Apple TV display on standatd 4:3 Analog TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by danny_w, May 31, 2007.

  1. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #1
    I've been considering the :apple:TV not for video but for my music library. I currently use a Roku Soundbridge which works great but has no TV interface for browsing and selecting songs. I've heard that :apple:TV does not have a 4:3 setting, so I assume that the menu will look squished on a 4:3 display (I have component inputs up to 480). Has anybody tried this?
     
  2. neven macrumors 6502a

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    Portland, OR
    #2
    Yes, it will be squished on a non-widescreen display, and depending on your TV, you may end up with other artifacts as well.
     
  3. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

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    Canada
    #3
    Technically the picture is not squished horizontally (compressed from the sides to the center), it's stretched vertically (from the center to the top/bottom).
     
  4. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #4
    Well I bought a used one today and hooked it to my Hitachi Untravision analog 4:3 projection tv tonight. There are some minor problems with some videos, but we just got done watching quite a few trailers and they all looked very good; most were even letterboxed. I was quite surprised at how well it handled the streaming trailers, since I don't have an 11n network (I have a linksys 11g router). I haven't sync'ed it to my iTunes library yet, but it found my network and connected right away; even entering the WPA password was easy with the on-screen keyboard. It is so much better than anything else that I have tried for this purpose that it is well worth the price I paid.
     
  5. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

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    washington dc
    #5
    Here's something I still don't understand. My TV is 480 capable, 4:3 aspect ratio. I have my DVD player hooked up via component inputs. When I play a widescreen movie on my TV it letterboxes it, and when I play "full screen" content it obviously takes up the whole screen. So what I don't understand is why the AppleTV doesn't work this way... from my understanding it will play the widescreen letterboxed but it will play the fullscreen content "pillorboxed" or stretched vertically. Why does this happen, when my tv handles the different kinds of aspect ratios fine with regard to DVDs? I'm very close to buying an AppleTV but I have a lot of TV shows and I really am bummed that the aspect ratio on them will be distorted.
     
  6. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

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    #6
    The :apple:TV doesn't letterbox widescreen content, it only pillarboxes 4:3 content. Your DVD player does that (letterboxing), but the :apple:TV doesn't.

    Why didn't Apple include 4:3 TV support is beyond me, given that some 4:3 TVs with component inputs have no widescreen support. I'm also surprised to see them support 480i on top of that.

    I'm still hoping a future software update will add a "TV type" option, because if the :apple:TV can pillarbox in real-time then it can letter-box in real-time too (and stop pillarboxing 4:3 content on 4:3 TVs).
     
  7. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

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    washington dc
    #7
    Oh, thanks, I didn't realize that it does not letterbox widescreen content. So on a 4:3 TV widescreen content gets cut off on the edges (left & right)? That makes me even less likely to buy one... at least until I upgrade to a widescreen tv. Here's to hoping that the June update to the AppleTV will bring some extra resolution options along with the youtubes.
     
  8. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
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    Austin, TX
    #8
    No, widescreen content won't get cut off on the edges; you will see the whole picture but it will be "squished" when your tv displays it. People will just look really tall. I agree, Apple needs to address this issue for those of us that don't have widescreen. Since I suspected this from the start, it doesn't bother me and I only use it for my audio library (which is what I bought it for anyway).
     
  9. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a

    rockstarjoe

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    #9
    :p
    Wow that is even worse. Well, thanks everyone for clearing this up for me. Maybe it is time to suck it up and buy a new TV after all! :p
     
  10. Jasoco macrumors 6502

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    May 28, 2006
    #10
    Well, really, the AppleTV simply displays content at the correct proportion. It'll have bars if it needs to. i.e. if the video isn't exactly 16:9. Like 4:3 content and thiner aspect movies like LOTR and Star Wars.

    What I don't get is why they didn't add a simple option for 4:3 resolutions to the Settings menu. It really just seems odd. My brother wants to buy one so he can watch my collection on his TV, but he only has a 27" tube 4:3 aspect with Component in. So it would work, but display at a stretched view. I wish Apple would tell us the logical reason for not putting it in. Composite exclusion I can understand. But 4:3 no. Even a lot of LCD TV's are 4:3. Makes no sense!
     
  11. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
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    Austin, TX
    #11
    I remember back when I bought my analog big-screen tv and hdtv was just coming out (but there was no content to speak of) that quite a few hdtv sets were 4:3 aspect ratio. At the time the hdtv 4:3 sets were roughly 3-4 times the price of an analog set, and a ws hdtv was even more. I paid $2500 for my analog 4:3, and ws hdtv sets were at least $10k at the time. And most of the sets at the time topped out at 720p.
     
  12. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

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    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    Tell me about it. My 36" TV is 4:3, has component inputs, and can display a 480p and 1080i picture. But no widescreen/16:9 support. The :apple:TV really needs a setting for that, I'm really annoyed.
     

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