or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › HD DVD Players › Newbie HD Question regarding Letterbox Viewing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Newbie HD Question regarding Letterbox Viewing  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

Forgive me if this has been brought up before, I did a search on the forum and didn't really see anything and I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post in so here it goes -

I have a Toshiba HD-A30 hooked up to my Samsung 61" TV. I bought the A30 on sale from Best Buy due to the HD-DVD format loss to replace my old DVD player. I primarily thought I would use it as an upconverting DVD player but I have since picked up a few HD DVD movies on sale as well.

When watching an HD movie for example Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, 300, or Chronicles of Riddick, I get the letterbox look on my TV screen. I get a black bar on the top and bottom of the movie making my 61" TV effectively smaller. Now I set the A30 to 16:9 setting and I have it hooked to my TV with an HDMI cable so why the bars? I thought that since my TV was 16:9 then the DVD would take up the whole screen. During the opening of Riddick or the special features of Potter they show up in HD on the full screen - no black bars.

Is this a TV issue, DVD player issue, or HD-DVD/DVD disk issue? Any help or explanation on this would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I am not getting the full potential out of something.
post #2 of 7
It's a movie issue. Those movies are probably 2.35:1 or 2.40:1. You will get black bars at the top and bottom.

If a movie is 1.77:1 or 1.85:1, you should not get the bars.

16:9 is about 1.77:1.
post #3 of 7
max, google and study 'film aspect ratios' and 'hdtv aspect ratio'.
all will be revealed.

also goto 'widescreenmuseum.com'
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxxonline View Post

Hello everyone,

Forgive me if this has been brought up before, I did a search on the forum and didn't really see anything and I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post in so here it goes -

I have a Toshiba HD-A30 hooked up to my Samsung 61" TV. I bought the A30 on sale from Best Buy due to the HD-DVD format loss to replace my old DVD player. I primarily thought I would use it as an upconverting DVD player but I have since picked up a few HD DVD movies on sale as well.

When watching an HD movie for example Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, 300, or Chronicles of Riddick, I get the letterbox look on my TV screen. I get a black bar on the top and bottom of the movie making my 61" TV effectively smaller. Now I set the A30 to 16:9 setting and I have it hooked to my TV with an HDMI cable so why the bars? I thought that since my TV was 16:9 then the DVD would take up the whole screen. During the opening of Riddick or the special features of Potter they show up in HD on the full screen - no black bars.

Is this a TV issue, DVD player issue, or HD-DVD/DVD disk issue? Any help or explanation on this would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I am not getting the full potential out of something.


Are you saying it reacts differenty than a previous setup?

You are experiencing normal operation for even straight up SD-DVD for the past nearly a decade here.

The only discs that generally will fill your screen. Are 1.66:1 to 1.85:1, your 16:9 display translates to 1.78:1 in about the middle of the range I mentioned.
post #5 of 7
Different movies have different aspect ratios, while your TV is a fixed ratio.

Here is a wikepedia article that shows them off. You should particularly look at the images on the right-side. Your TV is 16:9. Many movies are 1.85:1 (which will fill your screen for the most part).

However, many other movies are filmed in ratio 2.39:1, which is wider than your TV. There would be a couple options to get this to display on your screen:
  1. Show the entire picture, but stretch it vertically so it fills the screen (distorting the image)
  2. Cut off the right/left sides so the image isn't distorted, but you are missing picture.
  3. Display the entire picture without distortion, which results in the black bars.

Obviously option 3 is the right choice, as it preserves the original picture how it was meant to be seen.

You can see this behavior exhibited a little better when watching TV. Try watching The Simpsons, for example....it is a 4:3 ("square") program, so you will either see it stretched out to fill your screen, which distorts the image, or you should be able to watch it in unstretched, but you will have black bars on the sides to preserve how it's supposed to look.

Hope that helps.
post #6 of 7
http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/764

This will tell you all you need to know. With pictures too!
post #7 of 7
Since this subject has been covered in many other threads, I ask the OP to use the search words provides (aspect ratio etc) and the associated link(s)...including my signature.

the best way to search is to use title search only in the advance search engine and limit search words to one or two.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HD DVD Players
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › HD DVD Players › Newbie HD Question regarding Letterbox Viewing