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Seeking DVD player with good panoramic zoom, gradual zoom

by JKRH / May 30, 2008 6:50 AM PDT

Anyone out there - can you point me in the right direction? My Toshiba CD-2300 (circa 2001) just died. My favorite feature was the panoramic zoom with the little 'window' to show you where on the screen you were zooming to, and also a gradual zoom in/out depending on how long you hold down the button.
Toshiba CD-4100 has only 3 setting zoom. It lets you move the zoom around but does not have the little 'window' to help you out.
Does anyone make a current model good quality DVD player that will give me the same zoom features as my old CD-2300? Someone mentioned a Denon for about $400, but I'd like to try to find one for less....
Will resort to trying to track down an unused (new in package) 2300 if not one can suggest alternative....Contact me at with DVD on subject line if you can help. Thanks!

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portable dvd player with undistorted zoom ?
by 62mike / August 2, 2012 10:35 AM PDT

me too. i'd like to find a portable with zoom for all those old letterboxed widescreen dvd's in order to use the full display resolution. the sony fx - 970 has a zoom but it distorts the picture. i've got a small, lo-res sylvania player with zoom, but it stretches 4:3 to fill the screen whether you want it to or not.
i'm amazed that with all the older letterboxed dvd's out there there don't seem to be any players with a zoom to utilize the whole screen.

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Is this that old discussion about
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2012 10:38 AM PDT

The black bars on the side?

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zoom, not bars
by 62mike / January 14, 2013 10:50 AM PST

no; black bars are the obvious result of placing a 4:3 picture on a 16:9 screen. "letterboxing" presents a picture of 16:9 (or 2.35:1) on a 4:3 screen - with black bands top and bottom. Such letterboxed dvd's shown on a wide screen gives black top, bottom, sides; the picture is a small patch in the middle, wasting a lot of resolution. zooming the picture to use the entire screen (or more of it for 2.35:1) would make best use of available screen pixels; especially beneficial with a portable. sony's zoom distorts the picture; sylvania has a zoom, but stretches 4:3 to fill screen making it useless for de-letterboxing. orei is the same plus the TWO zoom icons stay obtrusively on the screen.

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Then you want a PC to play this back.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 12:16 PM PST
In reply to: zoom, not bars

I've only seem such fine controls on PCs.

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not so...
by 62mike / January 14, 2013 1:28 PM PST

the above mentioned portable dvd players all have a "zoom" ; they are defective / unusable for de-letterboxing in one way or another.
to use the zenith zoom i have to put the 4:3 in a 16:9 container with software, put the result on a dvd then zoom the letterbox out to fill the screen. works well, but you shouldn't have to do all that.
hopefully sony will fix their zoom on the next model; with 800 x 480 pixels it would look as good as widescreen on their players.

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As you noted, the players don't work today.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 15, 2013 12:20 AM PST
In reply to: not so...

Wishing for them to fix this is just that. If you didn't remember why such things are this way I'll spell it out in one word. Ready?


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Just thinking out loud.
by ahtoi / January 15, 2013 1:15 AM PST
In reply to: not so...

I wonder if a dvd player with upconversion would do that. Is auto zoom we are more interested in or is the aspect ratio we are more interested in?

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by 62mike / January 15, 2013 9:14 AM PST

no upconversion, just a simple zoom. anyone remember 4:3 tv's and how widescreen format movies were "letterboxed" to fit with the black bands on top & bottom? these dvd's , when played on today's typical widescreen display give a miniature widescreen picture with black all around, wasting available resolution. (16:9 display with a 4:3 in the middle with a 16:9 inside that)
i have an antique audiovox player with a 4:3 screen that has a non- distorting zoom; i just can't find a present day widescreen player with one, tho it seems such an obvious feature to have in view of the scads of letterbox format dvd's out there.'
i hear the philips pd9000/37 has some kind of zoom, but they don't respond to "contact us" for specifics; maybe i'll buy one and cross my fingers, tho resolution is only half that of the sony's.
so far:
sony - zoom distorts picture (changes aspect ratio)
sylvania - auto-stretches 4:3 to fill screen, zoom is non-distorting tho; simple "hack" removes zoom icon from screen.
orei - like sylvania, but leaves TWO zoom icons onscreen; no way to remove them.
audiovox - non-distorting zoom but screen is only 4:3
philips - pd9000/37 ?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 15, 2013 9:19 AM PST
In reply to: ZOOM

I hear you but it appears there are no players that do this anymore. My bet is a patent that costs too much. Your average consumer is unaware of how a patent can mean some nice feature can't be in the products.

I have a small HTPC that can do what you ask.

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zoom, again, again...
by 62mike / January 15, 2013 11:24 AM PST
In reply to: Vaporware?

the sony, sylvania, orei i mentioned are all in production, all have a zoom function rendered useless in one way or another. the sylvania, orei can be made to work just fine by putting the 4:3 picture into a 16:9 box with NERO or similar software, burning onto another dvd. this fools these players into thinking they've got a widescreen movie and not auto-stertching it. the zoom can then be used to expand the (letterboxed) picture to fill the screen, undistorted; the (sylvania, not orei) zoom icon can be removed by cycling thru the "a-b repeat " function. a lot of work to do what should only involve pushing a button on the remote. nothing to do with patents - just poor design. anyone know anything about the philips?

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?? P.S.
by 62mike / January 15, 2013 11:29 AM PST
In reply to: Vaporware?

what's an "htpc" hardware ? software?

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HTPC defined.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 16, 2013 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: ?? P.S.
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what to do...
by 62mike / January 16, 2013 5:36 AM PST
In reply to: HTPC defined.

if i can't find a philips at a superstore to try, i'll probably order one from amazon, fingers crossed, & if the zoom doesn't work return it as i did with the orei 901; amazon has a very liberal return policy.

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(NT) I'd do that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 16, 2013 5:50 AM PST
In reply to: what to do...
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