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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. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    For me it only works on when the image is 480i or 480p, it does not work in this case because the station is putting the 4:3 image in a panel box within a 16x9 image.

    Yes, the TiVo button does nothing on channel 117 because its a HD 16x9 format. However, the "Widescreen" button on the TV expands things out to the proper aspect ratio. When in widescreen mode, commercials and Tivo menus are screwed up (off screen).
     
  2. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    I guess I should revise my original statement. I have only discovered one station that consistantly does it incorrectly All the other 250 stations handle it without any problems (AFAIK). TCM some times messes up on their non HD channel, but otherwise they are fine 98% of the time. TCMHD never has any problems.

    And in the case of Channel 117 in Seattle, when they cut to commercial, their 4:3 commercials have the proper aspect ratio so everyone looks normal, but when they return to the old TV series, everyone looks like tall skinny aliens. If they can get the 4:3 aspect ratio right for their paying advertisers, then why not do the same for the 4:3 TV series, that is the puzzling question. :)
     
  3. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Philadelphia...
    If you cut off parts of the picture that were intended to be seen, then you are messing up the aspect ratio. Just like taking a 2.35:1 movie and chopping it to 1.78:1 (as HBO does with most 2.35 movies) is not preserving the aspect ratio. Or taking a 1.85:1 film and cropping it to 4:3 would be an example of not preserving it. You don't necessarily have to squish or stretch the image to ruin the aspect ratio.

    But the worst is when they stretch the edges of 4x3 content to fill a 16x9 screen. It makes me feel sick sometimes.

    In any case, I want to see the whole original presentation, no matter what the original aspect ratio. And I don't mind bars at the top or bottom or sides if it is needed to preserve that image. Unless it was shot on HD Video at a 1.78:1 aspect, then there should be some black bars on the screen.
     
  4. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Rochester NY
    Well that is a personal preference not shared by all, each channel has to decide (guess) what the majority of their viewers want.

    I personally would prefer 4:3 content remain 4:3 and use black bars on the sides. However when it comes to movies wider than 16:9 I would find a well done pan & scan version (versus just a zoomed version) more enjoyable in most cases than having the black bars on the top an bottom. For blu-ray I wished they offered a professionally done "full screen" option seems like with digital recordings it wouldn't be that hard to offer both on the same disk.
     
  5. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Who's your Cable provider? Maybe they're the ones messing up (I still find it hard to believe a station would broadcast a secondary channel in HD - I didn't think there was enough bandwidth in a digital channel for HD primary and secondary channels).
     
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    If you set the TV aspect ratio setting on the Tivo to 4:3, then you can toggle the aspect correction mode between panel, full and zoom for HD channels. This way you can stretch the picture horizontally to get rid of the black bars on the side by changing the aspect correction mode to zoom. You just leave the aspect correction mode set to full for normal HD programs. You lose the ability to toggle between panel, full and zoom for SD channels, but they will always be stretched horizontally to fill the screen.

    The only issue this configuration causes is for letter-boxed content shown on SD channels. In that case you have to change the TV aspect ratio back to 16:9 to restore the functionality of the aspect correction mode for SD channels. Then you can set the aspect correction mode to zoom to get rid of the letter boxing.
     
  7. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    Jun 22, 2008
    No. You are cropping the image, but preserving the aspect ratio. If you stretch the image to fill the screen but retain the entire image, then you are not preserving the aspect ratio.
     
  8. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Philadelphia...
    No. No. No.

    If you take an image and chop off parts, you have just changed the aspect ratio.

    If you stretch the image, you have just changed the aspect ratio.

    Go look up "aspect ratio" on the internet.

    To the person above who told me how to set my TiVo to 4:3 and ruin the picture by stretching it out to "get rid of the bars," that's the opposite of what any sane person would want to do.
     
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Well there are only 3 options as far as I can tell:

    1. Play the content as it was originally recorded. This would require placing the black bars either on the sides or top/bottom for any content that was not the same aspect ratio at your TV.
    2. Zoom the content to use your TVs full screen, this cuts out content from either the sides or top & bottom
    3. Stretching the original content to fit your TV's full screen with this no content is cut out but the hight to width ratio is changed making things taller and thinner or shorter and fatter.
    I think most of us would say only #1 maintains the original aspect ratio. #2 does maintain the height to width ratio of the video remaining after the sides or top & bottom content has been cut out but it does not maintain of the overall aspect ratio of the full original video.

    I have no use for #3 in any situation. I suppose 2 & 3 could be used at the same time to create a real mess again I would have no use for it.

    But as I said before a movie that has been professionally zoomed (pan & scan) for content that has an aspect ratio that is wider than my TV's is fine with me in most cases. For 4:3 content (old TV Shows) I want the original recording played with the black bars.
     
  10. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Philadelphia...
    I agree with everything you said above, except maybe the part about cropping or pan&scanning 2:35 content. If it is just a dumb comedy on HBO or something, I may not care. But don't take 2001 or Lawrence of Arabia, cut the sides off, and expect me to watch it. (Most of the 2:35 movies I care about are already out on Blu-Ray, so this becomes moot most of the time.)
     
  11. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    …and why are some SD channels the full height of the screen, and some 4:3 windowboxed inside of the 16:9? I honestly can't remember for sure, but IIRC EITHER ABC or NBC does it "right" most of the time. Others do it wrong all/most of the time.

    (I record SD due to not having enough storage to store season(s) of tons of shows at a time.. yes, that can be bad when the hard drive goes bad… But I like being able to record a TON especially through one TV season across the summer.. semi-ironically, over Xmas break, I watched that last batch of "Outsourced" episodes off of my semi-flaky (OS-wise, not hardware wise) Tivo HD drive….. so I DO end up watching "old" stuff.)
     
  12. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    In the terminology of the video encoder FFmpeg, there are two different items that it calls an "aspect ratio": the Display Aspect Ratio, which is the shape of the overall picture; and the Pixel Aspect Ratio, which describes the shape of each pixel within the video. Perhaps we can agree that the Discovery Channel's crop alters the DAR, but not the PAR.

    BTW, I'm not trying to defend the practice, just describe it.

    Edit: Apparently the Pixel Aspect Ratio is called the Sample Aspect Ratio in more recent versions of FFmpeg.
     
  13. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    Philadelphia...
    I agree that there are different methods of changing the aspect ratio.

    My point is that I don't like any of them. Others may not agree, and that's fine. But if they would broadcast it in the original aspect ratio, then that would leave it up to the viewer to use zoom, stretch, panel, or whatever mode they enjoy. If they alter it at the source, then we have no chance to watch it the way it was intended.

    Funny side bit of trivia: I checked into a hotel this week, and the TV set in the room is set to automatically stretch all the SD channels to fill the screen. You can go in the menus and turn it off (set to 4:3) but it changes right back the next time you turn on the TV. That is so annoying!
     
  14. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    Here is odd one that I yet understand, TCMHD often boardcasts their interivews and commentary in a smaller 16:9 format inside 16:9 1080i; there black band on all sides, reducing the 16:9 image. Since these interviews\commentaries are new and clearly being taped in HD, I'm puzzled that they have decided to shrink it by about 25% so its a small 16:9 image inside a HD 16:9 format.

    There no problem with movies shown on TCMHD; when they show movies in on TCMHD, they tend to leave the movies in the movie's orginal aspect ratio, thus either letterbox or panel box.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I'd prefer not to lose picture data. If it needs black bars, fine, 4:3 stuff can be easily stretched.

    The tricky one is ESPNU, which broadcasts a 16:9 image on a 480i 4:3 channel, so you have to zoom way in otherwise you end up with black on 4 sides. I was able to do it on the DVDO EDGE with the cable box with native, with the MCE PC putting out 1080p all the time, I had to resort to using the TV to fix it. I wish Comcast would carry ESPN U HD!
     

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