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16:9 .mov to 42" Plasma Screen - creating letterbox bars

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16:9 .mov to 42" Plasma Screen - creating letterbox bars
on Feb 23, 2006 at 4:23:55 pm

Hey, the disadvantage to this whole DV/Final Cut type revolution is that stuff like encoding gets dropped in laps like mine, and there's no-one to stop me!

The .mov file was playing from a laptop out to a 42" plasma screen, and it ran smoothly - but the problem I'm encountering is that it inserts letterbox bars. How can I create a file that displays on a plasma correctly? It needs to fill the screen - that's the point of the 16:9 novelty!

Here some of the .mov specs:
848 x 477
Pixel aspect: NTSC CCIR 601/DV (Anamorphic)
Constrain to display aspect: None

What am I doing wrong? The Final Cut project specs are:

DVCPRO HD 720p60 (16:9)
Frame Size 960 x 720
The Anamorphic 16:9 box is checked....
The compressor in FC says DV/DVCPRO - NTSC


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Re: 16:9 .mov to 42" Plasma Screen - creating letterbox bars (plus - 16:9 Letterbox/Pan-Scan DVDs)
on Feb 23, 2006 at 5:51:21 pm

I might add, I'm just trying to figure out this 16:9 thing in general. My impression is that with films, the DVD player is often having to second-guess the actuall cropping for a particular movie, and sometimes the particular aspect ration doesn't fit 16:9. It sometimes can add the letterbox bars, or other times, it zooms into the image...

- This applies to two DVDs that I've created of the same project. I burned two versions in DVD SP 4.0. One is 16:9 Letterbox, the other is 16:9 Pan-Scan. Would either of these be able to display on the Plasma semi-satisfactorily?

- Is there actually a standard when someone says, "16:9", and you know that you can encode something at a particular *** x *** size, and know it will display full-screen, and un-cropped?

Sorry for the extremely basic questions...

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Charles Simonson
Re: 16:9 .mov to 42" Plasma Screen - creating letterbox bars
on Feb 23, 2006 at 9:49:52 pm

First, you need to find out the resolution of the plasma as indicated by the Mac OS when the Powerbook is plugged into the display. So, if your display resolution is recognized as 848x477 in OS X, then you need to encode your material to a either that or a compatible resolution, like 852x480. QT should then play this out in full screen mode and eveything pixel should be filled. If QT is having trouble doing this however, then I would recommend a different player, like VLC.

VLC has many options for displaying play back of movies. There are options to force playback to 4:3 or 16:9 ratios, no matter what the original PAR or IAR is. There is also an option to distort and stretch fill every pixel of a display. In your case, this would work well as you could encode to 720x480 16:9, which would keep the original aspect ratio of the source. By doing this, you would be gaining the efficiency of an anamorphic encode while on play back, VLC would only very slightly have to stretch the picture to fill the screen, likely not enough to be noticable to the common eye.

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Re: 16:9 .mov to 42" Plasma Screen - creating letterbox bars
on Feb 23, 2006 at 10:31:13 pm

Thanks, I'll try this next time!

I don't know if you got a chance to check out my other post, but I was also wondering about some DVD stuff.

Thanks again, and this is really helpful.

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