4x3 material framed in... white?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by John H Ross, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Ok I haven't watched a whole lot of extra features on BD yet, but those I have watched - specifically on The Nightmare Before Christmas and No Country For Old Men - that were originally made in 1.33:1 aspect ratio have been framed with WHITE borders left and right.

    What's up with that?

    Frankenweenie, for example, on TNBC was extremely distracting against white sides. The sides were brighter than the picture!

    I realise both of these titles are from Disney. Is this just a Disney thing? Is it just another one of those things that I have to get used to with BD along with slower loading times and menu navigation?

    It just strikes me as odd that Wall-E (at 2.39:1) was framed top/bottom in black, The Nightmare Before Christmas (at 1.66:1) was framed left/right in black, yet as soon as it hits 1.33:1 suddenly it's white :-(

    Presumably there's no way to turn this whiteness off? (I have a Panasonic BD-55).

    Cheers!
     
  2. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    I suspect this is the "Screen Saver" issue though don't ask me to explain why it does this. Turn it off in the setup menu "Display" subsection and then the 4:3 material should have black sides.
     
  3. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Yes, it's your player not the BDs.
     
  4. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    This is interesting.

    I thought that Blu-ray was a native 16:9 format, so that the entire image you see on your 16:9 display is actually encoded on the disc. A DVD could be flagged as either 4:3 or 16:9, and either the television or the DVD player was responsible for "framing" the image when viewed in other than its native aspect ratio.

    Are you guys saying that Blu-ray also supports 4:3 video? Or is it only for standard-definition material, or something like that? (I don't know whether the supplements John mentions are in standard-def or hi-def.)
     
  5. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Ah, fantastic, thank you that man! Yes, it was the screen saver!

    I turned it off and now 4x3 is framed in black! Excellent!

    Thanks again :)
     
  6. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    No it doesn't. If the material is SD and 4:3, the player adds the bars on the sides. Depends on your settings also, in Panasonic BD players, there is an option that allows for 4:3 SD materials to fill the screen.
     
  7. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    I was always curious about the white bars also when watching Nightmare Before Christmas stuff like Vincent it was really distracting. I play mine thru the PS3 so I will check out the screensaver settings and see if that helps also.

    I wonder if the standard TV transmissions can be fixed also on the 4:3 settings.. I would guess directly thru the TV screensaver mode itself?
     
  8. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Be aware that plasma TVs are susceptible to burn in which is why there is the option for for the white or grey bars. If you use the black bars you may start to see the lines burn in on the side over time.


    Also 4x3 films in high def on blu-ray are pillerboxed with black bars on the sides.

    Doug
     
  9. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    I tried turning of my screensaver and tested out the white side bars on the bonus material to change it to black on the side as noted above but it didn't work. My player is a PS3... so I guess that player works differently than others. I tried a few different settings nothing changed.... any way to change the WHTE side bars on the bonus features to black while using the PS3

    I also do have a Panasonic Plasma 1080P tv so I don't want black burn to occur but when I watch Casablanca, Third Man etc... there is black on the sides and I prefer this but I like to use something full 16:9 on the screen afterwards to help prevent burn... I would say the same could happen on the tops and bottoms of the screen with scope framed films like Sleeping Beauty etc...
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I have never seen white sidebars on bonus material using the PS3, but I don't have a plasma set, so I'm wondering if those bars aren't something being generated by the TV rather than the player.

    Do you see black, white, or gray bars if you play a regular 4:3 DVD (say, THE WIZARD OF OZ) on the PS3? I see black on mine.
     
  11. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    If I am watching say Third Man or Casablanca then I have black side bars... but on certain bonus material like another poster noted... on Nightmare Before Christmas or No COuntry it gives me the white side bars. I even tried diff settings on the tv itself since mine is plasma... but not sure why. If I watch reg TV programs etc on 4:3 like CNN etc it is white bars also. that I don't mind as much as say trying to watch the short Vincent with the white bars it is really distracting.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    But I'm assuming THE THIRD MAN and CASABLANCA that you're watching are the Blu-ray versions which come with "built-in" black bars since the image is transferred that way on Blu-ray. I'm asking about SD-DVDs that are 4:3 (like THE WIZARD OF OZ, GONE WITH THE WIND, etc.; i.e. films which haven't been ported to Blu-ray yet) If they are showing up on your TV with white bars, it's your TV that's putting them up there. It's not the PS3's fault.
     
  13. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    Got ya, yeah standard 4:3 standard DVDs have the black on the sides.. watched a bunch of older Criterion dvds etc that way. No issues, Only issues on those certain bonus features on Blu rays dvds.
     
  14. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    Are you sure about that? I've got a Panasonic BD35 and I can change the side bars for 4:3 DVDs from gray to black by turning the screensaver off on the player. The TV is not putting the bars up, the player is. (I don't know about the PS3, but I would assume that all players work the same for stuff like this.)
     
  15. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    Yeah I turned off the PS3 screensaver and it didn't change anything at all.


    (again this is just to get the grey to switch to black bars for bonus material as seen on Nightmare before Christmas / No COuntry FOr Old Men type releases where bonus fetures show up bordered 4:3 with grey sides Normal 4:3 films play with black sides.)
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Fully aware that the Panasonics can do this. We were talking about the PS3. I reviewed those two Blu-rays in question (NIGHTMARE and NO COUNTRY) using the PS3, and I never saw any white bars. However, I may have my settings on the PS3 different from Jack.
     
  17. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I assume that either all BD players or all WS TVs are responsible for generating the bars on the sides of 4:3 DVDs. Since my BD player can change the color of the bars, that tells me that my player is generating the bars. After all, if the TV generated them, settings on the player wouldn’t be able to change the color of the bars.

    If the PS3 screensaver setting doesn’t change the color of the side bars, I can only assume that the PS3 is designed differently. It doesn’t mean that the TV is generating the bars, just that the PS3’s design does not tie side bar color to the screensaver.
     
  18. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I was responding to this quote which indicated that TVs are responsible for generating the side bars:

    “If they are showing up on your TV with white bars, it's your TV that's putting them up there. It's not the PS3's fault.”

    My post was intended to refute the claim that the TV generates the side bars and that, therefore, the PS3 is indeed "to blame".
     
  19. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    Yeah it is odd.. I have looked at my settings over and over and I can't imagine what it needs to be set to to view the bonus features with the black bars on the sides. I tried the screensaver.. i even switched the settings from letterbox to pan scan to see if that made the diff. no change. It is just odd. esp since they bury it under another setting. I will have to go thru the manual in case.
     
  20. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    4x3 SD material (the key here is SD) coming from a blu-ray disc is just that, 4x3. Anything beyond the edges of that 4x3 frame, if it is black, white or chartreuse, is generated by the TV.

    Understand that SD material on a blu-ray disc is NOT upscaled to 1080p as an SD DVD would be. A 4x3 DVD that is upscaled to 1080p by its very nature (1080 is naively 16x9) has player generated side bars, and the color of those side bars would be controlled by the player.

    Doug
     

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