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Confused with playback of Anamorphic

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by John G, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. John G

    John G Active Member

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    Who me confused? Alrighty..from what i understand, Anamorphic DVD are 'supposed' to eliminate the black bars on top and bottom correct?

    I'm viewing 'American Beauty', which is labeled 2:35:1 Anamorphic, and i'm seeing black top and bottom on my Mitsu WS6511 in 480i standard fed from my older DVD player. I can place the RPTV in 480i zoom, which eliminates the vertical bars, but cuts off a bit of the picture L&R.

    Am i wrong in my assessment of what a Anamorphic DVD is, or is it perhaps because i have an old interlaced player?
     
  2. DavidES

    DavidES Well-Known Member

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    Anamorphic (squeeze) uses all of the 720x480 pixels, which is BTW 1.33:1 ratio, available in the dvd format to encode all the vertical film info available. It's also used in the film process to "squeeze" the widescreen aspect ratio onto a 35mm film frame, which is 1.33:1 ratio, without wasting any vertical space of frame.

    The black bars are used to correct picture for transmitted aspect ratio. The dvd format and standard tv are 1.33:1 meaning 1.33 units wide to 1 unit tall which BTW is Academy Ratio.

    Movies are filmed in various formats ranging from 1.33:1 to 2.55:1. In order to view all formats with the same height we have to vary the width. For example a 27" diagonal SDTV is approximately 16" high and 22" wide. In order to view a 2.55:1 ratio with the same 16" height and no letterboxing, I would need a 40.8" wide tv. (16 x 2.55). Since our tvs don't vary their widths or heights on demand, we have to alter the signal instead.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. John G

    John G Active Member

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    ive done my reading on anamorphic like i said, but just a bit confused..for years i've been wanting a 16x9 TV to eliminate the letterbox viewed on a 4x3, and now that i bought one, I'm still getting the letterbox unless i 'artificially' zoom the image. I can only hope i'm doing something wrong here..
     
  4. DavidES

    DavidES Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I couldn't get my post finished. Dang server.

    Everything is working like it should. My other post should explain a bit better what I meant since I edited it.

    Forgot to add that 16x9 (1.78:1 ratio) tvs will have letterboxing for ratios greater than 1.78:1 because the tv isn't wide enough.

    Maybe a better way to think of the letterbox is anamorphic in the vertical direction (sort of). We have to squeeze vertically in order to fit the horizontal in.
     
  5. John G

    John G Active Member

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    *sighs*

    thanks for the info david..much appreciated
     
  6. DavidES

    DavidES Well-Known Member

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    John, Did what I post make any sense to you or help to clear up your questions?

    If so I was happy to help.
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    John,

    "Anamorphic" greatly enhances the (vertical) resolution of the image, but does not change its format (hence not the height/width ratio).

    As long as different movies exist with different h/w ratios, you will either have to cut off parts of the image on some or accept black bars, if you want to see the whole movie you payed for. That is, until they invent a rubber TV-monitor that can adjust to the various ratios. [​IMG]

    A widescreen TV set certainly helps, because most (but certainly not all) movies are wider than 4:3 and many modern films are indeed 16x9, which is what a widescreen TV set has.

    Some people help their eyes by constructing black masks that can be fixed to the TV-set by velcro strips (or the like) and thus be adjustable. It's said to really enhance the subjective quality of the image and the viewing pleasure.

    Other people switch to front-projection and buy expensive masking systems. Look on this forum for all sorts of solutions.

    (Of course, one could also simply accept it. [​IMG] )

    Cees
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Well-Known Member

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    "Anamorphic" for DVD is NOT supposed to reduce or eliminate the black bars!

    "Anamorphic" puts more of the picture carrying (active) scan lines in the picture area and fewer in what would be the black bars on a 4:3 TV.

    Except for calibration differences on the TV, the "anamorphic" picture should be of the same dimensions and shape as a "non-anamorphic" picture of the same program in the same wide screen or not wide screen edition (if it existed) after everything is adjusted properly.

    The current DVD standard has only one "anamorphic" format, which is optimized for a 16:9 area on the screen.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  10. John G

    John G Active Member

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    thanks all..i appreciate your posts! It figures i missed the Primer mentioned above (thanks michael) - i think i must have read every anamorphic reference out there, but missed that one - really cleared it up for me. Thanks all!
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Some clarification: 16:9-encoded DVDs ("anamorphic" is a misnomer) possess the same amount of picture resolution as 4:3-encoded DVDs. There is no squeezing or unsqueezing going on. One simply outputs a 16:9 image at full resolution while the other outputs a 4:3 image with the same amount of resolution.

    And to reiterate: Films are shot in several different height/width aspect ratios while consumer displays come in just two. Simple geometry. Ask yourself this: How can either of the two TV/monitor aspect ratios (1.33:1 and 1.78:1) possibly accommodate perfectly all film aspect ratios (anywhere from 1.33:1 to 2.76:1 and even wider)?
     
  12. John G

    John G Active Member

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    i popped in Saving Private Ryan, which according to the cover, is 1.85:1. It fills up my entire screen with no banding whatsoever. If my 16x9 displays 1.78:1 'natively' persay, shouldn't there be banding while viewing a 1.85, as there is with 2.35, etc?
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    The difference between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 is so small that it's usually hidden by the TV's overscan.

    M.
     
  14. John G

    John G Active Member

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    aha! things might finally be making way through my thick skull - thx. You'd think the format in which movies are shot would be standardized to alleviate all this.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  16. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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    Well John one of the reasons (not the only one) that Cinemascope, VistaVision and other widescreen formats came into existence was to provide a theatre experience that you could not get on TV.

    By now, filmmakers choose their format based on how they want the film to look from an artistic perspective, as well as a financial one.
     
  17. John G

    John G Active Member

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    Will/does HD give filmakers the flexibility to shoot in different ratios as well?
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Well-Known Member

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    Oops, looks like you posted while I was typing Michael. :b
     

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