widescreen television question

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Keith_R, May 21, 2005.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Hey guys, I'm interested in picking up a new television this weekend. I'm looking to go widescreen and have a question about how widescreen will translate to a 4:3 picture.

    I know from playing around with the various models that a 4:3 picture on a 16:9 television will have bars on each side of the screen to mimic the 4:3 ratio and I understand that a DVD player properly configured in the menu to work on a 16:9 screen will display everything widescreen to properly fit the 1.78:1 aspect ratio of the set.

    My question is this: suppose I'm watching a television show that is shot in widescreen, will a widescreen television properly display this show in the 16:9 format and drop the bars on each side of the screen?

    I ask, because I was looking at Tv's yesterday. The television I was looking at was displaying the store video loop and it displayed it with bars on each side of the set as though the content was 4:3. I knew this was normal until it got to a scene which was visibly widescreen. The television didn't seem to pick up on this and continued displaying the segment with black bars on top and bottom like a letterboxed DVD, and grey bars on the sides of the screen like it was tuned into 4:3 programming.

    Would this be normal or was it just an improperly configured floor model? Do these newer widescreen televisions have to set up in the menus to distinguish between 4:3 and 16:9? Thanks!
     
  2. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Someone didn't set the TV properly.

    All 16:9 material will fill out the TV as you would expect.

    For certain theaterical aspect ratios like 2:35:1 and so on, you will still have slight letterbox bars, but this is perfectly normal.

    These letterbox bars are a lot less signifigant than watching 16:9 material on a 4:3 set.

    You'll be happy! [​IMG]
     
  3. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    that's what I thought. Damn BB people![​IMG] thanks.
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Depends on the programming.

    Regular NTSC broadcasts with letterboxed wide screen programming may display with gray and/or black on all four sides on a 16:9 TV. Using the remote you manually zoom the picture both horizontally and vertically (zoom, not full) to fill the screen. But if the programming changes back to 4:3, say, for commercials,the tops and bottoms will be cut off until you zoom back out to 4:3.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    ^^

    That, too. [​IMG]
     
  6. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    So, in other words: Suppose I'm watching a show like Nip/Tuck which is on NTSC cable but is shot in widescreen. If I understand what you are saying correctly the television may not pick up on this and I will have to use one of the stretch modes on the television to display a widescreen show properly.

    A question about this (assuming I understand correctly): if the show is in widescreen and I have to use a stretch mode to view it right, does this distort the picture like it would if I were viewing a 4:3 show and stretched it to fill my widescreen set? or does it properly fill my television with no distortion?

    Thanks![​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Wait, doesn't the widescreen display have to have a zoom feature to be able to do that? Not all of them do, right? So then you'd be stuck with bars all the way around watching a 4:3 TV show (that is presented in widescreen format) on a widescreen display?
     
  8. John Whittle

    John Whittle Stunt Coordinator

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    Chances are that even though it was shot and posted in WS, you're getting a 4:3 version. These are usually "down the center" cuts of the 16:9 image.

    Think of it this way. There are two boxes, one is 3:4 and the other is 16:9. Into each box you can put any aspect ration (3:4, 16:9, 21:9 -- that's cinemascope 2.4:1). The difference is in the 3:4 box you have more and more dead picture on the top and bottom as you put the other aspect ratios. That's broadcast NTSC and cable as we get it today.

    In the 16:9 box, you can put 3:4 and it will have bars on the left and right. 16:9 will fit perfectly and 21:9 or scope will have narrow lines on the top and bottom.

    A DVD can either be 3:4 or 16:9. When you set up your player, you tell it what screen you have and if it's 3:4 and you run a 16:9 DVD, it will downconvert and fix the image to the 3:4 screen. If you tell it you have a 16:9 set then it will just output the squeezed image and the set will unsqeeze it. You will probably have to adjust the set when you run a 3:4 DVD. Early sets used to autoswitch (like my old JVC NV55BH) but they stopped doing that when they added component inputs (the switching cue was a bias signal on the y-c connector).

    Now you can sill zoom or enlarge your NTSC 3:4 cable show to fit you set. It will either cut off the top and bottom or do a slight stretch depending on the set and the modes available.

    John
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Every widescreen set that I know of has a zoom feature for non-anamorphic DVD's and widescreen NTSC television shows. Note that this is not a "stretch" mode, it is a uniform zoom and crop that will display non-anamorphic DVD's and widescreen NTSC TV (like Nip/Tuck) with no distortion. It simply zooms in to eliminate the bars that are on all 4 sides if you display it in 4:3 mode. Note that there is a resulting loss of resolution, because you are now displaying around 360 of the available 480 lines of resolution, due to the zoom.
     
  10. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    (non related comment)
    Not to sidetrack this but I just got a philips hd widescreen tv and I have been watching the first season of Nip/Tuck, not only is it in widescreen as mentioned, but with 5.1 sound, the soundtrack is as good as the show [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (/non related comment)
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Yes, I checked, and the new Panny's do have a zoom mode. [​IMG]

    But it's really 360 lines of resolution *upscaled* to 480 (on an EDTV) or 720 (on an HDTV). Right? So there's not really a loss in resolution, just that the quality might be affected by how good the display is at upscaling?

    (360 lines displayed over 360 lines, vs 360 lines being displayed over 480 or 720/768 lines.)
     

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