The 47" Panasonic and "A Bug's Life" - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by WilliamG, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    I keep looking at this 47" Panasonic Widescreen at both 'big stores' in the area (Best Buy and Circuit City) ... tonight at CC I finally talked to a salesman about it, and I wanted to put it thru a demo; the source material really looked like crap on the unit, so he volunteered to let me see a DVD on it. He goes and gets "A Bug's Life" and proceeds to load it into the player that was attached to the set. (Incidentally, the player was the Panasonic RP-56 - good, because that's the player that I have!) ... he loaded the DVD, cycles thru the menus to 'set up' the DVD and was about to play the "full screen" version when I caught it and said "NOOOOooooooo! What's the use of having a widescreen set if you're gonna watch a pan and scan presentation!?!" So he reselects the widescreen version of the movie and we're off, or so I thought.
    Let's see if I can cut to the chase - I thought that on this widescreen tv that there wouldn't be any 'unused' screen (read: black bars), but there was! We went into the set up mode on the DVD player and selected the 16:9 mode and still there were the bars. Is the salesperson feeding me a load or does he not know what the heck he's talking about? (Not uncommon these days!) [​IMG]
    Now, don't misunderstand - I certainly don't mind the 'squeeze', but I was under the impression that I'm NOT supposed to be seeing those bars on this specific set. Can those of you with the 47" Panasonic Widescreen set me straight?
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    A Bug's Life is 2.35:1, whereas a widescreen TV is 1.77:1 You'll still see letterboxes for a 2.35:1 material. On 1.85:1 movies, however, the bars will be tiny (or 'wasted' by overscan).
    Next time, ask to see South Park:BLU or 102 Dalmations
     
  3. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Another problem is the version of bug's life most stores use is the single disc version, which is not anamorphic. That is another reason the picture wasnt as good. Next time ask to demo Toy Story 2. Or the two disc version of bug's life.
     
  4. JohnHN

    JohnHN Stunt Coordinator

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    Or even better, try Shrek.

    Bugs Life, which I love, is a particularly unfortunate choice because only the collectors edition, which is relatively expensive, is anamorphic. So it is almost certain that you were watching the non-anamorphic version of Bug's Life. The problem is that the Pan 47 locks into "full" (anamorphic mode) when fed any signal from a progressive signal. The net effect of watching a non-anamorphic disc in full mode is a distorted image (almost impossible to detect on animated ants but readily visible on live action) and wider than normal upper and lower bars. You will also see bars on a correctly displayed 2.35:1 image, but they would not be that bad.

    For the Pan 47, it you get a progressive player then you will need a DVD player that has aspect ratio control, like the Pan 91 or a JVC.
     
  5. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, guys!
    I'll go back armed with my own discs next time [​IMG]
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    Don't use animation for demo material, period. Animation hides flaws in the picture quality of the set. Animation looks at least GOOD on almost every set.
     
  7. KC Alewine

    KC Alewine Extra

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    > Don't use animation for demo material, period.

    > Animation hides flaws in the picture quality of the set.

    > Animation looks at least GOOD on almost every set.

    Why wouldn't you use the best possible material available for demoing a TV? The titles mentioned above are on almost every 'reference quality' video list, so it doesn't seem to make sense to reject them simply because they're animated.

    Perhaps the best advice for someone shopping for a new TV would be to bring a variety of reference quality demo material - both animated and non - to check out their potential purchase.

    KC
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's always best to use material with which you are familiar. And animated films can be tricky, as you need to be able to see how a set performs on European fleshtones and such (a great test for red push).

    To reiterate about framing and letterboxing: As long as there is no "universal" aspect ratio for films, there will always be a need for letterboxed presentations; a 1.78:1 screen cannot accommodate all aspect ratios. Check out Ben-Hur or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on a 16:9 set; you'll see black bars because those films are framed at 2.76:1 and 2.55:1 respectively.

    Also, when going back to the store, make sure the showroom jockey has adjusted the DVD player to output a 16:9 signal from a good prog-scan player. You'd be amazed at how few chain-store clerks know the very basics. Be insistent. And if the store somehow "can't find" the correct remote for the set, go to another store.
     
  9. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never really understood why people don't like the black bars. I got into an argument with someone once because i insisted there is no difference between a 43" widescreen television and a 47" 4:3 television because they both display the same image size in 16:9 mode (assuming the 4:3 television has a 16:9 mode). The friend argued that the 16:9 TV had to be better because it had no black bars. I find they dissapear when the lights go out.
     
  10. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    Andrew,

    If you'll go back and re-read the third paragraph of my original, you'll see that I do not mind the bars; it's just that I mistakenly thought that with this specific set I wouldn't have them.
     
  11. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasn't meaning that rant towards you... just people in general... sorry if you mistook that for an attack.
     
  12. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    Andrew,
    Hey - no problem! ... and I meant to add a 'smiley' to the end of that message so that YOU wouldn't take it wrong! :b [​IMG]
     

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