The 720×480 format is fixe


The 720×480 format is fixed – but when you select a widescreen format in the sequence menus – the pixels are stretched a bit, and a flag in the data stream is supposed to make sure the wide screen switch matches. I’m in PAL land so we have a slightly different frame size – but a wide screen premiere sequence fills the screen, and a 4:3 sequence gives me black bands left and right. However, my old flat screen tv automatically stretched this and that looked odd.

I shoot in 1080p, but also have older material shot in DV, so for DVD, I edit in a 720p HD preset, shrinking the HD and stretching the DV, and then going out to encore using the stock settings for DVD produces pretty good results I have found. I certainly can view the end product on my big screen and not notice the original format differences unless I want to. I can see the quality differences, but few other people seem to spot it. The picture is sharp. I wonder if what is happening is that the upscaling and then downscaling for DVD sharpens the edges, just enough on the DV material. The same edit at a DV format sequence, where the HD is shrunk quite a lot, or another sequence in HD with a sizeable stretch to the DV material doesn’t work so well I have found going out to DVD. 720 seems to work well for me – and the clients seem very happy.

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