Widescreen Movie that don't fit right on the screen.

Nick

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Jun 30, 1997
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I've rented several movies from Netflix that was supposed to be WS.
When playback on my WS LCD the picture didn't fill up the whole screen.
It show black bar on top and bottom like it's a letter box movie and the
picture is squishing. I have to set my picture mode to zoom to make the picture look normal. It's worse with foreign movie. Once I did that I can't read the subtitles I have to set it to 4:3 mode and have black bars on four corners. Top, bottom, left and right.

I always thought that with WS movies they should either fit the screen perfectly or leave little black bar on top and bottom. Why even bother to encode it in WS if they don't have the money to do it right.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Did you set your DVD to 16:9 mode in the setup menu when you hooked it up to your 16:9 tv? If not, all widescreen movies will look non-anamorphic. If you did, then you are just seeing a 2.35:1 movie on a 16:9 screen. This is normal. But definitely check your DVD player, most come from the factory defaulted to 4:3.
 

Ray Chuang

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Nick, to be more specific, note that today's widescreen TV's have a 16 to 9 aspect ratio (1.78 to 1). Many of today's movies released in the theaters use a 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio, so even on a widescreen TV you will see a small amount of black bars on top and bottom of the screen. Mind you, with a widescreen TV even a movie shown in 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio looks great.
 

DeathStar1

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I wonder... do you think that now that 16X9 TV's are becoming more prevaliant, we will only see movies shot in 16X9 mode?
 

JohnRice

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Definitely not. And, it's really not a "mode" when shooting a film. Just when configuring the settings on your DVD player and monitor.
 

Simon Howson

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There are really only 2 theatrical aspect ratios left - 2.4:1 and 1.85:1. 2.4:1 makes up about 50% of all films produced, probably because it means the largest area is used on smaller screens.
 

Jeff Gatie

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To be fair, the original poster did say "It show black bar on top and bottom like it's a letter box movie and the picture is squishing" and "I always thought that with WS movies they should either fit the screen perfectly or leave little black bar on top and bottom".

Sounds to me like he is aware of 2:35:1 films. He's just watching them with his DVD player in 4:3 mode, so he's seeing really big bars with a squished picture; which is what a DVD player setup for 4:3 set a 16:9 set will look like.
 

Nick

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My TV and DVD were setup properly. They were both set to output in 16:9
It does not do it to all movies. Usually big main stream movies I don't have problem with and I'm aware of the aspect ratio of the movie. Yes, I will see black bar on top and bottom of the screen on some movies like Mission impossible 3 but the picture looks normal on the screen. Only movies from smaller studios that didn't display picture correct.
I don't know if you ever recorded a movie on TV with the DVD recorder. Even if the movie is in WS it still doesn't play correctly on your WS TV.
Like the post below yours. The movie might have to be encoded in anamorphic mode for it to be played correctly on WS TV.
 

Jonathon M

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it depends on the settings of your dvd recorder, but yes, it simply sounds like you're watching some non anamorphic discs on your player. besides the subtitle issue on widescreen tvs (something anyone who watched the 1977 version of star wars or the 1983 version of jedi when they were released on dvd last september encountered), the loss of resolution, and the fact that quite a few european films are in 1.66:1 (compared to 1.78:1 on your tv), there's not much else you can do but sit back and suck it up. can't win 'em all, right?

good luck!
 

JediFonger

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it's probably 2 factors:
1. non-anamorphic. there's still a big catalog of films that can't completely fill the 1.78 aspect ratio because they didn't plan on being anamorphic.

2. wider scope than 1.78 (such as 2.35 or 2.4), LOTR/SW epic films have this much wider scope.
 

Marty M

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This is probably the correct explanation for what he is experiencing. I got a WS HDTV recently and I quickly noticed this on my non-anamorphic movies in my DVD library.
 

Jay E

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Yes it is definitely because they are non-anamorphic.

I also just bought my first widescreen TV and at first I couldn't understand why some of my widecreen DVDs weren't filling the screen correctly. Now I understand why non-anamorphic is so hated!
 

Mikael Soderholm

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You mean like movies were shot in 4:3 when those TVs were prevalent
?

No, but what I fear we will see (and already are seeing) is p&s of scope movies to fill a 16:9 screen.
 

DeathStar1

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OK then, here's another stupid question. If all of these movies look different on the tube.... then how come(if memory serves) they all fit the movie screen properly? Isn't the theater movie screen in 16X9?
 

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