Widescreen sets for non-anamorphic DVDs??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Calvin_Su, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand that wide screen non-anamorphic DVDs sometimes don't play well on widescreen sets. For example, sometimes you till get a 4:3 picture with grey bars on the sides, and in this 4:3 square you have the familiar black bars one the top and bottom. However this can be fixed if your TV has a zoom feature, but the problem is that the you lose resolution in the picture.

    What I'd like to know is are there any widescreen sets that you should avoid if you have a lot of non-anamorphic dvds?

    I am interested in the Panasonic 47" Widescreen 47WX42 model. Anyone familiar with this? I'd like to know how well it plays non-anamorphic DVDs.

    BTW, I have a PS2 for my dvd player and I'm not yet sure if you can change the aspect ratio on it. In the configuration screen for it, there are 3 options for the screen size: 4:3, full screen, or 16:9. Whenever I change these, it doesn't change the format of the DVD on my Sharp 4:3 TV. Does anyone know if these options work on different TVs?
     
  2. Jason Bell

    Jason Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Calvin,
    From what I've read on this and other forums the DVD player is whats important for picture quality of non-anomorphic discs on wide screens. If you search for the word scaling you'll get threads where this is discussed. The player will stretch the picture to fit your screen and how well it does this determines how good it looks. Do you have a lot of non-anormophic discs? I try to replace the discs I have that are not anamorphic anyways. I'm glad I only had three[​IMG].
    I would think that if you set your DVD player to 16:9 mode your Anamorphic DVDs will look stretched vertically on a 4:3 TV. Non-anamorphic DVDs will appear normally on 4:3 in 16:9 mode because they dont have the extra lines of resolution to begin with so you dont need your player to downconvert the signal. I've got a 4:3 TV that does the squeeze trick and when i watch Ever After or other NonAnamorphic discs I dont have to change the aspect ratio.
    I Hope this Helped.
     
  3. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the post.

    I'm looking into buying a cheap progressive scan DVD player. Theres a phillips one at bestbuy thats only $131. It also has a zoom feature. Hopefully this will do the trick.
     
  4. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    The Panny TV has a zoom feature on it...and unless I'm wrong, I'm pretty sure it's the same if you do it on the TV or if you do it on the player. Regardless of what TV you buy though...non-anamorphic discs won't look very good.
     
  5. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm hoping that the lower resolution on non-anamorphic DVDs is something that only hardcore home theater users would notice.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Calvin:

    A non-16:9-encoded DVD has the very same 480 lines of horizontal resolution as a 16:9-encoded DVD (i.e., so-called "anamorphic"). One DVD is encoded to output its picture in a 4:3 shape, while the other is encoded to output at 16:9.

    If the 4:3 disc contains a film that was shot in 4:3, it will have as much resolution as a so-called "anamorphic" disc.

    You are probably thinking of DVDs that have been 4:3-encoded but contain a widescreen, letterboxed-only transfer. In that case, yes, there is less resolution to be observed in the active picture area.
     
  7. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, the DVDs I am talking about are letterbox-only transfers.

    I'm mainly talking about anime DVDs like End Of Evangelion which were not enhanced for widescreen sets.

    I understand that progressive scan players double the resolution on DVDs. Would this help for letterbox-only dvds?
     
  8. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    A good non anamorphic transfer can look very good. It's a 33% cut in horizontal resolution, yes, but that's it. It's still higher resolution than laserdisc, along with MUCH better color separation than any other format delivered via NTSC.

    Paired with a good DVD player that can scale (like the Panasonic RP91) it's even better. Some sets (like the Toshiba 40" that I own) will let you expand the raster and will work with any DVD player, but don't look as good as a quality digital scaler and space the scanlines further apart. However, at a reasonable viewing distance (6.5ft, in my case) things still look pretty nice. I can't fathom not purchasing a title solely because it wasn't anamorphic, unless you can't display it properly and can't afford to upgrade to a better player.

    Calvin:

    Progressive scan players de-interlace, so you get all the scan-lines displayed at once. They don't increase the (perceived, or actual) resolution at all.
     
  9. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    Turns out I am getting the Panasonic 53" instead of the 47". From what I know, it's pretty much the same thing except bigger.
     
  10. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The zoom feature should not lose resolution for non-anamorphic DVD's. Just to be sure, bring your AVIA test DVD to the store and play the 200 TVL resolution test pattern on the TV you are interested in. Go through the zoom modes. So long as the tip of the upward pointing wedge (broom) shows resolution to 720 on the scale without rings or starbursts in it, and the sideways broom seems to look equally well for all modes, nothing has been lost.
    Because, compared to the anamorphic DVD of the same program (if it exists) the non-anamorphic DVD has the same picture crammed onto fewer scan lines, the bigger the screen, the more noticeable this coarseness will be. Widescreen TV sets that scale the picture onto all 480 scan lines as opposed to just spread out the scan lines will usually make the picture smoother but usually there will be either some softening of the entire picture or irregularities in diagonal lines. This varies from model to model and progressive scan systems on average are better.
    If you have or are getting a progressive player, be aware that there are still a lot of TV sets that don't have zoom and don't have 4:3 mode when taking in a progressive scan or a HDTV feed. I don[t recommend any of those TV sets.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/vidscale.htm
    The problem with scaling is that to avoid softening the entire picture, the scaling has to treat some scan lines differently from others. In a non-progressive scan system usually even and odd fields are treated one at a time and when displayed, the lines treated one way tend to be seen in pairs and the lines treate another way seen in pairs giving a less smooth picture compared with having the differently treated lines being more uniformly distributed.
     
  11. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    I have another question having to do with the DVD itself -

    If the subtitles of the DVD show down in the black letterbox area, will they move up in the picture if you watch the dvd on a widescreen set? Keep in mind the DVDs I am talking about are non-anamorphic.
     
  12. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    If you use a DVD player with a scaler, it's fine. Expanding the raster (how Toshiba TVs do it, for example) sometimes the sub-titles will be cut off. Sometimes the subs are set to go only within the picture area anyway though, so it's not alwaysa a problem. If they're in the black bars beyond a 1.78:1 area on your current TV though, they WILL be cut off by a TV expanding the raster-- So you can either watch it with black bars on all the sides or get a different DVD player at that point.
     
  13. Calvin_Su

    Calvin_Su Stunt Coordinator

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    A DVD player with a scaler is out of the question for me. I can only spend around $150 or a little higher for a player.

    It boggles my mind that some of these companies don't give you the option to move the subtitles on their DVDs.
     

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