How to watch anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 TV?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thik Nongyow, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    I need to know the steps to watch an anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 TV which can change picture size. Can anyone help me?
     
  2. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe if you give us more info, i.e. the TV's make and model. In general:
    1. In your DVD player's setup, set your TV's aspect ratio to 16:9.
    2. Change your TV's "16:9 enhanced" setting to "on" or "auto".

    Let us know if this works!
     
  3. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    If your TV does not automatically adjust the screen size, it will have to be done in the service menu. What is your TV brand and model number?
    D'OH!
    Note to self...must read more carefully.
     
  4. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    The TV maker is Samsung and its model is the TXM2797HF.

    I did set my DVD player to 16:9 and changed the TV picture to "Wide," but I did not see any noticeable enhancement to picture quality than if I set the DVD player to 4:3 and left the TV setting to "Normal."

    Like some people with a budget, I originally wanted to purchase a 16:9 HDTV-ready set but because such sets are outrageously priced, I had to settled with an affordable 4:3 set.
     
  5. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    General rules:

    1) Set DVD player to output to 16:9 TV.
    2) Set TV to 16:9 mode.

    This "tricks" your DVD player into thinking that it is connected to a widescreen TV.


    Note that some TVs will automatically switch to 16:9 mode when the DVD and DVD player are configured to send a 16:9 signal. For Sony's, this works in interlaced mode, but not for progressive signals.
     
  6. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thik,

    That's a nice set you got, don't be thinking you settled... Think that one day, it'll make a great bedroom set!

    As far as I can tell, you've got the setup right. The only reason I can imagine that you're not seeing an improvement in resolution is that the DVD you're testing with is not anamorphic. However, it would be pretty obvious to you that it's not because it would have black bars in Normal mode, and when you tried to compress it (Wide mode), it would look too squished.

    Assuming you have everything right and are just not noticing a difference, try this: set your DVD player to 4:3 and your TV to Normal. Play a chapter in your favorite DVD that has a well-lit scene with a range of colors, and stand close enough to the TV that you can see scan lines (I'd say 2-3 feet on a 27"). Now switch the player to 16:9. You should see everything streched out of proportion, the image filling the screen, and the scan lines still there. Now switch the TV to Wide (the correct mode). The image should squish, and black bars should appear on top and bottom. The image should now appear much smoother, and scan lines should be less evident (if not non-existent).

    Does this work for you? Do you see a difference?
     
  7. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    See this site for a good illustration of the differences you should see...
     
  8. matthew_rm

    matthew_rm Second Unit

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    TV's can do this? I have a cheepo 4:3 and if I set my DVD player to 16:9 it goes out of proportion. Is it only the newer flat screens that do this?
     
  9. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Matthew,
    Some 4:3 TVs do this "squeeze." It is called "anamorphic mode," "16:9 enhanced mode." Almost all new brand-name TVs (Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, etc...) will have this function. The bigger the display, the more noticeable the improvement. The squeeze produces about 30% more resolution.
     
  10. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    Should I use a digital camera to see the difference between a 4:3 letterbox picture and a 16:9 anamorphic picture with the "Wide" picture size? What picture resolution should I use?

    By the way, I am using the movie "Shrek" for my anamorphic example, as it is in anamorphic widescreen.
     
  11. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    One other thing, if the squeeze is being done try adjusting your birghtness and contrast (remember your origional settings) if the Squeeze is realyl being done you should be able to see distinctly diffeent color black bars it will be like two sets of bars on your TV. of course if your TV is really well calibrated with Avia or video essientals then you should be able to see the diffeent shade, thats why you might ahve to adjust the two.

    As well i dont know how the samsung does it, but i know my toshiba has a button on the remote to turn on the squeeze.
     
  12. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    My point of view about the 16x9 squeeze is it basically turns your 4x3 TV into a 16x9 TV but with black bars. All this does is compress all the scan lines into a 16x9 frame instead of a 4x3 frame which will essentially give you 33% more resolution, scan lines will virtually disappear, especially if you don't have a line doubler in your TV.
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's not the compressing of the raster into a 16:9 window that produces the greater resolution, but the ability to show a 16:9-encoded DVD in its native format; showing a 16:9-encoded DVD downconverted in the player for a 4:3 letterbox presentation results in a resolution loss of 33 percent, since every third line is used by the player to paint the letterbox bars. That is all.

    Thik:

    You've asked this question more than once. If the Samsung has a 16:9 mode (and I believe it does), go into the picture menu and select "16:9." Then, go to the setup menu in your DVD player and also select "16:9." You will never have to return to the player's setup menu.

    If the Samsung doesn't automatically go to 16:9 mode when you're playing a 16:9-encoded DVD, select 16:9 manually.

    Now, widescreen DVDs that are letterbox-only (i.e., not 16:9-encoded or so-called "anamorphic") won't look any different because the letterboxing is encoded on the DVD itself.
     
  14. Francois Plouffe

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    One of the best scene I founded that shows the anamorphic improvement is the begining of Gattaca, when there is slow vertical pan in the hallway of Gattaca. There is many curved element in the picture. Check the recessed light countour during the camera pan. The edges are dancing very much when in regular 4:3. Much less obvious when in anamorphic, and totally disappear in progressive scan.
     
  15. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, I tried your suggestion and noticed an improvement in picture quality.

    I must admit that I had expected something greater, but alas, DVD is 480p, not something coming out from HDTV. I may also had too high an expectation on anamorphic DVDs, which explains why I did not feel satisfied by setting my DVD player to 16:9 and setting my TV picture size to "Wide." Even with the correct steps, I did not feel satisfied.

    Perhaps my satisfaction may be fulfilled if I purchase a widescreen HDTV, but buying one is beyond my price range.
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You won't really notice any difference, Thik. If you already are capable of receiving and decoding HD signals, DVD can never hope to approach that sort of resolution. Best to watch HD material only if that's the last thing you plan to see on a given evening--anything else is a dramatic step down.

    But, to me, there's no substitute for looking at a 16:9-encoded DVD in anything other than a 16:9 window; the difference is shockingly obvious--even on my 27-inch bedroom display. The difference is such that one looks like film while the other (downconverted or letterboxed-only) looks like "video."
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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