Basic question on upconversion

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Haggai, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Just want to see if I understand what a possible switch to a 1080i-upconverting DVD player might do for 4X3 material. I have a Mitsubishi WS48313 TV. With the HD cable box I have for watching TV, in 1080i, standard-def channels are pillair-boxed with gray bars on both sides. But with DVDs in 480p, 4X3 material like pre-widescreen era movies (and most bonus featurettes/documentaries) are stretched out horizontally in the TV's standard mode. To get the right aspect ratio for this stuff, I have to go to "narrow" mode on the TV, but then the gray bars on the sides are a lot thicker than they are for regular cable in 1080i, so there's some cropping on both sides. My question is--if I get a DVD player that upconverts to 1080i, am I right to expect that the TV will do the rest of the work in reading 4X3 DVD material in the same way as it does standard-def cable, i.e. with pillar-boxing on the sides and minimal cropping?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    With 1080i sources, most displays give you less options.

    Many people will run an svideo from the DVD player as well to deal with 4:3 material, and reserve the 1080i stuff for real widescreen anamorphic titles.

    If you set you cable / HD Box, down to 480p, the display and the box will give you more options for handling non-HD material / up-converted material running on an HD feed.
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    All right. What you have is a HDTV which "locks-in full" on any material with a line rate higher than 15.75 kHz. The horizontal squeeze on the TV should get you the correct aspect ratio, so if the picture is substantially narrower than what you get by running in cable I would be suspicious of the actual aspect ratio your cable co. is feeding you -- try 480i out from your DVD player and see what width it is -- but of course your TV could be out of alignment somehow. In any case the upconverting DVDP should automatically add the black/grey bars at the side for 4:3 encoded material, so your TV will not be doing any extra processing; this is the benefit of having such a player.
     
  4. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Reply to John S: OK, but this is a case where I suspect that the less options, the better. In 1080i mode, my TV has standard and expand modes. In 480p, there are also several other zoom modes, none of which I ever use, aside from "narrow" for 4X3 aspect ratio. My situation is that if there's, say, a classic movie showing on TV and I watch it in 1080i, I get less cropping on the sides than I would if I watched that same movie on DVD in "narrow" mode for 480p. My hope is that a 1080i upconverting DVD player will give me the same type of 4X3 display as I get on HD cable.
     
  5. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Thanks, Christopher, I'll see if I can try that. But, having done some comparisons, I'm sure that I'm getting less information on the sides with 4X3 DVDs than I am with standard-def cable.
     
  6. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    I have another basic question, to get the up conversion do you have to have a HDMI connection or can you use a componet cable?
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'm going to say no...

    You get what you get from 4:3 over an HD feed, because it is what the broadcaster decided to send you.

    FOX here in Denver gives you a zoom crop, so the bars are way less on 4:3 material.


    Your display should have a similar crop. I don't think it is going to give you that on 1080i, may give it on 480p, would definetly give it on 480i. (Even if you had to go Svideo to get it)
     

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