Is anyone else bothered about overscan?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Sean Frost, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Sean Frost

    Sean Frost Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you really care that your TV looses around 6% of the image due to overscan? For some reason it has been bothering me lately because I know that I'm not seeing the full image.
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Get it calibrated and you can knock it down to around 2-3%, as long as the power supply of the set is robust enough.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    My HTPC is overscan-free.
     
  4. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    It only bothers me when text gets cut off on the edges. Examples off the top of my head are the end credits in Taxi Driver and the "chapter" title cards in The Royal Tenenbaums.

    My Hitachi TV has about 5-6% overscan. Unfortunately, in order to fix the overscan, I have to actually open up my TV to access the switches, and I'm not about to mess up my TV or electrocute myself to do this.
     
  5. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    This is something that pops into mind from time to time. I think the one thing that reminds me of this the most is during the opening scroll of The Empire Strikes Back. The words are not all seen as the scroll begins. (And yes, I'm watching it in widescreen.) Not much I can do about it until I get a real tv.
     
  6. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    I'm not bothered by it. Short of spending money I don't have on a better set, there's nothing I can do about it. I'd rather worry about things I have control over and can change.
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    That's why my TV has service mode controls you can adjust with the remote using a secret code. I adjusted it so it shows as much picture as it's capable of showing. This usually results in some weird bending on the bottom of the screen during VHS or Beta tapes or any disc made from a lower-quality video source. I was watching one of the Simpsons discs with commentary and they mentioned something that they meant to show was cropped on the bottom, but I could see it on my screen!
     
  8. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    Not really. Most director's shoot with a 5% overscan in mind anyway.
     
  9. paul_austin

    paul_austin Second Unit

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    yes it bothers me....one day i'll have a service tech come out and adjust it since im too chicken to go into the service mode on my own. My DVD player lets me zoom in and zoom out on any image....and everytime I put in a movie at least once i zoom and too see what I'm missing
     
  10. Sean Frost

    Sean Frost Stunt Coordinator

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    I figured out a way around this. I just zoom out a couple times and I get the complete image.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    That's the way I've seen film and television all my life at home, so it's not something I really think about much. I do notice, for instance, that one of my older TVs has a much larger overscan than my newer TV. Being a college student, I can't afford really good stuff, and I have to take whatever's given to me, so I'm really in no position to let it bother me.

    Considering that it's almost impossible to actually see a film properly projected in a theater today, the little bit of overscan at home doesn't bother me. I think my TV, even with a little overscan, is usually a more accurate representation of the intended frame area than I see at most movie theaters, unfortunately.
     
  12. KeithS

    KeithS Auditioning

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    So how do I adjust my overscan? I've noticed many instances when the side of my television are cut off, like during the opening credits of my Hedwig and the Angry Inch DVD or when I'm watching a ballgame and the scorebox is off the edge (I can never tell when there's a runner on third).

    Does anyone know where I can find the code to fix it? I have a Sanyo TV if it helps. I asked at a local TV repair shop about it, and the guy behind the counter didn't have a clue about what I was talking about...

    Help!
     
  13. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I have a quick over-scan question.

    Is it true that FP have NO overscan what-so-ever? If so, that one be one MAJOR reason to get one, at least for me since overscan bothers me to no end. I absolutely HATE knowing that there is more picture that I'm just not seeing, just because of overscan.
     
  14. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I didn't even know what overscan was until I watched Yojimbo on my 27" JVC. Chunks of the opening credits were cut off![​IMG]

    So I used my DVD players zoom out function and a grid test from Sound&Vision to mathematically determine my TV has a 16% horizontal overscan! (A mere 9% vertical)[​IMG]

    I think that ISF calibrating a 27" tv will cost more than the TV did, and overscan may not be able to be corrected anyway... sigh... I guess I'll just have to save up for a big widescreen RPTV.
     
  15. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

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    My TV's got to have WAY more than 5 or 6% overscan. I dunno. I'd say 15%. I can tell becuase my DVD player zooms out on "shrink" mode so I can see what I am missing. I really hope when I get a new TV to defeat it.
     
  16. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

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    Can someone define overscan in more detail? My Infocus 4805 has an Overscan button, but I'm unsure of its use. I think I understand overscan from these posts, but could someone define in more detail?
     
  17. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Overscan is just the feature to extend the picture out of the viewing area on a conventional TV. It is absolutely necessary on any display that is not perfectly rectangular (if you think about it). Until recently, only RPTV's had straight lines on the sides (for most people). When I abandoned videotape I could finally reduce the overscan considerably. Without overscanning the image you would see irregular edges and constant picture size changes. (and head switching at the bottom of the screen and tearing at the top on tape playback)

    The overscan feature cuts the edges off the image on the 4805 to imitate the result that overscan creates on a convential TV. If you watch tape on a FP you will see distortion at the top, bottom, and often the sides of the image. Selecting "overscan" will hide that.
     
  18. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks!
     
  19. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

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    So is overscan less in HDTVs than it is in older tube TVs? Right now I have a 27" CRT from the mid 90s and the overscan is so bad. I am getting one of those Sanyo 30" 16X9 HDTVs soon, I am hoping the overscan won't be that bad, otherwise it's rolling the dice in the service menus and possibly killing my TV...

    Also, WHY does overscan exist still? Why isn't it now standard for TVs to allow you to adjust the geography controls like computer monitors? You'd think that would actually be a big selling point for higher-end TVs. Like Sony could do it with their XBR line and have pictures showing the differance and stuff and say "The Sony XBR line is the only line of TVs on the market that allows you to adjust to compensate for overscan" and sell tons of the things!

    I HATE it. I HATE it with ALL MY LIFE!
     
  20. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    To reduce overscan you need a display with straight sides (Trinitrons were always some of the straightest) and an excellent power supply (this means expensive). After minimizing overscan you wouldn't want to watch videotape unless you like to watch headswitching lines; some stations will have noise at the top of the screen and the width may vary with content.

    The manufacturers prefer that you don't see bad pictures and will go to great lengths to insure it. That's why it took so long to get visible pause and search on VCR's (it looks bad compared with playing straight through) and your TV picture usually appears suddenly rather than slowly (like old sets did) so you don't see the warm-up process a picture tube goes through (focus, color balance, etc). I've seen some real oddball stuff on my new Infocus FP. I doubt that changing picture size will be an option anytime soon.
     

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