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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 27th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #1
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16 X 9 On A Regular TV While Editing

Hey all. I've browsed through the forums looking for an answer, and maybe it's impossible, but...

Have the basic setup for editing: Final Cut hooked through FireWire into the XL2, which feeds composite video into my 14'' 4:3 TV. When I edit anamorphic 16X9 footage, it's being stretched vertically on the TV. Not the end of the world, but I'd of course prefer it to be letterboxed. Can't afford a studio monitor with a 16X9 switch.

So, my question: No one's figured out a way to feed anamorphic video out of Final Cut as letterboxed for my 4X3 screen (while I'm editing)? The XL2 is smart enough to letterbox the footage in its own viewfinder, and I'm 90% sure I've used other miniDV cams where, if I played anamorphic footage and hooked it up to a TV through composite, it would be smart enough to letterbox the footage for the TV.

Is there no setting in FCP or the XL2 which can make footage that I'm editing in an anamorphic timeline come out letterboxed on a regular 4:3 TV? Any hacks available? (just brainstorming, it seems like a background plugin that threw my anamorphic sequence into a separate 4:3 sequence before feeding it out the firewire to the XL2 and TV would do the trick... That would probably take some considerable horsepower but, hey, what do we have these suped up G5's for anyway, right? haha).

Again, not the end of the world, but I just went out and bought a fairly decent TV for monitoring and it would defeat some of its purpose if the images I was "testing" on it were all stretched out. Maybe I should have kept saving up for the pro studio monitor after all...
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Old February 27th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #2
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I believe it says in the XL2 manual that going through the analogue ports will always yeild a stretched image on a 4:3 TV. A digital signal will yeild a 16:9 image. I tried S-video and it still stretches, so only the digital out will give you 16:9.

My advice? Grab a cheapo 16:9 LCD Tv. I got a 26 incher for $600
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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #3
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Bummer

Only digital, eh? Which would explain why it was able to kick a 16X9 image out to the viewfinder; must be a digital connection.

Seems a somewhat silly situation: my $40 DVD players knows enough to letterbox anamorphic video on a 4:3 TV set, but the $4,000 XL2 is too dumb?

16X9 TV is another option. Here's a question: what's the benefit of "checking" my video image on an LCD TV rather than my computer's Cinema Display? There is a significant difference between an LCD TV & an LCD computer monitor? My head says, sure, there must be, or the blacks would look gray on an LCD TV, but are they really built differently or do they just have limiting settings (kind of like picking the NTSC Profile for the Cinema Display's Color settings) that make them conform to NTSC standards? At any rate, if I were going to spend $600 on an LCD TV, I'd probably spend the extra $200 or so and pick up a used CRT production monitor, which would have a 16X9 switch, which would cancel out the need for the wide aspect ratio of the 16X9 TV. But, the very reason I didn't do that was that we're all existing in this quirky SD/HD period and I didn't want to drop any serious change on an SD production monitor with HD looming on the horizon (someday...). Which brings me back to the present, buying a cheaper regular little TV for now, and not being able to display anamorphic footage on it correctly. Haha. Anyway, now that you've all journeyed with me through my deductive reasoning process...

Anyone know of a solution from the FCP end (i.e., feed a letterboxed image to the XL2 to begin with, via an anamorphic timeline)? Thanks.

Last edited by Joe Peicott; February 27th, 2006 at 08:33 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:01 PM   #4
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unfotunatly, I think you need to export your anamorphic, import to a 4:3 timeline, decrease size by 75%, and then render. will play as 16:9 letter box.

Annoying as hell, but best option.

The 16:9 HD tv will give you a good idea of how the footage looks in HD and with the latitude of an HD TV. it can be good for getting a general idea of how your work will look when distributed...

Also, you will now own a 16:9 HD tv! truly a bonus. (They also make 16:9 HD tube tv's for a bit cheaper, but they are heavy).
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #5
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Actually, the 14 inch Toshiba flat CRT display (consumer) that I use has the ability to correct the image and properly display 16:9. It's been serving me well so far, except for an audio issue I can't correct (headphone out is unusable), but other than that, I've been happy with the image quality.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 01:00 AM   #6
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That's cool

How much did the Toshiba go for?
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Old February 28th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #7
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it went for about $150.00 Canadian.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
I believe it says in the XL2 manual that going through the analogue ports will always yeild a stretched image on a 4:3 TV. A digital signal will yeild a 16:9 image. I tried S-video and it still stretches, so only the digital out will give you 16:9.

My advice? Grab a cheapo 16:9 LCD Tv. I got a 26 incher for $600
The S-Video output of the XL-2 does contain information to tell a 'compatible viewing device' to display 4:3 or 16:9. However, my HDTV's s-video doesn't recognize the signal so I have to switch the screen format manually from my tv's remote control.

-gb-
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Old February 28th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #9
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Good catch Greg... I missed that :)
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