why do some movies look "stretched" on my widescreen TV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by calvin_b, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. calvin_b

    calvin_b Stunt Coordinator

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    i have a samsung 30" widescreen HDTV, and an onkyo dv-cp500 dvd player. on most movies in 1.85:1, it usually fills up the whole screen pretty nice, and even on some 2.35:1 movies, the image is not stretched and you see minimal black bars.

    my question is, for some movies, the image is stretched and displayed as if it were on a 4:3 screen. i hope im not too confusing.

    theres no feature to adjust the projection or size when viewing a component source on the TV.

    just wondering what i can do to rectify this problem.
     
  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Is the movie in question an older movie? If so, it was probably shot in the so-called Academy format, or 1.37:1, which is of course very close to 1.33:1 a.k.a. 4:3. Hence, the DVD is encoded as if it were a "fullscreen" movie, which it of course is.

    If you can't adjust when on a component source, can you adjust when on S-video? If so, you might want to connect your DVD player via S-video as well to another input, and use that exclusively for 4:3 material (whether old movies or TV shows). Or worst case, via composite video.

    Either that, or you'll have to live with the "stretch".
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Double check your DVD player settings. Be sure the TV Shape or Aspect Ratio setting is 16:9 all the time (for wide screen TV's).

    Also note that movies may be recorded on the disk slightly differently even for movies advertised with the same aspect ratio, so the amount of black area at the edges may differ.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    Can't adjust the aspect ratio for component video sources or progressive sources? What model of TV is that? Tell everyone so they don't buy that model.
     
  4. calvin_b

    calvin_b Stunt Coordinator

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    yee-ming: the 2 movies that i have experienced with this was pretty old. one of them being 'the last emperor"

    allan: my dvd player is set to 16:9, and on a lot of my other movies, the widescreen plays on my TV perfectly.


    this is my 2nd widescreen tv, my upstairs TV being the KV-30XBR910, which i believe is one of the best HDTV tubes available, and it still does it. perhaps it is my dvd player or the format of the dvd's.
     
  5. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The ones that are distorted in the full screen 16:9 mode are "4:3 letterbox" DVDs, as opposed to ones that are "16:9 enhanced", aka "anamorphic widescreen". You need to use a different zoom mode on your TV, often called "zoom", which crops off the top & bottom of the picture.
     
  6. calvin_b

    calvin_b Stunt Coordinator

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    stephen, i think that's the answer i was looking for. so from now on, buy dvd's that say 16:9 enhanced or anamorphic widescreen?
     
  7. Ralph Jenkins

    Ralph Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, look for DVDs that say:

    - Anamorphic Widescreen
    - Enhanced for widescreen TVs
    - 16:9

    Otherwise, the TV will stretch the image just like it would a 4:3 program.

    I used to have a Samsung 30" HDTV, and it was annoying how the TV would not allow the user to change the aspect ratio of a component source. I got around this by buying a DVD player than would display 4:3 content in the proper aspect ratio.
     

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