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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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Old 02-03-2007, 07:46 PM
RBTConsultants RBTConsultants is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 60
Smart Stretch?

HD 16x9 programs I watch in 1080i (1920x180) in 16x9 aspect ratio. This works great.

SD 4x3, I am not sure what to do. Watching them in 1080i I have the black bars on the side which I hate. Even "fill aspect ratio" doesn't seem to get rid of the black bars, and I suspect if it did it would be a linear stretch, so I'd have short, fat people.

My TV has a "smart stretch" which really does a nice job of filling the 16x9 with 4x3 content and making it look naturak, but it only works in 480p. I think the picture actually looks very decent for SD when I switch the HTPC output to 480p (640x680) and set Sage to fill aspect ratio and let "smart stretch" do it's stuff.

I have a couple problems with this though. Sometimes, when switching from 1080i to 480p or vice versa SageTV freezes. This is annoying.

The other problem I have is WAF. Trying to show her how to use the remote to switch back and forth between 1080i and 480p and from "fill" to "16x9" aspect ratios depending on the definition of the content has proven to be impossible.

So, I'd like to see a "smart stretch" aspect ratio. Does this require a particular decoder to support it? Does anyone know of such a decoder and how to support that in Sage, so that it would smart stretch 4x3 content to fill a 16x9 screen with no black bars at 1080i resolution?

Failing that, does anyone know a good way to get Sage to execute a girder event to switch screen resolutions andthen have Sage switch aspect ratios automatically based on the content? Some kind of macro capability or how to write plug-in or something to do it?

Also, does anyone know if there are any setting I should play with to make Sage more stable when switching screen resolutions?


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Old 02-03-2007, 09:03 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,355
You may want to look at nielm's Auto-Aspect Ratio Switcher, . I use it to auto switch aspect ratios for letterboxed 4x3 content that ends up postage-stamped on my 16x9 screen. Standard 4x3 content that ends up pillarboxed doesn't really bother me, so I don't adjust for that.

AFAIK, Sage doesn't have a non-linear "smart stretch" setting, but maybe you could do a a little vertical zooming in along with the horizontal stretching to minimize the distortion. You'd lose a little of your vertical content, but it may be an acceptable tradeoff to reduce the pillarboxing. YOu may not be able to completely remove the pillarboxing, if you find the distortion too much, but you should be able to minimize it, expecially if you zoom in some vertically as well. Set up one of the aspect ratios for this setting, watching 4x3 content on your 16x9 screen.

Set up the other aspect ratio to zoom in about 133% horizontally and vertically and you'll have that letterboxed 4x3 content fit your 16x9 perfectly.

Once you have the aspect ratios set the way you want them, then use the auto-switcher to have Sage automatically switch to hte correct aspect ratio for the specific programming you are watching.

If you can get the aspect ratios to work for you, then you won't need to ever switch the output to 480p. Just let the auto-switcher take care of fitting the content to your screen.
- Jack
Server: AMD Phenom 9750, 2GB RAM, 2 Hauppauge PVR500, 1 Firewired DCT6200, 1 HDHomerun tuning 2 QAM channels, Vizio 37" HDTV LCD, 1 USB-UIRT

Clients: 1 MediaMVP, 1 Placeshifter Client, & 1 SageTV Client.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:52 AM
appelm appelm is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chappaqua, NY
Posts: 323
I use the ffdshow decoder to do non-linear stretch via dscaler. It works great. I've been using it flawlessly for over a year. Do a search for ffdshow and non-liner stretch. Some of the posts can be a bit daunting but its not really that hard to set up.

When switching from sd to hd, you'll want to turn off non-linear stretch for HD. Automating that may be a bit tricky. I don't use HD via sage so it hasn't been an issue for me. I did post a msg here once about it and someone suggested a way to do it but I never got around to trying it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:19 PM
RBTConsultants RBTConsultants is offline
Sage User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 60
Well, I have learned some more interesting (to me, anyway) things.

I have Sonic decoders on my machine (from theatertek) and DVD Express decoders (from AccessDTV software).

If I use the Sonic decoders then modifying the Aspect Ratio zooms works great and I like the results on 4x3 SD content so I could leave the PC resolution at 1080i and watch everything. Unfortunately, Sonic Decoders jitter on HDTVcontent.

The DVD Express decoders play perfectly on 1080i, but seem to ignore the zoom settings and fill aspect ratio completely on 4x3 content.

FFDSHOW doesn't support DXVA and I have a 2.4 ghz P4 so I use Overlay with DXVA and I'm very satisfied with the picture and my machine uses very little CPU to playback. So, no FFDSHOW.

Jeez. Nothing works perfectly.

I'm thinking about upgrading my TheaterTek to get the PureVideo decoders for $25 and see if that helps.

Any other suggestions? Anyone know how to get rid of the jitters with Sonic decoders? Anybody know how to make the DVD Express decoders work with the "fill" aspect ratio or zoom? Anybody have any other recommendations on decoders?


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