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  1. Ofcourse every medium can hold anamorphic widescreen, because is simply the whole widescreen picture squashed into a 4:3 frame. But can it store a signal telling your VCR and tv it is widescreen?

    And can a VCR record from the composite input?
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    No. Anamorphic is a digital term. And neither is the image squashed in to a 4:3 frame. The analogue to digital standards decreed that NTSC was 720*480 (3:2) and PAL 720*576 (5:4) with the pixel shape determining the eventual display.

    Of course it can. Have you never seen a vcr with twin scart sockets ? Standard way to record analogue satellite tv.
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  3. Let ask on another way. Can you record widescreen on VHS without black bars (letterbox) or pan & scan??
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    Nope.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    Ofcourse every medium can hold anamorphic widescreen, because is simply the whole widescreen picture squashed into a 4:3 frame. But can it store a signal telling your VCR and tv it is widescreen?
    PALplus/PAL+ VCRs were made to do that when recording broadcast TV sources that included the widescreen flag. PALplus/PAL+ VCRs can probably record it from composite video sources too since composite video carries the widescreen flag (if the signal being recorded originated from an analog broadcast source) but I cannot find a source to confirm it. I can't find anything that says a standard PAL VCR can record the widescreen flag.

    At one point the standard for NTSC analog broadcasts was updated to include a widescreen flag. I don't know if any NTSC countries ever used it. I never saw evidence that the widescreen flag was ever used in N. America for analog video.

    Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    And can a VCR record from the composite input?
    VCRs can record from their composite input.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 12th Feb 2022 at 17:24. Reason: typo
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    That's a (potential) yes.

    It would rely on a broadcaster sending an analogue signal that was substantially wider than its height. I have a vague recollection that ws tvs arrived here somewhat earlier than the programs to display them correctly. So one had this horrible stretched image from a broadcast still intended to be shown on standard tvs.


    But this is where my recollection becomes cloudy. That 'wide-screen' could well have been letterbox and the tv simply filled up the screen. After all not everyone invested in a new tv and would still be watching these on standard sets.
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  7. Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    Let ask on another way. Can you record widescreen on VHS without black bars (letterbox) or pan & scan??
    Theoretically yes, in Europe WSS is located at the first half of the line 23 (first visible line) and technically VCR bandwidth should be sufficient to carry this signal so receiver should be capable to decode WSS and interpret incoming video accordingly to WSS configuration. VCR is unaware of the video aspect ratio.

    btw similar scheme should be applicable for NTSC - VCR record whole image with VBI area, some VCR's was able to store teletext data and capable to play it (albeit wit some errors)...
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  8. If i have DVD player, convert composite to RF.
    On TV it is widescreen. The VCR record it in anamorf widesreen or letterboxed?
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  9. Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    If i have DVD player, convert composite to RF.
    On TV it is widescreen. The VCR record it in anamorf widesreen or letterboxed?
    CVBS is not substantially different than RF, so answer is - it depends on your DVD settings - if you DVD is told that your TV is 16:9 then DVD will produce anamorphic video (i.e. video with 720x576 distorted aspect ratio) so it is up to your TV display to properly convert video - same apply to RF output - there is no difference.
    Issue may be with automatic aspect signalization for TV - this is done in SCART by setting one of pins to 16:9 voltage level and/or by WSS signal with coded information about aspect ratio. TV connected to RF will have only WSS information and if TV is equipped with WSS decoder then it will display 16:9 video.
    VCR don't care about aspect ratio - single video track store complete video frame with all 625 lines - it may be considered as piece of wire between DVD and TV.
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  10. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    VCR don't care about aspect ratio - single video track store complete video frame with all 625 lines - it may be considered as piece of wire between DVD and TV.
    lol. in words most will understand. it's recorded as 4:3 with black bars top and bottom. and yes it's true, there aren't any vcrs that recorded anything "anamorphic".
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    @DB83, anamorphic as a term has been around since the mid 50s, where it was used to describe the squeezed optical process for widescreen films (not counting other ws formats- multicam cinerama or larger sideways formats like 65mm, 70mm, panavision). So certainly not strictly digital only.


    Scott
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The ws signalling for ntsc would be stored in the vertical interval (like closed captions and timecode). But it is a moot point since no vcrs record that, nor do vcrs or video players support decoding it.

    Also, since the bandwidth on vhs & betamax is limited enough, squeezing even more detail in and then stretching it out would likely result in loss of the very detail they wanted to include.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    The ws signalling for ntsc would be stored in the vertical interval (like closed captions and timecode). But it is a moot point since no vcrs record that, nor do vcrs or video players support decoding
    North American analog closed captions are found on line 21 of an NTSC signal, which is normally hidden in an analog TV's overscan. It has been a long time but I remember that back when I still recorded TV on VHS, I used to be able to view US closed captions from my NTSC VHS recordings via the TV's closed caption decoder.
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  14. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    To expand on what Pandy said, Yes, you can record WSS analog widescreen flag on a VHS tape. Depends on the TV standard, they are usually within the first 20 or so scan lines, However there are caveats:

    - The VCR does not know or care about the VSS flag or any teletext, caption or other signaling for that matters and therefore will not decode it for you.
    - You need a decoder or a widescreen TV that has the analog signaling capability.
    - The frame has to be originally condensed horizontally because it will be stretched horizontally by the decoder or the TV accordingly.
    - S-Video is prefered over composite for this purpose even if the recording is just basic VHS, it produces cleaner luma with less chroma interference, Ultimatly a S-VHS recording system is more suitable for this purpose.
    - The vertical resolution is preserved compared to letterboxing but there is no gain in horizontal resolution, the same pixels used are just stretched horizontally.

    If no decoder or TV with signaling capability is available you can still achieve anamorphic recording/playback manually by first taking the widescreen frame and squeezing it horizontally into 4:3 frame before recording it to the VCR, At the playback end set the widescreen TV to stretch the frame horizontally recovering the original aspect ratio, most modern TV's have this function along with other usless zooming options. Keep in mind as I said earlier, you get to keep the full vertical resolution but the horizontal resolution cannot be recovered, it is lost the moment you squeeze the widescreen frame into a 4:3 frame, The same number of pixels is just stretched during playabck. The good news is this method works the same way on S-Video, composite or RF with differences in picture quality off course.

    If your inquery is about adding an analog widescreen flag during recording? The answer is also yes, There are widescreen encoders out there to insert the WSS signal into the frame raster, Some boxes and PCI cards from Snell & Wilcox (Grass Valley now) and other manufacturers can inject the widescreen flag into an analog widescreen video stream from say digital SDI input and output it via composite or S-Video as 4:3 with a flag in the first raster scanlines and able to playback the same recorded video in widescreen, Some of those boxes are great analog to digital video capture devices too.

    I was planning on making a video about the process of recording a widescreen video on VHS/Beta as I have one of those boxes, the S&W TBS-800.


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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    The ws signalling for ntsc would be stored in the vertical interval (like closed captions and timecode). But it is a moot point since no vcrs record that, nor do vcrs or video players support decoding
    North American analog closed captions are found on line 21 of an NTSC signal, which is normally hidden in an analog TV's overscan. It has been a long time but I remember that back when I still recorded TV on VHS, I used to be able to view US closed captions from my NTSC VHS recordings via the TV's closed caption decoder.
    Yes, that's the vertical interval i was mentioning. Cc is lin21. Vitc is line 23, iirc. Not sure what line wss was supposed to be.
    My point was that vcrs didn't support adding/encoding nor reading/decoding wss natively. One could use an external box such as pandy describes to adjust the image and inject the wss prior to recording, and incorporate an accompanying external decoder downstream of the vcr, but that is rare and not cheap, and certainly not a "feature" of vcrs.

    I just realized you probably thought i meant the vcrs don't support cc or vitc as well as wss, but that was not what i meant.

    Scott
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  16. Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    VCR don't care about aspect ratio - single video track store complete video frame with all 625 lines - it may be considered as piece of wire between DVD and TV.
    lol. in words most will understand. it's recorded as 4:3 with black bars top and bottom. and yes it's true, there aren't any vcrs that recorded anything "anamorphic".
    If that is true i understand it must been recording without black bars, originaly that is not a part of the movie picture.

    can i record from composite as this or not?
    Image
    [Attachment 63341 - Click to enlarge]


    NOT This or This:
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    [Attachment 63339 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 63340 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by anonymoustly; 13th Feb 2022 at 05:20.
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  17. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Black bars are not normally recorded as part of the picture. It is up to the tv etc. to add them according to your source aspect ratio and the display aspect ratio of the tv.

    The first is a 4:3 source displayed on a 16:9 tv etc.
    The second is a 16:9 source displayed on a 4:3 tv
    The third is a pan & scan 16:9 source on a 4:3 tv

    So if the source was 4:3 then the first is the correct display. The second and third look a little stretched to my eyes.
    Last edited by DB83; 13th Feb 2022 at 05:55. Reason: more info
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  18. No the source was 16:9 NOT 4:3
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  19. Member DB83's Avatar
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    And it does not help that you changed the first pic.

    I still think the '16:9' looks like 4:3 stretched so it's not pure 16:9


    And nothing to do with your topic since this is not VHS is it ?
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  20. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    I still think the '16:9' looks like 4:3 stretched so it's not pure 16:9
    Well that's because SD anamorphic 16:9 is stored and transmitted as if it were 4:3. That's the whole point don't waste any precious bandwidth on storing or transmitting black borders but still keep the 16:9 aspect ratio and use the very same standard definition video signal that would otherwise carry 4:3.



    To make it short: yes it absolutely works. I have done it myself with a super cheap basic VCR. Actually the VCR itself doesn't really matter.
    But still there are some high end PAL VCRs that even support 16:9 signaling through the dedicated Scart pin and to enable this they have a switch.

    See here, this is the PAL Panasonic NV-HS 1000:

    Image
    [Attachment 63358 - Click to enlarge]



    But this is not required. With a signaling called WSS this works similarly without a Scart connector (it's part of a line in the Composite image and is therefore recorded to tape without the VCR knowing about it) and many digital sources such as DVD-players and set-top receivers do embed WSS in their Composite output. WSS is robust and will survive recording to VHS no problem.

    But even if there is no WSS signaling you could still record anamorphic and then just need to tell the TV manually to switch aspect ratio to 16:9 using the remote.
    With WSS present, the TV would know the incoming video is 16:9 anamorphic and would switch automatically to 16:9 (if the TV is capable of WSS decoding).


    All of this does require a TV than is at least capable of switching between 4:3 and anamorphic 16:9 but that's nothing special. Even my 1999 El-Cheapo 4:3 CRT TV can do it.
    Last edited by Skiller; 13th Feb 2022 at 11:05.
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  21. Once again (all my remarks are PAL related but i see no reason why they can't be applicable also for NTSC):

    - Home VCR store full frame as single video track - they record everything from line 1 to line 625 (some lines may be missing due head overlap and head switching).
    - VCR are usually not aware of video content unless they are equipped with additional decoders (such as VPS and/or WSS), some are even capable to decode WST Teletext and even program itself based on VPS and Teletext
    - Anamorphic video is 16:9 fit (squeezed in horizontal direction) to 720x576 so display need to restore proper aspect (i.e. if display is 4:3 then video is squeezed in vertical direction or by analog way for example by reducing vertical deflection voltage or in digital way - rescaling/resize (obviously analog way is lossless conversion where digital is lossy one) - VCR is not involved in aspect ratio correction (i can imagine some digital processing VCR where such conversion is possible - some VCR's was capable to transcode NTSC<>PAL and change number of lines and fields).

    So briefly - yes, VCR have no issue to store anamorphic 16:9 as from VCR perspective this is regular 4:3 video. Display is responsible for proper aspect conversion - it con be done in display in automatic way (SCART Function Switching pin 8 or more advanced by using WSS where more combinations is possible) or by manual way (by switching TV to 16:9 mode).

    Key to understand anamorphic video is that this is normal 4:3 video and every VCR is designed to record and play 4:3 video.
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  22. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    I still think the '16:9' looks like 4:3 stretched so it's not pure 16:9
    Yes, it is wrong (partially cropped) - reason is that anamorphic 720x576 should be restored to 1024x576 - if all pictures are with the same resolution then obviously something will be NOK.
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  23. Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    No the source was 16:9 NOT 4:3
    There is no such thing as source 16:9 in video signal - video signal is always 4:3 - content may have 16:9 but video signal structure is not altered and must be standard 525/625 lines.
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  24. can i record from composite as this or not?
    yes. composite caries out 576 lines. letterboxing happens on the digital player
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  25. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    I think the OP is more confused now, To my understanding you are trying to record a modern (most likely digital) widescreen 16:9 video to a VCR without having to letter box it and loose the vertical resolution, Pandy, Skiller and I posted nice suggestions for you to do this either automatically using an encoder/decoder or manually by squeezing the frame during recording and un-squeezing it during playback, just take the time to read them. Hope this clears things up for you.
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  26. Member DB83's Avatar
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    And what has confused the issue all the more is the image that the OP originally posted (subsequently removed and replaced)

    I have the original simply to check the AR and that had a true 4:3 image in a 16:9 frame which is what he claimed he desired. How he got that 4:3 active image from a now claimed 16:9 source I will leave others to work out.


    But at the end of the day I have NEVER seen a '16:9' VHS. I have seen what we now refer to as non-anamorphic 16:9 VHS. I even own a non-anamorphic 2.35:1 VHS which I have referred to in another topic.
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  27. Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Originally Posted by anonymoustly View Post
    No the source was 16:9 NOT 4:3
    There is no such thing as source 16:9 in video signal - video signal is always 4:3 - content may have 16:9 but video signal structure is not altered and must be standard 525/625 lines.
    i assumed that 720p and 1080p are real widescreen formats:

    Image
    [Attachment 63364 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 63365 - Click to enlarge]


    https://calculateaspectratio.com/
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  28. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    But at the end of the day I have NEVER seen a '16:9' VHS. I have seen what we now refer to as non-anamorphic 16:9 VHS. I even own a non-anamorphic 2.35:1 VHS which I have referred to in another topic.
    I think this can be easily explained - anamorphic is associated with digital media and flat TV's - most of older CRT's TV's was 4:3 (i know only few TV's with true 16:9 tube), also VHS (VCR) technology is way before DVD so easily explained why there is no 16:9 anamorphic content on consumer tapes. But of course from technical perspective this is perfectly doable with VHS (VCR) as once again need to stress - anamorphic 16:9 video from VCR perspective is just regular 4:3 video.
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  29. Yeah, i remmember the letterboxes often on Analog TV, in the beginning of widescreen television.
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  30. Hi8 could record in in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen. It looked OK on widescreen (under 42") .
    I know it is not VHS but it is an analog format that seemed to support it.
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