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Widescreen vs. 16:9 (X-Files Seasons 5+)

 
 
Philip Metting van Rijn
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
Hello folks. I've read posts for quite some time now trying to figure
out the differences between the "widescreen" and "16:9" settings on my
new widescreen television. You may be saying, "They're the same
thing". According to Philips, who manufactures the widescreen LCD
television I bought, they're not. This became particularly noticeable
when I popped in one of my X-Files season 8 DVD's, set the DVD player
(also a Philips) to 16:9 mode, then set the TV to 16:9 mode. There
were half-inch bars on both the bottom and the top of the screen. I
was very confused, so I cycled through the modes on my TV.
"Widescreen" is a separate option from "16:9" on this television, and
when Widescreen is selected, the image fills up the whole screen. It
doesn't look particularly stretched, of course, because it's only
about a half inch top and bottom on a 30" diagonal TV. So I checked
out another DVD, the widescreen version of Lord of the Rings, The
Fellowship of the Ring. Still with the DVD set to 16:9 and the
television set to 16:9, I noticed TWO black bands on both the top and
bottom part of the image. I could distinguish two bands since I had
turned the brightness up on the TV for testing. Once again, there was
an additional 1/2" margin in 16:9 mode. When I switched the TV to
widescreen mode, the 1/2" margin disappeared. I'm thoroughly confused
at this point. I wasn't sure where to post this since it may be more
of a technical issue, so I apologize if it seems off-topic. I also
tried to find a FAQ, but every FAQ explained the history of 16:9 and
4:3 aspect ratios. The Philips manual (which is pathetic given the
amount of features the TV has) shows illustrations of the different
modes, and it shows 16:9 filling the whole screen and Widescreen with
the black bands on the top and bottom (letterboxed). I am discovering
that it's quite the opposite. Has anyone else had this problem with
viewing DVD's on a widescreen TV? Should I just keep both the TV and
DVD player in 16:9 mode and deal with the loss of space? Does Philips
have some sort of proprietary Widescreen aspect ratio? Am I
stretching the image when I remove the 1/2" bands by selecting
Widescreen mode on the TV? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for
listening.

-Phil
 
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Joshua Zyber
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-30-2004

"Philip Metting van Rijn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> Hello folks. I've read posts for quite some time now trying to figure
> out the differences between the "widescreen" and "16:9" settings on my
> new widescreen television. You may be saying, "They're the same
> thing". According to Philips, who manufactures the widescreen LCD
> television I bought, they're not. This became particularly noticeable
> when I popped in one of my X-Files season 8 DVD's, set the DVD player
> (also a Philips) to 16:9 mode, then set the TV to 16:9 mode.


Is this a widescreen TV, or a 4:3 TV with an anamorphic squeeze mode?

> Am I
> stretching the image when I remove the 1/2" bands by selecting
> Widescreen mode on the TV?


You tell us. What does it look like?

Widescreen TVs generally have 4 different viewing modes. Different
manufacturers give them different names, but what they amount to is:

- A mode for watching 4:3 content in the middle of the screen with bars
on the sides (usually gray).
- A mode for watching anamorphically-enhanced DVDs.
- A "Zoom" mode that blows up the center of the image to fill the
screen, cutting off the top and bottom. This is useful for
non-anamorphic letterbox discs (like The Abyss).
- A stretch mode that expands a 4:3 image sideways to fill the screen.
These usually stretch more on the sides than in the middle so that the
picture doesn't look quite as badly distorted. Some people seem to like
this, but I think it makes everything look like you're watching through
a fish-eye lens.

The X-Files Season 8 is a 16:9 picture with anamorphic enhancement.
Using the proper mode on the TV will completely fill your screen with no
distortion to the image. From what you've described, the "Widescreen"
setting is the correct one to use. Most likely the "16:9" setting is the
stretchy (fish-eye) mode.




 
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ThePunisher
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-30-2004
Philip Metting van Rijn wrote:
> Hello folks. I've read posts for quite some time now trying to figure
> out the differences between the "widescreen" and "16:9" settings on my
> new widescreen television. You may be saying, "They're the same
> thing". According to Philips, who manufactures the widescreen LCD
> television I bought, they're not. This became particularly noticeable
> when I popped in one of my X-Files season 8 DVD's, set the DVD player
> (also a Philips) to 16:9 mode, then set the TV to 16:9 mode. There
> were half-inch bars on both the bottom and the top of the screen. I
> was very confused, so I cycled through the modes on my TV.
> "Widescreen" is a separate option from "16:9" on this television, and
> when Widescreen is selected, the image fills up the whole screen. It
> doesn't look particularly stretched, of course, because it's only
> about a half inch top and bottom on a 30" diagonal TV. So I checked
> out another DVD, the widescreen version of Lord of the Rings, The
> Fellowship of the Ring. Still with the DVD set to 16:9 and the
> television set to 16:9, I noticed TWO black bands on both the top and
> bottom part of the image. I could distinguish two bands since I had
> turned the brightness up on the TV for testing. Once again, there was
> an additional 1/2" margin in 16:9 mode. When I switched the TV to
> widescreen mode, the 1/2" margin disappeared. I'm thoroughly confused
> at this point. I wasn't sure where to post this since it may be more
> of a technical issue, so I apologize if it seems off-topic. I also
> tried to find a FAQ, but every FAQ explained the history of 16:9 and
> 4:3 aspect ratios. The Philips manual (which is pathetic given the
> amount of features the TV has) shows illustrations of the different
> modes, and it shows 16:9 filling the whole screen and Widescreen with
> the black bands on the top and bottom (letterboxed). I am discovering
> that it's quite the opposite. Has anyone else had this problem with
> viewing DVD's on a widescreen TV? Should I just keep both the TV and
> DVD player in 16:9 mode and deal with the loss of space? Does Philips
> have some sort of proprietary Widescreen aspect ratio? Am I
> stretching the image when I remove the 1/2" bands by selecting
> Widescreen mode on the TV? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for
> listening.
>
> -Phil


It's because your TV is 1.66:1/15:9 not 1.77:1/16:9
--
ThePunisher


 
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Mischa van Dinter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-30-2004
On 29 Jan 2004 11:04:34 -0800, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Philip Metting van
Rijn) wrote:

>Hello folks. I've read posts for quite some time now trying to figure
>out the differences between the "widescreen" and "16:9" settings on my
>new widescreen television. You may be saying, "They're the same
>thing". According to Philips, who manufactures the widescreen LCD
>television I bought, they're not.


For Philips, 16:9 is the "zoom" mode which zooms in on the picture, as
to provide a way to eliminate the black bars on non-anamorphic
content. Widescreen is the setting which takes advantage of anamorphic
content by stretching the picture to restore the intended aspect
ratio.

Mischa
 
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Philip Metting van Rijn
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2004
Hi Joshua. Thanks for the reply. It is a widescreen TV, or at least
it's supposed to be. It's a Philips 30PF9975 LCD TV. Some of the
documentation I've read online states that it's a 16:9 TV, but my
experience is proving otherwise. It has several different modes, but
the two I'm concerned about are labelled "Widescreen" and "16:9". For
some reason when I put the TV in 16:9 mode, even before I insert a
DVD, the Philips startup screen which is sent from the DVD player
(also a Philips) gets 1/2" chopped off the top and bottom. When it's
in "Widescreen" mode, the image is stretched vertically to fill the
screen. I finally took out a tape measure and measured the screen.
It's 25.5" x 15", which is a 1.7:1 ratio. 16:9 is a 1.78:1 ratio,
which explains the black bars when the TV is switched into 16:9 mode.
I've pretty much concluded that this TV is NOT a true widescreen 16:9
television, and several calls to confused Philips tech support reps is
getting me to the point when I'm about to return the TV. I'm going to
visit a few stores with a tape measure and see if there any other TV
manufacters that are trying to pull a fast one.

-Phil

"Joshua Zyber" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<ChhSb.1862$(E-Mail Removed) link.net>...
> "Philip Metting van Rijn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > Hello folks. I've read posts for quite some time now trying to figure
> > out the differences between the "widescreen" and "16:9" settings on my
> > new widescreen television. You may be saying, "They're the same
> > thing". According to Philips, who manufactures the widescreen LCD
> > television I bought, they're not. This became particularly noticeable
> > when I popped in one of my X-Files season 8 DVD's, set the DVD player
> > (also a Philips) to 16:9 mode, then set the TV to 16:9 mode.

>
> Is this a widescreen TV, or a 4:3 TV with an anamorphic squeeze mode?
>
> > Am I
> > stretching the image when I remove the 1/2" bands by selecting
> > Widescreen mode on the TV?

>
> You tell us. What does it look like?
>
> Widescreen TVs generally have 4 different viewing modes. Different
> manufacturers give them different names, but what they amount to is:
>
> - A mode for watching 4:3 content in the middle of the screen with bars
> on the sides (usually gray).
> - A mode for watching anamorphically-enhanced DVDs.
> - A "Zoom" mode that blows up the center of the image to fill the
> screen, cutting off the top and bottom. This is useful for
> non-anamorphic letterbox discs (like The Abyss).
> - A stretch mode that expands a 4:3 image sideways to fill the screen.
> These usually stretch more on the sides than in the middle so that the
> picture doesn't look quite as badly distorted. Some people seem to like
> this, but I think it makes everything look like you're watching through
> a fish-eye lens.
>
> The X-Files Season 8 is a 16:9 picture with anamorphic enhancement.
> Using the proper mode on the TV will completely fill your screen with no
> distortion to the image. From what you've described, the "Widescreen"
> setting is the correct one to use. Most likely the "16:9" setting is the
> stretchy (fish-eye) mode.

 
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Joshua Zyber
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2004
"Philip Metting van Rijn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> Hi Joshua. Thanks for the reply. It is a widescreen TV, or at least
> it's supposed to be. It's a Philips 30PF9975 LCD TV. Some of the
> documentation I've read online states that it's a 16:9 TV, but my
> experience is proving otherwise. It has several different modes, but
> the two I'm concerned about are labelled "Widescreen" and "16:9". For
> some reason when I put the TV in 16:9 mode, even before I insert a
> DVD, the Philips startup screen which is sent from the DVD player
> (also a Philips) gets 1/2" chopped off the top and bottom. When it's
> in "Widescreen" mode, the image is stretched vertically to fill the
> screen. I finally took out a tape measure and measured the screen.
> It's 25.5" x 15", which is a 1.7:1 ratio. 16:9 is a 1.78:1 ratio,
> which explains the black bars when the TV is switched into 16:9 mode.
> I've pretty much concluded that this TV is NOT a true widescreen 16:9
> television, and several calls to confused Philips tech support reps is
> getting me to the point when I'm about to return the TV. I'm going to
> visit a few stores with a tape measure and see if there any other TV
> manufacters that are trying to pull a fast one.


You're not being scammed there. Televisions only come in two ratios: 4:3
and 16:9. The reason your measurements don't come out to precisely
1.78:1 is likely due to overscan. You lose about 5% of the picture
around the edges, sometimes slightly more on the sides than on the top
and bottom. Overscan is normal and isn't really something you should
worry about. All televisions have it.

You want to use "Widescreen" mode for anamorphically enhanced discs.


 
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Richard C.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-31-2004

"Joshua Zyber" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news1DSb.3230$(E-Mail Removed) ink.net...
:
: You're not being scammed there. Televisions only come in two ratios: 4:3
: and 16:9.

========================
Not exactly true.
My older (1995) Pioneer NTSC 46" "Cinemawide" RPTV is actually 1.50:1.
That was their big "thing".
===========================


 
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Philip Metting van Rijn
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-01-2004
Thanks all for the input. I did some more research and found out that
almost ALL new LCD televisions 30" and under and cut in a 15:9 aspect
ratio, NOT 16:9. There have been numerous reasons I've seen for this,
and I'm not sure which one I believe (if any):

1) The LCD panels are cut from the same sheets as computer monitors -
not sure why this would cause them to cut it in 15:9
2) 15:9 is the most economical solution for cutting LCD panels - I
think this explanation came from Samsung
3) 1280 x 768 (the resolution of the Philips 30" LCD TV) uses
"computer monitor standards" for horizontal and vertical pixels.

I'm not sure I buy a lot of the explanations for why this is a 15:9
screen, but to make myself feel better I went to Circuit City today
with a tape measure and measured the $5000 Sony 30" LCD television.
Guess what? 15:9. I suppose I could do worse. At least it all makes
some sense now. "Widescreen" mode on this LCD TV is 15:9. This is
useful for conventional TV broadcasts. Everything else will use the
16:9 mode on the TV. I hope my experience will be beneficial to folks
that are looking into purchasing an LCD television.

Cheers,

Phil
>
> For Philips, 16:9 is the "zoom" mode which zooms in on the picture, as
> to provide a way to eliminate the black bars on non-anamorphic
> content. Widescreen is the setting which takes advantage of anamorphic
> content by stretching the picture to restore the intended aspect
> ratio.
>
> Mischa

 
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Steve K.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-01-2004
Philip Metting van Rijn wrote:
> Thanks all for the input. I did some more research and found out that
> almost ALL new LCD televisions 30" and under and cut in a 15:9 aspect
> ratio, NOT 16:9. There have been numerous reasons I've seen for this,
> and I'm not sure which one I believe (if any):
>
> 1) The LCD panels are cut from the same sheets as computer monitors -
> not sure why this would cause them to cut it in 15:9
> 2) 15:9 is the most economical solution for cutting LCD panels - I
> think this explanation came from Samsung
> 3) 1280 x 768 (the resolution of the Philips 30" LCD TV) uses
> "computer monitor standards" for horizontal and vertical pixels.
>
> I'm not sure I buy a lot of the explanations for why this is a 15:9
> screen, but to make myself feel better I went to Circuit City today
> with a tape measure and measured the $5000 Sony 30" LCD television.
> Guess what? 15:9. I suppose I could do worse. At least it all makes
> some sense now. "Widescreen" mode on this LCD TV is 15:9. This is
> useful for conventional TV broadcasts. Everything else will use the
> 16:9 mode on the TV. I hope my experience will be beneficial to folks
> that are looking into purchasing an LCD television.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Phil


Apple Cinema Displays are 16x10 LCD. How does that figure into your
research? (I suspect it allows a bit of extra room for the menubar at
the top of the screen while looking at a 16x9 image).

23" Apple Cinema Display - 1920x1200 - 16x10
http://www.apple.com/displays/acd23/
$1999

20" Apple Cinema Display - 1680x1050 - 16x10
http://www.apple.com/displays/acd20/
$1299


 
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ThePunisher
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-01-2004
Philip Metting van Rijn wrote:
> Thanks all for the input. I did some more research and found out that
> almost ALL new LCD televisions 30" and under and cut in a 15:9 aspect
> ratio, NOT 16:9. There have been numerous reasons I've seen for this,
> and I'm not sure which one I believe (if any):
>
> 1) The LCD panels are cut from the same sheets as computer monitors -
> not sure why this would cause them to cut it in 15:9
> 2) 15:9 is the most economical solution for cutting LCD panels - I
> think this explanation came from Samsung
> 3) 1280 x 768 (the resolution of the Philips 30" LCD TV) uses
> "computer monitor standards" for horizontal and vertical pixels.
>
> I'm not sure I buy a lot of the explanations for why this is a 15:9
> screen, but to make myself feel better I went to Circuit City today
> with a tape measure and measured the $5000 Sony 30" LCD television.
> Guess what? 15:9. I suppose I could do worse. At least it all makes
> some sense now. "Widescreen" mode on this LCD TV is 15:9. This is
> useful for conventional TV broadcasts. Everything else will use the
> 16:9 mode on the TV. I hope my experience will be beneficial to folks
> that are looking into purchasing an LCD television.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Phil


Didn't I already say this in my post.

--
ThePunisher


 
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