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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Is HD200 composite out limited to 4:3?

Can anyone confirm that the HD200 (and maybe 100 series as well) composite video output is fixed at a 4:3 ratio?

I recently went through the camera's entire menu system (with the help of Tim's great DVD), and I don't remember seeing any setting for this...

I was testing out a cheap, composite input only, Sony LCD monitor mentioned in another thread, when I discovered that the JVC's composite out was giving me a letterboxed & pillarboxed image. If the composite out is fixed at 4:3, then a "real" HD monitor (with component in) for focusing is going to be the expensive solution.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Brent Kolitz View Post
I was testing out a cheap, composite input only, Sony LCD monitor mentioned in another thread, when I discovered that the JVC's composite out was giving me a letterboxed & pillarboxed image. If the composite out is fixed at 4:3, then a "real" HD monitor (with component in) for focusing is going to be the expensive solution.
not too expensive.
You can find the Dell 24" screens with component inputs from 2 years ago on ebay way cheap these days.

This is what you have to use if your shooting in HD. A Composite signal viewing on a flat panel is really not that helpful for sharp focus monitoring.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #3
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Actually, I have two Dell 24-inchers on my desk, and I've run component out of the JVC into them with no problem.

I'm really talking about small (7-8 inch) monitors:

I agree that using composite for focusing (or anything other than framing) is much less than ideal. I was just picking up on a thread in another forum here about a $175 Sony DVD player with composite input only, that a few people have said has a picture quite good enough for focusing HD.

I didn't really believe it, but picked one up to test. My first impression is that the screen is not very high quality at all. The second thing I noticed is that my HD200 was putting out a 4:3 signal through the composite output, effectively wasting a lot of the already not so great real estate on this little Sony screen.

So I just wanted to confirm whether I had missed a JVC setting to get 16:9 out of the composite output, or whether it was fixed at 4:3 (essentially mimicing the JVC's native 4:3 viewfinder and flip-out LCD panels).
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Old May 28th, 2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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nope. composite out is not fixed at 4:3, i use an SD 16:9, 7 inch lcd to monitor framing.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #5
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nope. composite out is not fixed at 4:3, i use an SD 16:9, 7 inch lcd to monitor framing.
Ted -- maybe I just need to go home and take a look at the camera menus, but are you aware of a setting to change this? And are you certain that your 16:9 monitor isn't set in some sort of zoom mode without you being aware of it?

I put a chart in front of the camera, and with my SD 16:9 monitor set to "normal" (ie, it pillarboxed and letterboxed the image), the circles on the chart showed as circles. When I changed the monitor setting to "full" (ie, it obviously zoomed & cropped the image to fill the entire 16:9 screen space), then circles became ovals (and it looked trashy too, not surprisingly).

So either I'm stupidly overlooking a menu setting in the camera, or you're not aware that your image is actually being zoomed/stretched, or your camera is different than mine...
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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You will only get out a 4:3 480i image. When I used one, it was letterboxed, (or streched) just like you are getting. I didnt plan to ever use it for focusing, because there is no where near enough resolution in those tiny composite screens to accurately focus. They are useful for following quick action like motorcross. I usually rent a 15" HD-SDI monitor for critical work.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for that confirmation, Mark -- exactly what I suspected, but I wanted to be certain.

Ted: looks like you've been viewing a distorted image on your SD 16:9 monitor, assuming the image fills your screen...better double-check that framing just in case! ;-)
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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The original HD100/101 was only capable of outputting a downconverted & squeezed anamorphic 16x9 via the composite out (when shooting HD.) This meant that if you connected a 4x3 monitor heads would be shaped like eggs.

Starting with the HD110/111 (and 200 series) the downconverter was able to letterbox 16x9 into a 4x3 downconverted signal meaning you could easily use 4x3 monitors and see your 16x9 image in the proper aspect ratio.

The menu control is in the VIDEO FORMAT menu -->DOWN CON. [HDV] item. You can set it to LETTER for letterbox in 4x3 viewing on 4x3 monitors, or SQUEEZE for viewing on 16x9 monitors. This setting DOES NOT AFFECT HD OUTPUT, only downconverted PAL or NTSC.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #9
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The menu control is in the VIDEO FORMAT menu -->DOWN CON. [HDV] item. You can set it to LETTER for letterbox in 4x3 viewing on 4x3 monitors, or SQUEEZE for viewing on 16x9 monitors. This setting DOES NOT AFFECT HD OUTPUT, only downconverted PAL or NTSC.
I waiting for the expert to chime in, Tim! So are you saying that if I change the setting to squeeze, then I'll be able to use the full real estate of this 16:9 SD monitor, and get real circles...or no? Well, I guess I can check this out myself when I get home...
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Old May 28th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brent Kolitz View Post
I waiting for the expert to chime in, Tim! So are you saying that if I change the setting to squeeze, then I'll be able to use the full real estate of this 16:9 SD monitor, and get real circles...or no? Well, I guess I can check this out myself when I get home...
That's right. If you go into MENU SYSTEM -->VIDEO FORMAT and select Down Conversion on my DVD you will see it all explained along with what it will look like on your monitor.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #11
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Whoops :D glad someone else knows better than me. Sorry about that.

Oh dear... after the shoots I have used these on, that's a bit embarrassing
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
That's right. If you go into MENU SYSTEM -->VIDEO FORMAT and select Down Conversion on my DVD you will see it all explained along with what it will look like on your monitor.

Thanks, Tim. I watched every minute of the DVD but must have zoned out during that part, because at the time I had no interest in anything SD-related...
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #13
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Thanks again Tim -- tried it out and it works just as you said.

Ted: looks like you were right -- thanks!
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