Widescreen broadcasts and black bars ???

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by BobCA, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. BobCA

    BobCA Auditioning

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    I just purchased my first widescreen TV a few days ago. When I set the TV format to "standard" the DVDs in 1.85 aspect ratio fill the screen and the 2.35 ratio DVDs have small bars at
    the top and bottom. Both look great! When I watch a show or movie broadcast in "widescreen" (or so the station says) I see black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

    Is there a difference in a widescreen broadcast vs. a widescreen DVD? Shouldn't a show or film broadcast in widescreen fill the screen as a DVD does? Am I setting
    something wrong on my television or is my concept
    of broadcast widescreen wrong?

    Thanks in advance.
    Bob
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yes, in the case of anamorphic DVD. Anamorphic dvd has extra resolution vertically versus a "letterbox" version (like you'd get on TV, VHS and Laserdisc, which don't have the capibility for anamorphic).

    So, basically, you have to set your set to a "Zoom" mode that crops out the bars but keeps proper geometry. It crops the bars and places the available resolution on screen. This process will result in a less pleasing image (and you will imediately realize the appeal of anamorphic dvd).

    You should read more info on Anamorphic DVD, both in out FAQ and primer, and one of the many tutorials linked on the web.

    -Vince
     
  3. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I presume these "shows" in widescreen that you are referring to are not HDTV programs, rather just movies broadcast in their proper aspect ratio? ie. films shown on basic cable channels.

    If so, the black bars are part of the broadcast, hence they are displayed on your TV. The picture is formatted with the bars to fit a standard 4:3 TV, but when shown on your 16:9 TV it is actually stretched sideways. In order to get the aspect ratio back to its proper setting, you need to use one of your TV's picture modes (probably Zoom as Vince said).
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    BobA,

    If you give the make and model of your TV, we could probably give the exact "zoom" mode to use for non-anamorphic widescreen source material.
     
  5. BobCA

    BobCA Auditioning

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    My TV is a Mitsubishi 55" widescreen set (#WS-55413).

    My thanks to all three of you for taking the time to reply
    to my question.
     
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Movies broadcast in "widescreen" on regular TV channels or regular cable channels ARE optimized for a 4:3 screen.

    Most wide screen TV sets have just one uniform horizontal and vertical zoom mode and that is as good as it will get for these shows.

    Some wide screen TV sets have several increments of uniform zoom. If the movie had an aspect ratio of more than 1.78:1, if you zoom enough of these increments to make the top and bottom black bars disappear, you will crop some material off the sides.

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

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    The correct viewing mode for non-anamorphic DVD's and TV broadcasts on the Mits WS-55413 is "Expand". This is a uniform crop and zoom of the 4:3 picture.
     
  8. BobCA

    BobCA Auditioning

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    Allan and Jeff, thank you. I will try the expand mode.
     

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