Aspect Ratio, Source and Image Quality - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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While recently looking for a new high end Plasma display I was surprised to learn that aspect ratio control is not as complete or useful as I thought for high end sources. The following represents what I understand based on reviewing the latest Pioneer Elite Plasma Displays:
1) Using S VHS inputs, anamorphic dvds with a 1:235 aspect ratio can be viewed without bars in one of the wide screen settings.
2) Using Component or HDMI inputs, even anamorphic dvds with a 1:235 aspect ratio can not be viewed without bars in any screen setting.
3) Direct TV movies can be viewed without bars in all screen settings even using HDMI or Component inputs.
I have read vague statements about various degrees of aspect ratio control for HD and other sources for Plasma and other high end displays but it is not clear to me whether any of these would change the results I found with the Pioneer sets. Am I missing something or do those limits apply as I noted above?
If so, other than the old eyeball test, is there someway to assess the quality difference between S VHS and the other two inputs?
Are there any Plasma displays that offer a full screen view of anamorphic 1:235 dvds using the component or HDMI inputs (other than dvd player zooming which seems to destroy video quality)? I am baffled by what seems to be such a limitation on the full use of the wide screens available to us now. It would seem that using HDMI or component inputs you are limited to using 60-70% of your 16:9 screen size. So that 61 inch screen is really a 36 to 42 inch screen with these sources. Please tell me I am missing something.
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsefrnd View Post

It would seem that using HDMI or component inputs you are limited to using 60-70% of your 16:9 screen size. So that 61 inch screen is really a 36 to 42 inch screen with these sources. Please tell me I am missing something.

There is just no physical way to display a picture intended to be displayed at 2.35:1 aspect on a 16:9 screen without either black bars or distorting the picture. Period. Also, I'm not going to get my calculator out, but there is no way a 61 inch screen becomes a 36 inch screen because of the black bars. Maybe 50" or so, but it's still a lot bigger than if you watched the same movie on a 36" screen (which would then become a 30" screen). I agree TV's are not consistent about which sources can be stretched in which ways, but distorting the picture will always reduce picture quality to some extent. Some people prefer this loss, others would prefer the intended aspect ration, black bars or not. (There's no reason to think that a TV will reduce PQ when distorting any more or less than the DVD player. Indeed, the DVD player has more information than the TV to do a better job.)

If you are not a purist as to aspect ration (i.e. you would rather not have black bars), then my guess is that you are not a purist enough to see the very minor difference between HDMI vs S-Video vs component inputs. So, use whichever one allows you to distort the picture in the most pleasing (to you) manner.

My advice, without being disrespectful, is to chill a little. It's just a TV, and a pretty nice one at that. Try the black bars, and lower the lights in the room. After a dozen movies, I bet you don't even notice them. I've even gotten used to the gray vertical bars when watching 4:3 on my Panasonic, which bugged me to hell the first time. Human beings are remarkably flexible creatures.
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by michaelingp View Post

There is just no physical way to display a picture intended to be displayed at 2.35:1 aspect on a 16:9 screen without either black bars or distorting the picture. Period.

Actually that only partially correct unless you call distortion seeing less than the full image you would see at 235. I have no idea what a purist is in this context but being able to use the full screen on some sources and not others is simply annoying, especially given the price of these things. I am hopeful for a more helpful response.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsefrnd View Post

Actually that only partially correct unless you call distortion seeing less than the full image you would see at 235. I have no idea what a purist is in this context but being able to use the full screen on some sources and not others is simply annoying, especially given the price of these things. I am hopeful for a more helpful response.

That technically isn't distortion, it's worse. As least a distored picture gives you all of the information that you are intended to see.

Why you feel that you know better than the cinematographer is beyond me. Knock yourself out.


Sofar as not using your screen to its full potential... You car is able to go much faster than the speed limit, you seem to have coped.


edit: grammar police
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsefrnd View Post

Are there any Plasma displays that offer a full screen view of anamorphic 1:235 dvds using the component or HDMI inputs (other than dvd player zooming which seems to destroy video quality)? I am baffled by what seems to be such a limitation on the full use of the wide screens available to us now. It would seem that using HDMI or component inputs you are limited to using 60-70% of your 16:9 screen size. So that 61 inch screen is really a 36 to 42 inch screen with these sources. Please tell me I am missing something.

The only way you could fill a 1.78:1 screen with a 2.35:1 ratio image would be to zoom and crop/compress the image horizontally. Since you seem to find both of these objectionable, I suggest you learn to love the black bars at the top and bottom of your screen, or look for movies that have already been cropped to 1.78:1 from their OAR (cable and satellite companies are notorious for doing this).
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Not very friendly responses. Maybe this is some den of purists I am still awaiting a serious response.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsefrnd View Post

Not very friendly responses. Maybe this is some den of purists I am still awaiting a serious response.

How is this?
A 61 in tv--16x9 has a aspect ratio of 1.78:1
a 38 in tv--4x3 has a aspect ratio of 1.33:1

If a 61 in 16x9 displays a 1.78:1 movie it fills the screen and if it displays a 2.35:1 movie it will have black bars top and bottom and will have a reduction of pic height from 29.9in to 22.6 in

If you had a 38in tv with a 4x3 display which has a aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and you played a full screen movie the height would be 22.8 in or about the height of the 61 playing a 2.35: movie but if you play a 1.78:1 wide screen movie the height reduces to 17.1 in and further if you play a 2.35:1 movie you now have a pic height of only 12.9 in.

With your 61 in tv you have the choice of playing it with black bars top and bottom with a 2.35:1 movie or zooming it to fill the height but loosing on the ends. The other choice is stretch the pic which will give you some distortion.
If the distortion bothers you to much you can just buy movies that have 1.78 or 1.85:1 You also will have alot of 4x3 source from sat or cable that you have to live with black bars on the sides or zoom or stretch.

If the movie people and the tv makers got together !!!!!!!!!!

Roy

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post #8 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 07:55 PM
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i think what the original poster is asking for is not how to display 2.35:1 OAR on a normal 16:9 plasma. I think he wants to know which plasmas display 2.35:1 in it's original apsect ratio. In other words, what plasmas are for sale that are 2.35:1 instead of 16:9.
I think the answer would lie in the 2.35:1 message group, so Horsefrnd, go look there.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 08:40 PM
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I have no idea what you are asking the display to do. Do you want the 2.35:1 picture to be cropped, or stretched into 16:9, or what?

If being a "purist" means wanting to view a 2.35:1 movie in 2.35:1, then yeah, I guess I am.

I would love to have a magic panel that could display 16:9, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, etc all at full screen without black bars - but unfortunately, I'm out of pixie dust...

If you think this post was dumb, you really should read my blog=> http://bumpedhishead.blogspot.com/
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-18-2006, 10:09 PM
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NEC plasmas, as far as I know, have a mode specifically for zooming 2.35 movies, effectively zooming the bars away while chopping off content on either side. At least mine does anyway, which is about 19 months old. You can also zoom in small increments if you need more zooming flexibility, and even offcenter.

That said, those functions are not much more than a novelty to me (rarely/never used), and I have found I much prefer movies OAR than zoomed/cropped anyway.

Oh and it will also zoom HD, for instance if you wanted to zoom a 4:3 show on an HD channel. I'm using DVI for HD and component for DVD.

Oh and they are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Oh and don't use S-Video... not on a plasma. please. Unless you are an advanced user that is trying to be tricky. That is all.
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-19-2006, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sievers View Post

Oh and don't use S-Video... not on a plasma. please. Unless you are an advanced user that is trying to be tricky. That is all.

Thanks for that reply. Could you clarify that last remark though?

Yes for me I would rather loose content to the side than see the bars at 235 if that can be done without a distortion of the content that is left to be seen when that is done. I just wanted to know whether any plasma displays had that capability with the various inputs, such as component HDMI and S VHS. For those of you that do not want that capability, enjoy your content as you like and let me do the same, if it is possible. Thanks to all who provided a non-judgemental reply.
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-19-2006, 07:24 AM
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I have the 50PX60U and I prefer not to have bars on my DVDs as well, mostly because my set is still being broken in. Using the zoom feature on my set results in the picture being vertically elongated. It is not an ideal solution. My DVD player has a zoom feature which will zoom 2.35:1 to 16:9, resulting in cut off ends. Fortunately, this does not result in any noticeable decline in picture quality. I don't know why the set's zoom feature vertically elongates it, but I agree it is not a good solution.
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-19-2006, 09:39 AM
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I was referring to some posts I've seen on here a while back that said in certain situations, S-Video may actually look better than other fancier connections, with SD content. I don't recall the specifics but a few people swore by it. I really just added that as kind of a silly comment! But if you search you may find what I'm talking about. So final answer is YES, some do what you are looking for, NEC is the best brand that does it as far as I know. There are others too.

About the 'elongation' on the panny, that's because it's zooming the anamorphically squeezed picture. Go to normal 4:3 mode to see what I'm talking about, that is what you are zooming. The panny doesn't have a mode that both streches out the anamorphically squeezed frame (correcting the geometry, I think panny calls this full) AND zooms in on that frame, giving a picture with correct geometry, no bars, and cropped sides. You could use that zoom on non-anamorphically enhanced dvd's, since the 4:3 frame in that case is letterboxed w/ correct geometry, so you are just zooming away some or all (depending on aspect ratio) of the black bars w/out losing any content.
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-20-2006, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by avjeff View Post

IMy DVD player has a zoom feature which will zoom 2.35:1 to 16:9, resulting in cut off ends. Fortunately, this does not result in any noticeable decline in picture quality. .

Interesting, can you tell me which dvd player that is?
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-20-2006, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDO CA View Post

How is this?
A 61 in tv--16x9 has a aspect ratio of 1.78:1
a 38 in tv--4x3 has a aspect ratio of 1.33:1

...With your 61 in tv you have the choice of playing it with black bars top and bottom with a 2.35:1 movie or zooming it to fill the height but loosing on the ends. The other choice is stretch the pic which will give you some distortion.
If the distortion bothers you to much you can just buy movies that have 1.78 or 1.85:1 You also will have alot of 4x3 source from sat or cable that you have to live with black bars on the sides or zoom or stretch.

If the movie people and the tv makers got together !!!!!!!!!!

Roy

Yes thank you for your reply. I was aware of the tradeoffs on croping and the various aspect ratios but interested in what if any equipment made 235 material viewable in that manner without distortion; by that I mean artifacts or a change in the sharpness or intregity of shapes. I do agree very much with the last comment, if indeed they would make all this compatible in a simple manner.
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-20-2006, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers View Post

I was referring to some posts I've seen on here a while back that said in certain situations, S-Video may actually look better than other fancier connections, with SD content. I don't recall the specifics but a few people swore by it. But if you search you may find what I'm talking about.

Thanks, I will search.

Quote:


So final answer is YES, some do what you are looking for, NEC is the best brand that does it as far as I know. There are others too..

Thanks for that information. I hadn't thought about NEC, they are not easy to find where I live. I now see they get some nice reviews. About the only compliant I see is Green saturation, which seems to be adjustable; how is that with your set?
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-20-2006, 10:24 PM
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The EZ-View feature on Samsung DVD players does a great job of zooming away any black bars from any aspect ratio.
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-24-2006, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-24-2006, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsefrnd View Post

Thanks, I will search.


Thanks for that information. I hadn't thought about NEC, they are not easy to find where I live. I now see they get some nice reviews. About the only compliant I see is Green saturation, which seems to be adjustable; how is that with your set?

It may be just due to the fact that I have literally browsed tons of threads and don't remember correctly, but with the new 42XR4 and 50XR5 NEC panels I did not see any complaints of green saturation. Many of the people in that thread praise NEC as being one of the most pleasing pictures they have seen, especially for the price. The only issues I remember seeing anything on was small ones with IR there and there, but that can be said about the vast majority of PDP brands. As for stretch mode, NEC does have a very nice stadium stretch function, which is supposedly one of the better zoom modes people have seen.

Dustin
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-24-2006, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers View Post

Oh and they are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Funny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers View Post

About the 'elongation' on the panny, that's because it's zooming the anamorphically squeezed picture. Go to normal 4:3 mode to see what I'm talking about, that is what you are zooming. The panny doesn't have a mode that both streches out the anamorphically squeezed frame (correcting the geometry, I think panny calls this full) AND zooms in on that frame, giving a picture with correct geometry, no bars, and cropped sides. You could use that zoom on non-anamorphically enhanced dvd's, since the 4:3 frame in that case is letterboxed w/ correct geometry, so you are just zooming away some or all (depending on aspect ratio) of the black bars w/out losing any content.

Yup, that's right. Confusing but right.
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post #21 of 23 Old 04-25-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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i am having a few PQ issues with my tv and I am trying to figure out whether it is the source (Cablebox, xbox, dvd player) or whether it is my tv. I have a HDMI connection to my HD Cablebox and I notice that on some channels there is a lot of ghostness and false contouring. I also see fuzziness in certain spots with certain colors. My xbox 360 is connected through component cables and I also notice false contouring. I see fuzzy spots in the dashboard. So the question is, how do you when its the source that is bad or if it is the tv that is bad. This is driving me nuts becuase I have just purchased a brand new 42 panasonic plasma and expected FLAWLESS picture. Please someone help me out and calm my nerves. thank you
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post #22 of 23 Old 04-25-2007, 12:04 PM
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Have you tried component cables? These will sometimes work better than HDMI.
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-04-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers View Post

I was referring to some posts I've seen on here a while back that said in certain situations, S-Video may actually look better than other fancier connections, with SD content. I don't recall the specifics but a few people swore by it. I really just added that as kind of a silly comment! But if you search you may find what I'm talking about. So final answer is YES, some do what you are looking for, NEC is the best brand that does it as far as I know. There are others too.

About the 'elongation' on the panny, that's because it's zooming the anamorphically squeezed picture. Go to normal 4:3 mode to see what I'm talking about, that is what you are zooming. The panny doesn't have a mode that both streches out the anamorphically squeezed frame (correcting the geometry, I think panny calls this full) AND zooms in on that frame, giving a picture with correct geometry, no bars, and cropped sides. You could use that zoom on non-anamorphically enhanced dvd's, since the 4:3 frame in that case is letterboxed w/ correct geometry, so you are just zooming away some or all (depending on aspect ratio) of the black bars w/out losing any content.

Yes I agree this is correct. I am having the same problem with my PS3.. because my Pioneer 4280hd is fairly new, i wanted to watch without the black bars.. I am alright with Missing content, but I hate Distorted content.

Even though I can't return my Ps3 now, is there any BLU-RAY player that has a proper zoom feature? Also, is there a way to somehow make the 4:3 mode of my TV look proper with the PS3, i.e. so the zoom will not be distorted (pan and scan or fullscreen maybe)

Please help
Thanks in advance

-PianoPlayer1
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