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Thread: Widescreen

  1. #1
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    Default Widescreen

    what are the different types of widescreen you can get, which are better, and why?
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  2. #2
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    I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

    You'll find that Hollywood movies (this term is used to describe commercial films, sorry to bollywood etc), are either in 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The higher the ratio, the wider the picture and the more you see.

    Widescreen TVs have an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (more commonly know as 16:9). This enables much better viewing of hollywood movies on DVD as the picture no longer has to be cropped at the sides to be view on a 1.33:1 (4:3) screen. If you watch a widescreen DVD on a 4:3 (square) TV, the imade becomes smaller than it would be on a widescreen TV.

    Now, if you're shooting widesceeen home movies with a DV cam, you'll be shooting widescreen in 16:9. However, take care. Some cams claim to shoot in cinema mode, but all the do is add black bars to the top and bottom. To really shoot in widescreem (anamorphic) you need to make sure your camera shoots in the 16:9 aspect ratio so that every line of resolution is used to display the image. If you add black bars to the top and bottom, you'll lose image resolution if you then convert this to anamorphic.

    This is because the PAL resolution is fixed to 720*576. Essentially the aspect ratio of widescreen means all the pixels are squished up, then expanded when played back on a widescreen TV (simplistic explanation). If you play an anamorphic DVD on a 16:9, everything would be squished up.

    So, in answer to your question, there's two types of widescreen in home movies. Pure anamporhic widescreen which uses every line of resolution but shoots in a 16:9 pixel aspect ratio. And "poor man's" widescreen which adds bars at the top and bottom thereby losing lines of resolution.

  3. #3
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    Default

    ah. Thank you. sorry I posted in the wrong section, thought it was general. Somewhere on this site I heard of another type, where it squeezes the picture instead? how can I tell which type my camera has? anamorphic or poor man's? my camera is sony TRV330E

    Thanks
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    Don't worry, I'm bored so I'm tidying up the forums and moving posts left, right and centre

    Your cam was discussed here: www.dvdoctor.net

    The conclusion was that it changes the pixel aspect ratio when you shoot in widescreen. Someone argued that this wasn't true widescreen as this would be where the phycsical shape of the censor is 16:9. However, I don't think TVs would be capable of playing this back and anamorphic works in the way I've just described - the pixels are stretched back out.

    Think about it this way. If you crop black lines at the top and bottom, you still have a 4:3 aspect ratio. If you play back this on a widescreen, you need to "zoom in" to make it fill the whole screen. You therefore lose definition as you're not using all lines of the resolution. The other way, you dont.

    So, it would appear that you cam does not just add black bars to the top and bottom.

  5. #5
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    cheers. yay
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  6. #6
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    Default

    I was in the understanding that the SONY's all have anamorphic.

    From what I read from my manual (SONY HC20E) it is anamorphic or real 16:9 I could be wrong ofcours, since I just got my camera today, and already very happy

  7. #7
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    Pieguy,

    Your use of the phrase 'squeezes the picture' is what is generally referred to as anamorphic.

    OK so you want a 2:35 image. Can be done two ways on my TV.

    Either have an 'anamorphic' image where the actual picture is 4:3 but the 'mode' on the TV stretches it out to size (preferred) or the top and bottom are cropped off from a standard 4:3 image.

    Is your TRV330E a typo for a 33E like mine? If so then just leave it in widescreen mode all the time for best results. It's not an actual anamorphic lens but it is a 'true' widescreen mode.

    Use the source footage to build your movie and hence DVD (presumably) plug into your set-top box and ket the settigns on that deal with it. IF you have a widescreen TC then set the player to widescreen mode. IF you have a 4:3 Tv the set the player to either 'letterbox' (where you will get the black bands top and bottom), or pan&scan where the player will crop off the sides leaving you with a 4:3 image to display.

    My advice is to build widescreen always. It will then work for anyone anywhere.

    Hmm, perhaps I should amend my standard DVD wrap template to include the words "Enhanced for widescreen TVs" eh?

  8. #8
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    no my TRV330E is not a typo. it is a digital 8 camera unlike your miniDV cam but i still shoot in 16:9 all the time now. it doesn't squash the picture but I presume that it uses the leftover lines of resolution to increase the picture quality.
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  9. #9
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    Just to clarify, the resolution will be the same, just that some of the lines that would have been used to create black lines can still be used for the actual picture (by changing the pixel aspect ratio). So you don't gain extra lines of resolution, you just don't lose them. I'm not sure whether you get extra footage to the left and right as you would with a true anamorphic lens, but I will test tonight when I get home.

  10. #10
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    yes. i thought that. i don't get extra picture to the side and that was why I was a bit confused. thanks
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