Panasonic S97 zooming and odd WS DVD...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by BrianWH, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. BrianWH

    BrianWH Agent

    Jan 13, 2004
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    I have an S97 connected over both component and HDMI to a JVC HD-ILA set, producing the same well-known and documented zoom artifacts when the S97 tries to zoom anything. Great player otherwise.

    This doesn't bother everybody due to the ubiquity of "16:9 Enhanced" or "Anamorphic" widescreen DVDs on the market. But since I got my first HD set, I've found quite a few of my DVDs are "letterboxed" widescreens formatted for 4:3 sets. Most of these appear to have been released in that time period of DVD infancy between 1996 and 1998, with a few exceptions, as there were few 16:9 sets back then. However, a few of my Widescreen DVDs are doing something really odd with the S97...

    With the S97 set to "Zoom = 16x9 Standard"...

    The DVD image fills the TV, the S97 claims "Zoom = 1.00, 16x9 Standard", but the familiar S97 Zoom artifacts exist. The effect is easiest to see with white text on black backgrounds - produces a jagged ghosting double image effect. So it looks like the S97 Zoom is ON. If I tell the S97 that a "4:3 Letterbox" TV is connected (Setup Menu, NOT the Zoom) the S97 says "Zoom = 1.00, 4:3 Standard" and has NO artifacts.

    The aspect control (or zoom) on my TV does a good job with no such artifacts, so I know its the player doing some kind of auto-zoom that can't be disabled. If I take an old "Letterboxed" DVD (with the black bars on all four sides, when on 16:9 set), and use the S97 to Zoom to fill my screen, it looks the same as one of these odd DVDs.

    Has anyone else with an S97 and 16:9 set noticed this issue?

    In short this type of DVD seems to tell the S97 to Zoom to fill the HD screen at 16:9, which it does with the artifacts, but the S97 reports "1.00 Zoom, 16:9 Standard". Very odd. A few titles that I have that have this issue:

    The Truman Show
    Event Horizon
    Crimson Tide
    Good Will Hunting
    Great Expectations (1998)
    Waking Ned Devine
    A Bug's Life

    Sorry for the length, but complex issue...

  2. Tom C

    Tom C Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 24, 2001
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    I have the S77 with a Sony KD-36XS955. Although my set is a 4x3, I have some experience with 16x9 sets by calibrating for some friends.

    If I had a 16x9 I would leave it in the mode where 4x3 material displays as 4x3 (bars on the sides) and 16x9 material diplays as 16x9 (fills the entire screen). The DVDs that are widescreen, but not an actual 16x9 picture I would manually zoom to fit the screen with the TV and not the DVD player. If I were to use the DVD player, then I would have to reset the zoom for 16x9, 4x3 letterbox and 4x3 material. Using the TV for 4x3 letterbox DVDs only would be more convenient. I like to minimise the changing of settings for various types of inputs. Minimising the zooming, I think, would maximise picture quality all the way around. Also, replacing the 4x3 letterbox versions when a 16x9 release becomes available would help too.

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