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  #1  
Old 12-28-2008, 02:25 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Redundant Display Aspect setting with Extender?

It may be the late hour and how tired I am after way too much testing on top of a busy holiday schedule, but does anyone else think that the Display Aspect Ratio setting is redundant with the extender products?

What I mean by this is that for the extender to properly display/scale the video, the display aspect setting needs to match the output resolution.

In the past, using only a SageTV computer, the resolution was always fixed to your output device, such as monitor or TV. With the Extender supporting multiple resolutions and resolution switching, manually setting the display's ratio to a specific setting seems like a bad idea because it won't always match the output resolution and will end up producing incorrect video aspect ratio.

If I'm not missing anything, the setting would be best tied to the output resolution, changing automatically with it.

If you want to test this out, just go to the Display Aspect Ratio screen, set the correct aspect for your display/resolution (such as 16:9 for 1080i/p) and then switch the video resolution. When you get to a non 16:9 resolution such as any 480 output, you'll notice the circle won't appear round. That also means that video is going to be distorted.

I don't know how this affects the feature that switches the output resolution automatically, but I have a suspicion it may cause it to break.

Some testing, case 1:
16:9 TV (HDMI to DVI adapter on Sony RPTV)
Display Aspect Ratio set to 16:9 and output resolution at 480p
4:3 recorded content with aspect setting of SOURCE appears at correct aspect and with black bars on the sides

Some testing, case 2:
16:9 TV (HDMI to DVI adapter on Sony RPTV)
Display Aspect Ratio set to 4:3 (requires restarting HD200) and output resolution at 480p
4:3 recorded content with aspect setting of SOURCE appears at correct aspect and fills the entire screen

Case #2 seems to be the desired effect if switching resolution. That's because switching resolution means you want your display device to handle that format and perform its own scaling (such as when using a line-doubler or external scaler). With case #1 I suspect the external scaler may be seeing the black bars on the side as part of the video output.

EDIT: With some additional testing by setting my TV's zoom to "normal" which shows a complete 4:3 image, I can see that neither case #1 nor #2 are producing the correct video. #1 with the black bars as mentioned which causes the video content to appear more narrow than it should, but #2 appears to be incorrectly cropping the video on the left and right (see note at bottom). None of the settings seem to output exactly what was recorded and are going to have issues with an external scaler. The only caveat with this testing is that I'm only able to test 480p and not 480i which in fact is what this was recorded as.

The other issue discovered here is that with the automatic resolution switching option enabled, the HD200 will not switch to 480p for content that is 480i. Nor will it stay at 480p if that's your current output resolution. Instead it will switch to the first available resolution that is interlaced, which in my case is 1080i. This doesn't seem right to me and would also mostly defeat using an external scaler. Seems like it's giving the interlaced status higher priority than a resolution match. If no interlaced mode is available, it seems to stay at the current resolution, whatever it is (480p or 720p for example).

These may be pretty serious implementation issues. With regards to the cropping seen in case #2, I have verified the image looks the same when output with the HD200 set to SVIDEO. I really need to test this on an LCD that I can be sure isn't itself tossing some of the image to overscan (which may in fact be the case with that test on my current set). If this is the situation, then it would mean case#2 is correct, but that the way the HD200 currently operates will not allow for this correct case to be used automatically and therefore transparently/correctly with scalers and scaling TVs.

Comments?
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Last edited by TwistedMelon; 12-28-2008 at 08:16 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2008, 08:11 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Another followup to myself, to indicate a required feature to solve this issue. At least the issue of Display Aspect.

We need an "Automatic" setting in the Display Aspect setting on top of the specific ratios.

This setting would not allow any manual adjustment of the ratio either. It would simply make sure that the ratio always followed the output resolution exactly. The UI presentation could display the current resolution within the circle along with the current ratio to make sure users understand the setting and know what resolution they're currently outputting.

The Native resolution switching issue mentioned in the OP needs to be changed to have priority for resolution over interlaced status.
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Last edited by TwistedMelon; 12-28-2008 at 08:18 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
It may be the late hour and how tired I am after way too much testing on top of a busy holiday schedule, but does anyone else think that the Display Aspect Ratio setting is redundant with the extender products?
Nope.

Quote:
What I mean by this is that for the extender to properly display/scale the video, the display aspect setting needs to match the output resolution.
I suppose that's a true statement....

Quote:
In the past, using only a SageTV computer, the resolution was always fixed to your output device, such as monitor or TV. With the Extender supporting multiple resolutions and resolution switching, manually setting the display's ratio to a specific setting seems like a bad idea because it won't always match the output resolution and will end up producing incorrect video aspect ratio.
Well, consider that (aside from 480x in certain situations) every resolution (at least defaults) is the same aspect ratio.

Quote:
If I'm not missing anything, the setting would be best tied to the output resolution, changing automatically with it.

If you want to test this out, just go to the Display Aspect Ratio screen, set the correct aspect for your display/resolution (such as 16:9 for 1080i/p) and then switch the video resolution. When you get to a non 16:9 resolution such as any 480 output, you'll notice the circle won't appear round. That also means that video is going to be distorted.
The first problem is 480x is not necessarily 4:3, in fact SD is never square pixels, since 720x480 is 1.5:1 yet picture it holds is either 16:9 or 4:3. The fact remains that your display has a fixed aspect ratio. For example my display is 2.35:1, but I run everything through the processor in my projector. So my projector is expecting a 16:9 input. So I set Sage Display AR to 1.78:1. This results in it outputting everything with the correct proportions, even with native output switching enabled. It even correctly pillarboxes 4:3 video.

Quote:
I don't know how this affects the feature that switches the output resolution automatically, but I have a suspicion it may cause it to break.
Not really, has little/no effect on native switching.

Quote:
Some testing, case 1:
16:9 TV (HDMI to DVI adapter on Sony RPTV)
Display Aspect Ratio set to 16:9 and output resolution at 480p
4:3 recorded content with aspect setting of SOURCE appears at correct aspect and with black bars on the sides

Some testing, case 2:
16:9 TV (HDMI to DVI adapter on Sony RPTV)
Display Aspect Ratio set to 4:3 (requires restarting HD200) and output resolution at 480p
4:3 recorded content with aspect setting of SOURCE appears at correct aspect and fills the entire screen

Case #2 seems to be the desired effect if switching resolution. That's because switching resolution means you want your display device to handle that format and perform its own scaling (such as when using a line-doubler or external scaler). With case #1 I suspect the external scaler may be seeing the black bars on the side as part of the video output.
Well that's a tricky one sort of. Because the extender can't pass AR information to the display so if you feed "unpillarboxed" 4:3 to a 16:9 display, the user will have to manually change the AR in the display. However if the extender pillarboxes it to a consistent DAR then the user doesn't.

And that pillarboxing (near as I can tell) doesn't break deinterlacing on external displays either.

Quote:
EDIT: With some additional testing by setting my TV's zoom to "normal" which shows a complete 4:3 image, I can see that neither case #1 nor #2 are producing the correct video. #1 with the black bars as mentioned which causes the video content to appear more narrow than it should, but #2 appears to be incorrectly cropping the video on the left and right (see note at bottom). None of the settings seem to output exactly what was recorded and are going to have issues with an external scaler. The only caveat with this testing is that I'm only able to test 480p and not 480i which in fact is what this was recorded as.
You lost me there, is "Normal" on your TV just "fill", stretch whatever's input to fill the screen?

Quote:
The other issue discovered here is that with the automatic resolution switching option enabled, the HD200 will not switch to 480p for content that is 480i. Nor will it stay at 480p if that's your current output resolution. Instead it will switch to the first available resolution that is interlaced, which in my case is 1080i.
Actually it doesn't it switches to your default resolution, (which I think is usually 1080i if that's enabled).

Quote:
This doesn't seem right to me and would also mostly defeat using an external scaler. Seems like it's giving the interlaced status higher priority than a resolution match. If no interlaced mode is available, it seems to stay at the current resolution, whatever it is (480p or 720p for example).
As you said earlier, if you're using an external scaler, you'd have all the resolution's enabled (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i), so this wouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
These may be pretty serious implementation issues. With regards to the cropping seen in case #2, I have verified the image looks the same when output with the HD200 set to SVIDEO. I really need to test this on an LCD that I can be sure isn't itself tossing some of the image to overscan (which may in fact be the case with that test on my current set).
My HD200 doesn't crop anything unless I tell it to (via custom AR modes).

Quote:
If this is the situation, then it would mean case#2 is correct, but that the way the HD200 currently operates will not allow for this correct case to be used automatically and therefore transparently/correctly with scalers and scaling TVs.

Comments?
2 is arguably correct, but as you noted, there's no way for the TV/scaler to know the output is 4:3 vs 16:9 in 480i/p so it requires user intevention to account for that. As such I've settled on "case 1" as the "best" method.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:28 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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I'm sorry about the mutliple threads. The links in the BETA forum were pointers to this discussion, not meant to continue or expand the discussion into another area. I've filed feature suggestions using the bug report mechanism already just to keep it official.

"Normal" on the TV I'm using now is an aspect-correct scaled mode. It will take what's coming in and display it within the TV's native picture box. That means that 480i content gets pillarboxed by the TV. Equivalent to Sage's Letterbox "SOURCE" mode.

The TV IU'm using now can be set to treat 4:3 in any number of ways as "default" so that any time that resolution is encountered that setting will be applied. That includes the ability to pillarbox, proportional (aspect-correct) zoom, wide zoom (disproportionate with crop) or stretch (very disproportionate without crop).
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Last edited by TwistedMelon; 12-28-2008 at 08:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
"Normal" on the TV I'm using now is an aspect-correct scaled mode. It will take what's coming in and display it within the TV's native picture box. That means that 480i content gets pillarboxed by the TV. Equivalent to Sage's Letterbox "SOURCE" mode.
Does it pillarbox 16:9 DVDs too?

Quote:
As mentioned in the last message I had posted advocating the solution, it's really just two more scale modes to complement the existing PanScan and Letterbox. Those two either always crop or never crop. The two I suggested would do one or the other depending on the source dimensions.
You know "Fill" is at least half what you want. "Stretch" to fill the resolution and not crop anything. With Native Output Switching enabled that means nothing will be changed.

You should be able to configure a custom AR to do the other.

Quote:
I'm talking about the mode which does not distort the aspect ratio of the source.
I've never had a "TV" that can automatically figure out if pillarbox bars are needed or not.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:38 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Incidentally, I have verified that native Switching will always pick the 1080i mode when 480i isn't available, but not because it's the default. It does it even when default is 720p. And if 1080i isn't available it will stay at whatever is currently set, such as 480p or 720p.

I'll pop back in here later but unfortunately I can't post any more right now with people coming through the door for a party I'm hosting...
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
Incidentally, I have verified that native Switching will always pick the 1080i mode when 480i isn't available, but not because it's the default. It does it even when default is 720p. And if 1080i isn't available it will stay at whatever is currently set, such as 480p or 720p.
Yeah, now that you mention it, I think it actually goes to the highest enabled resolution when it can't match the source resolution.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:18 PM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Yeah, now that you mention it, I think it actually goes to the highest enabled resolution when it can't match the source resolution.
But that's not quite right because I did test with only 720p and 480p resolutions enabled (no 1080i nor 480i). If I switched to 480p display and then played a 480i recording, the resolution would stay at 480p. Definitely not picking the highest. From my testing I can only confirm it picks the first (or only) available interlace mode if it can't get the exact one it wants (in my tests, 480i was what it wanted but couldn't have).

Hmm, I seem to have made a mess and posted some of my replies into the wrong thread. Ugh. Let me see if I can make some corrections now.

WHat I plan to do again tonight is to test the only 480i output I can, SVIDEO. Just one more time anyway to confirm the tests from last night. I'm pretty sure that setting Display Aspect to 16:9 and outputting 480i video over SVIDEO will display pillarboxes on the video. This is what I believe will happen through the other connections as well (component and HDMI) and is what is not desired. If I'm outputting 480i content at 480i then there shouldn't be pillarboxes obviously.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
But that's not quite right because I did test with only 720p and 480p resolutions enabled (no 1080i nor 480i). If I switched to 480p display and then played a 480i recording, the resolution would stay at 480p. Definitely not picking the highest. From my testing I can only confirm it picks the first (or only) available interlace mode if it can't get the exact one it wants (in my tests, 480i was what it wanted but couldn't have).
Interesting.

Quote:
WHat I plan to do again tonight is to test the only 480i output I can, SVIDEO.
You can do 480i over component or HDMI as well.

[UQOTE]Just one more time anyway to confirm the tests from last night. I'm pretty sure that setting Display Aspect to 16:9 and outputting 480i video over SVIDEO will display pillarboxes on the video. This is what I believe will happen through the other connections as well (component and HDMI) and is what is not desired.[/QUOTE]

Like I said above (somewhere ) it may. I say may because it depends on the AR flags in the content. The best example is DVDs, they are stored as 480i MPEG-2 (even if the content is actually 480p). DVDs can be either 4:3 or 16:9, specified by a flag in the bitstream.

So when you have the AR setting set to Source (for a simple example) and DAR set to 16:9, Sage will output 16:9 video with the full 720x480, however if the video is 4:3, then Sage will pillarbox the video in the 720x480 frame.

Conversely, if you have DAR set to 4:3, then Sage will output 4:3 video in the full 720x480 frame, but it will letterbox 16:9 video in the 720x480 frame.

Quote:
If I'm outputting 480i content at 480i then there shouldn't be pillarboxes obviously.
That's not a question answered with a simple yes/no, since 480i sources can be either 4:3 or 16:9, and 480i signals can be interpreted as either 16:9 or 4:3.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:36 PM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Interesting.

You can do 480i over component or HDMI as well.
It's not supported on this TV over HDMI and I haven't hooked up component cables for testing at this time.

Quote:
I say may because it depends on the AR flags in the content. The best example is DVDs, they are stored as 480i MPEG-2 (even if the content is actually 480p). DVDs can be either 4:3 or 16:9, specified by a flag in the bitstream.
We're talking about two different things here. With DVDs you either have anamorphic content which uses up to the full 480 for the vertical contents or you don't (which means you may have 4:3 content or any aspect content utilizing less than 480 vertical). In the first case (anamorphic) the video content played without any aspect compensation (horizontal stretching) would look horizontally squished - people with tall heads. In all instances of the other situation, the video will always look correct, regardless of the dimensions of the actual video content (even if there's padding - though typically there wouldn't be with a DVD).

Anamorphic content is a special case. However, none of this applies to the issue I've brought up because what's happening if you have an incorrect DAR is that Sage introduces padding.

Quote:
So when you have the AR setting set to Source (for a simple example) and DAR set to 16:9, Sage will output 16:9 video with the full 720x480, however if the video is 4:3, then Sage will pillarbox the video in the 720x480 frame.
It doesn't output 16:9 video. Let's be clear about that. It outputs video at the resolution you have set or that it has been automatically changed to. That may or may not be 16:9 video. If the output is 720x480 then it's 4:3 video output for all intents and purposes, regardless of the aspect of the source. The important part here is what happens to the presentation of the source. And as you've stated, having mismatched DAR of 16:9 and using an output resolution that's 4:3 will cause pillarboxing when playing 4:3 content. Basically you're creating pillarboxes in a situation where you don't need to because the source content is the same as the output resolution.

I can't think of any situation right now where this would be desirable.


Quote:
Conversely, if you have DAR set to 4:3, then Sage will output 4:3 video in the full 720x480 frame, but it will letterbox 16:9 video in the 720x480 frame.
Again, the DAR doesn't affect the output resolution's aspect ratio, only how Sage will pad the source with boxes. So in this case, playing 4:3 source with DAR of 4:3 and at an output resolution of 720x280 (4:3) the video will not be pillar or letterboxed at all by Sage. You will get a 4:3 rectangle containing exactly your 4:3 source.

I'll post images of exactly what this looks like when outputting 480p over HDMI and 480i over SVIDEO. For both cases playing 4:3 source video with DAR of 4:3 and DAR of 16:9


Quote:
That's not a question answered with a simple yes/no, since 480i sources can be either 4:3 or 16:9, and 480i signals can be interpreted as either 16:9 or 4:3.
Again, this isn't relevant to my point, since I'm speaking of matching the DAR with the actual output resolution in an effort to prevent sage from padding. In this thread I'm not discussing how Sage might scale the playback AR since all examples would be using a plain SOURCE setting in that respect. So even a 2.45:1 frame within a 480i stream has no bearing on this topic.

You'd still get additional pillarboxing if Sage's DAR isn't matched to the output resolution.

I'll have to post the images sometime tomorrow as I don't have the time to resize (12mp camera) and upload them right now.
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Last edited by TwistedMelon; 12-28-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
Again, this isn't relevant to my point, since I'm speaking of matching the DAR with the actual output resolution in an effort to prevent sage from padding.
Well then let's start here, if all you want to do is make Sage not add padding, then select the "Fill" aspect ratio mode, that's exactly what it's for.

Quote:
We're talking about two different things here. With DVDs you either have anamorphic content which uses up to the full 480 for the vertical contents or you don't (which means you may have 4:3 content or any aspect content utilizing less than 480 vertical). In the first case (anamorphic) the video content played without any aspect compensation (horizontal stretching) would look horizontally squished - people with tall heads. In all instances of the other situation, the video will always look correct, regardless of the dimensions of the actual video content (even if there's padding - though typically there wouldn't be with a DVD).
Use whatever terms you want, 480i can be either 4:3 or 16:9 (well, technically MPEG supports 1:1, 4:3, 16:9, 21:9 aspect ratios, but only 4:3 and 16:9 are used). 16:9 480i is usually called "Anamorphic" (though technically they both are since neither use square pixels).

Quote:
Anamorphic content is a special case. However, none of this applies to the issue I've brought up because what's happening if you have an incorrect DAR is that Sage introduces padding.
But it does apply because the AR flags in the source are what Sage uses when it decides whether to add padding or not. 480i is unlike almost any other source format in that it's not inherently 16:9 or 4:3, you can't tell by looking just at the resolution of the source.

Quote:
It doesn't output 16:9 video. Let's be clear about that. It outputs video at the resolution you have set or that it has been automatically changed to. That may or may not be 16:9 video.
Yup, exactly.

Quote:
If the output is 720x480 then it's 4:3 video output for all intents and purposes, regardless of the aspect of the source.
Well if you really want to throw out the meaning of the data that's carried, 720x480 has a 1.5:1 (3:2) aspect ratio. But that's moot, the important part is the meaning of what's conveyed by that that stream.

Quote:
I can't think of any situation right now where this would be desirable.
I can think of two:

1) It allows for seamless, user-interaction-free processing of 4:3 and 16:9 sources. Without padding 4:3 sources, the user would have to change modes on the display/VP to add the padding there.

2) If you've got a 2.35:1 display, then your display doesn't have the capability to pad 4:3 enough without the source device doing some padding of it's own.

Quote:
Again, the DAR doesn't affect the output resolution's aspect ratio, only how Sage will pad the source with boxes.
Yes, I understand that. What it does to is have an effect on the meaning, the intent of the output resolution.

Quote:
So in this case, playing 4:3 source with DAR of 4:3 and at an output resolution of 720x280 (4:3) the video will not be pillar or letterboxed at all by Sage. You will get a 4:3 rectangle containing exactly your 4:3 source.
True.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:10 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Well then let's start here, if all you want to do is make Sage not add padding, then select the "Fill" aspect ratio mode, that's exactly what it's for.
I feel like I'm repeating myself. Setting Fill will either require a manual change at the time I play back the particular content or will require setting it as the default. Which will cause other sources that do not match exactly their output resolutions to be distorted. Lose-lose situation.

Quote:
But it does apply because the AR flags in the source are what Sage uses when it decides whether to add padding or not. 480i is unlike almost any other source format in that it's not inherently 16:9 or 4:3, you can't tell by looking just at the resolution of the source.
This still doesn't have any bearing on my desire to be able to set a DAR setting of "auto" instead of only being able to set it to a fixed ratio. The DAR is a description of the aspect ratio for the output resolution. If you have Sage running on a monitor or TV with a fixed resolution (like many people do) then you'd keep your DAR set to a constant setting to match that resolution. If your resolution can change you're going to run into a case where it won't match, and regardless of the content you're playing, you're not going to get what would be the ideal or correct image (by standards of using a DAR to match output).

Quote:
Well if you really want to throw out the meaning of the data that's carried, 720x480 has a 1.5:1 (3:2) aspect ratio. But that's moot, the important part is the meaning of what's conveyed by that that stream.
Precisely the reason I initially wanted to just keep using "480i"

Quote:
1) It allows for seamless, user-interaction-free processing of 4:3 and 16:9 sources. Without padding 4:3 sources, the user would have to change modes on the display/VP to add the padding there.
The padding that's getting added by Sage in the case I mentioned is false padding however. It is excess padding on the 4:3 image. The padding on the 16:9 image will be correct (top and bottom). Remember we're talking about 4:3 output resolution.

EDIT: We may both be slightly incorrect here. I neglected to take one thing into account and that's how Sage handles Anamorphic content.
On a DVD player, if you have a DAR of 4:3 set in your player, it will vertically compress the video to correct for the pixel aspect ratio, thereby creating a letterbox to present the wide movie on your narrow TV. For a wide DAR it will use the full vertical resolution, allowing the TV to expand the width, essentially giving you more image detail all still while storing all the pixels in the "4:3" container.

** See my closing note at the bottom.
--------------------------------------------

Quote:
2) If you've got a 2.35:1 display, then your display doesn't have the capability to pad 4:3 enough without the source device doing some padding of it's own.
This is a special case and for that you can feel free to set a non-matching DAR if that's the way you want to get around the formatting issue. You should however use a playback AR mode to accomplish this, not the DAR. In any case, I'm asking for an auto DAR mode, not to get rid of the DAR settings we have now.

The bottom line is that there's no way to automate the results achieved with the suggestions I'm making at this time. They all require manual setting changes. That = low WAF. DAR also requires a reset of the HD200 to take effect.

The suggestions I'm making (both threads) do not remove anything that exists now, but they add many more possibilities for users to get along with the setups they have or plan to have in the future. I believe it's critical to have the added flexibility, but I don't have to convince everyone else of that. As long as you (or anyone else for that matter) understand what I'm talking about, I'm satisfied, even if you wouldn't personally use those new properties.

** Closing note (ADDED in the morning):

If Sage treats anamorphic content the same way as a standalone DVD player, then it is definitely valuable to make sure Sage knows the true DAR of your display is 16:9 even when it changes the resolution to a 480 mode. However, it doesn't make the goal of my suggestion invalid, it just means a more robust solution is required. Instead of having DAR follow resolution it would be more appropriate to have a flag that told Sage not to PILLARBOX NON-Anamporphic content based on the DAR setting. Picking some suitable wording for this would be key to lessening its obscurity.

Again, this assumes Sage treats the video like a DVD player. The setting would allow the special treatment of content that doesn't need to be altered by pillarboxes while still allowing the full vertical fidelity of anamorphic content to be used. Non-anamorphic 4:3 content is pretty much the only thing that even causes the issues surrounding this whole discussion, because it's about the only source that can precisely match one of the preset DAR settings.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:03 AM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Here are the images I promised. The TV has been set to not alter the aspect ratio of the source, which means it pillarboxes the screen in grey. All black boxing is part of the output from the HD200.

The first is HDMI output at 720x480p with a DAR of 4:3. This shows a complete source image with its correct aspect ratio preserved. Ready for the scaler hardware of the TV or external device to reformat it as necessary (or not if that's your choice).



The second is HDMI output at 720x480 with a DAR of 16:9. Note how the image is being squished horizontally because of the extra pillarboxes introduced by the HD200.



The third is SVIDEO output with a DAR of 4:3. Like the first image, this shows a complete source image with its correct aspect ratio preserved. Ready for the scaler hardware of the TV or external device to reformat it as necessary (or not if that's your choice).



The fourth is SVIDEO output with a DAR of 16:9. Here too there are pillarboxes introduced, however the strange thing is that the image is also being letterboxed. The resulting content looks like it's presented at the correct ratio. Even though the ratio is correct, the extra black boxing is going to cause a problem for expansion on some scalers and TVs.



What I can't verify right now is what 480i is formatted like over HDMI. Does it present like the 480p output, like the SVIDEO or something else entirely?
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
I feel like I'm repeating myself. Setting Fill will either require a manual change at the time I play back the particular content or will require setting it as the default.
Yes, that is true.

Quote:
Which will cause other sources that do not match exactly their output resolutions to be distorted. Lose-lose situation.
What sources are going to be screwed up? What sources do you have that can't be mapped, 1:1 into 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p?

Quote:
This still doesn't have any bearing on my desire to be able to set a DAR setting of "auto" instead of only being able to set it to a fixed ratio. The DAR is a description of the aspect ratio for the output resolution.
I think I agree with that.

Quote:
If you have Sage running on a monitor or TV with a fixed resolution (like many people do) then you'd keep your DAR set to a constant setting to match that resolution. If your resolution can change you're going to run into a case where it won't match, and regardless of the content you're playing, you're not going to get what would be the ideal or correct image (by standards of using a DAR to match output).
I haven't seen that happen.

Quote:
The padding that's getting added by Sage in the case I mentioned is false padding however. It is excess padding on the 4:3 image. The padding on the 16:9 image will be correct (top and bottom). Remember we're talking about 4:3 output resolution.
But we're not. 480i is not necessarilly 4:3, nor is it necessarilly 16:9. That's the whole issue. IMO always assuming 480i is 4:3 is just as wrong, more wrong IMO than always assuming it's 16:9. The reason is if you always assume it's 4:3 then you'd have to letterbox 16:9 content into it. However that will throw away 33% of your vertical resolution, and will fubar any hope of doing good deinterlacing in an external processor.

Quote:
EDIT: We may both be slightly incorrect here. I neglected to take one thing into account and that's how Sage handles Anamorphic content.
On a DVD player, if you have a DAR of 4:3 set in your player, it will vertically compress the video to correct for the pixel aspect ratio, thereby creating a letterbox to present the wide movie on your narrow TV.
Correct, this is exactly what Sage does as well.

Quote:
For a wide DAR it will use the full vertical resolution, allowing the TV to expand the width, essentially giving you more image detail all still while storing all the pixels in the "4:3" container.
I still disagree that it's a "4:3 container". The very reason being that 480i is used for both 4:3 and 16:9 (anamorphic) content.

Quote:
This is a special case and for that you can feel free to set a non-matching DAR if that's the way you want to get around the formatting issue. You should however use a playback AR mode to accomplish this, not the DAR. In any case, I'm asking for an auto DAR mode, not to get rid of the DAR settings we have now.
See, I think you're just getting too hung up on terminology. In a purely theoretical world you may be right, but I'm coming at this from the pragmatic side. I don't care what the settings are called or where they are as long as I can make the system work the way I want.

Quote:
The bottom line is that there's no way to automate the results achieved with the suggestions I'm making at this time. They all require manual setting changes.
What can't be automated? With Sage DAR set to 16:9, Sage AR mode set to Source, and the display set to Wide/Anamorphic/Fill (man I hate the craptacular lack of naming conventions) everything will be displayed in the correct ratio on the display with no user interaction.

Quote:
DAR also requires a reset of the HD200 to take effect.
No, it only requires restarting playback, I did that last night.

Quote:
The suggestions I'm making (both threads) do not remove anything that exists now, but they add many more possibilities for users to get along with the setups they have or plan to have in the future. I believe it's critical to have the added flexibility, but I don't have to convince everyone else of that. As long as you (or anyone else for that matter) understand what I'm talking about, I'm satisfied, even if you wouldn't personally use those new properties.
And I'm only arguing that everything needed to achieve your desired goal is there right now, if not labeled the way you'd like.

Quote:
If Sage treats anamorphic content the same way as a standalone DVD player,
It does. But it goes a step further than some/most DVD players, pillarboxing 4:3 content if you've got DAR set to wide.

Quote:
...then it is definitely valuable to make sure Sage knows the true DAR of your display is 16:9 even when it changes the resolution to a 480 mode. However, it doesn't make the goal of my suggestion invalid, it just means a more robust solution is required. Instead of having DAR follow resolution it would be more appropriate to have a flag that told Sage not to PILLARBOX NON-Anamporphic content based on the DAR setting. Picking some suitable wording for this would be key to lessening its obscurity.
Again, unless I'm missing something rather odd in your config. The Fill AR mode will do exactly that.

Quote:
Again, this assumes Sage treats the video like a DVD player. The setting would allow the special treatment of content that doesn't need to be altered by pillarboxes while still allowing the full vertical fidelity of anamorphic content to be used. Non-anamorphic 4:3 content is pretty much the only thing that even causes the issues surrounding this whole discussion, because it's about the only source that can precisely match one of the preset DAR settings.
Exactly why I say Fill AR will do exactly what you need. Near as I can tell, everything else is working fine for you 1080i, 720p, 16:9 (anamorphic) 480i, all fine, it's just the pillarboxing of 4:3 content that you're trying to avoid. Setting Sage to Fill and 16:9 DAR will result in exactly what you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
Here are the images I promised. The TV has been set to not alter the aspect ratio of the source, which means it pillarboxes the screen in grey. All black boxing is part of the output from the HD200.

The first is HDMI output at 720x480p with a DAR of 4:3. This shows a complete source image with its correct aspect ratio preserved. Ready for the scaler hardware of the TV or external device to reformat it as necessary (or not if that's your choice).


Yes, that is what I would expect to see.

Quote:
The second is HDMI output at 720x480 with a DAR of 16:9. Note how the image is being squished horizontally because of the extra pillarboxes introduced by the HD200.


Also what I would expect to see. I now see that much of your "perspective" shall we say is based on the fact that your TV assumes 480i is 4:3. This is not universally true, and probably why this whole discussion is ongoing. I've never had a display that makes that assumption.

Quote:
The third is SVIDEO output with a DAR of 4:3. Like the first image, this shows a complete source image with its correct aspect ratio preserved. Ready for the scaler hardware of the TV or external device to reformat it as necessary (or not if that's your choice).


The problem is with this setup 16:9 video will be hosed. However if you set your TV to "Fill" (or whatever it's AR is called) and Sage to 16:9 DAR and Source AR mode, then you'll get an image that looks just like the above picture, except with black bars vs grey.

Quote:
The fourth is SVIDEO output with a DAR of 16:9. Here too there are pillarboxes introduced, however the strange thing is that the image is also being letterboxed. The resulting content looks like it's presented at the correct ratio. Even though the ratio is correct, the extra black boxing is going to cause a problem for expansion on some scalers and TVs.



What I can't verify right now is what 480i is formatted like over HDMI. Does it present like the 480p output, like the SVIDEO or something else entirely?
It's not. 480i over HDMI works just like your 480p pictures above. And are you sure your TV doesn't accept 480i? I know the HD200 doesn't detect that my projector will accept it, but if I manually configure it it does work just fine.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:50 PM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I still disagree that it's a "4:3 container". The very reason being that 480i is used for both 4:3 and 16:9 (anamorphic) content.
You can disagree all you like. I'm not saying that 480i is universally a container for 4:3 content. We agree on what can be included in a such output, however, the output from my analog capture cards and the channels I'm receiving never produce anamorphic content such as found on a DVD. In the case of all the recorded TV I have, all the 480i captures contain 4:3 content.

The suggestion I made would not break the points you've made.


Quote:
See, I think you're just getting too hung up on terminology. In a purely theoretical world you may be right, but I'm coming at this from the pragmatic side. I don't care what the settings are called or where they are as long as I can make the system work the way I want.
I don't care what they're called either. I just want to make things as transparent as possible and minimize or eliminate the need to fiddle with settings as different content is played. So now see this...


Quote:
What can't be automated? With Sage DAR set to 16:9, Sage AR mode set to Source, and the display set to Wide/Anamorphic/Fill (man I hate the craptacular lack of naming conventions) everything will be displayed in the correct ratio on the display with no user interaction.
Quote:
Again, unless I'm missing something rather odd in your config. The Fill AR mode will do exactly that.
Here you're advocating two different things. If I have to manually choose "FILL" then the solution you present above it is not universal nor is it automated.


Quote:
And I'm only arguing that everything needed to achieve your desired goal is there right now, if not labeled the way you'd like.
And I don't disagree with you about enough settings existing to achieve proper formatting for most/all sources. However, I've been saying all along that to get the correct output for the content I've mentioned, requires making changes to one or more settings. The suggestions I've made in this thread and the AR thread are to precisely avoid having to make these manual changes. The goal is to simplify achieving the desired formatting.

With regards to DAR
Quote:
No, it only requires restarting playback, I did that last night.
I never use STOP as mentioned before, so I didn't test it to see if it would get around this case either. I do know that starting playback of a new file won't start it in the recently set DAR however.


Quote:
It does. But it goes a step further than some/most DVD players, pillarboxing 4:3 content if you've got DAR set to wide.
And this is what I'm saying isn't necessary. My TV (every TV I've ever seen) can deal with the 4:3 content without it having to be pillarboxed by Sage. What I'm saying is that this pillarbox will necessitate further action to do something like you've suggested, using the FILL AR in Sage.


Quote:
Exactly why I say Fill AR will do exactly what you need. Near as I can tell, everything else is working fine for you 1080i, 720p, 16:9 (anamorphic) 480i, all fine, it's just the pillarboxing of 4:3 content that you're trying to avoid. Setting Sage to Fill and 16:9 DAR will result in exactly what you want.
Using fill is like applying a band-aid. It's because Sage is scaling down horizontally and then I'm telling it to scale back up. My suggestion for the option in DAR settings would tell it not to scale this content at all. Problem solve at the source where it should be. No need to shuffle settings around from time to time.

Quote:
Also what I would expect to see. I now see that much of your "perspective" shall we say is based on the fact that your TV assumes 480i is 4:3. This is not universally true, and probably why this whole discussion is ongoing. I've never had a display that makes that assumption.
The TV doesn't assume that 480 is 4:3. It's showing what Sage is outputting. Sage is sending out a 4:3 image. The TV works perfectly fine with anamorphic content from a DVD player. I've set the TV to show exactly what's being output.


Quote:
The problem is with this setup 16:9 video will be hosed. However if you set your TV to "Fill" (or whatever it's AR is called) and Sage to 16:9 DAR and Source AR mode, then you'll get an image that looks just like the above picture, except with black bars vs grey.
That's a lot of options to change. Since Sage recognizes anamorphic content, the cleanest solution is to allow it to not pillarbox content that doesn't need it as I've recently suggested. It will then continue to treat 16:9 content correctly. BTW, none of my ripped content right now is encoded in MPEG2, so none of it has any AR flags. It's all dimensioned at various ratios and has thus far never caused any issues for playback.

Quote:
480i over HDMI works just like your 480p pictures above. And are you sure your TV doesn't accept 480i? I know the HD200 doesn't detect that my projector will accept it, but if I manually configure it it does work just fine.
It's not a matter of HD200 detecting. I have forced it to output 480i. The TV simply will not detect a valid signal nor sync when that resolution is coming in over HDMI. To be exact (and I've mentioned it before though I can't remember in what message), the TV has a DVI port to which I'm connecting the HDMI cable with an adapter.

This TV is going to be replaced in a few months, but I'm looking at the bigger picture here. This thread for the purposes of using the Native Resolution Switching, and the other AR thread mostly for use at a fixed resolution.

Sometime after getting the new TV I'll probably connect up a DVDO EDGE video processor for all scaling duties at that location. But as mentioned in the other thread, this isn't the hardware I'll use in other rooms. The current TV may or may not continue to be used, and a smaller set will make it into the bedroom without an outboard processor - in that case I'll probably want Sage to handle scaling and I'd like to keep a constant DAR set (the subject of the other AR thread)
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2009, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
You can disagree all you like. I'm not saying that 480i is universally a container for 4:3 content. We agree on what can be included in a such output, however, the output from my analog capture cards and the channels I'm receiving never produce anamorphic content such as found on a DVD. In the case of all the recorded TV I have, all the 480i captures contain 4:3 content.
Yup, agreed.

Quote:
I don't care what they're called either. I just want to make things as transparent as possible and minimize or eliminate the need to fiddle with settings as different content is played. So now see this...
And that's possible.

Quote:
Here you're advocating two different things. If I have to manually choose "FILL" then the solution you present above it is not universal nor is it automated.
I'm advocating two different options (with native output switching enabled, and all applicable resolutions enabled as well):

1) DAR=16:9 (your TV is 16:9 after all) and AR mode=Source, the AR will always be correct, on your TV assuming it's set to fill the screen with the source. No user intervention required.

2) DAR=N/A and AR mode=Fill, this will result in unchanged output (no letter/pillarboxing) and the AR will be correct if your TV assumes 480i is 4:3, or you'll have to change the TV to a "4:3" mode.

Near as I can tell, 1) achieves the goal you want, no user intervention to get the AR right, and 2) does exactly what you describe would happen if you got your requested DAR-follows-resolution.

Quote:
And I don't disagree with you about enough settings existing to achieve proper formatting for most/all sources. However, I've been saying all along that to get the correct output for the content I've mentioned, requires making changes to one or more settings. The suggestions I've made in this thread and the AR thread are to precisely avoid having to make these manual changes. The goal is to simplify achieving the desired formatting.
And I still say, aside from one-time initial setup (of picking DAR, and Source or Fill) you shouldn't be having to do any manual fiddling for "well behaved" content.

Quote:
With regards to DAR


I never use STOP as mentioned before, so I didn't test it to see if it would get around this case either. I do know that starting playback of a new file won't start it in the recently set DAR however.
All I know is I changed DAR, and once I restarted the file the change took effect.

Quote:
And this is what I'm saying isn't necessary. My TV (every TV I've ever seen) can deal with the 4:3 content without it having to be pillarboxed by Sage. What I'm saying is that this pillarbox will necessitate further action to do something like you've suggested, using the FILL AR in Sage.
First I assume by "4:3 content" you mean 480i (ie the TV automatically pillarboxes SD content, assuming it's 4:3). Guess I'm on the other end of the spectrum, every TV I have experience (which is mainly my HT projectors and my parents Mits rear projection) simply lets you choose the displayed AR, whether it be Fill, 4:3 (pillarbox), 16:9/Letterbox (crop bars off top/bottom), or Native/through (which leaves 480i in a 720x480 window inside the 1280x720 or 1920x1080 native resolution).

Regardless you only have to set Fill the default once and it's that way forever.

Quote:
Using fill is like applying a band-aid. It's because Sage is scaling down horizontally and then I'm telling it to scale back up.
No it's not, Fill does not shrink and then stretch.

Quote:
My suggestion for the option in DAR settings would tell it not to scale this content at all.
That is exactly what Fill+Native output switching does. That's the whole point. What you're asking for is already there.

Quote:
Problem solve at the source where it should be. No need to shuffle settings around from time to time.
No settings to shuffle. Turn on Native output switching, and set the Default AR mode to Fill, and you're done.

Quote:
The TV doesn't assume that 480 is 4:3. It's showing what Sage is outputting. Sage is sending out a 4:3 image. The TV works perfectly fine with anamorphic content from a DVD player. I've set the TV to show exactly what's being output.
That's another issue, Sage doesn't output "4:3" or "16:9", it outputs resolutions/timings. I don't believe it can flag 480i as being 16:9 or 4:3.

Quote:
That's a lot of options to change.
What, setting DAR and default AR mode?

Quote:
Since Sage recognizes anamorphic content, the cleanest solution is to allow it to not pillarbox content that doesn't need it as I've recently suggested.
From what I understand the only thing you want Sage to handle differently is 4:3 480i, setting default AR mode to Fill will do exactly that.

Quote:
It will then continue to treat 16:9 content correctly. BTW, none of my ripped content right now is encoded in MPEG2, so none of it has any AR flags. It's all dimensioned at various ratios and has thus far never caused any issues for playback.
Well it shouldn't, square pixels are easy to handle.

Quote:
It's not a matter of HD200 detecting. I have forced it to output 480i. The TV simply will not detect a valid signal nor sync when that resolution is coming in over HDMI. To be exact (and I've mentioned it before though I can't remember in what message), the TV has a DVI port to which I'm connecting the HDMI cable with an adapter.
Might want to try a custom extra resolution of "720x480i@59.94|standard=NTSC_M"
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:20 PM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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I'll only say a couple of things right now because unfortunately I don't have the time for a detailed reply.

With regards to Sage's AR "FILL" - this mode will reformat both the horizontal and vertical of a video to fit the current resolution, without regard to the actual AR or the video itself. I've tried it and it won't work to preserve the original aspect of the content. Pixels are transformed to non-square if the source aspect ratio does not exactly match the output resolution aspect ratio.

Consider this:

Output resolution 720x480
Source file1: 640x272 (native AR of 2.35:1)
Source file2: 720x480 (native AR of 3:2 aka "4:3" NTSC capture)
Source file3: 640x352 (native AR of 1.81:1)

Setting AR mode to FILL will cause every one of those to display as 720x480, completely skewing the aspect of all but file2. File1 and File3 will look "tall" (or horizontally squished). No manner of standard aspect controls on a TV or projector are going to correct for this.

Some people don't notice this when it's a mild change, but any such reformatting is not preserving the square appearance of the source pixels.

The same thing is going to happen even if your output resolution is 1920x1080. In that case all three files will appear distorted, because none of them is natively (exactly) 16:9.

Please follow up to the non-DAR thread with your exact suggested settings for custom Sage AR modes for use with a fixed output resolution.

I will try creating the new timing you mentioned, but without it, I can't use Native switching because 480i content will always switch the resolution to 1080i (and not 480p).

I'm going to be winding down my part of the discussion here once I see and test your precise settings recommendations. At that time I'll be finalizing a mini report which I will submit directly to Sage. I just hope my own customers don't find out I've spent so much time doing any of this stuff for free.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
I'll only say a couple of things right now because unfortunately I don't have the time for a detailed reply.

With regards to Sage's AR "FILL" - this mode will reformat both the horizontal and vertical of a video to fit the current resolution, without regard to the actual AR or the video itself. I've tried it and it won't work to preserve the original aspect of the content. Pixels are transformed to non-square if the source aspect ratio does not exactly match the output resolution aspect ratio.

Consider this:

Output resolution 720x480
Source file1: 640x272 (native AR of 2.35:1)
Source file2: 720x480 (native AR of 3:2 aka "4:3" NTSC capture)
Source file3: 640x352 (native AR of 1.81:1)

Setting AR mode to FILL will cause every one of those to display as 720x480, completely skewing the aspect of all but file2. File1 and File3 will look "tall" (or horizontally squished). No manner of standard aspect controls on a TV or projector are going to correct for this.
Yeah, sorry about that, I'm so used to my own content where everything is a 16:9 or 4:3 frame (padded with bars if the actual content is not 16:9/4:3). I'd forgotten about re-encoded stuff where you'd removed the bars. I don't transcode any of my rips (waste of time IMO) so I don't run into that issue.

And like I've said before, I like/need Sage to pad 4:3 recordings for them to work right. None of my displays have ever auto-pillarboxed 4:3 content.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:23 PM
TwistedMelon TwistedMelon is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Yeah, sorry about that, I'm so used to my own content where everything is a 16:9 or 4:3 frame (padded with bars if the actual content is not 16:9/4:3). I'd forgotten about re-encoded stuff where you'd removed the bars. I don't transcode any of my rips (waste of time IMO) so I don't run into that issue.
This was a pretty pivotal omission. And it's why I've always maintained that my proposals would work for everything, regardless of source dimensions. There's a lot of content out there that I don't package nor transcode myself that's already formatted at some arbitrary dimensions. With the age of downloading (legal content) you can't be certain of the source format from source to source.

I prefer my content clean with padding being created as needed by the player and display device.

Quote:
And like I've said before, I like/need Sage to pad 4:3 recordings for them to work right. None of my displays have ever auto-pillarboxed 4:3 content.
A competent scaler with custom treatments should be able to handle this and much more. Plus Sage can do it, even with my recommendations. In fact, I also need Sage to be able to pad out the source, which was what my example illustrated. In my recent examples, the two videos would need letterboxes and not pillarboxes. But going over to the other thread, that's what the suggestions there were about. Allowing source-correct pixel aspect ratios while being able to add the correct boxes, pillar, letter or none, when needed, all automatically. Or alternately (the other setting) being able to crop where needed automatically.

Your source videos already being pre-padded is likely what allows you to see the existing feature set as doing what I proposed. Where currently, the settings you suggest aren't able to deal with sources of differing aspects. I have no idea how many other people have much or most of their content padded out as you describe. Downloads, including trailers and full-length content from Apple among others, is not pre-padded out.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedMelon View Post
I prefer my content clean with padding being created as needed by the player and display device.
Isn't that exactly what "Source" does?

Quote:
A competent scaler with custom treatments should be able to handle this and much more.
Well, I know for a fact the Reon VX processor in my W5000 projector can't "autopad" 4:3 SD (eg from my Pioneer DVD Player) over component, or any of my other sources. Neither did my two prior projectors.

Quote:
Plus Sage can do it, even with my recommendations. In fact, I also need Sage to be able to pad out the source, which was what my example illustrated.
Sage does padd the source, as needed.

Quote:
In my recent examples, the two videos would need letterboxes and not pillarboxes. But going over to the other thread, that's what the suggestions there were about. Allowing source-correct pixel aspect ratios while being able to add the correct boxes, pillar, letter or none, when needed, all automatically. Or alternately (the other setting) being able to crop where needed automatically.
Which Sage can do.

Quote:
Your source videos already being pre-padded is likely what allows you to see the existing feature set as doing what I proposed. Where currently, the settings you suggest aren't able to deal with sources of differing aspects.
Have you tried that, or are you assuming?

Quote:
I have no idea how many other people have much or most of their content padded out as you describe. Downloads, including trailers and full-length content from Apple among others, is not pre-padded out.
I do have a number of 1080p QT trailers and I've had no issues with them.

Anyway, I think we're back to talking about AR modes. To "close" out this thread, I concur that Sage can't adjust DAR based on source. But at the same time, I don't see the value in it. I don't see pillarboxing 4:3 SD as a problem.
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