Anamorphic DVDs On 4:3 TVs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Von Pein, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    10
    This question has no doubt been addressed somewhere within the database of HTF threads, but I've yet to see it. ....

    When viewing an Anamorphic DVD on a standard 4:3 television, how much better (if any) is the resolution when compared to its non-anamorphic counterpart?

    I believe I've heard it said that "Anamorphic is always better", no matter the TV being used. Is this the case?

    Along the same lines (but with audio this time): Will a 5.1 DD soundtrack sound ANY different (better?) than a 2.0 Surround track when played through a Dolby Pro-Logic receiver? I know DVDs with 5.1 tracks will automatically "dumb down" to 2.0 Surround when sent through a Pro-Logic system. But I'm thinking that the soundfield might still be slightly fuller, even though it's being dumbed-down. I know that probably 99% of HTF'ers own DD receivers. But I'm wondering if anyone out there still has a Pro-Logic decoder only?
     
  2. Ming Wang

    Ming Wang Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    if the non-anamorphic disk is in letter box format (so same aspect ratio), it has less resolution. but since the player needs to add black bars on top and bottom, it reduces the resolution before it sends the images to TV.

    I guess it ends up with about same resolution.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    The 5.1 track will be more accurate in the placement of sounds. Even the best ProLogic decoders suffer some amount of "channel bleed". The easiest way to demonstrate this is with dialogue. If you turn off all but the rear speakers, there will be no audible dialogue in the rears with a 5.1 mix (unless it's been deliberately placed there, which is rare). In a ProLogic system, you'll be able to make out the dialogue, even though it should be firmly anchored to the center channel.
    M.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,540
    Likes Received:
    177
     
  5. Justin Gates

    Justin Gates Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2001
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only way an anamorphic DVD can look better than a non-anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 display is if the display has a squeeze mode like on the Sony Wegas.
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    10
    Therefore, what you're saying is: An anamorphic transfer is pretty much meaningless to a person who watches DVDs on a 4:3 TV with no squeeze capability? In fact, according to Michael (above), Anamorphic will look WORSE is many cases (due to the downconversion)! Holy cow! Not good!

    So, since the majority of individuals with DVD Players lack a Widescreen monitor, this must mean that Anamorphic is pretty much a moot feature. (Although I find it difficult to fathom that an Anamorphic disc will actually look worse than a non-A. on a 4x3.)
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,762
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Real Name:
    Damin J. Toell
     
  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    10
    As can be obviously deduced by my total Anamorphic Ignorance, I'm a complete dunce when it comes to some of these tech matters.
    I just noticed on my Panasonic DVD Player's Set-Up Menu Screen, there are 2 different 4x3 choices. Why is this?
    You have a choice between setting the player up for .....
    16:9;
    4:3 Pan and Scan;
    or 4:3 Letterbox.
    I have a 4:3 TV, and have it set at 4:3 Letterbox.
    Is this the optimum setting for 4x3 viewing?
    Thanks for your assistance. [​IMG]
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,762
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Real Name:
    Damin J. Toell
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,748
    Likes Received:
    10
    Damin.....Thank you. And thanks for that link. [​IMG]
    Gee....I've always thought the word "Anamorphic" indicated "Better", no matter the monitor size.
    So, let me ask another one....Does this mean that (since I view DVDs on a 4x3 TV) I should opt for non-A. discs over Anamorphic ones, when both versions are available? Isn't it generally felt that most post-1999 transfers are better than the 1997-1999 ones?
     
  11. Frederic_A

    Frederic_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess one thing to consider is that if you ever get a new TV, chances are high that it while either have the '16:9' squeeze feature or be widescreen. Also, if you have a dvd-rom drive on your computer, you would profit from anamorphic due to the higher resolution of the monitor.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  13. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 1999
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Real Name:
    Brian McHale
    Even before I got my 16x9 TV, I tried to stay away from non-anamorphic discs when possible. Why would I do this when I had a cheap 4x3 TV that couldn't take advantage of it? Because I knew I would one day get a 16x9 TV, and I wouldn't want to repurchase all those discs.

    Eventually (whether it's five years or 20 years) we're all going to have 16x9 TVs, so it just seems to make sense to go for anamorphic DVDs.
     
  14. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Michael Reuben,
    Exactly. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    3
    How is native 4x3 (full frame, like wizard of oz) material "worse" than anamorphic? It's not loosing any scan-lines and maximizing resolution in the 720 x 480 array?

     
  16. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 1998
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    17,353
    Likes Received:
    1,938
    Location:
    Albany, NY
     
  18. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,540
    Likes Received:
    177
     
  19. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2001
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 1999
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't freak out too hard about downconversion artifacts anymore. The newer players have excellent downconversion. So, buy a new player if you're concerned.
     

Share This Page