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Zoom modes (1 Viewer)

John Roger

Stunt Coordinator
May 12, 2004
I am planning to go for a widescreen set.I am also currently planning to buy a new progressive DVD player.What to look for if i want a zoom option without much loss in picture quality.In my current DVD player there is a zoom option as well as a pan and scan option.The pan and scan doesn't work on some DVDs.The zoom option works on all but sacrifices quality in some.Some DVD player dont have zoom options.

Is is better to ignore the whole thing and go for the zoom options on the TV?I want to crop off the letterbox bars on non anamorphic DVDs without loss in quality.So which DVD player should i go for?

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Apr 15, 1999
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
For displaying non-anamorphic widescreen dvds you have 2 choices:

1-use the zoom mode on your tv set. This corrects the geometry on non-anamorphic widescreen dvds, you will still have black bars with 2:35 aspect ratio films as you should.
Most crt based sets do this with a raster expansion--they spread out the scanlines to zoom the picture, scanlines become more noticeable, not a good solution imho.

2-buy a dvd player with a scaling feature that will digitally expand non-anamorphic widescreen dvds. These are few and far between, and vary in pq, but scanlines aren't spread out. Players that do this automatically rely on correct flags on the dvd itself, and most are not flagged correctly so it won't work. The Panasonic RP-91 offered the option of doing it manually but your chances of finding one of these are nil as they've been out of production for a couple of years.

Current Panasonics have a variable zoom which will accomplish the same thing but adds lots of distracting digital artifacts. I have one of these and overall pq is mediocre anyway.

I've also used a JVC from a couple of years ago that did it much better than the Panny, but the zoom was not infinite. It had a 1.8x zoom which looked very nice but had some extra overscan.

The currently available Zenith DVB-318 also has infinitely variable vertical only stretch and does it very nicely, Titanic looks as good as most anamorphics. I have one of these also and it's the best solution to the non-anamorphic widescreen dvd display problem I've seen.

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