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Problem With DVD Player Adjustment For Widescreen TV

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by SteveJKo, May 30, 2007.

  1. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Well-Known Member

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    Twice in the past month I've had friends purchase their first widescreen HDTV. In both cases, the friends are at a distance, so I'm unable to be with them when they're setting up the new TV. Also in both cases, they are told to go into the DVD players set up menu to "tell" the player that it's now attached to a widescreen set ------ and there is NOTHING THERE! Is it possible that on very inexpensive players the manufacturer has simply dropped the ability of the players to adjust for 16X9 displays? From both friends I'm being told stories of using the anamorphic expansion mode (to properly display "enhanced dvd's") and they are getting black bars, even though the film is supposed to be 1.85:1. With the wider scope films, they are getting what one of them describes to me as a "ribbon" across the screen. Both friends have ended up using one of the various other modes to somewhat correctly display the DVD's, though at the cost of image resolution or distortion of image. Both friends seem to understand what's supposed to be taking place, but both claim there is no place in the dvd players menu to set it for a 16X9 TV. Is this possible or are we just not communicating correctly?
     
  2. Ron Connolly

    Ron Connolly Active Member

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    SteveJKo, It would help to know the brand and model # of the DVD players in question. More info please!
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Some (most??) DVD players do not let you enter the player setup screen if you have a disk in the player. As Ron said, list the make/model of the unit(s) and we can tell you more. All DVD players must have the ability to switch to 16:9 according to the DVD spec.
     
  4. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    It's possible that your friends are pressing the "DISPLAY" button on the remote while a disc is playing and confusing the choices presented there for the players' "SETUP" display sub-menu.

    Tell them to press the "STOP" button twice on the remote and then find the "SETUP" button on the remote. At that point they should be able to find the proper "DISPLAY" sub-menu which will allow them to alter the aspect ratio.

    BTW, this leads me to a PET PEEVE: Every acquaintance that I've checked has had the DVD player set up wrong for their new 16:9 display! After I've set it up for them properly (including running progressive scan component in lieu of s-video) they are usually astonished at how well their old DVDs look on their new displays.

    They don't seem to understand that when the DVD player is setup for a 4:3 aspect ratio it has to take the 16:9 anamorphically-enhanced transfer and "downconvert" it to 4:3 by adding the black bars. Most players do that by a combination of throwing away horizontal lines and averaging lines. So not only do they not derive the inherent increased resolution of the anamorphic transfer, but they also have to endure the vagaries and reduced resolution of their player's "downconversion" circuitry.

    As far as I can tell, 90% of the new owners of 16:9 displays are simply unplugging the s-video connection of their current DVD player from their old 4:3 analog set and then plugging it back in to their new 16:9 digital set. And that's *all* that they do!
     
  5. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Well-Known Member

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    I'll ask the model and brand of player next time I speak with them. This could get tricky, one friend insists his set up is correct, yet he describes "Apocalypto" as having black bars and being a scope film. When I tell him it wasn't even shot on film and that it should perfectly fill his 16X9 display he insists I'm wrong. And let's not even discuss the distortion of the picture........


    Joseph I'm afraid that you're possibly being too generous with your numbers. So far, the only people who I've seen that actually have the DVD player set correctly for a new widescreen TV are two fellow home theatre enthusiasts. And that's it, not one other person understood that the DVD player should be "told" it's working in conjunction with a widescreen set. The worst was a couple of friends who purposely set the player for a 16X9 TV, yet they owned a standard 1.33:1 TV set. When I pointed out that everyone now looked unusually thin their response was, "well ya that's annoying but at least we don't have those black bars". I guess after a while you just have to figure it's their TV and their DVD's, they can melt them down and use them in spaghetti sauce if thats what they like.
     

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