Widescreen TV shows and 16:9 TVs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JimP, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. JimP

    JimP Auditioning

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    While I'm pleased that TV shows are being shot in widescreen format for future broadcast in Digital, I'm a little confused by what those of us with actual 16:9 TVs are supposed to do.
    The signal is clearly non-anamorphic, right? So it's not set up to be broadcast at full resolution in the 16:9 normal mode. The broadcase is more like a regular widescreen (non-anamorphic) set up for a 4:3 TV. So, what setting can I use so that everything looks OK? My Mits has a 'stretched' mode that looks OK for regular 4:3 material, but with the widescreen shows, it just seems off. The 'standard' mode just stretches everything, and the other two zoom modes are just unwatcheable (because they stretch up and down and the resolution just isn't there, so the picture looks muddy to me.
    Am I missing something? What's the point of broadcasting a widescreen TV show if the people with 4:3 TVs complain about the black bars and the people with 16:9 TVs can't set up the TV to watch it in decent resolution without distortion??
     
  2. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the point is to make all programming, now and forever, compatible with the presumed future HDTV format. I also have a 16:9 set and agree that it's pretty pointless (given the loss in resolution) to actually watch widescreen SDTV in full 16:9 mode. But, presuming that HDTV/16:9 is actually going to be the format of the future, it would be equally pointless to film any more materials in 4:3/SD. I think that broadcasting content that has been shot in 16:9 in its OAR is mostly just a way to prepare viewers and lay the groundwork for the transition.
     
  3. Brett G

    Brett G Stunt Coordinator

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    I have watched several widescreen shows zoomed on my 65H80 with a DTV source. I thought it looked pretty good. Yes, you do lose a little resolution, but I think it's a much better alternative than either windowboxing (which for me results in grey and black bars) or stretching the letterboxed image.
    The networks aren't letterboxing shows for higher resolutions, they are doing it to make them more like a movie (which many viewers equate to higher quality), and to remain compatible with 16:9 for the future.
    -Brett
    ------------------
    My Home Theater
    My DVD's
     
  4. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    Use the same setting you would use for watching non-anamorphic widescreen DVD's. On the Toshiba's this is Theater Wide 2.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The shows are shot in widescreen but for analog NTSC broadcasting the video is digested into a non-anamorphic letterbox format. Incidentally a 720p HDTV picture downconverts by taking every other scan line (360), adding black bars (60 scan lines on top and 60 on the bottom), then taking every other scan line again to make interlaced NTSC. If the station is broadcasting HDTV the full resolution should be seen via your set top HDTV tuner box.
    The correct setting on your 16:9 TV taking in the NTSC broadcast is the "zoom" mode that evenly stretches it both horizontally and vertically. (The name may vary). Most of the black bars will then be pushed off the top and bottom edges. Unfortunately some sets degrade the picture because they employ an electronic zooming process with insufficient pixels across each scan line.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
    [Edited last by Allan Jayne on October 25, 2001 at 06:50 AM]
     

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