Widescreen Viewing Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Modena, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I purchase a 34" or 65" widescreen television set, am I going to be able to watch regular 4:3 television that will fit the whole 16:9 area? Or will I have black bars on each side? Does it depend on the company? I see this as a big tradeoff when purchasing a new set. Thanks.
     
  2. Justin H

    Justin H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Widescreen TV's have 'stretch' modes that will elongate the 4:3 picture to fill the whole 16:9 screen. This is the most popular method of watching normal cable on your widescreen TV, though you can also 'ZOOM' the picture and cut off the top and bottom to some extent but fill the screen.

    All widescreen TV's have different stretch modes (some have one, some a couple) and some are better than others. If you will be watching a good amount of 4:3 material you should pay extra attention to stretch modes and compare as many as you can in person before making a purchase.

    **You do also have the option to put up bars on the sides and watch in 4:3 mode, though they are mostly grey not black
     
  3. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cool, thanks. Any particular brand that does an especially good job of stretching? I'm looking at the 34" Sony widescreen, while my RPTV options are wide open right now.
     
  4. Justin H

    Justin H Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a 47" Panasonic RPTV and its stretch mode looks alright to me, and has been said to be about average. From what I've heard good things are frequently said about the Toshibas. I don't know too much about that Sony.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    AFAIK, all of them come w/ some sort of stretch/zoom(-and-crop) modes that allow you to fill the entire screen. The quality AND type of stretching/zoom varies between brands (and maybe even models). You'll have to go see them for yourself to determine whether each offering is acceptable to you.

    Also, typically, if you don't fill the screen, you'll get grey side bars, not black, which can be more annoying. There might be some sets that give you a choice between grey or black, but grey is preferable to avoid possible "burn-in".

    Finally, a handful(?) of DVD players and set-top boxes do offer modes to produce black side bars for 4x3 content since grey ones are more annoying, especially when watching a movie in low lighting. This latter situation is why I'm hesitant about choosing a DVD player from the current available crop. Even though the Panny RP82/CP72 players are supposed to be top notch performers, they lack the ability to display black side bars (or scale non-16x9 letterboxed images for better quality).

    _Man_
     
  6. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1999
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For previous years, Toshiba had the best stretch modes. The best for general viewing leaves the center of the picture almost untouched and confines the stretching to the sides.

    Now, other manufacturers are adopting this algorithm, so Toshiba is not so dominant in this area. Still, I don't know of anyone who does the stretch any better than Tosh.

    You do just have to see for yourself. (And don't go by what is automatically playing at the store. Sometimes these sets are set to woefully inappropriate stretch modes. Cycle through all of the settings.)

    Jan
     
  7. Mike Huber

    Mike Huber Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    my toshiba looks excellent while watching tv. I have the 50H82 widescreen. Really an excellent picture while watching tv and dvds. Good luck with your purchase.
     

Share This Page