4:3 material on a 16:9 screen at DVinfo.net

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Old July 3rd, 2003, 07:01 AM   #1
Capt. Quirk
 
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4:3 material on a 16:9 screen

This has got to the second lamest question I have asked here, but I want to know... When you play 16:9 formatted material on a 4:3 screen, you get bars at the top and bottom of the screen. What happens when you play 4:3 formatted material on a 16:9 widescreen?
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 07:32 AM   #2
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The logical answer would be: horizontal bars.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 07:53 AM   #3
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I agree that would be the logical answer, but in the real world, the logical answer isn't always the right one. Scary, isn't it?
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 08:12 AM   #4
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Oops. I meant to say vertical bars, of course.

Actually, there are two possibilities: either you get vertical bars, or the image is horizontally stretched.

Widescreen TV's don't care and let you choose between the two options. Or somewhere in between, with a feature called 'smartzoom'.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 08:16 AM   #5
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Aaaah... I have never had the opportunity to play with widescreen, which is why I was wondering. I also have never heard of smart zoom. I couldn't imagine a 4:3 stretched, but thought it might happen.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 09:28 AM   #6
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It doesn't stretch the entire 4:3 image, it keeps the centre in proportion and stretches the sides it actually looks OK and you get used to it after a while. Some TV's do it better than others though.

John.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thanks guys... I can sleep now :)
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 09:40 AM   #8
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Depends on the type of screen. Projection screens (often 1080i) get burn-in if 4:3 material is played on them in the proper aspect ratio, leaving vertical bars on the sides. So on these types of screens, the image is stretched, and all the people look fat.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 09:52 AM   #9
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The main reason I was curious, is that more people are getting the larger widescreen tvs. If I want to make video, keeping these folk in mind, am I to work with 16:9, faux 16:9, or just do it as a regular 4:3?

Just because I don't have one of these, or even know anyone that does, doesn't mean it may not become an issue down the road.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 01:05 PM   #10
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The answer is: it depends. All the versions mentioned are possibilities depending on the TV. My TV, for instance, has four options:

1) Display 4x3 content with black (actually gray, but that's so as not to burn out the screen) bars on the left and right sides

2) Chop off the top and bottom evenly to only show you the middle 75% (vertically) of the picture

3) Do a smart stretch where the middle of the picture is not stretched quite as much as the outside of the picture. This can look good, but horizontal pans look really wierd.

4) Stretch completely to fill out the wide screen. Everybody looks fat.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 08:19 AM   #11
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Peter's number 1) option seems to be the logical one: that way the image looks just like it does on a 4:3 screen. I would never want a TV that hasn't got that option.
I have seen TV's switching options automatically by the way. And sometimes in the middle of a program, back & forth. Horrible.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 08:34 AM   #12
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From my knowledge, and probably more common sense...If you play NOTHING but 16:9 material on a 4:3 TV, or vise versa (letterboxed) and its a CRT TV set, then you'll probably burn them black bars in permantely, of course you'd have to play just letterboxed for a while, ecspecially on new sets which don't seem to be as prone to "burn-ins" as older ones do. I left a old computer monitor on for like 2 days with no screensaver on the same screen...it got screwed up...
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Old July 6th, 2003, 01:36 PM   #13
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Every TV is susceptible to this problem actually, most especially projection TVs. But I've even seen it happen on plasmas.

The solution is to watch letter or pillar boxed material with gray bars instead of black. Gray will burn at exactly 50% intensity the entire time, simulating the average burn from a variable picture over time. There is, thus, little to no burn in problem. In practice, it's probably not perfect, but I've never heard of anyone having a burn in problem when using gray bars.

The best thing to do is pan and scan. For 4x3 material on a 16x9 TV, chop off the top and bottom and live with it, or live with everyone looking fat. For 16x9 material on a 4x3 TV, chop off the left and right (a vertical stretch is much worse in this case). That's the only true way to maximize your TV's life.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #14
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"I left a old computer monitor on for like 2 days with no screensaver on the same screen...it got screwed up..."

Monochrome monitors from the Commodore 64 era were fairly susceptible to burn in, suffering effects after showing the same image for just a few days. It would take months of continuous display to burn an image into a newer color monitor. Occasionally you will encounter color CRT ATM machine displays with burn-in. Newer ATM machines have screensavers.

Because plasma monitors also use glowing phosphors as the transmission medium, they will also experience burn-in issues, but LCD monitors and DLP RPTVs never will.

I can't explain why black bars would cause burn-in ghosting on CRT RPTVs. Burn-in results from prolonged phosphor activation, but isn't the color black the result of no phosphor activation?
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