Widescreen DVDs? How do they work?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by HowardPM, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. HowardPM

    HowardPM Agent

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    I trying to watch a widescreen DVD on my HDTV Widescreen Philips TV and I was under the impression it was suppose to be the whole screen using 1080i. But it looks like its using 480i and I have the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. I'm using component cables. How do I get it to fullscreen?
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    All DVDs use a format of 720x480, with a progressive DVD player this gives 480p. 1080i is HDTV only not for DVDs. Do you have a progressive DVD player and have you enabled progressive mode output? You also have to go into the DVD player's setup menu and select 16:9 display output. Also many DVD movies have an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, so these movies are even wider than a 16:9 display and will include some black top and bottom bars. Other widescreen DVD movies (especially comedies and Steven Spielberg movies like Back to the Future) have an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and these will fill the 16:9 display screen if you have the DVD player setup properly. The default setting for DVD player's is 4:3 display and in that mode it will output extra black bars in all cases.
     
  3. HowardPM

    HowardPM Agent

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    Yea, its a new Progressive Scan DVD/VCR I just bought. The DVD Im trying to watch says Widescreen 2.35:1, the DVD player is set to Widescreen which looks like I got a good inch of black on the top and bottom. My other 2 DVD options areLetterbox and Pan-Scan. Then I got an option called EZ View which will do screen fit or zoom fit, but the stretches out the picture. I was always under the impression having a widescreen TV, would make everything how it looks in the theater, but it doesn't seems to be any better then when I had my old TV and the movie took up the whole screen.
     
  4. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Like Don said, your set is 16x9, which is an aspect ratio of 1.78. Movies that are over that, such as 2.35, will still require black bars on the top and bottom to set the correct aspect ratio. In this manner, you are seeing it just as it was in the theater. Like you said, you can use the various stretch modes to fill the screen, but you will distort the image. Having a widescreen set does not mean no more black bars. It is really just something you will have to learn to live with or you can choose to distort the image by stretching it out.
     
  5. HowardPM

    HowardPM Agent

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    Oh well, guess Ill live with the black bars. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. HowardPM

    HowardPM Agent

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    Ok I got a new question. I'm trying to get tghe VCR part of dvd/vcr working but Im having no such luck. The closest I got was putting the VCR out directly to the TV, but that defeats the purpose of a receiver. I'm assuming some how I need a video signal from the Cable box to the receiver to the TV. Then a connection from the reciever to the vcr and vcr to the reciever (for recording). Heres my problem though. I take a video cable and hook it to the Video out on the cable box to the Video in on the reciever and then Video out on the reciever to Video In on the TV, but I'm getting no picture at all.

    Thanks
     
  7. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Yes movies with 2.35:1 aspect ratio still have black bars - its part of the image. Only those movies with 1.85:1 aspect ratio will fill your 16:9 display. You were mistaken to think all widescreen DVDs would fill it - many movies are cinemascope widescreen, which is super wide! But at least the black bars are 1/2 the height they would be on a 4:3 set. Also HD programs are all in 16:9 aspect ratio, so they will fill your screen completely. Just let the black bars alone and ignore them for the super-wide movies, you are viewing it correctly as the director intended!
     
  8. JackLonn

    JackLonn Agent

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    I agree you'll have to leave with some black bars, but to see a SIGNIFICANT increase in percieved picture quality, do your own masking over the black bars. I bought 2 pieces of black matting at at framing shop and put some velcro on the bezel of my RPTV and on the matting. Once the movie starts, pick a light scene (daylight) so the black bars stand out and "stick" your matting on to cover the black bars. There is a huge difference between an absoulute flat black and the darkness of the projected black bars. If you do this you'll have no more prblem of the dark scenes blending into the black bars. My litmus test for if something REALLY works is my wife, and this does.
     

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