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On Widescreen TV's...

Old 01-22-02, 09:12 PM
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On Widescreen TV's...

Hey all..

I have a quick question. It seems to me that most thing on tv are in normal 4:3 - not widescreen - for example, the news. Now, if i bought a new widescreen TV what woudl it look like on a "normal" 4:3 show...? Would it put bars on the left and right, until the aspect ration was correct -- in other words, bars on the left and right (kinda opposite of a widescreen show on a 4:3) tv.... The same goes for a normal pan and scan DVD movie on this tv -- right?


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Old 01-22-02, 09:32 PM
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If you want to watch 4:3 correctly it will have bars on the right and left. However most widescreen TVs have modes that will fill the screen. My Mitsu has a stretch mode that stretches the sides and not the middle of the picture. It did bother me at first but after about a week of watching, I don't even notice it anymore. Some people think this is unacceptable. It's just TV to me, I care more about movies. You'll just have to try it out on a floor model and decide for yourself.
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Old 01-22-02, 10:21 PM
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Yep, the stretch is what I use on my widescreen. If you do the math you can get a bigger TV for the same dough if you get a 4:3 set instead of a 16:9 but to me the widescreen was just too cool to pass up.
Old 01-23-02, 08:40 AM
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Yes, the widescreen is really nice.

The 4:3 mode is okay, its a huge picture on my 56" Panny. But I too like the stretch mode. There is a Zoom Mode which enlarges the 4:3 picture so it doesn't all fit on the screen, a Justification mode and I think the other was auto. Justification is a good mode, stretching out the pic, I don't notice it a lot when watching sports, only on closeups of people, makes em look fat...Ally McBeal looks like a pig now!! lol
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Old 01-23-02, 09:33 AM
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I'm one who hates the stretch modes, so I zoom. This fills the screen with an undistorted picture, but cuts off the top and bottom - usually this doesn't matter.
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Old 01-23-02, 09:55 AM
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I watch all regular programming in "stretched" mode, which slowly stretches the picture towards the edges. It is almost unnoticeable most of the time. The only time is has an odd effect is during rapid pans, but those are so rare.
There is also the option to have grey bars on the sides so you can watch it undistorted, but I find that more annoying than the stretched mode.

But the true joy is in watching digital widescreen programming, like CBS' HD shows, or even the FOX widescreen shows, like X-files & Malcom in the Middle. The Rose Parade was also wonderful. Can't wait for the Olympics! It's amazing such a crystal clear picture can be obtained over an antenna.
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Old 01-23-02, 11:09 AM
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Has anyone compared the "stretch" modes for different 16:9 RPTVs? I'm most curous about how well you think the following do in stretching analog TV: Toshiba, Pioneer, and Sony.
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Old 01-23-02, 12:01 PM
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The mitsu definately has the best stretch mode. There is no doubt about it. But anyone considering buying a large 4:3 screen now, is crazy. most believe that 2-3 years down the road, 85% of all programming will be 16:9.
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Old 01-23-02, 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by JBabbitt
But anyone considering buying a large 4:3 screen now, is crazy. most believe that 2-3 years down the road, 85% of all programming will be 16:9.
Heh, not if they buy a 4:3 with 16:9 mode. They'll still have HDTV resolution on all HD broadcasts now and down the road... and a larger 4:3 image for the 85-90% of programming right now that is still 4:3, not to mention older 4:3 movies they might have in their DVD collection.
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Old 01-24-02, 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by kefrank

Heh, not if they buy a 4:3 with 16:9 mode. They'll still have HDTV resolution on all HD broadcasts now and down the road...
And then you'll have those 'annoying' black bars on the top & bottom.
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Old 01-24-02, 08:12 PM
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Sony 16x9s have a preety cool extra viewing mode in addition to zoom, stretch, and 4x3 mode. It is a zoom/stretch combo. It zooms in on the picture a little, not nearly as much as regular zoom which is pretty much unwatchable since it usually chops off the tops of peoples heads, and then it stretches the rest of the picture so people don't look quite so fat. It looks pretty good.

On a side note I was watching Boston Public on Monday and switching between modes. It is really unfortunate what stretch mode does to the principal. He is big enough as it is...
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Old 01-25-02, 02:16 PM
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Bcolon, I agree that the newer Sony widescreens have a very good mode for filling the screen with a 4:3 picture. It's called the "wide zoom", and does what you describe. For most things, I barely notice it. I have the KP57hw40 set.

When I was shopping for a new set last November, I was first leaning towards Mitsubishi widescreen, but their newest model had one of the worst stretch modes I've seen, almost like the "fun-house effect" at the circus. Perhaps the salesperson didn't have it right, but this guy seemed very knowledgeable and familiar with the gear. They had both the Mits and the Sony, and the Sony was far better in this regard, in my opinion.

After switching to a widescreen format (after more than 10 years with a Sony 32" xbr direct-view), I would never want to go back to 4:3. The wider aspect ratio just seems more natural and pleasing.
Since about 2/3 of my viewing is for films on DVD, the widescreen choice was easy to make, even though I've got quite a few classic films that are 4:3 OAR. With the Sony's "wide zoom" mode, most of those look quite good if I choose to fill the screen. I simply compare the normal versus the stretched, and then decide which way to watch it.

I don't think there's really a "correct" answer this subject, just what you prefer. For me, it was an easy choice, and the more I live with the widescreen, the more it affirms the decision.
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Old 01-25-02, 03:58 PM
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I have to express my complete disagreement with the statement that 2-3 years down the road 85% of all programming will be 16:9. There is no reason to think that this will be so. I would say that all network and new syndicated programming will eventually be 16:9, but that's about it (and it will take a lot longer than 3 years). Local programming will remain 4:3. The FCCs DTV requirements don't state that stations have to broadcast in 16:9 or even HD for that matter, they only require transmission to be digital. There are many formats that are digital and 4:3, these are also much cheaper than 16:9 and/or HD formats. For production companies, TV stations, networks, etc. the conversion to digital is a long and very expensive process. The station that I work at has spent several million dollars in the past few years on DTV and HD capabilities, but there just isn't much content available to broadcast. Only a handful of shows are being produced in HD and unfortunately it will stay that way for a while.
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