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4:3 vs. 16:9 Component Comparison

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Just got my component cables in today, connected them and have been enjoying the new look of things...

TV - Samsung LN-S4695D

Is it just me, or does the 16:9 setting look unaturally streatched on a widescreen tv? I noticed this during wii sports, namely during bowling; this was not the case when setting the wii to 4:3 (on both the wii and the tv...)

Anyone experience this as well??
post #2 of 64
First off, switch it to 16:9 and 480p in the Wii Settings menu. That is your problem....
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthSimon View Post

First off, switch it to 16:9 and 480p in the Wii Settings menu. That is your problem....

Maybe you misunderstood my posting, or I wasn't clear; the settings on both my monitor/television as well as the Wii correspond with each other.

I am stating that it appears that the Wii was not developed with a "widescreen" viewing audience in mind. Yet that is merely my assumption.
post #4 of 64
I find that most games I've played are designed for widescreen... but seem stretched yes... Like I loaded up trauma center last night, and although it's completely playable it doesn't seem designed for widescreen. Zelda is on the other hand... and super monkey ball seems to be... and dragon ball z... some menus seem intended for 4:3 but the gameplay is fine.
post #5 of 64
I believe it's because the pixel count doesn't change. 16:9 with 480 vertical pixels would mean 853 horizontal pixels, but the Wii seems to stay locked in 4:3 resolution and you have to stretch it. Does the Wii actually call it 16:9 or just widescreen?
post #6 of 64
I have my TV set to the Aspect setting and with composite cables, Wii Sports always filled up the 16:9 screen and I've felt that it looks fine.

Is there a way to set to 4:3?
post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallow View Post

I have my TV set to the Aspect setting and with composite cables, Wii Sports always filled up the 16:9 screen and I've felt that it looks fine.

Is there a way to set to 4:3?


Yes, I believe the path is

wii menu/wii settings/ screen/ and the rest should flow... I'm at the office and was told not to play with my Wii whilst here.... damn politics! LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post

I believe it's because the pixel count doesn't change. 16:9 with 480 vertical pixels would mean 853 horizontal pixels, but the Wii seems to stay locked in 4:3 resolution and you have to stretch it. Does the Wii actually call it 16:9 or just widescreen?


Hey Steve, yes the Wii does have a 16:9 option
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by qjones View Post

Yes, I believe the path is

wii menu/wii settings/ screen/ and the rest should flow... I'm at the office and was told not to play with my Wii whilst here.... damn politics! LOL

Ha, I had forgotten I had switched that setting initially.
I'll try it and see if it looks more natural for Wii Sports.
post #9 of 64
Well when I set my Wii to widescreen 16:9, it didn't really produce a 16:9 image, it scrunched up the image horizontally in a 4:3 aspect ratio, allowing me to stretch it and make it appear as 16:9. This would tell me the pixel count didn't really change.
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post

Well when I set my Wii to widescreen 16:9, it didn't really produce a 16:9 image, it scrunched up the image horizontally in a 4:3 aspect ratio, allowing me to stretch it and make it appear as 16:9. This would tell me the pixel count didn't really change.

My point exactly.... Which is why I set my television to 4:3 and the Wii to 4:3 also... (480p via component of course).... But Steve, make sure that your monitor settings also reflect a 16:9 aspect ratio....

The biggest thing I noticed was the overly elongated look of the "miis" during Wii Sports Bowling... All in all once I get home I'll take a few screenshot comparions and post them. (Unless someone can beat me to it)

Honestly, I am glad that I didn't take the time to "make" a set of cables like so many others have.
post #11 of 64
Quote:


But Steve, make sure that your monitor settings also reflect a 16:9 aspect ratio....

It's a 1920x1080 display with 1:1 pixel mapping (no overscan) - whatever gets fed in is what gets displayed. Since the Wii's widescreen output doesn't actually change the aspect ratio on the screen - rather, it compresses the image horizontally within the 4:3 ratio so that it looks like a natural 16:9 when stretched - it seems like the games or the system is set on a fixed pixel output as opposed to switching from 640x480 (4:3) to 853x480 (16:9). I would be interested in doing more testing, but I decided to sell mine.

Assuming I wasn't overlooking something obvious, this would actually lead me to believe that the fullscreen 4:3 output would potentially have better picture quality than widescreen if using the same display technology/brand/model due to having more "real" pixels per screen area.
post #12 of 64
Sounds like some people don't understand anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic content...
post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

Sounds like some people don't understand anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic content...

I always think I know, then when it comes into practice, all is lost.
Right now, people look stretched in certain games.

Enlighten us Slordak.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallow View Post

Ha, I had forgotten I had switched that setting initially.
I'll try it and see if it looks more natural for Wii Sports.

OK, there's a couple of issues here.

The first is that when using the Wii in 16:9 mode, some (if not all) TVs don't recognize it automatically. That's why you havde to manually switch your TV to 16:9 mode. You'll know everything is fine if you go to your Mii menu, and the characters have the correct proportions.

The second problem is that some games are not designed for 16:9. Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of them (it doesn't support 480p either). So when I start playing this game, I have to manually change my TVs aspect ratio (actually, my projector's) to 4:3 in order for it to look correct, although since Raving Rabbids has such silly characters in it, you might not even notice that they're "squished" if you left it at 16:9.

However, Wii Sports supports 16:9 correctly. You can tell this because the characters have the correct proportion.

-Dan
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagware View Post

OK, there's a couple of issues here.

The first is that when using the Wii in 16:9 mode, some (if not all) TVs don't recognize it automatically. That's why you havde to manually switch your TV to 16:9 mode. You'll know everything is fine if you go to your Mii menu, and the characters have the correct proportions.

The second problem is that some games are not designed for 16:9. Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of them (it doesn't support 480p either). So when I start playing this game, I have to manually change my TVs aspect ratio (actually, my projector's) to 4:3 in order for it to look correct, although since Raving Rabbids has such silly characters in it, you might not even notice that they're "squished" if you left it at 16:9.

However, Wii Sports supports 16:9 correctly. You can tell this because the characters have the correct proportion.

-Dan

Thanks Dan. I never had a problem with Wii Sports like the OP did. I thought the characters looked fine.
I know I have both the Wii and TV set to the correct aspect ratio.

His question though made me think that perhaps they are stretched unusually as I haven't played my Wii too much lately as I'm still waiting for the component cables.

I'm surprised to hear that Raving Rabbids doesn't support 480p, I thought at least every game would support that, as well as true 16:9.
post #16 of 64
trauma center isn't 480p either. Might not even be 16:9, but I didn't notice too much stretching if any so I dunno
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallow View Post

Thanks Dan. I never had a problem with Wii Sports like the OP did. I thought the characters looked fine.
I know I have both the Wii and TV set to the correct aspect ratio.

Yeah, I got lazy and didn't quote everyone individually. Sorry about that.
Quote:


I'm surprised to hear that Raving Rabbids doesn't support 480p, I thought at least every game would support that, as well as true 16:9.

When I first heard that not all games supported this, I was actually kind of shocked. (However, I knew about Raving Rabbids before I bought it.) I really don't understand why not all games support this. I'd be curious to hear what kind of effort it is for the game developer to support this.

-Dan
post #18 of 64
Great thread, guys.

Yes, I have noticed that the Wii compresses the pixels too. I have to change my TV to 'fill' mode to stretch it so it looks right when the Wii is in 16:9 mode.

Anyway, here's my issue....

I just got the component cables today and everything seems a bit better. Zelda looks noticeably better in 480p on my 37" Westy. And, Gamecube games look pretty great in progressive. Metal Gear looks fantastic. Way better than my Cube looked via composite to my HDTV.

However, I can't get Tony Hawk Downhill Jam to display in 16:9/480p. Prior to getting the component cables I would play it in 16:9/480i and it looked fine. It was not stretched. It was correct. Now that I have the Wii set at 480p I can't get Tony Hawk to do 16:9. If I change my TV to 'fill' it looks all stretched and when I hit the wiimote's 'home' button the dialog box is all crazy and huge. This doesn't happen in Zelda, Zelda looks perfect in 480p/16:9.

Is anyone else having this issue?
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CieJe View Post

I find that most games I've played are designed for widescreen... but seem stretched yes... Like I loaded up trauma center last night, and although it's completely playable it doesn't seem designed for widescreen. Zelda is on the other hand... and super monkey ball seems to be... and dragon ball z... some menus seem intended for 4:3 but the gameplay is fine.

Trauma Center does not support 480p or 16:9.
post #20 of 64
Naylia started a thread with a master list for the Wii games:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=753422
post #21 of 64
I know this has been explained many times before in various places, but once again, here is a brief explanation of the way "widescreen" works with 480i/480p signals...

Unlike 720p and 1080i signals, which are widescreen by nature, 480i and 480p signals are not inherently widescreen. To output a widescreen signal in these resolutions, source devices send out an image which uses non-square pixels. In such images, the pixels are taller than they are wide, i.e. "squeezed" horizontally. If viewed exactly "as-is", everything will appear "too skinny" or "too tall". This is known as an "anamorphic" video signal.

Since they're analog signals, they don't have a formally defined horizontal resolution, but it's enough to note that the resolution does not change, regardless of whether the source device is sending out a non-anamorphic (with roughly square pixels) or an anamorphic (with "skinny" pixels) image. The amount of resolution is fixed.

If a device always sends out an anamorphic signal when configured for 16x9 mode, then it's a trivial matter to set the widescreen TV to its anamorphic mode ("Fill" or "Full") and leave it alone. However, many devices selectively send out an anamorphic signal, i.e. change what they are sending based on source material. In some cases, the devices are able to signal at power-on that they are broadcasting anamorphic content, causing the TV to automatically switch to anamorphic mode. However, some devices, such as the Wii, selectively send out an anamorphic or non-anamorphic image without any additional signalling. As such, the user must *manually* change the TV between 4x3 and 16x9 modes if all content is to be watched in its original aspect ratio.

This leads to these combinations:

1) TV is in 4x3 mode and Wii is broadcasting non-anamorphic content. Image has correct aspect ratio, and black bars (or grey bars) on the sides (generated by the TV).
2) TV is in 16x9 mode, and Wii is broadcasting anamorphic content. Image has correct aspect ratio, and fills the entire screen.
3) TV is in 4x3 mode, and Wii is broadcasting anamorphic content. Image appears too skinny, or horizontally compressed.
4) TV is in 16x9 mode, and Wii is broadcasting non-anamorphic content. Image appears too fat, or horizontally stretched.

If Nintendo were wise, they would make the Wii always output an anamorphic signal when configured for 16x9, i.e. squeeze even the 4x3 content. This would make it painless for users to leave their TVs in 16x9 mode, but... alas.
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

If Nintendo were wise, they would make the Wii always output an anamorphic signal when configured for 16x9, i.e. squeeze even the 4x3 content. This would make it painless for users to leave their TVs in 16x9 mode, but... alas.

But would also result in a decrease in the resolution of the 4:3 material, as some of the available bandwidth for the signal would be used just to transmit black bars. Right?
post #23 of 64
I kind of like my 4:3 material stretched. At least I am using the entire screen I paid for. But each to their own. Someone is going to complain no matter what.
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

Since they're analog signals, they don't have a formally defined horizontal resolution, but it's enough to note that the resolution does not change, regardless of whether the source device is sending out a non-anamorphic (with roughly square pixels) or an anamorphic (with "skinny" pixels) image. The amount of resolution is fixed.

So the horizontal resolution is fixed yet undefined. There are no pixels in the analog output signal, yet they can either be square or skinny. Do I have that all straight now?
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

So the horizontal resolution is fixed yet undefined. There are no pixels in the analog output signal, yet they can either be square or skinny. Do I have that all straight now?

No, that's not correct.

These Wii games are outputting at 640x480 resolution. A 16:9 image will appeared compressed in a 4:3 window, but the pixel count remains the same. You TV can then stretch the content to fill the 16:9 screen at the expense of image quality (as pixels will then become stretched).
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Character_Zero View Post

I kind of like my 4:3 material stretched. At least I am using the entire screen I paid for...

It's something that really should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

For example, I'm playing through Wind Waker again in 480p on my 42" plasma. I'm using "full" to stretch it, and I don't see any distortion. It's not just the cartoony nature of the cel-shaded graphics that's doing it - even the gamepad icons in the upper right look perfectly round.

Now look at Resident Evil or Resident Evil Zero. Stretching those games to 16:9 has a noticable effect.

It's disappointing to see such a lack of support for 480p / 16:9 on the Wii. Both of those shouldn't be considered features, they should be standard. Sure, these games may have been developed on something more along the lines of Gamecube hardware, but the Gamecube is perfectly capable of doing 480p / 16:9.
post #27 of 64
Quote:


These Wii games are outputting at 640x480 resolution.

640x480 is a square pixel resolution (such as computer monitors), the Wii should be outputting 720x480, a non-square pixel resolution (NTSC).
post #28 of 64
There is no change in the resolution when sending out anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic signals, just like there is no difference in the resolution used to encode anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic DVDs. DVDs are encoded at 720x480, regardless of whether they are non-anamorphic (1.33x1), or anamorphic (1.77x1 or 2.35x1). Based on the math, one can see that this is neither 4x3 (640x480) nor 16x9 (852x480).
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

There is no change in the resolution when sending out anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic signals, just like there is no difference in the resolution used to encode anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic DVDs.

How do you know there's no change for the Wii? Do you have a reference for us? One way for the Wii to generate a widescreen picture would be to enlarge its framebuffer, so that more pixels get scanned horizontally. If that's the way it does it, there would be some increase in resolution.
post #30 of 64
You are correct that, if the Wii actually uses a wider framebuffer to generate its signal when running in "16x9 mode", there is technically additional resolution information which is present. However, due to the fact that this would require more memory and run somewhat slower, I would wonder if the Wii would even support this.
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