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Quote:
Originally posted by MillDaKill
...are any HDTV shows in 4:3?
No. HDTV is 16:9.
 

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Well, maybe a more complete answer is appropriate...


A true HDTV broadcast is going to be 16:9. And there's certainly a good amount of that. Displayed on a 4:3 TV, you have a few options, depending on the set-top receiver, often including letterboxing where you have black/gray bars on the top and bottom of your screen and the full picture inbetween, or modes where you can zoom in and cut off the image on the left and right. I suppose there may be modes to stretch vertically, too, but am not 100% sure there.


A lot of the HD broadcasts also are upconverting 4:3 material and leaving black or gray bars on the left and right, so in those cases you can see the full image by displaying it full size on your 4:3 TV and chopping off the left and right without losing anything.
 

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One option which I use regularly on my 4:3 Toshiba is to stretch and crop certain program. Network programming is still framed for 4:3 and will be for the considerable future. When you do this you loose the superfolous side information. For HD movies, I use my TVs squeeze to see the whole image.
 

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Comcast has HD programming on separate channels for ABC, NBC and PBS. Sometimes the picture is broadcast in the 4:3 format, especially on NBC, which is crisp, clear, and I could swear it is HD. In fact, sometime it is a better quality picture than some shows broadcast in 16:9. I can see why some people are confused. I am.
 

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There was a thread a year or so back about a showing of the old classic "Circus" and whether it was an upconvert or true HD. It was 4:3 on my 16:9 screen and I concluded it was 1080i HD, not an upconvert, but opinions varied. If HD programmers deliver old films formatted at ~4:3, it seems that's the best way to transmit them, rather than cropping or electronically stretching. -- John
 

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That was "The Greatest Show on Earth" (on Showtime HD) and it was almost certainly an HD transfer in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.


I want to see more like that. When the equivalent of an HD version of TCM comes along, I will be heartbroken if they present such older movies in an incorrect widescreen format.
 

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Greatest show on earth was shown with "windowboxing" (black bars on the side to put 4x3 into a 16x9 broadcast)


If we can call OAR "HD" with letterboxes on top and bottom then 4x3 windowboxed should be HD as well (assuming it wasn't an upconvert).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by John's Sat
One option which I use regularly on my 4:3 Toshiba is to stretch and crop certain program...
I do the same with my RCA 4:3 HDTV. Our local stations now broadcast all 4:3 upconverts with "sidebars", and there's still a lot of 4:3 programming shown this way. I zoom the image to fill the screen, and view the entire 4:3 image with no LTBX or side bars.


I leave the TV in this mode most of the time, but when a good 16:9 show comes on, I switch the 4:3 TV to anamorphic mode and view the full image in 16:9 mode.


This is one reason I bought this particular 4:3 TV. It allows manual control of picture format in 480i/p, 540p & 1080i modes.
 

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Yeah, letterboxed. I have the last Mitsu 4x3 HDTV ready TV, and I really dig it, cuz I don't have to stretch standard def programming, which is still probably about 90% of my viewing time. So I have a 61" SDTV, and a 52"ish (guessing) HDTV. I'm ok with that until I get a front projector setup and kiss the double digits goodbye.
 

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PVR is correct-

HDTV, by definition must be 16X9 but in that broadcast frame size aspect ration the image may have black areas that frame the image to an OAR, including 4:3 OAR programming.


If I shoot a program with a 4:3 masked image using an HDTV 1080i HDCAM, technically it is still an HDTV recording. So why would I ever want to shoot such an image frame? ans: Director's (me) choice for artistic reasons. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Landis
So why would I ever want to shoot such an image frame? ans: Director's (me) choice for artistic reasons. :)
Actually it's a conspiracy between the Directors and the plasma manufacturers to try to decrease the useful lifetime of the plasma displays so we buy replacements sooner. :D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
SHO-HD is showing Startup.com in 4:3 this month, which they claim to be 1080i.
Well... "Startup.com" was mostly shot with a hand-held camcorder, so event if it's an HD transfer, I am not sure how better the quality would be.


Hong.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by John's Sat
Network programming is still framed for 4:3 and will be for the considerable future. When you do this you loose the superfolous side information.
What you say isn't true for all TV shows. It's a good rule of thumb for comedies, but dramas are another story entirely. I have seen quite a few episodes of ER, for example, that were clearly framed for 16x9 with actors on opposite sides of the screen talking. Do a 4:3 extraction on that, and you miss everything you need to see. I think they did that deliberately to force NBC to do the letterboxed broadcast.


I have similarly seen compositions like that on CSI:Miami and Crossing Jordan.


Even some of the comedies do seperate post production for their 16x9 and 4:3 versions, because they have different compositons. Blow the 16x9 up to fit your 4:3 screen and you will definately be missing a site gag at some point, you just won't know it.
 
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