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alison

Home-recorded DVDs in 4:3 aspect ratio

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A question for the technically-minded:

 

Now that I have access to a DVD player again, I was looking at some recent programmes I'd recorded onto DVD from the TV and was surprised to see that they were coming out in 4:3 aspect ratio rather than 16:9 widescreen.  So what I've got on the wide screen is a column of black on either side where there should still be a picture - the station ident and everything below it and on the opposite side has been cut off.  I know I recorded them from an old-style 4:3 TV, but had assumed that the TV type wouldn't affect what was recorded onto disc. 

 

I've tried tweaking the settings on the DVD player, but either I don't get the entire screen filled up or, if I do, then the dancers are all squashed.  There don't seem to be any settings to tweak on the computer either, at least not when I'm using Media Player.  I still don't get any picture in the vertical zones at either end of the screen.  Does anyone have any idea what I should be doing to get the full width of picture, or am I permanently going to be stuck with a truncated one?

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If the program was recorded to the DVD as 4:3, it will play as 4:3. Twiddling the TV results in squashed people. There are loads of video editing software programs available for PC and Mac, with which you can change the format from 4:3 to 16:9. You would have to rip the DVD, change the aspect ratio and burn a new DVD. I don't know what the effect of changing the aspect ratio would be; I just leave my DVDs as they were recorded.

 

I get annoyed when TV stations don't broadcast programs in the correct aspect ratio. The BBC regularly transmits Dad's Army in 16:9, resulting in squashed people. The program was made in 4:3 and that is how it should be transmitted. Fortunately my DVD box set is in the correct ratio.

 

Quick plug for Talking Pictures TV. Great old programs, always transmitted in the correct ratio, no credit squeezing, no talking over the end credits, very small DOG and and no IPPs.  True TV are terrible - their attempt to squeeze and talk over the end credits, often results in them squeezing the last 30 seconds of the program. As a trade off, you get uninterrupted end credits.

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1 hour ago, trog said:

If the program was recorded to the DVD as 4:3, it will play as 4:3.

 

Of course.  I was just assuming that they would all have been recorded in the format they were transmitted, which is 16:9.  I don't remember ever setting any recording parameters for this.  So it sounds as though you're saying that I'm stuck with losing either side of the transmission, and can't do anything about it?  I don't remember noticing this with previous things I recorded off the telly and then looked at on my computer.

 

Edit: Wimbledon 2012 final is also coming out as 4:3, which means I've lost the edges of the tennis court :( 

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When I have had this problem, I find going onto Zoom 1 works, if you have that option.  You only loose a little bit and everything is in proportion.

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Thanks, but presumably that won't reinstate what's missing at the sides, will it?

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I don't think there is anything missing at the sides.  It is just blank, kind of like a small photo being put in a frame that doesn't fit, so there are gaps.  You sometimes get the same with old very wide screen  films  where the black line is at the top and bottom "letterbox effect".  

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No, I'm definitely missing the two columns, because the BBC FOUR ident isn't properly visible.

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