Originally Posted by mickinct
Re: dcx3400 recording to hdd panasonic dvr
dcx3400 recording to hdd panasonic dvr
Hello , i'm wondering if anyone knows why I cannot get the dcx3400 to output a 16:9 screen to my panasonic eh75vs recorder and record in full screen 16:9? i'm using s-video output, to the dvr.THE reason for asking is that I also have a dhg-500 sony high def recorder that has s-video outputs and when I hook it up to the panasonic it records in full aspect 16:9 perfect ratio.???
thanks for any help..
Having now had several phone conversations with mickinct on this problem, I share with Forum members the several answers here that explain all of the mysteries on this issue.
(1) DCX (and other Comcast Motorola boxes) only puts out "4:3 letterbox" format on S-video when tuned to a 16:9 HD channel.
(2) Sony DHG supports THREE different formats on S-video when tuned to a 16:9 channel: (a) "4:3 letterbox" (with black bars on top and bottom, but 16:9 rectangular OAR image retained and filling entire screen horizontally), (b) "side-crop", aka "full-screen center-cut" (with the "wings" of the 16:9 image chopped off, to retain only the 4:3-safe portion of the 16:9 original image, and presented so as to fill the full 4:3 screen area with what's left, both horizontally and vertically), and (c) "squeeze" (16:9 image compressed inward horizontally, like "accordion-in", to fit within the 4:3 boundary, retaining full vertical height, and presented so as to fill the full 4:3 screen area).
(3) Apparently, mickinct was running the Sony DHG in the "squeeze" mode format to its S-video output, whereas the DCX of course only has "4:3 letterbox" mode to its S-video ouput. Both were being fed, via S-video, to the Panasonic DVD recorder. But the important thing is that the two different source inputs to the Panasonic recorder were VERY VERY VERY DIFFERENT... one was "4:3 letterbox" and the other was "squeeze".
(4) The Panasonic DVD recorder provides HDMI output to a 16:9 Vizio HDTV. The signal provided over the HDMI output is upconverted to 1080i but that's not really relevant to the problem reported by mickinct. The real important point is that the Panasonic box also "DE-SQUEEZES" input which it receives in "squeeze" format (i.e. it zooms horizontally, while doing nothing vertically, to re-expand back to a 16:9 image from 4:3 "squeeze" what has been given to it as horizontally compressed 16:9 in 4:3 "squeeze" format).
(5) That's why when viewing the output of the DCX (i.e. pure true "4:3 letterbox") relayed through the Panasonic and on to the Vizio via HDMI, the "de-squeeze" (i.e. horizontal zoom only, with no vertical processing, theoretically to restore 16:9 OAR width from the assumed "squeezed" 16:9 width into 4:3 width) function performed by the Panasonic causes the 4:3 letterboxed (but OAR) output of the DCX to be expanded only in the horizontal direction, with nothing done in the vertical direction. The result is a VERY WIDE image, but no taller than the 4:3 letterbox OAR rectangle... hence the appearance of horizontal "stretch" distortion on the Vizio.
(6) In contrast, since the Sony DHG was sending "squeeze" format to the Panasonic (in anticipation of it being "de-squeezed" on output), the de-squeeze performed by the Pansonic again only zoomed in the horizontal direction, stretching the 4:3 area horizontally to fit the full 16:9 screen dimensions of the Vizio. And of course, the "squeeze" 4:3 format already used the full vertical screen for the image, and that is untouched and retained in the horizontal-only de-squeeze.
===>> The two source devices are NOT providing the identical source signal to the Panasonic [relay] going out to the Vizio. There is therefore no reason to believe the displayed results should be identical. In fact, there is every reason to expect a very different result... and this is now completely understood.
If you send "4:3 letterbox" on S-video to a de-squeezing relay like the Panasonic, you will see a horizontally stretched (i.e. horizontally distorted from the original 16:9 OAR appearance) image on the screen that reaches the left and right edges of a 16:9 screen, while also having the letterbox black bars on top and bottom. The letterbox black bars are there because of the "4:3 letterbox" source signal, and are untouched (i.e. retained) by the de-squeeze (i.e. horizontal-only zoom). The result appears to be "vertically squashed", being nowhere near as tall as it should be given its full-screen horizontal width... but at least we now understand WHY this occurs.
If you send "squeeze" on S-video to a de-squeezing relay like the Panasonic, you will again see a horizontally stretched result, but it's like "accordion-out" and is simply restoring the full horizontal proportion of the original 16:9 OAR image. The vertical size of "squeeze" is such that it already fills the full height of a 4:3 display screen, and that is untouched and retained by de-squeeze. Net result: the resulting de-squeezed 16:9 image completely fills the 16:9 HDTV screen, with what appears to be the true original 16:9 OAR. Sure, it's 16:9 full-screen size and upconverted 480i to 1080i and thus doesn't look as good as the true original 16:9 HDTV original 1080i image, but at least it fully fills the 16:9 screen in 16:9 OAR.
NOTE: this is precisely why "squeeze" format (out to 4:3 S-video) exists. Note that you wouldn't ever watch that format on a true 4:3 set. Rather, you'd choose "4:3 letterbox" if you wanted to watch a 16:9 HD channel on a 4:3 SD TV. "Squeeze" format is really only for 16:9 display devices being fed (either directly or relayed indirectly) a 16:9 image, but using an S-video connection somewhere in the direct or indirect path from source device to display device.
So if you were going to watch a 16:9 image on a 16:9 set but fed via S-video cable (e.g. a DVD player connected to a 16:9 TV using S-video and playing a 16:9 DVD), you would want this "de-squeeze" process to occur somewhere, either in the display if you were using S-video directly to it or possibly in the source device if you used an HDMI-upconvert or component video connection relay mechanism like the Panasonic)... to horizontally stretch a "squeezed" 4:3 image (which already filled the screen vertically) so as to utilize the complete 16:9 screen real estate.
The DCX is not "at fault". It's only that the "4:3 letterbox" S-video source from the DCX will produce one result on the Vizio screen fed from the Panasonic. Yes, it is seemingly "squashed" in the vertical direction, but not really. What has really happened is that the de-squeeze of the Panasonic has actually expanded in the horizontal direction while leaving vertical untouched. And if you apply that processing to a "postage stamp" 4:3 letterbox source image you will get exactly what is seen... horizontally elongated unnaturally, which looks like "vertically squashed". You do not have the 16:9 OAR on the screen.
In contrast, the Sony DHG and its "squeeze" output S-video option will produce a very different result on the Vizio screen fed from the Panasonic. Yes, it fills the 16:9 screen with what looks like original 16:9 OAR image.