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Projecting HD in a SD world

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jim brodie
Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 22, 2010 at 1:24:36 pm

Hi folks,

I've just finished a project in 1080p and want to deliver it to a school district for showing from a laptop through a projector. No one knows what kind of projector they have but their PC laptops are current.

I've discovered that Mpeg Streamclip is way better than Sorensen Squeeze for encoding the files into WMVs. They look great (at 16,000 kbs)but will they project properly? I realize the projectors could be SVGA (800 x 600) or XGA (1024 x 768). What will be the best size to offer them that will meet the specs for both projector options.

Would my 1080p x 1920 file automatically resize within a SD projector?

Thank you in advance for your insights.

Cheers,

Jim


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Thomas Leong
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 22, 2010 at 1:36:06 pm

Q: Would my 1080p x 1920 file automatically resize within a SD projector?

Yes. A projector can only output its native resolution, so will internally re-size anything larger (or smaller) fed into it.

Ideally always produce for the projector's native resolution for the best clarity, etc when projected. You could provide them with 2 files - one SVGA (800x600), the other XGA (1024x768).

Thomas Leong



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jim brodie
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 22, 2010 at 1:55:33 pm

Thomas,

Thank you for your response!

Yes, to maintain the same aspect ratio as the original I was thinking of downsizing 1920 x 1080 to 768 x 408 to fit the native SVGA specs (800 x 600)of the projector. (simply by multiplying the original sizes by 0.4)

Cheers,

Jim


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Thomas Leong
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 22, 2010 at 2:45:38 pm

Jim,

Not sure if that would work well (ie. without distortion). I have a SVGA projector in my office which I'll feed with a re-sized 1920x1080 and let you know. Time zone differences may mean about 12-16 hours from now though.

Thomas



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Noah Kadner
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 22, 2010 at 10:08:22 pm

I'd just go 1080p and let the projector scale it. If you try and make a video at say 800x600 you'll end up with all sorts of weird scaling and cropping issues to fit those non standard video aspect ratios. Feed a nice 1080p or even 720p if that's too much bandwidth and it will likely look better. Or convince someone to spring $100 to rent a proper HD projector...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.


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jim brodie
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 23, 2010 at 12:44:32 am

Pardon my ignorance but in rescaling HD to 800 x 600 will I not end up with pickle heads and lower resolution?

Cheers,

Jim


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jim brodie
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 23, 2010 at 12:45:34 am

Thomas,

Thank you for your offer. I'll await your results.

Cheers,

Jim


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Thomas Leong
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:00:30 am

Having run some tests through my SVGA projector, it is safe to say that it won't distort a 768x432 file. Still projects it as a 16:9 format. But this depends on your encoder and quality will depend on the codec used.

I re-encoded a 1920x1080 file to wmv, mov (animation codec), mp4, and mpg (MPEG-2).
Only the mp4 came out as a 4:3 format, but the letterboxed content projected in the same size as the others. Quality of the mp4 wasn't good though.

I used TMPGEnc version 4 for all my transcodes (std. settings). Playback was tried using Quicktime Player (non-pro version), Vlc version 1.03, and Windows Media Player. Quicktime was the only player that did not allow playing on a secondary monitor (which was split to the projector). You may want to package vlc version 1.03 or later with your files as it allows the controls to be dragged to one monitor with content full-screen on the other.

As for the other suggestion to provide 1920x1080 file to your client, I would suggest not. Some PCs do not have the power to play 1920x1080 without hiccups. Moreover, some SVGA projectors may not accept a 1920x1080 resolution (error message: "beyond range" or thereabouts) and therefore refuse to project the file. Also, the scalers in these projectors are not the best, so I would not trust them to do a good job.

happy encoding!
Thomas Leong



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Martin Curtis
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Aug 23, 2010 at 10:18:39 am

[Thomas Leong] "As for the other suggestion to provide 1920x1080 file to your client, I would suggest not. Some PCs do not have the power to play 1920x1080 without hiccups. Moreover, some SVGA projectors may not accept a 1920x1080 resolution (error message: "beyond range" or thereabouts) and therefore refuse to project the file. Also, the scalers in these projectors are not the best, so I would not trust them to do a good job."

These points were exactly what I was going to post. I have seen all of these things on some of our older projectors/PCs (esp. laptops). Full HD projectors aren't that common in the corporate world. As long as it shows the boss's PPT file OK, they're happy with that.

Don't forget that a lot of projectors are 4:3. Widescreen isn't that common for many reasons.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:56:16 pm

While late to this party, for future readers, I will add the following:

Just because someone has a current computer does not mean they have current media players. Not all Windows laptops can play an MP4 file. Windows 7, sure, but XP or Vista, you never know. And asking a client "{can your computer play XYZ file format?" can be like asking them any other technical thing. Non-technical people tend to not pay much attention to technical things - file formats, media players, software - they just expect things to work and don't want to know why or how.

And corporate IT folks do their jobs well, but that sometimes means that media players are not kept up to date and/or that firewalls block video over the LAN. And just because a laptop has a DVD-ROM drive does not mean the computer can play a DVD.

Corporate computers are purchased for spreadsheets, Word docs and powerpoints, not for playing videos.

Luckily this is changing as newer computers are added to the mix, but you still need to know what the end user is using.

Mike Cohen


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Projecting HD in a SD world
on Sep 21, 2010 at 7:07:38 pm

Coming in very late here, but one thing to note:

The video file does not dictate the projected/displayed resolution. The computer does this! You set the screen resolution and if you put it too high for the projector (size or frequency) is will bark at you. So you are just going to show the video full screen to whatever the screen size is set to on the computer. The video playback program (QuickTime, VLC, etc...) should scale it proportionally. If the computer screen size is set to the native size of the projector then only the computer will be scaling. If they are mismatched, then you may have two rounds of scaling on your video, once for the computer and another for the projector.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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