: TVO - HD Sat Movies shrunk ??
2011-12-12, 05:11 PM
Lately I've been noticing that TVO's 'Saturday Night At The Movies' (in HD) is showing the films badly shrunk or downsized.
This also doesn't have anything to do with the age of the film, since last week the relatively new 'The Shipping News' was shrunk down to a point I couldn't watch it.
btw - I'm not talking about letterbox or screen fit style downsizing. The whole image has 8-10 inch black bars around the COMPLETE picture.
Does anyone know why they are doing this ?
2011-12-12, 05:21 PM
I've noticed it too, I can't fathom the thought process behind whoever is at the wheel at TVO. Many channels also run commercials this way. It's almost a strange as the bandwidth wasting SD sub channel on PBS.
If the programme is not available as HD, then they often show widescreen programming, like movies this way since filling the screen would perhaps make the programme unwatchable. It's called "windowboxing". If you want to zoom, feel free. I prefer it when HD channels do this for their SD programming (and commercials) since I can decide if I wish to watch this way or zoomed.
Black Bars FAQ:
2011-12-12, 06:52 PM
blueroomelectro, the "thought process" at TVO is simple: They don't modify the movies they present. No editing for time. No censorship. No modifications to the aspect ratio.
This is, unfortunately, the only way to present a 4:3 standard definition print which contains a 16:9 windowboxed movie within it--and not modify it.
The good news, as mentioned by 57 above, is that you can zoom the image. This results in a good replication of 16:9, with little loss of peripheral image.
2011-12-16, 04:50 PM
Hmmm ... not sure we are talking about the same thing.
I'm not talking about films/shows that are 4:3 native at all ... most of us are fully aware of HD formats, letter boxing, and black bar requirements for 16:9 hdtv's to display film aspect content ..
For example, 'THE SHIPPING NEWS' would hardly be given to TVO for broadcast as a 4:3 print .. imho HIGHLY unlikely. And a person can't rent that film on any format that isn't at least widescreen .. either 1.78:1 (or 2.35:1).
So why they are completely surrounding a film like that with large black bars is hard to fathom.
This shrinking thing certainly isn't consistent either .. I can't predict when the Sat movies will be shrunk (and be unwatchable for me).
ps - my Sammy panel doesn't have decent zoom modes at all, so zooming makes it worse. My previous Panny had great zoom modes.
2011-12-16, 05:07 PM
For example, 'THE SHIPPING NEWS' would hardly be given to TVO for broadcast as a 4:3 print .. imho HIGHLY unlikely.
That's precisely what's happened. They ordered the print in that format, and that's what they still have today. Frustrating? Yes, of course--now that they have the ability to broadcast full HD in 16:9.
Back when TVO was 4:3 SD, they would order a print in which the native image was 16:9, but letterboxed to prevent loss of image within 4:3. When you present such a format within a 16:9 window, it appears further "shrunk".
Unfortunately TVO lacks the financial resources to replace their print library with 16:9 prints.
2011-12-16, 06:22 PM
Ok .. an older TVO legacy copy of that print makes sense.
BUT, I am not sure the film was actually displayed as a 4:3 box tho .. I didn't measure the aspect ratio for certain, but I recall the shrunk size to be a 16:9 widescreen type of 'rectangle' (versus a 4:3 square). I could be wrong ..
If I recall the aspect correctly .. then we still have a mystery here ?
2011-12-16, 10:53 PM
You recall the film aspect ratio correctly, but there is no mystery.
If the film is a standard definition (SD) transfer, and the original aspect ratio was 16:9, TVO takes the 16:9 image area and sizes it smaller to fit the 4:3 SD broadcast area. Thus, the width of the image completely fills the 4:3 broadcast width and you get the bars on the top & bottom.
Then because the 4:3 broadcast width is less than the 16:9 screen size, you get black bars on the left and right.
It would be entirely possible for TVO to size the SD 16:9 to fit a 16:9 screen, but when the SD content is 4:3, you'd lose about a total of 1/3 the image on the top & bottom of the 16:9 screen, being 'off the screen'.
In other words, they would have to make major hardware configuration changes each time they went from 16:9 SD content to 4:3 SD content.
2011-12-17, 03:59 PM
Why would there have to be major configuration changes? Cannot modern equipment handle a variety of formats and deal with them appropriately. The big problem with using the old letterbox shows would be the loss of resolution, which would look terrible when zoomed up to a full 16:9 HD frame.