Anamorphic DBS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lanny Hoff, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    A friend of mine just got a new DirectTV PVR system, and he is telling me that he gets anamorphic broadcasts of things like movies on IFC, the Sopranos on HBO and other programming with "LB" designations.

    I've got a DIshplayer system with the TV set to 16X9 on the settings page and I don't get the benefit of this at all.

    What gives? Anybody have any advice, wisdom or observations?
     
  2. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Your friend is confusing "anamorphic" with "letterboxed."
     
  3. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think so.

    He describes a situation where he'll tune into a program and the people are stretched vertically. He puts his TV into the "squeeze" mode and it turns out fine, exactly like an anamorphic DVD.

    He reports a dramatic increase in picture quality.

    The guy is a PhD, is smarter than anyone I know, is intimately familiar with the workings of his television, and is not pulling my leg.

    Any other input?
     
  4. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    DirecTV is set up to do anamorphic broadcasts if they wanted. The only one I was aware of was a PPV showing of Apocalypse Now 4 or 5 years ago, ever since they were just doing it as straight LB. I'll have to check this out, maybe they are starting to do it again? The only other explanation would be if he was watching an HD channel.
     
  5. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmm.

    I'll do some more checking into this. I can't believe it's that rare.

    Anybody else have experience with this?
     
  6. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    It's very rare. I've seen two anamorphic programs on the History Channel, and there was a Cirque Soliel special on Bravo, I think, that was supposedly anamorphic. I've never seen an anamorphic movie on DirecTV.
     
  7. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    My friend reports that he gets the Sopranos, West Wing, several movies on IFC and other channels all in anamorphic format.

    He has a brand-new receiver, could this have anything to do with it? I don't think the receiver is HD. It's a Sony with built-in PVR, dual tuners and is silver in color. Cost about $500 on the shelf and he is getting a rebate.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I suppose it's possible that the receiver is doing some sort of up-conversion. But none of these channels is sending out anamorphic broadcasts.

    M.
     
  9. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    I read some time ago on the TiVo Community Forum that the Sony's Ultimate TV box (which is probably what Lanny's friend has) will do an anamorphic upconversion (scaling) of sorts, similar to what Panasonic RP-91 DVD player does with non-enhanced LBX. So that could be it.
     
  10. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahh! That could be it!

    I'll do a little checking on this to get closer to the answer.

    Thanks for the lead!
     
  11. Lanny Hoff

    Lanny Hoff Stunt Coordinator

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    That's the answer. The receiver that he has does a basic scaling maneuver that looks like it's anamorphic to his TV, which explains everything.

    I'd say this is a desirable feature for a DBS receiver.
     
  12. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    >>>The receiver that he has does a basic scaling maneuver that looks like it's anamorphic to his TV.
    Done right, this is a valuable feature for non-anamorphic wide screen programs. Used together with a 16:9 TV or a 4:3 TV with squeeze, the picture is much better than zoom (16:9 TV) or normal/letterbox (4:3 TV) because we have 480 scan lines in the picture instead of 360.
    I wish DVD players and external doublers would incorporate this scaling.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  13. Ben Williams

    Ben Williams Auditioning

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    What exactly is this doing if it is not anamorphic? I've had multiple DTV boxes and all of them had a 16:9 switch but it never did anything. I have the RCA UltimateTV and I just assumed from the behavior that it was using anamorphic signals (several channels including ER on NBC, HBO, IFC, FMC)
    Whatever it is, it is either anamorphic or emulates the same signal characteristic (skinny unless restretched) and it is great for my widescreen TV [​IMG] and is definitely better than just zooming in on regular letterbox material.
     
  14. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

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    For what its worth I remember seeing something like this about a year ago. I have digital cable, I think it was AMC and they were showing The Fly. The movie looked all stretched out like an anamorphic DVD would, and when I put the 16x9 squeeze on the picture looked great., I have always wondered about that [​IMG]
     

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