I am burning a widescreen, standard definition MPEG2 video to DVD in PRE8. Now, whether I select the NTSC standard or widescreen preset, I get the same result when viewing the DVD on a widescreen TV: the wide image is letterboxed within the screen with borders top and bottom, left and right; I have to press the zoom button on the TV to full the screen. Until this session, I got different results with the two presets. I got the above result with the widescreen preset, but with the standard preset, the wide image was squeezed into a full 4:3 frame; on the widescreen TV I got an squeezed image with left and right borders, but no top and bottom borders; I had to press the stretch button on the TV to full the screen. But now this last setting is no longer available. This setting is preferable because with fewer borders filling each frame, resolution will be higher on the TV. I repeated the burn procedure to make sure I did not unknowing select the wrong preset. Any suggestions why what once worked no longer does?
I confirmed that in both sessions, the MPEG2 file was 720x480 pixels with 1.21 PAR. I now also get the same letterboxed image when I now burn to DVD the previous files, which I once burned to DVD as a squeezed full 4:3 image using the standard setting. In the monitor window in PRE8, I still see a widescreen image with no borders. When buring now using Windows Vista Movie Maker, I also get the letterboxed result, but I don't know what I might have got in Windows at the time of the previous PRE8 session.
Welcome to the forum.
One of the issues with Widescreen material is that most 16:9 TV's, and even some DVD/BD players, have settings on how 16:9 material will be displayed.
As a test, choose Burn to Folder (on your computer), which will result in a VIDEO_TS folder with the IFO, BUP and VOB files inside (plus an OpenDVD folder). Use a DVD software player, such as CyberLink's PowerDVD, or the free MediaPlayer Classic HC, to play that VIDEO_TS folder. Does that software player display the material as 16:9, or as 4:3?
That should tell us if there is an issue with the VIDEO_TS folder's files and the PAR flag, or if the issue might be elsewhere.
One can determine that the problem is with PRE8, and not with my AV equipment, because a DVD previously recorded with with the STD setting plays with the same aspect ratio now (4:3) on the same equipment as when originally recorded, but burning the same source file to DVD with the same setting used originally now results in a DVD with a different AR (16:9).