DVD player advice please!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_S, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard that there are a few models out there that can artificially (or otherwise) display an anamorphic image from a non anamorphic DVD. I'm thinking of purchasing such a player which also would play CD-R and CD-RW 'burned' discs as well. Naturally I'd like to pick up such a player at a reasonable price. Any suggestions at which models I should be looking at? Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  2. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Anamorphic refers to the way the movie is stored on the disc.

    DVDs use a matrix of something like 720 x 480 (non-square?) pixels. An anamorphic DVD of a widescreen film places picture information into the full 480 pixels' worth of height. This artifically distorts the aspect ratio (makes the image squashed horizontally), but DVD players fix that on playback. Net result on a 16:9 HDTV-ready set, or on a 4:3 set that can do the "vertical squeeze": same horizontal resolution, more vertical resolution.

    A non-anamorphic DVD of a widescreen film letterboxes the picture -- placing black bars within the 720 x 480 frame. A widescreen TV could (if designed approprately) chop off at least part of the black bars -- but it is not going to find 480 lines worth of useful (to you) vertical picture information on the disc.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Actually, the word "anamorphic" is misleading when it comes to DVD. The term "16:9-encoded" would be more accurate. And all this means is that the horizontal 480 lines of picture information is encoded to produce a 16:9 shape. Nothing more. A non-"anamorphic" DVD instead is encoded to produce its 480 lines in a 4:3 window.

    There is no "squeezing" or "unsqueezing" going on with the disc. One simply outputs all its resolution in a 16:9 shape, while the other does the same in a 4:3 shape.

    And there are no DVD players that can somehow rescale a 4:3-encoded disc to produce anything similar to a 16:9-encoded disc.
     
  4. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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