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Glossary – Anamorphic DVDs???

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mike Rivera, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Active Member

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    Hi guys:

    Sorry to be such a dweeb, but, do we have a glossary here?

    I did a search for “anamorphic” and “anamorphic vs. widescreen” and got 138 pages with the word anamorphic in one of the messages, but after 45 minutes, all I could find was the term being used about specific movies.

    I’m looking for a definition I can understand. I read a definition in a magazine, but it didn’t explain the visual difference between watching a DVD in widescreen versus anamorphic. They’re both in the OAR aren’t they?

    I’ve seen numerous people here say they wouldn’t even consider a DVD in widescreen – only anamorphic.

    I have a 42” widescreen plasma. Why is Anamorphic so much better?

    Does it fill the screen better?

    Will a movie in 2:35 still have black bars on the top and bottom if it’s in anamorphic?

    What’s the real scoop?

    Thanks.

    - Mike
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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  3. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Well-Known Member

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    You might also read the Digital Bits's Ultimate Guide to Anamorphic DVD. This is the guide that straightened everything out in my mind. With screenshot reference and everything you need to make things clear.

    The Guide is located at

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...hic/index.html

    [[edit: damn you Vince, you went and edited your post so it had the DB link in there too. Now I look stupid. [​IMG] ]]

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  4. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Well-Known Member

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    The anamorphic process "squeezes" the picture horiztontally so that when played back on a properly set up widescreen TV, it stretches the picture out to its OAR. The difference is that it DOES fill the screen better. If you're watching a movie that is 2.0:1 (Star Trek VI), 1.85:1 (E.T.) or less, such as widescreen TV shows (Sopranos, C.S.I.) it will fill your screen COMPLETELY.

    When watching a movie in cinemascope (anywhere from 2.2:1, 2.35:1 or 2.40:1, you will still get black bars at the top and bottom but they will be much smaller.

    The difference in picture clarity is huge. The reason is this:
    Your DVD only exhibits a certain number of lines of resolution (480). When you watch a widescreen movie that is non-anamorphic, it has to use a generous number of lines of resolution to create the black bars -- lines which are not being used for the picture itself.

    When you watch an anamorphic widescreen movie, it doesn't have to create the black bars, so it is using all of its lines of resolution to create the picture you're wanting to see, resulting in substantially increased clarity.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Active Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I think I got it now!

    - Mike
     
  6. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Well-Known Member

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    Good explanation, Mike W., and just to clarify an issue Mike R. might be wondering about, whether or not a DVD is anamorphic does not make a difference in regards to the "size" of the black bars. That is determined by the aspect ratio, which may vary from film to film. However, the fact that the DVD is anamorphically enhanced will give the picture itself greater resolution than if it was not enhanced.
     
  7. Haggai

    Haggai Well-Known Member

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    The size of the black bars isn't affected if you have a 4X3 television, but anamorphic encoding does change their size if you have a 16X9 display. With a 16X9 display and an anamorphic DVD, the bars become smaller (relative to the size of the movie image) than they would on a 4X3 TV. They're noticeably smaller with a 2:35:1 movie, and basically non-existent with a 1:85:1 movie. But with a non-anamorphic DVD for a movie with a widescreen aspect ratio, all you get on a 16X9 display is a horizontal stretch of the image that doesn't affect the size of the bars. Unless you use a zoom feature, that is, which can give you nice images with non-anamorphic discs (Vertigo looks great when zoomed on my 48" 16X9 television).
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Haggai, I should've clarified that in my post. My statements were based on the presumption that a non-anamorphic disc was being viewed on a 16x9 display in "zoom" mode.
     

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