8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2006 7:25 PM by Mike Cramer
SweetoothTKC Level 1 (0 points)
I have been downloading some TV shows from iTunes lately onto my 5g, 60 gig iPod and am having a serious problem. I don't own a widescreen TV so I set video to full screen. I am noticing some fairly severe cut-off from all ends of the screen, not just the top and bottom, and I have no idea how to fix it. I have tried setting the video to widescreen and it gets a little better but it still cuts off a substantial portion of the video. I even went out and bought the official Apple AV cable and still nothing. Anyone have anyi dea how to fix this? If you need more info please ask!

  • yohsi987 Level 1 (20 points)
    yes i think this may be your problem, you probaly have your video on your ipod converted at 320*240 pixels correct. If this is so then that is your problem, because regular tv sets are 720*480 pixels. So naturaly your movies cant be displayed corectly becasue 320*240 times two is 640*480 and it would leave black bars on your tv set. and 320*240 times three is 960*520 so you get the point.

  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,690 points)
    regular tv sets are 720*480 pixels.
    No, this is incorrect.
    A regular tv uses lines, not pixels in the way a computer monitor does.
    NTSC (US television standard) is 525 lines and about 500 are used for display.
    PAL (most Europe) is 655 lines an about 600 is used for display.

    If the iPod is set to 4x3 output (not wide screen), it should display everything on the tv screen, regardless of resolution.
  • Scotty. Level 1 (100 points)
    I don't want to be picky but :

    PAL uses 625 lines, 25 lines of each field form the vertical interval leaving 575 lines of active picture.
    However not all this is intended to be seen. There is an "Action safe area" of 5% all round and a "Caption safe area" of 10%.

    NTSC is obviously different (525 lines, 485 active) but still uses the same "safe" areas.

    I suspect this is why you're not seeing the whole image that you do see on the iPod screen which does not overscan.

    If the movies have been cropped to lose the overscan then you would have to re-encode adding a border if you wanted to see the whole movie within a normal TV screen.

    Digital images sizes for TV use :
    PAL 720 x 576
    NTSC 720 x 486
    NTSC DV or DVD 720 x 480

    How can PAL and NTSC images be the same shape with different pixel counts? Non-square pixels


  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,690 points)
    A typo. I did mean 625.
  • Frank Jenks1 Level 1 (40 points)
    You can fix this by viewing on a non-CRT monitor like an LCD television with A/V inputs. ALL CRT TV's and monitors overscan. FYI ALL standard-def TV shows being broadcast today have the same amount of overscan (cropping of picture edges) that you are complaining about, but you just don't know it because you can't compare them on two different screens like with an iTunes video on the built in LCD screen AND output to a TV with the A/V cable. The harsh answer is there is nothing "wrong" with any part of your system therefore there is no "fix".
  • SweetoothTKC Level 1 (0 points)
    So, let me get this straight:

    Nothing is wrong with any part of my system and the problem lies in iTunes not converting the video file correctly? Does that have anything to do with that message that always comes up before you watch a movie on TV that says "This film has been formatted to fit this screen"? Shouldn't everyone whos downloading iTunes video be having the same problem? Thanks for all the help everyone, but, dude, bummer.
  • Frank Jenks1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Actually there is no "problem" with iTunes videos, like I said this cutting off happens when viewing ALL and ANY content on a CRT television compared to an LCD or plasma screen whether it be from VHS, DVD, Broadcast television or yes your iPod, it's part of the NTSC video broadcast standard. To make sure that 4x3 full screen images from a variety of production sources fill the TV screen they run it off the edges a little bit. I am a profeesional in the post-production industry and we are ALL aware that the edges get cut off on ALL CRT monitors. We have switches on our $50.000 CRT monitors to switch to underscan mode which shrinks the image and creates black borders so that we can see how the full image area will look when the content is viewed on a non-CRT monitor. Have you ever watched TV on a computer? you see EVERYTHING, uneven black lines at the edges and usually flickering white dots at the top of the screen (VITC and subtitle info) overscanning relieves you from having to see this crap on a CRT TV.
    No, When they give a "formatted for TV" warning they mean that a widescreen movie has had the sides cropped (pan and scan)to fill the screen from top to bottom without black borders.
    All productions use framing lines during shooting and post production so that the important sweet-spot of the image destined for a 4x3 CRT screen does not get cut off, you're seeing the entire part of the picture the producers intended. In opposition to your original thoughts You'll have to accept the reality that your not getting ripped off when viewing iTunes videos on a TV, BUT that your actually seeing the EXTRA additional picture area on your iPod screen AND your computer screen, if you have a flatpanel monitor that is.
    Now unless your saying that a LOT of picture is being cut off, for example a full shot of a persons face gets cropped down to their nose and upper lip then nothing is "wrong" just different. If you are getting severe cropping of your output videos then make sure on your iPod under video settings that you have it set to Widescreen On. So relax guy, take a rest eh? No-one is getting ripped off by iTunes video sizing.
  • Mike Cramer Level 1 (10 points)
    I beg to differ.

    While I don't have a standard def. LCD TV to try this out on, I do have an AV input card on my computer which gives me the option to clip the overscan section of my input (which I don't because I do like watching the MacroVision and other digital information they pump through the top and bottom sections). Looking at a few different podcasts I have, X-Play in particular, I notice that left to right, it's just fine, but the the video is stretched vertically so that the bottom 6th is cut off because only about half of the "lower thirds" are displayed and there is a noticeable distortion in peoples' heads.

    I know there are a lot of podcasts that get encoded improperly where the aspect ratio is 3:2 instead of 4:3 since many people were reporting that Quicktime's built in iPod Video Codec was not playing nice with digital or HD source files. But even these videos which show up "wide" through iTunes or Quicktime Player show up on the TV stretched and the lower 6th missing. And these are normally played on the iPod with "letter boxing" (quotes because this is a ratio problem and can be fixed easily with Quicktime Player Pro).