Upscaling DVD player and 4:3 off-brand DVDs

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by jimdc58, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. jimdc58

    jimdc58 Agent

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    Something is puzzling me, and I'm wondering if there is an explanation. I currently have a CRT Widescreen Sony television, connected to my upscaling DVD player only with component cables (not HDMI cables). I realize that not having an HDMI connection, the upscaling will have little effect on the picture displayed in terms of quality. However, just to see what would happen, I have run through the different resolutions (480i, 480p, 760p, 1080i, and 1080p) on a few DVD's. What I have noticed with DVD's from Shout Factory and Critic's Choice, as well a burned DVD's and some extras on a Warner Brothers DVD, is that the picture remains at 1.37:1 at 480i and 480p, but when switching to above that, the picture expands to ~1.57:1. (This does not happen on the majority of 4:3 commerical DVD's.) When I say expands, it adds information on both sides. It does not STRETCH the picture. Any idea what is going on here? Is there additional information on some DVD's that normally isn't displayed on a standard 4:3 screen, even though it exists? The other part that is confusing is that, based on credit pages and, in fact, decorative frames around such pages, it doesn't appear any info is missing vertically. Has anyone else had this experience? I'm especially curious about those that actually have HDMI cables, and are getting the maximum utility out of upscaling. It's not really a problem, as the picture isn't distorted. Just sort of a curiosity.
     
  2. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Okay, let me see if I can explain this. At 480i and 480p your TV is generating the side bars and it is producing overscan on all four sides of the picture, thereby maintaining the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. At 720p and above, your upscaling DVD player is generating the side bars and there is no overscan on the sides, however your TV's overscan is still cropping the top and bottom of the frame, thereby rendering a 1.57:1 picture. CRT screens have horrendous overscan and you should consider upgrading to a fixed-pixel display so you can see the whole picture.
     
  3. jimdc58

    jimdc58 Agent

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    Thank you for that answer. I ran the same DVD's on my laptop last night, and you are correct. I thought there was no missing picture vertically, but I was wrong. I've been watching my CRT television all this time and never realized it.


    Is there also a lot of overscan on a CRT as it relates to broadcast/cable viewing? Or does it only do that with input from a DVD?


    Guess it's time to upgrade.
     
  4. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Indeed there is. CRTs have to have some overscan due to the fact that the way the technology works the picture shrinks and expands slightly from the fluctuations of the power supply. If there were no overscan, the edges of the frame would become visible during some scenes. CRTs are known to sometimes have as much as 10% overscan!!


     

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