I'll let someone answer the hard stuff.
Just because your reduce it to 720x480 doesnt mean you have to be 4:3
You can reduce it to 720x480 with a widescreen par and not have it letterboxed.
Just change the par and at least you will have widescreen.
As far as how they get so much great info on their disks i dont know.
For one they shoot it with great cameras and good formats that im sure are not as compressed as AVCHD for sure.
I also have the Planet Earth and it sure looks great on Blu-ray
Hey, thanks Glen:
I'm unfamiliar with the term "par". Does this refer to one of the "Anamorphic" settings? Are you saying that if I use something other than 1.0 scaling of horizontal to vertical that this might help?
I find myself quite overwhelmed by the exporting options and codecs offered by Premier Pro and I wish I had the time to experiment with all of them.
How did they DO that?
Using better encoders than we have ($ 2K+), using 9-pass VBR, starting with better image quality and using professionals to encode.
The term PAR stands for "Pixel Aspect Ratio"
once you change it to widescreen it will look better.
The par is differnet for PAL and NTSC video.
just choose the correct widescreen PAR.
Do you know of the names of those $2k and up encoders.
It might make for some good reading.
Even if I cant afford it, its good to know its out there.
9 pass VBR wow
This might help Tutorial HD to SD w/CS4 http://bellunevideo.com/tutorials/CS4_HD2SD/CS4_HD2SD.html
Also take a look at http://www.visiblelight.com/mall/productview.aspx?pid=856 for a multi-pass encoder
Hey, thanks everybody. Very useful information.
Last night I took a short 5-Minute segment and encoded it using NTSC D1/DV Widescreen (1.2121) as the Aspect Ratio setting.
I was very pleased with the results. My Sony Bravia formatted it appropriately without being asked and everything looked reasonably sharp and fluid. I think that this is the best results I am going to get.
Thats good you got it going right.
I know that when I started playing with video I said to myself " How can 720x480 be Standard Def & 720x480 be Widescreen too"
Now that I know a little more i understand it.
Things we all learn in the beginning.