Aspect Ratio Control/DVD Player?

I own a HDTV 16:9 widescreen - I'm looking for a dvd player and was surprised to learn my top choices - Arcam DV78 and Denon DVD-2200 - do not offer aspect ratio control. How important should the aspect ratio control feature be when purchasing a dvd player to be used in conjuction with a HDTV?

For example, none of the Arcam dvd player's offer aspect ratio control, nor the Krell dvd standard at $8000, or the Esoteric DV50 at $5500, and yet my $250 Sony dvd player offers it, so what gives?

All comments or opinions are appreciated in advance.
Thank You
I agree that most 'hi-end' players do not offer DVI/HDMI connections or ratio control like some of the cheepies out there. Pretty pitiful if you ask me.

They probably focused so much effort on the newer, hi-res audio formats that being state-of-the-art with video is (at best) a secondary concern.

Maybe one of the Theta Compli, Muse Thalia/Model 11 or EAD DVDMaster players have this functionality? Might be worth calling the manufacturers to ask, cause their websites don't say much about this type of video functionality.

It's worth a shot...
Well it would seem that this would not be a problem for you. Most dvd's are widescreen and so is your TV. I'm not a video expert though so take what I say for what it is. If you rent or buy a dvd in the 4:3 aspect your tv will just chop the sides off. Some widescreen tv's can also stretch 4:3 movies to fill your screen if that does not bother you.


If you TV or monitor is CRT based, it is imparitive to get a DVD player that controls aspect ratio unless your TV has that control. Without it, watching movies with an aspect ratio af 2.35:1 will burn a line at the top and bottom of your screen.
Sedona - excellent question. You have uncovered a "dirty little secret" of some makes/models of progressive scan DVD players - many of them lack aspect-ratio control. This can be a problem because most HDTV's will lock onto their "full" mode when fed a progressive video signal. When this happens, non-anamorphic DVD's will not be shown in their proper aspect ratio.

The good news is that there is an easy workaround. Simply run the player in interlaced mode and you will be able to control the aspect ratio in your tv. Any progressive-scan player will allow interlaced output to make them backward compatable with NTSC tv's. If your tv has a killer built-in de-interlacer/scaler and it's not a huge screen, 480i from the DVD player will probably look very good to excellent. (I'm running 480i to my 16x9 Sony 34" XBR800 CRT monitor and I do not want for 480p from the player, trust me). On the other hand, if you need to rely on the player for quality de-interlacing, then make sure the player you buy will perform aspect ratio control. You could also use an outboard video processor box (Farouja, InFocus, etc.) to perform de-interlacing and they will control aspect ratio, too. Good luck! JZ