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  1. #1
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    Some Questions About Aspect Ratios on 16X9 Sets.....

    When I play back widescreen DVDs with aspect ratios of 2:35:1 or 2:40:1 (the popular formats) on my 55" Mitsubishi rear projection screen, and the screen is in STANDARD mode, I get small letterboxing to the top and bottom of the image, which Im told is normal.

    NOW, if I play a DVD with an aspect ratio LOWER than those, say, either 1:78:1 or 1:85:1, the image fills up the ENTIRE screen with NO letterboxing in the same STANDARD mode....I was told that is because my TV may be "overscanning" these other ratios, and just filling the screen. Is this normal? Should I be getting ANY letterboxing during these other ratios, like 1:85:1 or 1:78:1?

    And with regard to watching FULL SCREEN DVDs on a widescreen set......when I play back 1:33:1 (full screen) DVDs on this 16X9 set, and keep the mode, again, on STANDARD, the image simply fills the entire screen without any real noticeable "fattening" or stretching of any characters on the screen --- is this normal? Is this because the TV is simply cropping some information off the sides because it's a Pan and Scan DVD image, and then zooming a bit so the full screen DVD fills the screen? SHOULD a full screen DVD FILL a 16X9 screen without any noticeable distortion to the characters onscreen?

  2. #2
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    "Standard" or "Natural" usually display in the native format. Your 4:3 is probably displaying the correct way without any digital adjusting of the picture. I'm not familiar with the ratios you gave but most of my DVD's display 16:9 and fill up the screen without any digital adjusting while certain ones like Lake Plasit show bars on the top and bottom, I think it is a 24mm film perhaps. In order for that movie to fill up the whole screen I'd have to choose one of the altering screen modes.

    Depending on the brand they call the screen modes by different names but most have a mode that will give you a picture in the correct native format. None of this may help except now you know you aren't alone in your confusion.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, while I thank you for your input, this didnt really clear my question up for me....

    So, is there anyone else who can tell me why, when my TV is in STANDARD mode (which is, as the original replier said, the NATIVE method and the way I watch most all DVDs to display them in their proper ratios and such), and I am watching a DVD that has a LOWER aspect ratio than 2:35 or 2:40 (both of which display small letterboxing, as is expected and correct on top and bottom of the image), say, 1:78:1 or 1:85:1, the image is filling the ENTIRE 16X9 widescreen with no letterboxing? Is this correct?

    I have been told that perhaps what my TV is doing is "overscanning" those lower-aspect ratio DVDs (1:85, 1:78) and filling up the screen to eliminate the black bar letterboxing. Could this indeed be what is happening? As I said, I DO get the appropriate small letterboxing when watching 2:35:1 or 2:40:1 aspect DVDs, but when I watch 1:78:1 or 1:85:1 DVDs, the image fills the screen with NO letterboxing......is this normal on 16X9 sets?

  4. #4
    AR Regular evil__betty's Avatar
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    the bars on the top and bottom are normal on the aspect ratios that you gave - even with a widescreen tv. Until all of the movie companies get their act together and agree on a standard widescreen aspect ratio, we will be stuck checking the back of all DVD's that we buy. Good luck with that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by evil__betty
    the bars on the top and bottom are normal on the aspect ratios that you gave - even with a widescreen tv. Until all of the movie companies get their act together and agree on a standard widescreen aspect ratio, we will be stuck checking the back of all DVD's that we buy. Good luck with that.
    Yes, I am comfortable and aware knowing that there SHOULD be letterboxing on the 2:35 and 2:40 aspect ratios; Im asking if its normal that the OTHER ratios --- 1:78 or 1:85 should be filling the screen with NO letterboxing.......

  6. #6
    AR Regular evil__betty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Yes, I am comfortable and aware knowing that there SHOULD be letterboxing on the 2:35 and 2:40 aspect ratios; Im asking if its normal that the OTHER ratios --- 1:78 or 1:85 should be filling the screen with NO letterboxing.......

    .Yes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by evil__betty
    .Yes.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    As I understand it the 1:78 sould fill 16:9 screen entirely. 1:85 should show very small top/bottom bars. If you're not seeing them, you probably have more overscan than needed. The others should show larger top/bottom bars as you stated. It's up to you to decide whether the overscan bothers you or not. See below for some ratios and dimensions.

    http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toenail
    As I understand it the 1:78 sould fill 16:9 screen entirely. 1:85 should show very small top/bottom bars. If you're not seeing them, you probably have more overscan than needed. The others should show larger top/bottom bars as you stated. It's up to you to decide whether the overscan bothers you or not. See below for some ratios and dimensions.

    http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi
    Thank you; this is EXACTLY what I wanted to know......and no, the overscan does not bother me....ANYTHING that fills the screen doesnt bother me at all. Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about overscan at all in most cases. If it's less than 5%, you're in good shape. Almost every widescreen display embodies overscan just enough to let 1.85:1 fill a 1.78:1 screen. PC displays are a different kettle of fish. Overscan is a relic of NTSC broadcasting, in which the edges of the transmission are visual junk that you wouldn't want to see.

    Ed

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    I wouldn't worry about overscan at all in most cases. If it's less than 5%, you're in good shape. Almost every widescreen display embodies overscan just enough to let 1.85:1 fill a 1.78:1 screen. PC displays are a different kettle of fish. Overscan is a relic of NTSC broadcasting, in which the edges of the transmission are visual junk that you wouldn't want to see.

    Ed
    Thanks Ed; it seems that EVERY DVD that is NOT of the 2:35 or 2:40 ratio is filling up the entire screen.....I guess there IS overscan going on here.....

  12. #12
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    Some TVs overscan more than others, and "excessive" overscan is certainly a flaw. But the truth is that without putting up a test screen, you simply wouldn't know. Rarely, if ever, does anything happen in the extreme periphery of an intended frame that has much impact on visual or dramatic information, even if overscan exceeds the "norm" by some minute degree. (By the way, as you probably know, the Panasonic RP56 might have been the steal of its time. As good as the RP91 was, the 56 did everything just as well, if not better in some cases.)

    Ed

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    Some TVs overscan more than others, and "excessive" overscan is certainly a flaw. But the truth is that without putting up a test screen, you simply wouldn't know. Rarely, if ever, does anything happen in the extreme periphery of an intended frame that has much impact on visual or dramatic information, even if overscan exceeds the "norm" by some minute degree. (By the way, as you probably know, the Panasonic RP56 might have been the steal of its time. As good as the RP91 was, the 56 did everything just as well, if not better in some cases.)

    Ed

    Yes, this RP56 is a great deck; I love Panasonic DVD players in general; I think they do some of the best DVD players (and in the past VCRs).

    As for the overscanning, can you help me rest tonight easier answering this FINAL question:

    Should it be considered NORMAL that 1:78:1 AND 1:85:1 ratio DVDs are BOTH filling up this 55 inch 16X9 set with NO letterboxing? Is this normal then, with what we are talking about with overscanning issues? I KNOW the 2:35 and 2:40 ratios are SUPPOSED to have the small letterboxing, which they do, but should these other ratios be filling the ENTIRE screen?

    Thanks again for your ongoing help.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    In a video world without the institution of overscanning, 1.85 would leave extremely slender bars. With overscanning as we know and love it, 1.85 shouldn't leave any bars at all. The ratio of 16x9 was chosen for widescreen TVs precisely as a compromise wherein the the screen would be filled most of time because of the predominance of 1.85 and 1.78 material, and space at the top and bottom would occur only with the odd cinemascope et al. ratios--in other words, to ensure that letter- and pillarboxing be the exceptions, not the rules. Sleep well. All is right with your Mitsubishi.

    Ed

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    In a video world without the institution of overscanning, 1.85 would leave extremely slender bars. With overscanning as we know and love it, 1.85 shouldn't leave any bars at all. The ratio of 16x9 was chosen for widescreen TVs precisely as a compromise wherein the the screen would be filled most of time because of the predominance of 1.85 and 1.78 material, and space at the top and bottom would occur only with the odd cinemascope et al. ratios--in other words, to ensure that letter- and pillarboxing be the exceptions, not the rules. Sleep well. All is right with your Mitsubishi.

    Ed
    Thank you; I had always for some reason believed that in CINEMA, the more predominant rations were the 2:35 or 2:40 ones, not the aforementioned 1:78 or 1:85......

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