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Old November 25th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #1
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16:9 Help in FCP 5 and DVD Studio Pro

I've shot some footage in HDV with my Sony A1U and imported into FCP 5 via the down conversion to SD. I believe I changed all the settings to 16:9 in FCP and then used compressor to export then used DVD Studio Pro to author to DVD. I've set it to SD with 16:9 format and burned a dual layer disc. When I play the DVD on my HD TV it looks like the video has been letterboxed and has a black band at the top and one at the bottom. If I play the footage directly from my camera it fills the entire screen.

Have I done something in the editing or authoring process to change the resolution or format of the footage? How can I correct this so that it fills the entire screen or is the final DVD the way it was meant to be? HELP!
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Old November 25th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #2
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I don't use DVDSP so I'm not sure what might be wrong there. However you should have captured the footage using the NTSC 720x480 anamorphic 16:9 settings. Look at the clips and sequences in the file browser in FCP and scroll to the right until you can see the anamorphic column. Is there a check mark next to everything? If so then the FCP part is OK.

Now the only obvious thing that comes to mind is whether the DVD player that's hooked up to your widescreen TV is properly configured. The DVD player should have a menu, accessed via the remote, where you can choose the screen size. Be sure to set it for a 16:9 screen. The default will generally be a 4:3 screen, and this will cause the DVD player to provide a letterbox when an anamorphic DVD is inserted.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Boyd, I thought that I had changed that setting previously but when I went back to double check, it was not set. So that fixed the problem.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #4
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Just Curious if the letterbox looked good or not on a HD TV or if its better to fill the screen.....???
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Old November 26th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #5
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A DVD player will automatically letterbox an anamorphic 16:9 DVD if it thinks it's connected to a 4:3 screen. If your DVD player is connected to a widescreen TV then you need to go into the DVD player menus and set the screen size to 16:9. Otherwise you'll get a 4:3 rectangle "pillarboxed" in the middle of your 16:9 screen, and that rectangle will have a 16:9 image letterboxed inside of it! This wastes a huge amount of screen real estate which could otherwise be devoted to a full resolution anamorphic image.

Widescreen TV's have several display modes you can choose with the remote. One of them, "zoom," is intended to be used with letterboxed 4:3 - it zooms the image to fill the widescreen. This is useful for watching letterboxed programs on TV (like Turner Classic Movies), but is nowhere near as good as the quality possible with a properly made anamorphic DVD. The letterboxed 4:3 image only uses 360 of the available 480 vertical lines, so you're losing 25% vertical resolution.
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