question about widescreen tv shows on my widescreen

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JasonS, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a widescreen tv, and dvd's look great, but I have a question about shows that are widescreen or movies shown in widescreen. I also have Dish network. When watching dvd's 1.85:1 movies completely fill the screen. When watching widescreen movies or viewing widescreen tv shows (ER) through Dish it still leaves unused space (black bars). I have my Dish receiver set to a 16x9 display, but is this the same for everyone?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Jason, this topic comes up ad nauseum among newcomers, so much so that it has been covered in HTF's FAQ and Primer for Newcomers, edited by Vince Maskeeper:

    If I buy a widescreen TV will I get rid of black bars forever?

    Think for a moment: Films are shot in several aspect ratios, from the near squarish 1.37:1 Academy Ratio to others that are nearly three times as wide as they are tall. TVs, on the other hand, are available in only two aspect ratios. Now, can either of those two aspect ratios accommodate perfectly all the many, many film aspect ratios?

    Of course not.

    Finally, we are not talking about "black bars" here; it is dead space; nothing has been "inserted" into the picture.

    If you have further questions, I'll leave the thread open.
     
  3. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Unless you are watching hi-definition feeds (or EDTV widescreen OTA from Fox), widescreen shows are being broadcast letterboxed within a 4:3 window. Your "16:9" sat receiver setting won't have effect since these aren't 16:9 broadcasts, but 4:3 broadcasts with the bars making up part of the picture. The only true 16:9 shows are on OTA digital and satellite HD channels.

    For letterboxed 4:3 shows, from TV or DVDs that are not "16:9 enhanced", aka "anamorphic widescreen", you will need to use a different stretch mode on your set. The name of the mode varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. You want the one that stretches the picture the same percentage horizontally & vertically, uniformally across the screen, chopping off the top & bottom parts of the picture.

    Also keep in mind that anything appreciably wider than 1.78:1 will still require black bars on top/bottom since your set is 1.78:1. 1.85:1 fills the screen due to overscan.
     
  4. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, I do apologize as I have never read that thread. I do know a bit about aspect ratios, and the fact that there are more than one. I have been purchasing dvd's for 5 years now and do not own a single full-frame movie. Perhaps I wasn't clear in my question.

    If a movie is being shown on IFC in what appears to be 1.85:1, why does it show differently on my screen than dvd's in the same aspect ratio. Stephen, thank you for your response.
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    IFC is an SD channel, it broadcasts a letterbox movie as a letterboxed image in a 4/3 frame with black bars at top and bottom. If the film they are running in letterbox has an oar of 1:85, and you watch it with your set in "full" mode (the same mode you use for anamorphic widescreen dvds) the set will stretch the 4/3 letterbox image horizontally to fill the screen side to side, you will see black bars similar in size to those seen on a 2:35 aspect ratio dvd, and objects in the picture will look short and fat.

    If you change your set to "zoom" it will stretch the 4/3 image the same amount vertically and horizontally, fill the screen, and the black bars will go away.

    Just think of letterbox programs on SD tv channels as non-anamorphic widescreen dvds, and you'll get the idea.

    Go out and rent a copy of The Abyss, Titanic, or Some Like it Hot to see how non-anamorphic dvd shows up on your set in the various picture modes available on your set--letterbox shows and movies on non-HD tv channels will behave the same way.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I bought full frame T3, and wowsers.... I will buy more...
     
  7. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info guys. That was what I was looking for. I'll grab one of my non-anamorphic dvd's tonight and play around. I do understand the dead-space, which does not bother me, but I was just curious as to whether I should have had another setting changed.
     
  8. diddo121

    diddo121 Auditioning

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    So does that mean there is no way to get rid of the wide screen tv? I just got my wide screen tv and a lot of my shows are showing up in wide screen. There is nothing I can do? I really dont like it at all
     
  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Wow, a 6 year old thread back from the dead :)


    I don't understand the complaint. Widescreen shows on widescreen TVs are generally a good thing. Please answer the following, so we can understand your question and probably fix your issue, or at least tell you what's going on:
    1. Brand/model # of TV?
    2. cable/satellite provider or over-the-air? If cable/sat, what model# box are you using?
    3. which channel, which shows does the problem show up on? Is this an HD channel?
    4. or are you complaining about DVDs/BDs?
    5. which of the following is your actual complaint:
      • picture distorted (how?)
      • bars on sides
      • bars on top & bottom
      • bars on all 4 sides of the picture
     
  10. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    If you don't like the shows in widescreen, why did you buy a widescreen tv?
    Everything is headed that way, so get used to it. With widescreen, you see everything the director meant for you to see. You don't miss half the movie, like you do with pan & scan (fullscreen).
     

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