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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV Other Hardware
Believe it or not, Toshiba actually made standard definition CRT TVs with component inputs yet without the "enhanced definition" setting, so output from my AppleTV is pillarboxed (3:3 instead of 4:3) or stretched vertically (wide-screen content appears almost 4:3). While this makes overweight, overpaid news anchors look svelte in their podcasts, it's not a great result when viewing movies or TV shows or ... everything else.

I'm not ready to drop $800 (or more) for a flat-screen HDTV, so I've been asking for a hack that would alter the AppleTV's aspect ratio. No luck. I've also been asking Apple for a new setting in the AppleTV settings, but Apple is looking towards the future and not the past.

I did manage to find a reasonable workaround, however, and it's easy as pie (or a piece of cake ... whatever). You will need QuickTime Pro. Simply open the video and press Command-J to show the video's Properties. Click on the Video track and alter the Scaled Size on the Video tab to 75% of the original height. You must uncheck Preserve Aspect Ratio. I use the closest multiple of 16, although I'm not sure the AppleTV requires adherence to the "rule of 16s." I then use File » Save As to save a self-contained movie and drop it into iTunes.

The result: All 4:3 video plays full-screen, and wide-screen content plays letterboxed. I'm working on an AppleScript that will do this as a "droplet" to make the process simpler.
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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: chaunceyjb on Aug 21, '07 09:14:13AM

I have the same kind of tv. I even wondered if AppleTV would work. Can you tell me what your model is?



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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: NigelH on Aug 21, '07 02:47:33PM

Can't wait to try this hint out. I have a Tosh 27AF42 and it's been very frustrating having the AppleTV with out-of-whack video. Although odd how quickly you can get used to watching YouTube videos this way.

Any thoughts on how to get iPhoto pics to behave better?



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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: boredzo on Aug 21, '07 03:51:28PM

Huh? 3:3 = 1:1 = square.



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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: nickv2002 on Aug 21, '07 07:09:24PM
Nice tip, but no real reason not to have an HDTV when you can pick up a small one (23") for closer to $300 rather than $800. Try dealnews.

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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Aug 22, '07 06:28:25AM

I have a Toshiba 32A10. Component inputs but solidly rooted in 20th Century SDTV; no way to set "enhanced definition".

As for the 23" $300 HDTV: Why would I want to buy a smaller TV? I'd need a 27" HDTV in order to get the same size wide-screen content as I get on my 32" Toshiba; and then I'd have a smaller SD picture.

"3:3" - Yes, 4:3 content is square and pillarboxed. This is a limitation of SDTVs and the AppleTV. This is why my "change the aspect ratio" workaround using QT Player Pro is necessary.

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Two things in this world aren't overrated: Macintosh and Lemon Meringue Pie.



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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: Power Factor on Aug 23, '07 01:21:09AM

Handbrake now has optomised presets for iPhone, iPod andn many more
including AppleTV for standard TVs



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Modify movies to look better on AppleTV on standard TV
Authored by: Fairly on Aug 24, '07 11:11:03PM

Wow. Too cool.



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