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why are there bars on my widescreen?????

by katpeeler / March 19, 2007 10:02 AM PDT

Hey everyone, I have a simple question and I hope this is the correct place for it. I have a widescreen lcd televison and when I watch certian widescreen dvd's on it I have bars on the bottom and top and sometimes I dont. This is happening with me not changing the settings on the tv (zoom). If I want to watch widescreen movies on my widescreen tv with out any bars, what format do I need to look for in the movies. Thanx

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16:9 aspect
by HTHMAN / March 19, 2007 10:47 AM PDT

16:9 = 16/9 = 1.78

A movie with a 1.78 aspect will fit your screen. Any larger number will have black bars above and below it. You can zoom in, but you lose the sides of the movie.

On the other hand, 4:3 (fullscreen) = 4/3 = 1.33 aspect.

You will get black bars on the side with those movies.

Most movies are formatted to a theater screen, not a TV screen. In most cases, you will just have to learn to live with it.

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by katpeeler / March 19, 2007 11:19 AM PDT
In reply to: 16:9 aspect

Will this 1.78 aspect be printed on the box somewhere???...Im not at home at the moment to check.

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Your widescreen TV is 16:9=1.78, it's the movies that have a
by NM_Bill / March 19, 2007 12:43 PM PDT
In reply to: sooooo

variety of formats. Old movies, cinemascope, cinerama, Hollywood movies, European movies. They vary & have at least a half dozen aspect ratios.

Now, TV zoom features used to fill in are another story unto themselves. Some TVs alter & distort in the process of more fully filling the screen. Some more nearly just magnify & some of the edges of the flic are sacrificed & not seen in order to not have to constantly live with those darned black bars.

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by katpeeler / March 19, 2007 12:52 PM PDT

what aspect ratio do I need to look for to get rid of bars??

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by stewart norrie / March 19, 2007 4:02 PM PDT
In reply to: so

Because its what your going to have, There is only one thing you can do . Hang curtians on the top and bottom and sides then you can slide curtians to cover bars ha ha or do what I did bought a 72" d.l.p. set bars dont bother me at all steweee

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The aspect ratio is not listed!!!!
by jcrobso / March 20, 2007 2:25 AM PDT
In reply to: so

Except for wide screen or full screen somewhere on the box!!!!
Some of the newer movies are now released in 16x9 on DVD, but not all.
Stew's idea of curtains may not be a bad one. John

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Ignore them is the best option.
by zhimbo / March 20, 2007 2:25 AM PDT
In reply to: so

"what aspect ratio do I need to look for to get rid of bars??"

Movies come in the aspect ratio that they're made in (other than so-called "Fullscreen" versions to fill 4:3 TVs, at the expense of losing 1/3 of the film's picture).

You can "zoom" the picture on many TVs to fill the screen, but only by losing the edges of the picture.

Learn to love the black bars, or at least ignore them.

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Black Bars.
by grc24 / March 20, 2007 2:47 AM PDT

You can't buy DVD's in different formats other than the ones they came out with if that is what your question is. Let's say you want to buy The Departed. It's either in Fullscreen (4:3) or it's in Widescreen (Which is Letterbox on this particular DVD.) I don't know what the aspect ratio of "Letterbox.' is. But I do know that whatever is distributed out there in DVD world is what you get. There are no other choices. Trust me, the longer you own and watch movies w/ the bars, you won't even notice them.

Hope this helps.


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That's right, zoom your DVD player settings or suffer bars.
by NM_Bill / March 20, 2007 7:02 AM PDT

So ya lose a little edge. It will decrease the amount of space those darned bars are taking up.

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I'll never understand...
by zhimbo / March 20, 2007 12:33 PM PDT

I'll never understand why people find the presence of the black bars MORE objectionable than actually losing part of the picture, but zoom is there for those who want it.

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by HTHMAN / March 20, 2007 4:31 AM PDT
In reply to: sooooo

Go to They list the aspect ratio for most of the DVDs they sell. But your choice is to either get the bars or skip the movie.

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by katpeeler / March 20, 2007 7:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Amazon

I was just wondering why some widescreen movies had bars and some dont...Most of the time when the bars come up I zoom in and it looks ok...But thanx for all the replys...Kat

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Look for 1.85 movie ratio on dvd
by alexnado / March 21, 2007 8:38 AM PDT
In reply to: thanx

to get rid of black bars on a widescreen tv, you need 1.85 (or 1.78) aspect ratio. If you buy 1.33 dvd, you will have black bars on the sides, and with 2.35 or 2.40 dvd, you will have blacks bar on top and bottom of you 16:9 tv. Hopes this help,

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by davideo / March 24, 2007 1:37 AM PDT

1. The 16:9 Aspect ratio chosen by HDTV Committee is a compromise. To my knowledge no movies were ever shot with this aspect ratio.
2. It's easy, digitally, to change the size of the images but you can't change the aspect ratio w/o distorting the picture. i.e. circles become ovals. Either too tall and thin or too short and wide. Just take a ruler and draw a 16"w.x 9"h rectangle and then try to fit a 4:3 box of any size into your wide screen box. Can't be done.
Lots of HDTV set owners are happily watching 4:3 produced shows in wide, 16:9 mode. On plasma sets that's probably a safe idea to protect against burning a 4:3 recttangle onto the center of the 16:9 screen. Less likely on LCD but jury's still out.
Some of the greatest movies were filmed in as wide as 2.25:1 ratio. If you wish to watch them undistorted. you'll have to put up with unused (black) pixels at the top and bottom. That's the way it goes with compromise.

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making hdtv and analog worth viewing
by scadarick / March 25, 2007 2:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Compromised

I guess I was carefull in getting my set...first off, my computer monitor is an olivia media-pc lcd type monitor. it has everything, every plug in type to get around ,ost equipments diffecrent hook-ups. I have 3 compters, plus my hd-cable all woring on this little 42# lcd monitor. My only worry is its like a light bulb, a 1600 dollar light bulb, so the day it goes, will be just awfull.This lcd has many different ways of adjusting sizes, depending on what set up you use, including a setup adjustment, for + and - adjustmun
t. Even upand dow.

The same goes for the new 52 inch wega by sony, it has its all 8 inputs, broken down into composite, hdmi, 2 cable in for each tuner, and componite...svideo if you need it. even has optical audio out, dual steroe out. but best of all is the manual settings, full, zoom, wide zoom, and so even has an automatic setting for desiding what mode to set. my mce comp, is set to number 7, it selects full for everything, even the hd, try setting it to wide zoom, and it runs off screen.

so you can see that v's are getting smarter to be able to handle the many formats, ratios and so on....who know where its ggoing....getting the new amazon tv movie on demand sent to my tivo now, whats next

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That's why most buyers regret not getting a bigger TV
by roadrunner2525 / March 25, 2007 12:38 AM PDT

I read a recent poll that showed that most new widescreen HDTV owners regretted later that they had not bought the next larger screen size model than the one they settled for. I suspect the persistent black bars when watching DVD's is one -- most of the time the picture never fills the larger screen that they thought was too overpowering in size when looking at it on the shelf in the store. Same with HDTV programs broadcast in HD but not shot in HD (ie. Amazing Race, The Medium,etc). You have grey bars on the side. The only exception are tv shows (like pro sports games) that are shot AND broadcast in HD. They fill the entire screen but the picture is so much clearer people tend to want to sit closer to see all the detail. The old measuring guidelines of staying under 42" if you're going to sit 8 to 10ft away apply only heavier pixelated 480i CRT TV's.

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