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16:9 TO 4:3 Converter

Discussion in 'Displays' started by EdNichols, May 6, 2005.

  1. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    I have a rear projection TV with 4:3 and I when I get movies I always get the full screen versions, but it seems that the trend is going toward 16:9 and I know eventually I will have to bit the bullet and go HDTV. Also, when I borrow movies most of them are 16:9 which kinda ruins the movie experience having to watch a sliver of a movie on my screen.

    Is there a converter box that I can hook up to my TV to convert 16:9 to 4:3?
     
  2. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    I'm not aware of any converters, but most dvd players have zoom options, I'd look into getting a player with some nice zoom options.
     
  3. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    My DVD player has zoom which I haven't tried but I would think with a 16:9 movie on a 4:3 screen it would just be a close up with the big black bars. Hate those bars.
     
  4. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Depending on the zoom of your player, it should eliminate some of the bars. Depending on your player, the results may not look the best as you are zooming in on the picture, whether you're using a converter or dvd player, that is, unless you're using some expensive scaler.

    You're better off getting pan & scanned (4:3) version of the movie as they crop off the least important part of the image rather than the same sides when compared to zooming.

    I think many (if not most) people here would prefer to watch the movie in widescreen as you won't be losing any of the picture for widescreen movies.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    As other said. Infinite zoom, will fix you right up.

    Where you you hit the arrow buttons each direction to decide how much zoom crop you want.

    I still suggest OAR though, they way movies and content in general are meant to be. But it does work. You still losing some resolution though.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You are not watching a "sliver of a movie" on your screen. Rather, it's the 4:3-encoded pan-and-scan films that you are watching presently that are the "slivers." Please remember, Home Theater Forum is dedicated to preserving artistic intentions in the cinema experience.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yeah it's a tough sell on forums like this.

    When you view in 4:3, that is when your only getting part of the movie. It is a mind set change for many. If you find the black bars distracting, you can come up with a masking system and not see them at all.


    But forums like this one will even delete threads of people that want Pan and Scan over OAR (Original Aspect Ratio, as most of us here feel that strongly about it in all honesty.
     
  8. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Screenwriter

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  9. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,

    Why don't you buy a new TV with 16:9 display? Projection TV prices are down to less than $1,000. You also will have HD capability with a 16:9 set.

    Your desire to watch movies full-screen on a 4:3 TV is understandable, but impossible to accomplish without losing some of the image. Wouldn't you rather see the entire frame undistorted instead of the compromise of all other methods of filling the screen?

    It seems strange that you are particular about black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, but don't care about lost or distorted content in a zoomed or otherwise distorted picture.
     
  10. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    Chris,
    Thanks for the site. You are right, I have been around the forum for a while but I have been concentrating mostly on the audio end. Now I am wanting to look at the video side of HT.

    One question, if some of the movies are now being produced in 2.35:1 will HDTV be going to this format in the future? If not, will we be destined to have bars on movies from now on?

    Dick,
    I forsee a new HDTV but since I have sunk a pretty good size wad into the audio side of my HT I was hoping I could get by with some sort of converter box for a while. I also have a entertainment center that is just the right size for my present TV and getting a new TV means a new center also.

    What is sad is when I do eventually get the 16:9 TV the movies I have now won't look right. Oh well.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I suggest making mattes for your TV. Using black, foam-core cardboard, making masks to place on the upper and lower portions fo the TV to block out the black bars and the TV cabinet, framing the widescreen movie.

    It sound silly and you're ready to dismiss it, but I think you will love it. You will forget about the black bars, the movies will seem more cinematic, and you'll wonder how you got along without it.

    I did this with a 27" TV, and it was the single best tweak. I haven't gotten around to it with my 36", but I expect it would be similarly pleasing.
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    If artistic integrity matters for audio ... why not for video?

    That aside ... a scaled and zoomed image from a 2.35:1 widescreen film will likely have only 35% or so of the image detail that the comparable 4:3 p/s version has. This is moving into VHS territory if not worse because zoomed images won't even P/S for you. It is simply a static centered image.

    No processor out there will magically create new detail to insert into the picture out of nothing. It won't add additional beard stuble to a face ... (but how would it know to add beard stuble versus car tires on a person's face?)

    If such a magic black box did exist ... expect it to cost much more than your TV or probably the entire A/V system.

    How come we don't complain about black bars in the theaters ...?

    Regards
     
  13. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    "How come we don't complain about black bars in the theaters .."


    Maybe I am blind but I don't notice black bars at the theater.

    However, I was at a hi-fi store the other day and was watching a $6000 HDTV and it had bars in it!! If I am gonna pay that much money for a set I want to see picture, not bars!!
     
  14. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Greetings,

    I don't know of any converter boxes but I do know that many DVD players have zoom functions.OAR is the best way to go though, I have a smallish 20 inch 4:3 and all of my movies are in widescreen format, I don't really see a problem with this and truthfully after 2-4 years of viewing this way it becomes acceptable.


    I'm not an expert but this is what I've learned through my research in looking for an HDTV.

    Was this Tv displaying a movie with bars still on the top and bottom? if that's what you saw you were probably seeing a movie that was shot wider than the Tv (2.35:1 aspect ratio) which in that case would produce an image with black bars on the top and bottom, the black bars are reduced in size though and will not be as big as viewing a movie like that on your 4:3 screen. It all depends on the aspect ratio of the DVD.

    Were the bars you saw on the sides of the set and not top and bottom? if that was the case you were probably viewing 4:3 content on this HDTV which would reproduce the square shape of your standard television. Older shows that were shot long before the advent of widescreen televisions were shot in the in the 4:3 ratio and were made to fit on a normal television, if you view stuff like this on a widescreen television it will display black or grey bars on the side of the picture. Many HDTV's have modes that can handle this content and make it fill your screen but they do this by zooming or cropping the picture which can distort what you are viewing. Likewise watching a pan and scan copy of a DVD will have this effect on a widescreen television.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You will always have bars unless you employ variable masking. It's the way of the world, learn to deal with it. I can't fathom ever buying full-screen DVDs. You are crossing into dangerous territory...
     
  16. Jarett

    Jarett Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey all,

    Just thought i'd jump in on this. Frankly I do not know why some people think 4:3 dvd's are a crime, i never feel like i didnt see a part of the movie. Yah u dont get to see it all but if its 16:9 on my tv the actual space the image is in is about half of what i would get with 4:3. Dont get me wrong, 16:9 are great, just like the cinemas, but if ur screen is tiny as it is, having widescreen makes it even smaller. TV (other thand HD) is all 4:3...are we missing something when we whatch regular tv? Or is it different film? Either way I would like 16:9 on a big tv but on a 27" its a little to small...

    J

    P.S. I never zooom when i rent a 16:9...pan and scan is much better.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  17. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    This is from the Home Theater Forum Mission Statement:





    That is why some of us are against "Fullscreen" versions of DVDs. If the movie was filmed in a 4:3 ratio, then that's how we want it on DVD. If not, then we want it in whatever way the creator of the movie intended.

    Personally, I've never been bothered by the "black bars" so I can't completely relate to those who are, small picture or not. But, I won't be hostile to those that are bothered. I'll just disagree with them and go with the "it's their loss" approach. Pun intended.
     
  18. RomanSohor

    RomanSohor Second Unit

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    No you're not missing anything because regular TV is shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio - so it is appering in its intended format.
     
  19. RomanSohor

    RomanSohor Second Unit

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    I also just thought of something else,

    if you don't care if the picture is stretched out, why not just tell your DVD player it is hooked up to a widescreen TV, that way it won't add letterboxing to the movies.
     
  20. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Dangerous ground indeed...
     

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