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Picture in Wide Screen v. Picture in Standard Screen

1953
05-30-2005, 02:43 PM
We are watching the movie "White Noise" in widescreen on our Sony KV36HS420. The black bars on the top and bottom of the picture equate to approximately 40% of the overall screens height. Of course this then indicates that the height of the picture is 60% of the screens size. Now for my questions.

How would this picture look on a 34 inch wide screen television?

Would there be black bars at the top and bottom of the screen?

Thanks,
LP

Jon Walker
05-30-2005, 04:17 PM
I too am a rather newcomer to HDTV and so my first impression was that this was a trick question. However, it makes an interesting challenge in logic and here is my solution.

Since the Sony KV36HS420 appeas to have a 4:3 aspect ratio, I assume your real question is how would the widescreen HDTV transmission look on a 16:9 widescreen TV. The basic answer is that it should fill the screen. Depending on the viewing mode you are in, it should proportionally fill the screen (normal mode), unproportionally fill the screen (stretched mode), or proportionally overfill the screen (zoom mode).

If you are looking for a numerical solution and we skip things like overscan, then you could make the following comparison. A 36" 4:3 aspect ratio TV has approximate dimensions of 28.8" x 21.6" for a maximum total viewing area of 622.08 sq. in. A 16:9 aspect ratio TV of the same width would have a height of only 16.2 inches and only a 466.56 sq. in. viewing area. So, in actuality, about 25% (not 40%) of your current screen is wasted when watching letterboxed HDTV programming. On the other hand, a 34" 16:9 aspect ratio TV would have dimensions on the order of 30" x 16" or 480 sq. in. all of which is useable when watching HDTV.

borromini
05-30-2005, 04:30 PM
1953, you didn't state whether White Noise was a DVD title you were watching or a program on one of the HD channels. The reason why this is important is that while a 16:9 TV will show original HD programming in 16:9 and therefore no bars, a DVD title with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio will still show horizontal bars on a 16:9 TV albeit much thinner bars. For movies on DirecTV HD channels, HBO-HD will zoom all movies of 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 to the full 16:9 while Showtime-HD, HDNet Movies and Universal HD will show those same films in their true AR which would leave bars on a 16:9 screen...again albeit more thinner than what you would get on a 4:3 TV.

RSawdey
05-30-2005, 07:13 PM
For all the details, see the "Bars, bars and more bars" topic in the HD Lounge.

1953
05-30-2005, 09:34 PM
We were watching "White Noise" on DVD. The basic reason for my question was to determine if we would have a bigger picture on a Sony 16:9 thus a more enjoyable viewing experince.

Again, thanks.
LP

ja2935
05-31-2005, 07:49 AM
Any movie with a ratio of 1.85:1 will fill a 16:9 (widescreen) tv. Many movies are made in this format, however White Noise is 2.35:1 so on a widescreen tv there will still be narrow black bars at the top and bottom. The picture size on a 34" widescreen will be approximately the same size as on your 36" 4:3.

Cyberman
06-01-2005, 04:29 AM
"White Noise" has the black bars on my Sony 30" set. It looks good in Wide Zoom with only about an inch of black at the top and bottom. Like borromini states it is in 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is one of the widest next to 2.40:1. Therefore you get black bars. I've tested my whole DVD collection, which took two days, to see which DVDs actually fit the screen. Movies like "Sky Captain" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events" fit perfect. Other movies like "Independence Day" and "The Abyss" do not. I must say most of Spielbergs work fits the screen perfectly.

ja2935
06-01-2005, 12:00 PM
"White Noise" has the black bars on my Sony 30" set. It looks good in Wide Zoom with only about an inch of black at the top and bottom. Like borromini states it is in 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is one of the widest next to 2.40:1. Therefore you get black bars. I've tested my whole DVD collection, which took two days, to see which DVDs actually fit the screen. Movies like "Sky Captain" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events" fit perfect. Other movies like "Independence Day" and "The Abyss" do not. I must say most of Spielbergs work fits the screen perfectly.
It may have been just an excuse to look at your movies again but usually the aspect ratio is stated on the box; or if not go to the Internet Movie Database/DVD details.

borromini
06-01-2005, 03:45 PM
...usually the aspect ratio is stated on the box...
Unless they were pirated versions. :D