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

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Philip Metting van Rijn, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. 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
    Philip Metting van Rijn, Jan 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Philip Metting van Rijn

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Philip Metting van Rijn" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 30, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Philip Metting van Rijn

    ThePunisher Guest

    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
    ThePunisher, Jan 30, 2004
    #3
  4. On 29 Jan 2004 11:04:34 -0800, (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
    Mischa van Dinter, Jan 30, 2004
    #4
  5. 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" <> wrote in message news:<ChhSb.1862$>...
    > "Philip Metting van Rijn" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > 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.
    Philip Metting van Rijn, Jan 31, 2004
    #5
  6. Philip Metting van Rijn

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Philip Metting van Rijn" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 31, 2004
    #6
  7. Philip Metting van Rijn

    Richard C. Guest

    "Joshua Zyber" <> wrote in message
    news:x1DSb.3230$...
    :
    : 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".
    ===========================
    Richard C., Jan 31, 2004
    #7
  8. 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
    Philip Metting van Rijn, Feb 1, 2004
    #8
  9. Philip Metting van Rijn

    Steve K. Guest

    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
    Steve K., Feb 1, 2004
    #9
  10. Philip Metting van Rijn

    ThePunisher Guest

    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
    ThePunisher, Feb 1, 2004
    #10
  11. >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'd guess a combination of 1 & 3. 1280 * 960 is a standard computer
    resolution, so they could probably use some of the same tooling.
    Meanwhile cutting it right at 768 makes it easy to drive from a computer
    without scaling.

    --
    Monte Castleman, <<Spamfilter in Use>>
    Bloomington, MN to email, remove the "q" from my address
    Monte Castleman, Feb 2, 2004
    #11
    1. Advertising

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