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harcosparky
Feb 2, 2008, 10:48 PM
Apple TV does it even more so.

I noticed on Apple TV while watching a TV episode the following ....

1 ) Image was "shrunk" - that is there was a black border all around the video image -ALSO- while playing the beginning credits were chopped at the bottom of the image area - example: the word PRODUCER was displayed on the TV via Apple TV but the producers name did not show up.

NOTE: this was also noticed on another show and all episodes.

When I watched that same episode through iTunes on the 24" iMac where only PRODUCER was displayed on the TV, word PRODUCER was display and under that was the producers name.

Am I the only one experiencing this ????

ADDITIONAL INFO - this was evident on the TV using both DVI and Component inputs. I am using a Monster Calbe HDMI -> DVI cable



err404
Feb 3, 2008, 12:16 AM
I've noticed the same thing; however my TV has a roughly 3% overscan that cuts off the edge of the picture. This is common for CRT and rear projection screens.
I hope that Take 2 addresses this with some type of screen calibration. My old XBMC setup had a calibration tool that I am missing on the Apple TV.

gr8tfly
Feb 3, 2008, 12:46 AM
I hadn't noticed on my setup, so I've gone back to look at a couple:

South Park - Season 10, 1, Make Love, Not Warcraft (4:3)
No border on :apple:tv (except pillars), and no cropping (checked against iTunes)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Pilot (16:9)
No border, widescreen to edges on :apple:tv. No cropping (again, same as iTunes)

Using component out, 1080i, to Panasonic 50" Plasma.

Hard to think of what might cause both underscanning AND cropping at the same time. If it was a TV out, from computer, I can see the underscanning caused by having "overscan" disabled. But, no such control on the :apple:tv.

harcosparky
Feb 3, 2008, 10:59 PM
Well in the past I have posted about TV shows from the ITMS being 'cropped' on when displayed on our Sony 36" Television via both DVI and Component inputs.

Cropping of ITMS TV shows occurs slightly on the iMac 24" and even more so when played on the TV. SYNC'd or streamed it did not matter. Even tried playing with settings on the ATV

720 and 1080 setting got the TV show surrounded by a black border.

480 setting increased the height of the TV show, bot not the width, as if it stretched it.

Went through menu on TV, but nothing there to adjust for this issue.

OK so at this point I figure .... well it's only with iTunes TV shows, movies should do better.

WIDESCREEN MOVIES - played as expected - letterbox , black bar above and below, full width display - as if playing a DVD on the DVD players.

FULL SCREEN VIDEOS - same issue as with ITMS tv shows. Video cropped, black border all around. When the video is played in " full screen " mode on the iMac it has black bars on the sides, but full height as is to be expected playing a Full Screen Video on a Wide Screen display.

Going to the Apple Store tomorrow and 'chat' with them.

I do have one more test to run, that would be to directly connect the iMac into the TV via the mini-DVI port. Not sure what this will show me, but will give me more data.

Zneo11
Feb 3, 2008, 11:45 PM
Here is the deal. Tv's crop stuff. Especially slightly older rear-projection tvs. I had a sony projection and it cropped a few inches off the edges. I got a brand new sony 60'' kds60a3000 and the same signal from the ATV that was cropped before isn't. Its your tv not your ATV. As for the movies, the black bars are there for a reason. They crop the movies on purpose, its an artistic decision just because you have a 16:9 tv doesn't mean that movies are going to fill it. Hope that helps.

gr8tfly
Feb 3, 2008, 11:47 PM
Probably would be better to continue this in your original thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=426698

[Moderator note: Threads were merged.]

But, anyway: what TV, in particular, do you have? I'm going to take a wild guess that it's a 4:3 with "widescreen" mode (our WEGA had such a mode)? If so, it might be auto-sensing anamorphic content and reducing its scan to compensate. In other words, it will correctly display a 720x480 widescreen movie with all of the scan lines being used for the 480. If the content from the Apple TV is 4:3, the tv will still see it as anamorphic, and compress the scan. The upshot being: both letterbox (widescreen) and pillars due to the 4:3 content.

On a true widescreen tv, 4:3 from Apple TV (or other source) will only have vertical pillars. The same effect can be seen on a widescreen tv when viewing a standard definition channel (4:3) playing a letterboxed movie. There will be borders all the way around.

If this isn't the case, I still can't think of what would be happening in your situation. Hope you can figure it out, as the Apple tv has a lot of possibilities with all the new content coming.

johnguynn
Feb 3, 2008, 11:49 PM
I just checked Californication and The Sarah Connor Chronicles on my Apple TV and both play full-screen on my 40" Samsung. I think the issue must be with one of your settings.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 12:08 AM
Probably would be better to continue this in your original thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=426698

But, anyway: what TV, in particular, do you have? I'm going to take a wild guess that it's a 4:3 with "widescreen" mode (our WEGA had such a mode)? If so, it might be auto-sensing anamorphic content and reducing its scan to compensate. In other words, it will correctly display a 720x480 widescreen movie with all of the scan lines being used for the 480. If the content from the Apple TV is 4:3, the tv will still see it as anamorphic, and compress the scan. The upshot being: both letterbox (widescreen) and pillars due to the 4:3 content.

On a true widescreen tv, 4:3 from Apple TV (or other source) will only have vertical pillars. The same effect can be seen on a widescreen tv when viewing a standard definition channel (4:3) playing a letterboxed movie. There will be borders all the way around.

If this isn't the case, I still can't think of what would be happening in your situation. Hope you can figure it out, as the Apple tv has a lot of possibilities with all then new content coming.

At this point I am guessing it is the TV

Sony 36" CRT 4:3 with Widescreen Mode

So I am at this point with three options ....

1) Accept it as is.
2) Buy new TV ( yeah the wife would love this idea! )
3) Return the Apple TV


Maybe I will experiment with ripping another DVD and changing setting in the program from the default set for Apple TV.

Thanks for the information ... would be nice if there were some 'tuneable' settings in the Apple TV to compensate, but I guess that would be difficult to accomplish.

gr8tfly
Feb 4, 2008, 12:18 AM
At this point I am guessing it is the TV

Sony 36" CRT 4:3 with Widescreen Mode

So I am at this point with three options ....

1) Accept it as is.
2) Buy new TV ( yeah the wife would love this idea! )
3) Return the Apple TV


Maybe I will experiment with ripping another DVD and changing setting in the program from the default set for Apple TV.

Thanks for the information ... would be nice if there were some 'tuneable' settings in the Apple TV to compensate, but I guess that would be difficult to accomplish.

I guess on the good side, widescreen content does look better because of the enhanced widescreen mode.

Prices are coming down all the time - maybe there will be a post Super Bowl sale? ;) We broke down last year on Super Bowl weekend (I think I instigated it more than my wife - big surprise).

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 05:00 AM
In an 'experiment' we ripped one movie.


We use the program " Handbrake ", using the Apple TV setting with " Anamorph " turned OFF. The resulting image display was the same.

The output size is 640X480


Buying a new TV wasn't in the plan for almost another year. Not so much a cost factor as it is the current unit isn't that old. Maybe about 4 years. In contrast the previous TV was almost 11 yrs old, that one was a Toshiba and actually still in use here, it was relegated to the kids playroom.

I guess, had I know the Apple TV was gonna act this way on the Sony we may not have bought it.

I guess this issue would be a little more tolerable if in the process it was not cropping off a portion of the image. You know, if the entire image was there but just shrunk, I could understand that.

Oh well ! :o

EDIT: This is frustrating, it's like the evil Upgrade Railroad has been fired up. Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------> Buy new TV ------> Need new Home Theatre Audio System .... it just never ends! :D

PROJECT359
Feb 4, 2008, 07:03 AM
This is frustrating, it's like the evil Upgrade Railroad has been fired up. Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------> Buy new TV ------> Need new Home Theatre Audio System .... it just never ends! :D

This is the same with all new technologies, not just Apple TV. In your case, you could say:

Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy HD DVD -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy Blu-Ray -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy Cable HD -------> Need new TV ------>

Notice a pattern? It seems to me that you are blaming Apple for your choice of TV. Seems odd to me.

RumMunkey
Feb 4, 2008, 07:04 AM
Could your TV be set to "zoom"?

mouchoir
Feb 4, 2008, 08:11 AM
This is the same with all new technologies, not just Apple TV. In your case, you could say:

Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy HD DVD -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy Blu-Ray -------> Need new TV ------>
Buy Cable HD -------> Need new TV ------>

Notice a pattern? It seems to me that you are blaming Apple for your choice of TV. Seems odd to me.

Note the smiley at the end of his last statement –*he was joking. Lighten up!

PROJECT359
Feb 4, 2008, 08:19 AM
Note the smiley at the end of his last statement –*he was joking. Lighten up!

Thank you for your valid contribution to this thread :D

Notice my smiley??

:rolleyes:

mouchoir
Feb 4, 2008, 08:27 AM
Thank you for your valid contribution to this thread :D

Notice my smiley??

:rolleyes:

Touchι

alFR
Feb 4, 2008, 08:43 AM
I guess, had I know the Apple TV was gonna act this way on the Sony we may not have bought it.

Not wanting to be harsh, but from the Apple TV pages on Apple.com (bold added for emphasis):

All on your widescreen TV.
Apple TV puts lots of free content from the Internet on your widescreen TV.
TV compatibility
Compatible with enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p/1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format),

I think it's pretty clear that you need a widescreen TV and they don't guarantee it'll work with a 4:3 set. Given that, isn't it a bit daft to buy it and then complain it doesn't work with a set it was never designed to work with?

nando2323
Feb 4, 2008, 08:50 AM
EDIT: This is frustrating, it's like the evil Upgrade Railroad has been fired up. Buy Apple TV -------> Need new TV ------> Buy new TV ------> Need new Home Theatre Audio System .... it just never ends! :D

Yeah that is a vicious cycle and my Girl is really starting to get sick of it. But my cycle worked itself backwards I already had a HD TV 3 to be exact, Sharp, Panasonic, and Samsung. The Sharp BTW has the best options for playing with how the picture is displayed on the screen. The Panasonic is stubborn it will put black bars on everything I hate it. But the sharp you just press the Aspect button, and boom no more black bars.

Anyways back to the vicious cycle mine started with the iPhone, then it was the iMac, then Airport Extreme, then ATV now a 1TB external HD for the content. I just hope that's it for my sake and my manhood that is at stake here. Because if I tell my girl there is another thing I think my balls are going to get ripped off.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 09:21 AM
Not wanting to be harsh, but from the Apple TV pages on Apple.com (bold added for emphasis):

I think it's pretty clear that you need a widescreen TV and they don't guarantee it'll work with a 4:3 set. Given that, isn't it a bit daft to buy it and then complain it doesn't work with a set it was never designed to work with?

TV compatibility
Compatible with enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p/1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format),

( odd my Apple TV says it supports more formats than this when I go to SETTINGS/TV RESOLUTION --- mine shows it does 480P as well )

Well let's put it this way .....

This is from Apples Web Site ...

Requirements
• Widescreen (16 x 9) enhanced-definition or high-definition television with an HDMI, DVI, or component video input port

According to Sony my set is a " high-definition television "

I did not read EVERYTHING Apple published on this device.

I went to an Apple Store to have the device demonstrated, even told the people at the Apple StoreS ( yes I went to 2 different stores ) what my setup consisted of. In one case I visited the same Apple store 3 times and talked to different people.

Not ONCE was this brought up --- not ONCE.

I guess it is, according to you and some others *MY* fault for depending somewhat on the Apple salespeople.

Again of all the HD devices playing Full Screen content, the issue only manifests itself on the Apple TV. :rolleyes:

Trust me this is not. nor was it ever meant to be a " bash Apple / Apple TV " thread. We found an issue and in an attempt to resolve it with the current setup found that we could not.

OK we could have returned the unit and said nothing, kept the unit and said nothing but we chose what I think is a better route.

In trying to resolve this, we went into the 'community' as it were to seek out answers. In doing so we have alerted others to what they may experience as well.

Yeah that is a vicious cycle and my Girl is really starting to get sick of it. But my cycle worked itself backwards I already had a HD TV 3 to be exact, Sharp, Panasonic, and Samsung. The Sharp BTW has the best options for playing with how the picture is displayed on the screen. The Panasonic is stubborn it will put black bars on everything I hate it. But the sharp you just press the Aspect button, and boom no more black bars.

Thank you for this very informative post. If we decide to look at another TV we will give Sharp a close look, and we will be sure to take our intended use devices with us to the store to test them. It wont be hard to carry in the Apple TV ... maybe I will visit Circuit City this afternoon.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 09:34 AM
DELETED - to be re-edited

Mindflux
Feb 4, 2008, 09:39 AM
Sorry to hear of your troubles :(

I love my AppleTV and have not noticed the exhibited problem.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 09:48 AM
Sorry to hear of your troubles :(

I love my AppleTV and have not noticed the exhibited problem.

I love the Apple TV as well .... we may keep it and tolerate it until our regularly scheduled TV upgrade comes about.

I just wish it would " play well with others! " :D :D

it is a great device, and all I did in coming here was try to figure out what was going on, not to be talked down to/attacked .... just to be informed.

I would like to add that in researching this, I have found others discussing the same issue and have taken the good information from this site and placed it there.

Avatar74
Feb 4, 2008, 09:59 AM
I guess it is, according to you and some others *MY* fault for depending somewhat on the Apple salespeople.

I know we live in a country that loves to assign blame. We believe, as a culture, that blaming someone else will vindicate us. However, blame doesn't fix the problem.

I can't speak to Apple's problems because I don't know what their side of the story is. But I noticed immediately that you did not specify in your original post what kind of TV you have. I'm not blaming you... I'm just saying that information was missed and therein is the source of your problem.

Now you have a device and a TV that have compatibility issues. Like you said... do you junk the TV or do you junk the AppleTV. Well, that's a personal decision you're going to have to make. But whatever you do, don't go flaming mad to Apple... if you do return it, politely tell them that it would have been helpful if they had asked you what kind of TV you had because you as a consumer did not know it was a pertinent issue. They do keep track of customer feedback and this way you're being helpful without being vitriolic.

Again of all the HD devices playing Full Screen content, the issue only manifests itself on the Apple TV. :rolleyes:


There's a reason all of Apple's published specs that say this is designed for Widescreen HDTV's.

In my experience, sales people in any organization do not know all the technical details... and so I just consider it common sense to research any purchase, especially where consumer electronics are concerned.

Mindflux
Feb 4, 2008, 10:15 AM
I know we live in a country that loves to assign blame. We believe, as a culture, that blaming someone else will vindicate us. However, blame doesn't fix the problem.



Actually. We live in a country where everyone points the finger at anyone but themselves. I'm not saying that's what the OP is doing, but people would rather blame another party than accept that they may have missunderstood how the device works.. or whatever the circumstances are really.

roland.g
Feb 4, 2008, 10:16 AM
My Apple TV has had no problems with my almost 4 yr old Samsung HD DLP. Surprising since it has no tuner, etc, it is fairly early gen HDTV. Sorry to hear about your probs.

alFR
Feb 4, 2008, 10:22 AM
I went to an Apple Store to have the device demonstrated, even told the people at the Apple StoreS ( yes I went to 2 different stores ) what my setup consisted of. In one case I visited the same Apple store 3 times and talked to different people.

Not ONCE was this brought up --- not ONCE.

IMHO the requirement for a widescreen TV should have been pointed out to you by the Apple salespeople - especially if you told them that you currently have a 4:3 set.

Trust me this is not. nor was it ever meant to be a " bash Apple / Apple TV " thread. We found an issue and in an attempt to resolve it with the current setup found that we could not.

OK we could have returned the unit and said nothing, kept the unit and said nothing but we chose what I think is a better route.

In trying to resolve this, we went into the 'community' as it were to seek out answers. In doing so we have alerted others to what they may experience as well.

However, to be fair your initial posting in this thread didn't say anything about warning others about the incompatibility between the ATV and 4:3 sets - it implied there was a problem with either the downloaded content or the Apple TV.

I guess it is, according to you and some others *MY* fault for depending somewhat on the Apple salespeople.

No, but I have to agree with:

In my experience, sales people in any organization do not know all the technical details... and so I just consider it common sense to research any purchase, especially where consumer electronics are concerned.

Maybe the stores you frequent have higher standards, but I've so often been told rubbish by sales staff that I think it's a good idea to always try to verify compatibility etc. from other sources pre-purchase.

trip1ex
Feb 4, 2008, 10:38 AM
Yep requirements say widescreen tv.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 10:38 AM
IMHO the requirement for a widescreen TV should have been pointed out to you by the Apple salespeople - especially if you told them that you currently have a 4:3 set.



However, to be fair your initial posting in this thread didn't say anything about warning others about the incompatibility between the ATV and 4:3 sets - it implied there was a problem with either the downloaded content or the Apple TV.





Well initially I was looking for answers, how can I warn someone of an issue without knowing what that issue is.

I would look really stupid by starting the post " Hey all I wanna possibly warn you of what might be a problem with the ATV on 4:3 TV's " and then find out I had a wiring issue.

Read on and you will see how we also saw this issue with downloaded content being played on the iMac ......

Keep this in mind. We first noticed this with downloaded content from ITMS playing on our TV set via the Apple TV.

Not knowing where the issue was, we then looked at the downloaded content on out brand new 24" Aluminum iMac. You'd have to agree, downloaded content from ITMS should play well on the iMac, but it did not. ( At this point I was trying to pinpoint exactly where the cropping was being done )

This show we have watched over Cable so we are aware of how the Credits are played and their position on the screen.

On the 24" iMac we also noticed a portion of the bottom of the image was cropped as well, and once could safely assume if it was cropped on the bottom the top was as well.

How did we see it on the iMac?

We replayed the show in the " Actual Size View " and stretched the iTunes window to insure we were not cropping it.

On the bottom portion of the screen on one show they have Credits.

When the Credit played on the iMac we saw the word " PRODUCER ", under the word " PRODUCER " we saw the top half of the producers Name. We looked here because when played on the TV via the ATV all we saw was the word " PRODUCER " and no part of the producers name.

Now this content was a standard TV program, in 4:3 format.

The TV Show we first saw this on is called " Clean House " it was an episode called " The Olson Family " and the credits are displayed at 0:49, 49 seconds into the video.

Now there us " no way in he!! " the iMac is gonna go anywhere, and most likely the ATV will stay as well. At least I have a better idea of where some of the issue resides, but that cropping of downloaded material on the iMac has me curious.

RumMunkey
Feb 4, 2008, 10:43 AM
Requirements
• Widescreen (16 x 9) enhanced-definition or high-definition television with an HDMI, DVI, or component video input port

I think you're understanding this wrong.

I read it as meaning "requires a Widescreen (16x9) TV that is either High Def or enhanced definition with available HDMI, DVI or Component video inputs".

A 4x3 HDTV is not supported afaik.

sandman42
Feb 4, 2008, 10:44 AM
This is from Apples Web Site ...

Quote:
Requirements
• Widescreen (16 x 9) enhanced-definition or high-definition television with an HDMI, DVI, or component video input port


According to Sony my set is a " high-definition television "

I think that quote from Apple's web site is supposed to be parsed as:

• Widescreen (16 x 9) [enhanced-definition or high-definition] television

not

• [Widescreen (16 x 9) enhanced-definition] or [high-definition] television

In other words, what I believe this means is "widescreen ED or widescreen HD" television, not "widescreen ED or (any aspect ratio) HD television". Many other Apple publications are consistent with the position that they only intended the :apple:TV to be used with widescreen TV's, regardless of resolution. Don't ask my why they did this though. Would it have been that hard to make it work with SD aspect ratio? Doesn't seem like it to me.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 10:58 AM
I think that quote from Apple's web site is supposed to be parsed as:

• Widescreen (16 x 9) [enhanced-definition or high-definition] television

not

• [Widescreen (16 x 9) enhanced-definition] or [high-definition] television

In other words, what I believe this means is "widescreen ED or widescreen HD" television, not "widescreen ED or (any aspect ratio) HD television". Many other Apple publications are consistent with the position that they only intended the :apple:TV to be used with widescreen TV's, regardless of resolution. Don't ask my why they did this though. Would it have been that hard to make it work with SD aspect ratio? Doesn't seem like it to me.

OK, I'll agree with that ... but the fact remains that on playback via iTunes on the iMac we still saw the cropping ....

See pic below.... ( when played on TV via Apple TV the Producer name is completely gone )

John Williamson
Feb 4, 2008, 11:37 AM
Though we saw this on our TV as well, we did not check it on the computer.

I will download that show/episode you referenced to compare notes.

We love the Apple TV here, but realize there can be minor issues with older TV sets. Personally I think it would have been easy for Apple to add some capability for 'backwards compatibility " with HD TV sets in SD format.

Divindude
Feb 4, 2008, 12:01 PM
It's not as simple as your tv having different video settings is it? My last few sony's have had a button that allow you to change the video from standard/zoomed standard/widescreen/zoomed widescreen so that you can alter the video to fit the whole screen? Cropping can happen depending on the setting you use as the tv tries to stretch the video.

I've had absolutely no problems with my apple tv on all 3 of my widescreen sony tvs (tube and lcd). Only time I had was when I was playing with handbrake settings to see what the effect was.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 12:57 PM
It's not as simple as your tv having different video settings is it? My last few sony's have had a button that allow you to change the video from standard/zoomed standard/widescreen/zoomed widescreen so that you can alter the video to fit the whole screen? Cropping can happen depending on the setting you use as the tv tries to stretch the video.

I've had absolutely no problems with my apple tv on all 3 of my widescreen sony tvs (tube and lcd). Only time I had was when I was playing with handbrake settings to see what the effect was.

If only it were that simple. I also ripped one DV in different formats under Handbrake ... results are the same.

I do believe that for the TV end, it is Sony " auto-sensing" and trying to compensate, however the pic I posted above also shows the cropping while playing the same episode on the 24" iMac, though the crop is not as severe.

I love the Apple TV, especially the 'portability' of it and my traveling a lot. It's like I can pack up an entire collection of DVD movies and the player and almost carry it in my pocket! :D ( this alone may make it worthwhile )

MikieMikie
Feb 4, 2008, 01:02 PM
Not wanting to further cloud the issue, I have previously posted that the :apple:TV does, indeed, crop graphical images in the Photos mode.

32 pixels at the top of the image.
32 pixels at the bottom of the image.

A simple test:
Look at any photo in iPhoto. Select one where the top and bottom of an image is easily identifiable. I selected a closeup of someone's face, where the forehead was near the top of the image.

Look at that same photo on :apple:TV. You will see that the top and bottom of the image has been cropped. In addition, when the photos "roll by" in the photo menu, you will see them in their entirety. But when you view an album, those very same photos are cropped.

I spent considerable time and effort with photoshop determining where the problem was. It was clear that :apple:TV was "reserving" some buffer of pixels from the top and bottom of the image whether or not the Ken Burns effect was on or off.

I did my tests on my Samsung 57" DLP HDTV. I tested all possible outputs from the :apple:TV as well as all settings on the TV. Interestingly enough, no movies have been cropped, top or bottom. I was accused (in another forum) of having a TV with bad overscan problems. If that were the case, my movie images would be cropped, too.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 01:24 PM
Not wanting to further cloud the issue, I have previously posted that the :apple:TV does, indeed, crop graphical images in the Photos mode.

32 pixels at the top of the image.
32 pixels at the bottom of the image.

A simple test:
Look at any photo in iPhoto. Select one where the top and bottom of an image is easily identifiable. I selected a closeup of someone's face, where the forehead was near the top of the image.

Look at that same photo on :apple:TV. You will see that the top and bottom of the image has been cropped. In addition, when the photos "roll by" in the photo menu, you will see them in their entirety. But when you view an album, those very same photos are cropped.

I spent considerable time and effort with photoshop determining where the problem was. It was clear that :apple:TV was "reserving" some buffer of pixels from the top and bottom of the image whether or not the Ken Burns effect was on or off.

I did my tests on my Samsung 57" DLP HDTV. I tested all possible outputs from the :apple:TV as well as all settings on the TV. Interestingly enough, no movies have been cropped, top or bottom. I was accused (in another forum) of having a TV with bad overscan problems. If that were the case, my movie images would be cropped, too.


Well what you are saying, if anything is clearing part of it up for me.

I noticed the crop on my iMac, and going through the ATV the crop was more severe.

I have a question for you ..... on you hookup.

Are you going from HDMI ---> HDMI
-OR-
Are you going from HDMI ---> DVI

I was just informed that this may well be related to using DVI as opposed to HDMI.

I am by no means an expert on the iMac but was told the video in the iMac internally uses DVI as well.

This leads me to believe ( and as soon as I can, I will test this ) that if I hook up the ATV to a set using HDMI -->HDMI that crop will disappear.

MikieMikie
Feb 4, 2008, 03:27 PM
I have a question for you ..... on you hookup.

Are you going from HDMI ---> HDMI
-OR-
Are you going from HDMI ---> DVI


My Apple TV is connected to my HDTV via HDMI. The pictures look correct and uncropped on my iMac.


This leads me to believe ( and as soon as I can, I will test this ) that if I hook up the ATV to a set using HDMI -->HDMI that crop will disappear.

No connection or output I tested reduced the cropping.

This is obviously a decision the software engineers made, or a hardware limitation of the graphics card.

If it bothers you, you should return the unit. This will (most likely) never be fixed. I reported the bug to Apple and, if it's not fixed in Take 2, it seems likely it won't be fixed for awhile.

Take 2 looks a lot like Apple's attempt to create a viable product (mass-market as opposed to home hobbyist) out of the :apple:TV, and if it doesn't happen, I could reasonably expect Apple orphaning this product.

For me, it doesn't matter if the product is orphaned since I'm one of those home hobbyists (geeks) who is satisfied with version 1.1, and am torn about updating at all. The box does just what I wanted it to do, just what I bought it for, and though there are some inconveniences/oversights/ease of use problems, I do not regret my purchase at all.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 03:42 PM
My Apple TV is connected to my HDTV via HDMI. The pictures look correct and uncropped on my iMac.



No connection or output I tested reduced the cropping.

This is obviously a decision the software engineers made, or a hardware limitation of the graphics card.

If it bothers you, you should return the unit. This will (most likely) never be fixed. I reported the bug to Apple and, if it's not fixed in Take 2, it seems likely it won't be fixed for awhile.

Take 2 looks a lot like Apple's attempt to create a viable product (mass-market as opposed to home hobbyist) out of the :apple:TV, and if it doesn't happen, I could reasonably expect Apple orphaning this product.

For me, it doesn't matter if the product is orphaned since I'm one of those home hobbyists (geeks) who is satisfied with version 1.1, and am torn about updating at all. The box does just what I wanted it to do, just what I bought it for, and though there are some inconveniences/oversights/ease of use problems, I do not regret my purchase at all.


Thanks for the information, it's been helpful.

We probably will keep the unit, as I said I can see a lot of use for it.

Knowing these limitations, especially what you pointed out with photographs I can at least on that end shoot to compensate. in other words don't zoom in so close that everything I want to show is from edge to edge. Frequently in macro work I will do that. Of course the camera viewfinder on many cameras takes care of this as very view show 100% of what hits the censor.

I have an event coming up this weekend to photograph, a custom motorcycle show. That often requires so tight close-up work of the artwork on the bikes. We just started playing with photographs on the ATV today and liked what it did.

It's a nice device, with some limitations. Knowing these limitations and being able to work within them can make the difference.

Thanks again!

Maybe on Monday I will have some pics from the show to post in another area of the forum.

Avatar74
Feb 4, 2008, 03:56 PM
Two questions for the original poster...

1. Was the television show originally produced for British TV?

2. Was the television show produced independently, for public access, internet distribution or otherwise non-broadcast channel... or for a large network?


I may know the exact answer to your problem...

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 05:06 PM
Two questions for the original poster...

1. Was the television show originally produced for British TV?

2. Was the television show produced independently, for public access, internet distribution or otherwise non-broadcast channel... or for a large network?


I may know the exact answer to your problem...

1.) No it is a USA television show.

2.) It was produced by a cable network { E! Entertainment Television Inc. } for distribution in the USA.

This weekend they had a "marathon" of these episodes on Cable so I recorded them on the DVR. Playback of the e[isodes the DVR allowed me to see the amount of cropping. I was fortunate to catch the same episode from Cable that I downloaded from iTunes

Keep in mind this is one show. The 'cropping' has been seen by me on at least one other show and also on DVD movies made in " Full Screen " mode, by major US Studios. Of course issues with the DVD movies have another variable, software used to create the MP4.

Another poster to this thread confirmed he also saw the cropping with photographs. He was fairly precise in saying 32 pixels was cropped from the top and bottom when viewed on his wide screen television.

What intrigued me the most was for this one show, which was downloaded from iTunes Music Store, slight cropping was evident on playback on the iMac, but when SYNC'd or Streamed to the Apple TV the cropping was more severe.

I posted a screen shot from the iMac where you can see in the Credits the Producer name is partially cropped off, on the TV the name is completely cropped out.

I am realizing that this is some sort of limitation within the Hardware/Software and something that I will have to learn to live with.

netdoc66
Feb 4, 2008, 05:20 PM
Two questions for the original poster...

1. Was the television show originally produced for British TV?

2. Was the television show produced independently, for public access, internet distribution or otherwise non-broadcast channel... or for a large network?


I may know the exact answer to your problem...

Looks like a case of poorly aligned graphics not placed in the safe crop zones of a NLE.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 05:37 PM
Looks like a case of poorly aligned graphics not placed in the safe crop zones of a NLE.


Would this explain the fact that the Apple TV is cropping off more than what is seen on the iMac?

Think of it like this .... there is a name displayed on the lower left hand corner of the frame. That is the name of the producer.

On the cable tv viewing the name if fully present.

On the iMac viewing the download from ITMS the name is partially present.

Streamed from the iMac to the TV via :apple:TV, the name it completely gone.

I could understand it being partially lost in the NLE as it was prepared for distribution on iTunes, but that doesn't quite explain further loss from the iMac to the TV through the :apple:TV. Does it?

EDIT: Just did a PHOTO TEST with interesting result .... adding pic .... be right back!


Look at the picture of the round table show here. This is at it appears in iPhoto. I created an Album called " Crop Test " and put the photo in there.
I then SYNC'd it to the Apple TV.

The picture was clearly cropped top and bottom by the Apple TV in Viewing Mode.

HOWEVER ......

Before I selected the Album to be played, a 'thumbnail' was displayed on the TV and it showed the entire round table. Only when I pressed PLAY and the pic came on full view was it cropped. The crop was so severe that it came up from the bottom and down from the top clear past the wood border around the table.

Something is clearly happening between the Apple TV and the Sony TV. I was beginning to believe it has something to do with the DVI input. Remember the cable I have between the ATV and Sony is an HDMI-->DVI, and maybe the TV itself, but a previous poster said he saw the picture cropping on his setup which was straight DVI-->DVI


The two added pics show screen shots of MENU and VIEWED. You can clearly see the areas above and below cropped.

Avatar74
Feb 4, 2008, 09:22 PM
Looks like a case of poorly aligned graphics not placed in the safe crop zones of a NLE.

That is EXACTLY what it is.

The iMac must have something internal to its software that crops the image because when multimedia files are prepared, the entire video plus overscan outside the tv-safe region.

I asked the extra question about whether it was produced in the UK because those TV-safe regions are taller to conform to the 576 line vertical resolution of PAL. However, it needn't be the case.

All that seems to have happened here is that the show's producers/editors keyed the graphics over the edge of the safe region boundary.

Then, when iMac's software cropped it (as seems to be the case for any multimedia file made from a TV show or motion picture digital intermediate... otherwise you might see all kinds of odd junk) it got cut a little. When AppleTV displayed it, it may have cropped it and/or rescaled it up... pushing the graphics even further out of TV-safe. You have to remember that files purchased from iTunes are not 720x480 DV NTSC or 720x486 CCIR-601 (D1 NTSC)... so some rescaling is required on a TV, and some cropping is required on a monitor (because computer monitors do not have fixed NTSC or ATSC resolution).

But this is perfectly fine if the program is edited properly with all title keying done within safe-lines and according to the geometry of the intended aspect ratio.

It's also possible the original TV segment was done properly but the masterfile provided by Style TV was already cropped incorrectly.

Making matters worse is the fact that it sounds like the OP isn't even using a widescreen HDTV. The reason Apple has this requirement probably has a lot to do with the conformity of the field in view when upscaled because currently ALL of the TV content (excluding podcasts) mastered in standard definition has been sold through Apple iTunes Store at less than DV NTSC resolution... Consequently all this content has to be rescaled.

I don't imagine this last issue will continue to be a factor as Apple pushes out SD and HD rentals at full SD and HD resolutions, and when they introduce iPod/iPhone displays capable of outputting at 720x480 resolution.

Of course the output resolution of the source files may always be hindered as long as content producers seek to use this as one additional means of making it difficult to distribute high quality cracked copies that could be burned to disc and sold on the black market in foreign markets.

harcosparky
Feb 4, 2008, 10:02 PM
That is EXACTLY what it is.

The iMac must have something internal to its software that crops the image because when multimedia files are prepared, the entire video plus overscan outside the tv-safe region.

I asked the extra question about whether it was produced in the UK because those TV-safe regions are taller to conform to the 576 line vertical resolution of PAL. However, it needn't be the case.

All that seems to have happened here is that the show's producers/editors keyed the graphics over the edge of the safe region boundary.

Then, when iMac's software cropped it (as seems to be the case for any multimedia file made from a TV show or motion picture digital intermediate... otherwise you might see all kinds of odd junk) it got cut a little. When AppleTV displayed it, it may have cropped it and/or rescaled it up... pushing the graphics even further out of TV-safe. You have to remember that files purchased from iTunes are not 720x480 DV NTSC or 720x486 CCIR-601 (D1 NTSC)... so some rescaling is required on a TV, and some cropping is required on a monitor (because computer monitors do not have fixed NTSC or ATSC resolution).

But this is perfectly fine if the program is edited properly with all title keying done within safe-lines and according to the geometry of the intended aspect ratio.

It's also possible the original TV segment was done properly but the masterfile provided by Style TV was already cropped incorrectly.

Making matters worse is the fact that it sounds like the OP isn't even using a widescreen HDTV. The reason Apple has this requirement probably has a lot to do with the conformity of the field in view when upscaled because currently ALL of the TV content (excluding podcasts) mastered in standard definition has been sold through Apple iTunes Store at less than DV NTSC resolution... Consequently all this content has to be rescaled.

I don't imagine this last issue will continue to be a factor as Apple pushes out SD and HD rentals at full SD and HD resolutions, and when they introduce iPod/iPhone displays capable of outputting at 720x480 resolution.

Of course the output resolution of the source files may always be hindered as long as content producers seek to use this as one additional means of making it difficult to distribute high quality cracked copies that could be burned to disc and sold on the black market in foreign markets.

That explains the video perhaps.

Care to explain the photo, created on the iMac, looking good on the iMac, yet being cropped when displayed on Apple TV.

This is evident on two TV's one a widescreen, the other not.

The poster that has the widescreen setup went so far as to say that 32 pixels are cut from the top and bottom.

You can see this in the photos I provided.

It does seem as though the edges of the image were pushed beyond the viewing area. He did his testing on a Samsung 57" DLP HDTV

In all honesty I had not gotten to test photograph until that was brought up.

The pictures I posted are of a round table, I shot from overhead.

Using iPhoto, I cropped the picture so that the edges of the round table met the edge of the photograph. Looked perfect on the iMac, of course because it was created there. But you can see what happened when played through the Apple TV.

And in being honest the clipped edges of the table are at the extrememes of the 'viewing' area on a non-widescreen tv.

hauss316H
Feb 5, 2008, 12:03 AM
a. learn to rip stuff properly

or

b. get a better tv

harcosparky
Feb 5, 2008, 04:55 AM
a. learn to rip stuff properly

or

b. get a better tv

In response .....


a) This is not something *I* ripped, it was DOWNLOADED from ITUNES

b) This phenomenon has now been demonstrated on 3 different TV sets. One a HD 4:3 set and the other 2 were WIDESCREEN tv sets.

c) Is your response the answer for a PHOTOGRAPH being clipped as well ????

Maybe you just got here, and maybe you have not read all that was written, I dunno! :rolleyes:

MikieMikie
Feb 5, 2008, 07:47 AM
harcosparky,

Ok, so here's some more information for you.

I wanted some fine art (paintings done by artists) as screensaver "photos" on our Apple TV. My wife and I like art from the Impressionists on, including Surrealism, Expressionism, etc. So I downloaded a ton of (free) art images from the internet. I loaded them into iPhoto, examined them in an iPhoto slideshow, and eventually uploaded them to the Apple TV. This was where my problems started.

It was immediately obvious to both my wife and I that the images were being cropped -- tough to miss on art, easy to overlook on a snapshot.

So I opened photoshop, did some tests with format, pixel shape, borders, etc. What I came up with was that if I bordered the top and bottom of the images with 32 pixels of black, the black would almost completely disappear on the HDTV when looking at a slideshow.

I thought that perhaps the Ken Burns effect was "reserving" a border in order to slide the image around, so I turned this effect off. Same result: serious top and bottom cropping.

720p -> HDMI -> 57" 16X9 HDTV (Set to 16X9) Cropped
1080i -> HDMI -> 57" 16X9 HDTV (Set to 16X9) Cropped
etc.

No matter what I set, the AppleTV was scaling up the image such that 64 pixels (total) were being cropped.

I now noticed that some Warner Bros. cartoons I recently ripped have the bottoms obviously cropped.

I am going to do some tests with Handbrake this evening and will post my results in this thread. In the meantime, you can certainly do what I did -- write a simple batch process using Photoshop to read in a directory of photos and resize the image so that it has a border of black... it's a hack, but it worked for the art images we use as our screensaver.

-- Mikie

MACsimus19
Feb 5, 2008, 08:42 AM
Sure its not overscan? I don't have the issue when i set my 1080p plasma to 1:1 pixel mapping but I'd obviously see clipping when set to the 5% overscan mode?

Avatar74
Feb 5, 2008, 10:07 AM
That explains the video perhaps.

Care to explain the photo, created on the iMac, looking good on the iMac, yet being cropped when displayed on Apple TV.

This is evident on two TV's one a widescreen, the other not.

Same issue... The TV safe regions do not magically go away when in photo mode. the video signal being output while displaying photos is not altered.

I wouldn't worry about this unless every photo you take you're trying to format for video... in which case you need to do what I do when I'm filming or photographing stills and take the safe regions into account when photographing.

This is part of the normal process of framing and blocking that every director of photography on every television and film production has to take into account.

Your other alternatives are...

a) Deal with it.

b) Get a display that allows you to replicate the non-overscan mode of a computer. Of course then you'll have to switch modes constantly because in TV and film you'll periodically see unwanted stuff at the edges because the cinematographers were blocking and framing their shots with TV-safe regions in mind.


The poster that has the widescreen setup went so far as to say that 32 pixels are cut from the top and bottom.

They aren't cut (not on TV anyway). They're there, behind the plastic molding. Want a display that extends past the safe regions like a computer? Well, then you have to contend with the ugliness and inconsistency of non-matted images. By matted I mean that the edges that cover the safe area act as a matte. Without this, any kind of slight inconsistency in aspect ratio will be visible and some programs will have a line here a line there... a boom mic edge... all sorts of goodies.

Using iPhoto, I cropped the picture so that the edges of the round table met the edge of the photograph. Looked perfect on the iMac, of course because it was created there. But you can see what happened when played through the Apple TV.

No it's not because it was "created there"... it's because of two things.

1. The image you created has square pixels.

2. The Mac monitor displays square pixels and has no "tv-safe boundary", the output signal ends before it meets the edge of the visible area of the display.

If you want to format your images for TV as opposed to a computer monitor, then you need to do a few things:

1. Use safe region guides to frame your shot either while photographing or when resizing the image, but do not crop the edges outside the safe regions.

2. Scale the image to match the output resolution of your TV.

3. Change the density to 72 pixels per inch.

4. Ensure the pixel aspect ratio matches the display (0.9 for SD, 1:1 for HDTV).

MikieMikie
Feb 5, 2008, 10:14 AM
Sure its not overscan? I don't have the issue when i set my 1080p plasma to 1:1 pixel mapping but I'd obviously see clipping when set to the 5% overscan mode?

I have yet to find any settings on my Samsung that relate to overscan or pixel mapping. Sigh. I wish I could.

dubbed82
Feb 5, 2008, 11:18 AM
it doesn't seem like you're happy with it, so stop whining and just return it already.

harcosparky
Feb 5, 2008, 12:49 PM
Same issue... The TV safe regions do not magically go away when in photo mode. the video signal being output while displaying photos is not altered.

I wouldn't worry about this unless every photo you take you're trying to format for video... in which case you need to do what I do when I'm filming or photographing stills and take the safe regions into account when photographing.

This is part of the normal process of framing and blocking that every director of photography on every television and film production has to take into account.



I want to thank you for your input. It has been most helpful. At least now I understand what's going on and when doing a photography shoot I know how to compensate.

Getting myself 'trained' to do so may be another issue! :D

Not being a videographer I had no idea about 'safe regions', now I do and can compensate for them.

harcosparky,

Ok, so here's some more information for you.

I wanted some fine art (paintings done by artists) as screensaver "photos" on our Apple TV. My wife and I like art from the Impressionists on, including Surrealism, Expressionism, etc. So I downloaded a ton of (free) art images from the internet. I loaded them into iPhoto, examined them in an iPhoto slideshow, and eventually uploaded them to the Apple TV. This was where my problems started.

It was immediately obvious to both my wife and I that the images were being cropped -- tough to miss on art, easy to overlook on a snapshot.


-- Mikie

Thanks also for your input.

I have an idea for you.

Couldn't you load the image up in Photoshop, open the photo and do IMAGE/RESIZE/CANVAS SIZE ..... add say 64 pixels to the height, it should not change the image, but will give you a white border above and below. It's a bit of work to do for each image, but it might be a good workaround.

I'll play with that idea myself.

UPDATE:I increased the " Canvas Size by 64, and it worked 'almost'. Looks like it may need a few more pixels. At lease there is a viable workaround.


it doesn't seem like you're happy with it, so stop whining and just return it already.

Thank you for your helpful input. :p

MikieMikie
Feb 5, 2008, 12:59 PM
Thank you for your helpful input. :p

Lol. You fit right in here. Welcome. ;)

harcosparky
Feb 5, 2008, 01:19 PM
Lol. You fit right in here. Welcome. ;)

Well I liked his comment ... ' seems like you don't like it, just return it .. "

What's wrong with figuring out what the heck is going on. If you can work around it, you do so. If you cannot work around it, then you make the decision to keep it, or return it.

I guess there are some who are easily dismayed and give up if they cannot figure something out in the first 5 minutes.

Apple was generous, when they handed me the ATV they told me I had 14 days to try it out. When I asked about the " restocking fee " the guy kinda shrugged and said " well with the Apple TV, your reason for return determines if there is a restocking fee ". That kinda leads me to think that some have returned these in the past for similar issues, but again that's just a guess.

When you think about it, this is probably the only product Apple sells that can have 'compatibility' issues because it depends on non-Apple hardware ( various TV sets ) in its' normal use.

EDIT: If you try RESIZING the Canvas ..... fill the space in with black, then you wont see the border in the screen saver mode.

jaw04005
Feb 5, 2008, 01:26 PM
A 4x3 HDTV is not supported afaik.

Just for future clarification, there is NO such thing as a 4:3 HDTV. Samsung and Sony (among others) are selling what's effectively an EDTV with a widescreen 16:9 mode with HD marketing jargon. Such EDTVs can process 720p or 1080i digital signals. However, they scale them to fit the EDTVs native resolution (typically 800x600).

Please don't buy into their marketing hype. HDTV resolutions of 720p, 1080i and 1080p are all widescreen aspect ratios.

For more details: http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/3674

MikieMikie
Feb 5, 2008, 02:32 PM
Well I liked his comment ... ' seems like you don't like it, just return it .. "\


Yeah, it looked like he missed the whole intent of the thread. Not to worry. :)


EDIT: If you try RESIZING the Canvas ..... fill the space in with black, then you wont see the border in the screen saver mode.

This is exactly what I had to do, and it worked like a charm. I used the black background, it worked fine. (I was/am concerned that you might adjust the way you frame your content in the original viewfinder to adjust for this "overscan." Better to use this canvas-size technique if necessary.)

Avatar74
Feb 6, 2008, 12:47 PM
I want to thank you for your input. It has been most helpful. At least now I understand what's going on and when doing a photography shoot I know how to compensate.

Getting myself 'trained' to do so may be another issue! :D

Not being a videographer I had no idea about 'safe regions', now I do and can compensate for them.

I do believe as of Photoshop 7 there are both guides for TV safe areas and Pixel Aspect Ratio converters (so when outputting a still for use in video the image is adjusted to compensate for the change in Pixel Aspect).

However, here's a guide you can use for an approximation:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/35mmareas2.gif

I say approximation because 35mm motion picture film runs vertically, not horizontally... but if you use this as a sort of a guide to familiarize yourself with the rough areas where "TV safe" (the outer guide) and "Title safe" (the inner guide) regions fall, you should be a lot better at prepping your own content.

When you pull content into a Non Linear Editor (e.g. Final Cut Pro), it has its own guides that you can use to line up and resize the image, titles, graphics, etc. properly... but taking the pictures/video properly to begin with will maximize the resolution you're using to capture the image rather than resizing it and losing clarity in the process.

With my Nikon there are guides that follow the Rule of Thirds for scene composition, and they don't match with the TV safe guides but they help me get a bearing in the middle of the space so I know roughly how to block and frame the shot:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D70S/ZVFREADOUT.JPG

With motion picture cameras there are ground glass inserts for the viewfinder, as I said before, that mirror exactly what the TV safe regions are when shooting. Of course you probably won't ever use a Panavision camera for what you're doing, but if you're oddly curious, here they are (http://www.panavision.com/ground_glass.php).

You can see an example in the Telecine output from the video monitor in this photograph I took on the set of Comanche Moon, produced for CBS/Paramount Television (the black lines, they may be a bit hard to spot at first):

http://images.cinemalogue.com/d/307-2/CM_14.jpg

Note the outer 16:9 guide for HDTV blocking/framing and the 4:3 inner guide for Standard Definition. Interestingly, here's a situation where CBS required they center the action using the inner guides so that they could crop down in HD/SD simulcast instead of producing a separate 4:3 pan & scan master. Of course if you saw the miniseries when it aired a couple weeks back, the result was somewhat disappointing as it really failed to take advantage of the cinematic properties of HD as a medium, but that's a different story... one involving studio politics.