TV input says 4:3 when using DVD player in 16:9 mode - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried doing a search on this but turned up nothing. I do not have a problem, but I had a question about something I noticed.
I recently got a Zenith 42" HDTV and have my DVD player hooked up with component cables. I set the DVD player to output 16:9 and for progressive scanning. The picture is fine. What I notice is when I press the info button on the TV, it says "Component 1 ,4:3, 480P". I was wondering why does it say 4:3 when it should say 16:9. My kids Wii game does the same thing, but again the picture is fine.
When I use my STB with component cables, or when using OTA antenna and tune in an HD channel, my TV says 16:9. Does a DVD player "flag" a signal differently?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 11:26 AM
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A DVD player hooked up with component video cables will output 480p as the highest resolution. Even though the DVD player is set to 16:9 the TV recognizes the input as 480p and sets the aspect ratio to 4:3 unless directed to do otherwise. You didn't indicate what model of Zenith TV you have but it probably has a setting to change to 16:9 for 480p inputs. Since the cable box is outputting 720p or 1080i the TV with use an aspect ratio of 16:9 This is perfectly normal.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 12:33 PM
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You didn't mention which type of SD DVDs you were viewing. Most SD DVDs will have "anamorphic widescreen" or "enhanced for widescreen tvs" on the back label. (As opposed to the dreaded "Full Screen" DVDs.) The DVDs contain anamorphic 480 video, which is a 4:3 vertically stretched (tall/skinny) frame. These are the only ones that will display normally (unadulterated) on a widescreen tv. When the DVD player is set for 16:9 and the above type of dvd is played, the anamorphic 4:3 video along with a flag is sent to the tv. This tells the tv to stretch the video to a 16:9 aspect which normalizes the video. The hdtv then upscales it to its native resolution for display.

BTW, when these videos are displayed on a 4:3 tv, the dvd player will normalize the video and either add black bars to the top and bottom for 4:3 letterbox or crop out the sides for 4:3 display.

I can only assume that your set is indicating 4:3 because it is SD video being input. If it is stretching it out and looks normal with no zooming required, then that sounds normal.

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post #4 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raouliii View Post

You didn't mention which type of SD DVDs you were viewing. Most SD DVDs will have "anamorphic widescreen" or "enhanced for widescreen tvs" on the back label. (As opposed to the dreaded "Full Screen" DVDs.) The DVDs contain anamorphic 480 video, which is a 4:3 vertically stretched (tall/skinny) frame. These are the only ones that will display normally (unadulterated) on a widescreen tv. When the DVD player is set for 16:9 and the above type of dvd is played, the anamorphic 4:3 video along with a flag is sent to the tv. This tells the tv to stretch the video to a 16:9 aspect which normalizes the video. The hdtv then upscales it to its native resolution for display.

BTW, when these videos are displayed on a 4:3 tv, the dvd player will normalize the video and either add black bars to the top and bottom for 4:3 letterbox or crop out the sides for 4:3 display.

I can only assume that your set is indicating 4:3 because it is SD video being input. If it is stretching it out and looks normal with no zooming required, then that sounds normal.

I'm watching anamorphic widescreen DVDs. As I said, the picture is fine. I was just curious why my TV thinks its a 4:3 signal in my component inputs.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 02:23 PM
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Perhaps because all SD DVD's are really 4:3. If they are anamorphic widescreen and the DVD player is set to 16:9, it automatically performs a "stretch" to fill a 16:9 display. The TV is indicating what it's getting.

Just my $.02

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post #6 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Perhaps because all SD DVD's are really 4:3. If they are anamorphic widescreen and the DVD player is set to 16:9, it automatically performs a "stretch" to fill a 16:9 display. The TV is indicating what it's getting.

They're not necessarily 4:3. The format supports 720x480 resolution which is neither 16:9 or 4:3. The player will "stretch" it to 16:9 or "squish" it to 4:3, depending on what aspect ratio the video should be.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 05:01 PM
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I kind of wish my DVD player would upscale video to 720 p over component the way it does over HDMI, and automatically pillar-box 4:3 DVDs, but it doesn't. It sends everything as 480 p over component, and I have to manually select the correct format (FULL or 4:3) on my TV.

At least my TV doesn't try to tell me the video is 4:3. It just says 480 p (over component, there's really no way for the TV to know).
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kedirekin View Post

I kind of wish my DVD player would upscale video to 720 p over component the way it does over HDMI,

We have Hollywood to thank for that Something about component not having sufficient copy protection like HDMI does. Panasonics current line of DVDRs will upconvert over component but not finalized DVDs, including all commercial DVDs.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Perhaps because all SD DVD's are really 4:3. If they are anamorphic widescreen and the DVD player is set to 16:9, it automatically performs a "stretch" to fill a 16:9 display. The TV is indicating what it's getting.

Just my $.02

I think its actually reverse. I tried this experiment with my kids Wii game. If I used the regular composite cable to a 4:3 TV, and if I tell the Wii to ouput 16:9, it will display a "squeezed" in picture, anotherwords, everything is skinny. If this was an HDTV, then it would have been stretched out to a normal picture.
So it appears as if the DVD player is actually squeezing in a 16:9 picture to fit into a 4:3 screen. Its actually the HDTV that is stretching it out to a normal picture.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-06-2009, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepier View Post

I think its actually reverse. I tried this experiment with my kids Wii game. If I used the regular composite cable to a 4:3 TV, and if I tell the Wii to ouput 16:9, it will display a "squeezed" in picture, anotherwords, everything is skinny.....

What I believe you are seeing in your experiment is the anamorphic (horizontally squeezed/vertically stretched) video output as composite. It appears the Wii has the ability to use the same anamorphic flagging that SD DVD players use. By telling the Wii to output as 16:9, it is outputting an anamorphic SD video signal. The anamorphic flag is not read by a 4:3 tv so it displays the video as is, squeezed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepier View Post

...... If this was an HDTV, then it would have been stretched out to a normal picture......

Correct. The hdtv will read the anamorphic flag and know what to do, stretch horizontally, in order to normalize the video.
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Originally Posted by mikepier View Post

......So it appears as if the DVD player is actually squeezing in a 16:9 picture to fit into a 4:3 screen. Its actually the HDTV that is stretching it out to a normal picture.

Not really. The encoding of an anamorphic DVD has the video "pre-squeezed". The DVD player normalizes to a 4:3 letterbox or cropped output but does not normalize the video for a 16:9 output.

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post #11 of 11 Old 07-07-2009, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raouliii View Post

Not really. The encoding of an anamorphic DVD has the video "pre-squeezed". The DVD player normalizes to a 4:3 letterbox or cropped output but does not normalize the video for a 16:9 output.

That is semantics though. There are 16:9 and 4:3 SD video standards - both based on 720x480 / 720x576 (in fact the digital versions are a little bit wider than 4:3 and 16:9). They both have non-square pixels. They both output video as the same length analogue active line (52us for 720x576 - a little less for 720x480 ISTR) In the two different formats the only thing that changes is the aspect ratio of the sample/pixel and the angular resolution of the format.

It is up to the display to decide which standard the video is in and display it accordingly. Yes the 4:3 standard was there first (and in the UK we had 5:4 before it with our 405 system initially) - so initially displays displayed all video in 4:3. However once 16:9 video became available (late 80s in Europe with MAC broadcasts - I watched the Barcelona and Albertville Olympics in 1992 in 16:9!) the 52us (50Hz) active line analogue video could be 4:3 or 16:9 - and TVs had to cope with both. 16:9 CRTs started appearing in Europe in the very early 90s - Thomson sold the first one I saw - just in time for the 1992 Olympics...

In Europe we have three ways of automatically signalling widescreen content in SD video. I think the US only uses one or two of them - and maybe not as universally?

1. Line 23 (maybe a different line in 60Hz SD) WSS - Widescreen Signalling - where the video content is flagged as 4:3 or 16:9 raster and also the active video content within is also flagged. (So 4:3 pillarboxed in 16:9 can be signalled, or 16:9 letterboxed in 4:3 - as well as full-screen 4:3 and full-screen 16:9) This data is carried on Line 23 (50Hz) as digital data - a bit like Closed Captioning - and I think also carries CGMS (Copy Generation Management System) flags.

2. Pin 8 SCART switching. This is a physical pin on our 21 pin EU standard SCART connector. Pin 8 can be 5V for 16:9 full-screen content and 12V for 4:3 full-screen content. This is by far the most widely supported 4:3/16:9 switching system in use in Europe. (SCART also supports RGB SD interconnects, and has since the early 80s and the days of 8bit home micros and external videotext and teletext adaptors)

3. S-video voltage offset. This uses a DC voltage offset between the luminance and chrominance signals I believe to signal 4:3 full-screen or 16:9 full-screen (very similar to SCART pin 8)

AIUI 3. is definitely an option in the US - but obviously only for S-video. 2. is unheard of in the US as SCART connectors aren't used (apart possibly from cheap imported gear) 1. would be the only option for use on component - but I don't know how widespread support for it is in the US.

However - if your display and source don't use the same widescreen signalling system - or one or both don't have any at all - then it is likely that the display will assume all SD inputs (480i/p in the US, 576i/p in Europe) are 4:3 - and require a manual over-ride to tell the display that the source is 16:9 instead.
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