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Hey guys:


I have a question.... does anybody know why when I play widescreen dvd movies in my widescreen TV they still have the two black horizontal lines on top and bottom of the screen? This doesn't happen whe I play full screen version dvd. I have a Toshiba SD5700 dvd player and it is already set up for 16:9 widescreen mode when I play the dvd's. Should I just get full screen version dvd's since they fill the screen instead of the widescreen ones? Does the ratio in the movies has anything to do with this?
 

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If the movie was formatted for the DVD in a 16:9 ratio, then the picture should fill the screen of your widescreen tv without distortion (tv will probably have to be set to "full" mode). If the movie was formatted for the DVD in a ratio other than 16:9 (1.78:1), then you will have black bars on the top and bottom. This is similar to watching a full-screen (non-anamorphic 1.33:1) DVD where you have bars on the sides (when viewed undistorted with your tv's "normal" mode). The greater the aspect ratio above 1.78:1 (say 2.35:1 - a common movie format), the larger the black bars will be. The only way to avoid this is to buy a projector that can display a 2.35:1 ratio picture. Basically, the black bars you see now are smaller than the ones you'd see if you had a standard 4:3 ratio tv of the same width. The enhanced resolution should more than make up for it...


Notice I've said "formatted for the DVD" - the aspect ratio that the movie was originally shown in the theater with may not always be the way it's transferred to the DVD. Full-screen pan-and-scan DVD's are an example of this.
 

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Widescreen is a must in order to recreate the proper framing of the original theatrical release (most big budget movies from the early 1950's to the present).


Yes, if the film was shot and then transfered to video wider than the HDTV (1.78:1) ratio then there will be small bars on the top and bottom of the screen.


Examples:


Sleepy Hollow: aspect ratio 0f 1.85:1. Widescreen TV with zero overscan (which is rare): you will get very small black bars; almost slivers.


U-571: aspect ratio of 2.35:1. There will be somewhat larger black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. This is normal.


Go to www.thedigitalbits.com and click on their "Ultimate Guide to Anamorphic Widescreen for Dummies" section to get more detailed info.


Dan


P.S. You do not want 1.33:1 pan & scan/full frame DVDs unless the film or TV show was specifically photographed with that ratio in mind.
 

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There are lots of variables in the equation. As Dan says, you don't want full screen or 1.33 movies. Your dvd player is simply stretching the 4.3 image to fit your 16.9 screen, which makes everybody look fat (wide).


Most movies are either shot in 1.85 or 2.35. 1.85 movies will basically fill your widescreen. 2.35 movies will have bars on top and bottom. If the bars bother you, your or DVD player might have a zoom option that will stretch the picture top to bottom so that the image fills the screen. This has the opposite effect of stretching a full screen movie. In other words the people will look taller and thinner then they really are.


Also, look for DVD's that say either anamorphic or enhanced for widescreen TV's.


Your TV screen is a fixed width, so the height must change to accomodate the original aspect ratio, which leads to the black bars on top and bottoms for any movei filmed in less then 1.78 ratio.


Movie theaters use fixed height systems, so the movie always appear to vertically fill the screen. The width of the screen changes (with curtains) depending on the aspect ratio.
 

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Dan Hitchman:

Quote:
Sleepy Hollow: aspect ratio 0f 1.85:1. Widescreen TV with zero overscan (which is rare): you will get very small black bars; almost slivers.
Correct. I get small black bars on a 50" plasma with 1.85:1 DVD's.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by STayfair
So watching "A Bugs Life" on a Toshiba 57HX81 (16:9 TV), and viewing the widescreen format on the DVD, it is normal to have black bars on the top and bottom of the screen?
yes, since 'a bug's life' has an AR of ~2.35:1, which is wider than your set (1.78:1)
 
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