Why do I get a black picture frame on some extra features?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveK, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    The other day, I was watching some of the extras on "Dancer in the Dark". I have a Sony Wega TV which I set to the 16x9 mode when appropriate, and I have my DVD player set to the 16x9 mode as well. Portions of the extra material (such as the segment with the choreographer) were SURROUNDED by black. Not just black lines on the top and bottom, but on the sides as well, so only a relatively small square was actually used for image area. What is happening here? When I took my TV out of the 16x9 mode, everything was distorted. I believe the footage being shown was shot by a regular video camera, so perhaps the DVD player was somehow trying to compensate for a 4x3 image to correctly display it in a 16x9 mode. Would I have seen the same "picture frame" if my DVD player had been set to a 4x3 mode? Would I be generally better off if I set my DVD player to 16x9 only for movies and use the 4x3 mode for extras?

    Although I wasn't particularly bothered by the "picture frame" as opposed to the normal black bars on the top and bottom, I do want to make sure that I have my TV and DVD player set correctly.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    There are two possibilities:
    1) Whomever encoded the supplements in question set the anamorphic tag for 4x3 material. A stupid mistake that costs resolution, but what can you do.
    2) Tour VVEGA television operates by squeezing the picture information for all parts of a DVD into a 16x9 from in the center of your set. Therefore, 4x3 content will appear windowboxed. Set your player for 4x3 widescreen and turn the TV 16x9 mode off when watching extras, then switch back for the movie.
     
  3. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Adam- Thinking a bit more about the extra feature mentioned, I recall that each segment was introduced by the choreographer, and during his introduction it was correctly framed and there was no distortion. So obviously the introductions were anamorphic widescreen. It was only during the segments presumably shot with a video camera that the "picture frame" appeared rather than just the black bars. Since I've not had my Sony very long, this was the first time I've seen the picture frame. Given that extras are not consistently anamorphic, I may be just as well off setting my DVD player (and of course my TV) to 4x3 for the extras and not worry about the lost resolution if the extra happens to be anamorphic, but use the 16x9 setting on the DVD for all movies and on the TV for anamorphic movies. Does this approach make sense?

    Steve K.
     

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