Does DVD 4:3 P&S setup mode actually work?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marc Rochkind, Dec 24, 2001.

  1. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    I've believed for a while that of the two 4:3 setup modes on DVD players (called letterbox vs. P&S), the difference is that the former sends the picture as is (after stretching an anamorphic image, if present), whereas the latter takes a 4:3 piece out of the middle.

    Today I decided to test this. I used two different DVD players (Samsung M301 and Sony DVP-C600D) and two different discs, one anamorphic and one not.

    Well, no difference.

    The Sony manual seems to indicate that the 4:3 P&S setting is effective (i.e., different from 4:3 letterbox) only for certain DVDs.

    Would these be the ones with the special P&S coding that tells the player where to center the image?

    If true, then, contrary to what I have been telling a few people, the 4:3 P&S mode is NOT a way to eliminate the black bars for people who don't care about a cropped image. At least not universally so. And, for all I know, the discs for which it is effective are extremely rare, if they even exist.

    Can anyone in the know help out here?
     
  2. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    The 4:3 P&S mode only works for discs that have been encoded to allow for pan-and-scan on the fly. For whatever reason, very few DVDs have been released to take advantage of this feature.
     
  3. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Marc:

    Toshiba DVD players have a 4 level zoom feature that do what you want - take out a 4:3 piece from the middle of the widescreen movie.

    Rich B.
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Yes, the disc must be encoded with P&S instructions. The HK Shaolin Soccer (coming to US theaters in March) has such a mode, mostly it appears to be a center zoom.

    I think the zoom key has pretty much solved many J6P problems, they don't mind talking noses for some reason
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The 4:3 P&S mode is not meant to do anything to non-anamorphic disks.
    IMHO the 4:3 P&S mode should have done a center view with uniform side cropping of anamorphic disks without the encoded pan and scan instructions but perhaps the DVD system player specifications say otherwise.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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