My idea: DVD Player with AUTO Pan and Scan

 
Old 01-21-04, 08:47 AM
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My idea: DVD Player with AUTO Pan and Scan

I am a widescreen purist. I, like many of you, am concerned with the growing trend towards fullscreen only releases and taking out of circulation WS versions when FS exists also.

I'm curious if they could make a DVD player that could auto P&S a widescreen shot, thus allowing for people who fear black bars to be happy as well as WS people. That way, all DVDs can be released in WS and we would not have to worry about FS winning the day.
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Old 01-21-04, 08:56 AM
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They already do. Almost every DVD player made can P&S a widescreen movie. Go to your player set up and you'll likely find 3 screen options:

1. Wide (16x9)
2. 4:3 Letterbox
3. 4:3 Pan & Scan

#3 does exactly what you are talking about. However... for it to work the DVD must have the proper flags to show the player where to P&S the picture. The thing is, most discs do not. Only a handful of discs are actually flagged for P&S'ing by players, most studios choose to release a movie as seperate versions or one or the other.

The question should be, 'Why don't more studios take advantage of this feature of DVD?' It would seemingly solve a lot of issues w/ the black bar haters.
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Old 01-21-04, 08:58 AM
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renaldow summed it up perfectly. The only DVD I saw that supported the auto p&s feature was The Last Temptation of Christ, and that's only because Criterion left the flags on by mistake.

I read somewhere that the p&s flags use up a ton of space, and it's actually more efficient to put seperate versions out.
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Old 01-21-04, 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by renaldow
3. 4:3 Pan & Scan

#3 does exactly what you are talking about. However... for it to work the DVD must have the proper flags to show the player where to P&S the picture. The thing is, most discs do not. Only a handful of discs are actually flagged for P&S'ing by players, most studios choose to release a movie as seperate versions or one or the other.
Interesting. I was unaware that this option existed. So does the image look qualitatively identical as the image on a disc which was mastered for P&S presentation?
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Old 01-21-04, 09:10 AM
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What exactly is 4:3 Letterbox? Is that like a standard TV show?
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Old 01-21-04, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by Yakuza Bengoshi
Interesting. I was unaware that this option existed. So does the image look qualitatively identical as the image on a disc which was mastered for P&S presentation?
Actually, the auto pan & scan on most DVD players is even worse than regular pan & scan. The auto feature simply zooms in and crops the image directly in the center, while pan & scan mastering occasionally 'pans' to the left or right after zooming in (if the main focus is off-center). For a visual example, there's a great extra on the Die Hard: Five-Star Edition DVD entitled "Why Letterbox?". It could be elsewhere too, but it's a great little featurette.

Originally posted by wfujosh
What exactly is 4:3 Letterbox? Is that like a standard TV show?
4:3 letterbox squeezes the picture on a 4:3 TV to fit a widescreen image, producing the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. If you don't have a widescreen TV but still watch your movies in widescreen, that's what your DVD player is set to.

Hope these made sense!

Last edited by Randy Miller III; 01-21-04 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-21-04, 11:46 AM
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Samsung are now selling players with a 'letterbox eliminator'. This is a feature which will zoom in any 2.35 movie to 1.78 so those black bar watchers with 16:9 tvs can stop moaning.
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Old 01-21-04, 12:26 PM
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The auto feature simply zooms in and crops the image directly in the center, while pan & scan mastering occasionally 'pans' to the left or right after zooming in (if the main focus is off-center).
True. However, as you surely know, these "black bar" haters couldn't care less.

Zoom features on players are the entire answer to the problem. However, many J6Ps and black bar haters are too lazy and/or irgnorant to even use a zoom feature and will just demand pan and scan movies instead.
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Old 01-21-04, 12:35 PM
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I think I've mentioned this before, but couldn't studios release a DVD that is anamorphic full screen? When watched on a regular TV (which most J6Ps own) it will be full screen, sides cropped, panning and scanning. When shown on a widescreen TV, it becomes widescreen.

I'm not sure what the logistics would be on this, I'm just the idea man.
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Old 01-21-04, 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by majorjoe23
I think I've mentioned this before, but couldn't studios release a DVD that is anamorphic full screen? When watched on a regular TV (which most J6Ps own) it will be full screen, sides cropped, panning and scanning. When shown on a widescreen TV, it becomes widescreen.

I'm not sure what the logistics would be on this, I'm just the idea man.
That's exactly what the DVD's that use the P&S flags do. Didn't you read any of the above posts?
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Old 01-21-04, 04:42 PM
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The sad thing is that the OAR battle will always be around regardless of new hardware and software. Obviously thge biggest battle right now is still WS on a 4:3 monitor. Now we have the 16:9 owners who hate 2.35:1. Soon will have 4:3 material being cropped to 16:9 when 16:9 sets are in the majority. The "screen fillers' will always be with us...
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Old 01-21-04, 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by majorjoe23
When watched on a regular TV (which most J6Ps own) it will be full screen, sides cropped, panning and scanning. When shown on a widescreen TV, it becomes widescreen.
Hold the phone folks.

I dont own (or have the funds at the moment for) a home theater with all the whistles. I enjoy my WS DVDs just fine on my 27" TV. I dont want something in full screen when I can avoid it.
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Old 01-21-04, 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by retihsuhnt
Hold the phone folks.

I dont own (or have the funds at the moment for) a home theater with all the whistles. I enjoy my WS DVDs just fine on my 27" TV. I dont want something in full screen when I can avoid it.
I didn't make it clear, I'm saying the the full screen release would also have anamorphic widescreen, not advocating doing away with the seperate widescreen release. You continue to sell widescreen for people who don't have 16x9 TVs, but those with them, or who prefer fullscreen, pick up the other release.

Maybe that doesn't make sense.

Originally posted by renaldow
That's exactly what the DVD's that use the P&S flags do. Didn't you read any of the above posts?[/B]
I'm unliterate.
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Old 01-21-04, 05:47 PM
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my dvd player has this. On the remote the button is named AFF, i'm not sure what it means maybe Auto Full Frame? The button stretches the widescreen to full screen size.
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Old 01-21-04, 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by Randy Miller III
Actually, the auto pan & scan on most DVD players is even worse than regular pan & scan. The auto feature simply zooms in and crops the image directly in the center, while pan & scan mastering occasionally 'pans' to the left or right after zooming in (if the main focus is off-center).
That isn't true. The auto pan and scan feature uses flags encoded on the disc to pan and scan the image from left to right, just like a P&S release does. The main difference is that you're zooming in on the image, losing resolution in the process.

The problem is, there have been virtually no discs with this encoding released. "The Last Temptation of Christ" had the flags to zoom the picture accidently left on, but there were no flags for the panning and scanning.

If you watch a DVD with your player set to this mode and there are no flags, it will appear widescreen as usual, with no zooming.
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Old 01-22-04, 01:25 AM
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Originally posted by MovieMaster11
my dvd player has this. On the remote the button is named AFF, i'm not sure what it means maybe Auto Full Frame?
Yes, that's exactly what it means.

The reason for the separate Full Frame releases is that the tech support, complaints, returns, etc., for people not knowing how to operate their own home theatre equipment is more costly than putting out a separate version of the disc.
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