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Stations boardcasting in the wrong aspect ratio for older 4:3 sources

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by nrnoble, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Feb 2, 2013 #1 of 35
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    I'm baffled how often I encounter stations that broadcast a 4:3 TV series in a aspect ratio that completely wrong and the image on the HDTV is like watching thin\tall people; looks like a compressed CinemaScope movie.

    In the Seattle area channel 117 (RTV) has been broadcasting older 4:3 TV shows in panel box format within a 16:9 1080i HDTV; yes, this a common way of handling TV series that were filmed in 4:3, but Channel 117 compresses that 16:9 panel box image down to 4:3, so the original 4:3 is now a tall\thin image.

    To be clear, its not aspect ratio config problem with my HDTV aspect ratio, or a config problem between TV and TiVo. And I can correct the problem by selecting WideScreen on my HDTV when the station comrpesseses the aspect ratio of 4:3 sources, but then the Tivo menus are then expanded to widescreen, and are therefore messed up.

    What is baffling is that nobody at the station notices that they are compressing a 16:9 image into a 4:3 when the video source is already 4:3 or a panel box within a 16:9 HDTV format.
     
  2. Feb 2, 2013 #2 of 35
    inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

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    Email the station.
     
  3. Feb 3, 2013 #3 of 35
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    People just don't care. It's sad.
     
  4. Feb 3, 2013 #4 of 35
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    What is strange is that when they break to commercial there is no more problem; the commercial 4:3 aspect ratio is fine, yet when they go back the older 4:3 TV series, the aspect ratio is all whacked out again. I am not a cynical person, but I imagine Homer Simpson being the in TV control room staring at the same bad aspect ratio and not seeing a damn thing wrong. I mean, its not just a subtle thing, people look like long skinny aliens.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2013 #5 of 35
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    If it's like here RTV is only broadcast in 480i. Think maybe it's coming in over the satellite squished? Maybe someone thinks you should just hit the aspect button and be done with it. It's not as if they care about what it does to the TiVo menus.

    I think using the aspect button on the TiVo instead of the one on your TV would also fix the issue without messing up the TiVo menus, by the way.
     
  6. Feb 3, 2013 #6 of 35
    9300170

    9300170 Member

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    Occasionally, you'll find that a station has purchased an SD version of a show that was originally recorded as HD. This can be because the SD version is cheaper or they don't have the right local equipment to show the HD version. This is often the reason you'll see a 16:9 show squished down to a 4:3 screen.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2013 #7 of 35
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Yeah before creating this thread I did test out the TiVo aspect ration button and it did not fix the problem, only the widescreen button on my HDTV corrected the problem. I think this would be a problem with anyone using a cable box as well, not just Tivo users; their menu would be all whacked out because the HDTV is expanding the signal coming the cablebox\Tivo, including the tv guide and menus.

    Things like this drive me nuts in part because what I do professionally for a living is product testing to ensure high quality standards are met, and occasionally I encounter people in my industry who truly don't give damn about quality; if it works to any degree they think it should pass inspection. So when I see an aspect ratio that is completely messed up , I wonder who is making the decision that "good enough" to broadcast.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2013 #8 of 35
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    On my setup selecting "Full" on the TiVo Aspect button undoes skinny actors. Not sure why it doesn't work for you - but I agree that all it would do doing is fix their foulup that shouldn't be there in the first place.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2013 #9 of 35
    Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Full and Zoom don't work on HD content with a 16x9 set.
     
  10. stoli412

    stoli412 New Member

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    I don't understand why more of these stations don't use the AFD flags on their subchannels. Surely by now enough people have digital tuners and HDTVs that they can properly flag 16:9 SD and 4:3 SD programs instead of stretching or squishing, but only a few channels actually do this. CBS+ and NBC NonStop (now COZI-TV) are good examples of doing it the right way.
     
  11. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Aspect flags are not part of the US system, unlike other countries that do it right. They had widescreen SD sets in the UK for years that worked properly, because PAL has aspect flags as part of the signal standard. NTSC and ATSC signals have no such equivalent as part of the standard.
     
  12. stoli412

    stoli412 New Member

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    ATSC includes aspect flags: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Format_Description
     
  13. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    The People care. They want the screen filled.

    The TV stations listen to The People. They don't care if it's incorrect.
     
  14. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Is RTV aired in other than 480i? It's an SD alternate channel. It a station is airing it in HD they're wasting bandwidth.
     
  15. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    The first post of this thread is about RTV broadcasting in HD.
     
  16. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    It's in there, but what I should have said is that it's not required. It is actually pretty sad how few the number of channels exist that even care. I won't watch stretched or squished content. Discovery started slightly zooming their old SD content. It's just sad. The picture does not need to fill the screen.
     
  17. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    They've been doing that for a long time now. At least it preserves the aspect ratio of what they do show (just crops a bit from the top and bottom).
     
  18. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Travel Channel has their weird stretching thing that makes everything all weird and distorted.
     
  19. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Cutting off the top and bottom is the opposite of preserving the aspect ratio. That is how you mangle the aspect ratio.
     
  20. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    The way the Discovery channels handle upconversion, people are neither too skinny nor too fat, nor does the shape change as they move across the screen. That, to me, is "preserving the aspect ratio". Unless you're talking about a different process than the one I've seen.
     

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