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Bizarre anamorphic glitch -- help!


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#1 of 12 Brian W.

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Posted March 24 2003 - 11:21 PM

I just bought a new DVD of a Discovery Channel special called "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science." The DVD is distributed by the company that produced the special.

The package claims it is "widescreen - anamorphic 16:9." Okay, I have a standard TV. But when I play the DVD, the feature is squeezed vertically as if the player is on the 16:9 setting -- but at every setting! I tried it at the 4:3 letterbox setting, the 4:3 pan-and-scan setting, and the 16:9 setting. All look the same: squeezed as if it's playing in the 16:9 mode on my standard TV, and no black bars.

It's only on the feature that this happens. The supplements are fine, but appear to be letterboxed and 4:3. What is going on?

I have two DVD players and the disc performs the same on both of them.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Is there some code that was not put on the disc that enables the DVD player to squash the picture and make it letterboxed on a standard television? I almost wonder if they could have just squeezed the whole picture and transferred it at 4:3, but it does say "16:9 on the package.

I'm flabbergasted and rather pissed off. Anyone have any idea what the problem is before I contact the company? Thanks in advance.

#2 of 12 James Reader

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Posted March 24 2003 - 11:27 PM

Yes, it sounds to me that the flag telling the player it is an anamorphic transfer has not been coded or alternatively not recognised by the player.

This fault was present on some of the early APEX players, where certain 16:9 movies were not fully recognised (such as Independence Day)

I would try the disc on somemore players just to check.

Can your television do a 'vertical squeeze'? This would show the feature in the correct dimensions.
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#3 of 12 Brian W.

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Posted March 25 2003 - 01:11 AM

Well, I've already tried it on 2 different players -- a Toshiba and a Cyberhome. I wish I had an anamorphic set I could view it on to make sure it is indeed anamorphic.

#4 of 12 Jeff Kleist

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:22 AM

It is anamorphic. The file is not flagged as such so the player doesn't downconvert it

#5 of 12 Shayne Lebrun

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:08 AM

In other words, it's an anamorphic movie that swears to the player that it's not anamorphic, really!

If you can force your player to play something as though it's anamorphic, that might do the trick.

#6 of 12 Brian W.

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:55 AM

Thanks for the advice, guys.

#7 of 12 Cees Alons

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Posted March 25 2003 - 10:25 AM

Brian, can you (vertically) squeeze the image on your TV set? That should do the trick too!

Cees

#8 of 12 Brian W.

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:38 PM

I can't, unfortunately.

I've contacted the company that distributes it and let them know of the problem. Hopefully, since it presumably is the mastering facility's fault, there will be a repressing.

#9 of 12 Cees Alons

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Posted March 26 2003 - 07:57 PM

Brian,

Sorry for trying once more. I'm sure you know what your talking about, but if the TV set doesn't have a squeeze switch, is it possible to get into the service menue and achieve the same effect? Here's a site that could help.

Cees

#10 of 12 Nick_Scott

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Posted March 27 2003 - 02:36 AM

I know the DVD spec allows the software to override aspect settings. I think this was originally intended to work with the "scan on the fly" feature that was never popular.
DVD menus commonly override the aspect settings.

So, it looks like your DVD was improperly flagged for 'aspect override'.

nick

#11 of 12 Qui-Gon John

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Posted March 27 2003 - 05:30 AM

Brian, at least you don't have black bars on the screen. Posted Image

#12 of 12 Brian W.

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Posted March 27 2003 - 12:33 PM

Quote:
Brian, at least you don't have black bars on the screen


Yeah, I thought that, too. Most people complain, "Why are there black bars?" I complain, "WHERE are the black bars?!" Posted Image

Thanks for the link, Cees. I might give it a try... but the fact remains I paid $30 for a defective DVD.

I did email the company two days ago, but, heh heh, haven't heard back from them yet.