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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  Screen sizing for dumb TVs

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Grumpy-old-man
Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:35 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 01 Jul 2005 Posts: 55
Ive got a TV which does not recognise Scart pin 8 screen size switching. I assume this is why the current TAPs availbale dont have any effect on the aspect ratio of my picture.

Is there a TAP that caters for dumb widescreen TVs like mine?. Basically if a 4:3 picture is being broadcast I would like the TAP to place vertical black borders to retain the correct aspect ratio. Is this possible?.
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Richard46
Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:28 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Mar 2005 Posts: 1586 Location: Forest Gate East London
I am almost certain there is not. There would not be any Australian ones because I believe everything over there is broadcast like this i.e 4:3 material goes out with black bars.

Like you I wish there was a software way of implemeting this as I have an LCD monitor with no scart inputs at all. I would happily pay to register a TAP that did this but I fear that there are half a dozen good reasons why this cannot just be done by software. Crying or Very sad



Richard
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Grumpy-old-man
Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:03 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 01 Jul 2005 Posts: 55
The latest version of Improbox resizes the picture, and autoletterbox knows what is being broadcast. Hoped it might be possible to combine the two functions Confused
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odvdveer
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:30 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
Doesn't the 0 key on the remote switch the aspect ratio on your model?

Olga

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Richard46
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:55 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Mar 2005 Posts: 1586 Location: Forest Gate East London
Hi Olga

Unfortunatelly on my monitor the 0 key does nothing useful. In fact with my monitor on wide when 4:3 is being transmitted it does nothing at all, just stays on stretched widescreen. WIth a 16:9 it just gives a fuzzy zoom and a squashed letterbox with top and side bars.
I have to go to the monitor remote and switch to 4:3 whenever a 4:3 is being transmitted. Maybe I have missed something but I think I have tried all combinations.
Not the end of the world but autoswitching by the Toppy would be good.

Richard
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malc
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:33 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1380
The rules for screen size are just dumb. The powers that be have considered old style TVs without smart scarts but not widescreen TVs without smart scarts, i.e. widescreen monitors. The rules do not require the toppy do anything other than signal to a widescreen TV Evil or Very Mad

Broadcasters seem to fall into 2 camps. The BBC broadcasts all material in a 16:9 frame. This displays correctly on a widescreen monitor. 4:3 and 14:9 has black bars on the side although there is sometimes a white line down the right which is thought to be a BBC problem. If the toppy were a bit smarter it would crop the picture which would remove this line.

The BBC sends (AFAIK) the correct AFD code so that the toppy could cut 4:3 material out and show it full screen on a 4:3 TV. The toppy doesn't do this and it should. This only affects 4:3 TV people, not widescreen. As I said, the rules for widescreen are dumb.

The other camp sends the information full screen with a width code. The TV then resizes the picture. But of course monitors don't. The 0 key does nothing because the broadcast is 4:3 so cutting out the centre is not an option. Of course, ideally the toppy should insert black bars for you but the rules don't require this - yes dumb rules.

The best camp is then the BBC method which works on all screens (or will when toppy fixes its AFD problem). Hence I would suggest all with widescreen monitors email C4 and ITV to complain about how they transmit the signal. If the BBC can do why can't they?
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Richard46
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 31 Mar 2005 Posts: 1586 Location: Forest Gate East London
Yep malc thats quite correct BBC 4:3 are not a problem with my monitor as I supose they are really 16:9 with transmitted bars; e.g. the Athletics this morning on BBC2, but things like F1 on ITV or the History Channel need the monitor to be manually adjusted. Still its hardly a major problem and at least I get to use the Toppys component signal. Very Happy
Fortunatelly I am the only one who uses the monitor/Toppy set up, it would be a problem otherwise I expect. I have another Toppy running a big Panny CRT in the lounge.

Richard
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odvdveer
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
malc wrote:
The rules for screen size are just dumb. The powers that be have considered old style TVs without smart scarts but not widescreen TVs without smart scarts, i.e. widescreen monitors. The rules do not require the toppy do anything other than signal to a widescreen TV Evil or Very Mad

Broadcasters seem to fall into 2 camps. The BBC broadcasts all material in a 16:9 frame. This displays correctly on a widescreen monitor. 4:3 and 14:9 has black bars on the side although there is sometimes a white line down the right which is thought to be a BBC problem. If the toppy were a bit smarter it would crop the picture which would remove this line.

The BBC sends (AFAIK) the correct AFD code so that the toppy could cut 4:3 material out and show it full screen on a 4:3 TV. The toppy doesn't do this and it should. This only affects 4:3 TV people, not widescreen. As I said, the rules for widescreen are dumb.

The other camp sends the information full screen with a width code. The TV then resizes the picture. But of course monitors don't. The 0 key does nothing because the broadcast is 4:3 so cutting out the centre is not an option. Of course, ideally the toppy should insert black bars for you but the rules don't require this - yes dumb rules.

The best camp is then the BBC method which works on all screens (or will when toppy fixes its AFD problem). Hence I would suggest all with widescreen monitors email C4 and ITV to complain about how they transmit the signal. If the BBC can do why can't they?

So using "center cut" for BBC wheni it's broadcasting a 4:3 program will work?. If so, take a look at the autoletterbox tap by Tony (http://tonyspage.abock.de/TAPS/). It can also put a black line on top of rubbish, I believe at the moment just on top and bottom but the source is included so you might try and add the option for the sides.

I can not remember ever seeing a problem with BBC broadcasts on satellite Some dutch channels broadcast everything in 4:3, even 16:9 programs, so I have black lines all around. I then use the zoom option of the television to enlarge the center part and get a fullscreen image.

Olga

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tichtich
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
odvdveer wrote:
It can also put a black line on top of rubbish, I believe at the moment just on top and bottom but the source is included so you might try and add the option for the sides.

It's not just a matter of displaying black bars at the sides. It would also need to squash the picture to fit into the space between the bars. I doubt whether there's an API procedure which can do that.

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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odvdveer
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
tichtich wrote:

It's not just a matter of displaying black bars at the sides. It would also need to squash the picture to fit into the space between the bars. I doubt whether there's an API procedure which can do that.

Improbox will squash vertically and several improved pip taps will squash.

Look at this link: http://www.topfield-australia.com.au/frm/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2762
It looks like a tap that will squash horizontally in order to get a menu on the left side of the screen.

Olga

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tichtich
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
Good point. I wonder how they do that. The possibilities seem limitless!

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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tonymy01
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:16 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
The API supports limited scaling no problems at all.
When I say limited, I mean it won't zoom at all, but it can put the 720x576 image into a smaller box.

TAP_Channel_Scale
int TAP_Channel_Scale( int mainSub, long x, long y, long w, long h, bool anim )
? It changes the size of screen.
mainSub : 1 ? main screen, 0 ? sub screen
x, y : upper-left coordinate of the screen
w,h : width and height of the screen.
anim : if TRUE, it is scaled smoothly.
Return value : : If 0, there is no errors.
(sub screen is the "pip" screen).

My autoletterbox tap simply changes the TV setting menu option via the tap (by stealing the 0 key toggle).
It works well for people with 4:3 TVs fixed, or 16:9 TVs (or 4:3 with WSS sense) with WSS.
You find the Toppy, when it gets a 4:3 image, will not have a way of making this 16:9, but if it has a 16:9 image, it can make it 4:3 via centre cut or letterbox.
So I guess the original poster has a widescreen set where getting 4:3 material causes probs, there isn't much that can be done about that except for buy a better TV Wink
(Actually, perhaps the horizontal could be shrunk (but I don't think the toppy scaling engine works like this, from way way earlier recollection from playing with my PIPswitch tap, I think it will put black bars in the scaled image to maintain its aspect ratio, so if you try and shrink horizontally, it will put black bars vertically too...)

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Tony H.
Capturing, DVD creating, TAPs and other Topfield info for DVB-T HD & SD caps, pics, links etc using the TF5000PVR
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tichtich
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
Thanks for the info, Tony. I overlooked that procedure when I took a quick glance through the API documentation.
tonymy01 wrote:
(Actually, perhaps the horizontal could be shrunk (but I don't think the toppy scaling engine works like this, from way way earlier recollection from playing with my PIPswitch tap, I think it will put black bars in the scaled image to maintain its aspect ratio, so if you try and shrink horizontally, it will put black bars vertically too...)

The picture here (http://www.topfield-australia.com.au/frm/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2762) looks like it's been squashed horizontally. And the fact that the procedure call has separate height and width parameters implies that you can distort the shape. Can anyone give a definite answer on this?

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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tonymy01
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:04 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
Those images are just square pixel representations of the 720x576 image, it isn't really squashed like this (to display on a square pixel PC, the images really need to be made 1024x576 to display correctly).
The black vertical strips you see on any Aussie caps are there because we don't get a single bit of real 4:3 broadcasted here at all, it was mandated to keep things simple for the introduction of digital that all digital be broadcasted 16:9. So any 4:3 material is "pillarboxed" by the broadcaster to make the aspect correct in a 16:9 frame.

Even though the API supports Width and Height, I believe that this will only put a "black box" of a certain width and height on the screen, and if the image you are putting into it is 4:3, it will maintain the 4:3 aspect of the image inside the black box.
Yep, just verified just then with my pipswitch tap, I modded one line:
TAP_Channel_Scale(iMain, 0, 0, 540, 576, FALSE);
Which should put the TV into a 540pixel wide but 576pixel high box... but instead it shrinks it both horizontally (as expected) AND vertically (unfort for you, but fortunate for people writing EPG etc TAPs to maintain the aspect of the source) to fit with the correct aspect within that 540wide box.

Regards

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Tony H.
Capturing, DVD creating, TAPs and other Topfield info for DVB-T HD & SD caps, pics, links etc using the TF5000PVR
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tichtich
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
Oh well, it would have been nice. Thanks anyway.

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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