Weird HDTV question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TyR, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. TyR

    TyR Extra

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    Follow me here. Suppose it's the year 2007, 5:30 pm on a weekday, and I sit down to watch some old Simpsons re-run on Fox. Fox, at that time, let's assume, is broadcasting in high definition, and I'm watching on a HDTV. (For the purposes of my question, it could be any HD channel and any old re-run.) Am I right that since the Simpsons episode in question was originally broadcast in 4:3, it will still be in 4:3 when Fox HD shows the re-run?

    If so, then there seems to be a virtue associated with 4:3 HDTV sets that is seldom mentioned. If I'm watching this re-run on a widescreen HDTV, then it seems like this re-run will be shown with bars on the left and the right to crop the show back to 4:3. If I'm watching on a 4:3 set, then it will probably be broadcast with bars at the top and bottom (since the HD broadcast will be 16:9), and have bars on the sides to bring it back to 4:3. But, at that point, I could zoom the 4:3 set so that the whole screen is filled and nothing is stretched or cropped out.

    Whew, that was a mouthfull. Does that make any sense, or am I misunderstanding things?

    {Edited for spelling}
     
  2. Ottis Fletcher

    Ottis Fletcher Stunt Coordinator

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    I seen a show about the future of TV on the Science Channel. They had pictures of the whole set and people working digitally to add in the proper backdrops to fit a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. They showed about 5 minutes of the Lucy show in wide screen and it looked like it was the way it was filmed. To say that would be done with all shows is hard to say.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    All 4:3 programming will still be in 4:3 even when most of the world has converted to 16:9. And to see this 4:3 programming correctly, you are going to have windowboxing bars on the sides of the screen (nothing is being "cropped," by the way, as there's nothing to crop). You could, however, opt for the philistine route of stretching the picture, but you'd risk losing friends here. But let's not worry about that for now.
     
  4. TyR

    TyR Extra

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    Am I right then, Jack, that a rather obscure virtue of the 4:3 HD sets is that they'll allow a zoom on this 4:3 program -- an old Simpsons or an old I Love Lucy or whatever -- that will neither crop out nor stretch the picture, nor leave any bars (while the widescreen HDs will either have to crop out or stretch the picture, or leave bars on the side)?
     
  5. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    you should have used another network for your example, i don't think anyone here believes that Fox will be broadcasting in HD in 2007![​IMG]
     
  6. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    STB's will most likly have a setting to detect 4:3 programing and automatically compensate for the set it is outputting to. It is a feature consumers will demand.
     
  7. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes TyR, you won't have bars on the sides, and there won't be any cropping or stretching. There will be quite a bit of zooming, however, which means that you'll be artificially filling the screen with a lower resolution image.

    I think the interesting point is this: whether today or in the future, the best TV for any given material is one that has the same aspect ratio as the material (all else being equal).
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Any HDTV broadcast is going to be by definition a 16/9 image.

    My local ABC affilliate has one fulltime digital channel that is always broadcast at 720p. When it's showing HD content it is a full widescreen 16/9 picture. At other times, when the show is not 16/9, it is formatted by the broadcaster as a 4/3 picture with black bars on the side. This picture is not zoomable or stretchable, since it arrives at the set or stb as a standard widescreen HD image (remember the black bars are put on at the station).

    Nobody makes a tv or stb that will zoom or stretch an incoming 16/9 720p or 1080i signal--you're stuck with black bars on the side on a widescreen set.

    A 4/3 HD ready set takes a 16/9 incoming HD signal (all 720p or 1080i) and puts it in the middle of the screen with black bars top and bottom. When that 16/9 HD signal is a 4/3 image with black bars on the side, formatted by the station, you will have a 4/3 image with black bars on the top, bottom, and both sides!

    So there is no advantage in having a 4/3 set for HD broadcast of shows that were originally 4/3. They will either have black bars on the sides and top and bottom, or the broadcaster may choose to crop the top and bottom to make them 16/9.

    The above does not apply to SD digital broadcast, which can and usually is sent out as a conventional 4/3 image by the station.
     
  9. TyR

    TyR Extra

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    Tremendously helpful, Steve (and others too, but especially Steve :wink: ) Many thanks!
     
  10. RaulR

    RaulR Stunt Coordinator

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