Wide screen aspect ratio software on 4:3

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Arthur S, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I just read somewhere that when you play a widescreen formatted DVD on a 4:3 TV the image is stretched horizontally to fill the screen. This sounds wrong to me. When I play widescreen on my current 4:3 I am not aware of any stretching.

    This sounds like some kind of salesman's story.

    What is the truth about this?

    Thanks

    Artie
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    You might have misunderstood? Or the salesman was an idiot.

    If you set your DVD player to 16x9 (telling it you have a 16x9 TV)- then if you play an anamorphic DVD it will be stretched vertically because it thinks it's feeding to a 16x9 TV.

    If your DVD player is set to 4:3 properly, it will provide all material in the proper aspect ratio for you.

    -V
     
  3. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    I do not know what type of TV you have but some of the HD ready sets do an automatic 16.9 squeeze and your dvd player should than be set to 16.9
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Mike, I have a vintage ProScan 35" with built-in line doubling. RCA/ProScan had a line of 4:3 and 16:9 about 7-8 years ago. These sets seem better built than current RCA/GE Tvs.

    Artie
     
  5. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    I recommend you do some reading over at www.thedigitalbits.com. I finally had my questions in this area answered. Seems to me the problem with understanding DVD is they try to use "consumer language" to explain it when in fact what it is is computer technology and they should just bloody well use computer language to explain it.
    My understanding is its just the opposite of what the salesman told you (or his explanation wasn't clear). Basically, if your DVD says its enhanced for widescreen (most are these days), that means the disk contains a "large" sized file that is the best image quality you can get on a DVD (which is only about 5 gig of storage). That large sized file will look lovely on a widescreen TV, but when all you have is a 4:3 like me, your DVD player would squeeze that large image onto your screen anyway, which results in the picture being squeezed horizontally but not vertically (since your TV is not widescreen but does have about the same number of scan lines vertically as a widescreen TV). Since most people of course don't want to watch this large, high res file in this distorted format, they of course tell their DVD player to output to 4:3. This means your DVD player then compresses the large file (by line reduction) down to a size that will fit onto your screen.
    The bottom line to all of this is that us 4:3 guys are never able to see the large mpeg2 file that comes on our enhanced DVDs, instead all we get to watch is a crappy, double-compressed file that ends up pretty small, and you better hope your DVD player does a good job of line reduction or you'll end up with a lot of artifacts. The good part is that even this double-compressed file is way, way better than VHS.
    I hope that's clear. Does this agree with what others here understand?
     

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