A question for 16:9 TV owners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Blaine Skerry, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    I hope to elicit some comments from widescreen TV owners on how their sets handle unenhanced widescreen movies from either DVD or LD sources.
    What stretch or zoom modes, if any, do you use when watching unenhanced widescreen movies?
    Are you satisfied with the way your tv handles unenhanced widescreen movies?
    If these questions have already been answered, I would appreciate a link to those answers. I'm hoping to buy a new TV within the next year and I still don't know which way to go: 16:9 or 4:3. My main worry is, how will unenhanced widescreen look on a 16:9 display. I have quite a few LD's that are widescreen and also a lot of pre-widescreen films on DVD and LD. By the way, I currently use my TV mostly for DVD and LD watching with only a smattering of cable TV. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Blaine,

    Among the viewing modes on 16/9 sets is one that does a uniform zoom in the horizontal and vertical planes. The intent of this is to modify a native 4/3 picture so that it fills the screen from side to side. Since this zoom is also happening in the vertical dimension, some picture content on a native 4/3 picture is lost off the top and bottom of the screen.

    This zoom mode is the one that should be used for nonanamorphic widescreen dvds or LDs. In my experience it's not too bad. On my set it appears to be done partly by stretching the raster vertically--sorta the opposite of an anamorphic squeeze done by a 4/3 tv with
    a 16/9 mode. Scanlines do become very slightly visible, but they aren't as noticeable as they would be on the same size picture shown on an analog set. Be aware that a very few widescreen sets will not zoom or stretch when fed a progressive scan image, in which case you would have to switch the player to interlaced output for nonanamorphic widescreen movies.

    One alternative that will work for dvd but not LD is to get a dvd player with the "scaling" feature. This allows you to leave the tv in "Full" mode which is the native 16/9 mode used for anamorphic dvd. The scaling feature in the player zooms up the nonanamorphic widescreen picture digitally so there's no "raster expansion" as with the tv's zoom mode.
    JVC players and the Panasonic RP91 have this capability. They also will place black bars on the sides of native 4/3 dvds, like Citizen Kane or other titles whose OAR is 4/3, again with the tv in "Full" mode. Without scaling for 4/3 pictures, you would put the TV in "Normal" mode which displays a normal 4/3 image in the center with gray bars on the sides to minimize burnin. In "normal" mode, no raster alteration is done so the picture is very nice, but the grey bars are more distracting than black.
     
  3. Gerry S

    Gerry S Stunt Coordinator

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    I am in the same situation, and was wondering if there was a way to display the 4:3 image on a 16:9 without any distortion?
    For example, say I buy a 16:9 projector and 16:9 screen that measures 49"x87"(100" diag). Is it true that my 16:9 projector can display an undistorted 4:3 image that will measure 49"x65.25"? If I am correct, there will only be ~10" of unused screen on each side, which is totally tolerable. However, I have read that the unused part of the screen will display untolerable gray bars, is this true?
    Anyway, not sure if my calculations are correct and hope someone can confirm this.
    Thanks,
    Gerry
     
  4. Gene S

    Gene S Agent

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  5. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    Thanks to everyone for the comments and thank you, Mr. Reuben, for the link; although it doesn't really deal with the way unenhanced widescreen movies are displayed on 16:9 sets.
     
  9. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    i have a panny pt53WX52 and i use the 'ZOOM' mode to watch non-anamophic widescreen material. depending on the original aspect ratio you sometimes loose a bit of picture at the top and the bottom due to the streching, and the scanlines are more pronounced, but i find it acceptable and much better than grey bars on the sides. The new series panasonic tv's (WX42/WX52) will let you stretch a progressive signal, while the older models will not.
     
  10. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Scott,

    Is it true that the RP-91 isn't that good with video-based material in Progressive scan?
    Someone in another thread said it didn't perform so well in that area.
    Does anyone know the details of the scaling feature on the upcoming Philips DVD player? Will it be manual like the RP-91 or flag dependent? Supposedly this player will have excellent Progressive performance all around with the Faroudja chip, but all ready I saw a rumor it had audio issues. Anyone know any facts or how to find them?
     
  11. Michael Sherman

    Michael Sherman Auditioning

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    I just got a Samsung 30" widescreen (TXM3096WFH) and I find that for normal 4/3 sources the "Panoramic" setting on the TV is great; it stretches in a non-linear manner. The middle of the images remains somewhat normal with more stretching out on the sides. I prefer this over the "Zoom" modes because nothing is lost on the top and bottom. It takes a little getting used to, but I'd rather not see the annoying grey bars on either side.

    Of course for DVDs, I only buy discs with widescreen format, so I use the TV's "Wide" mode.
     
  12. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    To answer some of my own question for those of you who may be interested in the new Philips DVD 963SA (a CES Innovation Award winner), the www.philips.com site lists in regards to zoom and aspect ratio control this info:
    Zoom (x1.33, x 2, x 4) with picture enhancement.
    Aspect Ratio Conversion (16:9, 4:3 letterbox, 4:3 pan and scan)
    Now, whether the aspect ratio conversion modes are automatic or flag dependent or can be done manually I still don't know.
    Once we star seeing reviews of this player maybe we'll know if we've found a good model for watching 4:3 DVD's on fussy HDTV sets.
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Depending on how close you plan to sit, I cannot recommend the Panny widescreen TVs for its zoom mode. I use ~8ft eyes-to-screen distance for my 53", and the scan lines in zoom mode are too visible PLUS the overall image doesn't look good. I must point out though that I'm still using an old Toshiba interlaced player, so it might look better w/ a good prog-scan player like the Panny RP82. Certainly, most other Panny owners seem to have no complaints about it even when I bring it up.
    Actually, at ~8ft distance, even some anamorphic DVDs aren't gonna look good due to MPEG2 compression artifacts and the limits of DVD resolution. They almost make me wish I went w/ a smaller set. [​IMG]
    _Man_
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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  16. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Well, it's available now. Hopefully we'll start getting the nitty-gritty details from those first brave U.S. buyers.
     
  17. dan fritzen

    dan fritzen Second Unit

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    Can someone please calrify for me, I have several DVD's i.e. Strange Days that do not play correctly on my 16:9 TV. Is this because they are not anamorphic? I thought it was a problem with the DVD's or my player, a JVC.

    Strange Days refuses to accept I have a 16:9 TV and full mode has black bars twice as thick as they should be. Where As Blade 2 is ~2.35:1 and that has no black bars on my tv in full mode. I have the Sony 34XBR800.
     
  18. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Strange Days is non-anamorphic. Not sure if it's properly flagged. You could try setting your JVC player to 16x9 Normal(?) to see if that works.

    Otherwise, you'll have to set your TV to zoom mode, instead of full mode.

    _Man_
     

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