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Auto screen-shape with 16:9 televisions

Compress 4:3 content horizontally when playing back on a 16:9 set
 
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,
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When a DVD player is hooked up to a 4:3 television, 16:9 content will be shrunk vertically, while 4:3 content will play full size. The picture will be formatted correctly without the user having to do anything.

Unfortunately, on every DVD player I've seen, selecting a "16:9" television will cause the player to output either a 4:3 or 16:9 format picture depending upon the content; the user must manually configure the television for 4:3 or 16:9 content.

I would suggest that DVD players should include a mode which would compress 4:3 content vertically by 25% (add black bars to the sides) so that the image would be formatted for a television set configured as 16:9. This would cause a loss of picture quality when using composite or S-video output, but should cause no such problem with component or HDMI.

This feature would greatly improve the utility of disks that contain a mixture of 4:3 and 16:9 content. People using composite or S-video on their wide-screen set could continue to use the manual aspect controls.

supercat, Apr 10 2008

More than I ever needed to know about Anamorphic Widescreen DVD Enhancement http://www.thedigit...morphic185demo.html
Be sure to follow the link back to the Guide, too! [Amos Kito, Apr 13 2008]

[link]






       Yes. Even better, put proper horizontal and vertical scaling on the output. The introduction of 16:9 has caused soooo many problems.
wagster, Apr 10 2008
  

       I'd prefer this feature to be for the TV, rather than on the DVD player (so I could use any player or even an antique video game). Regardless, if the device would watch for the "black bars", it could automatically adjust.   

       But many movies were NOT filmed in "16:9". They're wider than that, and older "widescreen" DVDs will still need partial black bars at the top and bottom of a 16:9 TV, to maintain the proper aspect ratio.
Amos Kito, Apr 10 2008
  

       Many DVDs and TVs have options to do whatever you want with the picture shape. A friend of mine who works for a satelite TV company also explained that their set-top boxes do the same but need to be set correctly.
marklar, Apr 10 2008
  

       Buy a fucking scaler. They build components that do this EXACT thing already. This idea is good, great infact. So much so that somebody already built it.   

       go to lumagen.com or pixelmagic.com or Algolith.com   

       //People using composite or S-video on their wide-screen// should be slapped in the face, because thats like putting 87 octane into a dragster. DUMB. HDMI all the way people
evilpenguin, Apr 10 2008
  

       ////People using composite or S-video on their wide-screen// should be slapped in the face, because thats like putting 87 octane into a dragster//
That's assuming that the widescreen is a plasma or LCD. It could be a CRT, in which case component would seem to be the best choice.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 10 2008
  

       //It could be a CRT// yea. and how many 16:9 CRTs have you ever seen. I have seen 1, made my monovision. Monovision made like 200 of them, lol
evilpenguin, Apr 10 2008
  

       Any widescreen television should include a 4:3 mode. As far as I know, essentially all of them do.   

       A problem with using the television's wide-screen mode, however, is that the television can't tell when a disk switches between 16:9 and 4:3 content. Thus, it is necessary to manually switch the television every time one access parts of the disk that are in the 'other' format or else tolerate stretched/squished content.   

       I'm not sure how a $999 video scaler would be considered a solution to the problem.   

       Incidentally, another advantage of having the DVD player format its output to a 16:9 aspect ratio, regardless of source aspect ratio, would be improved functionality of the "zoom" controls. If I'm using the "zoom" to examine part of a scene in 4:3 video, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to have the zoomed portion fill a 16:9 screen (as long as I'm zoomed in at least 1.33x). Less of the image will be cropped on the sides than on the top and bottom, but that would seem like a good thing.   

       Incidentally, if the picture zooms but subtitles do not, that would allow non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs to be viewed full-width, with subtitles, on a 16:9 set, something that is otherwise not possible.
supercat, Apr 10 2008
  

       [evilpenguin] All the major Japanese manufacturers (Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba..) made 16:9 CRTs until quite recently. There are very many still in use.
Despite their size, they can still deliver a better image than most LCDs and many plasmas.
coprocephalous, Apr 11 2008
  

       [coprocephalous] cool. didn't know they made so many of them. They do look great.   

       //I'm not sure how a $999 video scaler would be considered a solution to the problem// wow, thats for a new unit. I could trip over a $20 scaler if I ran to the bathroom too fast here.   

       And how is it not a solution? It SLOVES his problem.   

       AND   

       //That's assuming that the widescreen is a plasma or LCD. It could be a CRT, in which case component would seem to be the best choice//   

       The best CRT image I have ever seen was driven by DVI (gigantic modified Runco CRT PJ) Digital is better, but some feel this is an opinion.
evilpenguin, Apr 11 2008
  

       //And how is it not a solution? It SLOVES his problem.//   

       Does it really? The price tag was enough to deter me from looking further, but if it can magically distinguish an anamorphic DVD signal from a non-anamorphic one I'd be curious how it does it. It seems to be that all the $1000 scaler would add to the mix would be another remote control to juggle when changing image formats.
supercat, Apr 11 2008
  

       maybe it salve's his problem?
RayfordSteele, Apr 11 2008
  

       maybe it salve's his problem?   

       I sense a tagline coming on. 'Salving problems since 1999.'
RayfordSteele, Apr 11 2008
  

       ha! Damn my tpying skils
evilpenguin, Apr 11 2008
  

       [supercat] and everyone for that matter. I come from the relm of home theater. I can get my hands on a scaler for not much coin and a universal remote //another remote control to juggle// to solve all these problems.   

       Here is my problem with this idea. The idea is solid. The need to change aspects is a solid concept. In fact the process you want to accomplish is built into many plasma and LCD TV sets. There are even stand-alone units (scalers) that can change aspects. So basically your idea is already well-known to exsist to AV enthusists
evilpenguin, Apr 11 2008
  

       Has anyone played a movie shot in 2.35:1 on a 16:9 TV yet? I was kind of annoyed by the result.
Zimmy, Apr 11 2008
  

       //There are even stand-alone units (scalers) that can change aspects. So basically your idea is already well-known to exsist to AV enthusists//   

       How many of them do the switch A-U-T-O-M-A-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y ?   

       When playing a DVD with an old-fashioned television set, the player will automatically switch between showing the recorded picture full-size (when viewing square-pixel content) and squishing it vertically (when showing anamorphic content). No buttons to push--the player takes care of everything.   

       Why can't I have the same convenience with a 16:9 set? Simply have the player switch between squishing horizontally (when showing square-pixel content) or showing full-size (when showing anamorphic content).   

       Zimmy: If the movie was recorded in anamorphic format, things should work pretty well. If recorded in square-pixel format, you may still be okay if the 16:9 television has a square-pixel mode that zooms to full width (mine has such a mode, but it zooms a little too much) and you don't mind losing subtitles. Otherwise, you need someone to implement my idea. :-)
supercat, Apr 12 2008
  

       //The best CRT image I have ever seen was driven by DVI //
If it was a DVI-I connector, it could still have been an RGB analogue interface.
coprocephalous, Apr 14 2008
  

       [coprocephalous] Yes, it could have been. But, its not. The source is a crystallio processor, and its source is HDMI from a sat box. Read all about the setup on my company's forum (look at my profile)   

       Look for Alan's HT room.   

       and {SC} //How many of them do the switch A-U-T-O-M-A-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y ? // ALL OF THEM. for $3K they automatically dim your lights, pop popcorn, and close your blinds. not kidding.
evilpenguin, Apr 14 2008
  

       //ALL OF THEM. for $3K they automatically dim your lights, pop popcorn, and close your blinds. not kidding.//   

       How is it possible for any sort of video equipment to tell whether the signal from a DVD player is square-pixel or anamorphic? The DVD player itself knows, but I don't think there's anything in the video signal to indicate.   

       How would an automatic switcher work?
supercat, Apr 15 2008
  

       The only way of doing it right that I know of is to use a scaler and a test pattern with a circle in it. Broadcasters these days have signal codes with ratio information in them, but they don't cater for everything.
wagster, Apr 15 2008
  

       //The only way of doing it right that I know of is to use a scaler and a test pattern with a circle in it. Broadcasters these days have signal codes with ratio information in them, but they don't cater for everything.//   

       A test pattern is great for calibrating equipment, but I don't see how they would help with selecting the proper mode for video that does not include them.   

       I still don't understand why the idea doesn't seem very popular. What's wrong with it?
supercat, Apr 15 2008
  

       //What's wrong with it?//   

       1) Most people aren't concerned about this issue (they don't have this equipment), and some don't even notice strange aspect ratios!   

       2) It's an intermediate fix. If you zoom into an ordinary DVD (to fit 16:9 screen), you'll see the compression artifacts, particularly when comparing the video to Hi Def (the reason for that new TV). Once you upgrade to HDTV, it's time for HD Video.   

       Well, you'll still have the problem [Zimmy] mentioned: Widescreen video which is wider than 16:9, displayed in unexpected ways. I'd hope Hi-Def DVDs always crop to correctly fill HDTV screens, but some of these problems may continue into the new formats.
Amos Kito, Apr 15 2008
  

       -1- Nobody has a DVD player and a 16:9 television!? While it's certainly true that many people wouldn't notice whether video is shown stretched or squashed, a lot of people do notice such things.   

       -2- What is wrong it it as a "fix"? Since the output stage on a DVD player and input stage of a television set need to have a high enough horizontal resolution to show a full-width 16:9 image, they should have enough resolution to show a 4:3 image that's padded and shrunk. The television set would always be receiving a full-screen 16:9 image, so there'd be no need for any zooming to be done in the set.   

       Video wider than 16:9, recorded in anamorphic mode would display as it does now. Video wider than 16:9 recorded in square-pixel mode could be zoomed to full-screen using the DVD player's zoom control so as to yield results as good as or better than a television set's "zoom" function. So where's the problem?
supercat, Apr 16 2008
  

       // Nobody has a DVD player and a 16:9 television!?//
I’m confident that more than nobody has that combination. In fact, I’m certain of it.
  

       // What is wrong it as a "fix"?//
Of the more-than-nobody, of those who notice such problems, of those who haven’t already figured out a manual way to do it, of those who aren't upgrading to entirely Hi-Def equipment, they may not have read this idea yet. That doesn’t make the idea “wrong”. As halfbakery ideas go, this fits here nicely. But it may explain the lack of enthusiasm over the idea. You also dismissed some pretty darn good suggestions early on, which may contribute to killing the discussion.
Amos Kito, Apr 16 2008
  

       What suggestions did I dismiss that would have actually solved the problem (the need for manual adjustment when DVD pictures change size)?   

       For that matter, does using hiDef equipment with normal DVD's solve the problem? At least with my HDMI DVD player and television set it's still necessary to manually switch screen format. So I would think anyone who wants to watch DVD's that have a mixture of anamorphic and non-anamorphic content would benefit.
supercat, Apr 16 2008
  

       //What suggestions did I dismiss that would have actually solved the problem (the need for manual adjustment//
None of them matched the idea’s premise -- maybe they can’t.
  

       I think manual adjustment is essential. With all these odd-ball formats, you’re bound to find plenty of DVDs that just look terrible “automatically”.   

       Also, you were including it inside the obsolete player - or at best, an obsolete format in a Hi-Def player. A separate external component is much better suited for various devices that you may connect to the new TV (assuming the TV set itself isn’t smart enough to handle it). And I’d compromise to run through a dozen manual pre-sets for five seconds, to see which I’d prefer for a given video signal.   

       By the way, I already bunned the idea, since it would indeed be cool if videos would just fit. If people aren’t flocking to the idea, I’d suppose they’re on a different flocking idea.
Amos Kito, Apr 16 2008
  

       How are DVD players for 'standard' DVD's obsolete? Standard DVD's are far more readily available than Blu-Ray, and that will probably remain true for at least the next couple years.   

       A DVD player will know 99% of the time whether the DVD being played is in square-pixel or anamorphic format. For all practical purposes, there are three types of DVD content:   

       -1- 4:3 format video, recorded in square-pixel format.   

       -2- wide-screen content, recorded in anamorphic format   

       -3- wide-screen content, recorded in square-pixel format   

       A normal DVD player with a 4:3 format television will handle all three formats, to the best of its ability, automatically.   

       A normal DVD player with a 16:9 format television will handle #1 or #2 optimally, but the set will require manual switching.   

       Existing DVD players cannot handle #3 well. On some 16:9 television sets it's possible to 'zoom' in, but that will chop off subtitles and on-screen displays. Having the DVD player compress the image horizontally would allow one to use its 'zoom' function to fill the screen, while preserving subtitles and on-screen controls.   

       As for having a "dozen" presets, really there are only a few modes one should need with a 16:9 set (in all cases, leave the set in 16:9 wide mode)   

       -1- Auto (show anamorphic content as-is; squish square-pixel content to 75% width)   

       -2- Stretch 4:3 content vertically by 33% (do not alter subtitle tracks) except in menu mode (squish horizontally in that case)   

       -3- Force horizontal squish   

       -4- Force vertical stretch   

       For most DVD's, use "auto". For non-anamorphic wide screen, use mode 2. The only DVDs that would need anything else would be ones that use non-anamorphic wide screen, but have their viewing content marked as "menu mode".
supercat, Apr 17 2008
  

       [SC] I don't understand how you can know that much about the different formats and not see the benefit of a scaler.   

       Everything is want to do can be done manually when projecting an image. You should buy a projector. And an anamorphic lens with slide. Next time you trip and fall on a lot of money...
evilpenguin, Apr 17 2008
  
      
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