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Letter Box on 16:9 TV ???

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Letter Box on 16:9 TV ???

Old 03-21-00, 08:26 AM
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OK, I read a post where some guy said that he hates to watch LB movies on his new 16:9 progressive system.
I have been considering buying this type of system and was unaware of any bad viewing problems with non-anamorphic LB DVDs.
Can anyone explain the problem???
Old 03-21-00, 09:27 AM
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if he was referring to watching non-anamorphic titles, that is understandable as they dont take advantage of the extra resolution you get from anamorphic DVD's on 16x9 TV's... I'd imagine the picture is noticable less detailed than an anamorphic disc's picture.
Old 03-21-00, 10:46 AM
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All true, but take a look at a Pioneer 510, 610, or 710 for an example of how good a letterboxed movie can look. I have a collection of laser discs acquired all through the 90's before I moved to DVD, and they look VERY good on our 710. Not as good as anamorphic, but VERY good. I'm seeing them better than ever before.

Old 03-21-00, 02:02 PM
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While I do not 'hate' watching LBX disks on my 16:9 'progressive' set, I would say that I prefer not to.

I think the key issue here is 'progressive.' The problem is that most sets, presently on the market, lock into 480p anamorphic mode when they see a progressive signal. This means is that the set will treat the LBX image as if it were anamorphically enhanced and streach the image to fill the screen horizontally. You end up with with everyone looking short and fat (just the opposite of watch an anamorphic image on a 4:3 set).

This can be fixed by either getting one of the few players that can adjust for this issue (ie, expensive) or by getting a set that doesn't lock into 480p anamorphic mode (ie, Toshiba and I 'think' Pioneer Elite).

My current 16:9 set (Mits 46805) locks into 480p anamorphic from the progressive output on my new Tosh 5109. If I want to watch a LBX DVD, I have 3 choices:

(1) use the 480i S-vid output with the sets zoom function to cut out the top and bottom bars, thus usually keeping the OAR -- sometime it cuts off some of the top and bottom of the picture; or

(2) watch with bars all arround using only the 4:3 center of the set. My set will place gray bars on the right and left and the black bars on top and bottom are part of the DVD's signal; [This usually is the worst option]

(3) watch using the better progressive image from the player, but not in the proper aspect ratio, ie, everyone is short and fat.

I used options 1 and 3 last night to play around with the Abysis. I wanted to watch the commentary subtitles which would have been cutoff by the sets zoom mode, so I just watched a bunch of short fat people.

Hopefully, the next generation of both sets and players will resolve this 480p issue. It is not that big a deal to me, but most LBX DVDs mean that I loose the option of watching the DVD player's progressive signal.

[NOTE: most current 16:9 sets have built-in line doubling, so you will still get a progressive image on most inputs. But, using an outside line doubler is usually better and the sets doubling are disabled when they sense a progressive signal]

Old 03-21-00, 02:10 PM
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I have a Toshiba TW56x81 set and some DVD's that are letterboxed look stretched and not as clean as on a regular non projection set. For example La Femme Nikita looks alot better on a regular set than a 16 x 9 set. There is a only a few DVDs that really bum me out and even the supposed anamorphic DVDs never truly live up to the quality of Out of Sight which in my opinion the best looking DVD for a 16 x 9 set.

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