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Anamorphic DVD ?'s

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Kendall T, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Kendall T

    Kendall T Member

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    Hello, I got a "newbie" style question.
    I was reading the explaination on anamorphic DVD's found at digitalbits site (sorry, I'm not allowed to link to it, I'm too new to the board) I found the link in the "new to home theater primer" section under "letterboxed DVD's".

    If I'm understanding this correctly, he is saying that if I'm watching an anamorphic widescreen DVD on a 4:3 screen, that it is no better than a non-anamorphic (letterbox) widescreen DVD on the same 4:3 TV? Or am I still enjoying more scan lines as it suggests when watching the same DVD on a 16:9 screen?
    This is just bugging me,
    Thanks.
     
  2. LarryGS

    LarryGS Member

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    It depends. If your DVD player supports 16:9 and your 4:3 TV has the ability to squish the picture down into anamorphic widescreen, the resulting picture is far better than simple letterbox. Brightness, contrast, and detail are all enhanced by packing the scanlines into a narrower format.

    If your TV or VCR don't support anamorphic widescreen, you'll just see the image in standard widescreen with no improvement.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    Nope, on a 4:3 set- anamorphic vs non-anamoprhic is the same. Well, maybe. I'll say- if used correctly, then anamorphic vs non on a 4:3 screen will be the same.

    Anamorphic enhnacement only comes into play if you have a 16x9 tv (or a 16x9 squeeze mode on a 4:3 TV). If you set the dvd player to 4:3 mode inside the player, it automaticaly takes out the extra lines of resolution to present the proper shape on your 4:3 TV set.

    However- some people do set their dvd player to 16x9 mode while watching on a 4:3 set-- this keeps the extra lines, but results in a vertically stretched picture of the wrong shape and aspect. This is a bad idea.

    However- if you do everything right- there is no direct advantage to anamorphic discs when displayed on a 4:3 set.

    Indirectly, usually an anamorphic transfer means a newer transfer, which would obviously be helpful in quality on even a 4:3 set- but the actual extra resolution of the transfer is removed by the player when in 4:3 mode.

    hope that makes sense.

    -V
     
  4. Kendall T

    Kendall T Member

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    Yup, that makes sense. I guess I'll lose that warm fuzzy fealing I had about my DVD's that are anamorphic.
    Thanks guys.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Well-Known Member

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    think of it this way. you now have "incentive" to get yourself a 16x9 set. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Kendall, It's as simple as this: So-called "anamorphic" DVDs are nothing more than ones that have been encoded to output at 16:9 natively. Nothing more, nothing less; such DVDs have the same theoretical resolution as those encoded at 4:3. To view 16:9-encoded DVDs properly, you need, as Vince notes, either a 16:9 monitor or a 4:3 monitor with a 16:9 "squeeze" mode. Otherwise, the player must downconvert and scale a 16:9-encoded DVD's image for display on a 4:3 monitor that doesn't have a 16:9 mode -- meaning every third line of resolution must be used to paint the so-called "bars."
     
  7. PhillJones

    PhillJones Well-Known Member

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    There is a slight conflict in the answers above which I'm going to try and straighten out by saying quite frimly and solidly that the answer is: probably not. [​IMG]

    Seriously, I'm new to the US so I'm not sure if you can get 4:3 TVs here that have a 16:9 mode. You can in Europe. Basically, the TV squishes the picture down when it revieves an anamorphic signal. In other words, it displays a 16:9 full resolution picture within the 4:3 screen.

    So, some 4:3 TVs that have a specialist 16:9 mode do show an improoved picture with anamorphic DVDs but I don't know if such TVs are even available here.

    If your TV has an anamorphic or cinema mode or something button which squishes the picture then it you get a better picture.
     
  8. Rex.G

    Rex.G Well-Known Member

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    I know JVC makes 4:3 televisions with a 16:9 squeeze mode. My friend just bought a 32" for under $500.00. He claims its the best television purchase/value he's ever made. I think Toshiba also makes a model available in the US, but i am not postive about that.
     
  9. PeterK

    PeterK Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with just watching it with the black bars? Besides, don't most dvd players come with all these adjustables? My dvd player has a zoom button with about 7 different settings so if i don't want to watch in the 2.35:1 the I zoom in to 16x9 or 4x3. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the same as your tv having these adjustable settings?
     
  10. Rex.G

    Rex.G Well-Known Member

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    Zooming in on the picture defeats the purpose of having a widescreen picture. If you are zooming a widescreen picture to fit your tv screen, you are destroying the image that the filmmakers intended for you to see. Having a 4:3 TV that has a 16:9 feature is a very good choice for somebody who wants to take full advantage of their DVD's but also watches a lot of 4:3 presentations (TV). And having the 16:9 feature or a widesreen TV will not eliminate the black bars when watching a cine-scope presentaion.
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Yes it is.

    But a far better idea is what Larry and Phil said: set the DVD-player to 16x9 and 'squeeze' the picture on the TV (widely known as the 'vertical squeeze trick') to 16x9. This can be done on almost all European and many modern US TV-sets by a simple push on a button, the 16x9 squeeze or "PAL+" button.
    And, if a button like that isn't present, since 1997 many people know how to set their 4x3 to 16x9 through the maintenance manual (or a programmed key on their remote).

    And indeed, the picture will certainly be better than on most TV-sets - albeit not as much improved as on a wide screen TV-set (as compared to non-anamorphic).

    If you want to know more about this all, please visit our Primer Section!


    Cees
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Well-Known Member

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    a lot of the tv's at best buy (32 flat-screen tubes and up) and up have this 16x9 v-compression feature. is that the same as the squeeze?

    i think i asked before...but forgot the answer....
     
  13. Kendall T

    Kendall T Member

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    I have no problem with the black bars. As I understand it, an anamorphic widescreen DVD (vs. a non-anamorphic widescreen DVD) doesn't waste any scan lines creating the black bars, all scan lines are used for the picture (is this correct?) So, I was just wondering if this benefit is only on a 16:9.
    I have found no squeeze mode on my TV. I have noticed that on one of my menus its got the aspect ratio and its set to 4:3, but it doesn't allow me to change it, nor can I find in the manual how to change it. Is this something that can only be accessed by a sevice menu? If so, anybody know how, or should I not even attempt it even if I could access it?
     
  14. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Looks and sounds exactly like it, from your description! [​IMG]


    Cees
     

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