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WIN widescreen feedback


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#1 Jimmy

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 02:27 AM

Let's keep the feedback coming on the Hobart digital television scene!

Anyone else find WIN's effort with scary movie tonight a bit poor? They had it pillar-boxed 14:9, despite them now broadcasting in 16:9. I must say I've been very happy with the majority of their other programs being broadcast in 16:9. That watermark is definately the cause of some problems because those 16:9 commercials are still looking fantastic!

Cheers, Jim

#2 Beardy

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 03:55 PM

Unfortunately because WIN don't seem to have any aspect ratio equipment, so we are only getting an extension of the viewing area. This is ok for most shows from Channel 9, but some things that they shoot as 14:9 (Stingers, McLeods Daughters) or 16:9 (West Wing, E.R.) there is a problem for us widescreen viewers. Until WIN here and in the rest of regional Australia get the equipment, not much will change.

#3 Darklord

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 09:39 AM

This is ok for most shows from Channel 9, but some things that they shoot as 14:9 ...

You're half right. The problem isn't that shows are shot in 14x9, as all new material is shot in 16x9. Rather the problems stems from shows that donít have a 4x3 safe area. That is when they are shot the 4x3 zone isnít taken into account, and the entire available 16x9 frame is taken advantage of. This often means that important action or shot composition will fall outside of the visible 4x3 area.

To allow for this most stations present 16x9 shows without 4x3 safe zones, as letterboxed 14x9. This is a compromise between a full letterbox 16x9 presentation, or a centre cut 4x3 presentation.

As Beardy pointed out good stations install aspect ratio converters, which use a dotted white line as part of the signal to let the aspect ratio converter know what aspect to switch to for analogue viewers. I.e. one signal says "convert this 16x9 feed to 4x3" another signal says "convert this 16x9 signal to 14x9". This means the digital signal can always stay 16x9, while analogue viewers enjoy 14x9 or 4x3 depending on the source.

WIN however donít have aspect ratios converters, so they came up with a different technique. By window-boxing the entire 16x9 transfer in a black frame for digital (for shows that donít have a 4x3 safe zone) all they need to do is centre cut as normal for analogue, and hey presto the image is magically converted to 14x9! So rather than switching to different ratios depending on source, everting is simply centre cut for analogue. It just doesnít appear that way due to the window-boxing technique.

This totally sux of course, as it means all movies (as no movie is ever shot with a 4x3 safe area), and a lot of newer shows will be window boxed for us digital viewers. Hardly an incentive for people to switch to digital if they see movies being presented with ugly black borders! :blink:

#4 Jimmy

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 01:15 AM

Thanks Darklord, you just covered everything I was going to say in response to Beardy's post!

#5 nickcom01

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 10:03 PM

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#6 Darklord

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 10:48 AM

I cant say that i can actually see anything digital from win personally (no stb... *sigh*), but i can tell you all that they have purchased an ARC (aspect ratio convertor) as of two weeks ago... So if you see any commercials stuffed up in the wrong ratio - its coz they dont know how to use it... headaches all round for those of us supplying them the 16:9 commercials - they cant actually make 16:9 commercials themselves.
Atleast they can do real 16:9 now.

Very interesting post nick. Thanks for the info. Can I ask where you work? And just out of itnerest what cameras does your company use to shoot digital 16x9 commericals in?

And lastly do you know when WIN will have the aspect ratio covnertor in place?

#7 Guest_qwawtuhs_*

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 01:12 AM

Okay... I like to stay ahead and keep up in the times so I don't like it when things change on the mainland tv stations and we're left with what we've got for a good few weeks. Station Identitys for example... Why is it WIN Digital only has 4:3 "short" Identitys STILL when WIN on the mainland has quite up to date 16:9 ones? I think it's been a while now and they haven't bothered to get the new one. Also The quality of some WIN programming is VERY poor from my point of view (I have a DTV Card in my comp). What's going on?

http://www.matt.crof...es.com/win1.jpg

http://www.matt.crof...es.com/win2.jpg

#8 DJY

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 08:37 PM

Being an original Tasmanian (from Lonnie) I understand how you all feel... but alas you aren't alone...

Now I'm living here in Canberra - and we still suffer all the same problems!
No ARC allegedly...
so window boxing or "ned kelly boxing" as someone called it is seen in the ACT as well...

Not good enough WIN