Widescreen Format

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  • 09-23-2006, 10:38 AM
    Widescreen Format
    Forgive me if these questions have obvious answers but I just wanted to confirm a couple of things regarding viewing widescreen format DVD's on a standard 4X3 CRT TV.I don't own any widescreen sets yet and my main TV is a Sony 36" Wega Non-HD CRT.Obviously when I watch widescreen DVD's I have black bars top and bottom.I have a Samsung DVD player I use in our bedroom that has a setting to convert widescreen to fullscreen which is kind of neat.I assume there is some resolution loss and it also appears that the images become slightly distorted or out of scale so there's a trade-off in picture quality if I'm correct.Going back to the 36" 4X3 Sony set my question is this.That set is connected to a Sony DVPNS75H DVD player which doesn't appear to have the EZ-View setting of the Samsung but does enlarge the picture using the Zoom settings.(an onscreen display showing the zoom setting stays lit and doesn't appear to be removable)Am I missing something as far as settings on either the TV or DVD player that would convert the widescreen to Fullscreen on this Sony Combo or is this all you get?I know I could connect the Samsung DVD player to the Sony TV but I hate to do that as the Sony seems superior in all other aspects just minus the screen conversion feature.I realize getting a widescreen set is the only real solution and a nice LCD or Plasma is in my future when the budget allows.Just one more question.Is 16 X 9 letterbox considered the standard widescreen format or is there another format dimension that is viewed using changes to settings on TV(4X3) or DVD player.
  • 09-23-2006, 10:52 AM
  • 09-23-2006, 11:29 AM
    Why throw away part of your picture?
    Watch the movie with the bars until you can buy a widescreen TV.

  • 09-23-2006, 04:58 PM

    Originally Posted by elapsed

    Thanks for the links as they were very informative.A widescreen display is obviously the only practical way to view widescreen movies as even on my 36" Sony 4X3 set I find the black bars to be horrendous with not nearly enough viewing area.I guess it would be cost prohibitive but in a fairer situation all current DVD's would be widescreen on one side and fullscreen on the other.I have a bunch of CRT TV's throughout my house that are incapable of properly viewing widescreen DVD's and it will certainly be a long time before I've replaced them all with widescreen displays.I'm also wondering about the upcomoing changeover to fully digital cable(supposedly by 2009) and the need for a digital to analogue tuner converter box for all these sets.That may send all but the best ones I own to the curb.
  • 09-24-2006, 06:42 AM
    I understand your predicament, but I'm not sure that a full screen option on all DVDs would be the fairest approach at this point. At one time, it might have been. In fact, when 4:3 was the predominant screen ratio, the appearance of widescreen films met with serious backlash, which actually threatened to have them curtailed, or at least take a back set to pan and scan versions. But the uproar on the other side was hard to ignore. Pan and scan telecine transfers corrupted the work of films produced at a wider scope (nearly all of them). Directors like Martin Scorcese took great pains to educate the budding HT crowd about how a movie could change in feeling and substance when cut down to 4:3 size (Ben Hur being one of his prime examples), and when someone not involved with a film became responsible for choosing what on each frame was worth preserving for home viewing. Eventually widescreen (in fact, anamorphic) films reinstated their value to viewers, not even necessarily enthusiasts. Now, as 16X9 sets have proliferated, and sales of 4:3 TVs are nearly dead in the water, it makes no sense to go backward in quality and technology to pan and scan, especially when the worst that 4:3 viewers have to endure are black bars and maybe closer seating, and when the payoff is a movie exactly as the director intended. The time and expense of adding a 4:3 transfer, whether in pan and scan or a version that merely deletes the sides (which becomes an option when a film was shot to accommodate multiple aspect ratios), becomes harder to justify.
  • 10-04-2006, 06:36 PM
    I don't understand what the problem is with the black bars annoying people so much. This should be a dead issue by now. Black bars actually means you're watching the movie in full screen. ha!

    Filling your 4x3 screen with the movie or tv show means you're actually "chopping" off both sides of the image. Then the whole movie just looks like one big close up. The problem isn't the bars, it's the fact that your tv is too small. I don't want to watch anything in Pan and Scan (full screen) Hell No!

    But live and let live. Here's something to think about. Why are you buying dvds in widescreen if you don't like them presented that way. Just buy the movie in full screen(cringe)

    Here's a fact that will really make your head spin. When you do buy a widescreen display and you pop in your favorite movie, there's a good chance there will still be black bars above and below the picture..lol
  • 10-04-2006, 07:49 PM
    Well consumers are not always to blame. Let's take a look at what TNT does that is unforgivable. They broadcast the Pan&Scan version on the regular station and then on their HD station they ...well, you would think they would show the movie in widescreen....NOOOOOOooo. Instead they commit the second greatest cinematic crime and that is take the P&S version and stetch it to fill the frame.......INEXCUSABLE! UNACCEPABLE!