Brad Fitzpatrick (brad) wrote,
Brad Fitzpatrick
brad

Slideshowin' on widescreen TV

I want to write a slide-show component for Enty, optionally interfacing also with a PicPix account. (so it'll be able to show a gallery from a local directory, or from a picpix account)

In the case of a picpix account, it'll prefer using the local cache of the picture, if available (since picpix has local caching backup tools). Otherwise, it'll pre-fetch the images from the server, then cache 'em locally. And in that case, it can only download the smallest size it needs. (since TV output on Enty is only 640x480 or 800x600 ... unless I break down and buy a $1,000 video scaler from high-res VGA to HDTV... unlikely)

Anyway, so the S-Video output from Enty is 4:3 ... the TV is 16:9.

The TV has 5 modes to convert a 4:3 image to 16:9, all useful in different cases. One of those is a straight stretch which ordinarily sucks, but works well for Enty.... you can hardly tell the font is a little wider.

Now, when I'm showing a slideshow, I want the most resolution possible, and I don't want things distorted.

So my Enty module will need to have an option to counter-distort the image to make up for the distortion the TV will be doing.

Most digital camera pics are 1.33 aspect ratio... the same as normal TV (4:3). So that means I'll have to shrink the pic horizontally first, to add some black bars on the sides.

But some digital cameras (Kodaks, notably) have a 1.5:1 aspect ratio. In this case, a typical slideshow program would normally add black bars to the top and bottom. However, since 1.5:1 is still more narrow than 1.76:1, my software would have to schrunge it yet, though not as much, and there'd still be black bars on the sides.

Maybe what I should do is optionally split the screen in two halves and alternate which side the pic appears on. Or let that mode be a toggle-able setting on the remote control when Enty's conf file says output device is wide-screen.

My grandma will be visiting for Thanksgiving after I get back from New York --- need to show her pictures, ya know?

P.S. Funny picture
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