what am i doing wrong...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Steve Cross, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Steve Cross

    Steve Cross Agent

    Jul 4, 2002
    Likes Received:
    ...i have my progressive scan dvd player set to 16:9 wide screen, and my wide screen tv set to 16:9 also, yet it always displays my dvd's with black bars on top and bottom of the screen.
    my hdtv broadcasts in 16:9 fine.
    im sure im leaving something out, so just ask what else you need to know.
    thanks in advance.

  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Mar 16, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen

    Please read the HT primer on aspect ratios for films.

    YOu understand what a 2.35:1 aspect ratio is, right?

  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Nov 1, 1998
    Likes Received:
    The 16:9 standard for home theater gives wide screen movies a much better but still not perfect fit on the screen.

    The "problem" still exists with programs with a different aspect ratio, either stretch the picture to be geometrically distorted, or crop material off either the sides or top/bottom, or have black unused bars on the screen. In the case of your 2.00:1 or 2.35:1 DVD's enhanced for 16:9 the black bars are pre-recorded on the disk as was the case way back when for letterbox laserdisks. Small increments of zoom are still not common for DVD players or TV sets and folks here at Home Theater Forum generally abhor any treatment that which crops the sides of the picture.

    Video hints:

    Are there any DVD's where, due to such a large amount of action on the screen, even an above average player shows coarse pixellation artifacts because tyhe MPEG decoder could not keep up? Here, a non-anamorphic letterbox format with its lesser resolution might be the solution to that problem.
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Yes, Steve, as Michael suggests, please consult the HTF FAQ/Primer. It's in the Basics area, permanently pasted at the top.

    Films come in several shapes (or "aspect ratios," the relation of height to width) — from the nearly square Academy ratio to 1950s and early '60s vintage widescreen epics that are nearly three times as wide as they are tall (Ben-Hur is 2.76 to 1). TVs, on the other hand, come in only two shapes (1.33:1 or 1.78:1).

    Now ask yourself: Can those two TV screen ratios possibly accommodate perfectly all those many film aspect ratios? Of course not.

    And, finally, don't think in terms of "black bars." You are simply seeing unused, dead space.

    Now, get back and enjoy the films instead of looking at that dead space.

Share This Page