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upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question

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Nicholas Natteau
upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 17, 2011 at 3:03:33 pm

So I have a Kona LHi card, and I have a bunch of old WWII footage I'm upconverting from 480i to 720p.

Now I see that AJA's Kona LHi card has several aspect ratio options for upconverting 480i to 720p:
• Anamorphic
• Pillarbox 4:3
• Zoom 14x9
• Zoom Letterbox
• Zoom wide

Is it OK to upconvert using "Zoom wide" or is that not acceptable? Perhaps most people would use Pillarbox 4:3, but I was hoping to avoid the pillarbox look since all my interviews were shot in HD.

Now I know that if I upconverted using the "Pillarbox 4:3" method, I could then zoom into the clips manually in my FCP7 timeline, but then I lose 33% of the upconverted footage above and below.

So is it ok to use "zoom wide" in the broadcast world, or is that unacceptable? I know there would be a slight flattening of the image, but is that ok for distribution?

Thanks in advance for feedback.


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Shane Ross
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 17, 2011 at 4:54:31 pm

Zoom wide is fine. I typically do Pillar Box so that I can manually zoom in on the footage, because sometimes what I need to focus on is on the top or bottom parts of the frame. But you can do Zoom, Wide.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 17, 2011 at 5:40:52 pm

Hi Shane,

Sorry my mistake I meant to ask if it's ok to go Anamorphic (not zoom wide) when upconverting from SD to HD.


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Shane Ross
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 18, 2011 at 4:40:42 pm

Test and see. That's how I figure things out. But I am not sure as to the results. That option is really meant for SD footage that is already anamorphic I believe. You will still be cropping some of the image...or will be distorting it. Because 4:3 put into anamorphic...16:9...well, you still lose some image.

Test and see.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 18, 2011 at 5:00:18 pm

Hi Shane,

I meant is it ok for broadcast or distribution purposes for 4:3 SD footage to be flattened horizontally a little (via the Anamorphic upscale) when upconverting from 4:3 SD to to 16:9 HD?

If I were doing it in FCP 7 for example, I would simply twiddle open the Distort tab and type "33.33" in the Aspect Ratio field to change the 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9.

I know it can be done, but broadcast wise / distribution wise, is it legit? Or do the rules say that aspect ratios must never be changed? That you can upscale and zoom in, but not distort 4:3 to get a 16:9 look.

Just like luma or audio must never be too hot for broadcast, is it the case that aspect ratios must not be distorted as well?


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Shane Ross
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 18, 2011 at 7:16:13 pm

[Nicholas Natteau] "I meant is it ok for broadcast or distribution purposes for 4:3 SD footage to be flattened horizontally a little (via the Anamorphic upscale) when upconverting from 4:3 SD to to 16:9 HD?"

Ask the network. I have worked with one that wanted the footage 4:3 pillarbox, even though the rest of the show was 16:9 HD. I had one that wanted me to zoom in and fill the screen. And another that wanted me to keep the 4:3, but fill the black with a defocuses, enlarged image of the main footage. All different standards. Ask what they prefer. Also, do tests and see if it looks OK to you. 4:3 stretched to fill 16:9 doesn't really look good....IMHO.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: upconverting to 720p, aspect ratio question
on Jul 18, 2011 at 7:29:13 pm

Thanks Shane will do. Just spoke to AJA Tech Support and they also advised against the 4:3 to anamorphic change. Also NoahK on the DVXuser's FCP7 forum advised me to definitely change aspect ratio. From what everyone's saying it sounds like it will cause me a lot of problems when it comes to distribution channels in the long run.

I'll take your advice and upconvert using Pillarbox 4:3 and then zoom in manually as needed.

Thanks for your feedback.


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