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Badly produced DVD's
Authored by: thelamecamel on Dec 10, '04 10:39:45PM

The problem is that these particular DVDs are designed for people with 4:3 screens, who want to see a 16:9 letterboxed image rather than pan and scan. So, every frame of the movie is a 4:3 image with black stripes at top and bottom.

I used to have a still camera with a "panorama" option that did this - it blocked the top and bottom of the frame, so the negative had black bars recorded onto it.

Most 16:9 DVDs do not have this black recorded on the image (it is a waste of space). I do not know whether the actual movie file is in 16:9 or is squashed into 4:3 (and your widescreen TV desquashes it).

So this hint IS cropping the picture, but it's cropping the parts of the picture that really shouldn't be there.

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Badly produced DVD's
Authored by: wibbble on Dec 11, '04 12:32:42AM

Anamorphic 16:9 DVDs are 'squashed' into 4:3 and then 'stretched' back to 16:9 by your DVD player, which will either pass it on to your TV as-is, or add black bars at the top and bottom to make it back into 4:3, if you only have a 4:3 TV.

When the DVD is not anamorphic, and has the black bars encoded in, it doesn't so much waste space as resolution - the picture quality when you watch it on a widescreen TV will be a bit worse than an anamorphic DVD. There's no good reason for non-anamorphic widescreen - every DVD player can correctly handle it for 4:3 TVs.

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