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BD35 scaling of 4:3 DVDs on a PT-47WX49 RPTV (1 Viewer)

Jim Tudor

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Although I've already mentioned this in the context of another thread, I'm hoping that I may get an answer here.

Over the weekend, I picked up a Panasonic BD35 blu-ray player. Connecting it to my Panasonic RPTV (PT_47WX49, purchased in 2001) via component cables results in decent blu-ray and 16:9 SD DVD playback, but when I play a SD DVD with a 4:3 aspect ratio, the picture is stretched to fill the screen.

I have spent a lot of time dealing with this, as I have a lot of classic 4:3 films in my collection, and can't stand them being stretched. Before calling Panasonic about this, I made sure the player settings were on "16:9", and found that none of the tips in the Troubleshooting section of the manual do the trick, either.

My call to Panasonic tech support proved worthless ("You WANT to watch DVDs in 4:3?!?"), so I'm posting here. I suspect the TV is the problem here. Although it's always let my old JVC DVD player scale 4:3 properly, it won't let me change it's own aspect ratio while using the BD35.

Any advice or help would be much appreciated, thanks!
 

Citizen87645

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There doesn't appear to be an aspect ratio change feature for the display (e.g. native, wide, full, etc.)?

If not, then what happens if you change the player settings to 4:3?
 

Scott Merryfield

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I think I read somewhere that if you turn off the screen saver, the Panny's will display 4x3 material properly.

That's a pretty sad response. You obviously talked with someone with no clue regarding classic films and TV shows.
 

Matt Hough

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I think turning off the screen saver changes the side bars from gray to black, but that may be using the HDMI connection only. I'm not sure since I haven't bought a BD35 yet.
 

Stephen Tu

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Your TV is so old, it might have the "lock in full 16:9 mode" problem when fed 480p+ signal. Might have to force the BD35 to output in 480i for these 4:3 discs. Alternately, use S-video connection for these if changing the resolution for these is a hassle on this player.
 

Jim Tudor

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Stephen, thanks, I'll give that a try.

Cameron - Changing the player to 4:3 only created a wider mess of a picture, with black bars on top and bottom (resembling a 2:35 letterbox effect). The TV has four different aspect ratio options, but as Stephen suggests, it won't let me change them when the BD35 is feeding it a signal. I was wondering if such a function existed on older TVs like mine. I suppose I can consider this confirmation, and the source of the problem?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Yeah, IIRC, that Panny RPTV locks into "full" mode w/ 480p+ signals. I have the 53" version that's one generation later that locks into "full" mode for 1080i signals (but not for 480p).

As Stephen suggests, just send 480i to the TV when you're watching non-16x9 DVDs. Only problem w/ that is the TV's deinterlacing isn't great and will stumble w/ video sourced content (and certain problematic edits w/in films). Alternatively, maybe you should keep the old JVC around just for those non-16x9 DVDs -- that old JVC was probably scaling/pillarboxing the image into 16x9 format before sending the 480p signal to the TV. Too bad Panasonic has not continued to provide the same scaling feature they used to do w/ some of their older DVD players, eg. the old RP91.

_Man_
 

Lew Crippen

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When I first got my Panasonic BD30, I connected it via components to my older Sony 36” 16X9—and that locked into 16X9 widescreen mode no matter what I did.

So I changed my HDMI to DVI connection from my AppleTV to the Panasonic Blu Ray player and the Sony no longer locked in widescreen mode.

If your display has an HDCP compliant DVI port, you might try this approach.
 

Jim Tudor

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Lew - looks like my old TV doesn't have any DVI ports, so that won't work. Thanks, though.

Man (and Stephen), switching the signal output to 480i does not fix the problem, unfortunately. Still stretches the image, only with lesser resolution.

So yes, I'm keeping the old JVC player around for 4:3 DVDs. In the meantime, I'm going to take the blu-ray player to my brother's house, and hook it up to his new plasma monitor via HDMI, and then test this again. Then, I'll know once and for all about the scaling abilities of this player.

Thanks everyone.
 

Stephen Tu

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Odd that it doesn't work in 480i. Did you try S-video/composite video input also? TV aspect on player set to 4:3 in combo with the 480i?
Does TV display an error message/icon when you hit aspect on the TV remote or just does nothing?
 

Jim Tudor

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Stephen, no I didn't run it through the s-video/composite input, unless the Y/Pb/Pr qualifies as composite. I'll have to look around and see if I can find an S-video cable that make the reach. I'll post an update when I found out how this works.
 

Stephen Tu

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Hmm seems BD35 doesn't have s-video, only composite("video out" yellow jack)/component ("YPrPb")/HDMI. For purposes of testing if you don't have another long cable handy you can use one of your component lines, switch it to the video out under the "Y" and the other end to a composite input on the TV.
 

Jim Tudor

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Thanks again, Stephen. I indeed had discovered the lack of S-video after signing off this thread last time. I'll try the video out jack just to satisfy the curiosity, but I don't think I want to be watching anything that way. I don't know yet, but I'd assume that switching back and forth between the old JVC DVD player and the Panny blu-ray would be preferable. The new problem there is, my receiver only has one optical input, so I'd have to climb back there and switch that every time. I'm going to start looking for a splitter or a switcher of some sort...
 

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