16 x 9 anamorphic SD playback without the camera at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old December 15th, 2007, 01:33 AM   #1
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16 x 9 anamorphic SD playback without the camera

Anyone have any ideas about how I could my DV deck instead of the camera to play this footage:
16 x 9 standard definition. Obviously recorded anamorphically squeezed. I don't want to keep using my camera to get the letterboxed playback on the 4 x 3 TV. I want the letterbox but I don't want to use the camera to get it. In addition, I don't want to have to capture it into my editing system to get the letterbox either. Just want to view the tapes.

XH-A1
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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #2
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You have to somehow letterbox it to watch it without distortion on a 4:3 TV. Your deck won't do that.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #3
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I think you would need something like this: http://www.miranda.com/product.php?i=141&l=1

But it isn't cheap.... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Converter.html

I've often wondered about this myself. Every cheap $50 DVD player contains the hardware to do this, but standalone boxes are very expensive...
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Old December 15th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #4
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I know you don't want to have to capture the video but...

you can convert 16:9 to letterboxed in real-time with our Enosoft DV Processor (Windows XP/Vista, SSE2 CPU).

There is a freebie version that will let you capture the tape and generate the letterboxed version as a DV-AVI file. You can then send this file back to your camcorder and either record it to a new tape or view it directly on your TV.

The non-freebie version goes a step further - you can connect two camcorders/DV decks. Your computer sits between the two of them and acts like a standalone hardware converter. i.e.,

[16:9 Source Tape]--->[PC running our software]--->[DV Deck/Canopus etc]--->[TV]

In fact, the whole reason the software came about was exactly this problem. I have lots of widescreen underwater videos and, without paying a ridiculous price, SD widescreen TVs just weren't available here.


The above sounds more complicated than it really is. You just connect two DV devices as normal, the software launches automatically, you select the two devices to use, check one box and press the Run button.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Thx to all for the replys. As I figured, it kinda sucks
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Old December 15th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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David,

My living room TV has an "enhance for 16:9" option in the menu settings, and my production monitor at work has an actual 16:9 switch on it. Either of these an option for you?
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Old December 16th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #7
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yeah, my 15" editing monitor will do 16 x 9. The interesting thing here is the following:
If you use your camera to play out, then u can set it up to output letterbox to a 4 x 3 TV.
If u want to use a deck (avoiding camera wear & tear) the deck outputs squeezed 16 x 9. So, a person with a 4 x 3 standard TV sees only the squeeze which obviously is not what I want. Any TV with 16 x 9 capability will display the image correctly. Unfortunately, there still are a ton of standard 4 x 3 TV sets out there. That's the rub. Makes it hard to work in 16 x 9 unless your going to capture it anamorphically or your sure of what display it's going to.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
Unfortunately, there still are a ton of standard 4 x 3 TV sets out there. That's the rub. Makes it hard to work in 16 x 9 unless your going to capture it anamorphically or your sure of what display it's going to.
I'm not sure I follow you; you're talking about a problem with your DV deck (with which I sympathize), but then it also sounds as if you're worried about a general audience seeing squeezed anamorphic on their 4:3 TV's... As far as a general audience goes, they'd be watching on DVD's, right? If you're outputting to DVD and are authoring the discs with 16:9 flags, there should be no problem.

You're not talking about distributing mini-DV cassettes to be played on mini-DV decks, are you? 'Cuz most people don't have DV decks in their living rooms. :)

I'm sure I'm just missing something here.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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I frequently need to burn a non-captured/edited copy of the DV tape to DVD direct or copy the DV to VHS, in which case I have to use the camera as my deck. The director of the show wants a rough copy of the wide camera the next day. I am looking for a portable DVD-R in order to do this right as I'm taping.
I'm actually not sure what will happen if I use one of those quick and dirty "create a DVD" devices or software to to this. Don't know they have settings to unsqueeze the video.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #10
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Not familiar with portable decks, but I have an older Sony DVD recorder which creates proper anamorphic DVD's when fed firewire input. We've discussed this around here before though. The less expensive DVD recorders may not have this capability, and it's difficult to tell whether they can burn anamorphic DVD's by just looking at the specs.

This shouldn't be confused with the ability to PLAY anamorphic DVD's, because just about all decks and recorders can do that. Best bet is to download the product manual before buying a DVD recorder and make sure there's a menu option to RECORD a 16:9 DVD.

And I think this is a better approach than letterboxing your video in a 4:3 frame, because the (rapidly increasing) number of people with widescreen TV's will get better quality with an anamorphic DVD.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #11
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yeah, I see.
If the DVD-R will record a letterboxed version of my 16 x 9, that would be acceptable for what I'm doing. That way I could play out of my deck squeezed and have the dvr burn it as letterboxed. That would be perfect.
BTW, from what I've seen, I believe that the letterboxed 4 x 3 version will play full screen on an HD TV, even though the quality isn't there
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Old December 16th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #12
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I think you've got this backwards... or maybe I'm just not understanding you - sorry.

You want to burn an anamorphic DVD. Letterboxed is something entirely different. A letterboxed DVD is still 4:3 and the active image area is only 360x720 whereas an anamorphic DVD uses the full 480x720 frame and stretches it to fit a 16:9 screen.

If you play a letterboxed DVD on a widescreen TV you have a 4:3 rectangle centered on the screen, and that rectangle has the 16:9 image in the middle. Now 16:9 TV's have various ways of stretching the image, so you can generally zoom in on that center part and have it fill the screen. But the quality will not be as good, because you've stretched a smaller picture to fill the screen.

The right way to do it involves burning an anamorphic DVD, where the 16:9 image is sqaushed into a 4:3 frame. If you do this, all DVD players should understand what's happening and the user's DVD player will provide the letterboxing for a 4:3 screen. All DVD players should have a menu option for screen type - either 4:3 or 16:9. If you set it to 4:3 it will automatically letterbox 16:9 material. Most of the players I've seen have this mode set as a default right out of the box.

But the DVD recorder which you use must be capable of burning a DVD with the correct flag that identifies your material as 16:9.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #13
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yep follow what your saying. I see that the DVD player will play it right. I spent about 3 hrs. online research DVD recorders and it looks like they're not much more than junk. People are complaining right and left about one thing or the other. The cheap ones flat out say no widescreen but like u say, not sure what that really means. Toshiba makes a D-R550 which seems to be a decent unit. I might look into this one.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #14
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I've had a Sony RDR-GX7 for at least 4 years now and it's certainly not "junk". But they were expensive back then and not many models to choose from. As usual, you get what you pay for. Look at instruction manuals online and check the Record Settings. There should be some indication there of an option for 16:9 recording.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #15
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yeah, I did. This unit has a 16 x 9 option among other things.

thx for the replys
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