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post #1 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe anamorphic refers to the black bars you see on the top and bottom of an image on a 16:9 TV when a movie's aspect ratio is greater than 16:9. So you would NOT want a movie to be anamorphic, right?

I have heard someone say "Terminator 3 is a good movie, but it's not anamorphic so I am not going to get it"

(that is not exactly what they said, I don't think they referred to T3). But why would they say that? I thought anamorphic was a bad thing.
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 08:25 AM
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You better put your flame suit on. :D
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 08:32 AM
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Anamorphic refers to movies - mostly 1.78:1 or wider - i.e., 1,78:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1 - in which the visual data that would normally be wasted on the black bars is "squeezed" into the space between the black bars so the full resolution of the movie is displayed. E.g., instead of spreading the picture information evenly over all 480 lines of video resolution up and down the screen, the 120 lines (60 above and 60 below) that would be in the black bars in a widescreen movie now contain NO picture information, and all 480 lines of movie are squeezed into the remaining 360 lines between the black bars. Thus, the movie is just as sharp between the black bars as it should be, instead of having 1/4 of its resolution diffused and wasted on black bars that would just be .... black.

Anamorphic (also called "Enhanced for widescreen TVs") is A GOOD THING for widescreen movies. Otherwise, a movie that displays 480 lines of resolution will only have 360 lines to work with for the picture area. It's like dots per inch when printing pictures on a printer. 600-1200 dpi is a much sharper and more detailed picture than 250 dpi.

Since your standard old-time 1.33:1 movie fills the screen top to bottom anyway and does not go all the way out to the sides on a widescreen TV, there is nothing to squeeze; it would never display top and bottom black bars to begin with - i.e., it has picture information from top to bottom over all 480 lines as it is.

(This technically may be backwards - i.e., I never remember if the 480 refers to horizontal or vertical resolution - but the explanation is basically correct.)

Technically the above is true for 1.78:1 movies only. Movies that are wider than that - e.g., 2.35:1, your typical widescreen film - do have black space with no information (or, rather, they have black space with black space information), because the squeezing is done to the 16:9 (i.e., 1,78:1) space. "Anamorphing" a movie takes a 1.33:1 picture area (i.e., 4:3 = 16:12) and squeezes it top and bottom to fit into a 1.78:1 (16:9) area and does not waste any picture information in the two rectangular picture areas that are 16:1.5 at top and bottom. No picture resolution or information is wasted in the area outside the 1.78:1 (16:9) box, but if a movie is narrower than that, there will be wasted black space in these narrower movies - i.e., the black bars you see above and below 2.35:1 films - but that is still a lot less wasted black space than if it weren't anamorphic and thus wasted picture resolution and information on the area outside the 16:9 box.
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 08:33 AM
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What happened to the stickys about this??

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post #5 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 10:12 AM
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If you have a 16x9 tv, anamorphic is the only way to go. To paraphrase the OP's quote to something I've had to say recently: "I would love to have the original cut of the Star Wars trilogy, but it's not anamorphic so I am not going to get them."

Anamorphic is not the same as the aspect ratio.

Of course, this is all refering to DVD's, when you get into shooting film, anamorphic has a whole different meaning.

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post #6 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 10:53 AM
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eweiss,

Excellent (dare I say "pithy"?) explanation.

htomei

but I digress......
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eweiss
Anamorphic refers to movies - mostly 1.78:1 or wider - i.e., 1,78:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1 - in which the visual data that would normally be wasted on the black bars is "squeezed" into the space between the black bars so the full resolution of the movie is displayed. E.g., instead of spreading the picture information evenly over all 480 lines of video resolution up and down the screen, the 120 lines (60 above and 60 below) that would be in the black bars in a widescreen movie now contain NO picture information, and all 480 lines of movie are squeezed into the remaining 360 lines between the black bars. Thus, the movie is just as sharp between the black bars as it should be, instead of having 1/4 of its resolution diffused and wasted on black bars that would just be .... black.

Anamorphic (also called "Enhanced for widescreen TVs") is A GOOD THING for widescreen movies. Otherwise, a movie that displays 480 lines of resolution will only have 360 lines to work with for the picture area. It's like dots per inch when printing pictures on a printer. 600-1200 dpi is a much sharper and more detailed picture than 250 dpi.

Since your standard old-time 1.33:1 movie fills the screen top to bottom anyway and does not go all the way out to the sides on a widescreen TV, there is nothing to squeeze; it would never display top and bottom black bars to begin with - i.e., it has picture information from top to bottom over all 480 lines as it is.

(This technically may be backwards - i.e., I never remember if the 480 refers to horizontal or vertical resolution - but the explanation is basically correct.)

Technically the above is true for 1.78:1 movies only. Movies that are wider than that - e.g., 2.35:1, your typical widescreen film - do have black space with no information (or, rather, they have black space with black space information), because the squeezing is done to the 16:9 (i.e., 1,78:1) space. "Anamorphing" a movie takes a 1.33:1 picture area (i.e., 4:3 = 16:12) and squeezes it top and bottom to fit into a 1.78:1 (16:9) area and does not waste any picture information in the two rectangular picture areas that are 16:1.5 at top and bottom. No picture resolution or information is wasted in the area outside the 1.78:1 (16:9) box, but if a movie is narrower than that, there will be wasted black space in these narrower movies - i.e., the black bars you see above and below 2.35:1 films - but that is still a lot less wasted black space than if it wasn't anamorphic which would waste picture resolution and information on the area outside the 16:9 box.
So if it squeezes all that info into that space, wouldn't that distort the image (i.e. make people look short and wide)?
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 11:43 AM
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Lol

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post #9 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglerz007
So if it squeezes all that info into that space, wouldn't that distort the image (i.e. make people look short and wide)?
Actually, if left alone they would look tall and thin. So maybe it squeezes in the sides and pushes all that side information upward and downward to the limits of the 16:9 area (as opposed to the full 16:12 = 4:3 area). But that's why you set your DVD player to 16:9 as opposed to "letterbox" - it thus knows, when it detects an anamorphic video, to stretch out the sides from left to right and "plump" people back to normal.

Bottom line and all you need to know: For widescreen movies (i.e., though there are a few 1.66:1 that are anamorphic, in which case you lose a little top and bottom information, this mainly means movies 1.78:1 and wider - i.e., 1.85:1, 2.20:1, 2.35:1, etc.), YOU WANT ANAMORPHIC or "Enhanced For Widescreen TVs" if you have a choice. Though sometimes "letterbox" is used to describe anamorphic DVDs, it usually means that it's non-anamorphic widescreen, in which case you have to use your "zoom" to fill a 16:9 TV and consequently lose about 30% of the sharpness.
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglerz007
So if it squeezes all that info into that space, wouldn't that distort the image (i.e. make people look short and wide)?
Imagine it this way....

A standard DVD display is 4:3. A 1.78:1 movie image itself only takes up 2/3 of that DVD image, so 1/3 of the pixels available are not used to display the movie itself. With a non-anamorphic 1.78:1 DVD, the black bars are encoded as part of the DVD image.

An anamorphic DVD has a 33% vertically STRETCHED version of the movie, so if you saw this image in it's normal state, everything WOULD be taller and thinner. However, the advantage to this is that ALL of the pixels of the DVD image would be devoted to the movie image. Therefore, the resolution of an anamorphic image is 33% greater than a non-anamorphic one.

But as you say, "wouldn't an anamorphic image then look tall and thin?" This would be true, except that when this anamorphic image is displayed with a modern DVD player set to display 16:9 instead of the full frame 4:3 format (rectangle instead of square), this anamorphic image is vertically SQUEEZED 33% to return the image to it's proper proportions. Or, with a modern 16:9 digital television, the image is horizontally STRETCHED 33% to produce the same corrected image. This results in a much clearer, and brighter image than with a regularly displayed non-anamorphic image because the anamorphic source image used a higher resolution to begin with. All the pixels on the DVD were used instead of only 1/3.

With wider scope images like 2.35:1 or 1.85:1, some black bars are still encoded on an anamorphic DVD, but much less than with a non-anamorphic one. The main point is that with anamorphic DVD's more of the DVD image is used to display the actual movie than on an non-anamorphic DVD, resulting in a much better picture.
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 01:35 PM
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Here is an excellent explanation of anamorphic DVDs i found on the net. It's much more thorough than mine:

http://gregl.net/videophile/anamorphic.htm
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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There're some good explanations here. Maybe this post should be a sticky. Or bring back the old one.
Anyway, a sticky about (the dreaded :eek: ) Black Bars and Anamorphic would be a good thing to have in this forum. Especially with more people getting 16:9 TVs now.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-30-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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From:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ic185demo.html

Non-anamorphic widescreen DVD as encoded in the DVD frame:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...5ondisclbx.jpg

Anamorphic widescreen DVD as encoded in the DVD frame:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ondisc16x9.jpg

The anamorphic encoding dedicates greater resolution to the active image, improving the image. This is utilized with 16:9 displays, or 4:3 displays that have a 16:9 mode (raster squeeze).

It is very unfortunate that some widescreen DVDs are not encoded anamorphically.

The benefits to anamorphic encoding on DVD are somewhat moot with standard definition 4:3 displays that do not have the ability to do a raster squeeze, because to restore the correct AR of an anamorphic DVD the DVD player throws out resolution, essentially ending up with the active resolution you would have gotten if you had a non-anamorphic DVD title.

However, the benefits for 16:9 displays or displays that can do a raster squeeze are significant, because you have much greater active image resolution than you otherwise would have had with a non-anamorphic title.

Note that anamorphic is not related to the presense or absence of black bars or their size, which depends on your display's AR and the AR of the content.
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 06:17 AM
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Is it true that Terminator 3 is NOT anamorphic? I would find that hard to believe.

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post #15 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeeman
Is it true that Terminator 3 is NOT anamorphic? I would find that hard to believe.
Terminator 3 is anamorphic.

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post #16 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
From:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ic185demo.html

Non-anamorphic widescreen DVD as encoded in the DVD frame:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...5ondisclbx.jpg

Anamorphic widescreen DVD as encoded in the DVD frame:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ondisc16x9.jpg

The anamorphic encoding dedicates greater resolution to the active image, improving the image. This is utilized with 16:9 displays, or 4:3 displays that have a 16:9 mode (raster squeeze).

It is very unfortunate that some widescreen DVDs are not encoded anamorphically.

The benefits to anamorphic encoding on DVD are somewhat moot with standard definition 4:3 displays that do not have the ability to do a raster squeeze, because to restore the correct AR of an anamorphic DVD the DVD player throws out resolution, essentially ending up with the active resolution you would have gotten if you had a non-anamorphic DVD title.

However, the benefits for 16:9 displays or displays that can do a raster squeeze are significant, because you have much greater active image resolution than you otherwise would have had with a non-anamorphic title.

Note that anamorphic is not related to the presense or absence of black bars or their size, which depends on your display's AR and the AR of the content.
Well the anamophic pic there looks like crap....it's all distorted and stretched and elongated.

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post #17 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocko1290
Well the anamophic pic there looks like crap....it's all distorted and stretched and elongated.
You have misunderstood the whole process. Yes, this is what the image on an anamorphic DVD looks like....BEFORE your 16:9 TV restores the image back to its proper dimensions. The image is stretched so that all of the resolution of a DVD is used, and then it stretched horizontally by a 16:9 TV. Otherwise, if a non-anamorphic DVD is played, there would be black bars on the top AND sides, and the image would have to be zoomed to fill a 16:9 screen, resulting in a much poorer image quality than anamorphic.

My old 36" Sony WEGA (4:3) had a 16:9 mode that would vertically squeeze an anamorphic image to restore the proper geometry, and again, the anamorphic image was much sharper.

Read the article in the link I provided. It fully explains the anamorphic process, and why it is clearly superior to non-anamorphic.
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
Terminator 3 is anamorphic.

Correct, the widescreen T3 is anamorphic.

However, T3 was filmed opem-matte(it was not filmed anamorphically). So the 4:3 version of T3 is actually the open matte frame of the film which is larger than the OAR frame of the film. The 4:3 is not cropped or P&S, but the full open matte. I have not seen the 4:3 DVD of this film, but I hear that it has some benefits, such as seeing more of the nudity of Kristanna lokken (sp?).
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocko1290
Well the anamophic pic there looks like crap....it's all distorted and stretched and elongated.
Of course it does. That's how it is encoded on the actual DVD. When displayed full-resolution on a widescreen display, the correct AR is thus restored, while also maintaining the full resolution.

On a non-anamorphic transfer, it's essentially blown up, and the original resolution is lower for the active image.

I really can't believe we're even having a discussion here about anamorphic transfers on DVD. It's not a topic where opinion enters into it. Anamorphic transfers are higher active resolution and thus superior, period. End of story.
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
Anamorphic transfers are higher active resolution and thus superior, period. End of story.
Well, let's say theoretically superior, shall we?? It's not a guarantee that the transfer will be well done. I've seen bad anamorphic transfers that that looked far worse than, say, a Criterion non-anamorphic transfer of something like The Rock.

But, given the exact same source material and all things being equal, yeah, anamorphic always beats non-anamorphic based on resolution alone.

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post #21 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredProgGH
Well, let's say theoretically superior, shall we?? It's not a guarantee that the transfer will be well done. I've seen bad anamorphic transfers that that looked far worse than, say, a Criterion non-anamorphic transfer of something like The Rock.

But, given the exact same source material and all things being equal, yeah, anamorphic always beats non-anamorphic based on resolution alone.
Correct. There is a lot more to a transfer's quality than just whether or not it's anamorphic.

Anamorphic provides greater resolution, and all other things being equal, this gives better PQ. But as we all know there are a lot of unrelated variables.

Generally speaking though, there really aren't any widescreen releases anymore that aren't anamorphic, if you do have a widescreen DVD that's not anamorphic, it probably comes from some very small-time mastering house who doesn't know what they are doing, so the fact that it's not anamorphic is probably the least of your worries!
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 06:29 PM
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True- these days a DVD saying "Anamorphic" is about like a TV show saying "In color!!" :D

Or, "In stereo!"- might as well get close to this century I suppose *lol*

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post #23 of 30 Old 10-01-2006, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
Generally speaking though, there really aren't any widescreen releases anymore that aren't anamorphic, if you do have a widescreen DVD that's not anamorphic, it probably comes from some very small-time mastering house who doesn't know what they are doing, so the fact that it's not anamorphic is probably the least of your worries!
Sometimes they come from big manufacturers, too. The previous R1 Boondock Saints DVD was non anamorphic even though the box says it is and it was just 3 or 4 years ago. Even back then that was unacceptable. They have since fixed it w/ the recent re release.
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-02-2006, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredProgGH
Well, let's say theoretically superior, shall we?? It's not a guarantee that the transfer will be well done. I've seen bad anamorphic transfers that that looked far worse than, say, a Criterion non-anamorphic transfer of something like The Rock.
The Criterion edition of The Rock is anamorphic. You're thinking of their DVD for Armageddon, which isn't.

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-02-2006, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
The Criterion edition of The Rock is anamorphic. You're thinking of their DVD for Armageddon, which isn't.
Yep, you're right.

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post #26 of 30 Old 10-02-2006, 08:58 AM
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Generally speaking though, there really aren't any widescreen releases anymore that aren't anamorphic, if you do have a widescreen DVD that's not anamorphic, it probably comes from some very small-time mastering house who doesn't know what they are doing, so the fact that it's not anamorphic is probably the least of your worries!
Someone really needs to bring this to George Lucas's attention...;)

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post #27 of 30 Old 10-03-2006, 07:36 AM
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Two Questions on Anamorphic
some of the dvd's I rent all 1.85 to 1 have black bars and some fill the screen beautifully Why? both have the same aspect ratio and both say anamorphic enhanced for widescreen tv's.
Can a dvd be ripped to harddrive and converted to anamorphic with infoedit?
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post #28 of 30 Old 10-03-2006, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluueeys
Two Questions on Anamorphic
some of the dvd's I rent all 1.85 to 1 have black bars and some fill the screen beautifully Why? both have the same aspect ratio and both say anamorphic enhanced for widescreen tv's.
Can a dvd be ripped to harddrive and converted to anamorphic with infoedit?
Some DVDs - e.g., the reissuance of Cabaret - are incorrectly labeled as "Enhanced for Widescreen TVs" (i.e., anamorphic).

Assuming you didn't change the settings on your DVD player or TV, the fault must be in the DVD - i.e., it's mistakenly said to be anamorphic. I do not believe you can turn a non-anamorphic DVD into an anamorphic one, as the additional resolution wasn't encoded to it in the first place. If you want to fill the screen when playing a widescreen letterboxed non-anamorphic DVD, just use the "zoom" control on your widescreen TV.
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-03-2006, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluueeys
Two Questions on Anamorphic
some of the dvd's I rent all 1.85 to 1 have black bars and some fill the screen beautifully Why? both have the same aspect ratio and both say anamorphic enhanced for widescreen tv's.
Can a dvd be ripped to harddrive and converted to anamorphic with infoedit?
Large black bars, or small ones? An HDTV is not actually 1.85:1. It is exactly 16x9, which really comes out to 1.78:1. So, if your display has no overscan and the film is really at 1.85:1 you will wind up still having some very small bars at the top and bottom. On the other hand, many films are slightly zoomed in to 1.78:1, so they are going to fill the screen. Even though they both say they are 1.85 anamorphic transfers the aspect ratios are actually very slightly different.

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post #30 of 30 Old 10-03-2006, 10:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluueeys
Two Questions on Anamorphic
some of the dvd's I rent all 1.85 to 1 have black bars and some fill the screen beautifully Why? both have the same aspect ratio and both say anamorphic enhanced for widescreen tv's.
Can a dvd be ripped to harddrive and converted to anamorphic with infoedit?

I think you're just seeing bars for films that are an AR wider than 1.85:1, which is a significant number of films.

You are always going to have bars with content that is not the same AR of your display.

Anamorphic enhance has no bearing on the presence or absense of bars, or the AR of the content (assuming it's widescreen and not 4:3 of course, you wouldn't anamorphically enhance 4:3 AR stuff obviously).
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