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Old July 17th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #1
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Walk me through 16:9 on Premiere for 4:3 TV showing

Hi there

I like to shoot in 16:9, but so far, if I want to show the footage, I have to show off my camera, playing it on a conventional TV (several different ones, so buying a widescreen enhanced is not the solution here) shows the footage anomorphically squeezed.

Now, I know there is a way to set the frame size so that it does show on NSTC 4:3 TVs properly. How do I do that? I would have to add black bars to the top and bottom, after all my editing is done and the frame size adjustment is the last step right?

I would like to even edit the 16:9 and put it back onto the miniDV tape, but in the "4:3" black barred version so I can show people.

I am using Premiere 6.5. Can anyone help?

Thanks
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Old July 17th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #2
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Sorry, I'm on a Mac so I can't answer your specific question, but would just point out a possible "one size fits all" alternative. Burn your finished video to DVD. You could do this using a DVD drive on your computer or a standalone DVD recorder with ieee1394 (firewire) interface.

If you configure properly for making an anamorphic 16:9 DVD then it will be compatible with all types of screens: 4:3, 16:9 and computers. If a user has a 4:3 TV set then the DVD player itself will letterbox your video, but if they are using a widescreen TV it will play at the full 16:9 resolution. DVD players have a menu option where you specify your TV type (4:3 or 16:9). When you insert a DVD the player detects that it was recorded in 16:9 format and provides the letterboxing if viewed on a 4:3 TV. If I play a 16:9 DVD on my computer the Apple DVD player will also properly adjust the screen size; I assume the same thing would happen on a Windows PC.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 03:44 PM   #3
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Hi Boyd,

Yes, a DVD is a way to do it, I was even looking at the sudden boom in DVD TV recorders this morning. Good suggestion.

I was thinking of VHS however, as in my industry (the film industry, ironically, we still live by VHS. Plus it's faster to just tape it back to miniDV and plug it into a set.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #4
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Ah yes... VHS... In Final Cut Pro if you capture and edit your video as anamorphic 16:9 you can simply take the resulting sequence and drop it into a 4:3 sequence which will automagically letterbox it. Perhaps Premiere is similar? The downside is that you need to render this, which might be time consuming for something long. And of course it will eat up twice the hard drive space in the process as well.

I use a standalone Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder that has firewire input. If I need to make a VHS tape of letterboxed 16:9 I just send the video directly to the recorder from Final Cut Pro over firewire. I then plug my VCR into the DVD recorder and configure for a 4:3 screen. That provides instant letterboxing with no rendering or additional file space. A variation on this would be to burn the video to DVD and use a regular DVD player connected to a VCR, with the letterbox provided by the DVD player again.
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Old July 18th, 2004, 09:58 AM   #5
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Hi Ronald,

In Premiere:

Capture in at 16:9.
Create a new project that is 4:3
Import the footage you captured in 16:9 into the 4:3 project
Place clips into timeline
Right click on your clips go to video options and choose maintain aspect ratio
The clip will then need to be rendered.
Playback the clip and you should now have black bars top and bottom. Export to tape via this project 4:3.

Another easier way:

Most 4:3 TVs have a 16:9 squeeze button on the remote control, so that when you are playing 16:9 videos it will squeeze the signal and put black bars top and bottom

Hope this helps,
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Old July 18th, 2004, 11:39 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ed Smith : Most 4:3 TVs have a 16:9 squeeze button on the remote control -->>>

Not around these parts Ed! Only the newer, larger sets have this option. For example, in the Sony WEGA line this feature is only found on the 27" and larger models. When shopping for a smaller TV a year ago I couldn't find any (other than LCD's) that would do letterboxing. Hopefully this will change as 16:9 slowly gains ground.
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Old July 18th, 2004, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thats a shame!!!

My 7 year old 4:3, 14" Consumer Sony TV does... I guess 16:9 broadcasting is more popular over here (UK)?
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:03 PM   #8
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Hi Ed,

Thanks for the reply. But when I try that, it doesn't do black bars when I 'print to video' or render and then make a movie file.

It does do the black bars in the project timeline when I select to keep the aspect ratio.

When I play this on my TV though, there are no black bars and I think it still looks anamorphically squeezed.

Is there anyway to have it so the black bars and proper aspect ration are rendered along with the movie? Perhaps a setting I missed?

Thanks
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:35 AM   #9
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Mmmm.

So even if you render it into a new file it still does not have the black bars?

Could you right click on the clip and choose advanced options> Pixel ratio. Make sure that this is set to NTSC widescreen. Then re render.

I take it that when you exported to a new file, you did export to NTSC 4:3

You could also use the transform filter, normally found in the distort video effects folder. (It would be best to start a new 4:3 project). Just apply this to the clips and then squeeze the frame.

Cheers,
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #10
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Ronald:

Are you able to resize the image and add masks? Maybe you could follow all of Ed's steps AND add a black mask to the blank areas.

Remember: This might do the trick, but it'll be at a loss of resolution.

Regards,

Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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