The short answer is because Adobe software doesn't use the correct Pixel Aspect Ratio for widescreen SD content, so you get those little black bars.
Not to worry, they won't show up on most TVs anyway due to overscan.
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More regarding the pixel aspect ratio issue:
The alternative to the black bars (which will show when the material is played back on computer monitors and on some TVs) is to crop on export:
In the export settings, crop the source 13 pixels top and bottom and set the output tab to "scale to fit." This results in a small loss of quality, but you are downrezzing....
An old image from Ann Bens that shows this:
Ann, is that still your recommendation to avoid the black bars?
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The only time it's safe to crop an odd number of pixels from top/bottom of an image is when the image is progressive (like in Ann's screenshot). If you try that on an interlaced image, you'll reverse the field order, which will cause all sorts of problems.
I crop 14 top and 14 bottom when resizing from HD to NTSC SD, which completely solves the issue in all cases.
Since the video is being scaled down to SD from HD anyway, the cropping shouldn't affect the SD picture quality at all. I have heard of one user (and one user only) who said the cropping affected the image quality adversely. YMMV.
Thanks for that correction.
Ann, thanks for that.
In my experience, 8 pixels for NTSC isn't ever enough. How do you get 8 pixels to work for you? Obviously I'd like to crop fewer pixels if possible!
Since I was spreading misinformation, I did a quick test exporting HD to NTSC MPEG2-DVD (wide). Using 1440x1080 and 1920x1080, and cropping by various (even) amounts, the 10 pixel crop (10 top 10 bottom) leaves very small black borders on left and right and 12 pixels has no black.
Edit: 12 top and 10 bottom leaves black.
It has been a while since it tested ntsc, and i am sure i tested it correct. But yes 8 pixels is not enough shoud be 12.
I corrected the image for future use.
Wont be needing this for CS6 though. CS6 will have the new Scale to Fill option.
Scale to Fill option.
I'm going crazy trying to get the footage to actually crop. I have sequences imported from my Premiere project vis Dynamic Link. If I go into my quality presets inside Encore CS5 I can setup a top and bottom crop as in Ann's screenshot and then switch to output. It looks perfect. But when I save that as a new preset and apply it to my clips, the cropping does not apply.
I have tried over and over, new presets, double checking over and over and while the preset is applied, the crop does not kick in within Encore monitor or within the DVD preview. pillarboxing (black bars) are still present.
I don't understand why Encore has a cropping feature and then COMPLETELY IGNORES the cropping feature. Am I missing something.
So far all I can figure is to setup a new sequence in Premiere for every Chapter that is set to DV 24p. Then drop in the main sequence which is 1080p and resize it in the motion settings to 45.6% so that it fills a DV frame. At that point I can import that sequence to Encore and it looks fine.
Is this the best Encore can do? I would really rather link up the full 1080 sequences because otherwise I'll have to rebuild the entire thing if I want to make a BluRay.
Does anyone have any other suggestions or know how to get cropping to work on Encore CS5 (Mac).
I think you will have to transcode before you will see it. Make a short little sequence to save time. DL to EN. Apply your crop preset. Transcode now. Open another timeline and then switch back if it does not update.
Dont use Dynamic Link with CS5 when going from HD to dvd. Encore messes up the fields.
Just export from Premiere (cropp in the export settings) and import the two files into Encore.
Make Menu and burn.
No problem using DL for BD.
That seems pretty pathetic that they inlcude a feature that does not work. So tired of this kind of thing from Adobe.
DL seems a convient way to manage the assets, but I guess I'll just export the files from Media Encoder first.
Thanks for the input.
For straight forward work, ADL (Adobe Dynamic Link) does work well.
When one is stepping outside that "box," then the old-fashioned Export>Import method usually works perfectly. It also seems to work well, when ADL is not doing what one wants, and is usually a great workaround.