Black bars on widescreen tv's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NateJones, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. NateJones

    NateJones Auditioning

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    I hope this is the right area to post this...

    Quick question:
    I have been looking at getting a HDTV, probably 57" widescreen, in the next couple of months. However, someone told me something that made me think twice. Please tell me if this is true or not.
    A friend purchased a Mitsubishi 57" HDTV from a local dealer. He was told by the dealer that watching regular, non-hdtv programming on the set in the regular mode (sorry if these arent the right terms), meaning having the black bars on the left/right sides of the screens (instead of the top like in widescreen mode) , should be done no more than 15% of the time. The dealer said that any more than 15% would "burn" the black bars into the tv.

    Is there any truth to this? I usually watch movies much more than tv (probably 70-30), but that would still make me think twice is that is going to happen.

    Thanks in advance,

    Nate
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Welcome to HTF, Nate.

    Regarding burn-in, I like the way Home Theater magazine's technical editor, Mike Wood, likens it to uneven carpet wear. In other words, the areas of the carpet that are walked on the most will wear out sooner than the less-trod sections.

    Similarly, the phosphors in a CRT that are used the most will exhibit wear more quickly than the unused phosphors.

    And that's the deal with windowboxing as well as letterboxing. The portions to the sides (or on the top and bottom) will wear out less quickly than the main picture area.

    However, this uneven wear can be mitigated for the most part by simply lowering the contrast (i.e., white level) and brightness (i.e., black level) to a more reasonable setting than the factory default. With the contrast set to well belore fifty percent, and with a mix of widescreen and regular 4:3 programming, your friend need not worry about uneven phosphor wear.

    Also, take what most A/V salespeople say with the proverbial grain of salt.
     
  3. NateJones

    NateJones Auditioning

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    Hi Jack!

    Thanks for the welcome and the quick reply!

    I had done quite a bit of reading here, other websites, magazines, etc., and had never heard of any problems. I would have thought there would be a lot of posts about this if it truly was a problem.

    It is comforting to know it is not a problem, especially since I'm gonna drop about 3K on a new tv next month.

    Thanks again Jack!
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  5. NateJones

    NateJones Auditioning

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    Yea, I saw that right after my second post! Duh! Guess I was kind of in the wrong forum after all. :b

    Thanks Michael!
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    And to re-emphazise what Jack said, to lower the ridiculous levels that TVs are calibrated for out of the factory. Get the Avia disk, its a great thing to have, or at the very least find a way to borrow/rent it and and do the basic adjustments on your tv. This will DRASTICALLY reduce any risk of burn in, plus it will give you a much better more accurate picture.

    Another observation too, I don't care about burn in of the letterbox-type bars while watching tv, but don't the side bars come up grey now to even further reduce this problem? I know I've seen it that way on HTDVs, but I don't know if that's standard or not.
     
  7. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    Plus if you get a TV that has good stretch modes just watch 4:3 material in one of those modes. I have a Toshiba and stretch 4:3 material when watching to get rid of the the grey bars on the side, and it is hardly noticable that the image is stretched.
     
  8. SteveMc

    SteveMc Stunt Coordinator

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    If you don't mind stetching the picture a bit, you won't have to worry about the bars at all. I have had my Pioneer for almost 2 years and have used my 4:3 normal setting maybe once or twice since it doesn't distort too much for me in my natural wide mode.
     

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