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Letterboxed broadcasts enlarged on 16:9? (1 Viewer)

Tom Logan

Second Unit
Joined
May 23, 2003
Messages
259
I'm about to take delivery on a Samsung DLP 61," and the helpful salesman at Magnolia told me something I didn't quite understand:

Sure, DVDs and HDTV signals fill (or almost fill, depending on DVD aspect ratio) the 16:9 screen.

But what about broadcast letterbox movies/shows (Turner Classic Movies, for instance)? I assumed that these programs on my new 16:9 screen would still be letterboxed within the 4:3 box, thus giving black bars on BOTH the sides AND the top & bottom.

What the sales tech assured me was that these letterboxed programs would be "blown up," (i.e, fill the screen a la a DVD with only black bars top and bottom) and thus look great on my new TV.

Is this true? If so, how will there NOT be a falloff in image quality because of this enlargement of the broadcast (whether cable or dish) signal?

Thanks in advance for the expertise!

- Tom

P. S. And feel free to tell me if this isn't the best forum for this question. I did look, and this seemed to be the appropriate one--but I could be wrong! :)
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
26,917
Location
Albany, NY
This should be in the Display Devices forum, but:

16x9 tvs allow you to zoom in. This cuts off the top and bottom of the picture, but since they're essentially empty space on widescreen presentations anyway, it doesn't matter. The trade off is that the larger picture will reveal all the flaws of the broadcast.

4x3 content can be zoomed or stretched as well, but that will cause the loss or distortion of the intended image, so the best method is the maintain the sidebars for such content.
 

Tom Logan

Second Unit
Joined
May 23, 2003
Messages
259
Thanks, Adam. I knew it was a close call between posting this in Display Devices and Programming...thanks for the tip.

I knew of course about the zoom feature, but I figured the salesman was exaggerating (or ill-informed) when he said that the resulting zoomed-in pic for a letterboxed broadcast (non-HD) signal would "fantastic." I didn't see how that could be true; now I see that it isn't.

Thanks again!

- Tom
 

Kwang Suh

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 4, 1999
Messages
849
Actually, newer TVs have very, very good zooming capabilities. Some have remarked that even when zoomed, the picture is, dare I say, excellent.

I have seen some of the newer Toshiba's zooms, and they are certainly miles above my TW40X81's zooms in terms of picture quality.
 

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