widescreen

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by jubbly, Jul 26, 2001.

  1. jubbly

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    I have just bought a toshiba widescreen tv and dvd player and when i watch dvd's i still have black bars on the top and bottom even though i have chosen 16.9 option on the dvd menu and wide option on the tv menu.
    Am i doing something wrong or is it the case that you will always get black bars even on a widescreen tv. I have tried numerous dvd's, some with 1.85-1, 2.35-1 and 16.9 versions but i still nearly always get the black bars.
     
  2. loz

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    It's not very hard when you think about it.
    If the aspect ratio of the film is not the same as the TV, then something has to give.
    i.e if the film is wider, you get black bars. The wider the film, the bigger the black bars.
    A widescreen TV doesnt get rid of the black bars, it just reduces them compared to a 4:3 set. (unless you want to use one of the zoom options and get rid of them totally, usually at the expense of picture quality)

    Having said that, the bars on 1.85:1 should be very slim, almost unnoticable on many TVs.

    So if they are big on 1.85:1, then you probably have something set up wrong.
     
  3. LV426

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    I wish I had £1 for every time someone asked this. Here is a copy of a post I did in a similar thread recently. I hope it answers the question:

    There are two "aspect ratios" you need to be aware of.
    The first is the VIDEO SIGNAL ASPECT RATIO. This can be only one of two - either 4:3 or 16:9. This matches exactly with the two shapes of TV screen available. An anamorphic DVD has a VIDEO aspect ratio of 16:9 (assuming, of course, that you have your DVD player set correctly to output 16:9 where available on the disc).

    The second is the FILM ASPECT RATIO. Films can be made in any one of a number of ratios varying from 4:3 (rare nowadays) right up to about 22:9 (very wide). In the cinema, they have very wide screens (usually) with masking at the sides that can be moved. So, the wider the aspect ratio, the wider the visible part of the screen.

    On TVs and other video devies, we don't have the ability to vary the wideness of the screen. It is fixed by the tube size.

    So, if a film maker makes a film in a 22:9 ratio, the only way to get the entire width of the picture onto a TV screen, is to reduce its height. This is done by adding a plain black area to the top and bottom of the picture - the black bands you are seeing.

    The only alternative a DVD manufacturer might have would be to crop off the left and/or right edges of the (too wide) picture to fit your screen. It seems that most people (?) (including me) would prefer to see the entire picture, albeit slightly less tall, than to have an image cropped left and right.

    In certain cases, the original film is shot using a taller shaped negative in the camera but then masked down to the director's chosen ratio before distribution to cinemas. Just occasionally, video makers can obtain the negatives and open up this masking a little to put a taller version of the film onto video. However, this means that the video is not as the director intended it (in cinemas) and may reveal studio artefacts (like boom microphones, lights, reflections, etc) that were hidden in cinemas. So, it's not done all that often, and, I'd argue, doesn't add any value anyway.

    So, to put it briefly, the shape of your TV is fixed. The shape of the film will vary from film to film. Only films that were shot in 16:9 will exactly fill your screen. Any other shape of film can only be fitted in by having a black part at the top and bottom, or, indeed, left and right.

    NB. 4:3 is also known as 1.33:1
    16:9 is also known as 1.77:1
    22:9 is also known as 2.44:1

    [ 26-07-2001: Message edited by: LV426 ]
     
  4. jubbly

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    On some of my dvd's it says 1.85 and then 16.9 widescreen version next to it, what is the difference ?
    Also it might seem like a stupid question but if most dvd's are in the 1.85-1 ratio then why do they not make tv's the same size rather than 16.9 ?
     
  5. Reiner

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    16:9 is a general (marketing) term used for widescreen.

    Widescreen TVs (16:9) were made long before DVD was invented, besides LVxxxx explains pretty well that there is no general or common size, so in what size would you manufacture the TV in then?
     
  6. loz

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    I don't think most DVD's are in 1.85:1 ratio.
    It might be my collection, but the majority of mine are 2.35:1.
    Anyone take a guess at the split?
     
  7. jubbly

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    next question, what is anamorphic ?
    does this mean that it will automatically stretch the image to completly fill a 16.9 tv so there will be no black bars at the top and bottom.
     
  8. Ian Cox

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    Click on the link below which is a guide to anamorphic widescreen. This is a really good guide which explains everything really simply. You should not have any more questions after reading this.

    Guide to Anamorphic Widescreen
     
  9. jubbly

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    So what everyone is saying is that i should still get black bars at the top and bottom of the screen even on a widescreen tv. But i thought this anormophic thing was supposed to stretch it horizontally as well as vertically so that it completely fills the screen but mine doesn't and yes my settings are correct. Any ideas ?
     
  10. Ian Cox

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    If you click on the link on my previous post it will explain fully why you get black bars on some films and not others. But to break it down for you the following is when you will and will not get black bars on widescreen TV watching a DVD....

    1.85:1 non-anamorphic = black bars

    1.85:1 anamorphic = no black bars

    2.35:1 non-anamorphic = huge black bars

    2.35:1 anamorphic = black bars

    Therefore the only DVD's that you will not see black bars are 1.85:1 anamorphic presentations, so I would check that you have got DVD's in this format and you should then get no black bars.

    There are other widescreen ratios but 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 are the most popular with filmakers - so I will not go into the others.

    As I said before click on the link and read through it all, it should all then become clear :)
     
  11. jubbly

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    nice one, ta
     
  12. loz

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    Can't say I understand this logic.
    anaporphic unsquishes it horizontally, not verically too.
    Therefore there will still be a difference in height between a 1.77 (TV) and 1.85 picture (Film), and hence black bars.
    These black bars are often not visible as a result of 'overscanning' aren't they, not because the anamorphic process stretched it vertically?
     
  13. Ian Cox

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    If you want to get down to the real technicalities then there still will be very small black bars as the two aspect ratios are different. And you are right the only reason you do not see the bars is because of overscanning by a TV.

    I was just trying to illustrate in very simple terms what you would actually see from different presentation ratios on a DVD on a widescreen TV. And so if you are watching a 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation you would see no black bars - generally.

    I think when people are having problems in understanding all the technicalities that surround home cinema the best thing to do is to explain it as simply as possible and not get bogged down in the real detail. Then from this grounding you can then start to get into the real technicalities of home cinema. People who then come onto this forum will really start to learn what home cinema is all about - which is after all what this forum is here for.

    Now I have got that off my chest I think I am going to go down to Brighton beach, relax and enjoy the sunshine. :) :cool:
     
  14. LV426

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    Let's try this again.

    Jubbly: "On some of my dvd's it says 1.85 and then 16.9 widescreen version next to it, what is the difference ?"

    16:9 widescreen is the VIDEO aspect ratio. The SIGNAL being sent from the DVD to the TV is in 16:9 ratio. This is another way of saying "anamorphic" or "enhanced for 16x9 TVs". This assumes that you have your DVD player set to output 16x9 when available on the disc.

    1.85:1 is the FILM aspect ratio. In order to fit a film with any ratio WIDER than 16x9 (1.77:1) into a 16x9 VIDEO signal, black bars have to be added to the SIGNAL as recorded on the disc in order to fill up the extra vertical space that results from the film being too wide.


    Jubbly: "next question, what is anamorphic ?
    does this mean that it will automatically stretch the image to completly fill a 16.9 tv so there will be no black bars at the top and bottom. "

    No, it doesn't. Whether or not a FILM will exactly fill a 16X9 screen depends on the FILM's aspect ratio. If the FILM is any wider than 1.77:1, then the disc will have black lines added to the top and bottom of the FILM to make the VIDEO signal exactly fit 16x9. However, most TVs overscan - that means that, for ALL material, a small portion of the signal is actually off the top, bottom, left, right of the picture tube ie you can't see it. In the case of 1.85:1 FILMS, the tiny black bars that are added to make it up to the VIDEO aspect ratio of 1.77:1 (16X9) are usually in the overscanned area ie off the top and bottom of the screen.

    However - for FILMS with a ratio wider than this - eg 2.35:1 - the amount of black that has to be added to the VIDEO to make it up to 16x9 is greater. The black bands are therefore thicker and are very likely to be visible on your TV.

    Jubbly: "So what everyone is saying is that i should still get black bars at the top and bottom of the screen even on a widescreen tv. But i thought this anormophic thing was supposed to stretch it horizontally as well as vertically so that it completely fills the screen but mine doesn't and yes my settings are correct. Any ideas ? "

    Anamorphic DVDs have a VIDEO aspect ratio of EXACTLY 16x9 (1.77:1). Therefore, the VIDEO signal will always exactly fill your TV screen. However, the CONTENTS of that video signal may consist of a FILM with a much wider aspect ratio of, say 2.35:1, plus some "padding" in the form of black bands, put there when the disc is made, in order to increase the height up to exactly 16x9. So, in a sense, you are filling your screen - but WHAT you are filling it with MAY include some black bands.
     
  15. loz

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    But explaining it using the wrong logic is only going to confuse people more!
     
  16. jubbly

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    Do you guys think that it is 'nicer' to watch a 1.85 dvd with no black bars than it is to watch a 2.35 film with black bars, lets take a vote.
    I vote 1.85 as although the black bars are not that big when watching a 2.35 dvd it still gets on my tits.
     
  17. LV426

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    Ian C:

    I am pleased to read how well educated you are. However.....

    Assuming (and I accept it may NOT be a valid assumption) that people use their widescreen TVs correctly in order to obtain a picture in which the people and objects in it are the right shape, i.e.,;

    • If they have an anamorphic/enhanced/16x9 DVD they use the correct 16x9 mode on their TV (call it full, wide, normal, whatever)
    • If they have a non-anamorphic DVD which contains a film with an aspect ratio equal to, or wider than, 1.77:1, they use the "zoom" (or whatever else it's called) mode,

    then,

    an anamorphic DVD of a 1.85:1 film will look EXACTLY the same shape as a non-anamorphic version of a 1.85:1 film. The black bars (whether visible or not) will be virtually* the same size

    (*accepting that TVs aren't all set up exactly, there may just be a minor differences in tolerance).

    The only difference will be that the the scan lines will be closer together on the anamorphic disc. The anamorphic disc will therefore appear more finely detailed in the vertical direction.

    If the two hypothetical discs both contain films of 2.35:1 then, again, the black bands will appear virtually the same size, irrespective of anamorphic. Provided the TV is being used correctly.

    Therefore:

    1.85:1 non-anamorphic = very small black bars that probably won't be visible (assuming you are using the "zoom" (or whatever) mode on your TV.

    1.85:1 anamorphic = very small black bars that probably won't be visible.

    2.35:1 non-anamorphic = larger black bars that will definitely be visible (the same size as below - assuming you are using your "zoom" mode).

    2.35:1 anamorphic = larger black bars that will definitely be visible

    In other words, and as I said, twice, it is the shape of the FILM that determines how much black there is on the screen. Not the VIDEO aspect ratio (anamorphic = 16x9 or non-anamorphic = 4x3)
     
  18. Ian Cox

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    Hi LV426 - strange name by the way does it stand for something significant..

    Yes I fully agree with you on this that non-anamorphic discs should be zoomed on a widescreen TV to get the correct film aspect ratio, completely forgot about this on my posts. I now feel humbled :eek:

    Also I was not trying to show how well educated I am, because I am not by a long way :confused: , it was just using it to illustrate a point.
     
  19. action man

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    LV426 Is the planet in Alliens i think you`ll find. :cool:
     
  20. LV426

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    Rob - almost right. Actually, in response to another post some weeks ago in which someone asked, "how many colonists on LV426", I answered, "none - well not until 57 years later". Does that give you another clue? Yes, it was the planet in Aliens. It was also the planet in Alien.

    Ian C - I'd be the first to admit that it's really difficult trying to strike the right balance between information people need to understand their issue, and assumptions one might make about how they use their equipment. There is always the danger that the inclusion (or omission) of a simple assumption can easily result in confusion.
     
  21. loz

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    Is that where you come from then?
    :D
     
  22. jubbly

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    vote please ?
     
  23. Nike

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    I'd sooner view a film in its original aspect ratio regardless.

    Having said that, obviously on a w/s tv 1.85/1 looks better as you are using all the screen. I'd never zoom a 2.35/1 film to achieve this though.
     
  24. LV426

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    Faced with the choice of missing off part of the picture, or seeing it all, as the director intended, as it was seen in the Cinema - I go for seeing it all. No compromises. No pan and scanning, no cropped edges, no censorship cuts.

    Indeed, I'd go further. I would consider any video material that isn't the same as the theatrical release (in the same country) should be clearly labelled as being different, with details of how and why.

    eg: This video differs from the theatrical version. The picture has been reformatted to fit your TV screen and parts of the original image are now missing.

    and/or: This video differs from the theatrical version. A total of 57 seconds have been removed for censorship reasons

    etc.....
     
  25. Ian Cox

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    Ok Loz here goes my second explanation on this, I hope you are sitting comfortably.

    After looking at this post a number of times and the various explanations about widescreen aspect ratios it seemed to me that Jubbly was getting more and more confused. The reason for this was the explanation were of a technical nature.

    Now if you do not understand about different aspect ratios and the difference between TV and film displays this could all be very confusing. So I took a different approach to answer Jubbly's question - hence why I put the following:

    1.85:1 non-anamorphic = black bars

    1.85:1 anamorphic = no black bars

    2.35:1 non-anamorphic = huge black bars

    2.35:1 anamorphic = black bars

    And if you read my original post you will see I put "this is what you will see on a widescreen TV when watching a DVD". Now by taking this statement what I put was correct, you will not see any black bars on a 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation on a widescreen TV and therefore my logic is right.

    I get the feeling that Jubbly is not concerned about overscan and TV to film aspect ratios he just wanted to know when you get black bars. Jubbly you can correct me on this point if I am wrong.

    Now I actually hold a degree in Electronic Engineering, I have studied TV broadcast systems I can even tell you how a TV signal is composed and how a CRT works. I can even tell you how they design the chipsets in all our favourite home cinema equipment using VLSI. But in some cases people do not want to know this sort of information, they just want the real basics which is what I put.

    Once people have these basics - i.e. they know when and when not to expect black bars on a widescreen TV they may then start to ask other questions, like “OK 16:9 is not the same as 1.85:1 so why does it fill the whole screen”.

    In my job I am a sales manager for a company that designs radio networks, i.e. GSM phone networks. In some cases I am talking to high level managers who just want the high level overview but other times I am talking to engineers who want to know how we predict radio waves propagating through space, and let me tell you home cinema is a walk in the park compared to explaining the physics and methods in radio propagation.

    My point is some people want the technical explanation, but sometimes people just want the real basics, as we are not all of a technical nature. By giving them the basics which they can then understand will then give them the confidence to ask more questions and thus provoke further learning The problem with putting a technical reply and putting "quite simply" at the front of the question is if that person does not understand what you said you are then making them feel stupid. By doing this we alienate people who want to learn which I think is terrible and then these group of people will not come back to learn more.

    Loz I hope you can see where I was coming from now, this is not a pop at you I am just trying to explain my rationale on my reply. Sorry about the length of it but I think I said everything that I wanted to say.

    If anyone else would like to comment on this subject, giving the right response to the right person, I would like to hear your comments. Loz I am sure you will have something to say on it.

    Anyway Brighton beach was horrible, to many tourists. :(
     
  26. jubbly

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    chill peeps !
     
  27. stuart-f

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    This is just a comment on the above discussion.

    All this discussion about wide screen tellys is really interesting especially for those who want to understand it. However, in my experience<br />your average punter doesn't have a clue about any of this and furthermore they don't care either - they just see a shiny new whiz-bang telly that's<br />the latest gimmick.

    Most people I know who have WS TV's watch everything zoomed to fill the whole screen, even 4:3 telly pictures, (they must live in a world full of short fat people). This sad picture, (pun intended), is compounded by most stores, Comet, Dixons etc., displaying all there pictures in this same ridiculous mode. I doubt if anyone in these places would even know what aspect ratio was never mind understand how to display it properly.

    Why do people pay all this money for top quality CRT devices then insist on watching a crappy picture.

    It's not just the ratios, the colour and brightness is another thing. Radiactive grass, orange skin - it's tragic.

    I could go on but I won't.

    <br />'Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me.'
     
  28. jubbly

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    stuart, are you saying that you watch 4.3 programes in 4.3 mode on your widescreen tv, because if you do then in my opinion that is stupid.

    [ 02-08-2001: Message edited by: jubbly ]</p>
     
  29. LV426

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    Jubbly - why, exactly, is it stupid, to watch a 4:3 TV programme in its correct format - without any cropping of the top and bottom nor distortion (stretching) of the image (either uniformly across its entire width or just at the sides)?

    IMHO, it is "stupid" (not a word I would have used myself) to watch any material which has been in any way unnecesssarily distorted or cropped.

    The only CORRECT way to watch 4:3 material is in an area which is in the ratio 4:3.

    The resulting black bands either side of the image are, IMHO, vastly preferable to the distortion introduced by the not-so-clever "smart" modes often found on w/s TVs.
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

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