Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

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bvrulez
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:19 pm

I used makeMKV to save my DVDs of the old series "Westwing". Seasons 1 and 2 with several DVDs are ripped perfectly.

But season 3 is ripped in 16:9 with black frames all around the image (top, bottom and sides).

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Weirdly, one short scene at the beginning is displayed in 4:3 with black just at the sides.

This is for all DVDs of season 3 and from season 4 on all videos are correctly ripped to 16:9 without frame.

Is there a way to tell MakeMKV how to handle it?

Grauhaar
Posts: 226
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Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Grauhaar » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:40 pm

This is called "4:3 Letterbox" format. Many old DVDs are mastered with this format, because an old VHS master is used. You can remove the black frames f.e with the Handbrake crop function by reencoding and deinterlace the video. But the quality is always poor, beavuse you zoom into an bad small picture to make it bigger on TV.
Last edited by Grauhaar on Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Woodstock
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Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Woodstock » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:37 pm

I think the main issue here is that the player is misinterpreting the video. It usually comes down to how the disk was authored, and where the aspect ratio information is stored. MakeMKV only saves one copy of that information, but there are two places it can be specified. They're SUPPOSED to match, but sometimes do not.
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

Grauhaar
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Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Grauhaar » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:39 pm

If black frames are on top and bottom, this is typical for an 4:3 letterbox format. You can test it with VLC and post a screenshot.

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:50 pm

Woodstock wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:37 pm
I think the main issue here is that the player is misinterpreting the video. It usually comes down to how the disk was authored, and where the aspect ratio information is stored. MakeMKV only saves one copy of that information, but there are two places it can be specified. They're SUPPOSED to match, but sometimes do not.
What do you mean by this? Is the problem with makeMKV writing the video file or with my DLNA server (or client) reading it?

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:52 pm

Grauhaar wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:39 pm
If black frames are on top and bottom, this is typical for an 4:3 letterbox format. You can test it with VLC and post a screenshot.
So if VLC also has this wrong format can I instruct makeMKV to process the DVD differently?

Woodstock
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Woodstock » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:06 am

There isn't anything MakeMKV can be told to do differently; it has rules for which aspect ratio to insert into the MKV file header. There are ways to change that header with other tools, such as mkvtoolnix (google can find it), or (what I use) handbrake, which will straighten out the aspect ratio when it re-encodes the video to be smaller.

Handbrake will also strip the letterbox out (cropping it) unless you tell it not to, making the file "just" the intended frame. Of course, your playback environment will often put its own bars in...
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:00 pm

Woodstock wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:06 am
There isn't anything MakeMKV can be told to do differently; it has rules for which aspect ratio to insert into the MKV file header. There are ways to change that header with other tools, such as mkvtoolnix (google can find it), or (what I use) handbrake, which will straighten out the aspect ratio when it re-encodes the video to be smaller.

Handbrake will also strip the letterbox out (cropping it) unless you tell it not to, making the file "just" the intended frame. Of course, your playback environment will often put its own bars in...
Thanks for the explanation. But I still don't understand it well. If this DVD is watched with a DVD-Player then the picture will fill up the whole screen of the TV (or maybe black frames at the sides, but NO frames at top and bottom). But when MakeMKV reads the DVD then it saves a file that contains the black frames on top, bottom and sides.

I don't understand why the two behave differently.

Yes, I know I can use handbrake for cropping but this will result in less quality because the small picture will get resized to be bigger.

I am searching for a solution that tells MakeMKV to not save it with black frames, obviously. :)

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:14 pm

To make things absolutly clear I attached a screenshot from VLC. Image

Grauhaar
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Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Grauhaar » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:32 pm

The VLC picture shows an 4:3 Letterbox picture. The difference between VLC and DVD Player/TV is, that the TV automaticaly zooms in the picture (can be disabled/switched on most TVs). With this, the top and below black frames are gone. The left and right frames remains, because the content of the picture is not in 16:9 (1,78:1) acpect ratio format. To remove the left and right frames on TV, the picture must be streched, but this looks not very good (bright faces).

You must use Handbrake / VideoCoder (based on Handbrake) to remove (crop) the black frames (can be adjusted on pixel level) and re-encode the video without them. I have done this with many old DVDs to remove the black frames and this works very good. Remember, DVDs are always encoded interlaced and not progressive (Full Frame). So the content must be deinterlaced during re-encoding. So activate this in the Handbrake / Videocoder options.

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:34 pm

Thanks a lot for the explanation. The weird thing is that the files MakeMKV does save have the same size as the files from the other DVDs.

If the TV is zooming in by default with this setup I would expect the quality of the files to be better, eg higher file size. Because the TV displays a smaller portion of the picture in bigger size this part should be coded with higher resolution.

However, I will go forward with your approach, thanks again for the extensive instructions. Maybe last time I was not satisfied with the result because of bad setting.

bvrulez
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:32 am

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by bvrulez » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:37 pm

Actually, if the black frame is always the same this would explain that the remaining part of the film takes up pretty much everything of the file size and the quality is alright then with the same file size as without black frames.

Grauhaar
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 pm

Re: Black frames on top and sides of 16:9 video

Post by Grauhaar » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:05 am

The black frames uses not much space in the file, because there is no action or difference between the frames. The codecs detects this and compress this to some few bytes. Anyway, DVDs are encoded in MPEG2 (like JPEG) whch produces a lot of artefacts surrounding objects. The other problem is that old DVD are created from an old master which was used for VHS tapes. So the resolution is always very bad compared to Blu-rays. But anway, Blu-ray can also be bad, if no rescanning from the negative in 2K or 4K is made for the mastering.

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