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I have a 65" Panasonic ZT60 tv connected to an Oppo BDP-93. Whenever I watch a 2.35:1 DVD it pillarboxes on the tv. Is this normal? All of my settings are correct as far as I can tell. I could zoom the image I'm sure but I wanted to be certain that what I am seeing is normal when things are left unaltered.
 

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Yes I know but the image is windowboxing--black bars all the way around and I can't figure why.

Sorry I said pillarboxing earlier but I meant windowboxing.
It sounds like the Oppo is not configured correctly. There should be a "Display Type" setting in it that tells it your display is a 16:9 display, or 1920x1080, or 1080P, or Widescreen, the jargon varies from device to device. Likewise the TV should know the input source is supposed to be 1080P.

And you said "DVD" rather than bluray, so if it is really DVD, you may need to tell the Oppo to upscale to 1080P.
 

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What type of DVD is it? If it's not anamorphic and one of those DVDs formatted with a matted widescreen, then what your seeing is normal behavior when viewed on a 16:9 screen. Basically it's a fake letterbox which would look correct on a 4:3 TV.
 

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It's an old DVD of the movie French Kiss. It doesn't say anamorphic or non-anamorphic, enhanced for widescreen tvs, or anything like that. It just says presented in a letterboxed widescreen version to preserve the look of the original theatrical exhibition if that helps any.
 

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It's an old DVD of the movie French Kiss. It doesn't say anamorphic or non-anamorphic, enhanced for widescreen tvs, or anything like that. It just says presented in a letterboxed widescreen version to preserve the look of the original theatrical exhibition if that helps any.
Look like it's an issue with the DVD from a similar complaint here: http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=326797.

You could upgrade to the blu-ray copy.
 

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What type of DVD is it? If it's not anamorphic and one of those DVDs formatted with a matted widescreen, then what your seeing is normal behavior when viewed on a 16:9 screen. Basically it's a fake letterbox which would look correct on a 4:3 TV.
yup, this is how my ridiculous cable company sends channels. everything is 4:3 format, and widescreen stuff has the black bars as part of the 4:3 signal. so my tv will see a 4:3 input and either stretch it horizontally, or play it as a native 4:3 signal which results in the 'windowboxing' as he calls it.
 

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Bedroom: 50-in 1080p LCD, XG1v4 (Ultra HD DVR for Comcast), BD Player; Office: 32-in LCD, etc.
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I have a 65" Panasonic ZT60 tv connected to an Oppo BDP-93. Whenever I watch a 2.35:1 DVD it pillarboxes windowboxes on the tv. Is this normal?
It's an old DVD of the movie French Kiss. It doesn't say anamorphic or non-anamorphic, enhanced for widescreen tvs, or anything like that. It just says presented in a letterboxed widescreen version to preserve the look of the original theatrical exhibition if that helps any.
Most widescreen DVDs should display correctly when played on a DVD player that is aware of the aspect ratio of the TV screen and is connected via component cables or a HDMI cable, and by Blu-ray players connected via a HDMI cable.

However, for this to work, besides the player being aware that the TV screen is 16:9 (which might be implied if the player is told the TV display type is high definition), the DVD must be properly authored.

DVDs have only two native aspect ratios: 4:3 (the original aspect ratio of standard-definition TVs, approximately 1.33:1) and 16:9 (the aspect ratio of modern HDTVs, approximately 1.78:1).

Most modern anamorphic (or "enhanced for widescreen TVs") DVDs are authored to have the media flag in the title set file and in the MPEG-2 (video) file set to reflect the video as being 16:9 (approximately 1.78:1), and, if the feature has an aspect ratio wider that 1.78:1, the image in the MPEG-2 file is hard matted with letterbox bars to fill in the top and bottom of the 16:9 presentation area beyond the top and bottom of the original film. The result (assuming all the hardware is properly configured and connected) is that the picture should fill the width of the 16:9 HDTV, but with letterbox bars for above the top of the film and below the bottom of the film so the player is sending a signal to the TV completely fill the screen.

So, for most DVDs with widescreen material, this should work.

(The above is assuming the feature isn't on the DVD in "pan and scan", which is the cropping of the sides of the picture to get the 1:85:1 or 2.35:1 feature to display on the old standard 1.33:1 TV, and hopefully with the panning of the part kept on screen in each shot to keep the most informative part of the shot.)

However, in the early days of DVDs some discs were improperly authored by letting the aspect ratio of the DVD default to 4:3 and then letterboxing within that 4:3 space. On a standard-definition 4:3 TV, how would one be able to tell if a letterboxed movie was properly authored or not? Not with a regular DVD player feeding an SD TV. However, when the DVD player or Blu-ray player is feeding a HDTV via component cables or a HDMI cable, the player will pillar-box the 4:3 video onto the HDTV, but the 4:3 video on the disc has the original content letterboxed, so between the hard matte to letterbox onto the DVD, and the matte the player generates to play the DVD onto the HDTV results in double matting, the net result is what is called "windowboxing" or "postage stamp effect".

I have rented 4,166 DVDs from Netflix, though the number since getting a HDTV have been somewhat fewer, a mere 1,402 DVDs (plus another 400 Blu-ray discs), of course not all widescreen, and my recollection of times I had seen "postage stamp effect" when viewing a DVD of a widescreen feature could be counted on one hand with fingers left over, and every one seemed to have been an older feature. So far, I don't recall any remastered DVDs that have this problem.

Most widescreen DVDs, fortunately, have rendered correctly, including more recent TV shows on DVD.

Only once did I see the "postage stamp effect" when playing a Blu-ray disc, and I was about to tear apart my equipment and double-check wiring before I discovered on IMDB that the feature had both 4:3 and 2.35:1 content, and it wasn't until later in the movie that I realized that the beginning content (which took place in Kansas) was 4:3 pillar-boxed within the 2.35:1 feature that was letterboxed onto the HDTV, resulting in the worst "postage stamp effect" I had ever seen, and it sure looked wrong until the movie progressed to where the second-rate carnival magician was in Oz, and then the extreme "postage stamp effect" at the beginning of the movie made perfect sense. The Blu-ray was, of course, "Oz The Great and Powerful" (2013).

For improperly mastered DVDs that show "postage stamp effect" or "windowboxing", the best one can do is to zoom something, either the DVD player (if it has such a zoom) or the TV.

Once in a while I'll come across a movie on a multicast network that is broadcasted in letterbox within that network's 4:3 presentation area, resulting in windowboxing, and again the answer is to zoom something, and I just recently discovered that the HD DVR has just such a zoom to fix that problem and return to normal once one stops playing that recording, unlike the zoom on my TV that I have to remember to un-zoom.

Of course, zooming, whether at the player, or the set top box (or in my case the HD DVR), or at the TV will make the low resolution even more painfully obvious since zooming magnifies the shortcomings of low resolution and unwanted artifacts.
 
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