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Old November 25th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #1
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The Mystery of the Cropped Sides

I've burned at least 10 DVDs trying to figure out why my feature film has its sides cropped when played on television sets. I've tried different DVD players and TVs (16:9 as well as 4:3), but they all crop out a significant portion of the sides - around 11% total on the sides and around 6% total on the top and bottom (which would be 5.5% on each side and 3% on top or bottom).

I have used Adobe Encore CS3 to author the DVD and I've also used Windows DVD Maker and a free software called DVD Flick, just to check whether the software is causing the issue, but the sides still crop.

The source file is a 720x576 M2V file (PAL Region). I tried burning NTSC (720x480) and it still happens, so that's not the issue.

It plays perfectly on my laptop (from where I'm authoring). When I zoom out using my dvd player, it shows the entire movie, but it doesn't fill the screen because the zoom setting is in steps. Since I'm planning on distributing this, I want it to play perfectly like normal Hollywood DVDs.

I thought maybe the source footage might be at fault, so I created a DVD from images at 1280x720 and it still happens.

Now I'm done to two possible solutions: Overscan, or some pixel aspect ratio issue. But in either case, how do I complete my movie from here? I don't want to try any other software since I know that's not the issue, and trust me, I've tried 16:9, 4:3, letterboxing, everything. It doesn't work.

I would really appreciate it if anyone can solve this for me. Thanks!
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Old November 25th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #2
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what TV have you tried? analogue tube TV's will hide the overscan all around, up to 5%

LCD TV or Plasma TV, will hide less, approx 2%

this is why when you make a video/DVD, you keep text in the title safe area and vision in the action safe area, so that only non important vision is in the non visible area

now, if your DVD is 16:9, and the TV is 16:9, make sure DVD player is set in setup menu to output 16:9

if your DVD is 16:9, and the TV is 4:3, make sure DVD player is set in setup menu to output letterbox

never use pan and scan, it is for people who don't want to see the whole picture or inexperienced users
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Old November 25th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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Anton has it right. It really sounds like an overscan situation. I think if it was a DVD player setup issue the area of missing video would be larger.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton Strauss View Post
what TV have you tried? analogue tube TV's will hide the overscan all around, up to 5%

LCD TV or Plasma TV, will hide less, approx 2%

this is why when you make a video/DVD, you keep text in the title safe area and vision in the action safe area, so that only non important vision is in the non visible area

now, if your DVD is 16:9, and the TV is 16:9, make sure DVD player is set in setup menu to output 16:9

if your DVD is 16:9, and the TV is 4:3, make sure DVD player is set in setup menu to output letterbox

never use pan and scan, it is for people who don't want to see the whole picture or inexperienced users
I guess it is an overscan issue, but it doesn't cut off the image equally on all sides. Anyway, the footage and menus are all in 16:9. I checked it on both 4:3 and 16:9 TV sets.

The question is, if every set does overscan, how do we see the 2.35:1 DVDs from Hollywood? Do they crop as well, just that we don't notice it?

Thanks for you reply!
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Old November 26th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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every TV hides some footage, some more, some less, older ones are worse

when you make a video, you shoot in such a way that all important stuff is in the action safe area (90%)

and when you add titles, you place them in the title safe area (80%)

all pro cameras have an action safe guide
all title software has title safe guides
most pro NLE have action safe and title safe guides
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Old November 27th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks Anton,
You're right, but I hate it when it screws up my 16:9 aspect ratio by stretching it. Anyway, what I'm planning to do is to reduce the size of the video by 5% on all sides and then burn the DVD. I'll see how that plays on a few different TVs and if it looks good, I'll go for that.

Thanks again!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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the overscan masking of a TV does not distort your aspect

if your video looks stretched, you have an incorrect setting, in DVD player output aspect setup or TV setup menu, aspect setup
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