Video Playback Options: No Zoom?

I’m a relatively new user of the Live Hub with some older DVDs in widescreen letterbox format, non anamorphic.

When played on my DVD player the unit properly zooms the video to fit the widescreen TV. I have transfered some movies to the Hub in MPEG2  (both ISO and VOB formats) but the Hub displays them letterboxed in a 4:3 aspect ratio. I need to zoom them but zoom is not available when I press the Options button.

If the DVD is reencoded via Handbrake to MP4 the Live Hub displays it correctly zoomed to fit the screen, but it also gives me zoom as one of the available options.

I’m on firmware version 3.11.10, video output: Component 720p 60Hz, aspect ratio: Widescreen.

I prefer the MPEG2 encoding for now because the Live Hub handles chapter skipping incorrectly for MP4 videos.

Am I overlooking something here or does the Live Hub only provide the Zoom option for MP4 format video?

All of my 16:9 videos fill the screen.  I think they’re all anamorphic widescreen, but not absolutely certain.

Zoom is an available option for ALL video formats EXCEPT DVD mode.

If you aren’t using DVD menus (by turning that option off in the setup screens) then zoom will work there, too.

Tony -

Thanks much for the info, it may be documented somewhere but I had never run across it.

I turned off the DVD menu option and it gives me the ability to zoom. Unfortunately, that seems to disable chapter skip, and the option button does not even provide a chapter selection option as is present on the MP4 format videos. To advance the movie the only option is to use fast forward.

Design concessions have to be made, but the difference in behavior when playing back video files makes me question my decision to purchase this appliance.

Some of our movies are converted from old VHS tapes and are multi-title with menus. The store bought DVDs are transferred without menus but I need to be able to use chapter skip.

Oh well, thanks again. Back to the drawing board to decide what trade-offs I need to make.

You may want to look at this. I don’t  know if it will work for you but you could give it a try on one of your DVD’s. I have updated the ifo’s on some if my DVD rips with success and they now fill the screen.

Thanks richUK.

That page brings back some memories from long ago – had forgotten about it. IfoEdit has been a favorite tool for many years, and now that I have the Hub I’ve had to start using it in some cases.

I did some tinkering with it already on the letterbox DVDs but may not have hit the right combination of options.

Appreciate the link… now I’m off to experiment some more.

Followup to richUK -

After some tinkering it looks like IfoEdit alone won’t handle it.

I reset the aspect ratio to 16:9, turned off “Letterbox (top&bottom cropped)”, then tried various combinations:

 - Automatic Pan&Scan and Automatic Letterbox

 - Automatic Pan&Scan only

 - Automatic Letterbox only

 - neither option selected

In each case the video image was stretched horizontally to fill the screen but the vertical dimensions were not adjusted so the display was distorted.

At this point it looks like my easiest way out is to transfer the letterbox movies in MP4 format and live with the limitations on chapter skip.

Yeah, that’s a problem with non-anamorphic content:  The letterboxes are actually “burned in” to the video.

The WD’s *ALWAYS* display the full frame, and will not ever “crop” video.

Yup, this certainly has been fun.

The only other thing I’ve tried has been to demux the VOB files, convert MPEG2 to AVI, crop and resize to anamorphic, reencode to MPEG2 and rebuild the DVD using an old authoring tool that still runs. That gives me a movie in DVD format that allows chapter skipping but some of the videos have noticeable degradation in the picture.

The trouble is, that’s a long slow process and I didn’t realize how many of our widescreen videos are actually non-anamorphic.