powerbook widescreen and DVDs

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by greatm31, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. greatm31 macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2001
    Are you supposed to be able to play widescreen DVDs on a powerbook such that it takes up the entire screen? It seems extremely dumb that I should have a widescreen display and still have black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Am I doing something wrong? (15" Aluminum, by the way).
  2. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    No, you're not doing anything wrong.

    While, yes, the 15in PB screen is a widescreen display, it is not the 16:9 aspect ratio that widescreen DVDs require. It's far closer than the 4:3 of a traditional monitor, but not quite there.
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    DVD wide-screen is 16:9 format (so if the screen was 16 inches wide, it would be 9 inches tall). Your PowerBook, while wider than 4:3 (the standard TV and monitor aspect ratio) isn't quite as wide as a 16:9. So you'll see black bars, but they're smaller than they would be on another display.

    While it may be annoying, if the screen was 16:9, the PowerBook would have very odd dimensions...
  4. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Most movies on DVD though are either 1.85:1 or 2.35:1. 16:9 is equivalent to 1.78:1. So, it's hard to avoid the letterboxing. Get used to it.
  5. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    At the native resolution of 1280x854 on a 15in PB, the aspect ratio is (almost) 3:2.
  6. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Mar 16, 2005
    Oxfordshire, UK
    If using tiger, pull down the Window menu in DVD Player and click Video Zoom and have a play

    Most movies look fine if you zoom in enough to fill the screen,
    there are a few that have something going on way off to one side, but in most all the action is centered
  7. andysmith macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2004
    West Mids, UK
    Also try VLC - you can get it for 'force' the aspect ratio, so it'll fill the screen... it'll just look squished. (although some people don't mind that - try it out :))

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