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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just turned on Scary Movie, which is listed as OAR unconvert.


But on my set it's windowboxed, not letterboxed. If it's OAR why isn't Showtime using the full screen width?


I just got Showtime HD on DTV and don't have any prior experience with the channel. Is windowboxing common on Showime upconverts? I couldn't find any threads about it.


Thanks.


Rick
 

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Are you sure you're tuned to Showtime HD? On my set it's in widescreen mode. Not a great upconvert, but it is widescreen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep! It was clearly windowboxed with black borders all around. And it was the HD channel 543.


The Stargate upconvert which is on now fills the screen completely.


Rick
 

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I've heard others mention that in the past on certain movies on SHO, but I think they use projectors. What display device do you use, an RPTV? Maybe you dont have much overscan. I see it as fullwidth on my RPTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dan - I have a Zenith 64" RPTV with under 5% horizontal overscan. I flipped to HDNet and it looked fine, then back to Showtime and left and right bars.


As I said, then Stargate came on, the upconvert fills the full screen.


Strange, Huh?


Rick
 

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Rick,

Even stranger when you consider we have the same HDTVs! I'm using the Zenith DTV1080 as my STB. Which one are you using, I don't recall?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cpto
Dan - I have a Zenith 64" RPTV with under 5% horizontal overscan. I flipped to HDNet and it looked fine, then back to Showtime and left and right bars.


As I said, then Stargate came on, the upconvert fills the full screen.


Strange, Huh?


Rick
Wait, you said windowboxing with black bars on 4 sides. Now, you're saying black bars only the sides, which is what is expected with 4:3 material on Showtime or HBO. The only time I've ever seen 4 black bars on Showtime's HD channel is during a promo/commercial of material that has a ratio greater than 4:3 but is shown in a 4:3 frame. I've never seen a movie, series, etc on Showtime's HD channel with black on all four sides.


Can you say exactly which show was shown with 4 black bars and how big were the bars?
 

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I see the same thing often on SHOHD on dish. Also Stargate and Jerimia fill the screen, maybe it's our HDTV set-up options. I'm using 4*3 right now because it seems to reduce the squish on some OTA HD even though I have a 16*9 screen. I've also reduced the overscan as much as I could to get as much of my 1280x720 desktop visable, works well but I am getting the window box. I actually don't mind the window box if it means I'm getting a better pixel to pixel picture.
 

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Didn't see SM last night, but the other day I also noticed some widescreen movie was indeed windowboxed on SHO-HD. THere were very thin black strips on both sides (as well as normal OAR strips top and bottom). My 16x9 set is well adjusted with about 4-5% overscan.


I had kind of thought this was a technical problem in the transfer or the transmission -- can't imagine any reason to do this deliberately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jerry - sorry for the confusion. I mentioned the L and R black bars specifically to indicate windowboxing. Of course, the top and bottom bars were there, too.


Ken - I'm using the RCA DTC-100 for DTV reception. As I said, I just got Showtime and didn't know if this was something they did regularly. I haven't noticed it on HBO or HDNet, or on CBS-HD or Fox (except for some ads which are letterboxed in NTSC and then upconverted for broadcast.) As you know, the Zenith disables the ratio button on all digital broadcasts except for 480i broadcasts, so it wan't me pressing the wrong button.


Whatever it was, it was clearly repeatable. Still a mystery, I guess. Maybe as more people join the thread we'll be able to figure out if it was my set, the DTC-100, Showtime, or some combination.


Rick
 

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Using a DTC-100 to a Pioneer 643 64" RPTV, I notice that Scary Movie was windowboxed as well. Overscan on my set is set at 4% per side, and I did see thin black bands on the sides.
 

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Have both of my monitors set for ZERO overscan. I have seen a number of Showtime OAR movies with space on both sides. Some with no space. It might be possible that whoever made the transfers wanted to reduce the amount of the frame lost to the normal five percent overscan on most sets.


If someone has a contact at showtime, maybe they can provide the actual reason for the "window" boxing. I don't see it as a problem. I just appreciate Showtime's effort to show the original aspect ratio. I only wish HBO would do the same thing.


Bill
 

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Not a mistery if your overscan is minimum. When I did a whole-day comparison of SHOHD widescreen movies using ADTV capture card on my PC monitor (no overscan), none of the widescreen filled the entire 1920x1080 area, 1080i movies had similar very thin bars on all four sides, same is true for all other 1080i channels.


But SHOHD upconverts varied in the width of side bars greatly, I am not surprised windowbox shows up on some of the TVs. What I noticed was that a high quality SHOHD upconvert will have the similar thin bars than the 1080i ones, which does not give windowbox on any TV with overscan.
 

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Correction, I just checked on some 1080i movie shots from both SHO and HBO. Most of them have a very thin bar on the left, a few also have thin bars on the right. Of course the top and bottom vary depending on whether the movie is 2.35, 1.78 or 1.85. For a 1.78 OAR, no black bars on top and bottom.
 

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Rick,

A couple of possibilities, first I may have more overscan on my Zenith than you. Second, I know the timings on the RCA DTC100 are non-standard and create some weird scenerios. I always noticed the 4:3 picture on the RCA was different in size than it was on other STBs. If the timing is just a bit different, it could account for a slight difference in picture size which might make itself evident in certain situations. By the way Rick, the difference in PQ between the RCA and Zenith STB on our sets is significant, it really is!
 
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