How to watch ultra-wide movies on standard HDTVs? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone!

I have a few avi files in 2.35 aspect ratio and when played on my 1080P HDTV, I get the black bars on the top and bottom. Is there any way to be able to watch these files without the bars? Would I need a program to crop out the sides of the files or stretch it vertically to fill the screen? Or is it just not recommended?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 01:38 PM
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Not recommended to change the original aspect ratio. If you really have to, use the zoom of your TV remote and see why.

Do a forum search, you'll find plenty of information.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

I have a few avi files in 2.35 aspect ratio and when played on my 1080P HDTV, I get the black bars on the top and bottom.

DJWikiera is quite correct!

But I have to ask you, WHY would you want to change the aspect ratio!?!?

You imply that this only happens on your HDTV. How else do you watch these files and does it not present the same issue to you?

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cavu View Post

DJWikiera is quite correct!

But I have to ask you, WHY would you want to change the aspect ratio!?!?

You imply that this only happens on your HDTV. How else do you watch these files and does it not present the same issue to you?

I want to change the aspect ratio because I don't like the black bars when I'm watching the files. It makes the video smaller.

It happens on my HDTV and my monitor. I'm aware of the aspect ratio differences since I have a 16:9 HDTV and a 16:10 monitor but I was just hoping to find a simple way to view them on my HDTV in full without the black bars. It makes me feel like I bought a much smaller HDTV than I have!
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

It makes the video smaller.

Should have bought a bigger display!
Quote:


I was just hoping to find a simple way to view them on my HDTV in full without the black bars. It makes me feel like I bought a much smaller HDTV than I have!

At least you are honest! You are one of those people who say "I paid for those pixels and I intend to use them even if everyones' heads look like pumpkins!!"

This is AVS ... the AV "Science" forum where we all make an effort to produce the best image and sound, faithful to the way the programs were made.

Deliberately distorting an image, or reducing the resolution, or cropping material from the picture are generally not things we aspire to do.

I recommend that you educate yourself about "Original Aspect Ratio" (see HERE) and not worry so much about your unused pixels.

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post #6 of 23 Old 01-07-2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJWikiera View Post

use the zoom of your TV remote and see why.

Do this, easiest way.


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post #7 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 08:05 AM
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Movie releases use various aspect ratios and are meant to be shown on a projection screen in a movie theater. The size of a projection screen can be varied using curtains to mask the unused portions for smaller aspect ratios and opened up to create a larger one.

TV displays have a fixed aspect ratio and are designed for the ATSC broadcast TV standard (NTSC for 4:3 displays). If you watch a movie with an aspect ratio greater than 16:9 you're either going to have to zoom the movie to fill the screen, resulting in a cropped image, or watch it with black bars.

Movie lovers understand this and live with the black bars knowing that they're getting to see the full image as intended by the director. We don't watch the black bars, we watch the movie. If you're stuck watching the black bars then it's a personal problem. I would highly recommend therapy to get past it.
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 08:22 AM
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If you want overstreched heads or cut off parts of the movie, you can strech or zoom in the video even from the TV settings, but do you really want those effects just to fill a couple of pixels?


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post #9 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 08:36 AM
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Yea, dont do it. You either stretch the video up and down, making everyone in the movie appear thin and tall, thus ruining the movie IMO. Or you stretch and zoom, losing about 1/3 of the left and right of the movie, thus ruining the movie IMO. So just don't do it.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

I want to change the aspect ratio because I don't like the black bars when I'm watching the files. It makes the video smaller.

The best option is to get a display that's the wider aspect ratio.

Quote:


I'm aware of the aspect ratio differences since I have a 16:9 HDTV and a 16:10 monitor but I was just hoping to find a simple way to view them on my HDTV in full without the black bars.

You have three options:
1) View them "in full", the whole picture with black bars to fill out the unused part of the screen.
2) Zoom and cut of 25% of the picture area so that you don't "waste" part of your monitor.
3) Stretch and make everyone tall and skinny and distort the image.

Those are your three options, 2.35 does not equal 1.78 or 1.6 and there's nothing you can do to make one equal the other.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

Hello everyone!

I have a few avi files in 2.35 aspect ratio and when played on my 1080P HDTV, I get the black bars on the top and bottom. Is there any way to be able to watch these files without the bars? Would I need a program to crop out the sides of the files or stretch it vertically to fill the screen? Or is it just not recommended?

Thanks!

Obviously you don't want to change the aspect ratio to vertically stretch, and thus distort, the image. You can, however, zoom and image until the vertical picture fills the screen.

Advantages to you:
No stretching of the image in one dimension only, so no distortion.
No black bars.

Disadvantages:
You crop some of the sides of the image as these are zoomed off screen.
You give the purists here a heartattack out of sheer outrage that you may get pleasure from watching a movie in any other way than "the director intended" in to be.
You lose some picture sharpness, because you're kind of upscaling the image to a higher pixel count.

Wait, that second one might be an advantage after all.

Which player are you using to watch the movies?

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post #12 of 23 Old 01-08-2012, 01:00 PM
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Why anybody would buy an HDTV and then distort the image is beyond me.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 01:08 AM
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MPC-HC is the player I know that has good zooming/stretching cotrols.
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubwerks View Post

Why anybody would buy an HDTV and then distort the image is beyond me.

I agree. I've never been bothered by the black bars.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubwerks View Post

Why anybody would buy an HDTV and then distort the image is beyond me.

Being in tv sales I learned to throw out a lot of my personal biases. Especially on smaller (32 and under) tv's you have a large number of customers with no interest in feeding it hd programming. They will ask questions about whether tv A is better than B, but then when you ask them if they have enough hdmi cords at home to connect it they say they aren't going to do hd.

If there is a bluray or other demo loop on a tv that is in widescreen they ask whats wrong with the television. They're buying a 26 inch tv because that's all that will fit in their 15 year old entertainment center. They ask if they can just stick all the the speakers for a 5.1 setup across the front of their tv stand so they don't have to worry about wires. The majority of shoppers are of the opinion that all plasmas are old junk and a 1080p led by an unknown chinese company is preferable to a 720p LCD by a reputable manufacturer.

Just look at what happens when a lot of television programs produced before 2006 or so are shown on channels like Discovery, History, TLC, etc - they distort them to fill the screen. If people weren't happy with it they wouldn't do it.


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post #16 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 09:58 AM
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Is it even possible to vertically stretch widescreen movies? It looks extremely bad, much much worse than side stretch, Ive never seen the option and dont know why it would ever be an option because it makes the movie look completely ridiculous if not unwatchable.

Zoom looks fine, its identical to HD TV shows/movies. I prefer true widescreen over 16:9 because the composition of the scenes looks better (the better the director the better it looks) but zoom isnt as bad as people are making it out to be.

The only reason I would use zoom for all movies is if the tv has bad contrast, Ive seen a few tvs with really bad blacks and the bright gray bars ruined the whole movie. Even side stretch is better than bright gray bars.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

If people weren't happy with it they wouldn't do it.

This is clearly a case of ignorance being bliss. People content to watch TV in this manner are either totally clueless or simply don't care how the picture looks. When they see black bars they feel they're being slighted or there's something wrong with the TV. They don't give a crap that the image looks like $hit as long as they're getting to use all of the pixels they paid for.
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the very informative responses. I'm starting to understand the level of appreciation you guys have for the videos as they were meant to be!
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 11:05 AM
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To play devil's advocate, there are *a lot* of movies made that suffer very little from cropping the sides off.

In short, watch the movie the way *you* like it best. If you want to watch OAR, go ahead. If you want to zoom the image and lose the outside edges to fill the screen, nothing wrong with that either.

Don't let anyone else tell you what should look good to you. But do take the time to educate yourself about your options so you know what choices you have.

-Suntan
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

Hello everyone!

I have a few avi files in 2.35 aspect ratio and when played on my 1080P HDTV,
I get the black bars on the top and bottom. Is there any way to be able to
watch these files without the bars? Would I need a program to crop out the
sides of the files or stretch it vertically to fill the screen?

If you don't want the video to be letterboxed, you can modify the video itself,
use the HTPC to 'crop' or 'zoom' the video as it's presented to the TV, or use
the TV to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJack9 View Post

Or is it just not recommended?

It's recommended if you really don't want black bars. Personally, I'd rather
see black bars if the image is too wide for my TV, so I don't recommend it.
However, who cares what somebody else recommends?
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

To play devil's advocate, there are *a lot* of movies made that suffer very little from cropping the sides off.

In short, watch the movie the way *you* like it best. If you want to watch OAR, go ahead. If you want to zoom the image and lose the outside edges to fill the screen, nothing wrong with that either.

Don't let anyone else tell you what should look good to you. But do take the time to educate yourself about your options so you know what choices you have.

-Suntan

+1. This definitely holds true for many theatrical releases on Blu-Ray or DVD. If the black bars at the top and bottom are minimal, zooming the picture to fill the screen won't crop a significant portion of the image. The movies that are shot in a wider aspect ratio are the ones that suffer when zoomed to fill the screen. If you try zooming a picture shot in 2.35 to 1 you'll probably lose about 35-40% of the image, if not more.

One of the most extreme examples I can think of is Ben Hur. I dare anyone to tell me that the chariot race is better when zoomed in instead of watching it in full letterbox on a 16:9 display. I believe TMC broadcast it during the holidays in the original aspect ratio and it looked spectacular even with the black bars that took up about 40% of the vertical space on my screen.

People are going to watch TV the way they want. Nobody is trying to tell them to do otherwise. I just get a bit peeved when someone comes along and gripes about the black bars without understanding why they're there or bitching because Hollywood directors make movies that don't fill up their screen vertically. They just don't seem to understand that TV and the movie industry are two completely separate entities. TVs are designed to meet a universal broadcast standard whereas movies are made to suit the desires of the director as a means to tell a story in a visual manner. If you want to watch a Hollywood movie on a fixed display you're going to have to deal with variations in the aspect ratio.
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

In short, watch the movie the way *you* like it best.

+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

But do take the time to educate yourself about your options so you know what choices you have.

+1

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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

-Suntan

Well put.
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-09-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

To play devil's advocate, there are *a lot* of movies made that suffer very little from cropping the sides off.

In short, watch the movie the way *you* like it best. If you want to watch OAR, go ahead. If you want to zoom the image and lose the outside edges to fill the screen, nothing wrong with that either.

Don't let anyone else tell you what should look good to you. But do take the time to educate yourself about your options so you know what choices you have.

-Suntan

So long as we're not advocating (and we're not in this thread) that films be cropped on disc (Pan & Scan) or that directors be forced to shoot in a particular aspect ratio, I've got no problem.

That said, I still think people should be educated about why the bars exist, that there's nothing wrong with them, and then if they choose to crop or whatever once they understand that all, then have at it.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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