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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #1
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problems with iDVD & widescreen

Hi DVinfo folks -- I got great advice here last year when deciding whether to get an AVCHD camera, and I'm hoping someone out there will be able to help me with my new problem...

I've been fighting with iDVD, trying to get it to burn a widescreen-format DVD. My AVCHD camera (which I love, by the way) shoots in widescreen format; when I create a movie through Final Cut Express, then transfer it to DVD through iDVD, the resulting DVD will play in beautifully on my computer screen -- but when I play it on a TV/DVD player, it plays in full screen (with the sides cut off). One of the frustrating parts of this is that my DVDs do play just fine on the computer -- so I can't test to see if the problem is fixed without burning a DVD and then finding out I've made yet another coaster...

Here are the technical particulars:
camera: Canon VIXIA HF11
video editing software: Final Cut Exress 4.0.1
DVD authoring software: iDVD '08, v. 7.0.2 (1100)

Here is what I have tried in working out the problem:

1. I have checked the "Project info" menu in iDVD, and ascertained that the project is, indeed, supposedly set in widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

2. I have gone back into the FCE "Easy setup" file and reset the format for "DV-NTSC Anamorphic" -- with no affect on the problem.

3. I have searched in Apple Support and found an article which advised me to export the movie file using QuickTime Conversion and then to reset the compression type, aspect ratio, and dimensions settings. I followed the instructions to the letter, and came out with a DVD which still played in full-screen not widescreen -- but also lost the chapter markers.

4. On the advice of several responders in the Apple Support discussions, I downloaded the "my DVD Edit" resource editor. Again, I followed the instructions to the letter, with no change whatsoever in the final outcome.

I am now completely at a loss (and judging by the discussions in Apple Support, I'm not alone) -- has anyone out there come up with an actual way to fix this?

thank you so much,
Avilee Goodwin
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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #2
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It seems like you need to check your DVD player's aspect ratio settings. It seems like your current setting is 4:3 PAN AND SCAN which crops a widescreen image into 4:3 format. Set your DVD player's aspect ratio setting to 16:9 if you have a widescreen TV or 4:3 LETTERBOX if you have a standard 4:3 TV.

P.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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I really don't think so -- there is no way to change the aspect ratio settings on my DVD player (I just looked, using both the remote and looking all over the player itself, to be sure), it responds automatically to whatever DVD I put in it. It has no problem recognizing widescreen in commercial DVDs, the only ones it has this problem with are the ones I've created using iDVD. And the problem recurs no matter what DVD player I try (I've tried three so far).

Again, to judge by the Apple Support forums, I'm not the first one with this problem -- it seems to be an iDVD bug (one responder said "I thought this problem had been solved in iDVD 7 - is it back?").
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Old December 10th, 2009, 02:08 AM   #4
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I'm not too well-versed in what goes on behind the scenes with iDVD, but I understand that it can have problems correctly reading the flags for an anamorphic project.

Check out Anamorphicizer:

My Downloads (Graphite)

Download the utility. Drop your widescreen project onto it, and it will create a flagged reference file in the same location as your source file. Drop that referenced file into your iDVD project. It might do the trick.

Hope this helps.

-Jon
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Old December 10th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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I will try it tonight, thanks!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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Darn -- the anamorphicizer somehow doesn't work on my machine -- once downloaded, when I click on the icon it just bounces in the dock for a second or two then disappears again. Back to square one, I guess...
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avilee Goodwin View Post
Darn -- the anamorphicizer somehow doesn't work on my machine -- once downloaded, when I click on the icon it just bounces in the dock for a second or two then disappears again. Back to square one, I guess...
You are not supposed to click on it. It is a droplet. As is indicated on the site from which it is downloaded, you are supposed to drag and drop your Quicktime file on to the droplet, and then the droplet will generate a reference file in the same folder from which you dragged your quicktime file. You then create your iDVD project using the reference file, so long as you don't move the original quicktime file from where it is before you create your iDVD project.


Here is the exact wording from the site:

"Export your video from FCP like you normally would for going to iDVD. Drag and drop it on the Anamorphicizer. You'll get a second file in the same folder with Anamorphic added to the file name. Drop that in iDVD! "

-Jon
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:41 PM   #8
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Well, I should have been more specific in my original reply (I was keeping it concise) -- I had actually tried that first, and it did exactly the same thing -- when I dragged the file onto the icon (or droplet), the icon bounced in the dock exactly once and then disappeared, leaving no new file whatsoever in any folder. It behaved the same way no matter whether I dropped in the FCE movie file or a plain Quicktime file.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if it has any bearing on the problem, but just to be sure, is the Quicktime file you exported from FCE self contained?

-Jon
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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My FCE movie files are never self-contained; I'm not sure about the other Quicktime file, it was the one I made when following the Apple Support directions, using Quicktime conversion and then changing various settings. I would have to go back and do it again and look at the menus to see if it was self-contained. In any case, neither of them worked.

I have read in some forums that the Anamorphicizer needed to be updated for Quicktime 7 -- but all the links in those posts lead me back to the old one.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avilee Goodwin View Post
My FCE movie files are never self-contained; I'm not sure about the other Quicktime file, it was the one I made when following the Apple Support directions, using Quicktime conversion and then changing various settings. I would have to go back and do it again and look at the menus to see if it was self-contained. In any case, neither of them worked.

I have read in some forums that the Anamorphicizer needed to be updated for Quicktime 7 -- but all the links in those posts lead me back to the old one.
I am using QT 7 and have used the version of Anamorphicizer that is on that site. I went ahead and tried out a workflow with it yesterday for a widescreen video and it worked fine. It played correctly on a wide screen, and correctly letterboxed the video when played back on an older standard 4:3 TV.

Perhaps exporting via Quicktime Conversion could be introducing a problem for you. There are number of ways in which a setting can be incorrect.

I don't use FCE, so I'm not sure if the export options are the same, but I would recommend exporting as a "Quicktime Movie", which should be the first option to select from the export menu. (at least it is in FCP). This should give you a Quicktime File that uses the same settings as your source sequence.

In the resulting dialogue, choose "Current Settings" in the settings tab, and make sure to checkmark "Make Movie Self-Contained". I think this is important because Anamorphicizer generates a reference file of your QT file, and this reference file is what is used in iDVD. If you do not select "Make Movie Self-Contained", then your resulting QT file is itself a reference file from your FCE sequence, and I'm not sure that Anamorphicizer can generate a reference file from a reference file.

Hope this helps.

-Jon
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