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Optimizing Photos for TV Viewing
Old 06-29-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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Optimizing Photos for TV Viewing

Yesterday I worked a bit on optimizing photos for our 42 inch LCD TV so that I could use it occasionally as a big picture frame. The technical info I need is lacking, so I had to do some experimenting.

First, as expected, the best aspect ratio is 16:9, that is, an image width of 1.78 times the height. Of course my camera, computer and TV aspect ratio are all different, but that's life.

Second, I found that larger images did not display as well. For example, a 3072x1724 image displayed some pixel jaggies on the diagonal edges. I assume this means that the resizing algorithms of the DVD player (Panasonic) are not that good.

This is the case until the image size gets down to about 700 x 393. As I decreased the image size, the image occupied the entire screen* until it got below 670 pixels wide. That is, a 670 pixel wide image occupied full screen, and a 640 pixel wide image did not.

*Finally, I found this puzzling thing: Normally, with a regular 4:3 analog TV channel, there are black borders on the side. If I choose "Fill" from the TV's display menu, the image doesn't get any taller, it is just spread out horizontally.

However, when viewing a 16:9 photo, there are some small borders on the top and sides of the image, and when I choose "Fill" it spreads out horizontally and vertically, maintaining the same aspect ratio. That is, a square on the image remains a square. Can someone explain that to me?

In conclusion, what I've figured out so far is that I should resize images to about 680 x 380, and choose Fill on the TV.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:50 AM   #2
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Are you burning to a DVD and then playing that? I have hooked up my Netbook to the large screen but the color values of the TV and the netbook vary significantly.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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You will be limited by the maximum resolution your DVD player can output, not the resolution of your TV. Your player is probably outputting at one of these:

704 x 480
852 x 480

If you have an HD tv, it can probably handle up to either:

1280 x 720
1920 x 1080

For these, you'll likely need to connect a computer or blu-ray player to it, typically via the VGA or HDMI port. It is possible your camera could have a supported output as well.

My netbook only looks nice connected to my HDTV when it is plugged in. The battery can't keep up otherwise.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:29 AM   #4
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Yes, I'm burning the images to either DVD or CD. I'm doing it either for slide shows, or to have some nice photos displayed, as if I'd blown them up, framed them, and hung them on the wall. It would be a nice alternative to the big black monolith that dominates our living room.

Not sure it will be worth the power drain, however.
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