Help with HDTV and dvd aspect ratios
September 4, 2006 5:23 PM   Subscribe

HDTV Filter: I just bought a new HD TV. It is an Emprex LCD TV HD-3201AE ( The problem I am having is that no matter what DVD I play, the picture always has black bars on top and bottom. I can't get the picture to take up the full screen. I have tried dvd's with display ratios of 2.35:1, 1.85:1, 1.66:1, and 2.40:1. The resolution of the display is 1366x768. I suspect that that may be the culprit. I have tried all the output settings on the TV including 16x9, native, and full. Please help.
posted by Ezrie to Technology (8 answers total)
As long as the picture takes up the entire horizontal (no black bars to right or left) and the aspect looks right (ie., things that are supposed to be round are still perfectly round on screen), then I don't think those black bars are harming the playback.
posted by porpoise at 5:30 PM on September 4, 2006

Your TV is 16:9, which is 1.77:1. You'll always have black bars at the top and bottom on movies wider than that (2.35:1 and 1.85:1). The alternative is either distorting the picture by stretching it, or zooming it and cutting off the sides (which most TVs can't do).
posted by cillit bang at 5:32 PM on September 4, 2006

Make sure your DVD player's output options are set to widescreen. For anamorphic DVDs, the DVD player will send a 4:3 image to your TV that uses the full height of the screen, but is optimized to be resized to 16:9. Then you have to change your TV's display settings to stretch the image to the full size of the screen. Presto: widescreen movies!
posted by stopgap at 5:50 PM on September 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

AVSforum answers all.

I went there and searched for "emprex" in the title of threads and here are the results. That URL might not work after a while, in which case just go to AVSforum's Display Devices category and "Search this forum" (not "Search"!) for "emprex". By default it'll search more than thread titles like I did so you'll get a lot more.

Read it all! You can learn a ton over there. Don't be quick to post -- your question is likely answered already, or just requires that you study a bit more.

Certainly your problem has nothing to do with the screen resolution ... Do you really have black bars at the top and bottom when playing 1.66:1 content? Even when playing 4:3 / regular TV content? Really, always at the top and bottom?

It's probably a zoom setting somewhere. Don't give up.
posted by intermod at 6:55 PM on September 4, 2006

Because you're only complaining about the black bars on the top and bottom, it's likely your DVD player is configured correctly.

Basically, what cillit bang said. No movies that I know of have a 16:9 aspect ratio; as far as I know, the 16:9 ratio was chosen for HDTV because most widescreen films have a wider aspect ratio. The only DVDs that are likely to take up your entire screen are television shows that were produced in HDTV (for example, Battlestar Galactica).
posted by neckro23 at 6:58 PM on September 4, 2006

I am trying out stopgap's instructions now. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks
posted by Ezrie at 10:49 PM on September 4, 2006

No movies that I know of have a 16:9 aspect ratio

According to this page 16:9 is "the shape of most American movies today". That could be wrong, but in that case my TV is broken too because most movies I've watched lately take up all of my widescreen TV...
posted by Gortuk at 9:44 AM on September 5, 2006

Stopgap has it.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:00 AM on September 5, 2006

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