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16:9 enhanced???

Old 01-22-02, 12:17 PM
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16:9 enhanced???

Hey all,

I'm looking into getting a new TV and I'm finding that some TV's have the 16:9 enhanced mode even tho they are the standard aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Can someone please explain this to me? What exactly happens in this mode? I'm sorry if this has been asked before but I searched and couldn't find a specific answer. Can anyone who has had both (enhanced and non) give me the pros and cons? Is there a significant difference?
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Old 01-22-02, 12:21 PM
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Did you look at this forum's FAQ?

There's a section that gives an overview about the question you're asking. If you want more details, feel free to ask here.

Let me also take a shot at your last 2 questions, even though I don't have a TV with a 16:9 enhanced mode.

Pros: higher resolution = more detail
Cons: costs a bit more than a comparable display without a 16:9 mode

Significant difference? Most people would say yes. I'd say yes, with the qualification that the larger the display, the greater the difference you'll see.
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Old 01-22-02, 12:35 PM
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I understand what it's saying but it says nothing about 16:9 enhanced for 4:3 displays. This is what i'm not understanding. How can something be 16:9 enhanced when the display itself is 4:3?
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Old 01-22-02, 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc
I understand what it's saying but it says nothing about 16:9 enhanced for 4:3 displays. This is what i'm not understanding. How can something be 16:9 enhanced when the display itself is 4:3?
From the FAQ
On DVD: Anamorphic for DVD is a simple process in the DVD authoring phase that adds more lines of resolution to the displayed picture. This is a benefit for widescreen TV users or those with 4:3 TVs capable of doing "anamorphic squeeze". Essentially the image is also "squeezed" when it is authored onto the DVD.
("anamorphic squeeze" = "16:9 enhanced mode")
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Old 01-22-02, 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by stevevt


("anamorphic squeeze" = "16:9 enhanced mode")
Aha...

so now the big question is...what IS anamorphic squeeze???

The question still is not answered.
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Old 01-22-02, 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by digitalfreaknyc

so now the big question is...what IS anamorphic squeeze???

From here

16:9 Enhanced Mode (V-Compression): This set uses a special technique that gives you maximum picture quality when using anamorphic sources, such as some DVDs. When using an anamorphic source, the height of each scanning line is compressed for 33% better resolution, giving you the benefit of all 480 scanning lines.
If you need more info, the links at the end of this forum's FAQ might be helpful.
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Old 01-22-02, 03:06 PM
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This may not be the most technical answer, but here goes. Please do not quote me on these numbers because I am not sure exactly, but the concept is the same no matter what the lines of resolution.

Say your 4:3 TV has 480 lines of resolution. When you watch an anamorphic DVD on it, then you are only using part of the resolution to view the image. Some of your resolution is used to present the black bars at the and bottom of your screen. When you watch a movie on an enhanced TV such as the Sony KV-36FV27(which I have) the TV readjusts its 480 lines of resolution to fit in a 16:9 block in the middle of your screen, therefore using all 480 lines of resolution and giving you a better picture when viewing anamorphic DVD's through the component video connections. I moved up from a 27 inch TV when I bought this TV, and I love it. The enhanced mode is definitely worth the extra money. And if you are like me, and living in an area where HD TV will be at least 5 or 6 years away or you are not interested in HD then I would highly suggest buying a TV with an enhanced mode.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-22-02, 04:17 PM
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Thank you!

THAT was the answer I was looking for. Made perfect sense

You just made up my mind for me!
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Old 01-22-02, 04:35 PM
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apowers is on the right track, but isn't completely correct. For one thing, you do not have to use the component connection to take advantage of the anamorphic mode.

As has been said, when viewing a standard 4:3 image, there are 480 visible lines of resolution. With a widescreen image, some of those lines are wasted as black bars. If a DVD has been enhanced for widescreen TVs, the image is stretched vertically during the mastering process to use more of those lines for the picture. If the movie was 1.85:1, the picture will use almost all of the 480 lines; a 2.35:1 image will still have black bars, but they will be considerably smaller. The end result is that, in either case, a third more lines are being used for picture.

A widescreen TV will stretch the picture horizontally back into the correct proportions. The image will appear distorted on a non-widescreen TV, unless the TV has a 16:9 mode. With the 16:9 mode, the image will be "squeezed" back down to the correct shape, preserving the added resolution.
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Old 01-22-02, 11:04 PM
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Ok...then having said that...

It doesn't really matter what connection you are using: RCA cables, S-video or component? Obviously I'd use Component because it's the best and both my DVD and the TV would be able to handle it. But how much of a difference would each make?

And I'm guessing that I wouldn't have to have a progressive scan player to take advantage of this???

Am I correct, sir?
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Old 01-22-02, 11:34 PM
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No, you don't need progressive scan. Composite is the least desirable connection for DVD, s-video offers a marked improvement and component is the best.
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Old 01-23-02, 09:26 AM
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Salty hit it on the head. When filming 16:9 anamorphic widescreen the camera actually uses 4:3 film and a special lens. When the movie is shown, a reverse lens is used to widen the image. That way the whole 4:3 frame of film gets used.

The non-anamorphic way is to simply mask off the top and bottom parts of the 4:3 frame to create a 16:9 frame within the larger square. Then, you just play it back that way and that's called letterboxing. However, with this method you don't get to use as much of the 4:3 square of film ... hence, worse resolution.

Same for anamorphic DVD - it starts with a full 4:3 frame and stretches it out thus using every last pixel available in the 4:3 frame. Non-anamorphic is like a widescreen VHS tape: you start with a 4:3 frame and take part away to make it 16:9 and therefore waste a good portion of your available resolution.

Analogy:
Non-anamorphic is like using a small negative to make a big print, anamorphic makes the same size print from a larger negative.
 
Old 01-23-02, 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by Gomez
When filming 16:9 anamorphic widescreen the camera actually uses 4:3 film and a special lens. When the movie is shown, a reverse lens is used to widen the image. That way the whole 4:3 frame of film gets used.
While the process of using anamorphic lenses for filming is similar, it is not related to what we're talking about here.


Think about this:

If you need to use anamorphic lenses to make 16:9 enhanced (aka anamorphic) dvds, why are some dvds that originally came out with a non-anamorphic transfer able to be re-released with an anamorphic transfer?

The answer is not that the film was shot with both kinds of lenses...
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Old 01-23-02, 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by stevevt


While the process of using anamorphic lenses for filming is similar, it is not related to what we're talking about here.


Think about this:

If you need to use anamorphic lenses to make 16:9 enhanced (aka anamorphic) dvds, why are some dvds that originally came out with a non-anamorphic transfer able to be re-released with an anamorphic transfer?

The answer is not that the film was shot with both kinds of lenses...
I wish they would have never started using the term 'anamorphic' when referring to a DVD that has been enhanced for widescreen televisions. The term anamorphic refers to a widescreen lens type that has been around a hell of a lot longer then DVD, and has absolutely nothing to do with the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. An anamorphic lens is for shooting in the (approx) 2.35:1 AR.
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Old 01-23-02, 10:42 AM
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Jeez, what a stickler for details! I didn't want to type a 5-page treatise on anamorphic widescreen but I'll finish what I started:

Anamorphic DVD works like the lens thing in the example above. Anamorphic starts as a 4:3 frame and is stretched to fill the 16:9 frame. Hence, all of the 4:3 frame is used wasting no resolution scan lines, which are about a quarter million pixels (basicaly).

Non-anamorphic DVD starts with a 4:3 frame and mattes top and bottom to change the square 4:3 to the rectangular 16:9 we all know and love. This is shown on your screen. Since the mattes (black bars) cover a good portion of the screen, you lose that available resolution. When we're talking about the Panavision 2.35:1 aspect ratio that is so popular you actually lose about half of the 4:3 frame to the black bars. This is frame that could instead be used for resolution, and the loss as about half. Hence, you end up with about an eighth of a million pixels. Bummer.

Summary: non-anamorphic widescreen bites the big booty with its vastly inferior resolution which can be about half of what you'd get with anamorphic love.

- The End
 
Old 01-25-02, 01:18 PM
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I have a 27" Wega with the 16x9 enhanced mode in it makes a huge difference. I'll try to explain how it works in laymans terms, as I'm not a videophile and that's the only way I could explain it anyway.

When watching an anamorphic DVD on a 4:3 tv without the 16x9 mode, you have to have your dvd player set to output to a 4:3 tv. This means that the player itself has to "downconvert" the anamorphic picture. This is done by deleting every so many lines of the picture (maybe every 4th line, but it's been a while since I looked this stuff up and explained it so i'm not sure on that number). Some DVD players do this better than others. However all of them corrupt the picture somewhat, and lower the resolution some.

When using a TV with 16x9 mode, you set your DVD player to output to a 16X9 tv. The player no longer has to down convert an anamorphic movie. The TV compresses (or squeezes) each line of resolution a little, tiny bit, so you actually get everyline of resolution on the screen, rather than having the DVD player delete every xth line. This gives you a much cleaner picture. The bigger the tv you buy, the more you'll appreciate the improvement, but I can tell you the improvement is substatial on even a 27" set. Also, when watching non-anamorphic DVD's you do not have to change the setting on the DVD player back to 4:3, you simply do not turn on the TV's 16x9 mode. Also, the higher end tv's will automatically detect when you are playing an anamorphic DVD and automatically put the TV in 16x9 mode. I believe out of the Wegas only the XBR models do this. Mine doesn't, but it's not a big deal as I have a macro programmed in my radio shack $30 universal remote to do turn it on and off with 1 button push.

Hope this explained things more clearly. If not I tried my best.
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Old 01-26-02, 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama


I wish they would have never started using the term 'anamorphic' when referring to a DVD that has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.
Agreed, the choice of the word "anamorphic" was unfortunate. My parents will never get it.

Non-anamorphic dvds, even those that simply say "widescreen," are like a laserdisc image. Laserdiscs can be very good and possibly up-converted by a pricey display, but an anamorphic widesceen dvd simply has more picture information.

I have the laserdisc and dvd "Video Essentials," which are both full screen, and the difference is immediate and obvious. The montage is particularly telling.
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Old 01-26-02, 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by LtlPhysics


Agreed, the choice of the word "anamorphic" was unfortunate. My parents will never get it.

Non-anamorphic dvds, even those that simply say "widescreen," are like a laserdisc image. Laserdiscs can be very good and possibly up-converted by a pricey display, but an anamorphic widesceen dvd simply has more picture information.

I have the laserdisc and dvd "Video Essentials," which are both full screen, and the difference is immediate and obvious. The montage is particularly telling.
I'm very well aware of the benefits of an anamorphic disc over a non-anamorphic one. I've never argued that point and never will. I still stick by my opinion that they could have come up with a better term for a disc that has been enhanced to fill a 1.78:1 widescreen display. As a matter-of-fact, not all studios do subscribe to that term in their package labeling, which is why it tends to vary depending on the studio. I think 'Enhanced for Widescren TVs' is alot more appropriate, as that is exactly what it relates to, in home video terms.

To those only newly-aquainted with the term as it pertains to the DVD realm, anamorphic=1.78:1.
For those of us who were into film long before DVD came into frution, anamorphic=2.35:1.
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Old 01-27-02, 12:21 AM
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Huh? Did I phrase it poorly?

No, I wasn't disagreeing with you, just expanding a bit. "Enhanced for Widescreen" would have been a better choice. Di$ney, for one, got away with tacking "Widescreen" onto all of the substandard presentations its various tentacles released.

And then, Ei$ner probed the limits of mandatory ads. Ack.
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Old 01-27-02, 12:52 AM
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While the term "anamorphic" sprung from the Panavision camera lenses used to expose film (compress 16:9 into 4:3) and then project in theaters (expand 4:3 to 16:9), I think the term is quite appropriate for the DVD format that is similarly enhanced for widescreen TV.

Think about it: a 16:9 image is squished into a 4:3 frame on a DVD and then stretched to fill a 16:9 screen. The end result and operational principle is the same as with the anamorphic lens process.

Even the motivation is the same: lack of suitable real estate. Anamorphic filming and projection was created because 4:3 film is much less expensive and obtainable than 16:9 pieces of celuloid coated with silver goop. Yeah, they started out with letterboxing but anamorphic processes resulted in greater resolution. Wait! Hold up! Sounds a lot like the same deal with letterboxed vs. anamorphic DVD if you ask me!

Why do you folks have a fundamental problem with the industry calling this process anamorphic when applied to MPEG, but no problem with the term being used for film?

Sheesh, I bought my home theater gear not even two months ago and at the time I didn't know any of this stuff. Now, it seems like every day I am compelled to set the record straight with regard to interlaced vs. progressive, anamprohic vs. letterboxed, auto-scaling vs. zooming, ad nauseum.

I even found an article in the February issue of Widescreen Review that incorrectly explained the purpose of grey side mattes in the 4:3 mode of a 16:9 RPTV (the article said that the grey bars prevent burn-in, first person who knows why this is wrong gets a cookie). Yep, you bet yer boots I sent an email to the editor setting the record straight.

Why do I do it? I love anamorphic OAR widescreen, and it sickens me that people are complaining to the studios, retailers and manufacturers about "those darn black bars" because their Uncle Bubba told them that this or that piece of equipment would get rid of the mattes. If the industry did a little better job of edumacation, weed al bee happyer consumer's.

OK, I'm off the soapbox for an hour.
 
Old 01-27-02, 12:59 AM
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Couldn't put it to rest, definition of anamorphic:

"having different magnifications in the horizontal and vertical dimensions"

It's the same thing, folks. Squish and stretch, squish and stretch.
 
Old 01-27-02, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Gomez
While the term "anamorphic" sprung from the Panavision camera lenses used to expose film (compress 16:9 into 4:3) and then project in theaters (expand 4:3 to 16:9), I think the term is quite appropriate for the DVD format that is similarly enhanced for widescreen TV.
While it's nice that after two months after entering the world of HT you have taken it upon yourself to educate the world (let's not forget Uncle Bubba) about their complete lack of knowledge about every aspect of the technological process involved with their viewing and enjoyment of DVD, the fact is...you are still barking up the wrong tree on this subject.
Feel free to chastise Gary Reber or Uncle Bubba about black bars all you want, the 16:9 aspect ratio has absolutely nothing to do with an anamorphic lens, period.

I'm still struggling to grasp where you gleaned this info: "...sprung from the Panavision camera lenses used to expose film (compress 16:9 into 4:3) and then project in theaters (expand 4:3 to 16:9)..."
Are you trying to say that a film shot in the Panavision (or similar 2.35:1 AR is shown in a theater at 1.78:1???

Feel free to (comment removed - stevevt) explain that one.
I'd love to debate this one with ya now, but I'd rather see the Steelers flog the Pats.
Cheers.



I removed a unnecessarily inflammatory remark above. See my warning post below, and try to consider other ways to respectfully disagree with another member in the future.

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Old 01-27-02, 12:36 PM
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Everybody,

This has been a mostly enlightening discussion of Enhanced for Widescreen dvds.

While the thread starter's question has been answered in several different ways, I'd like to leave this thread open so that we can resolve the last few remaining open issues. However, my concern is that, as always, I'd like you to treat each other with respect. This isn't always easy to do when you disagree with what the other person is saying, but it is a condition of your membership here.

Please take the above into account when and if you decide to add anything to this thread. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-02, 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by DVD_O_Rama
Feel free to chastise Gary Reber or Uncle Bubba about black bars all you want, the 16:9 aspect ratio has absolutely nothing to do with an anamorphic lens, period.

I'm still struggling to grasp where you gleaned this info: "...sprung from the Panavision camera lenses used to expose film (compress 16:9 into 4:3) and then project in theaters (expand 4:3 to 16:9)..."
Are you trying to say that a film shot in the Panavision (or similar 2.35:1 AR is shown in a theater at 1.78:1???

Feel free to (comment removed - stevevt) explain that one.
I'd love to debate this one with ya now, but I'd rather see the Steelers flog the Pats.
Cheers.
Sorry about the Steelers.

I didn't say that anamorphic was definitively 1.78:1. 16:9 is a generic catch-all for aspect ratios ranging from 1.78 to 2.35 wide. Simple nomenclature here.

Anamorphic is compressing a widescreen aspect to a 4:3 frame and then re-expanding it to a 16:9 format for viewing (whether this be 1.78, 1.85, 2.35 or even wider - it does not matter). That's all.

Panavision is simply a trademarked name for the hardware used in widescreen filming (emphasis on film), of which anamorphic equipment is a subset. This is not my opinion, just fact.

The only opinion I impose upon you folks is that the term anamorphic is appropriate for both film and DVD media since the process is the same (compress then expand), and the motivation is the same (increase resolution of widescreen using the standard 4:3 frame to its fullest instead of letterboxing). I am not an educator by trade or training, so I apologize if I have not explained this analogy clearly enough for some folks to grasp. The term anamorphic does not denote the use of optical lenses, although it obviously implies so to some of you. This is unfortunately an errant inference.

Perhaps another loosely-similar analogy will illustrate my reasoning: the term "manual transmission" in automobiles used to solely describe a stick shift with a clutch. This is how many people think of manual transmissions and always will. However, there is new technology known to some as the "manumatic" transmission that has a mode allowing one to exercise full control over the shifting, albeit without using a clutch. Your original argument applied here might be that this new thing cannot be called a "manual" as that term is exclusive to clutch systems, but I would conversely argue that it is appropriate because the origin and function of the name describes a like process and execution.

As for the whole Panavision incident, I am sorry if I confused you but bear in mind that the term Panavision is simply a trademarked name for a product generically known as widescreen filming equipment. However, the term anamorphic is not trademarked and only generic, and with gemeric terms one is semantically correct in their application if the definition fits the object.

Since "anamorphic" means differing magnifications in horizontal vs. vertical and the concept is the same for film and DVD, the term is appropriate and correct for both. Arguing that it is not undermines the industry pundits and underscores a personal unwillingness to change. You might as well argue that Pepsi is not a cola since Coke did it first with a different formula...
 
Old 01-27-02, 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by Gomez


Sorry about the Steelers.

I didn't say that anamorphic was definitively 1.78:1. 16:9 is a generic catch-all for aspect ratios ranging from 1.78 to 2.35 wide. Simple nomenclature here.

I don't know what else to say, and anybody that knows anything about the technology in question knows where the facts lie. I don't need to keep repeating them here.

When I read "16:9 is a generic catch-all for aspect ratios ranging from 1.78 to 2.35 wide. "...that pretty much laid it to rest, and there is no point in furthering this discussion from my end.


One last thing, 16:9 isn't a catch-all for anything.
1.78:1 is the aspect ratio of widescreen televisions. Some discs do come come in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Some don't.
A 1.78:1 disc that is anamorphically enhanced will fill a 16:9 screen. A disc that is 1.85:1 will have bars at the top and bottom, as will a 2.35:1 disc (with bigger bars at top and bottom).
Even though a disc is anamorphically enhanced, it doesn't change the aspect ratio of the film.

And I could care less about the Pats, I'm a Dolphin fan.
Paint drying would have been more exciting then pointless debating

As I said, I'm done here. Have fun.

Last edited by DVD_O_Rama; 01-27-02 at 08:48 PM.
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