How does a widescreen HDTV handle widescreen broadcasts on regular cable and directTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by kurt_fire, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, i just recently bought a sony WS HDTV.

    my question is this, how would my TV handle, say for example, the sopranos on directTV using an s-video cable? would it automatically detect that this show is in WS and convert it to a true 16:9 format by eliminating the top and bottom black bars? or would it just play the show in 4:3 producing black bars on the top, bottom, left, and right?? i'm confused about this, please inform me!!
     
  2. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, i just recently bought a sony WS HDTV.

    my question is this, how would my TV handle, say for example, the sopranos on directTV using an s-video cable? would it automatically detect that this show is in WS and convert it to a true 16:9 format by eliminating the top and bottom black bars? or would it just play the show in 4:3 producing black bars on the top, bottom, left, and right?? i'm confused about this, please inform me!!
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    You would get the latter in the normal setting for 4/3 viewing--a 4/3 image in the center of the screen with gray bars on the side and black bars at top and bottom. All widescreen sets offer a variety of zoom and stretch modes, however, and you can use the plain zoom for widescreen SD programming to eliminate all the bars. This blowup usually makes pq suffer a bit.

    Letterbox shows on Standard definition channels are not anamorphic, so no auto conversion can take place.

    Sopranos is broadcast in HD so if you have an HD cable or satellite box you need only choose HBO-HD and get it in all it's High Def glory.
     
  4. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought 4:3 broadcasts only had bars on the left and right and not on the top and bottom at all....Or at least that's been my impression and experience.
     
  5. Steven.W.T

    Steven.W.T Stunt Coordinator

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    A lot of shows broadcast in regular are shown 16:9. Just watch an episode of ER or Stargate. They are shown letterboxed. A lot of the newer shows are doing this.
     
  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    If your TV is in 4:3 mode, it would show with bars (possibly grey on the sides) all around. To fix this, you would have to switch to the same zoom mode that you use for non-anamorphic DVD's, usually a "uniform zoom and crop" mode (see your manual). If your TV is in another zoom mode, the picture would be stretcheed and/or cropped according to that mode and results would vary depending on your TV. There is no "auto-detect" for non-anamorphic WS because the TV sees it as just another 4:3 broadcast.
     
  7. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    I have a widescreen HD tv with DirecTV HD. Sopranos looks great.
    However I use Component cables. why anyone would use S-Video on an HD tv with an HD feed is beyond my understanding. Why would you want to do that?
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Jean,

    I don't think the original poster has a HD feed, hence the "s-video" connection. If I'm wrong, then this post is a "moo" point.
     
  9. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Jeff is correct - S-Video will not carry an HD signal. On Sony sets, there are 4 viewing modes:

    "Normal" or 4:3 mode, will have gray bars on the sides, and you will see the black bars on the top and bottom that are included in the 4:3 broadcast signal.

    "Full" mode will eliminate the gray bars by stretching the 4:3 image to fill the entire width of the screen. The black bars on the top and bottom will still be there, and everyone will look pretty squished (this is the mode to use for anamorphic DVDs).

    "Zoom" mode will enlarge the image so that it fits the width of the screen without any stretching. The net effect is that the gray bars are gone, and the black bars on the top and bottom will also be gone (though a small amount of the picture may be lost as well). This is probably the way you'll want to watch it - no distortion and no bars.

    "Wide Zoom" is a combination of "Full" and "Zoom". Small portions of the top and bottom are cropped, and non-linear stretching is done to fill the entire width of the screen. Non-linear stretching leaves the center of the image intact, while stretching only the edges. Sony's wide zoom is (IMO) one of the best stretch modes out there. I watch virtually everything in WZ and am perfectly happy. In time, you'll get used to WZ and won't notice the small amount of stretching at all.

    -Jason
     
  10. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    One more thought - on the concept of "auto detecting":

    On the Sony sets, they are capable of detecting a 16:9 signal (though that will only happen on DVDs and HD cable/satellite signals). There is a menu setting (I believe in the "Screen" category) that allows you to set the default viewing mode for 4:3 material (set to "Wide Zoom" on my set) and 16:9 material (should be set to "Full" to take advantage). If you are feeding an HD signal (720p or 1080i) the set will automatically lock into "Full" mode. Any aspect ratio control will need to be provided by your cable or satellite box.

    Standard def material does not support anamorphic enhancement (I think someone already mentioned this).

    -Jason
     
  11. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    Oops, my mistake, I assumed he meant HBO HD because his tv is an HDTV, and I figured he wanted to know if he hooked it up using the HD feed and a s-video cable, how would it look. apparently he didnt mean using an HD feed. is this correct Kurt? or did you mean using an HD feed?
     
  12. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    I believe that if you are not using a digital feed, then you will still have the black bars unless you alter your tv settings to the above mentioned "modes".
     

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