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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this is not the usual black bar thread. I am going to explain a way to reduce or eliminate black bars in one specific situation.


Some standard definition channels show movies in their original aspect ratio. Because these channels have an aspect ratio of 4:3, they have black bars. Obviously the widescreen movie won't fit properly on the TV otherwise. They could get rid of the black bars by showing movies in pan and scan, but then you lose some of the movie as you were intended to see it.


I assume you have a widescreen TV. Your TV has a few modes to deal with standard 4:3 images. One of the modes will stretch the video. Another will add pillar (side) bars, but for plasma TVs, they will recommend you minimize the use of this mode. You should also have a zoom mode, whose use I will explain.


Zoom mode should be used for one purpose - watching widescreen movies broadcast over standard definition channels. Because your widescreen TV can maximize it's real estate when watching widescreen movies, we want to choose the TV aspect mode best suited to this type of movie watching.


If the zoom mode works properly, it will crop the 4:3 signal at the top and bottom until it has a 16:9 aspect ratio. It will leave the sides alone. It can then show the widescreen movie in widescreen. Note that for movies with a extra wide aspect ratio of 2.35:1, you will still have some black bars. But would smaller than if you were watching the movie in 4:3 mode with bars on all four sides.


If you have a DVR, pause the screen and try out your TVs aspect modes while watching a widescreen movie on a standard definition channel. You will find one mode, called zoom on my TV, which will minimize black bars while maximizing picture size and maintaining the correct aspect ratio. It's harder to see what effect the remote controls aspect ratio button(s) effect is if you cannot pause the movie.


If you are like me, your TV is often in stretch mode. Watching widescreen movies on standard definition channels in stretch mode is undesirable as long as your TV has a proper zoom mode.
 

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I'm sure some people will disagree with this, but I own 2 plasma sets (Panasonic) and I have no problem or fear watching movies with black bars. If you break in your set properly and dial down the settings (particularly contrast) to suggested levels, you're not going to damage your set by watching a movie with black bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, I must have done a poor job with the OP
This thread is to explain to newcomers how to best view widescreen movies that are broadcast in standard definition. I am not trying to explain these things to people who know better.


To respond to the first response, if I thought everyone understood this, I would not have posted this. I am trying to help people new to this topic.


To respond to the second response, I am not talking about getting rid of black bars which are necessary for proper viewing of movies. I am talking about properly using zoom mode to view movies in the best possible aspect mode.


My apologies if I did a poor job at explaining the intent of the original post and the topic.
 

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I can't imagine ever watching a movie on an SD channel on my plasma. Except for Fox News and MSNBC I can't even remember the last time I watched an SD channel. I do however have an FTA satellite system hooked up to a 32" LCD so my girlfriend can watch TV channels from Thailand. They do sometimes have window boxed movies which could be zoomed except that doing so reduces the PQ so much that it isn't preferable, at least to us.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/14339957


Wow, I must have done a poor job with the OP
This thread is to explain to newcomers how to best view widescreen movies that are broadcast in standard definition. I am not trying to explain these things to people who know better.


Certainly you would want to use the correct zoom mode in this situation. If you put your TV in 4x3 mode, you get bars on all sides. If you put your TV in stretch mode, you get black bars and improper aspect ratio. If you use the correct mode, you will minimize black bars, maximize real estate and see the movie in the correct aspect ratio.


In other words, there is no reason to not use the proper zoom mode, unless your TV looks worse using it due to poor scaling.


My apologies if I did a poor job at explaining the intent of the OP and the topic.

No reason to apologize. I read the thread twice to see if I missed anything that wasn't in the manual.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/14339957


Wow, I must have done a poor job with the OP
This thread is to explain to newcomers how to best view widescreen movies that are broadcast in standard definition. I am not trying to explain these things to people who know better.


Certainly you would want to use the correct zoom mode in this situation. If you put your TV in 4x3 mode, you get bars on all sides. If you put your TV in stretch mode, you get black bars and improper aspect ratio. If you use the correct mode, you will minimize black bars, maximize real estate and see the movie in the correct aspect ratio.


In other words, there is no reason to not use the proper zoom mode, unless your TV looks worse using it due to poor scaling.


My apologies if I did a poor job at explaining the intent of the OP and the topic.

I understood your intent however I'd be surprised if a beginner would see your thread since it seems the search function is the last thing most of them find.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye911 /forum/post/14339992


I can't imagine ever watching a movie on an SD channel on my plasma.

I'll be purchasing my Kuro 6020 in a few weeks, and I fully intend on watching sporting events, TV programming, and even an occasional movie in SD.


There's no need to live in fear of your plasma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by omeletpants /forum/post/14340010


No reason to apologize. I read the thread twice to see if I missed anything that wasn't in the manual.

Manuals? I have never known users to read manuals.


User : "How do you write the results to a log file?"

Me : "That's in the manual, page 10"

User : "Oh, I never read the manual"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well hey, if the thread is pointless it will die a quick death, and no one will be worse off
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbyg123 /forum/post/14340047


I'll be purchasing my Kuro 6020 in a few weeks, and I fully intend on watching sporting events, TV programming, and even an occasional movie in SD.


There's no need to live in fear of your plasma.

Agreed, there is no need to live in fear of your plasma. I watch anything I want and don't worry much about static images or filling the screen. I'm just spoiled by HD and don't have a desire to watch an SD channel. I will watch a DVD movie on occasion however.
 

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Good info, but you're preaching to the choir here at avs. Now if you could give a pivate tutorial to my 82 year old father..



edit- speaking of which, my father recently bought a Philips 32" lcd for his bedroom and it has an "auto" setting which does a great job of eliminating the black bars (top/bottom) ...but is otherwise not a great set.
 
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