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Nonanamorphic DVD + 1080i upconvert + Zoom?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted November 18 2006 - 04:37 AM

It's been eons since I posted here, but the arrival of a new Sony KDS-50A2000 TV has thrown my previously well-ordered home theater into disarray. I've pretty much licked most of the issues, but there's one thing left that's vexing me. I'm not sure if it belongs here or in Display Devices, so I'll post it here -- please move if need be. I also apologize is this is a FAQ, but a search didn't help.

I've got a Denon 2910 I'm using with the above TV. Anamorphic DVDs are amazing with this combo. I'm holding off on HD discs until the format war gets resolved (or combo players are common), but the quality I'm seeing now doesn't make me think I'm missing a lot.

However, nonanamorphic widescreen DVDs are a bit of an issue. The "Zoom" mode on the Sony *should* properly zoom such discs (it works fine with the 1080i output of my Dish satellite receiver), but it doesn't, at least in 1080i mode. The left and right sides are significantly cropped, and the image is noticeably stretched horizontally. (Note that I'm not talking about "Wide Zoom", which is supposed to distort the picture.)

If I set the Denon to 480p, Zoom mode works correctly. However, I like the 1080i mode better -- the contrast seems wonky in 480p.

I'm assuming this is because the Denon is sending out a "16x9" signal in 1080i mode and a "4x3" signal in 480p mode, and that it's confusing the Sony in a way that the 1080i signal from the Dish box isn't.

It's not a life-changing problem to change the resolution for those rare nonanamorphic discs, but is there a simple setting somewhere in either the player or the TV that will allow the Zoom mode to play nice with the Denon in 1080i?



#2 of 6 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted November 19 2006 - 06:44 AM

Have you cheched the DVD players settings to ensure that the output is set to 16:9?

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted November 20 2006 - 01:32 AM

Yes, it's set to 16x9.

I discovered there's a "squeeze mode" in the player settings that forces the image into a "windowboxed" mode (4x3 image inside 16x9 frame), which seems to work better. However, it's a manual setting that is only accessible from the player setup menu (no discrete remote code), so it's much more onerous to get to than the HDMI output setting, which is a one-button change.

I notice that the new 2930CI offers an "auto-squeeze" mode, which is what I'm looking for. Typical.


#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted November 21 2006 - 08:42 AM

If the player squeezes first and then upconverts to 1080i (or squeezes only), some sharpness is lost compared with upconverting to 1080i first and then squeezing.

1080i (and also 720p) source is "normally" 16:9. Some TV's don't offer any zoom or other choices when getting 1080i or 720p. This is apparently not the case because you say satellite TV shows don't have this issue.

(If the TV won't let you zoom, etc. using 480p or 480i sources, return it. Otherwise you will be cursing for years to come.)

Disney hints:

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted November 22 2006 - 01:33 AM

Thanks. I've indeed got all the zoom options in all resolutions. Here's a handy guide (all HDMI):

1080i 4x3 letterbox from Dish ViP622: "Zoom" mode works correctly
1080i 4x3 fullscreen from Dish ViP622: Windowboxed in "Wide" mode
1080i 4x3 letterbox from Denon 2910: "Zoom" mode is stretched horizontally and cropped on the sides
1080i 4x3 fullscreen from Denon 2910: Stretched in "Wide" mode, need to use "Normal" mode
480p 4x3 letterbox from Denon 2910: "Zoom" mode works correctly

Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to make the Denon windowbox just 4x3 while leaving 16x9 alone -- it's windowbox all the time or never, and the setting is buried in a setup menu.

And again, the new Denon 2930 seems to auto-detect 4x3 and behave correctly, judging from the manual. Bleah.

See, I'm spoiled because I used to use a 4x3 HD-compatible CRT. So everything "just worked" with no fiddling. The Denon's oddities when upconverting were never an issue because the old TV only had component inputs. Progress is never painless.


#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted November 25 2006 - 07:13 AM

I have a Denon 2930CI and it's quite unfortunate Denon does have a good zooming function for non-anamorphic DVDs like the Oppo 970 does (which is about 1/6th the price of the 2930CI). I use 1080i HDMI on the 2930CI and simlply allow my display to do the zooming for letterbox material (which isn't the greatest). I haven't really experimented with the auto-zoom, but no issues so far.