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rdean 05-13-2008 11:34 PM

iDVD6 -Play 16:9 video on a 4:3 TV
 
I have two t.v.'s. One is a 16:9 widescreen and the other is 4:3 standard tv. Both have DVD players, and when I play professional widescreen movies on them the 16:9 tv shows the movie in the widescreen format and the 4:3 tv shows the movie letter-boxed (black bar's over top and bottom of the pictures). SO far so good.

So, I shot some 16:9 standard def video on my camcorder, imported it into iMovie HD as "video format" "DV Widescreen" and edited it just fine. Then I created a new iDVD 6 project with "16:9" aspect ratio set and pulled over my iMovie 16:9 video. I burned the disk, and popped it into my dvd player on the widescreen and it played in 16:9 mode, but when I popped the same DVD into my 4:3 tv, the video was chopped off on the edges.

Now I have read a ton of post on this forum and what I could find on Google, and the solutions ranged from "there is nothing you can do", "to burning the movie to a DVD disk image and then manipulating some hex bytes on the DVD", and all sorts of other strange solutions. Is there no way to make iDVD 6 burn a 16:9 video source so that it will play in 16:9 mode on widescreens and play with a letterbox on 4:3 screens like professional videos do?

I just don't want to believe that you have to jump through all of these hoops to make that happen. How could Apple miss such an obvious bug, I am convinced I am doing something wrong? Has anyone had any luck getting 16:9 video burned with iDVD 6 to letterbox on a 4:3 screen automatically like professional movies?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.....

Mitcherooney 05-14-2008 11:37 AM

Greetings

This is just a shot in the dark.... have you ensured that you have movie fits into the TV 'Safe Area'? Just came across this in David Pogue's book 'The Missing Manual for iMovie6 and iDVD' page 359.

Worth a glance....

Cheers Mitcherooney

rdean 05-14-2008 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mitcherooney (Post 654566)
Greetings

This is just a shot in the dark.... have you ensured that you have movie fits into the TV 'Safe Area'? Just came across this in David Pogue's book 'The Missing Manual for iMovie6 and iDVD' page 359.

Worth a glance....

Cheers Mitcherooney

Thanks Mitcherooney....

I actually saw that article also, along with some similar ones which stated you need to make sure that the Themes (starting Menu's and etc.) are in the TV "Safe Area", but then the video it self it suppose to play in letterbox on a 4:3 TV. That is were I am having the problem. It is not putting the 16:9 video into letterbox, it is simply chopping the edges off.

From what I read this is a known problem with the themes, but the video is suppose to be ok, but does not seems to work for me.

I also saw some older article where it talked about changing some hex codes in the front of the DVD source to tell the DVD player to play in letterbox mode if it is a 4:3 TV (like professional movie DVD do) but there has to be an easier way.

It is really frustrating because I would like to shoot in 16:9 DV mode but I wish I knew the trick to playing those correctly on a 4:3 TV once there are burned to DVD.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Thanks for the input.

kmkl 05-14-2008 07:17 PM

i would also like to know!!

how about this: import into iMovie and then make the whole movie 'fit' not be cropped. I dont know, just a thought.

rdean 05-14-2008 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmkl (Post 654828)
i would also like to know!!

how about this: import into iMovie and then make the whole movie 'fit' not be cropped. I dont know, just a thought.

I will give it a try, what do you mean "make the whole movie 'fit' not be cropped"? It looks fine in iMovie (it is in Widescreen or 16:9 mode), and in iDVD it is not cropped.

On my widescreen TV it is not cropped it looks great it is in the 16:9 aspect ratio, but for some reason when it is played on my 4:3 TV the DVD does not know to letterbox it like when I put in a widescreen movie DVD.

I don't mind trying your suggestion, just give me a little more iinfo.

Thanks,
Richard

xstep 05-17-2008 02:24 AM

Perhaps Anamorphic widescreen in iDVD 5 will help.

rdean 05-19-2008 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xstep (Post 656488)

Ahhh, this looks promising. I will give it a try and report back. Thanks for the input.

rdean 05-20-2008 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xstep (Post 656488)

Well, "Daniel Rogers' iDVD Widescreen Fix perl script" seem to do the job. It was simple to install and simple to run (especially since the Mac can run perl script natively something I did not know).

So following those steps accomplishes what I want it to do, play my 16:9 video in widescreen mode on a 16:9 screen, but signal the DVD player to letterbox the video if played on a 4:3 screen. This is done automatically with out any switching of mode on the TV or the DVD player just like commercial DVD's.

The million dollar question is if setting that byte is all that is required to get this functionality that so many people want why didn't Apple make that an option or something in iDVD. I noticed there were a bunch of threads on Apple's on forums about this and a lot of them pointed to this same article. So why not just fix it, it seems easy enough. (My question is some what rhetorical sense I am just happy there is an easy fix, but if you know why they won't add this to iDVD I sure would like to know. :-) ).

Thanks a lot for everyone's input, especially XSTEP.

xstep 05-20-2008 04:46 PM

I looked into this a little deeper and did a minimal experiment with iDVD 7.0.1. Version 7 is the one that comes with iLife 08.

I created a widescreen DVD (as a video_ts folder) and reviewed the two bits in the .IFO file I believe matters and both are set to zero, as I understand they should be. So, it appears that this has been fixed for the iLife 08 release.

In one reference to this problem, that person prefers keeping bit 1 (2nd from the right) to 1, but admits that is his personal taste.

P.S. Since this was a minimal experiment and I'm no DVD spec expert, I just want to state, this is not a definitive answer.

rdean 05-20-2008 08:53 PM

Thanks XSTEP.

So the next question is, has anyone tried this with the iLife'08 suite? Does it automatically switch to letterbox for you when you play your 16:9 DVD video on a 4:3 TV?

As easy as that fix script it to run on iDVD HD version 6, I might buy iLife'08 just for that fix in iDVD '08.

Please let us know if anyone has tried this in the new iLife'08 suite and if it worked for them.

Thanks,
Richard

feanor 06-11-2008 07:04 PM

I have the iLife 08 suite, but as I don't like iMovie 08 (06 is a much more powerful editor) I built my standard def 16:9 widescreen in iMovie 06. Shared it into iDVD 08 and got the same results: plays fine a widescreen set, chops the edges on a 4:3 set.

I'm going to try and export the file from iMovie 06 and import it into iMovie 08 and burn another DVD to see what happens. I'll let you know.

rdean 06-11-2008 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by feanor (Post 673002)
I have the iLife 08 suite, but as I don't like iMovie 08 (06 is a much more powerful editor) I built my standard def 16:9 widescreen in iMovie 06. Shared it into iDVD 08 and got the same results: plays fine a widescreen set, chops the edges on a 4:3 set.

I'm going to try and export the file from iMovie 06 and import it into iMovie 08 and burn another DVD to see what happens. I'll let you know.

Thanks, I would really like to know if this has been fixed. Like I mentioned earlier the script that I run against my disk image of my 16:9 dvd works fine, but I really hate having to do those extra steps.

psproule 03-01-2009 03:41 PM

I don't think the problem was fixed. The reason I'm looking at this thread is to try and trouble shoot a similar problem, and I'm using updated iMovie (8.0) and iDVD (7.0.3) apps. My problem is similar... The iMovie is saved in widescreen format, the iDVD project previews fine, in widescreen. When I burn the DVD and play it in my DVD player and view it on my 40" widescreen LCD TV, the DVD player crops the edges off. I had the same problems using iMovie HD with iDVD, and hoped the updated software would resolve the issue. Now I will go look at the topic suggested above Anamorphic widescreen in iDVD 5 to see what the manual fix is. This is a frustrating issue and you would think a fix (or options available when burning the disc) would be available... Funny, I'm a Mac fanatic and my brother commented "wow, that doesn't happen with my Windows Vista applications".

Robert Roaldi 06-04-2009 12:23 PM

I have just run into this same issue using iMovie9 and iDVD ver. 7 from iLife8. However, I have not had a chance yet to look at the settings on my DVD player to make sure that it's interpreting things correctly. I only own a 4:3 TV so cannot verify that my burned DVD works ok on a widescreen TV. All I know is that when I put that DVD in the iMac, it plays wide just fine.

I'll try checking the settings on the DVD player when I get home.


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