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Old June 12th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

So just curious, I tend to always render my HD footage to SD-DVD as 4:3 with letterboxing just in case they play it on older TV's.. but everyone is starting to have a widescreen TV anymore.. what do you all do in regards to this? I'm finishing a dance recital this week and the footage is gorgeous, I hate to smash the letterbox on it!
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Old June 12th, 2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Hi James

Over here you cannot even buy a CRT TV never mind a 4:3 one so I have been doing all mine in 16:9 BUT they still play on a 4:3 TV and the DVD player simply adds bars at the top and bottom to keep the aspect correct. My authoring program (DVD Lab) allows me an option for this. As 99% of people would now have a 16:9 TV it's a better option for me rather than have to lose out of the width of the image or end up cropping the sides.

I would say that apart from Grandparents ..all people would have a 16:9 TV now surely??

Chris
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Old June 12th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Yeah good thinking. I'm wondering about at a dance recital though, lord knows a lot of grandmas are buying these DVDs and they may still be holding onto their old school TV's. May just have to roll with the widescreen and hope for the best!
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Old June 13th, 2013, 12:02 AM   #4
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

I think many of the grandmas have 16:9 now. Mine have for years. Maybe a few great grandmas don't. Since that is all that is sold, and that is how the news is broadcast now, even if they do not own a 16:9 TV, they are used to seeing it displayed on their 4:3.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Dance looks so much better 16:9 anyway, how can you resist? In 4:3 there is so much empty space top and bottom in stage performances.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Excellent point. Widescreen it is!
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Old June 13th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #7
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

I would think that anyone who still has a 4:3 tv probably hasn't got round to buying a dvd player either, so I wouldn't worry about it ;-)

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Old June 13th, 2013, 08:42 AM   #8
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Strictly 16:9 Widescreen with Letter Boxing here ....

All TV's play widescreen now.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Hi James,

A 16:9 DVD is the ONLY way to go. As mentioned earlier, most DVD players will automatically add letterboxing when connected to an older TV, so problem solved there. The vast majority of your customers WILL be viewing on a widescreen display and if you give them the letterboxed version, you've not only lost a bunch of quality in the encode, it is going to look terrible on their HD TV since it will show up as a small window surrounded by black on all sides. Create a 16:9 DVD and it will fill the screen on an HDTV.

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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:49 PM   #10
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

At a recent Recital I shot, the Studio Owner scheduled all of the Solo dances in Act I, followed by Duet/Trios and Groups in Acts 2 & 3. So... I rendered Act I as 4:3 and Act 2 & 3 as 16:9 (Each act was on its own DVD)
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Old June 21st, 2013, 06:22 AM   #11
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Does 4:3 exists? It must be collectors item....

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Old June 21st, 2013, 07:32 AM   #12
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

Hi Stelios

My version of Sony Vegas (10E) still has a preset somewhere in the render section for PAL DVD which renders out to a 720x576 video with a 4:3 Pixel Aspect Ratio. However I don't think any cameras or new TV's are available in 4:3 any more.

However I think the OP was asking about not doing a 4:3 clip but a 16:9 clip with letterboxing (side pillars) so part of the picture is not lost on an old 4:3 CRT TV ... although you lose image size a bit, top and bottom bars are preferable if you know it will only be seen on an old TV set. Most authoring software can do this automatically and if the DVD encounters a 4:3 TV screen it will add bars top and bottom so the picture width is not lost.

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Old June 21st, 2013, 08:44 PM   #13
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Re: Widescreen 16:9 or 4:3 with letterboxing for your DVDS?

If your source is widescreen, do it as wide screen. 4:3 TV will playback widescreen with letterbox done by the DVD player.

Another point is, DVD is always 720x480 both 4:3 and 16:9. If you do it 16:9, each pixel is stretched 20% wider. Then you add two columns on left and right, you will make the effective resolution even lower than 720x480. Too low.
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