how big is your letter-box?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by KeegoSupremo, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. KeegoSupremo macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Ok I have been messing around with handbrake trying to get some more of my movies for use with apple tv. I have the latest version of handbrake and I am using the apple tv preset.

    But my movies are coming out with about 2.5 inch each side letter-box (top and bottom). Is that normal size. I would prefer if I had to have the letter-box it be like 1 inch. I have messed around in handbrake with different aspect rations and with cropping (I am not at the computer that has my movies right now so I don't remember all the details) but everything I do comes out the same as the apple tv preset.

    I am using a westinghouse 37 lcd tv. If there is anything you can recommend I do or try please let me know. and if there is any other info I can give you to help let me know. or is all this normal??
    Thanks for the help
    I have searched and searched looking but there to much stuff and I could'nt find a answer.
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The reason you are getting letterboxing is because you are viewing movies shot in aspect ratios higher than 16:9. This is normal. It is just like watching a 16:9 widescreen movie on an "old" 4:3 TV set - you get black bars.

    Turn on anamorphic when encoding, and don't worry about it.

    Now, if we could just get some 1.85:1 HDTVs...
  3. KeegoSupremo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Thanks for the reply

    I understand why I get the letterbox but my question is what is the usual size of the black bars? Mine are 2.5 inches each and with a 37 they are pretty big bars. So what size are the bars on your movies that are letterbox?
    thanks again
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The relative size of the black bars are going to be dependent on aspect ratio of the film. Higher aspect ratios like 2.35:1 are going to produce larger black bars. The absolute size of the bars will be dependent on screen size.

    I don't want to sound dismissive, but what difference does the size of the bars make? If you want to watch the movie in its original aspect ratio, you are going to get letterboxing of various sizes sometimes. If it bothers you, then set your television to vertically stretch the image. It will be distorted, but you won't get black bars.
  5. KeegoSupremo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2006
    spice weasel I appreciate your help
    first off let me say I am a macrumors lurker I'm not a huge poster so I am not very good at explaining myself. The reason I am asking these questions is because on a 37 inch screen having two 2.5 inch bars makes my screen alot smaller than I would like. while I understand what letterbox is for I just curious if there was a way to have the bars smaller like as in 1 inch or 1/2 like the itunes movies (that I have anyways) are, so that it not making my screen so small.

    but I dug out the dvd cases of some movies to see the aspect ration and
    the hulk which is 2.35:1 and a older movie such as van helsing is shot in 1.85:1 (which has no or very little bars on my screen)

    So that must be the answer to my questions

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