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

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odvdveer
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
Improbox gives the option between a scaled, compressed and something in between (slightly compressed) screen. And indeed, compressed will squash, scaled will keep the ratio but shrink and all of the picture is still there.

Olga

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Grumpy-old-man
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:50 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 01 Jul 2005 Posts: 55
tonymy01 wrote:
, there isn't much that can be done about that except for buy a better TV Wink


Hmmm, not met my wife have you?. Theres nothing major wrong with our TV, its just dumb, so this just wouldn't get pass her who must obeyed Laughing

tonymy01 wrote:
so if you try and shrink horizontally, it will put black bars vertically too...)



Isn't that what I want?. At the moment I get a 4:3 picture stretched across the 16:9 screen. I just want to squash it back to 4:3 with black vertical bars either side. Confused
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DX
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
malc wrote:

The best camp is then the BBC method which works on all screens (or will when toppy fixes its AFD problem).


Actually when/if the Toppy correctly handles AFD's then the BBC method would behave identically to the C4 method. In both cases the Toppy would output a 4:3 picture regardless of the TV settings.

I appreciate this isn't what you want, but unfortunately the specs are designed for widescreen TV's that do respond to switching signals. The people who want stretchy vision far outnumber those that want pillarboxed, and the current situation leaves them screwed.

What is happening at the moment is a lucky combination of the BBC method, a bug in the toppy, and a dumb widescreen monitor give results that correspond to your preferences. It's not what the stretchy-vision fans want, and most other widescreen users have the option of auto-switching 4:3 to pillarboxed if they want to.

You best best, assuming topfield do support AFD's according to spec, is to lobby for a pillarbox option for dumb widescreens. It really has to be an option - by default the toppy shouldn't depart from spec to support personal preferences on dumb widescreens. It would also have the advantage that the C4 method would also give the results you want.
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tonymy01
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 2:10 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
Grumpy-old-man wrote:

tonymy01 wrote:
so if you try and shrink horizontally, it will put black bars vertically too...)

Isn't that what I want?. At the moment I get a 4:3 picture stretched across the 16:9 screen. I just want to squash it back to 4:3 with black vertical bars either side. Confused

What I meant is that if you try and shrink horizontally with the API, it will also shrink vertically to maintain the aspect ratio of the image.
Everything DX said is 100% correct.
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: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:11 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
DX wrote:
The people who want stretchy vision far outnumber those that want pillarboxed, and the current situation leaves them screwed.

But they can at least get what they want on a programme-by-programme basis, by switching their STB to centre cut-out mode. If I've understood correctly, Malc has no way at all to display a 4:3 picture without distortion.

I agree that the Toppy should conform according to the specification. But it probably wouldn't be difficult to add pillarboxing as an option.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that vendors of dumb monitors are at fault if they are advertising these as TV screens when they don't do that job properly.

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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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malc
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:20 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1380
DX wrote:

Actually when/if the Toppy correctly handles AFD's then the BBC method would behave identically to the C4 method. In both cases the Toppy would output a 4:3 picture regardless of the TV settings.


True. If they conformed exacty to the spec and did the minimum required - which for widescreen is nothing! However, if they exceeded doing nothing and provide options then it would work.

The digital spec is, IMO, stupid. It assumes if you have a widescreen TV it is clever AND you connect in such a way as to keep the switching signal. So what happens if you use YUV or RGB via 3/4 bnc connectors? Such connections are not uncommon.

All the digital spec seems concerned with is compatibility with old 4:3 dumb TVs and has assumed widescreen TV are just sent a signal. It would be more sensible to spec that the STB should produce the correct image for all size screens, plus define the correct image as what the viewer wants, black bars or stretched. The STB is already cutting the image for 4:3 so it has the means to do that.

I hope toppy is not going to implement AFD without the option to ignore it (or add black bars), but I always have the option of sticking with the firmware that works for me.
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tonymy01
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:14 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
If you have a 4:3 TV, you can letterbox 16:9 fine, or you can centre cut 4:3 (in the case of pillarboxed 16:9, you can pillarbox it), so in this case, having an old 4:3 TV works fine for digital.

If you aren't SCART connected, PAL supports WSS via VBI too, so this can (and from what I have seen with both the Toppy and with a cheap chinese origin DVD player I have) trigger the TV just fine, my Loewe will swap between 16:9 using this and/or SCART depending on what is present.

Your issue is that your 16:9 TV is dumb. This should not be the case, most 16:9 TVs have 4:3 modes where it will offer what to do in the case of having 4:3 signalled material to it, either via SCART signalling or via WSS in the VBI. Surely if it doesn't detect 4:3 properly you can press a button on your TV remote??

(Although I agree for max compatibility a STB *these days of more and more people owning various widescreen devices*, it probably should offer to pillarbox scale 4:3 material to send it in 16:9 mode. But I haven't seen any STBs offer this, only Foxtel digital cable/satellite using the Pace STB).

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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Grumpy-old-man
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:36 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 01 Jul 2005 Posts: 55
Im getting more and more confused. The impression you give is that a stretched picture is the correct format, cant imagine why anyone would want to watch a distorted picture, but I'll take your word for it. But having accepted that this is how most people with widescreen TVs want to view 4:3 pictures, what happens if your TV isnt dumb like mine?. I assumed they squashed the picture back to 4:3 as I want it, and apparently most people dont.
So what you appear to be saying is that smart TVs with auto switching actually give most viewers a correctly proportioned picture they dont want?????......sounds bonkers to me.
I have a manual 4:3 switch on the original TV remote, but its a pain in the arse having to scroll to it on my Harmony Universal remote every time I change channel.

Back on the theme of TAPs, still dont understand why it cant be implemented by a TAP. Improbox clearly can compress the picture in the vertical plane only, i.e not maintaining the aspect ratio. So is it the case that this functionality is not available in the horizontal plane?

Might have to do get off my butt and get up to speed with TAP writing. Haven't done any programming for 20 yrs so it maybe sometime before I come up with anything useful!
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odvdveer
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:40 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
I hate distorted pictures as well, but my tv is smart enough to show 4:3 in correct proportions.

I am trying to write a tap to squish and squash (horizontal and/or vertical) the picture at the moment, but my programming skills are a bit rusty as well.

Olga

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DX
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
At the risk of adding further to the confusion this is how 4:3 material is supposed to be displayed, assuming an stb that conforms to spec, and a widescreen TV that autoswitches.

The stb outputs a 4:3 picture and signals that as such to the TV. The TV will have a number of options as to exactly how a 4:3 picture is displayed, and the user can choose the one they want. The options usually include a "smart" mode that gives stretchy-vision, a pillarbox mode that displays 4:3 undistorted, and several zoom modes that zoom to 14:9 or 16:9.

Personally I prefer a pillarbox mode, but I accept I'm in the minority. Most people seem to like to fill the screen, even if that means a distorted picture, and so use a smart mode. The point however is that (provided the TV autoswitches) 4:3 pictures are displayed the way the user wants.

The difficulty with the way the toppy currently behaves on BBC channels is that choice is ignored. The toppy outputs the 4:3 picture as a pillarboxed 16:9 picture and signals that is 16:9. The TV believes it has a 16:9 picture and displays it as such, complete with pillarbox. Fine if that's your choice, but tough if it isn't.

So to make autoswitching widescreen TV's work properly the toppy has to output 4:3 pictures as 4:3, and tell the TV so that it knows what it's dealing with.

Now in an ideal world the toppy would also have the option of supporting dumb widesreen displays, which effectively means adding adding the missing auto-switch options to the stb instead of the TV. The toppy would always output a 16:9 picture, but the user could specify how they want 4:3 material treated. The toppy could stretch it, pillarbox it, or zoom it, as the user prefers.
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malc
Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 10:35 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1380
tonymy01 wrote:
Your issue is that your 16:9 TV is dumb. This should not be the case, most 16:9 TVs have 4:3 modes where it will offer what to do in the case of having 4:3 signalled material to it, either via SCART signalling or via WSS in the VBI. Surely if it doesn't detect 4:3 properly you can press a button on your TV remote??


Yes. Although the "TV" is not a TV, its a plamsa screen. No Tuner. Feed it with RGBs or YUV (and others but of course those are the best) and it displays a picture. The problem is, if the signal is always full frame with a size code and the content changes, like the news, then I would be forever changing modes.

Plus, some people prefer the stretched look anyway so it should be optional to change modes.

The point is that SCART pin swicthing doesn't work if you don't connect by scart and VBI switching doesn't work if the display is not designed to do that and only TV ares, not screens. And, does the RGB and YUV signals include VBI and even if they do are they required to have VBI?

In order for the system to work you need to have a auto TV, and a connection that carries the auto signal. That's just too reliant on other kit. The sensible approach would have been to have the STB do it. The STB is already doing it for 4:3 TVs.

The BBC have opted to send everything in a 4:3 frame. That works for 4:3 TVs (centre cutout) and widescreen, currently. I just hope the upgrade doesn't spoil that. It should have the option to ignore AFD for widescreen TVs.

Now if only CH4 would adopt the same Confused
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odvdveer
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:49 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
BBC is doing something wrong with the WK atletics though. It looks like they are sending it a 4:3 broadcast pillarboxed in 16:9 format.

On a 4:3 tv you get a black border all around the image Sad , and my 4:3 tv's do not have a zoom option, so it looks like my tv has shrunk to half it's size.

Olga

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tonymy01
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:27 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
That is how it (4:3 in a 16:9 frame pillarboxed) is sent in Australia. So we hit the "0" key on the remote to go to centre cut, and then it fills the 4:3 screen.
That is why my autoletterbox tap is handy, as it removes one unneccessary toggle of the "0" key depending on your TV type setup.
Simple.

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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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odvdveer
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:42 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Netherlands
tonymy01 wrote:
That is how it (4:3 in a 16:9 frame pillarboxed) is sent in Australia. So we hit the "0" key on the remote to go to centre cut, and then it fills the 4:3 screen.
That is why my autoletterbox tap is handy, as it removes one unneccessary toggle of the "0" key depending on your TV type setup.
Simple.

0 key will not work on a pvr Crying or Very sad , but I will check the menu's. My widescreen tv has been out for repair for 2 months, hope they will have it fixed soon.

This problem is also on the cable with a tv without a toppy, the bbc must have stock in a widescreen tv factory

Olga

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tonymy01
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 23 Mar 2005 Posts: 243 Location: Sydney, Australia. Toppy 5K owner.
It will work with my autoletterbox TAP.
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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