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4.3 or 16.9

Old 09-04-06, 01:33 PM
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4.3 or 16.9

Please help me understand this a little better. I watch mostly TV but was not much to choose from in 4.3 so got a large screen 48 Hitachi LCD wide screen TV. Seems it would have been better if everything stayed 4.3 size. Know I have to put up with the bars on the sides when watching TV. But do I have to have bars on top and bottom when watching some DVDs now also?
Had bars on top and bottom of last 2 DVD we rented. Last on was called Silent Hill and said on cover widescreen and anamomorphic widescreen 2.35.1
Had TV and Pioneer DVD set on 16.9
Thanks for any help just trying to understand why. Seems like such a waste to have a large screen but only use part of it.
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Old 09-04-06, 02:24 PM
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Yes, you will see bars still on a widescreen TV, just not as much. Many movies have a wide aspect ration that 16x9, so since it's wider than the 16x9 screen, you'll still see some unused space on the screen. But there's a lot of movies (usually comedies, think 40 Yr. Old Virgin) that use a 16x9 aspect ratio. There's different widescreen ratios around, and the 16x9 is the 'standard' for widescreen TV because it's the 'largest' widescreen ratio... by that I mean on a standard 4:3 screen you'll see less 'bars' than you would on something like LOTR.

I know at first it's a little discomforting, but just remember... how much more of the unused space would you see if you had a standard 4:3 tv?
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Old 09-04-06, 02:28 PM
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I would encourage you to read all the information at this link: All About Aspect Ratios
It will help you to understand what is happening. Your widescreen TV is in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Basically, with a movie in 2.35:1 aspect ratio you will have bars top and bottom (but not on sides) as the movie was shot wider than your TV screen. A widescreen movie in 1.85:1 aspect ratio will pretty much fill your screen with no bars, although there are small bars top and bottom, due to overscan most of us do not see them. This is what is called the movies Original Aspect Ratio (OAR). The movie director determines what aspect ratio to shoot the movie in. For many people widescreen and OAR is the only way will watch movies if at all possible. Hope this info helps.
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Old 09-04-06, 02:32 PM
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You had bars on the top and bottom of your Silent Hill DVD because the film itself is wider than a widescreen TV. Your TV has a ratio of 169 or 1.77:1. Generally, movies that are 1.85:1 will have no bars on them whatsoever. Older TV shows and older movies (especially in the 1930s to 1950s) may be the shape of a "regular" TV set. That's a ratio of 1.33:1. Those movies have bars on the sides of your widescreen TV set. Some movies may be 2.35:1 (or higher). Those movies may have bars at the top and bottom of your set.

So for movies where the aspect ratio is lower than 1.85 you may see bars on the sides. That's OK.

For movies where the aspect ratio is higher than 1.85 you may see bars on the top and bottom. That's OK too, of course.

The extra screen space you have gives you options and is a good mix between very "wide" movies and not so "wide" stuff like TV shows. The bars in themselves aren't bad.

Bars are there so that nothing that was filmed is "chopped off" by making the image different than it was originally captured. TV shows aren't chopped off so you don't lose the top and bottom of the image. Imagine seeing the monologue at the beginning of Seinfeld, but not seeing Jerry's eyes.

It's the same with "higher number" films (those with aspect ratios of 2.35:1). Take this shot from Lord of the Rings for example:

That's how it would look "chopped" on your TV. Rather than cutting away parts of the film, black bars are added so you can see everything:

See how you can see the plume of smoke and the other stuff happening on the far right? You'd miss it without the bars. When each show/movie was made (with a few few exceptions), the director and cinematographer had a specific way of "framing" everything so that you could see what they wanted you to see. Without the bars, it's like buying a book where you can't see the first or last five lines of every page. You can follow along, but it would be a bit confusing!

This is why it's a good idea to get as big of a TV as possible so you can see any image in the correct intended aspect ratio. Some TVs have settings to eliminate the bars but what they do is either chop the image (a no-no) or stretch it so everyone looks short and stubby or tall and skinny.

The only way to get rid of bars is to show movies the way theatres do: by a projector.

Hope this has helped.

Last edited by The Bus; 09-04-06 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-04-06, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for all replys. At least I understand it better now. And know everything is working like it supposed to.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:41 PM
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Also bear in mind that you are not wasting anything. There is no rule that I am aware of that says every pixel needs to be filled.

The OAR image is exactly the way the film was made.
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Old 09-08-06, 02:59 AM
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Indeed showing inthe OAR is the preffered method and the bars wont dissapear, but they will be smaller then they would on a normal 4:3 TV. Since the aspect ratio of the movie is wider then the TV you will see the bars.....I have seen 2.35 TVs they are very rare...the Best bet would be to go to a projector to get that aspect ratio....if you go to avsforums..they ahve a TON of information on this subject and on the Audio/Video subject.
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