What is the Anamorphic Squeeze Trick?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joshua Clinard, Sep 12, 2001.

  1. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I know about Anamorphic Widescreen, and all the Aspect Ratios, and I have heard about the Anamorphic Squeeze Trick that you can do on some 4x3 TV's. What is this, and how do you do it. Also, what downsides does it have if any? Do you still see the whole image, or does this have to do with the zoom feature? Thanks for any information. Also, how do I get my TV to do it? I just got a new Phillips 27" TV, and it has a Digital Comb Filter. The image on DVD's look great too. It's not a Wega, but it's still a great set.
     
  2. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    Joshua, in simple terms, the anamorphic squeeze is a method (if your TV supports it) that allows you to watch anamorphic images on your 4:3 screen without losing any lines of resolution in the down-conversion (and without getting any of the artifacts associated with such a down-conversion).
    As you probably noticed, your DVD player has two settings for picture aspect ratio - 4:3 and 16:9. If you have a 16:9 TV and watch a DVD with an anamorphic picture, you see approximately 480 lines of picture information (fewer in the case of 2.35:1 transfers where you still get black bars). However if you have a 4:3 TV and you use the 16:9 setting on your DVD player, the picture appears to be vertically squeezed (as if you are trying to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio picture in a 4:3 frame).
    When you set the DVD player to the 4:3 aspect ratio, the DVD player does a down-conversion (meaning it throws away lines of picture information to bring the picture back to its correct proportions with black bars on the top and bottom). In this mode you not only lose resolution, but you may also see artifacts or general picture softness because the down-conversion algorithms are not perfect.
    The anamorphic squeeze allows you to effectively restrict the picture area on the TV screen (using the vertical size adjustment) to 16:9 proportions so that you can leave your DVD player in a 16:9 mode and still get a picture of the correct proportions without throwing away any lines of picture information (the horizontal squeeze introduced by the TV compensates for the vertical squeeze inherent in viewing an anamorphic picture on a 4:3 screen).
    As far as I know, not many TVs allow you to do the anamorphic squeeze via user controls (with the exception of the XBR Wegas and a few other TVs). You may need to use a service manual to figure out the correct vertical size adjustments for your TV (and you better know what you are doing).
    [Edited last by Deepak Shenoy on September 12, 2001 at 09:59 PM]
     
  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The "anamorphic squeeze trick" reduces the vertical height of your TV's horizontal lines by 25% so that the displayed portion of the nominal 480 lines has 16:9 shape rather than a 4:3 shape. The drawbacks for TVs not designed to do it can be the revelation of artifacts at the top of the image that are normally blanked out or overscanned and/or possible geometry problems, although familiarity with the TV's service menus may allow yout to address this.
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    Ken McAlinden
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  4. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    In general, what brands, or types of TVs are best at doing this? Can WEGAs do it?
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    All of the current model WEGAs can do this either manually or automatically through regular menus for every input except the analog RF. A lot of 4:3 digital TVs can do this, but not all, strangely. My only two beefs with my WEGA are that the vertical blanking done in 16:9 mode crops the picture too much (and I can't figure out how to fix it) and that there is not a dedicated "aspect" or "16:9" button on the remote for quicker switching than through menus (I should have sprung for the next model up for auto switching and a better comb filter, but I cheaped out).
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    Ken McAlinden
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    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on September 13, 2001 at 09:13 AM]
     
  6. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Isn't this the same as a 16X9 cropping? I have a Sony 24" Widescreen (i.e. the only one that's not WEGA as far as I can see) and the Rocky Horror Picture Show seems to fill the view in anamorphic mode. However, it's stated as being 1.66:1 so I should be pretty noticeable lines down either side of the screen, shouldn't I?
    I've certainly noticed the 'overscanning' quite a bit but then the images are so good I let it slide.
     

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