Letterbox or 4:3 problem

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Simon-d, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Simon-d

    Simon-d Extra

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    Hello

    I have a Toshiba 57H83 TV it's 16:9.

    When I play a DVD that says 'enhanced for 16:9 tv's' and my DVD play Cyberhome Ch300 (bought for region free capabilities)is set to 16:9, I would have to say that the video image appears stretched a little (top to bottom and fills the whole screen)... now if I change the DVD settings to 4:3 letterbox mode things look a lot better but with very narrow horizontal black bars. This setting is easier on the eyes...

    Question... why is that? it seems backwards to me.

    I've played with all the possible video settings on the TV and nothing looks right unless the DVD player is set to 4:3 letterbox mode.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    With your player set for 16:9 and a DVD enhanced for 16:9, use the "Full" picture setting. This is the setting designed for that purpose. Depending on the aspect ratio of the source, the image may fill the screen or you may get small black bars (if the source's AR is wider than 16:9).


    I'm not sure what "easier on the eyes" means, but this setup tosses out 25% of the resolution available from a 16:9-enhanced DVD.

    M.
     
  3. Simon-d

    Simon-d Extra

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    I'll try what you suggest and let you know thanks.

    What I meant by easier on the eyes is that people/things don't look stretched (taller) kind of odd looking. When I change the DVD setting they look proportioned but the picture has small horizontal black bars top and bottom.

    thanks again

    Simon
     
  4. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    You may get better feedback if you were to post an example of a DVD that exhibits this. That way users here would know what aspect ratio it was filmed in and how it should appear on your set.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmnmm, have a recent disc with the THX logo?

    The THX optimizer can help, with getting things right for playing anamorphic widescreen DVD's.

    It displays a circle, and if it is not a circle, something is set wrong. With that said, you can change Modes in the player and the TV until you get the circle.

    I tend to use discs from the Indy Jones Box set.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Sounds like you're using either the "standard" picture setting (which puts gray bars at the sides of a 4:3 image) or one of the Theaterwide modes.

    The various suggestions listed here are helpful, but this is really very simple: On Toshiba sets, all 16:9 enhanced material is meant to be displayed in "Full" mode. I know, because I've had a Toshiba widescreen set for nearly 5 years now, and I've read the manuals for later sets (including yours) and the picture options haven't changed.

    M.
     
  7. ty_diaz

    ty_diaz Agent

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    Simon! oh my gosh, I was about to start a thread on exactly the same thing (!)

    Anyway, I have the same model of the Widescreen TV and a Sony DVD Player (DVP-NS999ES). I have been reading the manual for both the TV and the DVD Player and have found the same dilemma you are having.

    The picture DOES look streched from top to bottom. Nothing completely noticeable but noticeable enough when setting the DVD Player to the letterbox 4:3 setting. Which looks more centered but without the "streched" look.

    I will try the suggestion placed by the other members on changing the screen size to FULL. Right now I have it as Widescreen 1 (I tried 2 and 3) and see what happens.

    Question for the board: Would the actual software (DVD) affect this perhaps? So far I watched Braveheart and SWAT with the 16X9 setting on the DVD Player but when reading the cases for the dvd's it didn't specify the "16x9" on the back.

    thank you
     
  8. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Did you put your TV into the proper FULL display mode for 16:9 video? If so, then your TV needs to have its overscan settings adjusted in the service menu. If the DVD is not "16:9 enhanced" or anamorphic, it might be an older non-anamorphic and these are letterboxed with black bars - use a zoom mode on your TV for displaying these.
     
  9. ty_diaz

    ty_diaz Agent

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    I did as Don suggested and placed the Widescreen Toshiba TV on the Full Setting.

    I played Saving Private Ryan DTS Edition and the movie played PERFECTLY on the TV. The entire screen was filled as if the movie was made just for this TV.

    Now, in regards of the other movies which looked "streched" I played Braveheart (faily old DVD) and placed the TV on Full setting (compared to the widescreen 1 setting) and it NO longer seemed streched. There were black bars on top and bottom but very small. However, the streched look was a biggie and that is no longer a problem.

    IMO, I think its a matter on the type of DVD and if its enhnaced for these type of screens.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    Good to hear ty_diaz.....

    It can get confusing, especially when there are now DVD production considerations, DVD player aspect settings, and TV aspect / screen format settings that all have to come together for vewing in proper OAR (Original Aspect Ratio).
     
  11. ty_diaz

    ty_diaz Agent

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    John, very true! I think I'm going to spend some time reading about these differences and how they would apply on our systems. It used to be a matter of: insert disc/press play but I have more manuals in front of me than actual work.

    Its all good, I've enjoyed everything I've learned from these systems and the advice on these boards...priceless!
     
  12. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Then your problem was just that weren't using FULL mode - thats the mode to always use for anamorphic DVDs, thats what its designed for. The black bars are normal for Braveheart and other super-wide (2.35:1 aspect ratio) movies, the black bars are part of the frame. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio movies like "Saving Private Ryan) will fill the 16:9 display area if you use FULL mode, as you saw. Look in the fine print at the bottom of the back of the DVD case it usually shows the aspect ratio so you can know what to expect. If it says 1.85:1 you will get no black bars if it says 2.35:1 you will get some black bars. The other theatre-wide display modes on the TV are for 4:3 or letterboxed sources. TW0 is for displaying 4:3 video with gray side bars. TW1 is for displaying 4:3 video with a non-linear stretch (the middle of the screen has less distortion than the sides) and TW3 is with a linear stretch. TW2 is for zooming to display the 16:9 letterboxed area for non-anamorphic or other letterboxed video sources. You can also in the Toshiba menu adjust the vertical offset for TW2 and TW3 modes to shift the viewable position up/down. You need to select the appropriate TW display mode depending on what type of video you are watching from DVD or the TV tuner.
     
  13. Simon-d

    Simon-d Extra

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    Hi Folks

    I've been away for a few days but I tried the original suggestion of DVD set to 16:9 and Toshiba Tv set to Full and the disk I originally tried which was one of the Alias Season 1 disks worked. It might take a bit of getting use to as I've had it set wrong since the summer at this point.

    Interesting thread with some helpful insight, thank you all.

    Simon
     
  14. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Yes the Alias DVD shows are 16:9 widescreen anamorphic so FULL is the correct setting. Some of the bonus short features like the gag reel however are 4:3 so you have to switch to a different display mode for those features.
     

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