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Questions about widescreen (1 Viewer)


Supporting Actor
Jan 24, 2002
I used the search thing, but couldn't find the answers. I have a few questions. Whenever I watch a DVD on the tv I have in my livingroom, the picture seems to be stretched. A movie with a 1.85 aspect ratio seems to be streched to a fullscreen, and a movie with a 2.35 aspect ratio seems to be streched to a 1.85 aspect ratio. BUT, when I watch these DVDs on my bedroom tv, everything is normal! Why is this? I ASSUME it's because these DVDs are anamorphic, how can I fix it so the picture on my livingroom tv appears normal? My other question is what does "open matte" mean? I read this all the time, but never can findout what it means.

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
If the TV has both 4:3 and 16:9 modes (which for an ordinary broadcast will give a "normal" and a "stretched wide" picture respectively), then set the DVD player to 16:9. If the TV has only 4:3 mode, set the DVD player to 4:3 letterbox. Even if the picture is stretched unnaturally, on screen menus from the DVD player will still be readable for you to make the correct choice.

Then, if applicable, select the mode on the TV that looks best. It would be 16:9 for "anamorphic" DVD's and 4:3 (or zoom) for others provided that the DVD package is labeled correctly.

Open matte means that the film was shot in 4:3 but intended to be cropped (matted) on top and bottom during theater showings to give the usual wide screen picture. (Or shot in anamorphic 1.85:1 and intended to be matted to perhaps 2.35:1) On video the entire (4:3) picture was included. Sometimes the entire 4:3 picture is artistically acceptable, sometimes it is not and the top and bottom edges may have bloopers such as visible microphone booms. If you wish you can tape cardboard strips over the TV screen to make the picture look as it would be seen in a theater.

Other video hints:

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002
Your DVD player is set to 16:9, set it to "letterbox" or 4:3. Should be in the setup menu under something like "TV type" or "aspect ratio".

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