Store Display of 4x3 program on 16x9 set

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill McCamy, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

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    I'm probably quite a few years away from replacing my 4x3 RPTV. Nevertheless, I dropped by a decent home theater shop in Sacramento. All the sets that were displaying broadcast programs had the screens filled with a distorted flattened picture. The salesman claimed that they did not use the windowboxing feature because that would burn in the vertical borderlines.
    What gives? Was the store wrong, or do you folks with 16x9 sets crop or distort full screen programs, rather than use the windowbox?
     
  2. Howard_Horton

    Howard_Horton Auditioning

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    I have had a 16:9 set for 2 years now and I haven't seen any evidence of 'burn-in' from showing 4:3 images in their original aspect ratio. I live in the UK and I would say about 3/4 of the time my TV is on it is in 4:3 with black borders at the sides, the rest being 16:9 or DVDs.
    I personally dislike distorting an image to fill the screen, I allow the set to auto select the correct ratio and only alter it manually if receiving a non-anamorphic 14:9/16:9 broadcast.
    Another point to consider is that most DVDs are in 2.35:1 and as this is wider even than a 16:9 TV you get borders at the top and bottom of the image and there is no way to avoid this as you cannot zoom the image any further.
    The one thing I would look for is the image bending into the screen towards the edges of 16:9 sets. Mine has this problem although its a design flaw, rather than a fault, caused by the tube itself. I don't know if this has been fixed on more modern sets.
    E-mail me at [email protected] if you want to know more.
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    H
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings
    There have been enough horror stories out there of people burning in the gray bars into their sets to thoroughly scare all of us into not using the 4:3 Mode.
    I've seen it myself on a few of the sets that I have calibrated. These are also units that were not set to high contrast levels. Typically, the contrast was set in the 50% range as per the TV's movie modes ... and yet 7 to 8 months down the line ... burn in. Yuck.
    Bottom line ... if you intend to watch a lot of 4:3 material and you don't want to distort the geometry ... get a 4:3 set that does 16:9 squeeze. Don't get a 16:9 set and complain that it isn't perfect.
    Of course ... if you get the 4:3 set and you watch too much in the 16:9 mode ... you end up burning in the top and bottom black bars into the unit.
    Sigh ... Whatcha gonna do? [​IMG]
    Regards [​IMG]
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    Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
     
  4. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    A sharp burn line is less likely to develop on a 4x3 set than a 16x9 set, everything else being equal (50% 4x3 viewing, 50% widescreen viewing), because there are so many widescreen aspect ratios (1.66:1, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1), but there is only one 4x3 aspect ratio.
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  5. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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  6. James Peench

    James Peench Auditioning

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    We recently purchased a Mitsu WS 55857. I tried all of the different formats available and have settled on the standard. This format lets you view a regular broadcast in full screen mode.
    For the first week or so I thought everyone on the screen looked a bit elongated. But after that and to this point, I do not notice it at all. Funny the way the mind tricks you into viewing something as "normal" once you see it for a while. Anyway, everything looks normal now and all I had to do was watch "fat" people for aboue a week or so...
    While I do not notice it at all anymore, I can say that people who come over to watch normal programming see a difference. While Mitsu does a pretty good job stretching so that its not totally obvious, people still perceive the image as being a little stretched.
    I've read quite a few posts about burning in while using fixed displays - you can do it by using 4x3 on a 16x9, vice versa, or by playing too many video games w/ fixed dials and lifelines. I guess the best thing to do is get a TV which will match the viewing you do most often. I usually watch movies since I don't have too much time to waste in front of regular TV programming. So we went w/ the 16x9 and I love it. If you will be watching mostly TV programs and don't want to endure the "fat" people for a week or two until you adjust to the view, then go w/ a traditional...
    well, that's my two cents anyway... :cool:
     
  7. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    I'm not sure about the other Mits sets (and know nothing of other manufacturers stuff), but my 55807 slightly repositions the 4:3 image each time I turn it on.
    I'm not so worried about that as I am about the sports tickers along the top and bottom of my favorite shows.
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  8. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Mike, did you read the rest of Abdul's message?
    /Mike
     
  9. SteveRS

    SteveRS Stunt Coordinator

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    Abdul is most certainly correct.
     
  10. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for backing me up. Here is another way to look at it.
    All sets are equally vulnerable to widescreen movie burn-in. Both 4:3 sets and 16:9 sets are equally likely to suffer 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2.35:1 burn-in. (16:9 sets with a lot of vertical overscan won't suffer 1.85:1 burn-in, and 16:9 sets with a lot of horizontal overscan won't suffer 1.66:1 burn-in, but never mind.) The only difference for burn-in is that 16:9 sets can suffer 4:3 burn-in (when viewed in the original aspect ratio), and 4:3 sets can suffer 16:9 burn-in.
    Where is the 16:9 content?! Note that just about the only true 16:9 content is HDTV broadcasts on the OTA networks (CBS primetime, Leno's chin, the Young and the Restless, NYPD Blue, and that's about it) and pan-n-scanned movies on HBO-HD. When Showtime-HD shows a movie in its original aspect ratio, that ratio will almost never be 16:9. So, unless you are just a huge fan of CBS-HD, at this point in time you are more likely to suffer 4:3 burn-in on a 16:9 set than 16:9 burn-in on a 4:3 set, assuming you insist on watching everything in its original aspect ratio.
    16:9 sets disort better. The flip side is that 16:9 sets have a stretch mode to fill the screen with 4:3 content, but stretching the image vertically to fill a 4:3 screen with 16:9 content is too much distortion to tolerate.
    Where oh where is the 16:9 content?! Where I live, I can't get OTA HDTV. Therefore, I cannot even get any true 16:9 content, except the few 480i 4:3 shows that broadcast in letterboxed 16:9 (e.g., ER) and pan-n-scans on HBO-HD (in a few days), so maybe I'm biased. I currently watch zero shows on (analog) ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX, as I prefer movies (in their original aspect ratio) and Discovery/History/NGC, so I don't expect my percentage of true 16:9 viewing to increase from its current level of 0.01% to a percentage greater than my 4:3 viewing any time soon.
    Your burned glass is not half empty; it's half full! Out-of-the-box your RPTV was probably significantly brighter in the middle than the edges. If your set develops a mild case of burn-in where the image is slightly brighter at top and bottom or left and right, but there is no sharp burn line to annoy you (because you watched different aspect ratios or periodically repositioned the image), well, you're probably better off than when it was new!
    Burned 16:9 sets make good anchors. I've pointed out before that if your 16:9 set develops 4:3 burn-in, then you've got an expensive boat anchor. If your 4:3 set develops 16:9 burn-in, you can slap on a couple of mattes to conceal the top and bottom of the screen, squeeze down the raster (requires just a button push on a remote for mine), and then presto, you have a true 16:9 set. If it was a squeeze-selectable 4:3 set, then you now have a 16:9 set that can handle both anamorphic and nonanamorphic content, and display 4:3 content either horizontally stretched or with the top and bottom chopped off.
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  11. Michael St. Clair

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    Abdul, thanks for your excellent explanation of the issues many people face.
    I remain convinced that 4:3 HD-capable sets that have proper squeeze modes (Philips, Sony) make more sense than 16:9 sets for the majority of the public, at least for the next 5 years.
    Hell, the Philips sets show 16:9 HD material with lots more resolution than 95% of the other 16:9 HD-capable sets on the market!
     

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