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How to tell if DVD is truely anamorphic?

Old 01-04-06, 05:55 PM
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How to tell if DVD is truely anamorphic?

I didn't see this issue addressed in the FAQ, my apologies if I missed it.

My question is if there is a method to determine for sure if a DVD is truely anamorphic (i.e. "enhanced for widescreen TVs", meaning the extra lines of resolution are encoded on the DVD). I've used the Nero InfoTool on two DVDs to see if this would help me determine thier true nature. The results:

DVD1: On the back of the package it says: "Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85.1"
The InfoTool says the Video Format is:
NTSC 16:9 (Mpeg 2, 720x480)
Which would lead me to believe that this DVD is really enhanced for 16:9 TVs.

DVD2: On the back it says: "Widescreen presentation that preserves the original aspect ratio.."
Info Tool says:
NTSC 4:3 (Mpeg 2, 720x480)
That 4:3 would lead me to believe that this DVD is not enhanced for a widescreen TV, i.e. the move is not going to look any better on a 16:9 TV than a 4:3.

Is the InfoTool a good tool for this purpose? Whe is the Mpeg2 resolution said to be the same for the 16:9 and 4:3 as reported by the InfoTool, I think I must be missing something.
Many thanks if you coud answer my question or point me to resources that could help.
bob_ult is offline  
Old 01-04-06, 06:13 PM
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Sounds right to me. If you see 16x9, anamorphic or enhanced, chances are near certain your DVD is anamorphic.

If you see letterboxed or perserver the original aspect ratio without any of the above terms, your disc is probably not anamorphic.
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Old 01-04-06, 06:17 PM
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that information that Nero Info Tool generates is not always accurate, I would not rely on it.

best way to tell 100% for sure:

1. Use a 4:3 tv to view a dvd and see what the image looks like initially.
2. go into your dvd players set up, lie to it and tell it you are hooked up to a 16:9 tv and now watch the dvd again.
3. If the black bars disappeared or got smaller and the image is now stretched vertically, the dvd is anamorphic. If there was no change in the image, it is not.
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Old 01-04-06, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_ult
Whe is the Mpeg2 resolution said to be the same for the 16:9 and 4:3 as reported by the InfoTool, I think I must be missing something.
All NTSC DVDs are 720x480 pixels. The difference is that anamorphic discs use more of those pixels for active movie content, while non-anamorphic letterbox discs waste some of them on the black bars.
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Old 01-04-06, 08:14 PM
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why not just open the dvd in PowerDVD or similar program. In a windowed setting it should adjust to the image. If its wider=anamorphic.
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Old 01-04-06, 09:46 PM
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Seconding sureAV421's advice. Play it on your PC in a window; that's what I use to determine whether a DVD is anamorphic.
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Old 01-05-06, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevin Phillips
Seconding sureAV421's advice. Play it on your PC in a window; that's what I use to determine whether a DVD is anamorphic.
I third that too.
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