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.WMV gamma and aspect ratio

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Bob Cole
.WMV gamma and aspect ratio
on Apr 29, 2012 at 2:37:18 pm

I edit on Macs, and often output to .wmv for corporate clients. This post addresses the old dilemma, of trying to deal with the fact that PCs have widely different display characteristics.

I'm familiar with the old problem of different gammas on PCs and Macs. Now that that discrepancy has supposedly been resolved, I've still seen a difference in the way the PCs and Macs that I own will display video.

My Mac monitor is carefully calibrated; my PCs are not, but they do seem to display most YouTube videos rather well. Yet I have found that when I create .wmv files, it is necessary to create an image that is rather high-key on the Mac, in order for it to appear bright enough on the PC.

I test using three or for different PCs, running Windows XP and Windows 7. They run from a little bit darker than the Mac to quite a bit darker. But one of the PCs (running Windows Media 9) for some reason displays my 640x360 video as if it were more like 800x360 -- it "anamorphizes" a video which doesn't need to be made anamorphic.

I would appreciate any insights into (1) how to prep video for PCs and (2) how to keep Windows Media from displaying my video anamorphically.

Thanks for your help.

Bob C

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