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DVD Aspect Ratio

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Simon P, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Simon P

    Simon P Auditioning

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    Does anyone know how to view a DVD movie in it's original 22:9 (1.85:1) aspect ratio (or if it is actually possible)? My DVD player will show this ratio only on the display options page, but when I return to full screen the picture has reverted back to 16:9. I have tried all TV type options (Widescreen-which is the case, 4:3 and 4:3 letterbox; all to no avail. There are many movies that I would prefer to view in a full width picture. Please advise.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Usually anything from 1.66:1 to 1.85:1 will fill a 16:9 Widescreen display.

    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    You want to see tiny black bars top and bottom on a 16:9 display with 1.85:1 presentations?
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Simon,

    22:9 is closer to 2.35:1 than to 1.85:1. It is "soft"-coded on 16:9 DVD's, so there isn't a specific setting needed on your player. If you have a 16x8 screen (TV-set), just set the DVD player to widescreen and the wider movies will get the appropriate ratio.


    Cees
     
  4. RobertDH

    RobertDH Auditioning

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    Simon, I share your frustration. I have spent many hours on this issue. I think basically you are being held captive by how your DVD player reads the DVD. I started noticing last year that my iMac would display movies in their correct ratio 1.37:1 NOT 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 16x9, 1,85:1 etc. On my old 1.33:1 TV my issue was wanting to see the old academy ratio 1.37:1 films in their proper ratio and not with that small amount of cutoff. I noticed that on many scenes the framing was so much nicer when they weren't truncated. Widescreen films were not an issue.

    So I bought a Sony 16x9 HDTV and a Panasonic DVD-S97 DVD player this March. Now I get to see the 1.37:1 movies sort of in a 1.37:1 format but with a little of the top cut off. And most frustrating of all is 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 are now all 16x9. Just as you are experiencing. I called Panasonic's help line and they said yes that's how they do it and now please enjoy. Sorry out of luck. Most people I talk to say or indicate non-verbally that I am either anal or nuts. John S.'s response is common. Bottom line I guess is you're not supposed to care. I am sure there are some DVD players out there that read the DVD correctly but I have never seen any discussion of it. Meanwhile I can suggest watching DVD's on an iMac. Rob
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The rule is simple. If your TV has both 16:9 and 4:3 modes, set the DVD player's TV shape setting to 16:9. If your TV has only 4:3, set the DVD player's TV shape setting to 4:3 letterbox. Use the TV remote to make the picture look its best to you. When you get it as good as possible for 1.85:1 movies it will also be right for 2.35:1 movies.

    2.35:1 or 22:9 or 20:9 are not DVD player standards but some DVD players might have one of these modes. The result is a picture that is geometrically distorted (stretched) unless you make a custom adjustment on the TV or (for a projector) use a special lens. If you can and do make the adjustment on the TV the picture will return to the correct (2.35:1 or whatever) shape with black bars on top and bottom.

    Most TV's have overscan. This will result in small amounts of the sides and (for pictures that actually fill the video frame) small amounts of the top and bottom cut off also. The DVD player is still reading the DVD correctly. You may be able to adjust the TV picture height and width to see the entire 1.66:1 or 1.85:1 or 1.37:1 picture and eliminate overscan at the cost of seeing ragged edges or seeing slight growing and shrinking of the picture some of the time.

    One thing you have no control over. Some wide screen movies are described on the DVD package as wide screen but put on video with some side cropping and pan and scan, for example a 2.35:1 original aspect ratio showing you 2.15:1. The DVD player is still reading the DVD correctly.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. Simon P

    Simon P Auditioning

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    Thanks for your help guys and gals. So there's no way to watch a DVD in full widescreen then ? (Like in the good old days of widescreen video when you got the black bars on the top and bottom of the picture; but at least you got to see the full picture).

    So much for progress !

    Simon
     
  7. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    of course there is, provided the dvd IS a widescreen presentation in the first place, and not letterbox.

    what is your tv set? does it have some sort of 16:9 setting like "16:9 enhanced"?
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    What Scott said. Most of us are seeing our films on DVD that way. All of the picture and without distortions. And, indeed, black bars above and below 2.35:1 movies.

    Simon, may I ask, what is the setting of your TV? It isn't auto-zooming the image or something?


    Cees
     
  9. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    yeah, i want to know whether the dvd in question is a widescreen dvd or a letterbox dvd in the first-place? that would be, um, important to this dicussion. [​IMG]
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    What? Even if the picture is letterbox, the whole picture will be present!

    I read these posts several times and have hesitated replying, as I'm not really sure what Simon is seeing (or asking).

    Bottom line it, the whole picture is there as long as you're buying dvds in the OAR (original aspect ratio). Since you mentioned 22:9 in your original post (which, as others have mentioned is not really a recognized aspect ratio and is certainly not 1.85:1)-- I assume you have a basic understanding of widescreen and you're seeing a widescreen picture- so I'm confused as to how you've determined some of its width is "missing."

    So maybe you could start by describing a specific DVD you own and exactly how you've determined the width is incorrect.

    -V
     
  11. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    eh,........................ huh?

    i was just responding to his statement that "there's no way to watch a DVD in full widescreen". but i'm alluding to the fact that it seems this poster may be trying to get a widescreen rendering out of a letterbox dvd.
     
  12. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Of course. You always can get the whole of the picture on your display (given the proper settings).

    What do you think a "letterbox DVD" is? It's not an official term, if anything it just means: widescreen.


    Cees
     
  13. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i'm sorry, that's not what i meant. what i mean is, is the DVD edited to fit a TV screen (4:3) or is it a widescreen (16:9) presentation in the first place.
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    That is known as "pan and scan" or "fullscreen."

    The term "letterbox" is usually used around here to infer "non anamorphic widescreen" dvd-- but the term itself means that "black bars" consisiting of unused areas of the picture exist above and below the active picture area because the full width of the picture is included

    However regardless of how you want to use the term, LETTERBOX in and of itself means the full width of the picture IS present.

    If you want to refer to DVDs that have been modified for the 4:3 aspect ratio, is this not known as "letterbox."
     
  15. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    yes, i know vince, i'm sorry. my bad.

    it's a habit i got into because of the naming of the "4:3 Letterbox" setting on my player, i guess. i just call it that without even thinking about what i'm really saying.
     
  16. RobertDH

    RobertDH Auditioning

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    I was part of this thread before but wanted to see if I could get back to my issue and maybe find some answers.

    I first noticed that the image when watching movies on my iMac for 1.37:1 films was different than when viewing on my old Sony 4:3 TV screen. There was more image on the sides of the film. I assumed on the iMac I was actually seeing the 1.37:1 image vs. the 1.33:1 image on the TV.

    I recently bought a Panasonic DVD-S97 DVD player and a Sony KD-34XS955 HD TV with a 16X9 screen. I was hoping to be able to view the old Academy ratio movies in full 1.37:1 as on my iMac. I believe that is what I have accomplished. However, at a cost....

    I have noticed that 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 are now blown up to fit the 16x9 screen. One would expect small bars on the sides for 1.66:1 films and small bars on the top for 1.85:1 films. But for each this is not the case. I have tried to adjust the options on the DVD to no avail. It was frustrating to watch au Hasard Balthazar and see the tops of heads cut off. I have called Panasonic't help line and they indicate this is just a "feature" of their DVD. I also notice that Criterion in their insert where they talk about the transfer say that for 16x9 screens there "may be" bars on either side of the image for 1.66:1 films. au Hasard Balthazar was such a film. That they say "may be" a bar indicates that this is not a DVD issue but rather a DVD Player issue (or perhaps but I don't think a TV issue). Does anyone know a work around for Panasonic DVD players? If not does anyone know of brands or models that don't morph all 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 films to 16x9 images? Thanks. I hope I am making sense and am using all technical terms correctly. Rob
     
  17. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    Assuming your new Panasonic player is set up correctly, the problem is probably with your TV. The symptoms you describe is caused by overscan. An explanation can be found on e.g. Allan Jayne's glossary page. A search in this forum may also be helpful.
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yep, in each case it sounds like overscan is eating the edges of your picture. The only surefire solution is use a HTPC as your dvd player, and use software like Theatertek which allows full image adjustments.

    -V
     
  19. RobertDH

    RobertDH Auditioning

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    Thank you Vince and Marko, This is very annoying to learn. It would be nice if there was an industry standard requiring manufacturers to state how much they overscan an image. Or if reviewers noted this. Does anyone monitor which manufactures are big overscanners? Sony must be for one. By the way what is a HTPC?
     
  20. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Home theater personal computer: Using a high-end PC as the heart of your home theater. You can achieve amazing picture quality using inexpensive/free software... and the options of what media you can integrate into your theater is nearly limitless...

    A popular HTPC dvd playback application is THEATERTEK, and it allows you to make just about any change to the image size/shape/position you desire... allowing you to completely eliminate overscan (and it allows you save and recall image presets by disc, so the next time you insert that specific disc, it remembers the settings).

    There is quite a bit of information in the HTPC area here on the HTF and well as on other forums dedicated to HT or PC technology and hardware.

    You might want to try reading the FAQ and PRIMER post linked in signature, and at the top of the basics forum... there is much useful information there on all these topics.

    -V
     

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