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4:3 vs. 16:9

 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 23
Registered: Feb-06
Are some HD shows shown in 4:3 instead of 16:9? Sometimes on HD channels I notice a show that is 4:3 (black bars on side) yet the picture is way better than on the standard channel. For some reason I was under the impression that all HD shows are 16:9? Additionally will all newer DVD movies play in 16:9 without stretching? When I played Walk the Line in 16:9 it put bars at the top and bottom of the screen instead of the side.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Formerly_fx

Dallas, Tx

Post Number: 36
Registered: Mar-06
Walk the Line is recorded in the Directors OAR, which is what you saw at the movie theater. It is 2:35 to 1 not 16:9 so you will get black bars as you described.

All programming broadcast on an HD channel is not necessarily broadcast in HD. One of the few 4:3 ratio HD movies (an HD convert from 35mm film master) is The Wizard of OZ. Most of the time you see 4:3 it is NOT in HD wheras nearly all (TNT is an exception) the time you see 16:9 or an Acadamy ratio it will be in HD.

xvxvxvx
 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 24
Registered: Feb-06
But are there HD shows in 4:3? I ask because I thought if the show on the HD channel was 4:3 it was not HD but sometimes the picture still looks HD compared to the standard channel. Thanks for info.

By the way, I was searching for OAR because I didnt know what that was and I found a great site that explains and shows the different sizes and how to best view them on an SD or HD TV. http://www.rexer.com/cine/oar.htm
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mofoknows

Post Number: 20
Registered: Mar-06
HD broadcasts will be in the 16:9 format.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 25
Registered: Feb-06
If that is the case can anyone explain why SD shows on the HD channel in 4:3 are still so much better picture quality than on the regular channel?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Formerly_fx

Dallas, Tx

Post Number: 37
Registered: Mar-06
"If that is the case can anyone explain why SD shows on the HD channel in 4:3 are still so much better picture quality than on the regular channel?"

Only you can explain this, no one else I know of has ever reported this to be the case. A point of reference would help to, so much better than what type of regular channel? A digital channel? An analog channel? OTA, being tun through your DVD recorder? From a Sat receiver? From a cable STB?

Basically you are miking a claim no one can reasonably believe or discern without a control video from which to reference.

xvxvxvx
 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 26
Registered: Feb-06
For example SD shows on ABC, NBC, CBS on the HD channels look way better than they do on the regular SD channel. I am viewing using the same input that goes through my Cox HD-DVR, no split signal or second input direct to TV etc. Nothing fancy, no recorded shows etc. just a live SD show on the CBS, ABC, or NBC HD channel, flip to the SD channel and picture is way worse.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Formerly_fx

Dallas, Tx

Post Number: 38
Registered: Mar-06
Thanks for the clarification D.,

It appears that the scaler on the HD-DVR (I assume it is the DCT-6412 or 6200) is better than the internal scaler in your display. The other possibility is that you might not be aware that different video streams require a different settings on your display. An HD transmission (even an SD transmission on an HD channel) will have different color, tint, hue and chroma requirements. For this reason I view my HD via a DVI connection and use a seperate component input for any SD Digital or analog viewing. I have each input calibrated seperately for the best picture (to my eyes) possible from the different video possibilities. I have a 3rd set of inputs (component) which I have calibrated for viewing my DVD's from my DVD player.

My DLP display also has a bulit-in ATSC tuner so I have that input calibrated for the digital OTA channels I ocassionally view.

Who ever said watching home theater is easy? :-)


xvxvxvx
 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 27
Registered: Feb-06
Thanks for the reply. HDMI cuts out on me ever so often and Cox told me they are not supporing using that connection so I am stuck using Component. Maybe I will hook up a second component and use my Avia DVD to calibrate that input as well. I never messed around with the Avia DVD much to see if I could use that on different inputs. Otherwise I guess I can just do it manually so it looks best to me.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Formerly_fx

Dallas, Tx

Post Number: 42
Registered: Mar-06
Avia will work great to setup your DVD input. For the others I just use my eyeball as the measure. After all what looks best to you is more important than anything else.

Good Luck,

xvxvxvx
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 834
Registered: Feb-04
D, I have found that my Avia-derived settings transfer very well to my cable box generated HD images, except for a couple very minor tweeks. But as Scoob says, you have to satisfy your eyes regardless of what is supposed to be the "correct" settings.
 

New member
Username: Kylekalivoda

Milpitas, Ca Usa

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-06
I just purchased my first HD TV and I've been a bit confused with seeing 4:3 formatted shows on the HD channels. For example the show "24" on FOXHD was coming in at 720p but it was in the 4:3 format. Other HD channels come in 720p but in the full 16:9 format, such as CSI:Miani. I have not been able to get any idea if this is normal or if I have an issue. I've called Comcast and they're sending me a tech but I'm sure they'll have no idea what to say or do. I will try eliminating my cable box all together and run the cable directly into my Samsung DLP that has a HD tuner and see if I get the same results. I have also noticed that the HD quality on some HD channels is far more superior than others. Not sure what's up with that. I've tried viewing HD so far using component cables, HDMI, and coax but I don't have an opinion on what I believe gives me the best picture quality. I haven't had enough couch time to give any reviews.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jdsaenz1

Post Number: 112
Registered: Jun-04
Apparently, it all depends on the original source (if it was filmed in hd or not). In most cases, networks will give info at the beginning of a show or program that it is "available in HD," so it was filmed in hd. Sure, any program will look much sharper on an hd channel (even if it's not hd material) because that channel is a digital channel (480p). A standard definition channel broadcasts in 480i; thus all material viewed is limited to 480i resolution.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Formerly_fx

Dallas, Tx

Post Number: 92
Registered: Mar-06
"Apparently, it all depends on the original source (if it was filmed in hd or not). "

Not true in reality. Think back to the 1950's, no HD back then just pure cellulose. However it happens that 35mm film has much greater resolution than today's HD programming. So all that needs to be done is an "HD convert" from a film master and you now have HD.

As I have posted in the past The Wizard of OZ was recently broadcast in HD on TNTHD, it was an original film restoration converted to HD yet still in the OAR of 4:3 ratio!!

xvxvxvx
 

Silver Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 922
Registered: Feb-04
I have quoted this sidebar in the March/April 2004 issue of The Perfect Vision magazine before, but it warrants repeating here:

Though films are not made up of pixels, when a motion picture is digitally scanned on a state-of-the-art telecine machine, the telecinist can extract as many as 4096 pixels of information across the horizontal axis. Widescreen anamorphic DVD gives you 720 pixels in the horizontal axis; HD has a potential 1920 pixels. In other words, video records and preserves around 53--83% less information than film does.

These differences in resolution are further reasons why DVDs (and to a lesser extent HD tapes) cannot achieve film-like sharpness, color detail, and dimensionality, especially in medium-to-long shots. We've all had the "pasty-faced blob" experience on DVDs. The director cuts from a big close-up of an actor, looking so sharp you can see the pores in his face, to a long shot of the same actor, and suddenly you can't even make out his face, much less the pores. Obviously, nearly all of the available pixels on the DVD were being used to reproduce the actor's face in the close-up, and in the long shot maybe one-twentieth as many. When you have a mere 720 pixels to start with (compared to film's 4000), one-twentieth the resolution represents a considerable falling-off. There just aren't enough pixels "there" to hold fine detail.

Though HD tapes and broadcasts are considerably better than DVDs in this regard, they still do not match the detail, range of tone and color, and dimensionality of motion pictures. HD tapes can look wonderful, all right. But they look like wonderful video. There is nothing wrong with this; it's just a fact we have to face, if we're gonna be honest about the differences between film and video.

(by Jonathan Valin)
 

Silver Member
Username: Jdsaenz1

Post Number: 116
Registered: Jun-04
Scoob, you're right. Now I remember watching all those cheesy horror flicks on Voom last year and remember thinking, "I love widescreen, but it just doesn't look as great as stuff I see on DiscoveryHD or PBShd or something." What I never realized is what John mentioned about what kind of resolution film can hold.
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