4:3 burn in on a 16:9 set?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam Nixon, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    I'm seriously contemplating the jump to a 16:9 RPTV. However, I'm VERY concerned about the potential for burn-in from a 4:3 source. "Stretch" modes are NOT an option, as a view distorting a 4:3 OAR as bad as pan&scan for 2.35:1 movies. After the obvious tweaks out of the box, how much harm can occur by watching a 4:3 source with the gray bars on?
     
  2. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're going to discard stretch modes altogether - which I consider foolish as many 16:9 TVs have stretch modes that produce a very watchable image, but it's your money so spend it the way you want - then get a 4:3 TV if you plan on watching anything other than HDTV and DVDs. You cannot avoid uneven phosphor wear without using stretch modes, period.
     
  3. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    That's what I was afraid of -- looks like I'll be waiting a little longer for a 16:9 TV as a primary display device. As for the stretch modes, watchable or not, they still distort the image. For a forum that has successfully lobbied and kept widescreen releases coming from studios, I have a hard time understanding why so many people have no problem stretching a 4:3 source. This is akin to watching an "unsqueezed" 2.35:1 anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 set.
     
  4. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

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    As an alternative you could go for an LCD or DLP set (which will cost more money) that burn-in isn't a concern with.
     
  5. Jael

    Jael Agent

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    On this issue I think it comes down to what one pursues as essential material. Cable comes in a little fuzzy, and, in my area, doesn't have 5.1 sound so overall I don't mind stretching the material. This is primarily because it didn't look all that great to begin with. When I really get serious and want to watch a good movie that's when it's important to me to have the best experience possible. A good progressive signal, a nice display, immersive sound, and a comfortable place to sit, and most importantly no 300 cell phone calls while I'm watching a movie[​IMG]!!!
     
  6. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    A few thoughts...

    If you stick to 4 X 3, will it still be a RPTV? And, if so, are you aware that they have the same potential for burn-in as a 16 X 9 RPTV?

    What this means is that you would still have static images on the set with your 4 X 3 standard set everytime you are watching anything other than a 4 X 3 image (any widescreen DVDs or widescreen VHS, or widescreen laser discs, or widescreen HDTV images, for example). You would have top and bottom masking bands, right? And, those would be static. And, if they are black, they are potentially more of a risk for burn in than if they are gray masking bands.

    So... if you want a bigger image, as soon as you make the switch to RPTV, you run the risk of burn-in, no matter which you choose. And, you still must make compromises...

    Because of this, there are people who compromise some of the "aesthetics" in order to reduce the risk of burn-in. I do. I have a 16 X 9, and I use stretch modes for all cable TV. I will do the same once I switch to satellite (on the regular satellite stuff). I chose a set with a stretch mode which is very watchable. By the way, I said nothing to my family, and as far as I know, neither the wife nor the two kids are even AWARE that they are watching a "stretched image" when they watch regular TV. They are not observant enough to have noticed... I can tell, but only when I look for it; it has never distracted me while watching.

    With a widescreen set, IF you reduce your contrast (as you should, anyway), and your brightness, AND you vary your watching enough (some 4 X 3 stuff, some 1:85:1 DVDs, some 2:35:1 DVDs, not too much of any one thing, not too much of any one channel), then you would PROBABLY be okay. Of course, no one can say for certain.

    Or, you can decide where you want to place your compromise. That is what I did. If you instead use stretch modes for some stuff, this greatly increases the odds that you will be perfectly fine, and never have burn in. Even though I watch more 4 X 3 stuff, I am willing to watch a sitcom, or old reruns of Seinfeld in the "hybrid stretch" mode. This mode crops the picture, but only a tiny bit. It stretches the picture, but the stretch is greater the further you move away from the center. I am not that critical of MOST television watching. I am much more critical when it comes to a beautifully transferred DVD. Then, I want to see what the film director intended. (On a few DVDs that are very, very widescreen, I will Zoom the image, again because I do not care. On most, I stick with what the director wanted).

    If you are planning a direct view, the risk of burn in is still there, but it is much, much, less... even to the point of being rare. So rare, you do not have to worry at all.

    And, there are people here who always watch what the director intended, just as there are some people who almost never watch what the director intended. I am somewhat in the middle of those. I just don't have as much respect for what the director of "Everybody Loves Raymond" intended, but I have agreat deal of respect for what the director of "Memento" intended.

    You have to decide what is best for you. The truth is, no matter which way you go, there are compromises involved. Just think it through...

    -Bruce in Chi-Town
     
  7. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    Thanks, everyone. I've been debating the merits of a 36" set and one of the new Panasonic 53" 16:9 sets that Onecall has at such a good price. Unfortunately, I think I'll probably need one of each -- a general, 4:3, everyday TV AND a 16:9 beast for a dedicated theater. I don't think I could bring myself to buy a 4:3 RPTV.
     
  8. Brent Harritt

    Brent Harritt Auditioning

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    Thanks, what a great forum. This thread has just validated my widescreen purchase decision. Since I too cannot live with the stretch modes on 4:3 source material, and since 4:3 will be the standard for a few more years at least, I will just live with my old, analog TV until the situation improves. I cannot see investing in a 4:3 bigscreen for only a very few years at best, nor do I have the physical space for both a standard and widescreen TV. Som when the majority of broadcast TV is 16:9, or the burn in problems go away (perhaps DLP?), I fail to see a better solution.
     
  9. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I don't really consider the evening news to be prime viewing material. It all comes down to what you watch in 4x3 and how important it is to you. If it's just sitcoms, evening news, etc. Why would you even care if they were stretched. Is sure don't. In terms of quality importance DVD would rank up at about 10 and TV would rank at about 3. Heck, I don't even turn on my receiver when I watch normal TV. I use the internal TV speakers for the news, tv shows, etc.
     
  10. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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    i still would get annoyed in stretch mode on anything. It doesn't matter to me what show is on, if I cant see it properly, i'm going to be pissed.
     
  11. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I'm not bothered at all by seeing some material stretched using the non-linear stretch mode. To me it's like watching the show through a 35mm (slightly wide angle) lens rather than a 50mm (standard) lens.

    I think it may be less disturbing to lots of people because it mimics what we see in movies so much that we don't even register it as being different.

    Jan
     
  12. Brent Harritt

    Brent Harritt Auditioning

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    It truly amazes me that people are willing to spend many thousands of dollars on a big screen TV and 7.1 surround sound, then are perfectly content to watch an intentionally distorted picture! Perhaps because I am a somewhat serious photographer, my eyes are more sensitive to this distortion, but if my Nikon equipment produced this kind of distortion, it would have been returned long ago. Also for what it is worth, I use a 28mm wide angle (even more wide angle than a 35mm lens) quite a bit and don't get any distortion (but then I don't try to use a wide angle lens for a closeup portrait!)
     
  13. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    For the majority of the "Important"(DVD, HDTV, etc.) material being watched on a 16x9 set, the picture is flawless.

    That's what people spend thousands on. They don't spend thousands on a TV so they can get the local news perfect. That's impossible, it's not transmitted perfect like HDTV and DVD's. I look at it this way: it's already messed up anyway, so what's the harm in messing it up even more? I paid all this money to get the best picture and sound from HDTV and DVD films, not the local news.
     
  14. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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  15. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Well said Jan! There will always be compromises.
    If the industry would have released only 1 aspect ratio for everything (HDTV, TV, DVD, Theaters), we wouldn't have this problem because there wouldn't be different aspect ratio TV sets and there would be no black bars anywhere. Sadly, that's not the case so we have to live with it and get used to it.
    On top of that, I think people put to much concern on burn in. Sure it happens but if you set everything to the proper levels it shouldn't be an issue. Look at all the 4x3 sets that get countless hours of widescreen viewing, I bet only a small percentage even have the slightest amount of burn in on the top and bottom. So I don't think 1-2 hours of 4x3 viewing on a 16x9 set will do you any harm if you don't like to stretch the picture. At least you have that option should you decide to get a 16x9 set.
     

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