View Full Version : Strange Problems with aspect ratios on BDP3280/12

Peter Walker
01-31-2012, 06:22 PM
I received my copy of the new Star Trek: The Next Generation® – The Next Level Blu-ray Disc™ today and have unusual problems with the aspect ratio. I am not sure if this is caused by the player, TV or disk.

The aspect ration of the TNG episodes is in the original 4:3 ratio. As 4:3 format programs are now unusual, especially on Blu Ray disks, I decided to try and expand the image to 16:9 to see how that would look. My Philips Blu Ray player and TV should normally let me expand the width of the video to fill the screen or alternatively zoom the picture in so that the top and bottom are cut off and the sides are enlarged to fill the screen. I wanted to test both modes and was very surprised at what happened.

The equipment I am using is as follows:

Philips 42" Full-HD TV (2011 model) 42PFL7666K/02. FW
Philips 3D Blu Ray player (2011 model) BDP3280/12. FW V2.22

The two units are connected via an HDMI Cable as you would expect.

This is what happens with the various picture zoom settings:

Autofill: Shows full 4:3 format image (standard setting)
Autozoom: Same as above
Super zoom: Instead of the picture getting wider, it actually gets slightly narrower and the picture is stretched vertically - NOT horizontally as you would expect.
Movie Expand 16:9: The image width returns to the same size as with the 4:3 image, yet the image is now stretched vertically even more - very strange.
Wide screen: The image size returns to 4:3 format
Unscaled: The image gets a little smaller revealing a bit more image at the top any bottom.

The 4:3 format works fine, but I would like to have at least the option to also expand the video to 16:9 format (either by stretching horizontally or zooming in the image).

I then put my original TNG DVD of the same episode, which is of course also filmed in 4:3 aspect ratio and there I had the opposite problem. The 4:3 video was ALWAYS shown stretched to 16:9. I could not find a setting on TV on Blu Ray player to show this DVD in its original 4:3 format. In my Panasonic DVD recorder, I could view the same DVD normally.

Aspect ratio is pretty important and it is important to get that right. Videos that are originally 16:9 on disk play fine.



Peter Walker
02-02-2012, 03:38 PM
I have done further tests on my Blu Ray player and TV to work out the aspect issue.

I connected the Blu Ray player via HDMI to a different (Samsung) TV and I was unable to expand the image width on that either (i.e. unable to stretch the image horizontally).

I did find a zoom function on the Blu Ray player which was at least able to zoom the image (losing picture on top and bottom but keeping the aspect true). At 2x, the image finally filled the screen. The zoom trick worked on my Philips TV, too.

I then found a TV station which was broadcasting TNG in 4:3 format and both TVs were able to show the program in 4:3 and 16:9 format (both stretched and zoomed), something they were both unable to do from the Blu Ray disk.

Either way, there is something about either the way the Blu Ray disk, or the Blu Ray player, is programmed that makes it impossible for two different TVs (connected via HDMI) to horizontally stretch or zoom the 4:3 image from the disk to fill the screen.

On the TV, I played a video on Net TV (a trailer in viewster and a program on the BBC iPlayer) and tested the zoom features again. Here, I again had the image expanding vertically instead of horizontally with Super Zoom and Movie Expand 16:9, so there does seem to be an issue with the Philips TV software as well.

I hope Philips can investigate and fix these issues. When I want to expand the width of a 4:3 program, I do not want the imaged stretched vertically instead of horizontally. If you need further details, simply ask here or contact me directly.

Do I need to report this in the TV forum as well?