screen format on digital broadcasts (when to use anamorphic squeeze)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Theodore_R, Nov 8, 2001.

  1. Theodore_R

    Theodore_R Auditioning

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    I own a 480p set and recently purchased an SIR-T150 tuner so as to get OTA digital tv in Chicago. First off, the digital broadcasts, even the non-hd broadcasts, are awesome, seeming to rival anamorphic dvd's at times. The problem is that I can't tell when to put my tv into 16x9 mode. For instance, on West Wing last night, with my TV in 16x9 mode, tuner in 16x9 mode full format I received a great looking letterboxed image that appeared to look approximately 2.35:1. But on regular broadcast television the letterboxing is more like 1.85:1. My image did not appeared to be compressed. Are some non-HD digital broadcasts sent in widescreen then? Given my equipment, what is a surefire way to confirm the approproate screen format to use? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Brian Mello

    Brian Mello Stunt Coordinator

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    What TV do you have? I'll take a stab at this but I think you will only benefit from the "16x9 enhanced mode" while viewing Anamorphic DVDs or "16x9" 480p/1080i broadcasts. NBC broadcasts the West Wing and ER in "Letterboxed" Standard Definition Format (Basically the 16x9 image matted on a 4:3 frame). So I think when you choose "16x9 enhanced" you actually stretched out the image which made it seem like 2.35:1. Shows like Boston Public, Dark Angel, etc. that are broadcasted on FOX at 16x9, 480p should benefit from the "16x9 enhanced" mode. There are also other shows that are broadcasted in "Letterbox" on 4:3 frame like some of the DirecTV PPVs, Sundance Movies, IFC Movies, PBS shows, TCM, etc. A common misconception is that people think if they purchase a widescreen TV, the DirecTV PPVs shown in Letterbox DD5.1 format will automatically "fill there screen" but these programs are not being broadcasted in 16x9. They are preserving the original aspect ratio but framing it on a 4:3 matte. [​IMG]
     
  3. Theodore R

    Theodore R Auditioning

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    Thanks. I should have phrased my question more clearly. I guess what I wanted to know was what channels in Chicago broadcast 16x9? The 2.35:1 image on ER looked so good and sharp, and I wasn't sure if it was compressed or not (don't know why, but my eyes sometimes have trouble discerning proper size-ratio on the tv). So some stations broadcast non-HD 16x9 material? I thought so, and that added to my confusion and doubt about screen size ration on ER.
    I also have to say, it's just about impossible to watch anything but through my HD receiver without crying now. This sucks!
     
  4. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Some 4:3 content (FOX does this a lot) is broadcast by the networks in 16:9 by them adding pillars on the sides.
    I think Brian mentioned FOX broadcasts some 16:9 material, but I don't believe they do.
    NBC only does the Tonight Show. CBS and ABC do a lot. Fox does none to the best of my knowledge (except 4:3 matted onto a 16:9 backdrop with pillars as described above).
     
  5. Brian Mello

    Brian Mello Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't answer your question about Chicago. Its up to your local affiliates to pass the signal. Check avsforum.com for more info concerning Chicago. Fox does broadcast certain shows in 16X9 480p (Boston Public, X-Files, Dark Angel, Ally McBeal, 24, Titus to name a few). This is there version of High Definition, not truly High Definition but rather 480p. NBC is broadcasting Jay Leno & Crossing Jordan in 16x9 1080i HD. They broadcast West Wing and ER in 16x9 matted on a 4:3 frame in 480i SD. ABC broadcasts most of there primetime lineup in 16x9 720p HD. CBS also broadcasts most of there primetime lineup in 16x9 1080i. ABC & CBS also broadcast some movies and sporting events in 16x9 HD. Some 480i SD digital broadcasts from network affiliates are "stretched" to be 16x9. This is the case for the Atlanta FOX network. [​IMG]
     
  6. Theodore_R

    Theodore_R Auditioning

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    Does anyone know of a website that offers this information (original screen format for all network shows and what local affiliates do with them). I'm still having a hard time figuring out whether my aspect ratio is screwy or not. Part of the problem is that my samsung tuner behaves very erratically, picking screen formats almost at random, and switching back to its "default" (whatever right or wrong) settings whenever I flip the channel.
     
  7. Brian Mello

    Brian Mello Stunt Coordinator

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    www.hdtvgalaxy.com does a pretty good job listing what is showing in HD & ED (Fox). I would guess Chicago is pretty typical with the other major cities.
    [Edited last by Brian Mello on November 09, 2001 at 07:10 AM]
     

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