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Anamorphic Widescreen on TCM?


jjelmquist
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I really appreciate TCM showing widescreen movies letterboxed in order to show films as orginially intended by the film makers. However, on my 50" Panasonic it appears that TCM's broadcasts are not anamorphic as most widescreen DVDs are. It's basically a 4:3 image with the film letterboxed within. So, on my big screen the aspect ratio of the film is very narrow. I can compensate by switching the display with the zoom function, but then there's some loss in overall picture quality.

 

Anyone know if TCM broadcasts widescreen movies anamorphically? If so, is it possible I don't have my cable box set up right? Or might I need a different cable box to display them correctly? Can anamorphic images even be broadcasted, or is this feature for DVD only?

 

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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See if your remote control has a button for picture size or shape. You should be able to widen the picture.

 

Some letterboxed film copies look very wide side to side with thick black strips at the top and bottom, while other film copies are the same width but the the black strips at the top and bottom are thinner.

 

To show a real "anamorphic" image on TV would squeeze the whole wide screen down to a narrow screen for everyone who still has an old picture-tube TV.

 

Message was edited by: FredCDobbs

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Ok, here are examples of the two main types of Letterboxing that I?ve noticed on TCM.

 

This first version doesn?t show the full original film picture, although it looks like the image is wide screen on every TV. In this kind of video dub from film, a little of the left and right side of the original film image has been cut off, but you won?t notice that on your TV.

 

Note the THIN black stripes at top and bottom of the screen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDY3G27kF2I&feature=related

 

In this second version, you will see the full original film, with nothing on the sides cut off, but to make this kind of wide-screen dub, they have to make THICKER black stripes at the top and bottom of the screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWf2K3DonoA

 

You should have a button on your remote control so you can change your picture size and shape to accommodate these different kinds of letterboxing, as well as a setting for regular shaped older non-wide-screen films. In the mode setting for the older films, you?ll have a black stripe at the right and left of your screen.

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"Widescreen" is the generic term of the almost limitless varieties of aspect ratios that were introduced in the 1950s, ranging from the barely widescreen Warnerscope used on GIANT (1.66:1), through VistaVision (1.85:1), CinemaScope (originally 2.55:1, later 2.35:1), MGM Camera 65 (later known as Ultra Panavision, at 2.76:1), etc. "Widescreen" is, then, just about anything that has a greater ratio than the old Academy 1.33:1 format, and the height of the black bars at the top of a standard 4x3 TV screen will therefore vary accordingly (though the sides of widescreen films are typically sliced off a bit in letterboxed TV broadcasts).

 

It is possible to make your own "enhanced anamorphic" DVD-Rs, however, if you have a widescreen digital TV with a component output. Adjust the TV to show the telecast in a "squeezed" format, and record it onto DVD-R through that output. The DVD will then have a squeezed image which, when played back through the TV's normal input (with the TV set to unsqueeze it), will fill the screen to the same extent a commercial enhanced DVD does.

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It is possible to make your own "enhanced anamorphic" DVD-Rs, however, if you have a widescreen digital TV with a component output. Adjust the TV to show the telecast in a "squeezed" format, and record it onto DVD-R through that output. The DVD will then have a squeezed image which, when played back through the TV's normal input (with the TV set to unsqueeze it), will fill the screen to the same extent a commercial enhanced DVD does.

 

Very cool! I'll play around with this. Thanks!

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