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  1. Hello all,
    Been awhile since I've been on so I thought I'd post to the newbie section again. Many of the Directv HD channels are now broadcasting movies in their original format (Turner especially), i.e. cropped to fit a regular TV. This gives large gray/black bars on each side of the display on a widescreen. I've recorded a number of movies like this on my Magnavox DVD recorder's hard drive. Is there any editing software that will allow me to crop the side bars for the entire video? I have an older version (X2) of Corel Video Studio but haven't been able to figure that one out yet.

    2nd question. The DVD recorder is HDMI. Is there device that will take an HDMI input into a computer directly from the DVD recorder? I was looking at the ADVC-110 for converting old VHS tapes, but I don't see an HDMI in capability.

    3rd question. My new VHS player (all my old ones died) won't allow me to play a commercial video and record on the Magnavox (no picture - I suspect copyright protection). I was told some time back that the older JVCs didn't have this problem. Can anyone confirm and perhaps provide a model number?

    Last question. Comments on value of a TBC? Quality of my old personal vhs tapes is not that good. Would a TBC help?

    regards,
    B1Lanc
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  2. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    This was recorded as letterboxed. Use something like avstodvd and select widescreen output. That should be all you need to do to get a proper 16x9 matte out of it.

    Older programs like the old tmpgenc plus actually had a crop window that you could slid the visible picture around to get exactly what you want and then encode. I'm sure lots of encoding programs offer similar options.

    Simply put search the forum for letterbox to widescreen and you'll find everything you need.

    [/quote]2nd question. The DVD recorder is HDMI. Is there device that will take an HDMI input into a computer directly from the DVD recorder? I was looking at the ADVC-110 for converting old VHS tapes, but I don't see an HDMI in capability.[/quote]

    One thing about that is the dvd recorder is still recording in analog. So even though it might be a "digital" stream coming out of it it won't be "high def" or gain any real benefit over a svideo output and a decent analog capture device.

    BUt to answer your question check out blackmagic intensity devices. They can record from hdmi (the unencrypted stuff - ie not commercial discs or most cable/sat boxes).

    Or the newer h264 recording boxes like the hdpvr 2 that have hdmi in. But again since its still a sd recording you won't gain anything other than a combined audio/video output rather than a svideo and rca audio cables if clutter is a problem.

    Do a search on tbc to answer your last question.

    Remember though there is no magic to make a bad recording look like a studio tape. You can massage it and apply filters and all that but if its really bad the results won't be that great.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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    1. Those movies are not being cropped to fit a regular tv. They are being broadcast to fit. Of course you can crop away the bars once you have captured the footage but guess what happens when you replay that footage on a correctly set-up widescreen tv ? The bars come back. Stretch the cropped video to fit that screen and the picture will look odd.

    2. Answered above. You need a capture device that supports a HD input. Your recorder may also have SD analog outputs so you can always connect those to an ADVC to convert to SD digital.

    3. All standard VHS have macrovision circuitry (copy prptection). There are 'black-boxes' available to remove that.

    4. TBC's will correct jittery picture etc. Some also work as macrovision removers. Plenty of topics on here about this.
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  4. Thanks. I know the TCM movies are not cropped, just broadcast in "their original format" according to TCM -I'm assuming 4:3. No gaps on top, just on left and right. Very annoying when watching.
    regards,
    B1Lanc
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    @yoda313 I'm pretty sure that avs2dvd has the ability to crop in the preview window.
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    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Thanks. I know the TCM movies are not cropped, just broadcast in "their original format" according to TCM -I'm assuming 4:3. No gaps on top, just on left and right. Very annoying when watching.
    regards,
    B1Lanc
    US DVD recorders record all video as 4:3. If you only want to correct the aspect ratio to 16:9 so you won't have to use the "display" or "picture size" button on the TV remote, use AVStoDVD to make the correction as suggested by yoda313, which should not re-encode the video, although you will have to re-author the DVD.

    To actually remove the pillar box bars, you will need to re-encode the video as well as re-author the DVD, which will take more time and reduce the quality a little. ..but as DB83 said, if you are viewing your DVD recordings from TCM on a widescreen TV, there is no good reason to go to the trouble of removing the black bars because it won't make your recordings significantly smaller and your TV will add the black bars during playback. Removing the black bars only makes sense if you plan to use an old 4:3 TV to watch them. If your intent is to crop the video to fill the screen on a widescreen TV, you will need to crop the top and bottom of the picture as well as the black bars, which means you cut off the tops of peoples heads and/or their feet. Either that or you stretch the video to 16:9 and everything is distorted. In my opinion either option is far more far unpleasant to watch than pillarbox bars.

    If you have to remove pillarbox bars for an older TV, you use AVStoDVD. Import the video, then click on the "View/Edit Title Settings" button on the right side of the window. Click on the AVISynth tab. Uncheck "Auto AviSynth Script". Check "Crop". Answer "No" when the program asks if you want to start the Auto Crop routine. If I remember correctly, use 92 left, 0 top, 0 bottom and 92 right as the correct manual crop values to get rid of pillar boxes applied to 4:3 material for viewing at 16:9. AVStoDVD will automatically re-size to 720x480 and can re-author a disc with a simple menu. However, you will still see black bars on a widescreen TV.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 25th Aug 2013 at 10:55.
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    <sigh>. There must be several hundred similar threads -- well, OK, maybe just a couple hundred. Forgive the rant, but...

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Many of the Directv HD channels are now broadcasting movies in their original format (Turner especially), i.e. cropped to fit a regular TV.
    Your later post is correct: they're not cropped. They are broadcast in their original display aspect ratio; that's the way they were created and that's the way film buffs want to see them. But likely there are some borders you didn't notice...

    Hollywood does not -- I repeat -- DOES NOT make movies at 16:9, nor at 4:3 for that matter. 16:9 and 4:3 are for TV and home movie cameras, not Hollywood. Some common aspect ratios for movies made around the world:
    1.37:1
    1.66:1
    1.88:1
    2.35:1
    2.66:1
    You'll note that 1.33:1 (aka 4:3) and 1.78:1 (aka 16:9) are not listed.

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    This gives large gray/black bars on each side of the display on a widescreen. I've recorded a number of movies like this on my Magnavox DVD recorder's hard drive. Is there any editing software that will allow me to crop the side bars for the entire video?
    Chances are pretty good that the black bars aren't on the video you recorded, but if they are there's a lot of stuff you can use to crop them. If you crop off the bars and make a new DVD with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the formerly narrow picture will be stretched, distorted, and blurry, and all the beautiful ladies will be fat as hell. Some people get a buzz from this. If you re-encode the new DVD as 4:3, you get a 4:3 image on your HDTV, with black pillars on each side.

    The analog outputs on most HD cable boxes output a 4:3 image in a 16:9 frame with borders all around it. The only analog outputs that put out HD are the component outputs. Some cable sources actually imbed those borders in the signal, some don't. You can always put the recording on your PC, crop off the borders, and resize the resulting 4:3 or 16:9 image, as in the above description. The better way is to get an HD PVR that accepts component inputs and records HD to a PC. However, 4:3 images will still be 4:3, and images that originally were 1.66:1, 1.88:1., etc, still will not completely fill the 16x9 screen and will have some kind of border to fill the void.

    So if you start cropping off parts of videos, ask this: what will your TV display in the non-image areas?

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    I have an older version (X2) of Corel Video Studio but haven't been able to figure that one out yet.
    Browsing the user guide might help. Surely the software can crop a video. My advice for Corel Movie Studio: avoid it. You'll ruin MPEG with it. No, wait....since you're intent on ruining them anyway, go ahead and use it. If it won't crop a video, maybe something from Pinnacle, Cyberlink, etc., can crop and do some re-encoding damage just as well. You can always load MPEG's into something like VirtualDub and crop there. While you're at it, deinterlace using field decimation, then stretch the video to 16x9. There are lots of choices available.

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    2nd question. The DVD recorder is HDMI. Is there device that will take an HDMI input into a computer directly from the DVD recorder? I was looking at the ADVC-110 for converting old VHS tapes, but I don't see an HDMI in capability.
    Your Magnavox isn't "HDMI". It has an HDMI output. It will output standard definition video ONLY. There are capture devices that accept HDMI, but they record from that machine as SD only. Period. Hardly worth the effort and expense; all you'll do is re-encode what you already own (which is another efficient way to degrade whatever quality the originals have).

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    3rd question. My new VHS player (all my old ones died) won't allow me to play a commercial video and record on the Magnavox (no picture - I suspect copyright protection). I was told some time back that the older JVCs didn't have this problem. Can anyone confirm and perhaps provide a model number?
    No such animal. You're confused about JVC recorders that had built-in TBC. Those were line-level tbc's for playback only. The output will still be seen as copy protected by your Magnavox. There are ways around this. See below.

    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Last question. Comments on value of a TBC? Quality of my old personal vhs tapes is not that good. Would a TBC help?
    Depends on the type of TBC. For recording VHS, a line TBC helps correct line-sync timing problems to reduce line wiggles and other artifacts. Such a TBC would be built in with some high-end players from JVC and Panasonic (good luck finding one that still works, and be prepared to pay for it). Many users work around this by using an older Panasonic or Toshiba DVD recorder or even some digital cameras as tbc pass-thru devices that correct many of those problems. Some of those pass-thru devices will also defeat many forms of Macrovision off VHS tapes and some retail DVD's. However if you try to record those tapes instead of just using the recorder for pass-thru, you'll have the same no-copy problem. You'll find threads on that subject in the forum.

    The other type of TBC is a frame-level device that strips old frame-timing data off the signal (thus removing the copy protection component) and rebuilds those timing signals, so you get perfect frame timing into your capture device. Unfortunately this process has no effect on line-timing problems, since frame TBCs work with frames rather than with lines within frames. So to correct both problems, you'd need a line tbc with a frame TBC following it in your capture setup.

    Among many ways to capture old/noisy/faded VHS to digital format, recording them directly to a DVD recorder is among the worst. But many people do it, and it's certainly more convenient than doing it properly. With any method, VHS->DVD takes time.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:07.
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  8. Thanks for all of the input. Not into fat ladies and have had problems with personal VHS video and audio syncing with Corel. I had thought TCM only started to broadcast their HD channel this way maybe 2 years ago (or maybe they didn't have an HD channel - not sure) and all movies filled my wide screen TV. Didn't seem distorted. For non-HD channels the show movies, am I looking at a picture that has been trimmed top, bottom, left and right?

    First VHS camcorder was in the late 70's (GE 3 piece) and I'm afraid the tape quality has deteriorated quite a bit as will all of the commercial VHS tapes that I'd purchased over the years some of which just aren't available on dvd.
    regards
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    I'm still working with old tapes from late 1980's and into the 1990's. so I know the problems and frustrations. It's possible to make decent digital archives, but it does take some learning and (mostly) work. With retail tape issues, the tapes can range from excellent film-to-tape transfers all the way to total garbage. I've used a full-frame TBC as well as DVD pass-thru units for the most pristine of these, recording directly to DVD with good results. But most of my remaining tapes are real headaches. Unfortunately, working with the horrors is really the only way to learn about video restoration.

    Of the few purely SD channels remaining (and viewing on my HDTV and old CRT, with an old SD box and a new HD box), the pure-SD channels don't add borders to 4:3 images. Now and then you'll see a 16x9 commercial on those channels that is letterboxed. The letterbox portion of that 4:3 image is in the original signal.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:07.
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    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Thanks for all of the input. Not into fat ladies and have had problems with personal VHS video and audio syncing with Corel. I had thought TCM only started to broadcast their HD channel this way maybe 2 years ago (or maybe they didn't have an HD channel - not sure) and all movies filled my wide screen TV. Didn't seem distorted. For non-HD channels the show movies, am I looking at a picture that has been trimmed top, bottom, left and right?
    The first jpeg was captured from TCM's standard definition channel a few years ago with a DVD recorder. The second is the original jpeg pillar boxed to 16:9 aspect ratio. The third is the original jpeg stretched to 16:9 aspect ratio. The fourth is the original jpeg cropped to 16:9 aspect ratio
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    and there are still people that think #3 and #4 are best - heartbreaking
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  12. Well as I am getting older, the kids are out, and maybe with some time (wife permitting) to work on this, I'm trying to restart this effort again. Tried it a couple of years back and very frustrating. First thing is some video authoring sw I guess. I have a cheap capture device but I really don't want to load Corel X2 again on the new machine. Was very frustrated with it.

    I looked at the Blackmagic Intensity, but there seems to be some conflicting reports on compatibility with USB 3.0 chips. I'm running and ASUS Sabertooth Z77 which has Asmedia/Intel and I've seen conflicting posts on compatibility.

    Thanks for all of the support. Very confusing and complicated for someone like me.
    B1Lanc
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  13. Originally Posted by KBeee View Post
    and there are still people that think #3 and #4 are best - heartbreaking
    So on non-HD channels on a widescreen, am I seeing #4?
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    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Originally Posted by KBeee View Post
    and there are still people that think #3 and #4 are best - heartbreaking
    So on non-HD channels on a widescreen, am I seeing #4?
    A standard definition channel broadcasting 4:3 material would normally look like #2 from the top on a 16:9 TV. It might be possible to see #4 from the top using one of the TV's "zoom" settings. You would see #3 from the top if you set the TV's "picture" or "size" to 16:9 using the remote control.
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    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Originally Posted by KBeee View Post
    and there are still people that think #3 and #4 are best - heartbreaking
    So on non-HD channels on a widescreen, am I seeing #4?
    Probably
    HD or SD doesn't matter - it's the aspect ratio that counts. 4:3 stretched to fill, or cropped to fill a 16:9 screen.
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    With a 4:3 original on HDTV wide screen, you're seeing #2.
    #1: 4:3 on a 4:3 TV, full screen.
    #2: 4:3 original seen undistorted on a wide screen TV at original aspect ratio.
    #3: 4:3 on a wide-screen TV, stretched to 16x9 and distorted horizontally.
    #4: 4:3 on a wide screen TV, enlarged to fill 16x9 (top and bottom of original are cropped off).

    Originally Posted by KBeee View Post
    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Originally Posted by KBeee View Post
    and there are still people that think #3 and #4 are best - heartbreaking
    So on non-HD channels on a widescreen, am I seeing #4?
    Probably
    HD or SD doesn't matter - it's the aspect ratio that counts. 4:3 stretched to fill, or cropped to fill a 16:9 screen.
    Nope.
    4:3 stretched to fill a 16x9 screen is no longer 4:3.
    #4 is missing 25% of the original image.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:08.
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  17. Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Very annoying when watching.
    It doesn't bother me in the least and I don't know why it should bother you. Haven't you ever watched that TCM short film featuring Martin Scorsese that explains why OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) is not only better but the only way films should be watched? Do you also object to the black bars above and below when watching 2.35:1 films on TCM?
    ...and all movies filled my wide screen TV.
    Maybe other channels, but not TCM.
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    Here are examples of happens when 4:3 material shown on a high definition channel is recorded by a DVD recorder

    This is how the HD picture normally appears on a widescreen TV
    http://files.videohelp.com/u/122551/1333%20pillarboxed%20to%2016x9.jpg

    Here one possibility for what DVD recorder records via a satellite box and what someone would see watching the DVD on a 4:3 TV
    http://files.videohelp.com/u/122551/Widescreen%20to%201333%20DVD.jpg

    Here is what the DVD above would look like on a widescreen TV
    http://files.videohelp.com/u/122551/1333%20%20DVD%20from%20widescreen%20on%2016x9%20TV.jpg

    Here another possibility for what DVD recorder records from an HD channel via a satellite box and what someone would see watching the DVD on a 4:3 TV
    http://files.videohelp.com/u/122551/1333%20from%20widescreen.jpg

    Here is what the DVD above would look like on a widescreen TV
    http://files.videohelp.com/u/122551/1333%20pllarboxed%20then%20letterboxed%20then%20pi...ed%20again.jpg
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Very annoying when watching.
    It doesn't bother me in the least and I don't know why it should bother you. Haven't you ever watched that TCM short film featuring Martin Scorsese that explains why OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) is not only better but the only way films should be watched? Do you also object to the black bars above and below when watching 2.35:1 films on TCM?
    ...and all movies filled my wide screen TV.
    Maybe other channels, but not TCM.
    Doesn't bother me either. What would bother me is Hedy Lamarr or Jennifer Lopez weighing 230 pounds or missing their foreheads at the top and half of their their boobs at the bottom. Ever see a closeup of a grinning John Wayne stretched to 16x9? Makes you question Hedy's, Jennifer's, and Johnny's popularity.

    Tell the truth, I don't think most viewers understand any of this. They only "see" a very small portion of what's up there. They watch Pirates Of The Caribbean, Bourne movies, Indiana Jones, etc., via DVD and BluRay on 16x9 TV's and never notice that they're letterboxed. They'll watch anything on the screen (most cable programming is proof of that). That pixels seem to be moving and making sounds seems to be quite enough for many people.

    Don't get me started.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:08.
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  20. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    Very annoying when watching.
    It doesn't bother me in the least and I don't know why it should bother you. Haven't you ever watched that TCM short film featuring Martin Scorsese that explains why OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) is not only better but the only way films should be watched? Do you also object to the black bars above and below when watching 2.35:1 films on TCM?
    ...and all movies filled my wide screen TV.
    Maybe other channels, but not TCM.
    OK, so I am watching The Adventures of Robin Hood on TCM and seeing bars on both sides. I put the TCM remastered DVD in and it fills the wide screen TV. Am I missing part of the top and bottom when watching the DVD? If so, guess I've just never noticed.

    BTW, there is no only way. I'll watch and enjoy as I choose and am able given current eyesight and yes I find the 2.35:1 films extremely difficult to watch even on a 60" screen. 60" screen is not equal to cinemascope in theater.
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    So what is the AR of the remastered DVD ? If it is 16:9 then some cropping has taken place. Depends on the studio/remastering process as sometimes they will not do a fixed point crop and vary it according to the scene.

    But if that AR is still 4:3 then your player is not set up correctly.

    Do not understand your comment about your tv screen size and cinemascope. Maybe you are sat too close to the screen.
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  22. AR of the DVD is standard format 'presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio...' so I'm assuming it is Academy Ratio and shown in 4:3.

    Cinemascope comment just means that cramming 2:55 or 2:35 to 1 into any size TV makes everything a bit smaller than the earlier formats. Just harder for me to see regardless of the screen size.
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    What concerns me is if as it now appears that your player or tv or even both are not set up correctly that could also affect wider films which would appear even narrower than they should. There is some stretching going on here.
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  24. Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    OK, so I am watching The Adventures of Robin Hood on TCM and seeing bars on both sides. I put the TCM remastered DVD in and it fills the wide screen TV.
    Maybe you have your DVD player set up incorrectly. The default is usually to output for 4:3 televisions, which will stretch the picture when viewed on widescreen TV sets. Go into the setup menu and make sure your DVD player is outputting for 16:9 or widescreen TVs.
    BTW, there is no only way. I'll watch and enjoy as I choose and am able given current eyesight and yes I find the 2.35:1 films extremely difficult to watch even on a 60" screen.
    Suit yourself. Just don't come to a Videohelp site and expect any sort of support for or confirmation of your silly ideas.
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  25. Didn't realize that poor eyesight was a silly idea. Oh well.
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    Ah, but Olivia all stretched out? You calibrated your TV using ISF standard methods, of course, lest you miss out on all the fun. That issue of Robin Hood is one of the best transfers from classic-era Technicolor ever made, anywhere, anytime. But I would agree. It does lose something compared to a good print seen in a movie house. Unfortunately, digital video can't compare to film. The closest thing to original movie quality was a good, properly set up CRT. ANd that still wasn'rt as good as a decent movie house. Alas, LCD's are a poor third.

    As suggested earlier, your DVD player isn't set up correctly. Or, let's say, it's set up to correctly distort images the way you like them. They're your videos; video and tech forums won't tell you what to do, but I don't know of any video or tech forum that would advise you to do what you're doing. But I think you're really "watching your TV", not watching movies. Enjoy,anyway.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:08.
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  27. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    What concerns me is if as it now appears that your player or tv or even both are not set up correctly that could also affect wider films which would appear even narrower than they should. There is some stretching going on here.
    DVD player is set to 16:9. Put a dvd called The Purple Plain in (standard format). The advertisement at the beginning is a for MGM films and shows in wide screen on TV (border on top and bottom) as does the poor quality warning short about pirating afterward. The movie itself fills screen top to bottom. There are 3 settings under HDMI and then wide screen on the DVD player itself 4:3 pillar box, super wide, and off. Setting it to 4:3 pillar shows in pillar but the picture looks very tall and compressed horizontally (tall skinny figures). Setting it to super wide causes blurring on the left and right side of the film, but no loss of vertical scene (I paused it on a scene with background stones so I could tell if the joints moved). Setting it to off cuts some of the picture left and right, but again not vertically - same seams between the background castle wall. DVD player is a Phillips DVP3560 which I like because I can play both NTSC and PAL.
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    A DVD player should play 4:3 as 4:3 and 16:9 as 16:9. DVD encoding has only two aspect ratios: 4:3 or 16:9. Videos are encoded to play properly within those two output modes. Unfortunately many players don't automatically adjust to the source. A very common annoyance. It's best to leave TV's set to "auto" (they seem to be better at it than most players) and readjust just one component when needed, namely the player. But your wide angle edges shouldn't be out of focus. Something's amiss there.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:08.
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    Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
    OK, so I am watching The Adventures of Robin Hood on TCM and seeing bars on both sides. I put the TCM remastered DVD in and it fills the wide screen TV. Am I missing part of the top and bottom when watching the DVD? If so, guess I've just never noticed.
    IMDb says the OAR of The Adventures of Robin Hood is 1.37:1, the Academy aspect ratio, as you stated in another post after this one. The remastered DVD sold by TCM is supposed to be Fullscreen (4:3) so if the movie fills a widescreen TV from top to bottom and from side to side, you have set up the TV or the DVD player to either stretch the movie to 16:9 or zoom the movie so a portion of the top and bottom of the picture are cropped away.

    Watch however you want, although I don't understand how it doesn't bother you. I can't take watching a highly distorted picture, and it also bothers me if too many scenes are framed incorrectly, which is bound to happen if a movie is badly cropped.
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    Your comment 'fills the screen top to bottom' for a 4:3 disk baffles me since I would expect that. What is more important is left and right since if that is also filled then that is where the error lays.

    If you have 16:9 output set then that could well be stretching the 4:3 disks. Does the player have an 'auto' setting so it, theoretically, reads the ifo.

    Setting 4:3 under hdmi for a 16:9 disk will give the horizontal squashing since you are now not allowing the player to anamorphacally strecth the SAR.
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