Tivo Desktop Video Format (Pillar box shown)

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by SRAINESS, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. SRAINESS

    SRAINESS Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Not sure if this is a Tivo Desktop thing or not... I usually record most of the shows that i want to transfer off of the standard channels. There is no reason to use the extra space for HD to watch on a phone, etc... I've noticed though that when watched on pc, or even when transfered to phone there is a pillar box around the video. Changing the video format (running through a transcoder, etc) will not remove the pillars because it seems to be part of the recording. I tried playing this directly off of the Tivo to a HD Tivo in stretch mode to see if the pillars are there, but they are not. This Tivo is connected to FIOS.

    Any ideas ?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    Uh... you realize that the "standard" channels typically have a 4:3 aspect ratio, while HD channels are 16:9, right?
     
  3. SRAINESS

    SRAINESS Member

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    Yes..... But when i play them on a standard 4:3 screen once they have been saved off of Tivo Desktop, they show pillars. That is the issue.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    If you're viewing these on a phone or iPod Touch, etc., you must be converting them from .tivo to .mp4. How are you doing that?
     
  5. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    I didn't see where you referred to viewing them on a 4:3 screen -- you mentioned a PC (most PC monitors have been 16:9 or 16:10 for a few years now) and a phone (the iPhone is 3:2, in between 4:3 and 16:9; others vary). I would expect to see pillars on these displays.
     
  6. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Was this an SD 4:3 show broadcasted on an HD channel? That usually results in piller boxing on the sides AND top and bottom.

    If it is a 4:3 show recorded off an SD channel, that only results in pillar boxing on the sides. This is normal when viewing on a PC or other device with a screen capable of displaying 16:9.

    If you wanted the video to fill the screen, you would have to stretch the sides which results in short, fat people on the screen, or you would have to 'zoom' the video which results in cropping the top and bottom of the video.

    If you feel you must do either of the above, VideoReDo TV Suite w/H.264 will let you accomplish this.
     
  7. SRAINESS

    SRAINESS Member

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    Thanks all... i have some clarifications as well...

    Its not just side pillars, but top/bottom as well.

    These files have run through either DSD, or VideoReDo so the format really should not have changed. Actually looking at properties on these files, they show 704 x 480 which should be ok.

    I have to validate though whether its the Tivo itself, or when Tivo Desktop takes it. I do find it strange though, that a 1 hour show would wind up being roughly a 1GB file in standard definition.

    So, once this file is moved to tivo desktop if i play it on xbox 360 with an std screen it shows pillars both top & bottom. Same on a PC with media center. Now you may say just resize. Well i can get rid of the pillars on left and right if i resize media center, but not the top & bottom. They are always there.

    I actually think though now, that it maybe the network/cable station that is doing it, and the specific show. CBS (60 minutes, and Sunday Morning) are missing the Top/Bottom Pillar. USA (Burn Notice) & SyFi (Many shows) have the top/bottom pillar, but when the commercials come in, the top/bottom fill out....

    So... Its the network(s)... Looks like they are putting the top/bottom panels in. They must record the show(s) in one format and have to pad top/bottom to keep the aspect correct. Just found a segment where the network actually placed something in the bottom pillar.

    Grrmmfff..

    Thanks Anyways !!
     
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    When the networks switched to all digital a lot of them started broadcasting letterboxed content on their SD feeds. They do this because it's easier then trying to pan and scan down to 4:3.

    Personally if I were you I'd still record the HD version. The source file may be bigger but once you recode it down for your phone it'll be the same size, maybe even a little smaller. Because the source material is cleaner the resized video for you phone might actually be able to compress a little more. And even if it doesn't the quality should still be a little better. Plus you wont have to worry about cropping which, in VideoReDo, slows down the encoding a little.

    Dan
     
  9. bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Some networks broadcast all, or at least a lot, or their shows letter boxed on all 4 sides. BBC America is very bad about doing that. So it may just be the networks you prefer that tend to produce this kind of video.
     
  10. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Breadboxing. I see this on everything I record from AMC, FX, SyFy, USA and BBC America. Crime Warner cable in Austin, TX. I don't record on the HD channels because I would need to use a tuning adapter. I had a lot of problems with it (TA) when I first tried it (and the 2nd and 3rd times I tried it), so I just live without.
     
  11. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Some networks were doing 16x9 long before the digital switchover, inclouding NBC, TNT. USA, and Syfy. I see "breadboxing" if I watch a 16x9 show recorded from the SD channel and view it on my 16x9 screen via my TP. I think the way to get the picture to fill the screen with no stretching or loss of data is set the TiVo to "Full" rather than "Zoom" or "Panel".


    A TiVo HD needs to be set with the proper display mode and screen size.
     
  12. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Full screen stretches content horizontally only. 4:3 video will be stretched to fill your 16:9 screen. Zoom resizes horizontally and vertically. Zoom is what you need for breadboxing. I am fairly certain (but not 100%) that Tivo zooms while keeping aspect ratio constant. Panel displays video as it is recorded (pillarboxed if 4:3, letterboxed if film width [1.85-2.35:1], or breadboxed if padded on top and bottom as described in previous posts). The descriptions provided are for content displayed on a wide screen TV.
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    You are correct. My bad. However, Full is correct for some channels, like the weather channel, were they have squeezed it in on the sides to fit a 4:3 screen.
     
  14. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Member

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    VideoReDo TVSuite V4 can crop the top and/or side bars off your video as it re-encodes the stream.

    I recorded an "White Christmas" from an SD source on my SD TiVo but the shenanigans the cable company pulled made it come out with top/bottom and side bars, so when I went to record it to a DVD I used my VideoReDo TVSuite V4 to remove all the bars. Of course the picture quality suffered from lack of detail because the SD picture was blown up about 10% but it is watchable.
     

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