16:9 mode on new television

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JimHoesel, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    I recently purchased a new televsion (Toshiba 24AF44) that has a feature called 16:9 mode. In a previous post, I was told to keep the DVD player set to widescreen when using this mode. The question I now have is that that when using this mode, the picture seems a tiny bit long vertically. The people seem kind of tall and thin. If I set the DVD player to lettterbox and turn off the compression on the TV, it seems to look more normal. Also, the black bars are a little bit thicker when viewing this way. Is this a fault with the TV, the DVD player or maybe the DVD itself? I've only tried it with one disc. I'm still within the 30 day period if you think it is a problem with the TV. Thank You
     
  2. Lev-S

    Lev-S Second Unit

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    The DVD player has to be set for a 16:9 (widescreen) TV. Then, when you watch an anamorphic WS DVD, the picture will look stretched out. This is when you turn on the 16:9 enhanced mode to re-compress the picture back to it's normal state. The disc MUST be 16:9 enhanced (anamorphic) or else it will just display a 4:3 letterbox image. What DVD did you test on it?
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    For reinforcement:

    • Go into the DVD player's set-up menu and select 16:9. Never go back to it again; it will play 4:3-encoded DVDs normally.

    • If the Toshiba auto-detects a 16:9 signal, then it will compress the scanning-line raster when fed a 16:9-encoded DVD.

    • If it doesn't auto-detect, then, when you get ready to play a 16:9-encoded (i.e., "anamorphic widescreen") DVD, turn on the Toshiba's 16:9 mode. Do not turn the mode on if you are playing a letterboxed-only DVD (that is, a 4:3-encoded DVD that has a letterboxed transfer); there still are a few letterboxed-only DVDs on the market.

    • To this day, some DVD keepcases are mislabeled. But in order to know which of your DVDs are in 16:9, look for such phrases as "enhanced for widescreen TVs," "anamorphic widescreen," etc.
     
  4. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    I only have one disc to test as I'm in the process of moving. The disc I used was "Stand By Me". It says on the back cover " This dual layered disc is presented in a WIDESCREEN VERSION which preseves the films original theatrical aspect ratio of approx. 1.85:1". I tested again today to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. With the DVD player set to 16:9 and the compression mode on the TV turned on, the displayed picture is 11.75 inches in length, with 1.5 inch bars on top and bottom. With the DVD player set to 4:3 letterbox and the compression mode on the TV turned off, The dislayed image is 11.25 inches in length with 1.75 inch bars on top and bottom. The latter picture looks more natural. The down conversion of the DVD player compresses the picture more than the 16:9 mode on the TV does, as far as I can tell. Maybe it's just this certain disc, but the rest of my movies are locked in storage until next week, so I will try again then. Or maybe I'm just being too anal about the whole thing. Thanks again!
     
  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Ah, the poor description claims another victim! You've learned the hard way this does NOT mean the movie is 16:9 widescreen. It just means it's been letterboxed like a widescreen VHS version is letterboxed. When looking at older releases especially, look for the specific language that Jack noted in his last bullet.

    Welcome to 16:9 viewing!
     
  6. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    Sorry, but I'm still confused. If I set the DVD player to 16:9 and leave it there as I've been advised, how do I get a normal picture from a disc labeled like this one? The image with the 16:9 mode turned off on the TV is very stretched vertically. With the 16:9 mode activated on the TV, the picture is better, but still not as natural looking as if I set the DVD player to to 4:3 letterbox and turn off the 16:9 mode on the TV. Thanks again!
     
  7. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The DVD player should recognize the picture format on the DVD as 4:3 and leave it alone. If the auto setting on the Toshiba's 16:9 mode is working properly, it should also see the signal as 4:3 and leave it alone. If your TV's 16:9 mode is activating on a 4:3 signal, then the DVD player is treating the disc incorrectly.
     
  8. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    Thanks Cameron_Y. So what you are saying is that a disc labeled this way is actually a 4:3 disc, correct? Then why do I get the very vertically stretched image on the TV. Shouldn't the DVD player automatically send a 4:3 image to the TV even when the DVD player is set to 16:9? Is this a problem with the player itself? Also, the 16:9 mode on the TV is manually set, but even with it activated, the image is still slightly stretched, compared to setting the DVD player to 4:3 letterbox and leaving the compression mode turned off on the TV. It seems like the TV isn't compressing the image enough, that's why I thought it might be a defect in the TV itself. I wanted to figure it out while I'm still in the 30 day return period. I will get some different movies to test tomorrow and see if it is maybe just the disc. Thanks.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Yes and it could be the player. Just out of curiosity, what kind of player is it?

    When you try other discs, try one that is from a 4:3 television show like Star Trek. That should be more revealing whether there is an issue with the player treating all material as 16:9 when in that mode. Also, if you have an old TV I would try connnecting it to that to see if you have the same problem, which would make things lean toward the Toshiba as being the problem. Have you watched regular TV on the it yet to make sure the 4:3 is accurate on the set in general?
     
  10. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Your TV's 16:9 mode might not be calibrated just right, for example you might be getting a 16:10 shaped picture instead. The service menu and/or screwdriver adjustments in the rear are used to adjust this. One possible problem is that there might be only one setting for both 4:3 mode and 16:9 mode so you can't get both of them to be correct. Unfortunately you might void the warranty if you make any of these adjustments yourself.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    What is happening:

    1. Player is in 16:9 mode (TV shape set to 16:9), disk is not 16:9 enhanced:
    Video which may or may not have pre-recorded black bar material is sent to the TV as-is, all 480 active scan lines. When the TV stretches it all to 4:3 it should look right. Straight zoom on a 16:9 TV implies a 4:3 initial shape, occupying the entire screen width but with part of the top and bottom of the video frame outside the screen boundaries. If the picture had an aspect ratio less than 1.77:1 some of the top and bottom picture material will be cropped also.

    2. Player is in 16:9 mode, disk is 16:9 enhanced:
    Same, video is sent to the TV as-is. When the TV stretches it (including any pre-recorded black bar material) to 16:9 it should look right.

    3. Player is in 4:3 letterbox mode, disk is not 16:9 enhanced:
    Same as preceding, video is sent to the TV as-is. When the TV stretches it (including any pre-recorded black bar material) to 4:3 it should look right.

    4. Player is in 4:3 letterbox mode, disk is 16:9 enhanced:
    Video is reformatted so picture together with any pre-recorded black bar material occupies inner 360 scan lines and the player makes the remaining 60 scan lines on top and 60 scan lines on the bottom black or gray. When this combination is stretched to a 4:3 shape the picture should look right, but not as good as #2 can be.

    5. Player is in 4:3 pan/scan mode, disk is not 16:9 enhanced:
    Same as #3, video is sent to the TV as-is. When the video is stretched to 4:3 the picture should look right.

    6. Player is in 4:3 pan/scan mode, disk is 16:9 enhanced:
    For disks encoded with pan/scan codes (rare), all 480 scan lines and 540 of the 720 pixels across on each line are kept, exactly which 540 pixels across depends on the encoding. When the video is stretched to 4:3 it should look right. For 16:9 enhanced disks not encoded for pan/scan (over 99.9% of all disks) the results are unpredictable, usually the results are the same as #4.
     
  11. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    Thanks Allan, everything makes a lot more sense now. I was going to ask if this was an adjustment I could do on my own, but if it voids the warranty, I think I'll leave it to someone who knows what they are doing. I've tried multiple movies now with the same results so I'm sure you are right about the enhancement mode not being adjusted correctly.
    The TV is Toshiba 24AF44. It is only two weeks old, so I still have two weeks to return it to Best Buy for a refund. Would you suggest returning it and getting a different set of the same model or letting them try to adjust the one I have. You also mentioned that both 4:3 and 16:9 may not both be able to be adjusted so they look correct. I watch much more 4:3 material, so should I just accept the misadjustment of the 16:9 enhancement and live with it? Or should I return the set for a refund and buy some other brand? If the latter, do you have any suggestions in the $300 to $400 range? Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Jim, do not remove the Toshiba's cabinet and do anything inside the set. This is dangerous.

    You're making this more complicated than it needs to be.

    First, does the Toshiba auto-detect 16:9-encoded signals? Read the owner's manual. If the Toshiba has a manual 16:9 mode, then you need to turn it off when playing a 4:3-encoded DVD, which Stand By Me is. (Yes, it is widescreen letterboxed, but it is still 4:3-encoded. Some DVDs are authored that way. Not many are made this way any longer.)

    Second, have you, in fact, set the DVD player's output mode at 16:9?

    All the player needs to know is what shape the display's screen is. Monitors that are native 4:3 but have 16:9 modes are treated by the player as 16:9 sets.

    Simple.
     
  13. JimHoesel

    JimHoesel Auditioning

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    Thanks Jack,
    To answer your questions, the 16:9 mode on the TV is manual, but I understand when it should and should't be activated. And yes I have the DVD player output set to 16:9.
    The question I'm trying to get across is that with the player set on 16:9 output and the TV's 16:9 mode activated, the resulting picture is over an inch longer vertically than with the player set at 4:3 and the TV's 16:9 mode turned off. Shouldn't these two images look the same, except for maybe a clearer picture on the first one being it is supposed use all the scan lines? What I'm getting when using the the first scenario is a picture that seems too tall. It's not overly distorted, as it is before activating the TV's 16.9 mode, but it still doesn't look as natural as it does if I just set the DVD player to 4:3 and shut off the 16:9 mode on the TV. I've tried multiple new discs that I know are widescreen ( The Cooler, Lost In Translation, Monster, etc.). That is why I thought it may be a problem with the 16:9 mode on the TV, it seems like it isn't compressing the picture enough. Thanks again.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, Jim, it could very well be that the Toshiba goes a little overboard when collapsing the raster. Early Sony WEGAs, for example, collapsed the scanning-line raster too much.

    A good test would be either one of the popular calibration DVDs or a film that gives you the chance to see a circular object straight on. If the disc is 16:9-encoded and the Toshiba's 16:9 mode is on and that circle looks more like an ellipse, then, yes, the Toshiba is oversqueezing.

    The only way to fix that is in the service menu.
     
  15. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Any of the DVDs with the THX Optimode feature would have the circle. Finding Nemo and T2 are the only ones I can think of at the moment.
     

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