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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The High Definition Dvd native aspect ratio is expected to be 16x9 with square pixels.


This deals fairly effectively with 1.85:1 content, but a large fraction of favorite films are shot in the wider 2.35:1 aspect.


It seems very natural (as has been commented on by others) that an emerging HD-DVD format should cope with this reality via a solution similar to the 'anamorphic enhancement' currently found on standard DVD.


Vertically stretching films of this sort to fill the 16x9 pixel count would have the same benefits to picture brightness and resolution that are seen in the analogous 4:3 -> 16:9 transformation. While we don't expect 2.35:1 monitors to be produced, CRT type displays could perform a compression of their scan lines for a higher resolution letterbox version, and the front projector fixed-resolution crowd could use EXISTING 4:3 stretch anamorphic lenses for a fantastic constant height setup.


It seems like such a simple logical extension of this already employed technique, but I have no information whether the DVD Forum & the two major format contenders are thinking along this line.


Any Ideas?
 

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I would expect that the same treatment to any material that is wider than 1.78:1, including 1.85:1, 2.00:1, 2.20:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, and 2.55:1, will indeed be encoded in a similar manner that D-Theater via D-VHS is being done.


This way, there will be NO potential downcoversion to 4:3 letterbox. Another format that employed this (on a extremely limited scale) was the animorphic letterboxed laserdiscs. They were encoded in a stretch-mode only (I may be explaining this incorrectly).


Just some thoughts...
 

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I doubt we will see 2.35:1 anamorphic enhancement, given that there is no hardware available capable of displaying it. Also, there are just too many different variations in aspect ratios. What about a disc that's 2.0:1? What type of enhancement does that get? Are we going to create different types of anamorphic enhancement for each different aspect ratio possibility? The compatiblity issues are too numerous.


16:9 was chosen as a compromise ratio because it falls directly between 4:3 and 2.35:1. I have a feeling it will be the default anamorphic standard for a long time to come.
 

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Also, I'm not too keen on being forced to watch downconverted HD-DVDs. I had enough of that w/ DVDs on my old 4x3 SDTV. Very few people would be able to make good use of such anamorphic enhancement, ie. pretty much only the upper-end FP crowd, while everyone else would have to deal w/ downconversion artifacts.


_Man_
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses guys.

Quote:
I would expect that the same treatment to any material that is wider than 1.78:1, including 1.85:1, 2.00:1, 2.20:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, and 2.55:1, will indeed be encoded in a similar manner that D-Theater via D-VHS is being done.
Segaboy -- It hadn't occured to me, but it would make sense to mimic the procedures already in place for this format. Can you (or anyone else) elaborate on what these procedures are?

Quote:
I doubt we will see 2.35:1 anamorphic enhancement, given that there is no hardware available capable of displaying it. Also, there are just too many different variations in aspect ratios. What about a disc that's 2.0:1? What type of enhancement does that get? Are we going to create different types of anamorphic enhancement for each different aspect ratio possibility? The compatiblity issues are too numerous.
Josh -- I certainly agree that we should not expect 2.35:1 native pixel resolution display devices. Nor do I think it would be profitable. Then people (like me?) would complain that the full display area was not being utilized for 16:9 content, and we should go 'anamorphic' in the horizontal axis to solve the problem, or that the DVD format should be extended to provide native content in the wider aspect or some other silly suggestion which would only lead to more of the same running in circles. In my point of view the whole benefit and point of the anamorphic option is that in a digital age we will have a large portion of consumers with fixed pixel resolution displays. This will almost certainly be standardized at 16x9 for a long time to come, which I think is wonderful. It makes good sense then to have a HD-DVD format specification which is of this dimension. However, as you state, a lot of the content which will ultimately be provided via this system is of a differing aspect ratio. This is where 'anamorphosis' enters the picture to salvage the use of this extra storage capacity on the disk, and extra resolution on the display. Granted, this will be most relevant for front projection users, but I think there will be an increasing number of these in the coming years. I also agree that you cannot have an indefinite number of scaling options to deal perfectly with every format. It is not practical because even front pj owners will be reluctant to have a large collection of lenses to correct for obscure aspects, and not every aspect will correspond to a convenient downsample ratio, such as combining 4 lines to 3, and so on. Still, it seems that if ONE alternate choice is available, the (16/9)*(4/3) ~ 2.37:1 option is a good one. It gets you close enough (about 1%) to both 2.35:1 & 2.40:1, in my opinion, to crop any excess and call it even. Then, for formats which lay between this and 16:9 you have to pick one of these two encoding mechanisms. You will get varied resolution gains, and combinations of letter/pillar-boxing in the final result based on whether you anamorphically lens, or display in 16:9. This is what I would like to see anyway, and my own justifications for it. Any other thoughts?

Quote:
Also, I'm not too keen on being forced to watch downconverted HD-DVDs. I had enough of that w/ DVDs on my old 4x3 SDTV. Very few people would be able to make good use of such anamorphic enhancement, ie. pretty much only the upper-end FP crowd, while everyone else would have to deal w/ downconversion artifacts.
Man -- This might be a reasonable objection, as well as the problem of 'extra bandwidth' consumption on the disk, which is admittedly wasted on the majority of end users. It seems undesirable/unworkable also to have 'dual releases'. Still, the downconversion seems to be a well understood and easily implemented procedure these days, judging by the street prices of decent DVD players near the $100 mark. Surely on higher end machines this sort of thing can be done with minimal distortions compared to a studio print sent directly at the lower resolution? I'm curious to know if others also share Man's point of view, and how serious a problem the possible downconversion artifacts would be perceived as???


thanks -- Joel
 

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Not sure about anamorphic, but you can bet there will still be "widescreen" and "fullscreen" versions even when everything is 16x9. A lot of people will want their 16x9 screen filled and those 2.35:1 movies would still have those black bars. As if watching old 4:3 tv shows on it wouldn't dive them crazy enough :p
 

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Not sure about anamorphic, but you can bet there will still be "widescreen" and "fullscreen" versions even when everything is 16x9. A lot of people will want their 16x9 screen filled and those 2.35:1 movies would still have those black bars. As if watching old 4:3 tv shows on it wouldn't drive them crazy enough :p
 

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Quote:
This might be a reasonable objection, as well as the problem of 'extra bandwidth' consumption on the disk, which is admittedly wasted on the majority of end users. It seems undesirable/unworkable also to have 'dual releases'. Still, the downconversion seems to be a well understood and easily implemented procedure these days, judging by the street prices of decent DVD players near the $100 mark. Surely on higher end machines this sort of thing can be done with minimal distortions compared to a studio print sent directly at the lower resolution? I'm curious to know if others also share Man's point of view, and how serious a problem the possible downconversion artifacts would be perceived as???
I share this view.


Adding 20x9 enhancement on HD-DVD wouldn't be the same as adding it for DVD was. For DVD, it was a no-brainer. DVD was released when the roadmap for HDTV was all but set-in-stone, so we knew with certainty that 16x9 displays would soon be plentiful. As such, the downconversion hit was acceptable.

However, with HD-DVD, I see no imminent release of 20x9 capable displays on the horizon. With DLP/DILA/LCD/SXRD and whatever else is coming up (I've stopping looking so much, now that I'm broke;) ), they are all fixed-panel displays that will all likely be 16x9, with no "easy" way to display 20x9 correctly. As such, taking the downconversion hit is not acceptable to me, for what will likely always be an extremely small portion of the market.


It's still a real problem, even with today's players (although better than in '97-98, obviously), and one that likely wouldn't go away with HD-DVD. In fact, it could lead someone to be a bit more heavy-handed with anti-aliasing filters on HD-DVD material, which would tend to defeat the purpose (absolute maximum vertical resolution) anyway.


So, while it'd be great for the 10 people left on the planet who still have G90s in 2010 ;), I don't think it's a good idea overall. One might see this as potentially dumbing-down the format, and in fact, I see it that way, too. It would be dumbing it down for nearly everyone watching on 16x9.


Todd
 
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