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Gotta Question:

Most of what I watch is DVD and Enhanced, or anamorphic when it's available. Isn't the point of anamorphic to maximize the number of scan lines for the reproduction of the original format of the film on a TV or projector?

My question comes from confusion created by reading "enhanced" and "widescreen" and "16:9" often in the same discussion regarding anamorphic.

I just bought a Stewart 1.85 screen. What little satellite I'l watch on it was the reason I chose 1.85 over 1.77(16:9). Did I make a mistake? Do DVD players playing anamorphic movies squeeze them to fit a 16:9? Or is anamorphic always squeezed down to the original aspect ratio of the film?

I realize it's the display device that does the "squeezing", but when the squeeze is done it has to look correct. So when "enhanced for 16:9 widescreen t.v." is touted as a feature of a DVD film, what screen size are you supposed to show it on?

In other words, when a 1.85 film comes in anamorphic on a DVD, is the finished "squeezed" picture still 1.85? Or is it further massaged to be ideal for home HDTV's which are 16:9
 

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Whether or not the disk is "enhanced for 16:9 displays" does not affect the perceived aspect ratio of the movie itself. If it is a 1.85:1 movie it will look the same whether or not it is anamorphic (from an AR standpoint.) The amount of anamorphic compensation is the same for all widescreen material.
 

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not disagreeing with jim, just saying it differently...


the image created by an anamorphic DVD is always 16:9, it then has letterboxing to create the actual film's AR. A 1.85 movie on anamorphic DVD does not completely fill the screen, it still has small letterboxing that is usually lost with the overscan or matting of the display. DVD's really only have 2 ARs, 4:3 and 16:9, everything else is created with some sort of letterbox.
 

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Having recently bought my first projector, I have spent a lot of time measuring images to decide on a screen size. I discovered that all my 1.85 DVD's (anamorphic or not), ended up actually being 1.78 when the DVD player was set to 16:9 mode. I didn't take any measurements in 4:3 mode as I always use the 16:9 setting. Hope this helps.
 

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Sometimes 1.85:1 movies are slightly pan and scanned so the entire video frame is used, sometimes there is a slight amount of letterboxing that you might not notice due to overscan on your TV.


Yet another reason why 1.85:1 movies measure 16:9 (1.78:1) is that the width and height as set on the TV are not quite correct.


Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
 
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