxed (ie by the addition of plain black areas) above and below the image. The whole thing (film + black bars) is what's recorded on the disc. The black bars may occupy up to about half of the total height of the recorded signal. The correct shape of the whole thing is 4x3. However, on a 16x9 display you can zoom into it, thereby cropping off the top and bottom Since this area only contains black, you aren't missing anything important. The "virtual" shape of a zoomed image is still 4x3 although you may only be seeing a 16x9 part of it.

    A widescreen film can also be (and more often is) carried on a 16x9 video signal. Such a disc may (depending on the shape of the film) still have black bands; however, as a proportion, they will comprise less of the total video signal than the same film on 4x3. Such discs are typically labelled "anamorphic" or "enhanced for widescreen TVs" (etc.) When viewed on a 16x9 display, the display shows the whole thing (film, plus any black padding) recorded on the disc. The whole thing just fills a 16x9 screen.

    Not all commercial DVDs are correctly labelled. Some claim to be "anamorphic" or "enhanced for widescreen TVs" (etc.) when they aren't, and others simply omit anything useful on the subject.

    What's right? Provided that

    - your player is set to produce a 16x9 output (note - this only has any effect when the signal on the disc is 16x9 aka anamorphic, enhanced... etc)
    - "things" (people, objects) are the right shape
    - nothing important is missing (cropped) from the image
    - black areas, if any, are on no more than 2 sides of the active part of the image

    ...then it's right. Simple as that.
     
  3. phil2415

    phil2415
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for all that!! I'm still trying to get my head around it all. It seems that the bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule; some DVDs will need to be in 4:3 mode and others in 16:9, even though they may all purport to be 'widescreen'.
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,842
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5,076
    More or less.

    Unfortunately there isn't any industry standard or common practice for labelling DVDs. In general, but not exclusively, the term "widescreen" refers to the shape of the actual film (in other words, the coloured moving bit) as represented on the disc - it means, typically, that it's wider than academy ratio (or 4x3, or the shape of a 'traditional' TV). And, as I say, it isn't this factor that's immediately relevant in determining which setting to use on your projector.

    More important is whether the disc contains the necessary signal for use to precisely fill a 16x9 display. Such discs may be labelled anamorphic, 16x9 or enhanced for widescreen TVs. Unfortunately not all DVD makers use these terms consistently and some simply get it wrong.

    My approach: Watch the film. Decide for myself what setting between 4x3, zoom, or 16x9 (you may have different terms on your projector) gets me closest to <nothing cropped and nothing distorted> and stick a coloured label on the barcode to indicate which to use in future.
     

Share This Page

Loading...