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Re: Help with broadcast requirements

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Bill Stephan
Re: Help with broadcast requirements
on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:30:57 pm


The only way to convert 4:3 content into 16:9 content is to chop part of the frame, usually the top and bottom of the image. Whether this works depends on how the shots are composed during the shoot.

You make a frame of video anamorphic by squeezing the image along the x-axis to 75% of its original size. If you are starting with 4:3 content, that process gives you a "pillarbox" or an image with black bars on the left and right side. You have made an anamorphic image, but you have not changed 4:3 content into 16:9 content. You can blow-up the pillarboxed image until the black bars disappear. Now you have a 16:9 FHA (full height anamorphic) image, but the top and bottom of the original image have been cropped off. You can "pan/scan" each shot by moving it up or down in the frame if necessary to include important parts of each shot.

The downside of this process is you lose picture resolution because you are losing part of the original picture area by converting from 4:3 to 16:9. When you start with a true 16:9 image and make it anamorphic such as in an HDTV to NTSC downconversion, you make a full-frame to full-frame conversion that keeps the entire image.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City

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