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RCBH928
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Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by RCBH928 Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:32 pm

I loaded a “widescreen” dvd in my ps3 but the image is only to the center of the tv screen with black bars all around. I tried to change the tv picture size but none give the desired results. Other DVDs will play full 4:3 or full 16:9. Any one know how to fix this?

note dvd is not anamorphic
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Ziggy587
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Ziggy587 Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:06 pm

Sounds like you have a dreaded letterbox DVD. Letterbox means that it was mastered to be widescreen but with black bars on the top and bottom to fit a 4:3 TV screen. When you watch a letterbox DVD on a widescreen TV there will be black bars all the way around the image. The only thing you can do is, if you TV has this setting, is zoom in so the picture takes up the whole screen. But zooming in will make it look pretty poor quality, so you're better off just watching the smaller picture. Or find another print of the movie that isn't letterbox, if one exists.
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RCBH928
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by RCBH928 Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:13 am

Ziggy587 wrote:Sounds like you have a dreaded letterbox DVD. Letterbox means that it was mastered to be widescreen but with black bars on the top and bottom to fit a 4:3 TV screen. When you watch a letterbox DVD on a widescreen TV there will be black bars all the way around the image. The only thing you can do is, if you TV has this setting, is zoom in so the picture takes up the whole screen. But zooming in will make it look pretty poor quality, so you're better off just watching the smaller picture. Or find another print of the movie that isn't letterbox, if one exists.


So its no use trying to watch it on a regular composite dvd or bluray player?

another nail in the coffin for physical medium
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Ziggy587
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Ziggy587 Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:43 am

Only early DVDs might be letterbox as oppose to anamorphic, and they make up a very small percentage of what's out there. At least, for region 1 this is true.

Some early letterbox releases eventually had later anamorphic releases, but there are some DVDs that are letterbox that never had a later release. I can only find Jackie Chan's Who Am I as a letterbox DVD in region 1. Damn shame because it's such a good movie.
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RCBH928
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by RCBH928 Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:18 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:Only early DVDs might be letterbox as oppose to anamorphic, and they make up a very small percentage of what's out there. At least, for region 1 this is true.

Some early letterbox releases eventually had later anamorphic releases, but there are some DVDs that are letterbox that never had a later release. I can only find Jackie Chan's Who Am I as a letterbox DVD in region 1. Damn shame because it's such a good movie.


define "early" DVDs. The particular one I am suffering from now is Existenz '99 , Even if it was released in letterboxed, I am surprised I can still find the 20 year old print brand new but nothing more recent with actual anamorphic.

Even worse a lot of the DVDs I am looking for are hard to find with labels like "only 10 left in stock" on Amazon , also a lot of items on Amazon has the front cover only and not the back where all the data is.

Buying physical media is so much harder than streaming with all these options, releases, region locks, and shipping prices. With 5G on the horizon where I heard you can download full season of 4k video in 5 min, physical medium will be choking for survival. I can only see it surviving for collectors released in small numbers for cherry picked titles.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by Ziggy587 Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:34 pm

RCBH928 wrote:define "early" DVDs.


What I mean is from the time DVD was first released to the time widescreen TVs hit the market. A lot of releases were letterbox during this time.

Who Am I? I had to pay $20 for a used copy, which I consider a lot since I typically buy DVDs new for $5-10 these days. But as far as I know it's the only region 1 release of the movie on anything better than VHS. They didn't even bother giving the DVD a proper cover, they just slapped the VHS box art on it with boarders on the left and right lol.

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Mr Nice Guy, which is probably my favorite Jackie Chan flick, I only had a letterbox version of for the longest time. I was finally able to find an anamorphic DVD release. But I'd really love a region 1 release of both these movies on Blu Ray.
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Re: Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by Jagosaurus Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:01 pm

I've had 2 DVDs over the years (10 Things I Hate About You & Boondock Saints) that would show up this way on certain players. I'd have to zoom in on the TV settings. In other players, they'd be displayed in proper widescreen. It's like the media & the playback device weren't shaking hands correctly. Odd. Try a different player.

If no go, it's as Ziggy said. I had several VHS tapes in that hard coded letterbox widescreen.
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Re: Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by Golgo 14 Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:19 pm

Jagosaurus wrote:I've had 2 DVDs over the years (10 Things I Hate About You & Boondock Saints) that would show up this way on certain players. I'd have to zoom in on the TV settings. In other players, they'd be displayed in proper widescreen. It's like the media & the playback device weren't shaking hands correctly. Odd. Try a different player.

The original 2002 Boondock Saints dvd was non-anamorphic. I'm guessing you found some DVD players that would automatically scale them to fill the screen.
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Re: Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by Jagosaurus Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:40 pm

That may be the case. I don't own it anymore to read the back. I do have the MKV rips for both & will load it up in VLC at some point to see it's displayed.
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Re: Widescreen DVD with boarders all around ?

by Anapan Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:21 am

Rip it to MP4 or MKV with Handbrake, load it onto a thumbdrive and play it using the PS4 Media Player. By default Handbrake will crop black borders and deinterlace to progressive.
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