HDTV Format Question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg_Mez, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Greg_Mez

    Greg_Mez Auditioning

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    Forgive me for asking such a basic (perhaps even idiotic)question, but I haven't been able to find anyone with an answer...

    Are HD broadcasts in 16:9 format or 4:3 format? I just purchased a 4:3 format HDTV, with the anticipation of eventually receiving HD programming from my local cable company (Time Warner in Tampa). Should I expect to see received signals as 16x9 (black bars on top and bottom?), or will programming fill entire screen?

    Or is it specific to the program???

    Thanks for help!
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    The standard for HDTV is 16:9. Your TV, if it is truly HDTV-ready, will have a 16:9 (anamorphic/squeeze) mode that increases resolution for anmorphic DVDs and HDTV. You will have "black bars" but you won't be missing any of the picture!
     
  3. JonBouche

    JonBouche Agent

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    I agree with Chris that "true" HDTV is broadcast in 16:9 mode.

    I don't portray myself as an expert, but my understanding is that with a 4:3 HDTV, even though it may have a "HDTV" mode that will compress the picture to 16:9, that compressed picture will not utilize the full 1080i resolution that you would see on a 16:9 set.

    Others care to comment?
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Jon,
    previous 4/3 HD-ready sets from Hitachi and Toshiba did not do a full raster squeeze for HD material. They did scan 1080 lines, but this was over the entire area of the screen, so only about 810 lines were actually used to scan the picture itself with the rest used to put gray bars at top and bottom.
    Current Tosh and Hitachi 4/3 HD ready sets, as well as all the Sony models will do a true squeeze, using all 1080 lines to display the 16/9 picture.
    I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that Hitachi 4/3 sets still won't do a true squeeze for anamorphic dvd, but that the others will.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    If the 4:3 TV is to put gray rather than black bars above and below wide screen pictures to help equalize screen wear, it must either up its scan rate to 1440i (not likely) or not do a true squeeze.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    What everybody said about 16:9. Additionally, you should know that some HDTV channels will show 4:3 material. Some of it may be "high def", some may just be upconverted NTSC. Regardless, what will happen on your set is:

    1. 16:9 native image is shown on your 4:3 with black bars on the top and bottom. As mentioned before, it may do this via. a raster squeeze, or it may remove scan lines. Regardless, the aspect being displayed is 16:9

    2. To fit 4:3 material in a 16:9 aspect, the content provider will add side bars (often black, but I've seen funky blue shades) to the 16:9 image, to produce a 4:3 aspect.

    The result will be a square inside your 4:3 showing another 4:3 image from HD.

    I don't know of any 4:3 HDTV's which provide a zoom for this state of affairs.

    Regards,

    Martin.
     
  7. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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