Originally Posted by lazarus28
I have an HTPC hooked up via component at 1080i/30 (because I don't have a Gefen DVI thingie yet) to my D1-HD to my panasonic 1080p projector. My question is this: when using Gametap specifically, the output is always 16x9, even when the game is normally 4x3. (This is what I want, no? Have it render at the higher resolutions and let the Anthem scale?) I've played with all the settings in the 7 menu, and generally have a good understanding of this stuff, but I cannot for the life of me get the proper aspect ratio to appear on the screen. On my Samsung LCD, I only need press the ASPECT button on the remote and voila!, but I can't make the Anthem sqeeze the pixels for me! Can anybody tell me what I'm doing wrong here?
First, set your HTPC video output to believe it is talking to a 16:9 TV. If it is actually rendering graphics on the fly then it should render it at its highest resolution. If it is passing along pre-recorded stuff (such as playing a DVD) it should send that stuff along with as little change as possible. That means standard DVD content should be sent at 480i if possible. For 480i or 480p 4:3 content (old movies or DVDs of TV shows), the HTPC should be set as if to "uniformly stretch" the content to fill the 16:9 output frame left to right (circles look like wide ovals). I.e., don't have the HTPC generate pillar box bars around such stuff. This actually means the HTPC is not doing anything to that content. For 4:3 content that happens to be in a higher resolution frame, it's OK to do it either way, i.e., you could have the HTPC generate the pillar box bars much as if you were watching an SDTV program broadcast on an HDTV channel.
Finally, see if you can set the HTPC to send the appropriate HDMI flag to specify whether the content coming over is 16:9 or 4:3.
On the Anthem side, set Video Source Adjust / Crop Input = 16:9 if the content you are interested in seeing on screen is a 16:9 shape. Set 4:3 otherwise. If the HTPC sends the HDMI flag I just described the HDMI Auto setting will do this for you on the fly, but you can override the flag by setting it manually.
So basically the Crop Input setting specifies the portion of the input signal that's of interest to you -- which also specifies the input image shape.
Now your TV screen is 16:9. If the input is cropped to 16:9 then there's nothing that needs to be done.
If the input is cropped to 4:3 (or some custom shape as for example with a 2.35 aspect ratio movie) then you have to tell the Anthem what to do about the fact that the input shape doesn't match the 16:9 shape of your screen.
You could tell the Anthem to leave the input shape unaltered and to pad it out with blank imaging (usually black) to fill the 16:9 shape. That's Scale Out / Letter Pillar Box. Whether Letter Boxing or Pillar Boxing are applied depends on how the input shape compares to the 16:9 output shape. I.e. is it not wide enough or not tall enough.
Or you could tell the Anthem to uniformly stretch the input shape to fill the screen. That's Scale Out / Anamorphic. Whether vertical or horizontal stretching is done depends on how the input shape compares to the 16:9 output shape.
Another choice, Panoramic, fills the screen like Anamorphic but does it with non-uniform stretch so that the center of the image is less distorted and more of the distortion is concentrated away from the center.
When playing with cropping, it is easier to see what is going on if you set Scale Out / Letter Pillar Box. Once you've got the crop you want, you can switch to Anamorphic to have the Anthem stretch the image to fill the screen if you prefer. And remember that the source may be flagging the shape of the input video so if you have Crop Input / HDMI Auto set you might be confused until you understand what is going on.
Also remember that if you have the SOURCE generating letter or pillar box bars (something you should only do if the source is sending resolution higher than 480p) then those letter or pillar box bars are PART OF THE INPUT CONTENT. The Anthem can't know they have no useful imaging in them. But you know. And if you'd like you can set a Custom crop input setting.
EXAMPLE: The input source is a 16:9 movie embedded in a 4:3 frame (as if the movie was being broadcast letterboxed by an SDTV station) but that combo is also embedded in a 16:9 HDTV frame. The result is that the 16:9 movie floats in the middle of the screen with black around all 4 sides. And changing Scale Out / Anamorphic or Letter Pillar Box does not alter this because the Anthem sees a 16:9 input frame and doesn't know that this includes a wide black border all around the REAL movie image.
SOLUTION: Set a Crop Input / Custom setting which is 1440 pixels wide by 810 lines high. This will extract the 16:9 subset centered on a 4:3 SDTV image embedded in the middle of a 16:9 HDTV frame. Since this crop happens to have a 16:9 shape, it doesn't matter whether Scale Out is Anamorphic or Letter Pillar Box. The input shape already matches the 16:9 shape needed for output. So only the resolution will be scaled by the Anthem.
Finally remember that there are shortcuts to the Crop Input and Scale Out selections available under the Mode key of the remote. Press and Hold to get to Scale Out, then release (pause briefly) and press again for Crop Input, again for Frame Lock, and once more for Gamma Correction. The Up and Down arrows let you change whichever setting is currently being displayed. After a few seconds the setting will vanish and go back to just the normal, audio mode display.