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Aspect Ratio Display Problems on older DVDs driving me Bananas!! (1 Viewer)

Kyrsten Brad

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Well folks, I've about run the gamut with this problem when I play some older DVDs, particularily older TV series DVDs on my HT setup (Vizio 70" E-Series with Sony BDP-S360 (vintage 2009) and Sony BDP-S590 (2012)). Seems neither blu-ray player will render a proper 4:3 image on my setup insisting on displaying them in "Zoom" mode to fill the screen despite the fact that the TV is not set for Zoom at all. Neither are the blu-ray players. Note this problem is kinda random as some 4:3 DVDs play properly while others insist on "zooming in".

I've asked about this before, checked the recommended settings in the advice I was given but to no avail.

Guess I'll proceed with plans for purchasing a plain-jane Sony DVD player to add to the setup kinda like my master bedroom setup (Vizio M50-C1 4K) which I've attached a newer (2014) Sony blu-ray player and my old and still fully functional Sony DVP S330 DVD player (purchased in early 2000, now connected to the M50-C1 thru the RGB component video as this DVD player does not have a HDMI output). This DVD player will play my older DVDs in their correct and intended 4:3 aspect ratio and play 16:9 DVDs correctly as well.

Anyone have any insights into this little problem? Any advice is welcome but looks like I'll just go with a new DVD player.
 

Mark-P

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I've got Sony Blu-ray players as well. Sony is one of the few brands that actually looks at the "letterbox" flags that are part of the DVD spec. Sony BD players automatically zoom any 4X3 letterbox-flagged DVDs. The only way to defeat it is to set the screen type to 4X3 in the player menu. But then of course you have to put it back to 16X9 to properly view anything else.
 
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Charles Smith

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You have GOT to be frickin kidding.

Remind me never to buy a Sony BD player.

Actually, I do have an old one, from...2008? It plays everything perfectly in OAR.
 

Mark-P

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You have GOT to be frickin kidding.

Remind me never to buy a Sony BD player.

Actually, I do have an old one, from...2008? It plays everything perfectly in OAR.
You wouldn't notice it unless you actually played a disc with the letterbox flag, and then it would play zoomed. For discs that are actual letterbox transfers it is zoomed to make it appear like a16x9 transfer.* When working correctly, it's really not a bad feature. The problem is, improperly flagged discs will get zoomed as well.

*In fact this feature has caused some people to believe that the DVDs they have are 16x9 enhanced when they are not.
 
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Joel Fontenot

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I've only had 2 Sony Blu-ray player models - the BDP-S350 from back in 2006 (it died on me about 2 years ago), and currently have two BDP-S3200 models from a couple years ago.

They have all played regular 4x3 DVDs just fine on my TVs. Yes, some letterboxed widescreen movies do auto-zoom such as the DVD of The Abyss, but none of my older TV DVDs that were supposed to be 4x3 were ever zoomed by the player.

I'm not so sure it's a player thing. Although all the above players have been hooked up to either a c.2006 40" Sony LCD TV (there was a 32" Bravia XBR1 from around 2005 or so at one point, but it lost the picture 3 years ago - backlight still lit, but blank image), a 32" Samsung (2006), or a 46" Samsung (2014). All only using the HDMI connector.

Unfortunately, none of the 4x3 letterboxed OT Star Wars DVDs (the "special features" disc from the Special Editions) auto-zoom.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Never noticed it with my Sony BDPS5200 - can you list some specific titles it happens to?
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I have some old Magnavox Blu-Ray players....in them you have to go way down in the setup menus to discover a "don't stretch 4:3" video setting. IIRC you have to tell the player to detect 4:3 mode in a DVD and then display it as such: somehow any 4:3 Blu-Rays are automatically detected and displayed properly. Once the player is set up correctly it displays just fine on my 16:9 Sharp.
 

Jesse Skeen

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I had a Sony BD player for a while (gave it to my now-ex girlfriend after I got an Oppo)- most 4x3 letterboxed DVDs that it auto-zoomed on were from Universal, Fox, Disney and Paramount, I think some but not all MGM titles did too. If that's part of the spec then I wish all players had it at least as an option, but a drawback was that subtitles were also cropped when the picture was auto-zoomed. Truth be told the picture still looked pretty awful zoomed, the titles I really cared about I replaced with Blu-Ray discs. I usually made an effort not to be 4x3 letterboxed discs anyways once I saw a widescreen TV in action.
 

Kyrsten Brad

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Well to finish the story here, I did go purchase a new off-the-shelf Sony DVD player (DVP-SR510H, which included upscaling). Yes this solved the problem though I did have to tweak a setting to get my older DVDs to play in their correct aspect ratio.

But there was one oddity here.

To get to the correct Setup menu (to set the 4:3 Display option), I had to use the Set Up button on the remote. One problem, on the remote supplied there was no specific Set Up button, I have yet to find it. However on my older remote for my now-ancient DVP-330 DVD player, the Set Up button is there plain as day and get this, the old remote works with the new DVD player. That is how I was able to access the proper settings on the new DVP-SR510H.

Problem solved and I have a nicer DVD only player (temporarily replacing my older Sony Blu-ray player) on my set-up.
 

dvb

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ha! ha! Your post put me on target. Was having same problem!

Using DVP-SR510H and included RMT-D197A remote.

Our DVD was showing up STRETCHED WIDE on our TCL tv.
You can get to all the settings by pressing STOP (or removing the DVD)
And then the DISPLAY button
And then display mode, custom,
from there, tv type (16:9) and dvd (4:3, not full screen)

It saddens me greatly to see my fellow humans watching incorrectly formatted video. We Must Never Normalize 4:3 to 16:9! The Struggle Is Real!
 

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