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- Anamorphic "Squeeze" Question -

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Blaydes, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. Jason Blaydes

    Jason Blaydes Stunt Coordinator

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    ok, i've been posting alot the last week, so many of you know that i have the toshiba 55h70 tv set. for those of you that don't know, it's a 4:3 hdtv-ready set that excepts a 480p signal. now i was really ticked off when i learned about anamorphic dvds and that my tv did not perform an "anamorphic squeeze" but the newer models do. so since then i've been on the look out for a way to get the most out of my tv and out of anamorphic dvds. i've read about forcing my set to do an anamorphic squeeze trick through the servie mode settings (this seems to work, but haven't completely finished messing with it... plus its a huge hassle). i then read in a few post about how the malata dvd-n996 might do a squeeze then input that signal into a 4:3 tv set. unfortunately there's only one person that i've found that claims this.
    so what i'd like to know is about the malata's "custom x-y scaling". now this allows you to scale an image in either progressive or interlaced to my understanding. and you get to control the scaling.
    so if i set the dvd to 16:9 mode with an anamorphic dvd... then scaled it down (top and bottom) until if fit in my 4:3 like it was a 16:9... wouldn't this work? wouldn't this give me my tv's max resolution in only that area? if anyone knows or has any ideas on this please post a reply. thanks for your time and any help, peace [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jason Blaydes on September 26, 2001 at 09:41 PM]
     
  2. Jason Blaydes

    Jason Blaydes Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Originally posted by Max Yokell from hometheatertalk.com
    Jason,
    From what I know of the Malata (I have never actually touched one) it will not do what you are asking any differently then every other DVD player does downconversion.
    I have never played with a Prog scan DVD player on a 480P capable TV so I could not answer the other question you posted.
    ALL Dvd players have the ability to downconvert a 16x9 image to 4x3 letterbox which is really what you are asking the Malata to do in a round about kind of way.
    I think maybe the direction you need to take with this is...
    1. Find out if there is anyway you can do the squeeze trick with your TV even if it means going in the service menu.
    And if that is not possible..
    2 Start seriously looking into DVD players downconversion. By that I mean different brands do it differently. You might want to find a brand that does it in a way that works well with your set in 480P mode.
    My first suggestions is to rule out Toshiba (Which mean Mits as well since there DVD players are made by tosh) I would look at Sony players as they tend to do a very good job with down conversion IMO though some fine it tends to soften the image a bit. (Keep in mind most people find 480P tends to look softer even with no downconversion) As much as I don't like reccomending Panasonic after their reliability problems on earlier models they also do a very good job of downconversion.
    I would suggest seeing if you can find a place that will let you take home a Pany RP91 and give it a test run and if you like it you keep it and if not return it. (I would buy the extended Warranty on a Pany unit though)
    Max
    [/quote]
    thanks for the help max. but would the dvd player (no matter what brand) still downconvert if i told it i had a 16:9 tv? meaning i put the dvd player in 16:9 mode? wouldn't it think i had a 16:9 tv so it would output the anamorphic dvd in full video quality?... then all i would have to do is squeeze it with the x-y scaling ability of the malata? just throwing out ideas... so please correct my thinking if need be. peace [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jason Blaydes on September 26, 2001 at 10:28 PM]
     
  3. TimG

    TimG Second Unit

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    I have read a little about this player. I don't think it will do what you are wanting, but I haven't done a lot of research on it. Check out the DVD and LD Hardware forum at AVScience and do a search for Malata, surely you can find your answer there.
    http://www.avscience.com/
    Tim
    [Edited last by TimG on September 27, 2001 at 09:26 AM]
     
  4. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    The short answer is that if your TV will not do the squeeze, then no, no DVD player will help. The guy who thought his Malata was doing the squeeze was mistaken.
    Frankly, I think you're best off selling your TV and getting one that is either natively 16x9 (best), or has the squeeze (acceptable). Otherwise you're just throwing away resolution on most of your DVDs. And didn't you get a high-end TV to make your DVDs look good?
    Best,
    Don
     
  5. Ray G

    Ray G Extra

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    Don,
    I'm afraid I'm not aware of a market for second-hand RPTVs, otherwise I would love to be able to sell my TN50X81 for a new model. Any takers? [​IMG]
    Fact is, there are those of us who for whatever reason are limited by our display devices and cannot watch DVDs at full resolution. That's why it's frustrating that few reviewers give any useful downconversion information [especially with progressive scan players]. Now that there is little cost difference between interlaced and progressive players, those of us who are anomorphically challenged would really like to know, for example, if the Panny RP56 does a better job downconverting than the comparable JVC models.
    Sorry to rant on this. I am a great fan of Secrets and enjoy all of the fantastic information. Just don't forget that many HT enthusiasts are forced to compromise with some element of their equipment, and those compromises should sometimes be considered in providing information on products [especially "popularly priced" models].
    Ray G
     
  6. Jack Lee

    Jack Lee Extra

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    I believe the idea is to send 540p to the Toshiba set.
    The Tosh will think that's it an HDTV signal and
    automatically go into 16:9 mode.
    However as stated above, The Malata can not do this directly. It is possible to convert some RGB signals to HDTV compatible 540p, but it's expensive and usually requires the aid of a video card.
    You could consider using a HTPC w/a good video card that directly outputs 540p or wait for the next generation 540p DVD player.
     
  7. Sujeet Patel

    Sujeet Patel Stunt Coordinator

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    > You could consider using a HTPC w/a good video card that
    > directly outputs 540p or wait for the next generation 540p
    > DVD player.
    Is such a DVD player coming out in the near future? I am also in the same boat with a 2 month old 55H70 which only does the squeeze on HD material, and so far, a HTPC is my only option, which is more work and $$ than I want to spend. If you can point me to any info on such a DVD, I'd be very interested. Thanks!
     
  8. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Gawd, I feel like I could have written half the posts in this thread myself. [​IMG]
    Comments, in no particular order:
    1) Though it is disappointing in some sense to have a 4:3 HDTV without squeeze function, DVD's still look way the hell better than on a standard-definition TV. I would love to snap my fingers and have a new TV, but can't even come close to justifying the expense, especially when simply making the correct selection among existing DVD players will get me pretty close to where I want to be. I do wish I had known, before I bought, just how important the squeeze function was.
    2) I am still waiting to see DVD players rated for the quality of their 4:3 downconversion. If it's somewhere and I missed it, someone please let me know.
    3) Waiting for 540p DVD players seems to be hopeless. For the price of most scaling equipment, you probably *could* replace the TV. I have yet to hear of any affordable DVD player in the offing that offers 540p output. [​IMG]
    4) Setting the DVD player in 16:9 mode indeed disables the downconversion, and you'll get the full-resolution signal output from the player. The only way that I'm aware to do the squeeze trick on most TV's is to adjust the vertical size down until it's the right size for 16:9. Unfortunately, that affects (on my Toshiba, anyway) all other non-HD inputs, so it'd screw up my normal cable and VCR viewing.
    5) I continue to be unaware of a cost effect workaround other than just picking a player with good downconversion. As Max suggested, avoid Toshiba, consider Sony and Panasonic, and I'd add JVC for another cost-effective alternative.
     
  9. Chuck Blair

    Chuck Blair Agent

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    I'm the guy who's been saying that the Malata will do the anamorphic squeeze. I've also amended that in a later post to say that, honestly I don't know if the Malata is doing a true anamorphic squeeze or not. Frankly, who cares if it is. All I know for sure is that the Malata set up for a 16x9 television and then used with a 4x3 set (non-HD capable in my case) and using the Malata's x-y scaling feature to squeeze the picture to the correct aspect ratio, puts out a signal that is to my eye and the eyes of several friends who have seen my system (filmmakers with a very critical eye) indistinguishable from an anamorphic image put out by most 16x9 TVs, other than the fact that my set does not have the added benefit of line doubling available on most 16x9 sets to elimimate the scanlines (though they are lessened). The truth is in the image. I'd rather have a true 16x9 HD set, but the Malata is the next best thing currently available. And a whole lot cheaper. I'm not trying to sell the Malata to anyone, I have no economic interest in this player. All I know is that nothing I have ever purchased other than my bigscreen TV and DVD itself, has added more to my viewing enjoyment that the Malata, and I currently own two other higher end players, the Toshiba SD9000 and the Pioneer Elite DV37. Neither of these players comes close to matching the picture quality produced by the Malata on a standard 4x3 TV. Once the standards have been worked out on the HD sets and the price comes down a little more, I will be buying a 16x9 HD set, and anyone in the market for a bigscreen TV at this time should not even consider a standard TV and then think the Malata will put it on par with the 16x9 HD sets, but for those looking for a cheap upgrade to their current set, the Malata is the answer. I would also think the Malata is not going to have much impact on sets under 35 inches.
     
  10. Ray G

    Ray G Extra

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    Neil,
    You echo my sentiments completely on this issue. My Toshiba digital set not only is 4:3 with no anamorphic capability, it has a simple line doubler that does not do 3:2 pulldown. While it would be foolish to spend $1000+ for something like a Camelot and expect a huge improvement, $250-300 for a Panasonic or JVC progressive unit with good downconversion capabilities and 3:2 pulldown for film sources should deliver some improvement over what I'm seeing now.
    Ray G
     
  11. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    Use a Radeon-based HTPC to pump out 1080i upscaled DVD, and your set will do the squeeze, plus the image will be improved dramatically from 480p. IMO, the difference between 1080i anamorphic and 480p anamorphic is bigger than the difference between 480p anamorphic and 480p nonanamorphic. 540p or less stinks.
    ------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Philips_HDTV/joinClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  12. RyanDinan

    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck,
    Your Malata is simply down-converting the anamorphic image to display correctly on a 4x3 TV. Obviously, it does this very well, with little artifacting. The TV is responsible for squeezing the image. Like Don said, if your TV can't squeeze the image, then no DVD player is going to give you the added resolution of anamorphically transferred DVD's.
    TV's that can squeeze the image do just that - They squeeze the 480 visible scanlines 25% closer to one another. This means that all the lines are drawn in a 16x9 aspect, instead of a 4x3 aspect. The image will appear proportionate, and crisper, as more lines are used for the actual image.
    In order for anamporphically enhanced DVD's to display correctly on a 4x3 set, the DVD player must down-convert the image - This means throwing away lines of resolution in some form or another. The simplest way to do this, is to remove one out of every 4 scanlines, and adding black bars above and below the image.
    If your set is HD ready, then you could fool it by scaling the image to 540 lines with a HTPC, which will force it into 16x9 mode. However, if your TV displays gray bars above and below the 16x9 area when in HD mode, it's not a "true" HDTV. It has to scan those gray bars, which means it's not really squeezing any lines together, and is not showing you all the resolution in the area it should be - in the 16x9 area.
    -Ryan Dinan
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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Chuck Blair

    Chuck Blair Agent

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    I don't know much about geometry, but I do know that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is a duck. I'm telling you, and this is not just my opinion, that the Malata will make a 4x3 TV (okay, my TV) when outputing in 16x9 mode and then scaling to the proper aspect ratio, appear to be doing the anamorphic squeeze. I really don't care about anything else, nor do I mean to be confrontational. But I ask you this, how does the same anamorphic disc when played on my system set up as a 16x9 TV and squeezed with the Malata, look better (substantially so in terms of color depth and resolution, and perceived black level) than when I play the same disc not squeezed outputing in 4x3 mode? So like I said, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, maybe it's really not a duck, but it still tastes like a duck due to the wonders of modern science, and that's all I care about (unless of course it gives me cancer in the process). Also remember, my experiences with DVD players have not been with $99 Kmart specials, but higher end players like the Pioneer Elite DV37 and Toshiba SD9000, and the Malata puts them to shame in almost all regards except noise reduction when outputing to a standard 4x3 TV, Sony model KV53S55 to be exact. Note finally that I output everything through a video processor that gives about an 8 to 10% boost in resolution (a true resolution boost, not just edge enhancement), but this is working whether outputing the Malata as 4x3 or 16x9.
     
  14. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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  15. RyanDinan

    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck,
    Well, I really don't know what you're seeing, but I can tell you that it isn't squeezing the image. It just doesn't work that way...
    One dumb question....
    Are you certain that the image is playing back in the correct aspect ratio? I only ask, because movies above 1.78:1 will have black bars at the top and bottom when anamorphically transferred. Very wide images (2.35:1 and higher) will have about 160 total lines used for black bars when anamorphically transferred - When displayed on a 4x3 TV, this looks exactly like a 16x9 letterboxed image. Some people dont notice that the image is distorted still, and needs to be squeezed.
    If indeed your Malata is set up for a 16x9 TV, it isn't touching the video - It's outputting it just as it is on the disc. And if indeed your TV is a plain ol' 4x3 set that doesn't have a 16x9 mode, you'll see a very detailed, crisp - yet slightly distorted image (stretched vertically).
    Try this:
    Leave your Malata in 16x9 mode, and pop in an anamorphic DVD (Braveheart is a good anamorphic DVD in 2.35:1 AOR). Take some masking tape, and mark the top and bottom edges where the black bars meet the image.
    Now, switch your Malata to 4x3 mode and play the same movie. Tell me if the edges of the black bars are in the same location. The Malata should have down-converted the image to a correct aspect ratio, which makes the image vertically shorter - leaving "bigger" black bars.
    -Ryan Dinan
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jason Blaydes

    Jason Blaydes Stunt Coordinator

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    here's the question i have. if you tell the dvd player that you have a 16:9 tv by putting it in 16:9 mode... doesn't it then output in 480p?
    i mean how would the dvd player know what tv you have if you put it in 16:9 mode? doesn't the image stretch on a 4:3 tv for that reason... it doesn't know you have a 4:3 tv, but instead thinks you have a 16:9 tv. i thought that if i hooked up the dvd player to a 16:9 tv and had it in 16:9 mode that it would output at 480p... then if i took that same dvd player and hooked it up to my 4:3 tv it would still be outputting at 480p. therefor, if it's outputting an anamorphic dvd at 480p, then it's outputting that picture in full quality.
    if this isn't true then please explain to me how the dvd player knows when it's a 16:9 tv and when it's not, because i'm missing this part. thanks [​IMG]
     
  17. Chuck Blair

    Chuck Blair Agent

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    Ryan,
    The Malata most certainly is squeezing the image and squeezing it without any distortion. For example, let's take the new special edition anamorphic version of The Princess Bride, with an aspect ratio of 1:85 (or thereabouts)(this is easier to gauge than a 2:35 image). Setting the Malata to 16x9 mode will output the image to fill up the entire 4x3 area of my TV or any other 4x3 TV, and the image is most obviously extremely stretched vertically since the normal black bars are now gone. Then I go into the Malata's x-y scaling menu and click the down arrow 16 times, the image is now displayed perfectly with no distortion either vertically or horizontally and with the same black bars at the top and bottom of the screen as if I set up the Malata to output to a 4x3 TV and left the x-y scaling to the default positions. There is absolutely no doubt about this, and again this isn't just me saying this, but professional filmmaker friends who have watched many films on my TV (one of my two roommates in fact has an independent feature film being released to theaters next year, and my other roommate works in a film lab doing film restoration in Hollywood) and have noted how much better anamorphic discs look now than before I purchased the Malata. There is such a difference that I have now converted to the "I'm not buying this disc if it isn't anamorphic" camp and have also begun replacing a large number of my discs with the anamorphic versions that are only available overseas. Vertigo is a prime example; I used to think the non-amamorphic US release was very nice, but since I got the British anamorphic PAL release, I find the US release unwatchable, the difference is that great.
    Jason,
    There are many 16x9 TVs that do not have progressive capability (though I don't think they make them anymore, they have in the past), so no, the Malata is not outputing as 480p just because it's in 16:9 mode (actually it's more complicated than that with the Malata, but for the sake of this discussion I'm not going to get into that aspect).
    The Malata, or any other DVD player, doesn't know what kind of TV you have. You have to tell the player to output in one of three ways, either 4:3 letterbox, 4:3 pan and scan, or 16:9 (don't ask me to explain the difference between the two 4:3 modes, I think Jim Taylor's DVD Faq can explain it better than I can). Yes, the image does stretch when setting up the player for 16:9 when using a 4:3 set, that is why you have to go into the Malata's scaling menu to adjust it so that the image is not stretched vertically. Most of the time when switching between an anamorphic disc and a non-anamorphic disc, I have to reset the Malata to one of the two different modes, which is very easy to do and not a major hassle. There are however a few non-anamorphic letterboxed discs that have a flag that is detected by the player so that it displays properly on a 16:9 set, or my 4:3 set pretending to be a 16:9 set, but are not anamorphically enhanced, only scaled to fill the screen (horizontally, that is). The Abyss is a good example of this.
    [Edited last by Chuck Blair on September 29, 2001 at 03:07 AM]
     
  18. Jason Blaydes

    Jason Blaydes Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Originally posted by Max Yokell from hometheatertalk.com
    Jason,
    If you told the player you had a 16x9 TV then no it would not downconvert it.[/quote]
    quote: Originally posted by Neil Weinstock
    4) Setting the DVD player in 16:9 mode indeed disables the downconversion, and you'll get the full-resolution signal output from the player...[/quote]
    ok... is this true? i have some people saying that the player downconverts and some saying that it doesn't downconvert when i put the player in 16:9 mode... which one is it?
    it seems to me that the player doesn't know what tv you have so it then would output at 480p and it would then be up to your tv set to downconvert the signal if it did not except a 480p signal. but if it did except a 480p signal (as mine does) then the tv would leave the signal alone and you'd get full resolution... but of course a stretched picture.
    again, which one is it... i've gotten two different answers. thanks for the help, peace [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jason Blaydes on September 29, 2001 at 10:00 AM]
    [Edited last by Jason Blaydes on September 29, 2001 at 10:11 AM]
     
  19. Chuck Blair

    Chuck Blair Agent

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    Jason:
    Again, 16:9 mode and 480p are not related here. The Malata only outputs 480p if you tell it to output 480p in its setup menus, otherwise it outputs 480i whether in 4:3 mode or 16:9 mode. Progressive players also only output 480p through component, not through s-video. Since I use the Malata using s-video, it is not possible to be outputing a progressive signal, yet it is without question outputing a 16:9 signal whether the player knows it or not. Why is it outputing 16:9--because I am telling it to in the setup menu. I'm also telling it in setup to output to s-video (s-video or composite) as opposed to component. I'm also telling it to output as NTSC instead of PAL; the Malata knows if the disc is PAL or NTSC and will convert the disc from PAL to NTSC (or NTSC to PAL if you tell it you have a PAL TV) but it does not know if the disc is anamorphic or not when setting the player to 16:9; this is why it has to be manually squeezed to the correct aspect ratio in the x-y scaling menu. As far as I can tell (though I wasn't on the DVD development team) the player does not downconvert if it is set up for 16:9, only if set up to output as 4:3. I don't see how the full anamorphic image could not be output just because the player is doing the squeezing instead of the TV; there should be no downconversion taking place. The progressive capability of the player doesn't come into play here. Note also that the Malata when set up for a 16:9 TV even though the TV is 4:3, does not cause the display to show non-anamorphic discs incorrectly, with any vertical or horizontal distortion, other than most non-anamorphic material being displayed with black bars at the sides, just as a 16:9 set does unless it has automatic zooming capabilities, in which case the 16:9 TV is distorting the image to make it fill the entire screen.
    I know you really weren't looking for me to comment here since I've already have and you seem to be looking for confirmation from new voices, but I wanted to add a few things. Hopefully someone can contribute further at this point.
     
  20. Darryl_B

    Darryl_B Stunt Coordinator

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