How come no one ever complains about Overscan?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Ruiz, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've been here a long time, and I've never hear (or read) anyone complain about TVs overscanning the picture, so that a lot of picture information is lost on ALL SIDES OF THE TV! I have a Sony Wega and it's quite easy for me to go into the service menu to adjust anything I want, but I still have LOTS of overscan on the bottom of the TV that I can't move up, becuase if I do, in Widescreen the black bars will not be even, in size.

    What about in Widescreen TVs...There is overscan on *ALL* sides, and it's worse, because you no longer have to deal with any black bars, therefore the top and bottom of the picture that you would actually see on a 4:3 set, is no longer there, because it would be lost to Overscan.

    This is a major problem, so, why aren't companies doing anything about it? They should be trying to create TVs that have NO overscan what-so-ever!
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    On your tv is it possible to center the image so overscan on the bottom can be eliminated? That seems like it eliminate any concerns over uneven black bars.
     
  3. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    AFAIK, with current technology, zero overscan would expose the uneven fringes/edges of the TV's rasterizing capability. The overscan is there to hide that ugly discolored fringe. Now admittedly some TVs have way too much overscan, but eliminating it altogether is not an option.
     
  4. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    Overscan is normally present on all TV's, including direct view tubes. It's just the nature of the beast when designing a set and is not limited to RPTV's. The overscan can be minimized on most sets, but setting it at zero percent can cause image problems. Zero percent may look fine on one video source or DVD, but when viewing another source, video "junk" will may present at the edges. Overscan is there to minimize the video junk that is viewable. 3-5% overscan is not really that big of an issue.

    Of course, when adjusting overscan, you still need to make sure your image is centered (which seems to be your issue if your black bars are uneven after setting overscan).
     
  5. Steve Daniels

    Steve Daniels Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Toshiba 3750 dvd player, and use the Zoom Out function to get rid of most of the overscan from my 27" Mitsubishi display. Works like a charm, and even allows you to move the picture up, down, left, or right to center it if your set overscans unevenly.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I actually have my projector currently set to about 0 overscan, and it sucks. Almost every title has some formatting for overscan built in- so I am always seeing outside bars on picture area.

    I would say having like 3% on all sides would be a very good compromise. Notice when you go to the theater, look at the screen edges-- the projection is never perfect- even in THX theaters. Even theatrical has alittle overscan.

    Granted, if you have 10-12% or something, that's a problem... but you aren't losing muc at 5% (given the fact that most picture areas automatically have about 2% built in!

    -V
     
  7. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Well, I have it kept to a minimum, but I am worried that on a Widecreen TV with no black bars, will be harmful to the picture, since there are no black bars, some of the picture will be lost to over-scan. On a full screen display, while watching a widescreen movie, you are seeing the very top and very bottom of the screen, because the black bars are there, and over-scan only eats some of the blackness, but not the actual movie. But on a widescreen TV, there are no black bars, therefore, the TV is eating up the picture!
     
  8. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Jesse: Not neccessarily... when I review DVDs, I check everyone on my PC DVD-ROM for errors and image issues that may not come up in my living room setup... most DVDs alot a certain amount of black... usually 2-5 pixels on each side, for overscanning. Surprisingly, not all films are transferred entirely straight, and the side bars are not completely even. Even worse, even with the overscan space, many 1.85:1 transfers are cropped to 1.78:1 to fill a 16x9 screen.
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    My guess is that the reason more people don't complain about overscan is because they don't know how much overscan they are living with.
     
  11. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    Adam,

    I agree with you. But my point was that a 4:3 set is not imune to overscan on the sides. Whether you have a widescreen or regular screen TV, they still may come from the factory with gross overscan on all sides. David made it sound as if 4:3 sets couldn't possibly be loosing side information.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Jesse: I understand you now. Also, pretty much everything that's broadcasted live on TV doesn't allot for overscan. It really is a major problem anyway you look at it.
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I have a Sony WEGA which I have been able to get to about 5% overscan in either direction (2.5% per side) without much trouble (had to make some geometry adjustments, but it was pretty easy with the right test patterns and the service menu). What I have not been able to figure out is how to reduce the overscan in 16:9 mode. There appears to be a vertical blanking signal that covers a little bit more of the top than I would like, and I don't know of any service menu code that can change it. This is not a problem for most titles, but for a tightly framed 1.78:1 title like, say, Excalibur, it is almost less annoying to watch it 4:3 downconverted.

    Regards,
     

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