Viable alternative for watching unstretched 4:3 material on some 16:9 RPTV's...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Manuel Parrado, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    [ I'll start off by saying that after today, I might not even use my own suggestion. I went today to a local store to take a second look at the "JUST" mode in the Panasonic 47wx42 (I'll buy the 53wx42 in the next few days) and cannot say I find it objectionable. I watched several channels of local OTA TV and was please with what I saw. ]

    Now to the important part:

    If you have one of the new Panasonic RPTV's or another 16:9 RPTV with split picture-in-picture, consider the following simple alternative for watching 4:3 material in its original aspect ratio without the risk of burn in inherent in the infamous 4:3 mode of the set:

    I was playing with the picture-in-picture feature of a 53wx42 at Circuit City and realized I could have the main picture on the left side of the screen occupying the whole height of the TV and at the correct aspect ratio and three small screens, one on top of the other from three TV channels, occupying the remaining space with no grey or balck bars anywhere.

    With this in mind, you could do this every time you want to watch 4:3 material in its correct aspect ratio and mask the portion of the screen with the little screens with a piece of cloth or anything you can later remove to watch 16:9 material (kind of like in the movie theater). You would have to feed actual TV channels to the little screens somehow.

    Disadvantages:
    1. Putting the mask on and off is a hassle.
    True, but it's a small price to pay, especially if you don't watch 16:9 material as much as you do 4:3.
    2. Bringing up the PIP every time is a hassle.
    Yes, but you could programm a sequence of steps on a learning remote controller with macro capability to do this for you at the touch of a button.
    3. Horizontal resolution is wasted on the little screens.
    Exactly, but it is also wasted on the grey bars on the 4:3 mode, if I'm not mistaken.

    I decided to post this idea because I have not seen it dicussed before and I'm sure at least a few of you could benefit from it. Especially those who don't like the stretch modes. Feel free to comment, correct and voice your opinnion on it for the benefit of everyone.

    FINAL NOTE: If you are considering buying a 16:9 HDTV and are tentative because of the stretch modes, make a point of going to a store and see it with your own eyes. You may find it's not too bad. Make sure you are watching actual 4:3 material, though. Most stores are always looping demos in 16:9. Look at the 4:3 TV's displaying the same signal. If people look tall and skinny, it's 16:9 material.

    Much regards to all and enjoy your TV's.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Hi there, Manuel.
    If we had anything like a "Post of the Week" feature--*jots note to mention this to the other mods*--this post would be my selection!
    You are going to the greatest extreme of anyone I presently know in an effort to maintain one's own purity to the OAR concept. Incredible.
    (I sense you even try to banish the very thought of non-OAR presentations.)
    On certain non-critical viewing presentations, some people think using the stretch mode is permissible. The local evening "news" telecasts, for example. In order to minimize the risk of burn-in, this is nothing to get too concerned about. (It's throwaway television programming; distortion permitted if intended to extend the useful life of your RPTV. [​IMG])
     
  3. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually Jack, as I said, I'm now a promoter of the just mode after I saw it again today and that's the method I'll use on my set when it arrives home.

    However, I read so many posts about people complaining about the stretch modes while researching for my TV, that I got pulled into that mindset and almos went for a 4:3 HDTV (not that it is a bad thing or anything). That's when I thought of this unorthodox concept.

    Now I'm basically certain I want the 16:9 since I want the best possible picture for my DVD's.

    By the way Jack, I'm not so sure I understood you're last paragraph, espcecially the following line:
    " In order to minimize the risk of burn-in, this is nothing to get too concerned about. "
    What do you say is nothing to get too concerned about, the risk or burn-in or the distortion from the stretch mode?

    Regards.
     
  4. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Manual, thats a great post, I love it, and I strongly believe that when i buy my next tv (several years away) that if burn in is still possible i will use your method. unless someone does what i want and has a control to shift the picture, so that the black bars are moved. But really thats a brilliant idea, I love it.
     
  5. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    John, I believe we'll be stuck with RPTV's for the big picture until plasma displays become accessible in terms of cost (at least for most of us) or something else comes along.
    It would be great if the picture could be shifted if it's done at a slow pace. You would still have uneven use of the marginal areas of the screen but it would certainly be reduced.
    Mind you, to the method I described, the TV must have that type of PIP capability.

    Regards.
     
  6. Michael Brunet

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    Manuel,

    Great idea and post! I have the panny 53WX42 and have been using JUST when I (rarely) watch broadcast tv, but I may switch over to your method. The panny remote I have even allows you to create the 3 small PIPs w/ the touch of one button - "search" if I remember correctly.

    John-Miles - I don't know of any way to move the broadcast TV signal to remove the black bars, but there are a number of DVD players (including the popular multi-region Malata N996 - my fave) that have excellent x-y scaling and panning features. I pan my 2.35/1 and 1.33/1 materials around the screen, switching off from side to side for each presentation. I figure this combats burn-in about as well as possible without sacrificing OAR.

    Mike
     
  7. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    This is a great freakin' idea. I already use mattes for watching dvd's on my 32 4:3 set (my wife and friends think I have really lost it). I would have no problem using a mat for 4:3 when I get my RPTV (hopefully very soon).

    Thanks a lot for this post!
     
  8. Jimmy vb

    Jimmy vb Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a thought about making a matte. Print shops or sign companies have this material that is flexible but fairly rigid plastic. It is used for setting up the big display units you see at trade shows(they are meant to look good but have the ability to be rolled up. It can be cut to any dimension and should be opaque. You can then take velcro tape and attach it to the appropriate spots and easily take the mattes on and off. Another cheaper idea would be to get some quality foam core from a framing shop, affix some black plastic film or even black felt with spray adhesive and use velcro tape for that. A great idea.
     
  9. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well i will definitely have to include x-y panning on the preferred feature list for my new DVD player.... but i guess that would likely kill the enhanced widescreenright?
    ah well in either case im still hoping that by the time i get a new tv (my current one is only 2 months old [​IMG] those wonderful roll up plastic jobbies ive heard about will be available and cheap and ahve no burn in [​IMG]
    or even if they can burn in maybe they will be cheap enough that you can ahve a few of them for all your favorite aspect ratios.... ah the world of dreams huh?
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Hey, Manuel, to answer your question: I was suggesting that with something like a local "news" telecast (quote marks, because they rarely offer real news!), I wouldn't be too concerned about the integrity of the presentation. In other words, who cares if such noncritical programming is stretched or not? That's what I meant. And, as I thought, your idea is taking off with HTF's membership!
     
  11. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    That's what I thought you meant and I totally agree.

    I would guess that even using the 4:3 letterbox every once in a while with proper cotrast settings would not risk burn in, just like watching 2.35 DVD's every once in a while (and they are pretty common).
     
  12. PhilipW

    PhilipW Second Unit

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    This is how I watch my football games during the fall. Turn my team on the full screen portion and 3 additional games on the side. When a commercial comes on the game I'm watching I just switch to one of the other 3. I have a Pioneer SD532HD
     
  13. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    A WORD OF CAUTION:

    I posted this idea on a couple other message boards, and some people suggest you can still get burn in either from the lines that divide the pictures (I did not look carefully enough to see them myself) or otherwise.

    Do exercise caution if you give this a shot.

    BEWARE!
     
  14. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    I've just been told that channel numbers can cause screen burn, which makes sense, of course, but I did not know they stay on all the time.

    Another thing to watch out for.

    Suddenly, the idea doesn't sound as good anymore.
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Does anyone know if an HD-ready rptv is any more prone to burn-in than an analog model?

    My main reason for asking is that I used a 53" analog rptv for letterboxed dvds for over 2 years with no sign of burn-in due to black bars. I did have contrast set down to 33% on it. I also played video games on it for 4 or 5 hours at a time but not very often, and got no burn in from that either.

    Unless an HD-ready set is more prone to burn in than an analog model, I see no reason to be too paranoid about it as long as contrast is tamed and a reasonable mix of viewing is done.

    I do watch a large number of 2:35 films on my widescreen set, but most of my viewing of 4/3 is just the news and what Jack would call "throwaway" programming. I do watch the occasional 4/3 dvd, with black bars on the sides, and wonder if I should worry any more about them than letterboxed stuff on the old 4/3.
     
  16. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    Manuel - do the channel numbers stay on all the time on the pip channels and are there lines in between? Damn, that would ruin a great idea, huh.
     
  17. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Sheldon, go to the www.panny.tv website and in the "Site Forums" section visit the "TV Setups" forum.
    I posted this message there as well, and someone else assures the channel numbers don't stay on and that there were no borders.
    However, he was playing two different DVD players at the same time, not TV channels.
    When you stop by CC or BB one of these days, play a while with the set you are interested in and try it out.
    Regards.
     
  18. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    UPDATE:

    They've told me in another forum that the region between one picture and the other, remains unchanging while the PIP is on and that this is what can cause burn in.
    Better just to scrap the idea altogether.
    I would hate for anyone to get burn in because of this.

    Oh well, the just modes are not that bad, really.
     

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