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Letterboxed VHS to 16:9 DVD


BGreen

Question

What are the steps to take, if any, to convert a letterboxed VHS recording, captured in MPEG-2, to a 16:9 DVD? Using MyDVD seems to stretch the picture, turning 1:66 aspect ratio into about 2:2. Saw some notes about AVI being used, but noticed no obvious way to convert the MPEG file.

 

Thanks for any help. B Green

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Sorry if the tape is already letterboxed, the capture should be 4:3. If you want to turn this into anamorphic 16:9, you will have to use the zoom function to cut off the black bars. Doing so will make the quality worse.

 

You would be much better off capturing and burning at 4:3 and then use teh zoom function of the widescreen TV.

 

Had come to the same conclusion...thought I'd check with the experts. Thanks for the quick response.

Bill Green

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Sorry if the tape is already letterboxed, the capture should be 4:3. If you want to turn this into anamorphic 16:9, you will have to use the zoom function to cut off the black bars. Doing so will make the quality worse.

 

You would be much better off capturing and burning at 4:3 and then use teh zoom function of the widescreen TV.

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For the *L* of it, if anyone's curious, it can be done but usually isn't anywhere near worth it.

 

The basic process as already mentioned is to crop and resize the frame. You don't want to just cut off the letterboxing unless you're 100% sure that no additional letterboxing has been added -- Directors will often add a bit of letterboxing to what you'll get from the 16:9 format, & you don't want to cut off too much. The result will look distorted [that's anamorphic] but when the 16:9 flag is added to the new mpg2 file DVD players will stretch it to the size it needs to be. The big problem is, you can't really enlarge interlaced video, especially NTSC telecined and interlaced video. So for this to work, you either have to use progressive video, or make what you've got progressive -- not always easy. For a film that was broadcast NTSC & recorded, the fps needs to be cut back to film's 24 fps from 29.976 (a process called IVT), and interlaced fields merged into progressive frames. There's a variety of tools and software you can use, along with a fair learning curve. In the end however if you remember that every step takes away some quality, and VHS isn't that great to start with, it becomes more of a project so that you can proudly say you did it -- and try to ignore when someone asks: "But why?" :lol:

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