Originally Posted by HD*guru
I'm having a pretty similar experiance. I put Rounders (standard dvd) into my HD-A2 the other night and a message popped up stating the disk would not be upconverted and the max resolution was going to be 480i (maybe it said 480p, can't remember). It also displayed the movie in a tiny box in the center of my tv.
The movie is in a Widescreen format, yet I had bars all the way around the movie. I have the A2 connected to a Samsung HD LCD tv via HDMI.
I turned the player off and disconnected the HDMI and hooked it up via component cables and powered the player back up. The picture was then being displayed in the widescreen format.
Anyone know what could be going on here?
Its probably a non-anamorphic DVD (the wide screen video and top/bottom bars are recorded to fit a 4:3 screens, I don’t have the links handy, but Google anamorphic DVD for info)
Using component, the video is sent to your TV as 480p and the TV is scaling to the 16:9 screen (using whatever method its set to). If you set the A2 to 480p, then the TV should do the same thing over HDMI, although some TVs have less scaling modes than available over component. I know just enough to be dangerous here.
The HD-DVD players don't appear to be able to scale non anamorphic DVDs to fill the 16:9 screen. I guess the player doesn't know where the picture stops and the bars begin (anamorphic DVDs do not record bars with the video and squeeze pixels to improve resolution on 16:9 sets)... but some TV appears to work it out (an some SD-DVD players perhaps).
The labeling of DVDs is not consistent across producers, I saw a guide somewhere. I think there is only one producer you can trust to label correctly and consistently, others are one of those try it to find out kind of things. I hate when that happens. Some DVD reviews will specify if the video is anamorphic or not... and as others have mentioned, a widescreen label does not mean 16:9 on the DVD. If the lable says enhanced for 16:9 or anamorphic then there's a good chance the player will play the DVD without the side bars.