Originally posted by _alliance_
ok, so i just bought a 17 inch widescreen lcd tv for my new apartment, and tried it out last night. while watching movies, it gives two black bars--one above and one below the picture. is there any way to get rid of this so that i can watch w/ the whole screen?
Unless the image is distorted, then everything is as it should be. If you are watching a 2.35:1 movie on a widescreen HDTV, you will have black bars on the top and bottom. DVDs encoded with 1.85:1 source will fit your TV very nicely. You probably won't even notice any black bars. Most sets still have "safe zones" around the edges.
Your widescreen TV will undoubtedly have multiple viewing modes. My set has a plethora of display modes.
Narrow - scaled 1.33:1 (4:3).
Standard = 1.78:1 (16:9).
Expand = 1.33:1 zoomed in.
Zoom = 1.78:1 zoomed in.
Stretch = 1.33:1 stretched sideways to fit the screen
Narrow is great for watching traditional full-screen television without distorted images.
Standard is what you'd watch DTV broadcasts and DVD most of the time. Whatever the image, it'll be made to fit the screen.
Expand is great for watching 1.33:1 letterboxed TV shows like ER, 24, etc. but without the black bars on top and bottom.
Zoom will get rid of the black bars when viewing 2.35:1 content, but since it maintains the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, some of the sides will also be cropped.
Stretch will distort a 1.33:1 image to fit the 1.78:1 screen.
Modes by resolution:
480i: Narrow, Standard, Expand, Zoom, Stretch
480p: Narrow, Standard
When I watch cable on my HDTV, I use Narrow most of the time. Very rarely will I use Expand since most worthwhile primetime network TV is broadcast in 1.78:1 over the air here. I get FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC, the local PBS affiliate, and about a dozen DTV channels over the air (antenna) here. When I watch DVDs, I use the Standard setting mostly. I don't think I own and "letterboxed" 1.33:1 DVDs. Zoom is mostly useless because of the cropping. There's basically no reason to use Stretch unless you have 1.33:1 content that has been squished horizontally.
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno
You know what's annoying? I was at a friend's house and he has a widescreen TV. We were watching a movie which was in a widescreen format. The entire picture was vertically squished, with black bars along the top and bottom! Why? I have no idea! Maybe the TV was just a piece of crap? I've seen how some wide TVs treat all pictures as if they're 4:3, therefore squishing the picture vertically (even if it's displaying a movie designed for widescreen TVs).
Your friend probably failed to set his DVD player to 16:9. If your friend's DVD player was set to 4:3 mode and you were viewing a true widescreen DVD on his 16:9 set, then the DVD player would have added black bars to the top and bottom while the TV would have scaled the image to its standard 16:9 image ratio.
You were watching a letterboxed 4:3 DVD (which has the black bars actually in the image/signal) on the 16:9 TV without having chosen the right display format. In the case of my TV, it would have been either Narrow or Expand.
Originally posted by Cake
Can you guys even sit through five minutes of pan and scan?
Sometimes you have to. There is no widescreen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
DVD, so I'll gladly settle for P&S over nothing. Ironically, ABC aired that movie tonight, in HD, and it's original widescreen glory.