How to format 4:3 for widescreen at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 5th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
How to format 4:3 for widescreen

Most of my customers seem to own HD televisions. When I preview my work with them, which I still shoot in SD (VX2100, etc) it really bothers me that most of them watch it stretched out to fill their screen, thereby distorting the product. Often the bride will look heavy having been stretched, and as you all know it just looks terrible overall.

It hit me this morning there must be a way to render for the DVD that will eliminate this without stretching. Is there?

I could play with the settings and experiment, but thought it would be helpful to first ask here for ideas.

For example, if I render 4:3 footage with widescreen settings will it play in widescreen and simply have black bars on the side without having to be stretched?

Any thoughts?
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
I'm rendering out a project done in SD with widescreen settings as I write this, and it appears that the following is true.

1. It will play great on a widescreen but have black bars on the side, which on a 26" screen or larger should be fine.

2. It will not look right on an 4:3 tv.

3. So unless I'm wrong, the solution might be to simply give the customer a choice, depending on the type of TV the prouduct will be played on.

It also just occured to me that with the black bars some people would use the zoom feature of their TV to fill the screen anyway, distorting the image even more than it would've been to begin with.

What a pain this transitional period is.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I'm rendering out a project done in SD with widescreen settings as I write this, and it appears that the following is true.


It also just occured to me that with the black bars some people would use the zoom feature of their TV to fill the screen anyway, distorting the image even more than it would've been to begin with.
I have used the Zoom feature on my widescreen TV on letterboxed material and there doesn't seem to be any distortion. I think it looks much better then stretching the image.
Herm Stork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
I suppose if the zoom keeps things proportional you only lose resolution. Thanks Herm
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 146
You should be shooting in the format most common to the way your customer will view it. I shoot with a Canon HV20 and I shoot almost everything in widescreen HD, even if I will downsample it to just widescreen SD for compatibility with most DVD players. The HV20 gives me the choice of shooting regular DV in either 4:3 or 16:9, so I can meet any customer requirements. If you are shooting in 4:3 format knowing you will need to convert it to 16:9 you are shortchanging your customer because you are either stretching the picture (lesser quality) or giving them a letterboxed view (not utlitizing the full benefit of their playback device). You need to tailor your output more to how the customer will see it, and that requires making certain choices BEFORE you start actual shooting. You say it bothers you to see your videos stretched out. I'm surprised it doesn't bother your customers more.
Rick Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
I understand that Rick. I run four cameras and cannot afford to replace them yet.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Diaz View Post
You say it bothers you to see your videos stretched out. I'm surprised it doesn't bother your customers more.
I'm not. :) 99.9% of the population could give a rat's patoot about image quality. Almost nobody I've ever met with a 16:9 TV actually watches 4:3 content (of which there's still quite a lot) properly pillarboxed, and none of them could care less.

That said, Rick is right about being able to shoot 16:9 at this point in history. It's pretty much becoming a necessity even in small markets. 4:3 is dying out and will be deader than Abraham Lincoln sooner than you think. I know it's expensive to upgrade four cameras, but that's the nature of this business. I hate having my gear forced into obsolescence just as much as anybody, but that's the way it goes.
__________________
-->jarrod whaley.
www.oakstreetfilms.com
Jarrod Whaley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I understand that Rick. I run four cameras and cannot afford to replace them yet.
How long can you afford to not give your customers what they deserve? The Ohio market is probably different from here in L.A., but if I couldn't offer my customers the full gamut of what's available in video I would lose jobs quickly to someone who can (they're thick as flies here). This is a much more tech-savvy market and it drives the need to stay in front of the technology. If you're doing this professionally (people are paying you) it would probably behoove you to move ahead sooner rather than later. I tmight just give you the edge to go after a segment of the market that is closed off to you right now. A segment that can justify higher prices to help subsidize your equipment upgrade needs. Just a thought.
Rick Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley View Post
I'm not. :) 99.9% of the population could give a rat's patoot about image quality. Almost nobody I've ever met with a 16:9 TV actually watches 4:3 content (of which there's still quite a lot) properly pillarboxed, and none of them could care less.
That may be true for broadcast TV, but if I was paying someone to produce something for me on video I would be highly suspicious if they didn't at least ask what equipment I will be viewing it on and what format I wanted it done in. Maybe the Ohio market is less discerning, but if I delivered a 4:3 video to one of my L.A. customers, where HDTVs are ubiquitous, I'd probably be run out of the state. ;)
Rick Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 721
Rick, first of all, you're kind of exaggerating. :)

Second, my point was only that most people don't really seem to care one way or the other--that doesn't mean that no one cares, or that Jeff shouldn't care. In fact, I said that I do think that Jeff should look into upgrading as soon as he can.
__________________
-->jarrod whaley.
www.oakstreetfilms.com
Jarrod Whaley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
By far the largest of the wedding videographers (good friend of mine) in this area shoots in all 4:3 and has up to 50 weddings per month in peak season. And while he doesn't charge $2000 per gig, he gets good rates ($1395 for two cam wedding). He actually has 16 bookings within three days of each next week. I know he's sucessful, but even I was surprised at those numbers when we talked earlier today.

Relatively few here shoot in widescreen, and they are all relatively tiny operators. The second largest operator does half and half, mostly SD, because his shooters all own their own cameras and he can't make them buy new cams yet.

Rick, is what you're saying true? Of course. I have one HD cam but run it in SD mode, and will add more as I can afford them. Until then I'm looking for creative ways to work around it in post.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
You are correct Jarrod, many people do not care here. It is remarkable. I care much more about this than my customers.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 721
Jeff if your clients are OK with 4:3, then have at it. It sounds like they're all watching your video on 16:9 TV's though, and if you want to deliver to that format using 4:3 footage, there are very real video-quality compromises to be made. Even if a lot of people in your area are still shooting 4:3, it really is time to start thinking about moving up to native 16:9 cameras as soon as you can swing it, because your video is going to look worse than necessary on 16:9 TV's until you do--and don't forget that if you get there before the other guys, it's likely to give you a competitive advantage.

Just advice, take it or leave it as necessary.
__________________
-->jarrod whaley.
www.oakstreetfilms.com
Jarrod Whaley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley View Post
Jeff if your clients are OK with 4:3, then have at it. It sounds like they're all watching your video on 16:9 TV's though, and if you want to deliver to that format using 4:3 footage, there are very real video-quality compromises to be made. Even if a lot of people in your area are still shooting 4:3, it really is time to start thinking about moving up to native 16:9 cameras as soon as you can swing it, because your video is going to look worse than necessary on 16:9 TV's until you do--and don't forget that if you get there before the other guys, it's likely to give you a competitive advantage.

Just advice, take it or leave it as necessary.
Exactly my point, Jarrod. You can't stay competitive if all you do is cater to your customer's own ignorance. By giving them more than what they expected or knew to expect you provide more value. That can often translate into better word-of-mouth and more business, not to mention the ability to charge higher rates. This is not an industry to be complacent in because you will eventually find yourself passed by those who have more vision and better product. With all broadcasters going digital in Feb. 2009 there will be an explosion of HDTV sales in the coming months. Now is the time to start getting the equipment and skills to capitalize on that, not sitting back trying to figure out ways to extend the life of a dying format. Sorry if I'm being blunt, but that's the reality. The people left watching video in 4:3 after 2008 are NOT going to be your customers. Don't get left behind.
Rick Diaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Well, this horse has done been beat to death. Thanks to both of you. One last thing to throw out there as my friend says, HD cameras within my price range are useless for the much of wedding receptions, and in dark churces forget it. I think customers would prefer to see something in SD than not at all in HD.

I don't know about your area, but many of the old catholic churches here are very dark and can strain even my great low light Sony.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network