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Thread: Weird aspect problem when playing DVD on Panasonic player

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Bath, UK

    Default Weird aspect problem when playing DVD on Panasonic player

    Has anyone experienced this and found a solution?

    4:3 PAL video edited with Edius V6, output as MPEG2 using Edius's inbuilt encoder, DVD authored with DVDLab Pro and burnt to a CD-R. I've checked and double checked all the possible settings in both programs.

    Playing the DVD on my computer, it looks fine - via Windows Media Player, CinePlayer, PowerDVD etc.

    But when I play it on my Panasonic machine connected to my widescreen TV (the player is actually a hard disc/DVD recorder), I see a 4:3 picture with the video letterboxed - i.e. the top and bottom of the picture, not squeezed, is masked out - giving a 16:9 ratio picture, surrounded by black, in the centre of the screen. The same thing happens when I play the DVD on my Panasonic Blu Ray player connected to a (widescreen) projector. This leads me to conclude that neither the TV nor the player has a problem. 4:3 commercial DVDs, and DVD-Rs made on a different computer system, play correctly on either player.

    However, if I attach a (rather ancient) Toshiba DVD player to the TV, the DVD plays back correctly from that, as a full 4:3 picture. There must be something that is telling the Panasonic machines to mask out (letterbox) the 4:3 picture to make it appear as a widescreen one that the TV can be set to zoom into to fill the screen. By the way, I see the full, unmasked, menu screen, displayed as 4:3.

    DVDLab Pro has a tool marked 'Fix Stream Headers' - I've tried running that, then re-compiling and burning the DVD, but with the same results.

    I've displayed all the DVD parameters using IfoEdit - I don't understand most of these, but I can't see anything obviously wrong. Anything to do with aspect ratios shows as 4:3.

    I'd be really, really grateful if anyone has any idea what could be causing this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Bath, UK


    Have been struggling all day, but I've solved it! First I made an AVI file from the Edius timeline, then downloaded TMPGEnc and used that to convert to MPEG2, and compiled and burnt a DVD with DVDLab Pro with all the same settings as before. Same (wrong) result on the Panasonic player. So the fault was obviously not with Edius's encoder. So I looked at the DVDLab project settings again and tried changing a parameter marked 'Widescreen movie on 4:3" from "Letterbox" to "Automatic - set by player". That cured the problem! Though why a setting for a widescreen movie should affect a 4:3 one is beyond me....

    But hope this might help if anyone else uses DVDLab Pro. If you use it to make a 4:3 DVD for someone with a Panasonic player, beware! Otherwise, I think DVDLab Pro is a great authoring program - you can do just about anything with it that the DVD specs allow.

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