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#206841 - 05/04/08 09:48 AM HTPC Question - Noob Alert!
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 679
Loc: South Florida
My buddy is having an issue that we're attempting to solve. I have zero knowledge of HTPC's, and have no hi-def player yet. The only HD I experience at home is thru Comcast.

My friend has delved into the HTPC realm and has built one himself, with an Nvidia 8600GT Video card w/DVI out. He's running XP using VLC media player. He also receives other HD content thru Comcast only, no hi-def player. He's playing 1080p Blu-Ray MKV files with VLC media player in native mode.

Here's the problem:
All content appears on screen in what appears to be in wide-screen format, with black bars on top and bottom. The perspective however, appears correct. I'm not sure if there's missing video info.
It looks like HD though. He's tried different format options within VLC (16:9,16:10, etc), and the only option that fills the screen is 4:3 I believe. He's tried at least 3 movies that I've seen. His HD through Comcast displays correctly.

I first have to ask a super-noob question I have to get out of the way... Is all Blu-Ray content screen filling, except perhaps for artistic effect?

If it is (I assume yes), then what could be causing the issue? His TV displays 1080i, but not 1080p. I don't think that should make a difference, but pls correct me if I'm wrong.

My feeling is that it has something to do with the files themselves or the VLC player. Let me know if you need more info. Thx!!


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#206845 - 05/04/08 10:28 AM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: Spoiler]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17697
Loc: NoVA
What's the got the resolution on the computer set to?
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#206853 - 05/04/08 10:56 AM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: Ken.C]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
It could be that these movies your watching are in a 2.35:1 cinemascope format, which most are. In these cases you still will have black bars on top/bottom on a 16:9 screen.
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#206859 - 05/04/08 12:19 PM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: SirQuack]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6969
Loc: Canada
Yup. Not much content is 16:9 so you end up with bars top and bottom.
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#206865 - 05/04/08 02:42 PM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: SirQuack]
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 679
Loc: South Florida
 Originally Posted By: sirquack
It could be that these movies your watching are in a 2.35:1 cinemascope format, which most are. In these cases you still will have black bars on top/bottom on a 16:9 screen.


So am I correct in assuming that those same movies if seen on a store bought disk on a Blu-ray player would also be in cinemascope format and have the bars top and bottom?

One of the movies he ran was the latest Spiderman which had the bars. When I saw it at BB, it was running full screen, and looked perfect.




_________________________
Epic 80 / SVS PB13 Ultra
Denon 3805 / M2200 Outlaw Monos /
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#206871 - 05/04/08 05:45 PM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: Spoiler]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
You have to look on the back of the dvd case. 16:9 (1.78)is for HD broadcasts. DvD movies come in fullscreen (4:3 reg tv), 1.85, 2.35, and many other sizes in between and beyond.
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#206874 - 05/04/08 07:30 PM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: Spoiler]
JaredM Offline
buff

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 58
 Originally Posted By: Spoiler

One of the movies he ran was the latest Spiderman which had the bars. When I saw it at BB, it was running full screen, and looked perfect.


Funny you should mention it. I was at BB yesterday and saw the same thing. I asked the guy what the source was, and he said it was bluray. So I grabbed the remote and fiddled with the picture size button, and sure enough they had set it to zoom to fill the screen, which of course removed a lot of content. I shook my head and walked away. I was actually there to get a Y cable for my subs, only to be told that it shouldn't be done and that I should spend $80 for a monster (there I go swearing again) sub cable that came with one included. I promptly left the store.

I watch a lot of stuff via my HTPC, and never have a problem with losing content. The black bars are pretty standard, like these guys mention, check the disk for the ratio and you'll know what to expect.

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#206916 - 05/05/08 08:35 AM Re: HTPC Question - Noob Alert! [Re: JaredM]
myrison Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 1898
Loc: Austin, TX
 Originally Posted By: JaredM

So I grabbed the remote and fiddled with the picture size button, and sure enough they had set it to zoom to fill the screen, which of course removed a lot of content....

I was actually there to get a Y cable for my subs, only to be told that it shouldn't be done and that I should spend $80 for a monster (there I go swearing again) sub cable that came with one included. I promptly left the store.


It is amazing that a company the size of Best Buy with as many retail locations can produce such consistent results. Pick a store, any store, and you are 99% likely to get the same experience. For some reason though, we all go back to test the theory quite often.


Edited by myrison (05/05/08 08:35 AM)
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