4:3 HDTV's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Lambrou, Oct 6, 2001.

  1. Chris Lambrou

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    Aren't 4:3 HDTV's a contradiction? I mean isn't an HDTV signal 16x9? Will these 4:3 sets that display 480p and up signals, have to show black bars when showing a true HDTV broadcast? Will some HDTV broadcass be 4:3?
    I'm confused....
     
  2. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    True HD is 16:9 so you will see black bars on top and bottom of a 4:3 HDTV. A lot of the 4:3 HD people watch is upconverted material, it looks good but not as good as when it is true HD. I would go with a 16:9 tv because that is the future. Good luck on what ever you decide.
     
  3. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    4:3 HDTV's are the biggest waste of money in the HD business. Would you buy a two story home if in 5 years there was going to be a law limiting all houses to 1 story? Well, when the HD rollover occurs, all those 4:3 sets will be pretty much obsolete.
    Bruce
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    Welcome aboard the Satellite of Love
     
  4. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    Feh. There will always be 4:3 programming (reruns). Consider the Philips 4:3 60PP9601 versus 16:9 55PP9701. Both produce the identical 55" 16:9 picture using identical hardware. After a couple of adjustments in the service menu, the only differences between the sets is that the Philips 4:3 set's passive screen is taller and the 55PP9701 costs $1200 more. The situation is similar for the Sony HS10/30 versus Sony widescreen RPTV's.
    The advantages of 16:9 sets are that HDTV content fills the screen (but not 2.35:1 movies on Showtime-HD or DVD) and 4:3 content is smaller, which makes it easier to sit at one distance from the set for all content. These advantages sometimes come at great cost.
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  5. Andy L

    Andy L Stunt Coordinator

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    I completely disagree about 4:3 sets being a waste of money. Many if not most 4:3 HD sets have an anamorphic mode so that they squeeze the raster for a 1080i signal. Thus, you still get the full resolution of the HD picture. Meanwhile, while 90+% of the shows are only broadcast in 4:3, you get the benefit of a full screen presentation.
    I can understand why someone would choose to buy a 16:9 set for the future, but I can also understand why someone would buy a 4:3 set with a squeeze mode today.
     
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    With a 4:3 HDTV capable set you need to beware of those that do an 810 scan line downconversion when playing 16:9 HDTV shows. You want an optical squeeze, that keeps all 1080i scan lines active.
    As far as I know, the downconversion to 810 scan lines is accepted as part of the HDTV standard for TV sets but must be disclosed to the consumer.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  7. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Im probably buying a 4:3 HDTV soon before New Years.. why?
    Because almost 80% of the stuff i watch on my current HT TV is in 4:3, and overall 98% of everyting i watch is in 4:3...
    And its also much cheaper than a 16:9...
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  8. Michael St. Clair

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    (crossposted from the Software Area, my response to another member expressing concern about burn-in watching Twin Peaks on his 16:9 set)
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Ha!
    Tell that to somebody like me.
    An addict of:
    Twin Peaks
    The X-Files
    Star Trek (all series except Voyager)
    The Prisoner
    The Avengers
    The Prisoner
    Secret Agent / Danger Man
    ...and several other high-quality 4:3 shows
    And an even bigger fan of:
    Looney Tunes / Merry Melodies
    MGM cartoons
    Betty Boop cartoons
    Popeye cartoons
    ...and many other classics
    And of course I can't live without 4:3 classic films like:
    Snow White
    Citizen Kane
    King Kong (1933)
    It's a Wonderful Life
    The Red Shoes
    all of the Marx Bros films
    early Alfred Hitchcock
    ...and a few hundred other films
    And on the weekend I have to watch some baseball and open wheel racing, both of which are on Fox Sports and ESPN, both of which have no interest in doing 16:9 HD in the next few years.
    And don't forget IMAX!
    And most of the rest of the movies I watch are 2.35:1, which are going to have black bars on any set! I bet 15% of the movies I watch are 1.85:1 or 1.77:1.
    But even mention getting a 4:3 HD set that has a proper 16:9 squeeze mode, and people treat you like you are a war criminal. They'll tell you that you are supposed to get used to stretching, cropping, and otherwise mutilating the image of your 4:3 material. They'll tell you that you are stupid, that you just don't understand or 'get it', that 4:3 sets should not be made, and that you are buying an 'antique'.
    Nah, better to buy a 16:9 set so you can spend the next 5 years watching Family Law and the New York Lacrosse league without any black bars around the picture.
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Michael St. Clair on October 08, 2001 at 01:56 PM]
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    EXACTLY what Michael said!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Michael,
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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    I posted that message over four months ago.
    In the meantime, people have gotten a lot more tolerant of sets of various ratios. I'm proud of the forum membership on this progress.
    Jan,
    I've read your article before. I like it a lot. I'd probably only change one thing. The FCC 'deadlines' are just about anything but. And those so-called deadlines don't apply to the hundreds of cable/satellite-only stations. And 8 of the 18 ATSC (DTV) modes are 4:3; terrestrial stations can digitally broadcast 480i 4:3 until the end of time. Omitting this information gives a skewed view as to what is required in the future.
    I'm still enjoying ISF tweaked HDTV (and anamorphic DVD) at 48.6" and 480i/p at 53". Loving it, in fact.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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  13. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  14. Michael St. Clair

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    Damn, I thought it felt a LOT longer than 4 months ago. I should have looked at the dates more closely.
    And the forum collective has mellowed considerably regarding 4:3 sets since then. Back then it wasn't unusual to get downright rude responses to even suggesting that some people might be better off with a 4:3 set.
    Even Jan has mellowed a lot...he used to be a real hardliner. [​IMG]
    One thing that is practically never addressed is the Laserdisc crowd. It's a damned shame that too this day letterboxed laserdiscs look better on 4:3 sets than most 16:9 sets. Pioneer is still the only exception. Some of us have hundreds of laserdiscs and that is a real consideration.
     
  15. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  16. Michael St. Clair

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    David,
    A year and a half ago there were probably only a couple of people on the forum who publicly admitted buying a 4:3 HD set. There are several now, and at least one administrator. And there is a lot less conflict in the discussion, though there are occasional exceptions.
    I have absolutely nothing against 16:9 sets, and have said for a long time that 16:9 sets are the best choice for most of the contemporary home-theater crowd.
    I certainly hope within the next few years that I find myself upgrading to a 80-100" front-projection setup that can at least do native 720p (hopefully 1080p) and has excellent black-level. The projector will almost certainly have 16:9 panels and I have no issue with that.
    In the meantime, given my current viewing habits (including 6 HD channels), budget, and room size, I'll be best served by my 4:3 HDTV.
     
  17. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Michael,

    Yes, I was much more of a hardliner, but your arguments (and others') opened my eyes.

    I'd advise everyone who wants to enjoy legacy material in its OAR to buy it up now. I have this itchy fear that, as 16:9 takes over, we're going to see cropped, stretched and otherwise malformed versions cropping up on broadcast TV...not to mention those @#%&*! network bugs.

    I could be wrong about this, but as they say, just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

    Jan
     
  18. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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  19. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Last note ...

    4:3 material when viewed in a native form on 16:9 sets is compromised compared to a native 4:3 display.

    16:9 sets have to process the 4:3 image one more time to make it fit the screen by adding bars to the image.

    Regards
     
  20. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    As I've said in many posts on this (and other) boards, I am the proud owner of a 60-inch 4x3 set. It provides me the best of all worlds: a very large image for letterboxed DVDs (comparable to a 50+ inch 16x9 set), and a large 4x3 area for those things I watch most, namely sports, news and other TV programming.

    I'll stick with 4x3 for as long as it will carry me. My guess is that it will be well into the next decade, at least.
     

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