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  1. Member
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    What went wrong with this DVD? All video's have black bars around all four sides (see screenshots attached).

    Since the original films have an aspect ratio of 4:3, one would not expect black bars on top and bottom, only on the sides.

    Did the editors forgot to put a 4:3 flag?

    Some scenes on the DVD are originally 16:9. Those have black bars on the top and bottom.

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    Last edited by HitTheRoad; 24th Nov 2013 at 13:18.
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    Some scenes on the DVD are originally 16:9.
    Really? 50's and 60's TV was 16:9?
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by HitTheRoad
    Some scenes on the DVD are originally 16:9.
    Really? 50's and 60's TV was 16:9?
    The 16:9 scenes are introductions, title screens, etcetera.
    The 50's and 60's scenes are all 4:3.
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    Anamorphic 16:9 DVD viewed on a 4:3 TV?
    Isn't that what you would expect if the 4:3 content was encoded with the pillar box Vs. cropped top and bottom?
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  5. Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    Did the editors forgot to put a 4:3 flag?
    You can't 'forget' to put a flag. And if the video plays in the right aspect ratio it's the correct flag. How about a sample so we can decide for ourselves? Until then we're only guessing. You should have posted a video sample to begin with.

    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    Anamorphic 16:9 DVD viewed on a 4:3 TV?
    Yes, that's what you'd get but do we know the pics are from the TV? If so I think you're probably right and the DVD creators are idiots. They're probably idiots anyway.
    Last edited by manono; 24th Nov 2013 at 12:58.
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    How about a sample so we can decide for ourselves?
    Sorry, forgot to upload video samples. Here they are:

    http://files.videohelp.com/u/203833/GG1%20Title%201%20(Ch1%20-%20Ch1).vob

    http://files.videohelp.com/u/203833/GG1%20Title%201%20(Ch2%20-%20Ch2).vob

    Anamorphic 16:9 DVD viewed on a 4:3 TV?
    Isn't that what you would expect if the 4:3 content was encoded with the pillar box Vs. cropped top and bottom?
    As you can see the screenshots are NOT from a 16:9 DVD viewed on a 4:3 TV.

    Furthermore, this is from a recent DVD.
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  7. It's a 16:9 program letterboxed in a 4:3 stream. It looks like the SD output from many HD cable boxes.
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    It's a 16:9 program letterboxed in a 4:3 stream. It looks like the SD output from many HD cable boxes.
    Okay, so the editor made the mistake to produce this DVD for vintage 4:3 tv sets?
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    When ripped, can I fix the VOB's/MPEG2's? I'd like to be able to watch the 4:3 video's on my widescreen tv, without black bars on top and on the bottom, just with the usual bars on the right and on the left.
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  10. Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    When ripped, can I fix the VOB's/MPEG2's?
    Not when ripping. You'll have to crop, resize, and reencode. And after all that it probably won't look any better. It'll look much like what you get when using the zoom on your remote control.
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  11. Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    When ripped, can I fix the VOB's/MPEG2's? I'd like to be able to watch the 4:3 video's on my widescreen tv, without black bars on top and on the bottom, just with the usual bars on the right and on the left.
    For the LEAST loss of quality (and least hassle,) use the "zoom" or similar button on your TV's remote to watch the picture larger. Anything else requires cropping and reencoding.

    edit: oops, manono hit "post" first. So there you go, the same opinion from two different sources.
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    What happened here is the vintage footage was used within a 16:9 show by using Pillarboxing (bars to the left and right), and then the whole thing was letterboxed to a 4:3 frame and put on DVD like that.

    Not very clever:

    - It will give windowboxing on a 4:3 TV with the vintage footage (the modern footage will be letterboxed which is OK)

    - It will give windowboxing at all times on a 16:9 TV (unless you use 16:9 zoom, see below)


    With a 16:9 TV the right thing to do with any letterboxed 4:3 DVD or TV broadcast is to make use of the TV's 16:9 zoom (zoom != stretching). This will enlarge the picture, keeping the proportions, so that the horizontal borders of the encoded image on DVD will touch the sides on a 16:9 TV, cutting off the letterbox at the top and bottom. This will result in no black bars at all for the modern content and pillarboxing for the vintage footage.
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    Sad to hear there's no proper way to fix this.

    With a 16:9 TV the right thing to do with any letterboxed 4:3 DVD or TV broadcast is to make use of the TV's 16:9 zoom (zoom != stretching). This will enlarge the picture, keeping the proportions, so that the horizontal borders of the encoded image on DVD will touch the sides on a 16:9 TV, cutting off the letterbox at the top and bottom. This will result in no black bars at all for the modern content and pillarboxing for the vintage footage.
    This will result in loss of quality.
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  14. Whomever ripped this off from PBS made this copy badly. That's what pirates do.
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    Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    This will result in loss of quality.
    Well, of course, that's exactly the loss which was introduced the moment the picture was letterboxed and put on DVD like that. That's the only reason anamorphic 16:9 exists.
    There's nothing better you can do about it.
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  16. Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    There's nothing better you can do about it.
    Sure there is. Buy the properly mastered DVDs and support your local public television station.
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    Whomever ripped this off from PBS made this copy badly. That's what pirates do.
    Buy the properly mastered DVDs and support your local public television station.
    This is no pirate DVD! I received it, along with two other DVD's that have the same problem, from PBS affiliate Eight as a thank you gift for pledging.
    The DVD set was produced by MyMusic and distributed by Forest Incentives.

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    Last edited by HitTheRoad; 24th Nov 2013 at 15:01.
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  18. What a mess. Even the PBS YouTube version looks better.

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    Here's another legal PBS DVD gone wrong:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ALHTCCY/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's all original 4:3 material stretched to 16:9, resulting in a distorted picture with the performers looking shorter and wider.
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  20. Originally Posted by HitTheRoad View Post
    Here's another legal PBS DVD gone wrong:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ALHTCCY/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's all original 4:3 material stretched to 16:9, resulting in a distorted picture with the performers looking shorter and wider.
    If I'm understanding your description correctly, that seems less problematic (though still wrong) because it might simply be missing the 16:9 flag. It should be correctable by hitting the "aspect" button on the remote or changing the headers on the mpeg files without having to reencode. No loss of resolution entailed.

    The Girl Grooves video actually has the picture reduced and unnecessary black bars added in.

    PBS has very strict broadcast standards, I'm surprised they would let this kind of thing go out with their imprimatur.
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  21. On another note, a lot of companies will produce their 4:3 DVDs as widescreen by adding bars to the top and bottom. The only thing this really does is shrink the viewing area to be much smaller. Phantasm 1 and the original version of Halloween 3 on DVD both did this.
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    Originally Posted by MindController View Post
    On another note, a lot of companies will produce their 4:3 DVDs as widescreen by adding bars to the top and bottom. The only thing this really does is shrink the viewing area to be much smaller. Phantasm 1 and the original version of Halloween 3 on DVD both did this.
    Then the DVD's are screwed up. Neither of those movies was produced as 4:3, nor was either of them produced as 16:9. Any way you look at it, most Hollywood films are wider than 16:9 and will always display with some form of letterbox on all TV's, including widescreen TV's. Of course, it's a cheap trick to shrink a movie to a letterboxed 4:3 instead of a letterboxed frame with 16:9 DAR.

    Wondering how you resized the image you just posted. The image inside that letterbox is 1.73:1, which would not be correct for either of the films you mention.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:25.
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  23. Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Originally Posted by MindController View Post
    On another note, a lot of companies will produce their 4:3 DVDs as widescreen by adding bars to the top and bottom. The only thing this really does is shrink the viewing area to be much smaller. Phantasm 1 and the original version of Halloween 3 on DVD both did this.
    Then the DVD's are screwed up. Neither of those movies was produced as 4:3, nor was either of them produced as 16:9. Any way you look at it, most Hollywood films are wider than 16:9 and will always display with some form of letterbox on all TV's, including widescreen TV's. Of course, it's a cheap trick to shrink a movie to a letterboxed 4:3 instead of a letterboxed frame with 16:9 DAR.

    Wondering how you resized the image you just posted. The image inside that letterbox is 1.73:1, which would not be correct for either of the films you mention.

    I recorded a video of me playing part of the movie through VLC for some perspective and then cycling through the different aspect ratios:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz5rFiYaC0I&feature=youtu.be



    Also, my desktop resolution is 1280x800.
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    No one can conclude so much from the UTube link, as no information accompanies it. It actually looks like an HD broadcast downsampled for the s-video output from an HD cable box. Anyway, I understand what you mean by older DVD issues and aspect ratios. I received a similar issue of another widescreen movie some years back. Returned it to Amazon next day for a refund, even though the return postage ate up most of the refund. I won't watch some tyro's ****amamie brainstorms about how to re-design someone else's work.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 13:25.
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    Some older DVDs are letterboxed because there simply was no anamorphic film transfer of that movie available yet and doing one was probably too expensive.
    One famous example is the first PAL DVD release (2001) of the movie Titanic. It was 2:35:1 letterboxed to a 4:3 frame. Sounds bad but it was OK at the time considering it was probably watched on 4:3 TVs 99%. The rest 1% had to use the zoom feature of their TV.


    Actually there is a flag in the IFOs which, if set, is supposed to tell the TV the picture is not full 4:3 but letterboxed. This would make a widescreen TV switch to it's 16:9 zoom automatically, avoiding windowboxing, without having to use the remote.

    The problem is, only few DVD-Players read this flag and tell the TV about it via the WSS signaling (that's how it's meant to be done).
    Also, there is no WSS signaling if one upscales the video before it reaches the TV – in such case it would suddenly become the player's task (instead of the TV) to zoom the picture but player manufacturers are pretty lazy in realizing this.
    And so, many people get windowboxing these days even if, ironically, the letterboxed flag was properly set on the DVD.


    Edit: That's the flag I'm talking about (in PgcEdit for example):

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    Last edited by Skiller; 25th Nov 2013 at 05:46.
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