Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD & Home Theater Gear
Reload this Page >

Why do I get dark bars on all four sides of the display?

DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

Why do I get dark bars on all four sides of the display?

Old 05-01-07, 09:06 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 103
Why do I get dark bars on all four sides of the display?

I recently bought a Westinghouse LVM-37W3 (my last TV was a 'traditional' 27"), and after asking for opinions regarding DVD players, I decided to go for the OPPO DV-981HD 1080p High Definition Up-Converting Universal DVD Player with HDMI, which arrived today.

I know, of course, widescreen DVDs are supposed to have bars on the top and bottom when played on 4:3 sets because of the different aspect ratio. But when I try playing discs now, I get four bars - dark black ones on the sides, and... dark gray, I guess, on the top and bottom.

So... am I doing something really stupid? Is there a configuration I don't realize I should change somewhere? Does the TV just not do what I think it should do?
eldad9 is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 09:16 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,609
Go into the settings of the DVD player to let it know you are now watching on a 16 x 9 monitor.
Xbox69 is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 09:17 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cultshock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: True North Strong & Free
Posts: 11,508
Is the DVD player properly set to 16:9 (not 4:3 or widescreen 4:3)? Is the disc(s) you are trying to play anamorphic (ie the back of the box should say something like "enhanced for widescreen TVs")? Did you check the settings on your TV? One of these may be issue.
cultshock is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 09:45 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lower Beaver, Iowa
Posts: 10,522
I'll third the advice for the DVD player's setting. On the 981, which I also own, in the DVD player's setup menu you want to choose "16:9 Wide/Auto."

The Oppo has an excellent owner's manual. I recommend you take the time to read it, and I don't mean that in a snarky way. The player has a lot of user-selectable audio and video tweaks.
Mr. Salty is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 09:51 PM
  #5  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 103
On the TV, the only option I can find that seems relevant is 'aspect ratio' which can be set to standard or 'fill' (stretch picture horizontally) - this is really not what I am looking for, I think.

The TV reports that the HDMI signal is 720x480p.

The DVD player has an option called 'TV display' that can be set to:
* 4:3 Pan/Scan
* 4:3 Letterbox
* 16:9 Wide/Auto
* 16:9 Wide

Hmmm... It seems that a DVD with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 works, but almost all widescreen DVDs I happen to have now are 2:40:1. Does that help solve the mystery?

I will read the manual; I'm sure it's got lots of lovely features, but I'm not sure it can help me understand this.

I'm constantly amazed by how complex video signals are.

Last edited by eldad9; 05-01-07 at 09:53 PM.
eldad9 is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 10:11 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
You need to set the player to 16:9. Probably either of those will work for anamorphic discs. If you are watching non-anamorphic discs, the rules change.
Spiky is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 10:21 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
clckworang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The toe nail of Texas
Posts: 7,307
Like others have said, if you are watching a non-anamorphic widescreen disc, you should expect to have black bars across all four sides.
clckworang is offline  
Old 05-01-07, 11:20 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lower Beaver, Iowa
Posts: 10,522
Originally Posted by eldad9
The TV reports that the HDMI signal is 720x480p.

The DVD player has an option called 'TV display' that can be set to:
* 4:3 Pan/Scan
* 4:3 Letterbox
* 16:9 Wide/Auto
* 16:9 Wide

Hmmm... It seems that a DVD with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 works, but almost all widescreen DVDs I happen to have now are 2:40:1. Does that help solve the mystery?

I will read the manual; I'm sure it's got lots of lovely features, but I'm not sure it can help me understand this.

I'm constantly amazed by how complex video signals are.
As I said, set the DVD player to "16:9 Auto/Wide."

Unrelated to your problem, you'll also want to set the DVD player's HDMI output to 1080p, which is what your TV is. That's the whole point of buying the Oppo.

Other than that, the aspect setting on your TV is what you probably need to tweak. Assuming the DVDs are anamorphically enhanced, 1.85:1 movies should fill the screen. 2.40:1 movies will have black bars on the top and bottom, but not sides.

If you could list some specific titles you're having problems with, we can tell you if they're anamorphic or not.
Mr. Salty is offline  
Old 05-02-07, 12:04 AM
  #9  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 103
Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Unrelated to your problem, you'll also want to set the DVD player's HDMI output to 1080p, which is what your TV is. That's the whole point of buying the Oppo.
This actually fixed the problem! Thank you.

The reason I couldn't find that setting was that it isn't in the menu; there's a button simply marked 'HDMI' on the remote that switches the output.

Oh, and it doesn't work when there's a disc in the player.

Reading the manual did the trick, though... but it's still strange that it's not a normal menu setting. Plus, they could have saved a button on the remote.

Oh well, now I know.
eldad9 is offline  
Old 05-02-07, 12:33 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cultshock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: True North Strong & Free
Posts: 11,508
Glad it worked for ya. I don't have an Oppo, so I didn't know about that particular setting. Good to know in case I get one of those in the future.
cultshock is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.