Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

- - - - -

16:9 TO 4:3 Converter

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 of 41 OFFLINE   EdNichols


    Second Unit

  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 15 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 02:01 AM

I have a rear projection TV with 4:3 and I when I get movies I always get the full screen versions, but it seems that the trend is going toward 16:9 and I know eventually I will have to bit the bullet and go HDTV. Also, when I borrow movies most of them are 16:9 which kinda ruins the movie experience having to watch a sliver of a movie on my screen. Is there a converter box that I can hook up to my TV to convert 16:9 to 4:3?

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   James Phung

James Phung

    Second Unit

  • 409 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 04 2004

Posted May 06 2005 - 02:23 AM

I'm not aware of any converters, but most dvd players have zoom options, I'd look into getting a player with some nice zoom options.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   EdNichols


    Second Unit

  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 15 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 02:27 AM

My DVD player has zoom which I haven't tried but I would think with a 16:9 movie on a 4:3 screen it would just be a close up with the big black bars. Hate those bars.

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   James Phung

James Phung

    Second Unit

  • 409 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 04 2004

Posted May 06 2005 - 02:52 AM

Depending on the zoom of your player, it should eliminate some of the bars. Depending on your player, the results may not look the best as you are zooming in on the picture, whether you're using a converter or dvd player, that is, unless you're using some expensive scaler. You're better off getting pan & scanned (4:3) version of the movie as they crop off the least important part of the image rather than the same sides when compared to zooming. I think many (if not most) people here would prefer to watch the movie in widescreen as you won't be losing any of the picture for widescreen movies.

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   John S

John S


  • 5,460 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 04 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 03:08 AM

As other said. Infinite zoom, will fix you right up. Where you you hit the arrow buttons each direction to decide how much zoom crop you want. I still suggest OAR though, they way movies and content in general are meant to be. But it does work. You still losing some resolution though.

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

Jack Briggs

    Executive Producer

  • 16,727 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 03 1999

Posted May 06 2005 - 03:11 AM

You are not watching a "sliver of a movie" on your screen. Rather, it's the 4:3-encoded pan-and-scan films that you are watching presently that are the "slivers." Please remember, Home Theater Forum is dedicated to preserving artistic intentions in the cinema experience.

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   John S

John S


  • 5,460 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 04 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 03:25 AM

Yeah it's a tough sell on forums like this. When you view in 4:3, that is when your only getting part of the movie. It is a mind set change for many. If you find the black bars distracting, you can come up with a masking system and not see them at all. But forums like this one will even delete threads of people that want Pan and Scan over OAR (Original Aspect Ratio, as most of us here feel that strongly about it in all honesty.

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   ChrisMatson



  • 2,182 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 14 2000

Posted May 06 2005 - 03:37 AM


I see that you have been here for some time. Please review the importance of preserving the aspect ratio here: http://www.rexer.com/cine/oar.htm

#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Dick Boneske

Dick Boneske

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 132 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 2004

Posted May 06 2005 - 04:35 AM

Ed, Why don't you buy a new TV with 16:9 display? Projection TV prices are down to less than $1,000. You also will have HD capability with a 16:9 set. Your desire to watch movies full-screen on a 4:3 TV is understandable, but impossible to accomplish without losing some of the image. Wouldn't you rather see the entire frame undistorted instead of the compromise of all other methods of filling the screen? It seems strange that you are particular about black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, but don't care about lost or distorted content in a zoomed or otherwise distorted picture.

#10 of 41 OFFLINE   EdNichols


    Second Unit

  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 15 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 04:43 AM

Chris, Thanks for the site. You are right, I have been around the forum for a while but I have been concentrating mostly on the audio end. Now I am wanting to look at the video side of HT. One question, if some of the movies are now being produced in 2.35:1 will HDTV be going to this format in the future? If not, will we be destined to have bars on movies from now on? Dick, I forsee a new HDTV but since I have sunk a pretty good size wad into the audio side of my HT I was hoping I could get by with some sort of converter box for a while. I also have a entertainment center that is just the right size for my present TV and getting a new TV means a new center also. What is sad is when I do eventually get the 16:9 TV the movies I have now won't look right. Oh well.

#11 of 41 OFFLINE   DaveF



  • 16,089 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted May 06 2005 - 05:33 AM

I suggest making mattes for your TV. Using black, foam-core cardboard, making masks to place on the upper and lower portions fo the TV to block out the black bars and the TV cabinet, framing the widescreen movie. It sound silly and you're ready to dismiss it, but I think you will love it. You will forget about the black bars, the movies will seem more cinematic, and you'll wonder how you got along without it. I did this with a 27" TV, and it was the single best tweak. I haven't gotten around to it with my 36", but I expect it would be similarly pleasing.

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

Michael TLV

    THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

  • 2,909 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 2000
  • Real Name:Michael Chen
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta

Posted May 06 2005 - 07:17 AM

Greetings If artistic integrity matters for audio ... why not for video? That aside ... a scaled and zoomed image from a 2.35:1 widescreen film will likely have only 35% or so of the image detail that the comparable 4:3 p/s version has. This is moving into VHS territory if not worse because zoomed images won't even P/S for you. It is simply a static centered image. No processor out there will magically create new detail to insert into the picture out of nothing. It won't add additional beard stuble to a face ... (but how would it know to add beard stuble versus car tires on a person's face?) If such a magic black box did exist ... expect it to cost much more than your TV or probably the entire A/V system. How come we don't complain about black bars in the theaters ...? Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
THX Video Systems Instructor/ISF Instructor
Lion A/V Consultants Network - TLVEXP.com

#13 of 41 OFFLINE   EdNichols


    Second Unit

  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 15 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 07:36 AM

"How come we don't complain about black bars in the theaters .." Maybe I am blind but I don't notice black bars at the theater. However, I was at a hi-fi store the other day and was watching a $6000 HDTV and it had bars in it!! If I am gonna pay that much money for a set I want to see picture, not bars!!

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Keith_R



  • 1,179 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 16 2001
  • Real Name:Kyle
  • LocationFL

Posted May 06 2005 - 08:03 AM

Greetings, I don't know of any converter boxes but I do know that many DVD players have zoom functions.OAR is the best way to go though, I have a smallish 20 inch 4:3 and all of my movies are in widescreen format, I don't really see a problem with this and truthfully after 2-4 years of viewing this way it becomes acceptable.
I'm not an expert but this is what I've learned through my research in looking for an HDTV. Was this Tv displaying a movie with bars still on the top and bottom? if that's what you saw you were probably seeing a movie that was shot wider than the Tv (2.35:1 aspect ratio) which in that case would produce an image with black bars on the top and bottom, the black bars are reduced in size though and will not be as big as viewing a movie like that on your 4:3 screen. It all depends on the aspect ratio of the DVD. Were the bars you saw on the sides of the set and not top and bottom? if that was the case you were probably viewing 4:3 content on this HDTV which would reproduce the square shape of your standard television. Older shows that were shot long before the advent of widescreen televisions were shot in the in the 4:3 ratio and were made to fit on a normal television, if you view stuff like this on a widescreen television it will display black or grey bars on the side of the picture. Many HDTV's have modes that can handle this content and make it fill your screen but they do this by zooming or cropping the picture which can distort what you are viewing. Likewise watching a pan and scan copy of a DVD will have this effect on a widescreen television. Hope this helps.

#15 of 41 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



  • 4,791 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 19 2002

Posted May 06 2005 - 08:11 AM

You will always have bars unless you employ variable masking. It's the way of the world, learn to deal with it. I can't fathom ever buying full-screen DVDs. You are crossing into dangerous territory...

#16 of 41 OFFLINE   Jarett


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 158 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 23 2004

Posted May 06 2005 - 08:23 AM

Hey all, Just thought i'd jump in on this. Frankly I do not know why some people think 4:3 dvd's are a crime, i never feel like i didnt see a part of the movie. Yah u dont get to see it all but if its 16:9 on my tv the actual space the image is in is about half of what i would get with 4:3. Dont get me wrong, 16:9 are great, just like the cinemas, but if ur screen is tiny as it is, having widescreen makes it even smaller. TV (other thand HD) is all 4:3...are we missing something when we whatch regular tv? Or is it different film? Either way I would like 16:9 on a big tv but on a 27" its a little to small... J P.S. I never zooom when i rent a 16:9...pan and scan is much better. Just my 2 cents

#17 of 41 OFFLINE   George_W_K



  • 1,486 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 13 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 09:07 AM

This is from the Home Theater Forum Mission Statement:
That is why some of us are against "Fullscreen" versions of DVDs. If the movie was filmed in a 4:3 ratio, then that's how we want it on DVD. If not, then we want it in whatever way the creator of the movie intended. Personally, I've never been bothered by the "black bars" so I can't completely relate to those who are, small picture or not. But, I won't be hostile to those that are bothered. I'll just disagree with them and go with the "it's their loss" approach. Pun intended.

#18 of 41 OFFLINE   RomanSohor


    Second Unit

  • 360 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 09 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 09:09 AM

No you're not missing anything because regular TV is shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio - so it is appering in its intended format.
Roman Sohor, CTS

#19 of 41 OFFLINE   RomanSohor


    Second Unit

  • 360 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 09 2003

Posted May 06 2005 - 09:10 AM

I also just thought of something else, if you don't care if the picture is stretched out, why not just tell your DVD player it is hooked up to a widescreen TV, that way it won't add letterboxing to the movies.
Roman Sohor, CTS

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   Vader


    Supporting Actor

  • 809 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 19 1999
  • Real Name:Derek

Posted May 06 2005 - 09:23 AM

Dangerous ground indeed...
One sub to rumble them all. One sub to shake them. One sub to humble them all. And in the darkness break them.
"Ya see, we plan ahead. That way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me." - Valentine McKee


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users