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Fitting Images In The Tv Safe Zone





The 'safe zone' derives from the old days (when tubes were all glass and thick glass at that and had rounded corners)


What was done was to set an overscan of 5% on the picture - on the old test card, the side castellations were set so that only the centre ones on the sides touched the edge of the screen and the remainder went over the edge. This was to prevent black edging on the picture but the 5% overscan value has remained, even in this day of LCD, Plasma and FST CRTs




There are at least four methods to get an image to fit into the TV safe zone so that when a Video Wave made slide show is played on a TV using a stand alone DVD player you will see the full image..


Image Cropper: (Preferred tool and method)


Note: As of February 2008, there is a new version of Cropper. Look at the last post in this thread for an image of the new version with explanation of batch resize.


This is a free program. There are at least three variations depending on your computer, monitor resolution settings and preferences. The program is fast and reliable. It can do one or a batch of image files.


1) Bring in all of the pictures that you want to crop.

2) Select 4:3 Aspect Ratio at lower part of screen.

3) Click on the Batch icon above.

4) Click on Safe Area Size, select the size that bests suits you 80-85%.for CRT; higher numbers for LCD.

5) Click on Show Safe Area

6) Click on Fit Selection to Safe Area. For portrait images, select fill height *

7) Click on border and select the color border you want.

8) At the bottom, change the Filename Suffix to whatever you want the name to be.

9) Make sure the other settings what you want.

10) Click on Batch Save.


Thanks grandpabruce for the instructions:


ggrussell suggests also to: "RIGHT mouse and DRAG" is a very quick way to resize the 'marquee' area. The lines default to 'fit width' with optional buttons to 'fit safe area' and 'fit height' (good for portrait oriented).





Multiple Image Resizer


This is another free but powerful program that can do batch resizing. It works a little differently than Image Cropper. Like Image Cropper this also has the same capability of multiple image resizing. It requires net framework 2 or 3.


1) To give anyone who want to try it a head start, for images that are in landscape, apply this setting:

Landscape: put about a 125 pixel border around the image.


2) For portrait, as a starter, put a top and bottom border of about 350 and a left and right border of about 1000 pixels.


Since not all images are the same, you may have to play with this. Do not select any other processing option.


Remember to save the files with either a prefix or suffix to identify it from the original.




Photoshop Elements (Adobe)


This is a powerful imaging program. It is not free but many people get the program with some program or hardware. I have not yet found a way of doing batch scaling with this program but perhaps others know how. Here are the directions for Photoshop Elements; they should be similar for Photoshop.


1) Add the image

2) Select resize.

3) Select scale.

4) The controls near the top will change. Make sure the height and width are chained (restrained proportions) and type in 85%. You can adjust this based on your equipment and intended display.

5) Acknowledge and accept change.

6) You'll get a checkerboard pattern around the image.

7) Select a foreground color that you want in around the image in the slide show. Most of this will be cut off but some will show in portrait images.

8)Flood fill using the paint bucket tool on the checkerboard pattern.

9) Save the re-scaled Image under a different name.


Photosuite (Roxio)

My process for getting an image into the TV safe zone using Photosuite is less scientific. It takes a little bit of guess work and some experience. Here is what I do.


1) Create a new canvas using the top menu; landscape, 8 by 10 (I don't think this matters.) and color it.

2) Open an image and copy it.

3) Bring up the canvas and paste the image on the canvas.

4) Drag the size of the image to about the correct size about 85% of the canvas you chose..

5) Use the tools/position tab to center the image.

6) Save the image and use that in VideoWave

Edited by sknis
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Great tips for all the different ways to fit inside the TV safe zone. And interesting to learn the history of it ... thanks! Here is the other method to add to the list, using PhotoSuite, (if you don't have too many, that requires the batch processing).


1. Open PhotoSuite and create a new canvas by clicking on File > New > New Canvas.


2. In the Create a New Canvas dialog box:


Select pixels, set size to Custom Size, and type in the dimensions: Width 720 and Height 540. Select Landscape for the Orientation, leave the color set to white, and click OK.


3. Click on Tools.

4. Click on Predefined Shapes.

5. Click on the Square shape.

6. Click the Border Only Button.

7. Choose a color for the border and the same color for the fill.

8. Click on Add the Selected Shape button.


9. Drag the Thickness slider to 50 to create a border that corresponds to the 80% percent TV Safe Zone area.


Note: A thicker border (80%) gives you a larger Safe Zone area. If you only lose a tiny bit on your TV due to overscan, you might consider a thinner border (lower Thickness level). The percentages work out like this:


Set the Thickness slider to:


37.5 for an 85% Safe Zone;

25.0 for a 90% Safe Zone;

12.5 for a 95% Safe Zone.


(The Thickness setting doesn't need to be exact, you will get a + or – percentage point or two. You might find an in-between number works better for your TV.)

Once you determine which percentage works for your TV, use that Thickness each time.


10. Drag the border out to match the size of the canvas.


Note: Even though you have added a square border, when you fit the border to cover the canvas, it will result in a 4 x 3 border. If you are creating for Widescreen, 16 x 9, set your dimensions to the appropriate size (1280 x 720 I think) pixels, when first creating the canvas, and follow the same procedure.


11. Add your image to the canvas: Click Photo > Open/Create > Insert Photos & Cutouts. (By opening the image using the Insert Photos and Cutouts command, PhotoSuite downsizes the image to fit inside the canvas, so it will be easier to work with than Open/Copy/Paste, especially if it is a large-sized image.)


12. Resize the image to fit the border by dragging the corner handles. Remember not to use the side handles or you will change the proportion of your image.


13. Select the border and click on the 'Fill and Border' button. This results in a flood-filled background


14. Save the picture as a jpg for use in VideoWave. Save it with a new file name, like "MyPicture_Bordered.jpg" so that you do not overwrite your original file.


Note: Once you have determined the best Overscan area for your TV, you can make a template of this file and save it for future use by following steps 1 through 10 and then saving as a PhotoSuite Project file with a DMSP file extension. You can reopen it anytime, and begin with Step 11, change colors if necessary, and save as a jpg.



ETA: I made a video that basically just goes through these steps, if it might help anyone trying to do this in PhotoSuite:


Edited by karri
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Again....great info guys.


I like using the overlay method also. It can be time consuming, but well worth it.


For the most part, I view all pics and vids. with the "Safe Zone" on. On most of the pics and vids., the subject stays in the field of view so there is no need to edit. Then for the few that do need "Help", I use the overlay method.


I also use Color Panel overlays to create some great collages and such with the timing of pics in the panel. Awesome tool to play with and great effects to be had.

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New version of Image Cropper Version 1.6.1. Note, some people have not been able to use this for batch processing. If you have problems, go back to an earlier version.


Thanks to grandpabruce for the image and instructions


I just notoced that the newest version of image cropper is3.3 (here). I don't know of anyine using it though.


Edited by sknis
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