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Can someone help a noob??

489 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mjmcmahon67
Hi all -

looking for a little guidance here - whether something's wrong/misconfigured on either my DVD or my new HDTV.

Here's the setup:

Toshiba 34HFX85

Sony DVP-NS75H connected via HDMI

the problems:

1.) Output from the DVD at 1080i shows something I can only describe as 'waves' in the picture. This doesn't occur if I run at 720p. I can't see a difference at 720p but I'm wondering if this is a byproduct of a crappy (free...see below) HDMI cable.

2.) (Biggest issue): Widescreen movies aren't showing full screen. The Toshiba doesn't allow for picture size switching when using the HDMI inputs and, even though the Sony is setup for a 16x9 tv, several movies I've watched still have top and bottom bars. I'd started with a Samsung DVD that I got from Fry's (free HDTV cable :D) and it allowed for manual switching of the aspect to force fullscreen. I'm a bit surprised that the Sony does not. Reading the docs, Sony says that my issue is a byproduct of 'fixed aspect DVDs'...there's no way around this?? So far, most DVDs in my collection that were released recently (Spiderman was okay, Spiderman 2, however, had the bars) fall into this 'fixed aspect' category.

Any suggestions/solutions here guys?
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The bars are normal. Any films that are wider than 16:9 will have the bars.

I'd definatly try another HDMI cable, If it doesn't improve it you can always return it. A movie that is OAR (original aspect ratio) will have black bars on the top and bottom, A common misconception is your losing part of the picture when you have black bars but your really losing part of the picture without them because when you stretch it to fullscreen your cutting off the sides (as much as 50%!), The image has black bars on the top and bottom because the video is wider then a widescreen tv.
For #1 - apparently your TV does a better job scaling 720p feeds. Some TV's do a better job with 1080i & some do a better job with other feeds. If your TV is native 720p that may be one reason. Pretty much the way it is - we all have to test all the formats & then decide which one gives the best picture.

No worries, the player is upscaling from 480 to 720p & the TV is taking it from there :D
Regarding #2, Samsung is the only brand that I have found so far that will expand the picture in order to get rid of the top and bottom horizontal black bars on a movie with an aspect ratio >16:9 (typically 2.35:1 or 2.39:1). If you liked that feature, then you are probably going to have to give up on the Sony. (Note that Panasonic and Oppo will "zoom" to the correct factor, but the zooming appears to bypass all of the signal processing hardware, thus defeating the purpose of getting an upscaling DVD player in the first place).

Supposedly, around 30% of movies are shot at aspect ratios greater than your 16:9 television. Thus, in order to see the entire width of the movie, one needs to have black bars above and below. Most people don't mind them...others do.

Thanks guys...I'll take the suggestion to try a replacement HDMI cable and see where that gets me with the 'wave' on 1080i.

As far as the aspect ratios go, I guess I was just surprised by the number of films using higher aspect ratios than 16x9. I'd gone into this expecting all my DVDs to play full screen. Just a misunderstanding on my part. :)
Just a misunderstanding on my part.
Trust me - you are not alone on that one :D (which is why there's a sticky)
Originally Posted by Bailey151
Trust me - you are not alone on that one :D (which is why there's a sticky)
OMG...I didn't see a sticky but (TBH) I was primarily looking for info specific to my player. I'll go hide my noobish face in the corner now for missing a sticky ;) :D
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