Help--baffled by shifting aspect ratios

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Haggai, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Maybe this would be better suited for one of the equipment forums, or maybe it's been dealt with before, but I noticed a strange thing the other night watching a particular 1.85:1 anamorphic disc on my 48" 16X9 TV. It was Jackie Brown, to be specific. The framing looked sort of odd, with tops of heads being cut off in what looked like somewhat unnatural places to me. I decided to switch over to 4X3 non-anamorphic mode to compare, and I noticed a taller picture in that format, more stuff at the top. Then I just used a measuring tape to mark off the aspect ratio, and I found the non-anamorphic picture to be about 1.66:1! I tried this with several other 1.85:1 anamorphic discs that I have--French Connection, Taxi Driver Collctor's Edition, Rear Window, Vertigo (although that one's non-anamorphic), Godfather--and in every case, I got a ratio that was either about 1.60:1 or 1.66:1. I'm very, very confused--what am I not getting here? I know that 16X9 is about 1.78:1, not 1.85:1, but why are all these discs coming out more like 1.65:1 on the regular non-anamorphic display?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    It sounds like the widescreen mode on your RPTV has an excessive amount of overscan or the geometry is off. You should check out either AVIA or Digital Video Essentials and give your set the once over.

    My front projector did the same thing until I went in and recalibrated all modes separately from each other.
     
  4. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    To see what a disc looks like in non-anamorphic display, I switch settings both on the DVD player and on the TV. I set the DVD player to 4X3 Letterbox, instead of 16X9, and I also switch the TV to "narrow," which is 4X3 mode, instead of "standard" 16X9.

    I have the Digital Video Essentials disc, and it did appear to me that I have too much overscan on the TV when I checked that, but I can't find any way to change that on my TV, which is a Mitsubishi WS-48313.

    Also, why would overscan affect the non-anamorphic picture that I'm getting in "narrow" 4X3 viewing mode? I've got the bars on the sides for 4X3 mode, and bars on the top and bottom for a non-anamorphically displayed widescreen DVD. Yet the ratios in that mode appear to be way off, more like 1.60X1 or 1.66X1, as I mentioned above.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    OK, does that mean the top and bottom bars should probably be thicker than what I'm getting?
     
  7. Gregory Vaughan

    Gregory Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    Most TV's on "narrow" (or normal) simulate overscan on the sides of the image, even though you are getting black bars there. This is so you see the same thing you would see on a 4x3 tv (i.e. you never see the edges of the image). You are losing picture due to the side overscan, but the top and bottom overscan just loses part of the letterboxing, so the aspect ratio is changed. This is normal.

    In widescreen mode it sounds like your tv currently has excessive overscan. You will still lose the same amount on the sides as in 4x3 mode, but for an 1:1.85 movie normal overscan on a 16x9 set should just lose the letterboxing top and bottom (and so the aspect ratio is changed just enough to exactly fill the 16x9 screen). If you are losing image top and bottom on a 1:1.85 movie the overscan is too great. If you are losing image on just the top OR the bottom, then the geometry is off.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I guess it's probably the overscan in 16X9 mode that's a bit off with my set. Is there anything I can do about it? I just called Mistubishi customer service, and they flatly denied that there was anything they could do about it.
     
  9. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    You should contact an ISF technician and see about getting your set calibrated.

    HTF's Gregg L. is well-regarded in this field. Go here: Lion AV
     

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