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Old 17th November 2001, 15:34   #1  |  Link
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making Anamorphic SVCDs -non DVD source

Here is my question, and I know someone will understand it, though some probably won't.

My ONE question: How can I create my own anamorphic SVCDs of TV shows that I've recorded?

(exposition) I've read the "Amazing thread" regarding anamorphic 16x9 vs 4x3, but DVDs sources were discussed in that thread - I understand that an anamorphic picture is really a 'squashed' picture in 4x3 that a widescreen TV will 'stretch' horizontally to a 16x9 ratio (there's a one-sentence explanation of anamorphic!) Anyway, my source is going to be broadcast TV!

Full disclosure of what equipment I am using:
Ati ALL-IN-WONDER 128 (I plan on buying the AIW RADEON 8500)
I have Adobe Premiere (is this applicable?)
I have ULead's Video Studio 3 (came with one of my AIWs)
I have Nero 5.?? that came with my CDRW
So far, I've experimented with TMPGEnc and SmartRipper
I have a SONY DVD 5-changer (I may need to buy a new one for SVCD playback) and
finally, I have a Mitsubishi 55" widescreen HDTV for viewing the final SVCD

My video source will hopefully be brand new hour-long TV shows like maybe Enterprise, 24, Charmed, Nova, Gilmore Girls (to name a few ), a well as some old VHS recordings of rare shows like The Misfits of Science, Shadow Warriors (Sonny Chiba), Xena - or enter your own 'oddball' TV shows here...

To convert these 4x3 pictures to 16x9, I figure I could cut off most of their feet, and a little bit of headroom to the top of their heads.
I would then somehow ?? re-encode the MP2 into anamorphic SVCD.

Any help or tips would be appreciated..., even ALL-IN-WONDER tips, or other FAQ/Guides to direct me to. (like I said, I've read the "amazing" thread explaining anamorphic DVDs which is what inspired my question.)

(PS - I have even crazier ideas than this!)
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Old 17th November 2001, 23:40   #2  |  Link
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Wow. That is a whacky question. I think you're going to get a lot of feedback (most of it negative).

I think the naive answer is simple enough - just crop 60 pixels (or is it 64?) off top and bottom and encode. For PAL, I guess it would be 72 pixels (or 77?).

However, there are some things you should consider. I don't want to squash your enthusiasm, I just want you to be aware.

- obviously, you'll be loosing some of the picture (unless you're cropping away black bars, which I think is the case with Enterprise - though I don't think the bars are *that* big)
- you'll be cropping from a source that's already limited to about 480 (or 576) lines of resolution (broadcast). When you resize the cropped image back to 480 (or 576), you really won't gain anything in resolution/quality
- most players don't support anamorphic SVCDs, despite the fact that it is in the spec. You may have to do a 'distorted' 4:3 encode and tell your TV to switch it to 16:9 (if your TV supports that). People with 4:3 TVs won't be able to watch these discs (or they can, but they'll be distorted)
- alternatively, you could do a non-distorted 4:3 encode with black bars, and tell your 16:9 TV to resize the playback to full-width (if it supports that), thereby eliminating the black bars. This will achieve practically identical results, but makes better use of bitrate (and your friends with 4:3 TVs will be able to watch them - though I suspect they'll wonder about the black bars ).

Last edited by Kedirekin; 17th November 2001 at 23:44.
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Old 8th December 2001, 22:09   #3  |  Link
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Making Anamorphic SVCDs

Hello. Thanks for the reply.
I only need to make the "distorted 4:3" picture. The other versions do not apply.

The TV that I will be using to view will require the "distorted" 4:3 or "anamorphic" picture.
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Old 31st December 2001, 15:12   #4  |  Link
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Anamorphic is a good thing

Let me introduce you to the "good things" about widescreen.

The TV format of 16x9 is not going to go away. There are many reasons for this, and I'll just let you guess what they are.

Anamorphic, if you do not understand what this means, is the "better" way to introduce a widescreen picture to a widescreen TV (i.e. 16x9 TV, or HDTV)

Actually, I'm not going to go into why it's better to view a movie in its original aspect ratio, so I lied on the first line above.

I would suggest you learn how to spell "lose" though Kedirekin

One more thing - there are always new technology coming out (or being improved upon, or getting cheaper). Try not to limit yourself. Go to the store and LOOK at the new TVs. I would like to plant a seed in your head. Just CONSIDER buying a 16x9 TV sometime in the future. Also might I suggest a computer that is better than a Pentium II? (that is an insult by the way )

Advanced stuff: (the fearful need not read further)
DVD rewritable is coming down below $500 (buy.com?) Media price (blank recordables) usually make the switch-over prohibitive (too expensive) - yet still worth considering.
An even better solution is to set up a computer for all video playback. No, you do not need a Gigahertz computer - it's really the playback hardware that you need to worry about, not the CPU speed.

My solution: (this is just one proposed solution)
Use an old technology DVD playback card (naming names: Creative Labs DXR2 - or Hollywood+ card ??forget name).
Plug in the HDTV as a monitor using RGB connector (not SVHS or conventional TV-out).
The TV/monitor might be limited to 60hz but what the heck, it's still close to HDTV resolution, or much better than NTSC. The PC will then handle all aspect ratio issues, and scaling issues. The resulting picture will be stellar.
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