Setting up aspect ratios when watching movies...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brad Craig, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Brad Craig

    Brad Craig Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a little confused about this so i figured I'll try to explain my questions out so you can correct me...

    Okay first example >>> We got a movie that was encoded in the 1.33:1 ratio or 4:3 aka fullscreen...

    Now if i'm watching this on a 16:9 widescreen TV, will there be black bars on the screen on the sides???

    Second example >>> If i'm watching a movie that was encoded in 1.85:1 aka 16:9 or 2.35:1 and its on a 4:3 standard TV, I get the black bars on the top and bottom right???

    Now is there settings in either the dvd player and/or newer TV's that allow you to change these aspect ratio's even though the movie was encoded in a specified aspect ratio???

    And saying yes you could to both of them, would they conflict if you had lets say the dvd player internally set at 4:3 but yet your TV was setup internally to 16:9???

    OR am I just totally off base in my line of thinking???

    I use my xbox as my dvd player and I have a standard TV so i don't know much about how you can setup dvd players or TV's internally as far as aspect ratios go...
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In most DVD player menus there is a setting for either "16:9 Widescreen," "4:3 Letterbox," or "4:3 Fullscreen." What these settings mean is:
    16:9 Widescreen
    "I have a widescreen TV. Output the video signal to fit my widescreen TV."
    For anamorphic movies there will be no change to the picture and it will be sent to the TV in it's native form. When the TV's scan lines run all the way across the TV the picture will be "stretched" to the correct aspect ratio. Usually the TV has to be put into a "stretch" mode to accomplish this. If the DVD is not anamorphic but is letterboxed so it retains the original aspect ratio (OAR) then the picture will have bars on all 4 sides. In this case the TV should be put into a "zoom" mode to crop off the side bars. You don't loose any of the picture, but you get a lower resolution. Movies that are 4:3 will have bars on the sides. You can't fix this without distorting the image to stretch to fill the screen, or crop of the top and bottom in zoom mode. Neither is recommended. If the OAR of the film is 4:3, best to watch it as intended. If it's a pan and scan version then take it back and tell them you bought the wrong one. [​IMG]
    I'll add though that there are some 4:3 TVs that have the ability to stretch an anamorphic picture and retain the higher resolution. This is called an "anamorphic squeeze." If your TV can do this then you want to use the "16:9 Widescreen" mode so the DVD player doesn't letterbox it.
    Keep in mind that movies with an OAR wider than 1.78:1 (i.e. 1.85:1, 2.35:1) will still have black bars on widescreen TVs.
    4:3 Letterbox
    "I have a 4:3 TV and I like to watch my movies in their OAR."
    If the DVD is anamophic then the DVD player will remove a number of scan lines to correct the geometry problems and keep the aspect ratio correct. It essentially letterboxes the movie. If you have a 4:3 TV and put the DVD player into "16:9 Widescreen" then the image will be squished horizontally and people will look really tall and thin. DVDs that are widescreen letterboxed will not be altered. Same for 4:3 movies.
    4:3 Fullscreen
    "I have a 4:3 TV and I don't like widescreen. Cut off the sides for me if possible."
    DVDs have the capability of doing pan and scan on the fly. If a disc is coded with this feature then this mode will accomodate it. However, I don't think any DVDs have actually been created with this feature.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  4. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brad,

    You might want to search for threads regarding matts or masks to cover the "black" bars which are really dark grey. This is a cheap trick that really adds to the movie experience by covering the bars with truly black material. It makes the colors seem more vivid, and improves the percieved picture contrast.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,403
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Some DVD players will provide automatic aspect ratio control and/or zoom/scaling. These features can be very useful with a 16x9 monitor. For example, the Panasonic RP-91 will automatically windowbox any 1.33:1 aspect ratio film for display on a 16x9 (1.78:1) TV. It adds black side bars instead of the gray ones used by many 16x9 TV manufacturers.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This has already been answered pretty well, but I figure I'll throw my 2 cents in:
     
  7. Brad Craig

    Brad Craig Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies...

    When you guys use the term "anamorphic" what does that exactly mean???

    Does it mean widescreen or what???
     
  8. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince provided a very good link that explains anamorphic.
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

Share This Page