Does DVD/HD on 16:9 sets have greater Visual Impact?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gil D, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    In the case of a Sony 61HS30 4:3 set that has the vertical compression compared to the Sony 57HS40 16:9 RPTV the widescreen/letterbox area on the display is roughly equal in size, and the resolution identical. On the 16:9 set the widescreen source (1.78:1) will fill the entire screen where the 4:3 will have black bars on top and bottom. On letterbox (1.85:1, 2.35:1) source both will have black bars although they will be substantially greater on the 4:3.

    Does anyone feel that the 16:9 set will have more visual impact at least when the full screen is utilized vs 4:3 with black bars?
     
  2. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Its all personal preference, at least to those who are educated on the subject. i know form experience many people are more impressed when they see a widescreen because it is so different. but like you just said screen area is the same (or close enough for you) resolution is the same. there is no difference, unless you are the type to spend time looking at the black bars. personally id as soon look at the wall or the case od the tv as the black bars, but hey some people find it more distracting.

    but in short yes it will ahve more impact, that is until widescreen tv's become more available to everyone. what is new will dazzle and ahve more impact.
     
  3. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Dear Gil,

    I’m not familiar with the models you mention, but I just made the leap from 4:3 to 16:9 when I purchased a Sony 60” LCD.

    I never want to go back to 4:3. We watch a preponderance of Discovery or History type channels, CNN, or movies off Satellite, (Direct TV) or use the DVD player.
    I have 4 wide modes on this set, where I can manipulate the zoom for difficult situations. Only on a very bad feed, with extreme grain showing in the pic have I put the Sony into what I call ‘Box’ mode which places a 4:3 box up on the screen. This cure’s the grain on a few bad offerings but is rarely necessary for me to get a sharp enough resolution out of 4:3 based material. And since I upgraded from a (I think) 32” 4:3 set, this ‘box’ on my 60’ Sony is still a larger picture than the old TV and very satisfying.
    In other words we greatly enjoy watching 4:3 based AND wide screen based material on our 16:9 set.
    And yes, it does have ‘impact’. I’ve had 3 people go home from my house recently stating they don’t think they can enjoy watching movies at home on their own sets anymore.

    Why is it for most, - 16:9 is a more enjoyable experience most particularly when the screen size is very large. Maybe it’s a carryover from going to the theater all our lives for that larger overwhelming experience on the ‘big’ screen. Our eyes are trained to equate the rectangular shape of a theater screen with greater enjoyment while watching the latest blockbusters.

    You mention on the 4:3 model your looking at; the letter bars will be substantially wider on wide screen material than the 16:9 unit. On 2.35:1 material on my 60” the letterbox fills more of the screen and while its fine watching, the 1:85 which has narrower letterbox which is nicer still. So wider letter boxing which comes with a 4:3 set is not the idea choice for me.

    Wait and Watch (if you have time) for the newer models in 16:9 to address the issue of locking into full on the screen on a progressive feed. I can manipulate this to satisfaction on the Sony LCD, but would rather not have to deal with it occasionally.

    Everything to everyone who has viewed our particular set has more oomph and takes you to a new level of video enjoyment on our 60” 16:9. That’s regardless of what display device ratio it was originally edited/filmed for.
    We, - (and all our guests) are sold on 16:9.

    I don’t think the wow effect is accounted for simply because it’s the latest greatest new fangled device. I think 16:9 IS more dramatic and pleasing for viewing. Just as I noticed differences in the experience of replaying movies when switching to new fangled DVD’s Vs VHS. Part of the ‘fun’ of switching to DVD’s included chapter search and menu’s and several other nifty controls, - much less the higher resolution.
    16:9 has several ‘fun’ features to it that taken as a whole are a leap forward in viewing (for me) similar to my upgrade from VHS to DVD format.

    Maybe it’s this particular Sony LCD, with it’s fantastic picture that has me sold. But I do know when shopping for any display device even smaller sets for the rest of the house, I will always be looking at the 16:9 models in future for all my purchases.
     
  4. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I don't think that widescreen preference is just a matter of personal taste or experience. Rather, it's part of the fundamental mathematics of the universe and their relation to art, esthetics and to life itself.
    (No, I'm not kidding!)
    The proportion of 16:9 very closely approximates that of the golden rectangle. If the TV standard were a true golden rectangle, the proportion would be roughly 16:10 if we round to whole figures. (The actual ratio is 1 to "1 plus the square root of 5, divided by 2", so you could take the decimal places out to infinity.)
    The golden rectangle has some interesting properties. If you mark off a square within the rectangle that is as wide on each side as the rectangle is tall, the remaining piece is another golden rectangle. It can, of course, be similarly divided into a square and a golden rectangle, and that golden rectangle can be similarly divided, and so forth out to infinity.
    Which, if you do it over and over beginning with a single golden rectangle, creates the golden spiral.
    Golden rectangles are all over manmade objects from classical to modern art, and they are favored in both classical and modern architecture. The golden spiral can be found throughout nature in many of its most pleasing forms, in nautilus shells, for example.
    As I noted, 16:9 is not a perfect golden rectangle, but it's far closer than the ungainly and mundane 4:3.
    Again, I'm not kidding about this. 16:9 is simply a more pleasing and interesting mathematical shape than 4:3 is, though it could have been better (16:10).
    Jan
    P.S. You'll note that I've never suggested trying to explain this to J6P! [​IMG]
     
  5. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    I agree that the 16:9 shape is more pleasing to the eye. So even though 16:9 area is displayed on a 4:3 set, this golden letterboxed area (silver rectangle?) is aparently overwhelmed by the 4:3 shape of the set.

    The problem is that the 16:9 stretch modes really distort the 4:3 material which will still be with us for some years to come. Circles that look like ovals, people with heads chopped off, and grey bars to the side look very distracting.
     
  6. SteveMo

    SteveMo Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Whatever format you choose, you have to make compromises. These are particularly confusing times.

    Which is why I advise people to compromise on the material they care least about. For me, that's broadcast stuff, even though I watch more of it than I do DVDs.

    Looking at the godawful stretched displays in most stores, I figured I'd usually go with the black side bars. However, I was wrong. The non-linear stretch mode that a number of manufacturers have, which is more like using a slightly-wide-angle lens rather than stretching the image, is pretty incredible.

    With my 4:3 35" set, watching a widescreen movie was always a bit of a letdown after getting used to watching Friends and such "full screen." I no longer have that feeling with the 16:9 set.

    Jan
     
  8. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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  9. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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  10. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Mary,
    Is this the set that you have?
    http://www.sonystyle.com/home/item.j...null&type=null
    The Grand Wega must be an awesome set [​IMG]
    However, the 61HS30 is the equivalent of a 56" 16:9. Given it won't have the PQ that your set has, but wouldn't you think the picture would have the same wow factor as the 57HW40 and still display a better 4:3 picture?
    The tops of peoples heads were chopped off in one scene, and the oval circles were very noticable on Full and Wide zoom. Perhaps zoom is better?? If I had been watching a basketball game with the ball closeup it would have been comical.
     
  11. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Jan,

    If you could buy a display for about the same money that had the same electronics and features as your 42" Toshiba and displayed the equivalent of a 48" 16:9 but on a 4:3 set, you would still choose the 42" 16:9?
     
  12. Warner

    Warner Agent

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    DVD/HD definitely have a greater visual impact on 16:9 sets. Like Jan, I would rather not compromise on my most important viewing which is DVD. We could argue about the quality of 4:3 material on 16:9 sets, but that was not the original question.

    I believe the most important factor, which Jan also touched on, is the fact that we become accustomed to the screen size which we are watching. If you buy a 61" 4:3, while watching 4:3 material, you will get used to watching images which fill up the entire screen. Everyone who gets a larger tv comments on how they thought it would be too large at first, but soon they got used to it. On the weekend, when you sit down in front of your 4:3 set to watch that new dvd you have been looking forward to, which most likely has an aspect ratio of 2.35, you will be disappointed by the small size. It only fills 57% of your 4:3 screen. What a letdown. What a poor visual impact it makes. I've been there, and that's why I bought a 51" widescreen, only 1 year after upgrading to a 36" 4:3 set.
     
  13. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Gil,
    That's it. I like it more as time goes by. Side effect, its very hard to sit at any ones else's place to watch anything.

    So it looks like the 61HS30 is a 4:3 box? The zoom stats look similar on both sets.
    Under Wide Screen Mode I have Wide Z, Normal, Full, Zoom, but I assume this will react differently applied to a 16:9 set vs a 4:3 set. On both 16:9 DVD's and 4:3 broadcast material.
    I do know the first week I had it, Just scrolling options I did get 'stuck' watching something stretched a few times. But as time went by, I've learned what to do to what. And can't recall watching anything in the last weeks, which looked out of proportion or lost heads etc.
    Warner has a great point, pull a 2.35 DVD, and carry it with you to the shops to test on any units you are contemplating, to see the actual bar size you would have to live with and if that's livable for you.
     
  14. RyanDinan

    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, the 61HS30 is a 4x3 - So is the HS10 series.
    I personally have a 53HS10.
    If you get the room dark, and your set is properly calibrated, you cant tell what aspect ratio your TV is...That is, if you're paying attention to the show [​IMG]
    I dont get hung up on the aspect ratio of the screen - I care more about the aspect ratio of the show...
    If both both types of sets can resolve the image with the same detail, then it doesnt matter to me..
    -Ryan Dinan
     
  15. Carl Hood

    Carl Hood Extra

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    DVD and HDTV always looks more impressive on widescreen TV. Black bars on the top and bottom of a 4:3 display annoy me visually, yet I can live with black bars at either side of a widescreen TV (ie displaying a 4:3 image on a widescreen.) Something akin to movie theatres where curtains open from the middle out revealing an ever-widening screen. Just a pity widescreen TVs aren't 2.35:1 native aspect ratio rather than 1.85:1 (16x9)
     
  16. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    It's really quite simple.
    First: your eyes are located horizontally, so you naturally view the world in "widescreen mode."
    Second: the lowest resolution signal sources are in 4:3 aspect ratios (VHS, cable, OTA broadcasts, video games, non-anamorphic DVD, etc.) unless you watch a lot of high-rez computer graphics images. The highest resolution signal sources are in 16:9 or greater aspect ratios (anamorphic DVD and DTV/HDTV). Why buy a 4:3 TV that makes the low-quality images bigger and the high-quality stuff smaller? Get a TV that will be ready for the ever-increasing DTV & HDTV programming that is mandated by the Federal Government to replace analog TV in 3 1/2 years.
    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.
    Insist on HDTV![​IMG]
     
  17. Michael St. Clair

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    An anamorphic DVD has no greater resolution than a classic full-frame DVD. They have the exact same resolution, 720x480. They are just shaped differently.
    Some of us have a love of classic, pre-1960 film, and 98% of what was shot before then was academy ratio.
    Stanley Kubrick liked tall (not narrow).
    Some of us have large collections of letterboxed laserdiscs that look like shit zoomed in on almost every widescreen set but look fantastic on 4:3 HD sets.
    Every CRT-based rear projection 16:9 HDTV has pre-squeezed 4:3 guns inside exactly like what you will find in 4:3 HD RPTVs. The latter, when properly designed and of the same width, has no smaller picture and looks no worse than the 16:9 set.
    There is no 16:9 or HD mandate for 2006. Not for any year. Anybody working in this field should know and understand this.
    There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some set ratios are better for different people. Anybody who feels the need to preach that every person on the planet should buy 16:9 must feel insecure about their own widescreen purchase. I myself freely admit that the solution that is currently right for me is not right for everyone.
    If you are obsessed with the golden rectangle, you will find some people at AVS that are so infatuated with it that they insist the best way to watch 'scope movies is zoomed/cropped to 16:9. You guys should hang out (and subscribe to HD-HBO). [​IMG]
     
  18. Warner

    Warner Agent

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    I don't think anybody was preaching that everyone should go with a 16:9 set. Gil asked on which set will 16:9 material have a greater visual impact. The question itself indicates that 16:9 material is important to Gil. Obviously 16:9 material looks best on a 16:9 set, just like 4:3 material looks best on a 4:3 set.

    IMO, 16:9 owners generally tend to admit that their set is better at displaying 16:9 material rather than 4:3. However, it is the 4:3 owners who try to have their cake and eat it too by saying "...but my 61" 4:3 set is the same as a 57" 16:9 set with widescreen material and my 4:3 picture is bigger". Sounds like some 4:3 owners feel insecure about their purchase and need to justify it to themselves and others.

    I think what's driving the sale of bigscreen tvs is mainly DVD. Face it, most people get disappointed when they watch a 2.35 dvd on their 4:3 set. Solution? Buy a bigger tv! But if the bigger tv you buy is a 4:3 set just like your old one, DVDs will again always look smaller! And don't compare your 4:3 61" set to a widescreen 57" because you don't have a widescreen 57", compare your 16:9 image to your 4:3 image. I would agree that different set ratios are best for different people. What material is your personal priority? I like widescreen best.
     
  19. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    "An anamorphic DVD has no greater resolution than a classic full-frame DVD. They have the exact same resolution, 720x480. They are just shaped differently."
    The issue was if DVD & HD has more impact on 16X9 displays. Few would argue about most DVDs and HD programming being in widescreen mode. Few would also argue about those widescreen materials looking better without the black bars (or with minimize ones at least). When anamorphic DVDs are displayed on 16X9 sets the full vertical resolution is preserved vs what is wasted in black bars on a 4X3 set, in letterboxed mode, from a non-anamorphic program.
    "Some of us have a love of classic, pre-1960 film, and 98% of what was shot before then was academy ratio."
    You are in the minority if the majority of what you watch is original 4X3 films.
    "Stanley Kubrick liked tall (not narrow)."
    He also prefered his films to be distributed in mono.
    "Some of us have large collections of letterboxed laserdiscs that look like shit zoomed in on almost every widescreen set but look fantastic on 4:3 HD sets."
    With 16X9 sets you have the option of displaying a laserdisc without zooming. How big of a percentage of the majority of people that have old laserdisc collections watch them? I have a decent collection and almost never watch any of it. My time for TV is challenged with keeping up on the new releases on DVD and catching what's worth watching in HD. They have better pictures and better sound in most cases. Again, I strongly suspect you are in a minority.
    "Every CRT-based rear projection 16:9 HDTV has pre-squeezed 4:3 guns inside exactly like what you will find in 4:3 HD RPTVs. The latter, when properly designed and of the same width, has no smaller picture and looks no worse than the 16:9 set."
    And they are on the way out.
    "There is no 16:9 or HD mandate for 2006. Not for any year. Anybody working in this field should know and understand this."
    As well I do understand. That's why I included DTV in the statement. HD and 16X9 are certainly destined to be by-products of the digital transition if not dominant factors and are sure to fit into the man's context of, "more visual impact." Are you implying they won't be included even if not mandated?
    "There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some set ratios are better for different people. Anybody who feels the need to preach that every person on the planet should buy 16:9 must feel insecure about their own widescreen purchase. I myself freely admit that the solution that is currently right for me is not right for everyone."
    You yourself might want to freely consider lightening up a little. This home theater stuff is supposed to be fun and entertaining. A finger pointed at another includes three pointed back at the pointer, in most cases.
    "If you are obsessed with the golden rectangle, you will find some people at AVS that are so infatuated with it that they insist the best way to watch 'scope movies is zoomed/cropped to 16:9. You guys should hang out (and subscribe to HD-HBO)."
    Perhaps you might do well to avoid caffein. Debate is much more healthy without groundless accusations of insecurity and obsession. Some people are reassured of their own estimation of their stature by belittling and disparaging others based upon superficial presuppositions.
    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown
    Insist on HDTV (and we'll more likely see it become a dominant feature of the digital transition. Yes, the ATSC standard for HD is 16X9)! [​IMG]
     
  20. Michael St. Clair

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    Funny, you say I need to lighten up, but you remove my smiley when quoting me, taking my statements out of context. [​IMG]
    If you think I have disparaged you, that may say more about you than it does about me. [​IMG]
     

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