I've been attempting to make a 16:9 wide screen video on a DVD-R. I've been unable to find information that definitively tells me what the resolution should be. I keep coming across 720x480, but that seems to be for 4:3 specifically. I'd like to know what size I can make the movie so that it will be wide screen on a normal DVD-R and play without cutting off or stretching the picture on a wide screen 42 inch HDTV. I guess I should also ask whether or not that will look horrendous or still reasonable?
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Thread: 16:9 resolution for DVD-R?
If you're in the US then, whether 4:3 or 16:9, the initial resolution is usually 720x480. Those 2 sets of figures are the Display Aspect Ratios (DAR), and tell you how that 720x480 resolution will be resized for display. If 4:3, then it becomes 640x480 (480 x 4/3 = 640). If encoded for 16:9, then it will get resized to about 854x480 at playback (480 x 16/9 = 853.33). So, 720x480 isn't just for 4:3, but for both. Maybe this will help explain it better:
Non-anamorphic or letterboxed would be the widescreen movie encoded as 4:3. Anamorphic would be 16:9. The pics show how the movie will appear on both standard CRT 4:3 TV sets, as well as on widescreen 16:9 HDTVs.
The DAR is set during encoding, and again in the IFOs when the video is being authored for DVD.
Thanks for the info, but I'm not quite clear on which route I should take (yes I am using US NTSC). I apologize, but I read what you wrote as 720x480 is essentially for both 4:3 and 16:9 and everyone just accepts the stretching? If for the purposes of my project it is specifically designed for 16:9, should I then render off at 854x480? Obviously that version will look ridiculous on a 4:3, but that won't really matter in this case.
Now when you say DAR is set during encoding, I take that to mean that I set my project in my editing program to whatever size. I am doing editing work with rendered source footage, so camera footage isn't involved. IFOs I haven't heard of before though, would you let me know what type of settings I'd look for to manage how the DVD is read by players and such?
Thanks a lot.
Pixels, in DVD land, are not square. Your player will work out how to resize the picture for the aspect ratio you encode at. So if you encode for 16:9, the player will stretch the image accordingly. The authoring process takes care of creating the ifo files etc, so again, not something you need to worry about.
Your main concerns should be
1. Edit with a 16:9 project. You set this up in your editor. You can work out how.
2. Render the video as 16:9, and encode it to mpg flagged as 16:9. This may be one or two steps depending on how you work.
3. Author the DVD project as 16:9.Read my blog here.
Here is a guide I wrote, I hope it helps you:
It tells you how to create a 16:9 DVD video source file (MPEG-2) with TMPEGEnc.
16:9 video looks like this at its raw resolution of 720x480 :
You set the flag while authoring that its 16:9, the DVd player sees this flag and adds black bars top and bottom to give you the correct aspect. This example applies to 4:3 TV's.
Same applies for 4:3 video on a 16:9 TV but instead its pillarboxed with black bars on the sides. The settings on your DVD player and TV can affect this but if set up correctly and your videos are flagged correctly you'll always have the correct aspect.