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Blu-ray newbie questions, top and bottom black bars
This thread has 6 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 22:09
HWH
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I upgraded my gear and now I'm a lost newbie.

I have a Sharp 40" LCD 1080p, and Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-ray. In addition, I also have HD Direct TV.

I am trying to figure out why I have black bars at the top and bottom of my picture when watching the Panasonic player. I have read many posts, and from what I understand the black bars are caused by the director's choice of filming format.

Why then does my HD Direct TV receiver fill in the entire picture with no black bars at the top and bottom?

Is it possible to get the blu-ray to do this without distorting the image?
Post 2 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 12:16
Anthony
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aspect ratio is the term for how wide the image will be, the older TVs where 4:3 (4x wide by 3x tall also called 1.33) the widescreen TVs are 16:9 (1.78). The aspect ratio (AR) for movies has changed over the years and even then it is not necessarily consistent.

Now if the AR of the content does not match the display, then you need to make it fit. There are different alternatives at different stages. For example many displays have stretch or zoom functions that will help with filling up the screen. Studios can also use what is called Pan and scan, it is a bit like the zoom on the TV but in this case they pan on the film and pick the best part so unlike zoom on the TV, this does not centre on the image and someone decides what is the most important part to show. If you want to see the whole picture exactly the way it was meant to be shown (as seen in theatres, if we are talking movies, or on TV, if we are taking shows) then the only choice is to keep the original aspect ratio (OAR). But if the OAR does not match the AR of the display and you don't want anything lost or messed up then the only thing is to shrink the image to fit the screen and pad the rest with something, and since black is les intrusive they added black bars. Now the black bars will depend on OAR and AR of the display, if the OAR was wider then they will be top and bottom, if narrower they will be on the sides. For example Star Trek (The original show) was filmed in 4:3 so on a wide screen TV it has bars on the side, extremely old movies where also much narrower (1.33 for silent movies and 1.37 until 1953 when wider started being the norm..), most newer movies are either 2.39:1 or 1.85:1 so they will have black bars top and bottom. To complicate matters even a bit more some are filmed in 1.85 and composed not so important edges so that they can be shown in wider at the theatres (like 2.39) and narrower on TVs (1.78) so that at home you see a bit more of the top and bottom while in theatres a bit more on the sides.
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OP | Post 3 made on Sunday June 28, 2009 at 01:30
HWH
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Anthony,
Thank you for taking the time to explain it in a way that makes sense to me.
Post 4 made on Wednesday July 1, 2009 at 04:20
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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I don't think that last sentence is quite right. I think they just cut from the edges for TV.

Also, the aspect ratio is not just the width, it is the ratio of the width to the height. The larger the number, the less it is like a square and the more it is like a wide rectangle.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 5 made on Wednesday July 22, 2009 at 08:19
nerieru
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@Anthony, most movies are 2.35:1

at least this goes here in europe
"All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value." - Carl Sagan
Post 6 made on Sunday July 26, 2009 at 10:28
Anthony
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pre-1970's scope was 2.35, most people still use it (the same way academy is sometimes refered to as 4:3) but the actual AR is 2.39

i.e. [Link: panavision.com] (2.39 is also sometimes called 2.4)
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Post 7 made on Monday July 27, 2009 at 19:40
nutec
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You also need to do the dummy task of making sure your BDP is automatically set to play in origonal format. It may be stuck in a specific format. And yes when you buy your BD's look to see if they say full screen or wide screen this makes a diff. too
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