Originally Posted by chronoclast
I just got my 103 today and I'm happy with it. The PQ through HDMI 2 is top notch for BDs. When I was going through test patterns with Spears and Munsil earlier it got stuck outputting solid green. Re-seating the HDMI cable fixed it so hopefully that's all it was.
I have an issue that concerns playback though. With the resolution set to Source Direct, all 4:3 content on DVDs is stretched to 16:9. If I set it to 480i or any other resolution, it stays in 4:3. In the 103's video setup, TV aspect ratio is set to 16:9 Wide Auto and DVD 24p Conversion is Off. I haven't tested HDMI 1. Firmware is up to date.
I had a very similar problem with the Marantz UD5007 recently. That player would output 4:3 correctly in Source Direct as long as there wasn't any anamorphic 16:9 flags on the disc. If there were flags then Source Direct, 480i, and 480p settings would output 4:3 stretched. The 103 is different as the flags don't matter, all 4:3 content is stretched.
Actually this is correct behavior. SD-DVD uses "variable width pixels" to encode 16:9 and 4:3 content into the same count of content pixels on disc -- 720x480 pixels *EITHER WAY*.
If you do the math, 720 / 480 is an aspect ratio of 1.5. 16/9 is 1.778 and 4/3 is 1.333. So the matrix actually recorded on disc is an aspect ratio right in between. This was done quite intentionally so that SD-DVD could be a "transition format" between traditional 4:3 TVs and the newly minted 16:9 TVs.
That 720x480 matrix of pixels is RENDERED as either 16:9 or 4:3 by interpreting each on-disc pixel as either wider than it is tall (16:9) or taller than it is wide (4:3). That rendering happens in your display if you send SD resolution to the display. But when you tell the player to output HD video (i.e., 1080p) the rendering is done in the player. That's because HD video uses *SQUARE* pixels in a 16:9 matrix -- 1920x1080, which has an aspect ratio of 1.778
The way that it is done is that if the content is flagged as "anamorphic" -- i.e., 16:9 -- then the 720x480 content pixels are mapped directly to the 1920x1080 output pixels so that the image fills the output left to right and top to bottom. The source pixels are interpreted as rectangles that are wider than they are tall, and mapped to the square HD pixels as part of the scaling.
However, if the content is flagged as 4:3 then the player has to "squeeze" the image into a 4:3 shape, embedded in the 16:9 output. This is done by adding black pixels on the left and right of each line -- the "pillar box bars" -- with the real content contained in the middle 1440 pixels of each 1920 pixel line. The result is a 1440x1080 image (4:3 = 1.333 aspect ratio) embedded in a 1920x1080 output frame (16:9 = 1.778 aspect ratio).
NOTE: This addition of pillar box bars is something that should only be done as part of the upscaling of the SD content to HD for display. Why? Because otherwise you clobber horizontal resolution. Suppose you take a 720x480 content frame -- flagged as 4:3 -- and decide you are going to output it as an SD output frame flagged as 16:9. The problem is that the 16:9, SD output frame is *ALSO* 720x480. Those non-square pixels, you see? So what happens is your original 720x480 content pixels get squeezed into 540x480 output pixels -- the middle 540 "fat" pixels of each 720 "fat" pixel (i.e., 16:9) output line -- and the remaining pixels on either side become your black pillar box bar pixels. You've just thrown away horizontal resolution, and there is no way to recover that in subsequent processing.
OK, now consider Source Direct output.
Source Direct preserves the content on disc and presents that *UNCHANGED* to the output. That means the 720x480 pixels on disc are going to remain 720x480 pixels on output. But what about pillar box bars if the content is 4:3? Uh, uh. Source Direct does not add those. One reason is the loss of horizontal resolution just mentioned, but the MAIN reason is that "Source Direct" means don't change the content. Adding pillar box bars changes the content.
So Source Direct of an SD-DVD always outputs the 720x480 pixel frames coming off the disc as the SAME 720x480 output pixels. ALONG WITH the 16:9 vs. 4:3 flagging meta-data!
And that means, it now becomes the job of the DISPLAY DEVICE to render that as 16:9 or 4:3, and in the case of an HD display that gets done as part of upscaling the non-square SD input pixels to square HD pixels for output.
So the PROBLEM is that your Display is not doing that!
I.e., it is seeing 720x480 input -- flagged as 4:3 -- and is rendering that *AS IF* it was flagged as 16:9. And *THAT'S* what makes the image look stretched horizontally -- because your Display is not doing "the right thing" with that input. I.e., it is not adding the needed pillar box bars as part of the upscaling.
Now some Displays can be set to add the pillar box bars automatically for SD input -- i.e., according to the aspect ratio flags transmitted as part of the SD video stream by Source Direct output. But some displays require that you select that manually for SD input. I.e., you have to make a "picture size" choice in the Display to tell it that the SD input is really 4:3 and thus the Display should add the pillar box bars as part of its upscaling.