Why Doesn't Either the Length or the Width Fill the Screen?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by i_am_jim, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. i_am_jim

    i_am_jim Extra

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    I understand to maintain the correct aspect ratio various non 16x9 videos cannot fill the screen. But, it should be able to fill the screen with either the length of the width. Why do I get videos that are in boxes in the middle of the screen with spaces on all sides? If it's too wide to fill the height it should fill the screen from left to right -- conversely, if it's too tall to fill the width it should fill the screen from top to bottom.

    What's the deal?
     
  2. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    That sounds like a non-anamorphic disc. What's encoded on the disc is the movie you see, plus the black bars above and below the visible part. So it actually is filling your TV screen from top to bottom. It's just that some of the picture is black.

    That or you have something setup wrong.
     
  3. i_am_jim

    i_am_jim Extra

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    Actually, it's not a disk, it's cable TV.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That sounds like a letterboxed image on a standard definition broadcast channel -- which, for this purpose, is the same as a nonanamorphic DVD.

    Your set probably has picture settings that will expand the image so that it fills the entire width of the screen. Most HD sets do.

    M.
     
  5. i_am_jim

    i_am_jim Extra

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    It has a feature called "Wide Fit" which I guess is what you are talking about. Somehow I was under the impression that the artificial resizing features distorted the image by changing the aspect ratio. Perhaps, there are special circumstances where it doesn't, and letterbox ratio on standard definition channels is one of these?

    ---
    Samsung LN46A550
     
  6. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    No, you're right. Zooming and stretching and all that stuff does distort the image in most cases. But a 4:3 broadcast of a widescreen movie is only sending out a teensy, tiny little bit of a picture. Sometimes it's worth the distortion to make the thing big enough to see by zooming in. A widescreen image on a 4:3 standard definition frame just isn't broadcasting very many pixels so in "real size" it occupies just a small fraction of the center of your display.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I have a Samsung DLP set, and one of the "Wide Fit" modes is just a simple blow-up. The manual should say which one.

    M.
     
  8. i_am_jim

    i_am_jim Extra

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    Though some of this is repeated elsewhere in the manual, this is about all it says about setting the screen size:

    http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/1786/94441290px5.jpg

    If you look at the flower in Wide Fit it appears to be stretched.

    And, the following explanation of "Just Scan" leaves me with no better understanding than I had before reading it.

     
  9. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Usually (at least in my experience) 'just' mode sets the monitor to display 16:9 with the centermost portion of the screen close to proper width and height, with even image stretching going off to both sides of the screen. Instead of using 'full' mode to watch 4:3 material (where the entire screen is filled but everyone is short and fat), 'just' mode fills the entire screen and everything in the center of the screen looks kinda normal (some squishing does take place) while both sides of the picture are more short and fat.

    Personally, for 4:3 satellite where critical viewing is a non-issue, I use the zoom mode on my Panny plasma and have adjusted the screen position in the set up menu so the entire screen is filled and the tops of heads are not cut off. This also has the distinct advantage of cutting off the station bugs from the bottom of the screen so image retention is no worry. Most 4:3 satellite broadcasts are of such poor quality anyway that zooming isn't really detremental to the pq. Now if I'm watching an academy ratio movie from DVD, well that's a different story...
     
  10. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Oops... Double post.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Jim,

    Per the manual you linked to, try one of the Zoom modes (probably Zoom1) instead of Wide Fit. That appears to just zoom the image instead of also stretching. I use a zoom mode on the Vizio LCD TV in our bedroom when watching widescreen movies on TCM. The side black bars are eliminated without distorting the image.
     
  12. Steve_Pannell

    Steve_Pannell Supporting Actor

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    My Samsung has most of the same "zooms" referred to in the pictured manual. When I'm watching a letterboxed (windowboxed) movie on TCM, for example, I usually use "Zoom 1" and it looks ok.
     
  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    On my Samsung, the "Just Scan" mode is a 1:1 pixel mapping mode that insures zero overscan for any transmission. (16:9 mode gives about 2% overscan).

    There are other modes that stretch letterboxed or 4:3 images, but "Just Scan" on Samsung isn't designed for that at all.
     
  14. hodedofome

    hodedofome Stunt Coordinator

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    If there's a broadcast (or non-anamorphic dvd) that shows a widescreen movie in 4:3 mode I just don't watch it. And I make sure to email the engineer of the station or the movie studio that I refuse to zoom in on the movie and make it look like crap just so it'll fill my screen. I suppose if they get enough feedback like this they'll stop broadcasting this way and update their dvd library to be anamorphic.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I agree: Zoom1 looks right.

    That may be what the setting on my set is called; I was going by memory, and I don't really look at this point -- I just know where the setting is. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    If the channel you are watching is not HD, how would you propose the station fix this? For example, TCM does not have an HD channel, which is where I use the zoom mode on the TV. On our 37-inch Vizio LCD in the bedroom, the picture quality is acceptable. I have not tried this on our new 67-inch Samsung LED DLP in the main HT room, though.

    AMC does have an HD channel, but they always crop or pan & scan 2.35:1 films to 1.78:1 (as do many other HD networks that show scope films), so I just do not watch in that case.
     
  17. tls36

    tls36 Agent

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    My PS3 does this with some DVD trailers, then when the movie starts it fills the screen. I am using a 16X9 Sharpvision DLP Projector at 720p. Can't quite figure it out yet.
     
  18. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

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    That is because those trailers are non anamorphic, whereas the actual movie is anamorphic.
     
  19. i_am_jim

    i_am_jim Extra

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    Thanks to everyone for all the replies.

    As I understand the answer, the surrounding bands are part of the image sent to the TV, thus it thinks they're part of the actual picture and can't remove them.
     
  20. FranklinC

    FranklinC Stunt Coordinator

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    Sort of, but not really. The 4:3 image in the middle of the screen is the entire signal being sent to the TV with standard definition broadcast television (HD signals are 16:9). With SD, the TV is showing that image in the 4:3 shape and placing bars on the right and left of the image to fill the screen. So, if the 4:3 image is letterboxed (has bars on the top and bottom) the image will appear to have bars all the way around. If this bothers you, you can set the TV (or even the cable box in most cases) to zoom in on the viewable image area, so the bars are not visible. Or, get an HD signal.
     

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