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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been recording movies from TCM HD to my EH55 using S-video from a Bell ExpressVu satellite receiver. A 4:3 movie gets recorded with black bars on all 4 sides. Since the receiver also has component outputs, I'm wondering if a component to S-video converter would let the movie be recorded as full screen, or if the black bars would still be present. Or is there a setting on my EH55 that needs to be changed?


I'm not looking for a way to adjust my TV (an older 4:3 Toshiba CRT), but a way to record full screen to the HDD and then dub to a DVD-R.
 

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The easiest way to test is to run your component cables directly from your Bell box to your TV. If you get full screen(not postage stamp) you should really get one of the component to S-video converters. Have you checked out all the setup menus in your STB to make sure their isn't a setup option for full screen SD outputs? Motorola STBs basically never have such an option but I'm not very familiar with Canadian boxes.

If you need a converter check out this great thread.
 

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Quote:
Or is there a setting on my EH55 that needs to be changed?
Have you set the EH55's display mode to widescreen 16:9 under the setup menu? Any 16:9 material fed to it, via cable or antenna, will (should) be recorded in widescreen.
 

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I think that setup option is only for the output(if you have it hooked to a 16:9 or 4:3 screen) it records in 4:3 (no WS bit) either way. Note recording in 4:3 and the postage stamp effect the OP is describing is two different things.
 

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JMas, your DVDR will only record the picture it is sent. On almost all cable systems/cable boxes, a HD picture is output as a letterboxed 4x3 picture, over its S-Video, and composite video outputs. You are correct, you will need a component>S-Video converter to get an anamorphic picture to record with your DVDR.


One complication for you is that you are watching on a 4x3 TV. Your cable box will have to be set for a 16x9 TV, so that you get the correct signal over component. However, the cable box will still letterbox signals over the S-Vid and composite outs, so you can run one of those to your TV, and the picture will be 4x3. But, you will need to get RCA splitters, to split the audio, so it can be run to both your TV, and your DVDR.
 

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If ExpressVu offers TCM in standard definition as well as HD, you might be better off recording your 4:3 movies from that channel instead. I have a Rogers Cable PVR and Pioneer DVD recorder; typically I'll record 4:3 movies on the PVR from TCM SD and widescreen ones from TCM HD. When dubbed to my Pioneer (via S-video), 4:3 movies occupy the full frame without any black bars. Since there's no way to dub widescreen movies anamorphically, the resulting copies are letterboxed on a 4:3 frame, but I can use the zoom feature of my HDTV to expand them with acceptable quality.


Tony
 

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Right you are, Tony. Always record 4x3 from the SD channel, otherwise you have to stretch it. Also, LB films recorded on the SD channel can be zoomed, to fill the screen, but most TVs can't do that with a picture-boxed recording made from the HD channel. But, for WS films on TCMHD, and other HD channels, anamorphic recordings with the converter are the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies.


I can't run a test because my older 4:3 Toshiba CRT doesn't have component inputs, just S-video and composite. It is not an HDTV, but it produces a great picture from HD channels, so I plan to keep using it a while longer.


I checked the setup menus on the Bell receiver, but found no way to adjust the output.


I experimented with different display settings on my EH55, but it appears as long as I am using S-video from the Bell receiver, I can't get the full screen picture from an HD channel.


I have been recording 4:3 from the SD channel and LB from the HD channel. I was hoping to find a way to record 4:3 from the HD channel and still fill the screen on my 4:3 TV.


I have been reading the thread about component to S-video converters. I wonder if there is a consensus on which one is the best choice.
 

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I think that the consensus is that the more expensive ones are better, but may not be worth the money, unless you can find a deal on a used one.


You know, it just occurred to me - since you have a 4x3 TV, you don't really want anamorphic DVDs, because they will look squished on your TV. You should really just keep on doing what you are doing. I don't think there is a way to get 4x3 from HD channels to display at 4x3 on a SD TV. I'm sure others will correct me, if I'm wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMas /forum/post/19566247


I have been recording 4:3 from the SD channel and LB from the HD channel. I was hoping to find a way to record 4:3 from the HD channel and still fill the screen on my 4:3 TV.

Quality-wise, a 4:3 HD source should have no real advantage over an SD source, since the target DVD recorder can do no better than SD anyway. This is true, whether you have a standard definition TV or an HDTV.


If you have an HDTV (or want to be future-proof), there may be an advantage to recording widescreen sources anamorphically using a component-to-S-video converter, since you will not waste any of the vertical resolution of the DVD in storing black bars. Whether it is worth the extra cost is something only you can decide.


Tony
 

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Using a Motorola 3200 STB, a Panny EH55 and a Panny plasma HD display, I've found no advantage recording the TCM HD channel. I use the TCM SD channel, and adjust to the "just" configuration on the plasma display when I feel like filling the screen. About half the time, especially with black-and-white films, I'm happy to watch the undistorted black bar on each side configuration set on the Panny plasma. EH55-copied DVD-Rs played on my Panny Blu-Ray player seem to be improved (perhaps by some element of upscaling?
 
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