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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    DVD playing on Widescreen HD TV Question

    Hopefully someone can straighten me out on this. Currently if I play a DVD, unless it is widescreen, on my widescreen HD TV, it will not take up the full screen and have stripes on the side (this might still happen with widescreen DVD's too), is this correct? I then use stretch expand or zoom expand to watch the picture at full screen but unfortunately this cuts out part of the picture. With the new HD DVD's that may come out in the future, I won't have this problem, correct or not? However, I will need to have a special kind of DVD player to play these HD DVD's correct? More money in the bottomless pit that I don't have!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    First, you need to go into the DVD player's setup menu and make sure that you have the video output set to 16:9 widescreen mode. If you're using the zoom with a widescreen DVD and it's an anamorphic widescreen DVD (check the box for "16:9 Widescreen" or "Enhanced for Widescreen TVs" or Anamorphic), then your DVD player setup is not right. With an anamorphic widescreen DVD and the DVD player set to 16:9 mode, then the image should show on a 16:9 HDTV with no blank space on the side.

    With that said, if you're watching any nonwidescreen material on a widescreen TV, then it WILL have those blank spaces on the side, just like watching a widescreen movie on a 4:3 TV will give you those black bars at the top and bottom.. You can't watch what isn't there in the first place. Your alternatives are to watch it that way or stretch the image to cover the full 16:9 screen area, which will look weird.

    If you're watching a widescreen DVD and those blank spaces are on the side, then it's probably not an anamorphically enhanced DVD (i.e. it was encoded for a 4:3 TV). Those 4:3 widescreen DVDs are mostly with the first batch of DVD titles and are slowly getting remastered as anamorphic widescreen titles.

    With HD DVD, it's the same thing. If the title was originally made with a 4:3 frame, then you'll have blank space on the side. If the title was made in a 16:9 ratio, then it will fill the entire image area. All that HD-DVD will do is run the picture at a higher resolution than DVD.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    For more on aspect ratios, read this article:

  4. #4
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    You should also be aware that even after you've set up your DVD player for 16x9, anamorphic widescreen films mastered at a greater aspect ratio than 1.85:1 (shown on TVs as 1.78:1) will display with black bands across the top and bottom--Gladiator, for example, at 2.35:1. Only the rare display will allow you to zoom such program material to fit your screen.


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